Phrases with "failed"

Radclyffe Hall Up and up soared the pure, sexless voice, the voice of an undreamt-of choir-boy or an angel; and then, just as the last height was reached, it hazed, it faltered, it failed to attain. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall

H. G. Wells Their sentences were usually simple and of two words, and I failed to convey or understand any but the simplest propositions. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells [1896]

Olaf Stapledon Liberalism failed to fulfil its promise. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

George Gissing Why had Waymark failed her?—she could do no more than repeat the question a thousand times, till the faculty of self-communing forsook her. The Unclassed by George Gissing [1883]

If his most strenuous endeavours failed to convert the unbeliever he must renounce her friendship and see her no more. The Infidel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1900]

Henry James I remarked that I failed to see why we should assume that a girl like Linda — brilliant enough to make one of the greatestwould fall so very easily into my nephew’s arms. Louisa Pallant by Henry James [1888]

But the external advantages just enumerated had failed it: and it had enlisted none of the chief talents which were at the service of fiction generally. The English Novel by George Saintsbury [1913]

From Rome, Kate returned to Spain. She even went to St. Sebastian’s—to the city, but—whether it was that her heart failed her or not—never to the convent. The Spanish Nun by Thomas De Quincey [1847]

Walter Scott A sharper and louder blast was then sent forth, but sunk so suddenly, that it seemed the breath of him who sounded the instrument had failed in the effort. The Betrothed by Walter Scott [1825]

Nathaniel Hawthorne I brought thither no guest, because, after Hollingsworth failed me, there was no longer the man alive with whom I could think of sharing all. The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1852]

H. G. Wells She opened the door and her heart failed her. Marriage by H. G. Wells [1912]

A murmur like that of the waves at sea reached the ears of La Mole. He strove to rise, but strength failed him. Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas

G. K. Chesterton Marlowe and Chatterton failed because of their weakness. Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton [1911]

Toil and Pain, Famine, and hostile Elements, and Hosts Embattled, failed to check him in his course, Not to be wearied, not to be deterred, Not to be overcome. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco

George Gissing The feather-softness moulded itself to his limbs; the pillows pressed a yielding coolness to his cheek; his senses failed amid faint fresh odours. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

M. P. Shiel After examining the body, he failed to find anything to account for the sudden demise of his old friend and chief. Prince Zaleski by M. P. Shiel [1895]

He failed again; the rope was not there. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams [1937]

E. T. A. Hoffmann The meetings in Falieri’s house on Giudecca had not escaped the watchfulness of the Ten; but they failed altogether to learn any reliable intelligence. The Doge and Dogess by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Olaf Stapledon Increasingly, therefore, the excised wombs failed to survive the operation, or, if they did survive, failed to produce viable infants. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

Edith Wharton But at the last moment her courage had failed her, and she had said vaguely, in leaving, that she would let him know. The Mother’s Recompense by Edith Wharton [1925]

The chief regret is not that it failed to give a clue to the solution of an ornithological secret, but that it departed from the Isle without any apparent cause. Last Leaves from Dunk Island by E. J. Banfield

Wilkie Collins You have found in the Catholic Faith the peace of mind which you have failed to obtain by other means. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Jules Verne Not one of the men of the “Albatross” failed to share in the feelings of his chief. Robur the Conqueror by Jules Verne [1887]

Did Sweetwater notice this act of self-restraint? If he did, he failed to show it. The House of the Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green

He resolved to disobey her injunctions and follow her into the Cavern. He advanced to the Staircase; He had already descended some steps when his courage failed him. The Monk by Matthew Lewis [1796]

Rafael Sabatini But in his overwrought condition he failed to observe it. The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

Robert Green Ingersoll He failed to swallow it and was choked to death. The Ghosts and other lectures by Robert Green Ingersoll

R. D. Blackmore But while he succeeded in the form now and then, he failed continually in the substance. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

As you know, I failed where you succeeded. Greenmantle by John Buchan

Rudyard Kipling The tone might almost have deceived Mahbub Ali, but it failed entirely with the healer of sick pearls. Kim by Rudyard Kipling [1901]

G. K. Chesterton In fact, he shut himself up so exclusively with his coach that he failed in his examination. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

I have never failed to keep that vow save on that day, the most wretched day of my life, when I felt myself bound by conscience to snatch you from death. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

Arthur Machen Of course, the end of the Celtic Church was ruin and confusion — but Don Quixote failed and fell, while Sancho Panza lived a fat, prosperous peasant. The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen

George Elio And yet he was the man who was to give me comfort and help when everything else failed me. Janet’s Repentance by George Elio

But such considerations failed to reassure Mr. Gladstone; the British Public was of a like mind; and 145,000 copies of the pamphlet were sold within two months. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

He read queer Celtic tales which he thought “sickening rot,” and mild Celtic poetry which he failed to understand. The Far Islands by John Buchan [1899]

Wilkie Collins Her eyes closed — her feet failed her — and she sank insensible into our arms. The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Jules Verne Passepartout said nothing; but he cherished hope in secret, and comforted himself with the reflection that, if the wind failed them, they might still count on the steam. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne [1873]

George Gissing His heart would indeed have been of iron had it failed to soften to the appeal of such a crushed and suffering creature. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

George Gissing In other hours the all but certainty of her doom was a thought so terrible that reason well-nigh failed before it. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Anthony Trollope Of course everybody looked at him, and, of course, he failed in his attempt to appear as though he did not mind it. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

William Godwin Her curses never failed to produce the desired effect. Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [1834]

Elizabeth Gaskell The oldest family in Haworth failed lately, and have quitted the neighbourhood where their fathers resided before them for, it is said, thirteen generations. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

Edgar Allan Poe Upon examining the other window, a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it; and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash, failed also. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Henry James He failed quite to see how his situation could clear up at all logically except by some turn of events that would give him the pretext of disgust. The Ambassadors by Henry James [1903]

Wilkie Collins The poor weak words, which have failed to describe Miss Fairlie, have succeeded in betraying the sensations she awakened in me. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

E. Phillips Oppenheim The love for which I have sacrificed my life has failed me. The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1920]

H. G. Wells Marjorie’s natural gift for interruption failed her altogether. Marriage by H. G. Wells [1912]

Owing to a bad husband, she had failed to save any. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

Edgar Allan Poe How can it ever be suspected that a brute beast should have done the deed? The police are at fault — they have failed to procure the slightest clew. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Charles Dickens That I failed in business because I was unbusiness-like and credulous — in not being prepared for the interested designs of my partner. The Poor Relation’s Story by Charles Dickens [1852]

Even Charlotte was hushed by the subdued feeling of the rest, and Mr. Edmonstone’s hilarity, though replied to in turn by each, failed to wake them into mirth. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge [1853]

Walter Scott Here — take this blessed rosary — bind it on thy crest, and be the thought of the Virgin of the Garde Doloureuse, that never failed a votary, strong with thee in the hour of conflict. The Betrothed by Walter Scott [1825]

Robert Louis Stevenson All the rest were trying to get the shore end on shore, but had failed and apparently had stuck on shore, and the waves were getting up. Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin by Robert Louis Stevenson

I was assured of this by the way Moffat failed to meet Arthur’s eye, as he pressed on hastily, and in a way to forestall all opposition. The House of the Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green

H. G. Wells He had done his best, but this was an obdurate mind, difficult to dominate, and he had, he felt, failed completely to put the idea of Art over to it. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham by H. G. Wells [1930]

Wilkie Collins The art which succeeded by gas-light failed by day: the difficulty of hiding the plainly artificial nature of the marks was almost insuperable. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Ann Radcliffe Before she could reach the tower, her breath failed her, and she leaned against a pillar of the ruin, pale and exhausted. The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe [1791]

Henry James She attempted to include Sir Arthur in the conversation, but though the young man remained in his place he failed to grasp the offered perch. The Siege of London by Henry James [1883]

F. Scott Fitzgerald Bernice claimed a headache and failed to appear at luncheon. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Henry Adams He had pleaded guilty from the start, and his reforms had failed before those of the college. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

Virginia Woolf We feel that something has failed us at the critical moment; and instead of seeing, as we do in The Master Builder, one single whole we see two separate parts. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

Mark Twain I got the punishment myself, as it was supposed that I had heedlessly failed to insert the wooden pin which kept the gate closed. What is Man? and other essays by Mark Twain

Theodore Dreiser She had not failed to notice that he did not seem to consult her about buying clothes for himself. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle He looked at his clerk as though he failed to recognize him, and I could see by the astonishment depicted upon our conductor’s face that this was by no means the usual appearance of his employer. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

H. G. Wells How else in the name of the Everlasting White Rabbit, do you think we are going to end war? It isn’t really funny that the first War to End War failed to do so. The Holy Terror by H. G. Wells [1939]

Thomas Hardy It was fortunate that he did so, and thus failed to notice my own. A Changed Man by Thomas Hardy [1913]

As each was firmly wedded to his own opinion, the discussion was heated, but they failed to convince each other. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

Wilkie Collins Of course, I denied it; but I failed to satisfy her. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Wilkie Collins The physical strength of the old man had failed him very little, as yet. Mr Wray’s Cash Box by Wilkie Collins [1852]

Jules Verne Though it was very early, not a single one failed to appear. A Winter Amid the Ice by Jules Verne [1874]

Victor Hugo When his breath failed him he stopped, but he dared not look back. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

George Gissing Eve had promised to come tomorrow with Patty. If she again failed him it would be time enough to write. Eve's Ransom by George Gissing [1894]

But he left a great gulf fixed between man and God, and so failed to attain to the Optimism after which he often strove. Carlyle by John Nichol [1892]

When the Sofala failed to come back to Batu Beru at the proper time, Mr. Van Wyk understood at once that he would never see her any more. End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad [1902]

Anthony Trollope Hitherto she had failed in everything, but now she would try if some mode of success might not be open to her. The Claverings by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope On that occasion his digestion had perhaps failed him a little. Ayala’s Angel by Anthony Trollope

George Meredith Mrs. Melville perceived that it pained the refugee Countess, and gave her the glance intelligible; but the Countess never missed glances, or failed to interpret them. Evan Harrington by George Meredith [1861]

G. K. Chesterton If Tennyson failed (which I do not admit) in such poems as “The Northern Farmer,” it was not because he used too much of the spirit of the dialect, but because he used too little. Varied Types by G. K. Chesterton [1903]

F. Scott Fitzgerald He moved his own jaws experimentally; he measured with his fingers; but he failed to decide: they might belong either to a large-mouthed woman or a small-mouthed man. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Lucy Maud Montgomery Josie says the geometry was so easy a child of ten could do it! Moody Spurgeon still thinks he failed in history and Charlie says he failed in algebra. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery [1908]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Even Patinsky failed to break it. The Ostrekoff Jewels by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1932]

Robert Louis Stevenson Once or twice I inquired after the harbour or the berth of the ship Rose: but either fell on some who spoke only Hollands, or my own French failed me. Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson

He was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he failed to notice the overpowering heat as he climbed the rough hill-side in the full glare of the noonday sun. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

Lucy Maud Montgomery It would be dreadful if I failed to get my license after going to Queen’s all winter and spending so much money. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery [1908]

Had he failed, the enterprise of Cortes must have failed also. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Leon Trotsky This war brought forward a good many stalwart irregulars who excelled in local skirmishing but usually failed when they had to undertake military tasks of larger scope. My Life by Leon Trotsky

Wilkie Collins It was not wonderful that Magdalen should have failed to recognize him when he first appeared in view. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Jules Verne Yes! St Lawrence might be a harbour of refuge for the colonists, and if it failed them, St Matthew, and the group of islets of which it is the centre, would still be left. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

Wilkie Collins The mother’s watchfulness never slept, and the daughter’s presence of mind never failed her. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

G. K. Chesterton But they have nearly all of them entirely failed to notice that there is in the death of Little Nell one quite definite and really artistic idea. Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton [1911]

I should have had to find out all for myself, which would have taken me an enormous time, and I might have failed after all. Chicot the Jester by Alexandre Dumas

Charles Dickens That I failed in my expectations from my uncle Chill, on account of not being as sharp as he could have wished in worldly matters. The Poor Relation’s Story by Charles Dickens [1852]

Wilkie Collins We declared that they had been extorted by terror, or by undue influence; and we pointed out certain minor particulars in which the two confessions failed to corroborate each other. The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Henry James Mr. Brand was looking at him; and yet, though Charlotte was so near, his eyes failed to meet her own. The Europeans by Henry James [1878]

Anthony Trollope Of course he failed — as do all men who endeavour to make themselves pretty — but it was out of the question that he should understand the cause of his failure. Ayala’s Angel by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope In the crowd as they left the House he failed to get his hand upon his friend’s shoulder. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

George Gissing Again her nerves failed her, and she left the room. Will Warburton by George Gissing [1903]

George Gissing Asceticism in diet had failed him doubly; it reduced his power of wholesome exertion, and caused a mental languor treacherous to his chief purpose. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Mrs. Parker gave her the incredulous, pitying, sneering, icy stare that she kept for those who failed to qualify as doctors or dentists, and led the way to the second floor back. The Four Million by O. Henry [1906]

Algernon Blackwood By another of those swift, incalculable processes which at this stage of my apprenticeship I failed often to grasp, Dr. Silence reclosed the circle about the tent and body. John Silence by Algernon Blackwood

G. K. Chesterton For just as the peaks failed us, soaring impossibly far, so the stars crowded us (as it seemed), coming impossibly near. Manalive by G. K. Chesterton [1912]

Wilkie Collins She was afraid, poor soul, of everybody but Amelius. Even the good American failed to win her confidence. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Henry Handel Richardson On the spot, his courage failed him; and though Louise continued to ring all the changes her voice was capable of, he did not recover his spirits. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

Maria Edgeworth And since the report had been so spread, the sooner the marriage took place the better; at least, it was a plea which Beauclerc failed not to urge, and Helen’s delicacy failed not to feel. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

Wilkie Collins THE weary days followed each other — and time failed to justify the doctor’s confidence in his new remedies. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

Wilkie Collins In that state, I stood staring at Sergeant Cuff — and my powers of language quite failed me. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins [1868]

Always when her first complaining defence had failed to turn aside her husband’s tongue, her mind became a blank beneath his heavy sarcasms, and sought refuge by drifting far away. The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown [1901]

Gaston Leroux She failed in this, and was forced to rejoin her aunt in Cincinnati, The old lady was overjoyed to see her again. Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux [1907]

It took away all that there was in me of independent life, but just failed to take me out of the world, which looked then indeed like Another World fit for no one else but unrepentant sinners. The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad [1919]

He had lately failed to keep several of these appointments, whose note used to be an unbounded trustfulness in the language of sentiment and manly tenderness. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

Henry James Why should I make a difference?” Miss Tita reflected as if she might by thinking of a reason for that, but she failed to produce one. The Aspern Papers by Henry James [1888]

Ivan Turgenev I failed generally to fill Gavrilov’s place with him. The Diary of a Superfluous Man and other stories by Ivan Turgenev

E. Phillips Oppenheim For a moment her courage almost failed her. The Amazing Judgment by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1897]

Thomas Wolfe He knew, of course, that the party had not been planned for him and that no arrangements would be upset if he failed to appear. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Robert Green Ingersoll In the 16th century men were burned because they failed to kneel to a procession of monks. Lectures by Robert Green Ingersoll

T. H. Huxley I should, in all humility, admit the likelihood of having myself erred in judgment, failed in knowledge, or been blinded by prejudice. Essays by T. H. Huxley

He was irritated that they would not remain at this, and still more irritated that they failed to suppress altogether their natural interest in young men. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

Henry Handel Richardson So lost was he in showing his mastery, in feeding on her looks, that he failed to keep his wits about him. Growing Pains by Henry Handel Richardson

Radclyffe Hall India, the great vampire, had not wrecked her, for she was wiry, her little frame could withstand what her husband’s bulk had failed to endure. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall

H. G. Wells There’s just the lovers—the real enduring lovers; and the uncompleted people who’ve failed to find it. Marriage by H. G. Wells [1912]

No! It was not there, either! Where was it? Who could have taken it? Suddenly her heart failed her utterly, and she clutched at the edge of the coffin to keep herself from falling. The General’s Will by Vera Jelihovsky

Amazed, she watched the Rouse who had stumbled and failed over the simple boom exercise, performing hair-raising feats of perfection that must require the maximum of courage, control, and “knack. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

E. Phillips Oppenheim The farther one, which was occupied by the servant of Madame de Sayal, was dark and silent, but from the nearer one there was a faint chink of light where the curtains failed to meet. The Man Without Nerves by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

Wilkie Collins Her hand shook so that she failed at first to open it. The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins [1873]

Anthony Trollope But Caroline, though she laughed at her lover for showing her off, had not failed to make the best of herself. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

The constitution given in 1876 had entirely failed to establish Parliament on a democratic basis. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

E. Phillips Oppenheim He had accepted their trust and he had not failed them. Harvey Garrard's Crime by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1926]

Here her voice failed her; but by her gestures we could perceive the continued praying, and, having before taken the child in her arms the little angel continued there for fear of disturbing her. A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent by Sarah Sco

Andrew Lang Every day we had scenes of tender reproaches and of explanations, but Tezila’s tears never failed to bring Thelamis to his knees, with prayers for forgiveness. The Grey Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

He had every confidence in the lawyer; and a deadly chill came over him at the thought that the cool, hard-headed solicitor had failed to find the missing girl. John Marchmont’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Jules Verne Means for hollowing it failed them utterly. Off on a Comet by Jules Verne [1877]

It was now throwing its upper end violently about, as if to free itself from its own heaviness) but it failed and subsided into a continual tremor. All Hallows’ Eve by Charles Williams [1945]

George Meredith The instant his consciousness of a superior strength failed him he acknowledged it. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Thomas Hardy I failed as a publican, you know. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy [1871]

Rudyard Kipling Even the insult failed to move me. American Notes by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

Andrew Lang It had been prophesied that she should be delivered by a little soldier, and that she must marry him, unless he failed to appear at the meeting-place three times running. The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Wilkie Collins What the nature of the object was I failed to discover. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

Henry James He had tried to put into his existence whatever else might take up room in it, but had failed to make it more than a house of which the mistress was eternally absent. The Altar of the Dead by Henry James [1895]

Charlotte Perkins Gilman It was that sense of being hopelessly in the wrong that I had so often felt in early youth when my short legs’ utmost effort failed to overcome the fact that I was late to school. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1915]

T. E. Lawrence The Arab Army, born and brought up in the fighting line, had never known a peace-habit, and was not faced with problems of maintenance till armistice-time: then it failed signally. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Edgar Allan Poe But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

Five years had failed to destroy the dazzling unreality of passion. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Would to heaven we had lost her! “She told my poor child a story to account for her having failed to recover us for so long. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

George Gissing If he refused this undertaking, or failed to carry it out successfully, Polly would cast him off. The Town Traveller by George Gissing [1897]

Theodore Dreiser He had never failed to do so before. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

He was by no means a bad or unfeeling man; only he was not hungry himself, and another’s mere necessity of that sort failed to excite his imagination. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

Steele Rudd A pure lie, but an old favourite of Dad’s, and one that never failed to make Joe laugh. On Our Selection by Steele Rudd

Olaf Stapledon But every motion of this reason I distorted with fantasies born of mere desire, and when this hybrid failed me I blamed reason. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

Nathaniel Hawthorne As soon as my incommodities allowed me to think of past occurrences, I failed not to inquire what had become of the odd little guest whom Hollingsworth had been the medium of introducing among us. The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1852]

Wilkie Collins All the discretion, all the experience, which had availed me with other women, and secured me against other temptations, failed me with her. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

George Gissing In addition to all this she never failed to spend some portion of the day in self-improvement, pursuing a course of severe technical study which she had laid out for herself. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

E. T. A. Hoffmann One day the Baroness failed to appear at the dinner table; it was said that she was a little unwell, and could not leave her room. The Entail by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Walter Scott She failed not to notice to her grandson these marks of honour and respect which from time to time she received. The Abbot by Walter Scott [1820]

Henry James They must think seriously about coming to Lockleigh. If there was anything awkward in the conditions of his visit or in the announcement of his departure it failed to come to the surface. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James [1881]

Thomas Wolfe He had not; lived, of course, with any member of his family for years, and investigation failed to disclose that he had a room anywhere. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

M. P. Shiel But even the old grave failed her that night: “East railings,” she wrote of it, “standing on nothing, gone askew, only held up by horizontal bar; east half of slab hanging over nothing. The Lost Viol by M. P. Shiel [1905]

Charles Dickens We had loin of pork for dinner, and greens grown on the estate; and I nodded at the Aged with a good intention whenever I failed to do it drowsily. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [1860]

Anna Katherine Green If this occurs, you may count on my friendship, Mrs. Scoville. I may have failed you once, but I will not fail you twice. Dark Hollow by Anna Katherine Green

The “poor bruised body” of this young and blameless girl, his lordship said, was a crying indictment of a law that had failed to protect her and now failed to vindicate her. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

Elizabeth Gaskell I could not help it; my spirits quite failed me at first. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

Jane Austen His medicines had failed — the fever was unabated; and Marianne only more quiet — not more herself — remained in a heavy stupor. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen [1811]

Anna Katherine Green Perhaps this weapon of destruction was meant for one it failed to reach. The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katherine Green

M. Lacoste has, I believe, engaged in several speculations with Ribeiro lately,” “And failed in them, Tobal.” “I am sorrow to . Her Father’s Name by Florence Marryat [1878]

Benjamin Disraeli They, of course, had not failed to advance in fair proportion with the national prosperity. The Voyage of Captain Popanilla by Benjamin Disraeli [1828]

He began telling Julia of something that had happened, or rather had failed to happen, on another sweltering summer afternoon, eleven years ago. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

Anthony Trollope The warden endeavoured to appear unconcerned, as he said, ‘Oh, indeed! I’ll go upstairs at once’; but he failed signally. The Warden by Anthony Trollope

Henry David Thoreau They were wholly deaf to my arguments, or failed to perceive their force, and fell into a strain of invective that was irresistible. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Edith Wharton A round of the American banks in Paris failed to give Garnett his address, and it was only in chance talk with one of the young secretaries of the Embassy that he was put on Mr. Newell’s track. The Hermit and the Wild Woman and other stories by Edith Wharton [1908]

After the war the most diligent inquiry and the offer of large rewards failed to turn up any of his captors or any fact concerning his disappearance. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce [1893]

Robert Louis Stevenson If he failed to gain his son’s friendship, or even his son’s toleration, on he went up the great, bare staircase of his duty, uncheered and undepressed. The Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ford Madox Ford It was tiring; it failed to hold the attention. Last Post by Ford Madox Ford [1928]

H. G. Wells He had shirked games and failed examinations. Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells [1903]

Ivan Turgenev At first I noticed nothing special; but I glanced on one side, and my heart fairly failed me — a white figure was standing motionless beside a tall bush between the oak and the forest. Dream tales and prose poems by Ivan Turgenev

D. H. Lawrence But they all failed before the look of sardonic ridicule in the Princess’s eyes. The Princess by D. H. Lawrence [1925]

George Meredith Yes, that was love! It failed in no sign of the passion. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

Virginia Woolf So desultory was this examination that some fifteen minutes failed to discover the work they were in search of. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf [1919]

Anthony Trollope I will leave it to Americans themselves to say whether that disintegration of the States will, should it ever be realized, imply that they have failed in their political undertaking. North America by Anthony Trollope

Henry James But it was uttered with perfect gravity, and it might very well have been in the spirit of that gravity that Nash failed to observe his agreement to sit again the next day. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

Then one evening, without warning, he failed to turn up at the Club. And two whole days passed during which Elizabeth did not see him at all. Burmese Days by George Orwell

Striving to represent the soul of his sitter, he was conscious at times that he failed — that he could not see or realize what he was searching for. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

Henry James Madame de Mauves was silent and grave — she felt she had almost grossly failed and she was proportionately disappointed. Madame de Mauves by Henry James [1874]

Leon Trotsky In doing so, however, they have failed to notice that the state of “no peace, no war,” or, more precisely, of neither peace treaty nor war, held nothing unnatural in itself. My Life by Leon Trotsky

If the Liberals in England failed to turn out the Government over this business, they would lose in his eyes all the respect he ever had for them, which wasn’t much, he acknowledged. The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1904]

Jules Verne He had constituted himself sick nurse, and considered his reputation at stake if he failed to set his patient on his feet again. Off on a Comet by Jules Verne [1877]

Henry Fielding Amelia failed not to enquire very earnestly after her old friend Mrs. James, formerly Miss Bath, and was very sorry to find that she was not in town. Amelia by Henry Fielding

This complete knowledge was in my head while I stared hard across the wide road, so hard that I failed to hear little Fyne till he raised his deep voice indignantly. Chance by Joseph Conrad [1913]

Mrs Thornby, leaning her head on Louisa’s bosom, burst into such a flood of tears, and was so oppressed with joy, that the power of speech totally failed her. A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent by Sarah Sco

Edith Wharton The human revelation had for Bernald a poignant and ever-renewed interest, which his trade, as the dramatic critic of a daily paper, had hitherto failed to discourage. Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton [1910]

Arthur Conan Doyle If I failed to do so, who would bring my Smith within my grasp? No, Watson, I would not touch that box. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

Anthony Trollope She had felt, however, that she owed as much, at least, to her daughter as she did to him, and she failed to call Alaric perjured, false, dishonoured, unjust, disgraced, and treacherous. The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope

He was a prey to the money-lenders and the lawyers, who had no mercy upon a poor wretch who had failed to “make good,” and accomplish his ruin with mathematical indifference. Honore de Balzac by Albert Keim and Louis Lumet [1914]

George Gissing One evening, in telling her of the hideous misery he had been amongst, his voice failed and she saw moisture in his eyes. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Rudyard Kipling Then the wood failed — then the food failed — then the last water dried — In the faith of little children we lay down and died. The Seven Seas by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

Mrs. Marston had but two friends to whom she had ever spoken upon the subject nearest her heart — the estrangement of her husband, a sorrow to which even time had failed to reconcile her. The Evil Guest by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Edith Wharton Now the moment was shattered, and the power to rebuild it failed him. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton [1922]

Elizabeth Gaskell Still her courage failed a little as she walked to Jane Wilson’s, alone in the world with her secret. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

Was his beauty going too? What would become of him if he failed to please. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

She failed to notice the exact moment when Wang’s head vanished from the foliage, taking the unreal hands away with it. Victory by Joseph Conrad [1914]

Wilkie Collins He owns — when he found himself face to face with her — that his presence of mind completely failed him: he didn’t himself know what he was saying at the time. Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins [1872]