Phrases with "painful"

Elizabeth Gaskell There was no rough getting over of all the disagreeable and painful work of her employment. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

The sight of the luncheon called up painful memories of my school days and roused the sleeping lion in my breast. The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce

Anthony Trollope But still the word coming from his mouth was painful to her. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

Richard Burton Instead of thirty hours, we took three mortal days and nights to reach Cairo, and we grounded with painful regularity four or five times between sunrise and sunset. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

Arthur Conan Doyle What makes the matter more painful is that Dr. Julius Burger was an intimate friend of the deceased. Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [1923]

Henry James It was quite on her conscience to deliver this message, and had the mission been ten times more painful she would have as scrupulously performed it. Washington Square by Henry James [1880]

George Gissing As it still rained he sought shelter in a public-house, where he quenched a painful thirst, and then satisfied his hunger with such primitive foods as a licensed victualler is disposed to vend. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

An old friend would have lurked in every cut, a friend whom it might well be a painful pleasure to meet again. Stingaree by E. W. Hornung [1905]

G. K. Chesterton With these he was engaged in doing his democratic duty with almost a painful care and patience. The Return of Don Quixote by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

Anthony Trollope Then there would be Sir Henry. He also was, of course, summoned, painful as it was to his wife to have to leave the house at such a time. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

Olaf Stapledon I used to wonder with painful anxiety how those dear to me were faring, and what changes I should discover if I were ever to return. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

The name of Geraldine Challoner was always painful to her. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

They made no more pretence at conversation; both were buried in their own painful thoughts. A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay [1920]

Anthony Trollope It must, I think, be painful to all men to feel inferiority. An Autobiography by Anthony Trollope [1883]

George Gissing It was rather a painful subject. The Town Traveller by George Gissing [1897]

His head felt very big, his neck was very painful and one shoulder was certainly very stiff. The Rover by Joseph Conrad [1923]

George Gissing The lowering of his features in this moment caused her a painful flutter at the heart; she became mute, and for a minute or two neither spoke. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Wilkie Collins What it is my painful duty to tell you, must be told in writing. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

Arnold Bennett His hysteria was painful in a very high degree. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

Henry James Valentin had been with her a couple of hours before, and his visit had left her with a painful impression. The American by Henry James [1877]

DE MANICAMP.” This painful task accomplished, he laid himself down in bed again. Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

D. H. Lawrence He was awake a long time in the dark — for two hours, thinking and not thinking, in that barren state which is not sleep, nor yet full wakefulness, and which is a painful strain. Aaron’s Rod by D. H. Lawrence

Margaret Oliphant Why Oona, who feared no one, who had no painful thoughts or associations to flee from, should have felt this she could not tell. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

As the boat of the brig appeared suddenly on the black water close to the jetty, Lingard broke the painful silence. An Outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad [1896]

I shall do so no more; and, if I should have occasion to glance at so painful a subject, I shall always call him “that other creature. The Vision of Sudden Death by Thomas de Quincey

A few minutes of painful suspense followed. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

It was very painful and somehow it was suffocating. In the World by Maksim Gorky

Virginia Woolf The moment of exposure had been exquisitely painful — the light shed startlingly vivid. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf [1919]

Henry Kingsley He and my mother have severed every tie with the old country, and it would be at their time of life only painful to go back to the old scenes and interests. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

Anatole France The letter written from Dinard had already softened his painful impressions. The Red Lily by Anatole France [1894]

He stared for a long time into my face with a wide-eyed, painful look and maintained silence. Philip Vasilyevich’s Story by Maksim Gorky

Charlotte Perkins Gilman The next stage was down a sort of “chimney”— a long irregular fissure; and so with scratches many and painful and bruises not a few, we finally reached the stream. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1915]

Elizabeth Gaskell Charlotte wrote thus on January 12th, 1840:- “Your letter, which I received this morning, was one of painful interest. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

George Gissing Frequently of late he had known a timidity in Jane’s presence, which prevented him from meeting her eyes, and now this tremor came upon him with painful intensity. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Tobias Smolle This last penance, painful as it was, seemed most eligible to my reflection at that time, and therefore I resolved to undergo it. The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smolle

The coming home again to East Lynne! Oh, it was indeed a time of agitation, terrible, painful agitation, and none can wonder at it. East Lynne by Ellen Wood [1861]

He would be sure to ask me painful questions. The Other Earring by Ellen Wood [1874]

Jules Verne It was Torres who, in a hollow voice, and with his customary impudence, broke the painful silence. Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne [1881]

G. K. Chesterton It is a worried and conscientious anarchy; an anarchy of painful delicacy and even caution. George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Anthony Trollope Of course it is painful to me to have to say this to you. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope [1882]

I am rich, and have the power to remove you far from every association that is painful to you. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Ralph Waldo Emerson A poor, tender, painful body, he can run into flame or bullets or pestilence, with duty for his guide. The Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1860]

That illness, from its peculiarity, makes it painful to me beyond words to hear him mentioned, unless in terms of respect and affection. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Arnold Bennett But it was more than a stout old lady, it was more than Mrs. Povey that waddled with such painful deliberation through the streets — it was a miracle. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

Robert Louis Stevenson And sometimes, when we were under way, he would fancy he spied a canoe far off upon the water or a camp on the shore, and exhibit painful agitation. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson The last night of all she was busy on some female work, and toiled upon it with so manifest and painful a devotion that my lord (who was not often curious) inquired as to its nature. The Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson

Anne Bronte He merely glanced towards me, and continued — addressing his hostess:— ‘It was a painful duty, Mrs. Markham — but I told her!’ ‘And how did she take it?’ asked my mother. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte [1848]

D. H. Lawrence The great snoring sound began again — there was a painful pause while the breath was held — back came the rasping breath. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

Wilkie Collins So much for that! Let’s get back to Blanche. I suppose you can guess what the painful subject is that’s dwelling on her mind? Miss Silvester has baffled me, and baffled the Edinburgh police. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

George MacDonald But so much more painful and sad was the change as her bad time came on. At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

Henry Handel Richardson He did not know which was more painful to witness: Hempel’s unmanly cringing, or the air of fatuous satisfaction that succeeded it. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

Charles Kingsley Meanwhile there was one, at least, of the party, who was watching Lucia with most deep and painful interest. Two Years Ago by Charles Kingsley

Robert Louis Stevenson But it would still seem to me — I speak as a layman — that nothing could be simpler or safer than to deposit an infernal machine and retire to an adjacent county to await the painful consequences. The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson

Guy de Maupassan But I see it is a painful subject, so let us talk of something else. A Meeting by Guy de Maupassan

Victor Hugo Let us add that a child has the faculty of quickly accepting the conclusion of a sensation; the distant fading boundaries which amplify painful subjects escape him. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Guy de Maupassan For three hours he continued his painful journey. The Beggar by Guy de Maupassan

As her son had uttered the name of the woman he called his friend, a feeling of fear coupled with a sensation of painful jealousy filled the mother’s heart. The Story of Ivy by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1927]

George Eliot Poor Tom! he judged by what he had been able to see; and the judgment was painful enough to himself. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot [1860]

But never was there so painful an overthrow of a noble nature as manifested itself in him. The Avenger by Thomas de Quincey

Thomas Carlyle Indeed, it does not seem possible that, in any the favorablest outward circumstances, Johnson’s life could have been other than a painful one. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Jack London I trust you will believe me when I tell you that your illogic is far more painful for me to endure than all your tortures. The Star Rover by Jack London [1915]

Robert Audley contemplated the painful picture with a hopeless and pitying face. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

George Gissing To go straight to the house might result in painful embarrassments; it would at all events be better first to make inquiries elsewhere. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

H. Rider Haggard As for that painful little incident of the hippopotami it sank into oblivion, where we were quite content to leave it. Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard

But he waited a moment before he began his story and then in the telling of it he chose his words with painful care. The Story of Ivy by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1927]

Maria Edgeworth You are not bound by politeness to tell any falsehoods; weak as she is, and a woman, I hope she can bear to hear the painful truth upon such an important occasion. Forester by Maria Edgeworth

George Gissing Miriam, anxiously observant, made a different interpretation, and was harassed with a painful conflict of thoughts. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

George Eliot The imagination of herself gliding away in that boat on the darkening waters was growing more and more into a longing, as the thought of a cool brook in sultriness becomes a painful thirst. Romola by George Eliot [1862-3]

Charles Dickens But Miss Haredale, though she would know it to be so, would be disturbed by it if it reached her ears; it is too nearly connected with a subject very painful to us all, to be heard with indifference. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

H. Rider Haggard Let us not dwell upon the scene; for George it was a very painful one, so painful that he never quite forgot it. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

Edith Wharton When Mr. Ramy drew the pipe from his mouth and became, in his turn, confidential, the acuteness of their sympathy grew almost painful to the sisters. Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton [1916]

Wilkie Collins She urged these points, as she had received the offer of marriage, with an agitation which was almost painful to see. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

T. E. Lawrence The rest of us climbed up Dhifran: a painful climb, for the hills were of knife-sharp strata turned on edge and running in oblique lines from crest to foot. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Caroline Lamb But though this be a painful truth, experience every day confirms, that a noble and confiding husband is too often, and too easily deceived. Glenarvon by Caroline Lamb [1816]

George Gissing Refusal will, of course, drive me to the most painful extremities. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Wilkie Collins When I first tried to move, the effort was so painful to me that I was obliged to desist. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

Elizabeth Gaskell For the spirits had thrown her into a burning heat, and rendered each impression received through her senses of the most painful distinctness and intensity, while her head ached in a terrible manner. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

Her firm spirit had not found relief in tears, and she suffered the more from all the painful retrospect and agonizing regret that now occupied her. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

But now we entered it with a torpor more painful than acute suffering. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Edith Wharton He had grown very pale, and was pushing the hair from his forehead with the gesture habitual to him in moments of painful indecision. Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton [1907]

D. H. Lawrence But all the righteousness and goodness in all the world won’t answer the throb, or interpret the faint but painful thresh of the message. Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence

Mr. North, in agony of mind at what he considered the consequence of his neglect, slowly, and with head bowed down, as one bent on a painful errand, went to see the prisoner who had survived. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Wilkie Collins At my age, painful surprises are very trying things. The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins [1873]

George Gissing Her voice quivered with intensity of painful emotion. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Alfred Ainger Deep thought, striving with humour; the lines of suffering wreathed into cordial mirth; and a smile of painful sweetness, present an image to the mind it can as little describe as lose. Charles Lamb by Alfred Ainger [1882]

Maria Edgeworth He was in a painful situation; — he spent as much of his time as he could at the farm his friend had given him. Ormond by Maria Edgeworth

Fanny Fern My story is to me a painful one; it would doubtless interest you; were it written and published, it would be a thrilling tale. Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern [1854]

Virginia Woolf He is one hum and vibration of painful emotion. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

George Gissing She was subject to fits of hysteria, preceded and followed by the most painful collapse of that buoyant courage which was her supreme charm and the source of her influence. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Benjamin Disraeli The unexpected sight of faces which I had known in England, though they called up the most painful associations, strengthened me, nevertheless, in my resolution to be virtuous. Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli [1827]

David Hume Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needs be delightful and rejoicing. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume

In what light his irregular course was regarded by the government or the nation was still matter of painful uncertainty. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Tonight there was no wind; only silence, intense, painful as an evil dream, which the soft sound of wet leaves beneath his feet only served to make more lifeless. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

Sigmund Freud I should have liked to go to him myself, but at that time I was afflicted with a painful complaint which made every movement a torment. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

George Gissing She sat in the twilight, listening with painful intentness to every step on the stairs; again and again her heart leaped at some footfall far below, only to be deceived. The Unclassed by George Gissing [1883]

Elizabeth Von Arnim Still, was there any reply, she asked herself, the unfortunate boy could make which would be adequate? “You needn’t come with me, you know,” she said, after another painful silence. Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth Von Arnim [1940]

Arthur Conan Doyle But, mayhap, it is not as painful as it would appear. Micah Clarke by Arthur Conan Doyle

Bram Stoker Van Helsing has gone away to prepare for the meeting, and his painful part of it. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

I had to wait for a long time, however; and while I was waiting the chief entered, shading his eyes with his hand from the painful light. A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille [1888]

John Galsworthy But now — it seemed — at the very end of things, he had a scene before him more painful than any he had avoided. To Let by John Galsworthy

Henry Handel Richardson Her fear of her husband was painful to see; almost equally painful her barefaced relief when, at the eleventh hour, important business cropped up which made it impossible for Mr. Henry to get away. Ultima Thule by Henry Handel Richardson

Let me hear from you now and again and if you ever need a friend, you know where to find me!” As we shook hands I realised that parting could be as painful as the tearing asunder of flesh. My Life and Loves by Frank Harris

Jack London Then blisters came, in a painful and never-ending procession, and I had a great burn on my forearm, acquired by losing my balance in a roll of the ship and pitching against the galley stove. The Sea-Wolf by Jack London [1904]

Ann Radcliffe But it was a task too painful to depart in silence, and he contrived to inform Julia of his sentiments in the air which she heard so sweetly sung beneath her window. A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe [1790]

Then the rope it broke above him And he painful come to earth Where there’s nobody to love him For his detrimented worth. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

Kate Chopin I’ve had some painful news, and I shall wear mourning for a long, long time. At Fault by Kate Chopin

Yet not as stubbornly as in the case of physical qualities, for beauty and ugliness, love and hatred, pleasant and painful can, in certain complex experiences, coexist. Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James

Something painful was happening in Dorothy’s diaphragm. A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

Henry James But of their actual aridity the young man must have had a painful consciousness; he never lost the impression of it. Hawthorne by Henry James [1879]

Inside the gate on a stool was sitting a slim, pale-faced, elderly woman, one of whose cheeks had a painful twitch. Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole [1931]

George Gissing She had to walk some distance before she could find a conveyance, and all the way she suffered from a painful fluttering of the heart, an agitation like that of fear. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Somehow he must provide himself with food, water, and a means to carry them, reach the gorge and, by no matter how painful a journey, return to a sane and credible world. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

The painful voice in the fog said: “Let them be. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

The subject was a painful one. The Mystery of Jessy Page by Ellen Wood [1871]

William Makepeace Thackeray When I appeared in the saloon, now lighted up by the morning sun, I not only caused a sensation myself, but felt one in my own bosom, which was of the most painful description. The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan by William Makepeace Thackeray [1838]

Elizabeth Gaskell The vehemence of his action took Ruth by surprise, and the painful tightness of the grasp almost made her exclaim. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

She woke up from a painful dream of separation brought about in a way which she could not understand, and missed the relief of the waking instant. Victory by Joseph Conrad [1914]

Bram Stoker When I managed to restore her, she was weak as water, and cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

Henry Handel Richardson And yet, painful as was this fresh overthrow of her pride, it was neither the worst nor the most lasting result of the incident. The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson

Willa Cather He rose and moved about with a painful effort, succumbing now and again to attacks of nausea. Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Cather [1920]

The girl’s painful emotion at the utterance of her aunt’s name suggested that the victim had been that aunt. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

Maria Edgeworth She would sometimes walk up and down the empty magnificent saloon, absorbed in thoughts seemingly of the most painful nature. Belinda. by Maria Edgeworth

T. E. Lawrence As usual we were off before dawn, though we had an easy march before us; but the heated glare of the desert became so painful that we designed to pass the midday in some shelter. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

The disclosure she had made to me, with its intensely characteristic light on the apparent enigmas of her marriage, seemed for the time to have loosed a painful restraint. The Long Chamber by Olivia Howard Dunbar

D. H. Lawrence Then he went on with his slow, painful toilet. The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence

Robert Louis Stevenson He lost himself in that continual thought: business, friends, and wife being all alike forgotten, or only remembered with a painful effort, like that of one struggling with a posset. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

It is painful for me even to give ear to accusations against a brother on whose head my own hands have been laid in holy ordination. Witch Wood by John Buchan [1927]

And everything that could happen to Jeanne of a vexing or painful nature would be witnessed by him with pleasure. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

Ford Madox Ford Both his legs were like painful bolsters. A Man Could Stand Up by Ford Madox Ford [1926]

Margaret Oliphant Perhaps it was the quickening of life which his recent experiences, painful though they had been, had brought him, which made him feel how dead-alive everything was. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

A few days of dreary monotony passed over; but the nights were at first most painful to Rashleigh, as more dreadful dreams harrowed his soul. Ralph Rashleigh by James Tucker

H. G. Wells Parkson, by-the-bye, had not spoken to Lewisham since their painful misunderstanding. Love and Mr Lewisham by H. G. Wells [1900]

Elizabeth Gaskell Besides, was it not enough to know that he was guilty of this terrible offence? Her love for her father seemed to return with painful force, mixed up as it was with horror at his crime. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

Thomas Hardy Two minutes: he gives check; her mind is now in a painful state of tension, and she shades her face with her hand. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy [1899]

G. K. Chesterton The communication she has sent to us runs as follows:— “Lady Bullingdon recalls the painful incident to which reference is made, and has no desire to deal with it in detail. Manalive by G. K. Chesterton [1912]

Maria Edgeworth The ceremonials, which were quite new to me, contributed at once to strain my attention, and to increase the painful confusion of my mind. Harrington by Maria Edgeworth

Edmund Burke Perhaps it may appear on inquiry, that blackness and darkness are in some degree painful by their natural operation, independent of any associations whatsoever. On the Sublime and Beautiful by Edmund Burke [1757]

Leslie Stephen Pope audaciously suggests that it would be a good thing if the mother could be induced to retire to a convent, and is anxious to persuade Martha to leave so painful a home. Alexander Pope by Leslie Stephen [1880]

Wilkie Collins My old friend sighed, and warned me that I had touched on a painful subject. The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins [1875]

Astonishment deprived me of speech long enough to give Almayer time to pick himself up in a leisurely and painful manner. A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad [1912]

Benjamin Disraeli In such a mood, and lying awake upon his pillow, he sought refuge from the painful reality that surrounded him in the creative solace of his imagination. Venetia by Benjamin Disraeli [1837]

George Gissing Ten good minutes were thus consumed, and with a painful glance at his watch the breathless tailor at length started. The Riding-whip by George Gissing

Henry Kingsley Both their eyes were bent on the fire, and Father Mackworth listened with painful intentness for what was to come. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

George Meredith That was admitted with a ready frankness, to save it from being a necessitated and painful confession: for the voluntary-acquiescence, if it involved her in her sex, claimed an individual exemption. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

George Gissing But she too, like Arthur, had her refuge from painful reflections in determined application to her daily work. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Thomas Hughes The idea of sleeping in the room with strange boys had clearly never crossed his mind before, and was as painful as it was strange to him. Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes

The subject was so painful we never discussed it. Hand and Ring by Anna Katharine Green

Benjamin Disraeli All she knew and all she dreaded, all her suspicions, all her certainties, all her fears, were poured forth in painful profusion. The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli [1831]

The painful impressions of yesterday were too vivid to be at once erased; and I could not help feeling some dim foreboding of coming annoyance and evil. The Purcell Papers by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Sigmund Freud It is otherwise with those dreams in which the death of a beloved relative is imagined, and in which a painful affect is felt. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

He wondered, uncomfortably, if there could be anything in Varick’s painful suspicion. From Out the Vasty Deep by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1920]

What good can you do by cherishing these painful recollections? You are never likely to meet this man; you do not even know his name. Eleanor's Victory by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1863]

She had felt the shock of his death, and the painful oppression of his dead presence in the house. John Marchmont’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Bram Stoker It will be a painful task for you, I know, old friend, but it is for her sake, and I must not hesitate to ask, or you to act. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

Elizabeth Von Arnim Still with Fanny. Vivid was his recollection of her, and tinglingly painful the knowledge that she must equally vividly recollect him. Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth Von Arnim [1940]

Thomas Hardy It is painful to think I unconsciously wasted so much time in the very presence of a perishing, flying soul. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy [1899]

Edith Wharton Then he saw a tremor cross her face, followed by a look of painful enlightenment. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton [1929]

He grasped my hand affectionately:—“Thank you,” he said, “you have relieved me from a painful dilemma, and are, as you ever were, the best of my friends. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

I immediately got into the hammock, and there passed a painful and sleepless night, and for two days after I was disabled from walking. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

Wilkie Collins If you can tell me nothing else, my dear, will you tell me your Christian name? It is painful to me to speak to you quite as a stranger. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Algernon Blackwood They talked little, and then only of the most wholesome and common things, for their minds were charged with painful thoughts that clamoured for explanation, though no one dared refer to them. The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood [1910]

Ford Madox Ford So Leonora said patiently: “Very well, just put it that I killed her and that it’s a painful subject. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

Charles Dickens The day would pass away, in a series of enjoyments which would awaken no painful reflections when night arrived; for they would be calculated to bring with them, only health and contentment. Sunday Under Three Heads by Charles Dickens [1836]

George Gissing That state of things was painful to her, but it was better than ambiguous relations. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

But to one of my temperament, secret scandal and the gossip it engenders is only less painful than open notoriety. A Strange Disappearance by Anna Katharine Green

Walter Scott To aggravate the King’s painful feelings, he saw, as he crossed the courtyard, one or two bodies, over each of which had been hastily flung a military cloak. Quentin Durward by Walter Scott [1823]

George Eliot Suddenly it occurred to her that they might think she was an idiot; Tom had said that her cropped hair made her look like an idiot, and it was too painful an idea to be readily forgotten. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot [1860]

Benjamin Disraeli The suspense, however, at length became so painful to Iduna, that she proposed to the Prince of Athens that they should, without further delay, proceed to that city. The Rise of Iskander by Benjamin Disraeli [1834]

Robert Louis Stevenson Whether it was the motion of the ship on the billows, the confinement, the salted food, or all of these together, I suffered from a blackness of spirit and a painful strain upon my temper. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

Arnold Bennett The comatose melancholy in his eyes was acutely painful to see — so much so that Edwin could not bear to look long at them. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Thomas Carlyle He seems an anarchist; and indeed a painful element of anarchy does encumber him at every step, — him to whose whole soul anarchy is hostile, hateful. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

It may be painful to ourselves, and irritating to him, but depend upon it, it is the proof of friendship. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge [1853]

H. G. Wells Why think of such things? There was a faint rustling and a painful grunting. Meanwhile by H. G. Wells [1927]

He had had a painful shave in cold water immediately after dinner. Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

Anthony Trollope It would have been painful for her to point it out, painful for her to speak strongly against a man of whom, on the whole, she was anxious to think and speak well. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Olaf Stapledon And there were those few who were bewilderingly stimulated to a painful real advance in sensibility. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

George Gissing We had a painful conversation, and I don’t think we can continue to live together. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

H. G. Wells She had had to put aside her veil to eat, and presently she felt the vividly painful stabs of the black-fly and discovered blood upon her face. Marriage by H. G. Wells [1912]

Katherine Mansfield She knew practically nothing except that the Frau had a baby inside her, which had to come out—very painful indeed. In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield [1911]

William Makepeace Thackeray Her freaks were painful to witness, and difficult to control. The Memoires of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray [1852]

Benjamin Disraeli Peel! his father’s friend! And this led to a train of painful but absorbing memories, and he sat musing and abstracted, fiddling with an idle egg-spoon. Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli [1880]

Charles Kingsley And his bigotry stands in painful contrast to the genial and comprehensive spirit by which Mrs. Jameson seems able to appreciate the specific beauties of all schools and masters. The Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art by Charles Kingsley

Walter Scott When she had performed this painful task, she arose, and, having curtsied to the lords, was about to withdraw to her chamber. The Abbot by Walter Scott [1820]

Wilkie Collins The painful disclosures which were to reveal themselves in my presence, during that Tuesday’s visit to Montagu Square, were not at an end yet. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins [1868]

George Gissing In any case, she would have felt embarrassment, and it was increased by the look with which Mrs. Damerel kept regarding her,—a look of confusion, of shrinking, of intense and painful scrutiny. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

Arthur Conan Doyle It will only be painful both to him and to me if he keeps on this way. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

Anatole France They looked at the St. George and at the bronze St. Mark. Dechartre saw again on the wall the post-box, and he recalled with painful exactitude the little gloved hand that had dropped the letter. The Red Lily by Anatole France [1894]

William Makepeace Thackeray Some of the poor old creatures began to stand up as we came in — I can’t say how painful such an honour seemed to me. The Irish Sketch Book by William Makepeace Thackeray [1843]

Kate Chopin Then looking up abruptly, “It was a painful enough experience, but I never dreamed that it could have had this last blow in reserve for me. At Fault by Kate Chopin

It was just the one inquiry calculated to give her acutest pain; for it recalled all that was painful in the circumstances of her marriage. The Cloven Foot by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

Edith Wharton I once turned to you for help in a painful extremity, and I have only now learned to understand your reasons for refusing to help me. Madame de Treymes by Edith Wharton [1907]

Jules Verne He ventured far up in spite of his being alone, straining his ear with painful eagerness to catch the faintest sound, and calling aloud in an agony of despair. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

Edgar Rice Burroughs My arrow pierced the fleshy part of his thigh, inflicting a painful but not disabling wound. At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1914]

Henry James There was evidently something very painful to her in the scene to which he was subjecting her, and yet her impatience of it found no angry voice. The American by Henry James [1877]

George Gissing Though the path we have to tread may be painful enough at first, we must never cease to hope, never yield up the conviction that it will lead us to some great happiness. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

That dumb pity was more painful than hatred. In the World by Maksim Gorky

The hours thus painful to Nydia passed rapidly and delightfully to him, and the twilight had already darkened ere he once more dismissed her to Ione with a fresh letter and with new flowers. The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1834]

Gertrude Stein Slightly painful and really more satisfactorily stinted and mentioned in long singling birthdays. Geography and Plays by Gertrude Stein

I know that it is a painful one for her, and I rarely approach it. The Cloven Foot by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

Yes, joy is painful when it comes after a long continuance of suffering; it is painful because we have become sceptical by reason of the endurance of such anguish. John Marchmont’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]