Phrases with "pierce"

So, he pointing to the chest which he regarded as his property, I opened it, whilst his eyes were ready to pierce through it, till I came to his treasure. Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins by Robert Paltock [1751]

G. K. Chesterton To pierce the pure and spherical perfection of your maniacal calm would be like invading the innocence of a child. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

No hope! He could not pierce the war-smoke to any horizon of better things. A Study of Hawthorne by G. P. Lathrop [1876]

Though he had brought with him to the bungalow a large-caliber pistol whose bullets would pierce a four-inch hardwood plank, he had, quite characteristically, never even removed it from his suitcase. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

H. Rider Haggard As he did so, another man ran up and struck him with all his force between his shoulders with his great spear, which, falling on the tough steel shirt, failed to pierce it and rebounded. Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard

Gertrude Stein Cut a gas jet uglier and then pierce pierce in between the next and negligence. Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein [1914]

He could not pierce the grey veil of her eyes; but the sadness of her voice thrilled him profoundly. Victory by Joseph Conrad [1914]

Edmund Burke These metaphysic rights entering into common life, like rays of light which pierce into a dense medium, are, by the laws of Nature, refracted from their straight line. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke [1790]

Guy de Maupassan A little calmer, she let her thoughts float down the stream of a more reasonable reverie, trying to pierce the shadows of the future and planning out her life. Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassan

What sayest thou?” “Nay, can I pierce the like mysteries? I am but a woman. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

He narrowed his eyes as if trying to pierce her with his gaze. Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad [1898]

Mark Twain Those men could pierce to the marrow of a mystery instantly. What is Man? and other essays by Mark Twain

Robert Browning That was I, you heard last night, When there rose no moon at all, Nor, to pierce the strained and tight Tent of heaven, a planet small: Life was dead and so was light. Dramatic Lyrics by Robert Browning [1845]

Your feet chafe and bleed and thorns pierce to your flesh. The Jest of Life by Arthur Gask [1936]

One day he fired at the side of “Good-business”; the shots did not pierce his leather coat, but some of them fell into his pocket. My Childhood by Maksim Gorky

Jules Verne He stood considering for some time, with folded arms, and longing to be able to pierce the impenetrable darkness. The Underground City by Jules Verne [1877]

They were perfectly silent, perfectly respectful, but their eyes seemed to pierce the coupe through and through. Literature and Life by William Dean Howells

Guy de Maupassan She tried to pierce my eyes with that hairpin that you saw just now. Fascination by Guy de Maupassan

At times sudden gleams appeared to pierce her closed eyelids, and amidst the radiance she imagined she saw monuments, steeples, and domes standing out in the diffuse light of dreamland. A Love Episode by Émile Zola [1878]

Thomas Carlyle Fiery objurgations, words that pierce and burn, are to be found in Shakspeare; yet he is always in measure here; never what Johnson would remark as a specially “good hater. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Jules Verne He tried to pierce the darkness. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

She said that was a reed which would never pierce my hand. Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley [1899]

In various parts of Africa and in the Malay Archipelago the natives file the incisors into points like those of a saw, or pierce them with holes, into which they insert studs. The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Arthur Conan Doyle We knelt at the edge of the Hole and endeavoured to pierce the unfathomable gloom which shrouded it. The Mystery of Cloomber by Arthur Conan Doyle [1889]

Jules Verne Silent, motionless, we strained eyes and ears to pierce the profound obscurity. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

Virginia Woolf But inwardly? She flashed her yellow hawk’s eyes upon him as if she would pierce his soul. Orlando by Virginia Woolf [1928]

H. G. Wells And perhaps, too, there was something in the emotions through which I had been passing for a week and more, to intensify my insight, to enable me to pierce the unusual, to question the accepted. In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells [1906]

That brave St. Luc did not deceive me; and were his even the first sword to pierce me I would cry, ‘Thanks for your warning, friend. Chicot the Jester by Alexandre Dumas

Algernon Blackwood Believe vividly all through this adventure that such a shell, constructed of your thought, will and imagination, surrounds you completely, and that nothing can pierce it to attack. John Silence by Algernon Blackwood

Robert Louis Stevenson Yet nearer, and there began to come to our ears a great sound of mourning, the people on board and those on the shore crying and lamenting one to another so as to pierce the heart. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

He thought: “I will not pierce the comely maid. The Nibelungenlied by translated by Daniel B. Shumway

Virginia Woolf Yet he would not die lying down; he would find some crag of rock, and there, his eyes fixed on the storm, trying to the end to pierce the darkness, he would die standing. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf [1927]

To Jeanne the scene now brought nothing beyond sleepiness and horrid dreams, as though all the mystery and unknown evil were rising up in vapor to pierce her through and make her cough. A Love Episode by Émile Zola [1878]

H. G. Wells These touch one mysteriously, stir deeps that must otherwise slumber, pierce and interpret the world. In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells [1906]

Abraham Merri Up and up it cleared its way through the City — through the Metal Monster — closed only by the inability of the eye to pierce the faint luminosity that thickened by distance became impenetrable. The Metal Monster by Abraham Merri

Jules Verne Our eyes still sought to pierce the night. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

George Gissing From nightmarish dozing, he started with a vivid thought, a recollection which seemed to pierce his brain. A Poor Gentleman by George Gissing

Virginia Woolf She looked at the sky once, and saw that no star was keen enough to pierce the flight of watery clouds now coursing rapidly before the west wind. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf [1919]

H. Rider Haggard As for this iron shirt, surely it is “tagati” [bewitched]; nothing could pierce it. Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard

Jules Verne One of them was very perceptibly gaining on Joe, and was about to pierce him with his lance, when Kennedy, with fixed eye and steady hand, stopped him short with a ball, that hurled him to the earth. Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne [1869]

He looked before him with his eyebrows screwed, in a vain effort to pierce the darkness, and the same behind him; and then after another pause, he began uncomfortably to move down the path once more. Wylder’s Hand by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Jules Verne Sometimes I tried to pierce the intense darkness that was only dispelled by the phosphorescence caused by our movements. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1872]

She knew not why, but that gaze, which seemed to pierce into space — that muttered voice in some foreign language — revived dimly her earlier superstitions. Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1842]

He strained his sight to pierce the darkness, but he could distinguish nothing; the gloom was still too deep. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

H. G. Wells The way was lined by ushers and officers in caparisons that gleamed like steel, and beyond their line, so far as my eyes could pierce the gloom, the heads of that enormous crowd extended. First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells [1901]

Jules Verne Pencroft, uneasy to the last degree, yet did not despair, for he had a gallant heart, and grasping the tiller he anxiously endeavored to pierce the darkness which surrounded them. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch With an arm over his wife Niotte he crouched, waiting for the fangs to pierce his neck. Phoebus on Halzaphron by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

Oscar Wilde Calm, and self-centred, and complete, the æsthetic critic contemplates life, and no arrow drawn at a venture can pierce between the joints of his harness. Intentions by Oscar Wilde [1891]

Anna Katherine Green Alarmed at the idea, Mr. Gryce stepped down into the road and endeavored to pierce the darkness in that direction. The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katherine Green

Mark Twain In still earlier years than those I have been recalling, Holliday’s Hill, in our town, was to me the noblest work of God. It appeared to pierce the skies. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

Wilkie Collins And yet, the next question that he put to Joanna Grice seemed to pierce her to the quick, to try her to the heart, as no questioning had tried her before. Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins [1854]

Abraham Merri Do you hear me?” I spoke slowly, distinctly, striving to pierce the mists that I knew swirled around the strained brain. The Moon Pool by Abraham Merri

They moved cautiously forward, straining their vision to pierce the thick gloom of the forests, where the wily foe might be lurking. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

H. G. Wells His roads and railways lay also along the lower contours, only here and there to pierce some mountain barrier or reach some holiday resort did they clamber above 3000 feet. The World Set Free by H. G. Wells [1914]

Edgar Rice Burroughs At intervals tubes pierce the roof of this underground city, and by means of lenses and reflectors transmit the sunlight, softened and diffused, to dispel what would otherwise be Cimmerian darkness. At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1914]

But still he stoutly urged his suit With vows, and sighs, and tears, Yet could not pierce her heart, altho’ He drove the Dart for years. The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood by with biographical introduction by William Michael Rossetti

James Joyce If he spice east he seethes in sooth and if he pierce north he wilts in the waist. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Again the fugitive looked to the niche, vainly trying to pierce its impenetrable gloom. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

Roxana suppressed her rage till the fifth act, when, stabbing Statira, she aimed the blow with such force as to pierce through her stays, and inflict a severe though not dangerous wound. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin [1820]

Even in the momentary glimpse I got of them, I noted the tense and expectant look with which they endeavoured to pierce the dim spaces between us. The House of the Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green

You pierce my heart, child!’ ‘But, my dear madam — this generosity — I have no claim —’ ‘Hush! you must not talk about it: there are some things we cannot bear to hear. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

Mark Twain A thistle grows about here which has needles on it that would pierce through leather, I think; if one touches you, you can find relief in nothing but profanity. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

Richard Hakluy Those of cane do split and pierce a coate of maile, and are more hurtfull then the other. Virginia Richly Valued by Richard Hakluy

George Meredith Years are the teachers of the great rocky natures, whom they round and sap and pierce in caverns, having them on all sides, and striking deep inward at moments. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

Jules Verne No light could pierce through the heavy piles of clouds on the horizon. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

George Gissing In his heart he trembled lest her clear intelligence, of which he had always stood in awe, should see through his narrow disguise of words and pierce down to his inner purpose. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Victor Hugo Some indefinable diffuseness in anguish allows now and then a ray of hope to pierce through it. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Algernon Blackwood Clear, icy, keen awakening tones That pierce the sense And live within the soul. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

H. Rider Haggard Nothing was to be read there, for it was impossible to pierce the mask of solemn calm beneath which, in common with all his race, the king was accustomed to hide his thoughts. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Gertrude Stein Cook had a small open car but a powerful searchlight, strong enough to pierce the fog. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein [1933]

The sound bark would easily resist the force of my bill; and were I even to pierce through it, there would be nothing inside that I could fancy or my stomach digest. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

Through the open door came a hoarse inarticulate sound, which seemed to pierce into John’s brain. Diana Tempest by Mary Cholmondeley [1893]

E. Phillips Oppenheim They saw the sun rise, saw it pierce the faint white mists which hung around the chimneys of the Old House. Afterwards she slept through the latter part of the morning. The Amazing Partnership by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1914]

George Meredith I diverged from my favourite straight line, which seemed to pierce into the bowels of the earth, sharp to the right. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

James Joyce This was the end; and a faint glimmer of fear began to pierce the fog of his mind. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Look at me! The sun may shine on me, search me, pierce me, it can find no fault anywhere. Signa by Ouida

To pierce in this manner a depth of sombre darkness, with only the dim outline of an unknown man moving silently before me, was any thing but encouraging in itself. The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green

My grand-dad says it glared at him and its eyes seemed to pierce right through him. The Silent Dead by Arthur Gask [1950]

William Blades Oh! Richard of Bury, I sighed, for a sharp stone from your sling to pierce with indignant sarcasm the mental armour of these College dullards. The Enemies of Books by William Blades [1880]

The prisoner darted upon him one of those searching glances that seem to pierce an adversary through. Monsieur Lecoq by Émile Gaboriau

E. Phillips Oppenheim This little record, faithfully transcribed by me in that most awful period of my life, may now, read in the light of other events, present some new phase which may help me to pierce the darkness. The Postmaster of Market Deignton by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1897]

Accurate shots may be made with the missile, which has a range up to about thirty yards, with a penetrative force sufficient to pierce the skin. My Tropic Isle by E. J. Banfield

Elizabeth Gaskell She bent a little forward, and looked full into his face, as though to pierce to the very heart’s truth of him. A Dark Night’s Work by Elizabeth Gaskell [1864]

In the alehouses which he frequented, they often placed long needles in the cushions of the chairs in such a manner that he could not fail to pierce himself when he sat down. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

He was a stern, very shrewd-looking man, with eyes which she always imagined were trying to pierce her through and through. The Tragedy of the Silver Moon by Arthur Gask [1940]

A sword seemed to pierce Annette’s brain. Notwithstanding by Mary Cholmondeley [1913]

Jack London He walked as delicately as though all the snow were carpeted with porcupine quills, erect and ready to pierce the soft pads of his feet. White Fang by Jack London [1906]

E. F. Benson He looked up at her, and caught her eye, and that gimlet-like quality in it seemed not only to pierce but to encourage. Lucia's Progress by E. F. Benson [1935]

E. Phillips Oppenheim The dark eyes seemed to be trying to pierce the dusk between them, and read her face. To Win the Love He Sought by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1895]

I do not say, if you could pierce my soul while I write, that you would pity me. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

E. Phillips Oppenheim The Admiral, with his senses all on the alert, stood motionless, the revolver tense in his hand, his fiercely eager eyes straining to pierce the darkness. Mysterious Mr. Sabin by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1898]

Charles Dickens Remove ’em, for they pierce like gimlets. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

Abraham Merri It was the weird steed of Norhala flattening, thrusting out to pierce the rift. The Metal Monster by Abraham Merri

Abraham Merri I drew beside Ventnor. He was staring ahead, striving, I knew, to pierce the mists for some glimpse of Ruth. He turned to me, his face drawn with anxiety, his eyes feverish. The Metal Monster by Abraham Merri

Jules Verne While the travelers were trying to pierce the profound darkness, a brilliant cluster of shooting stars burst upon their eyes. Round the Moon by Jules Verne [1873]

She was a cowardly little woman, and finding herself tolerably happy in the present, she did not care to pierce the veil of the future, or to cast anxious glances backward to the past. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

After dinner Madame sat and talked with Marchurst, but Kitty went outside into the warm darkness of the summer night, and tried to pierce the gloom to see if her lover was coming. Madame Midas by Fergus Hume

Jules Verne The misty summits began to pierce the morning mists. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

Olaf Stapledon This was borne out by the fact that, though my descent had taken place in the forenoon of a summer’s day, several stars managed to pierce the almost nocturnal sky. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Charles Dickens Her grandfather made no complaint, but he sighed heavily as he leaned upon his staff, and vainly tried to pierce the dusty distance. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens [1840]

Jules Verne Those eyes which seemed to pierce to the bottom of his soul, and yet which did not, could not, see — exercised a sort of dreadful fascination over him. Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne [1876]

Richard Hakluy Of the Deeres skinnes, some made them also ierkins, shirts, hose and shooes: and of the Beare skinnes, they made them verie good clokes: for no water could pierce them. Virginia Richly Valued by Richard Hakluy

Arthur Machen It was a very cold night; there was a bitter north-easter blowing, and the wind seemed to pierce right through my old coat and to set my very bones shivering and aching. Far Off Things by Arthur Machen [1922]

Frances Hodgson Burnett A terrible sorrow had fallen upon him when he had been happy and he had let his soul fill itself with blackness and had refused obstinately to allow any rift of light to pierce through. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett [1911]

H. G. Wells It was with a sort of astonishment — no fear, no pain — but just amazement, that I felt it pierce me, felt the sword drive home into my body. Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells [1903]

But his skull is so hard that the stone hammers are smashed when they try to brain him, his skin so tough that no arrows will pierce it, and nothing seems to avail. The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction by Dorothy Scarborough

As he stood there, gazing at the black hole which seemed to pierce down into the entrails of the earth, he turned round to take one last look at the sun before descending to the nether world. Madame Midas by Fergus Hume

Algernon Blackwood I almost felt a sharp and actual pain pierce through my flesh. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

They pierce with its point, strike with the flat, cut with the edge; every stroke brings down a man. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Victor Hugo It was the time when day still lingers, but some few stars begin faintly to pierce the twilight. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Jules Verne Not a sound could penetrate into it, even the thunder peals could not pierce its thick sides. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

Henry James She saw Mrs. Gereth’s glimpse of this despair suddenly widen, heard the quick chill of her voice pierce through the false courage of endearments. The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James [1897]

Jules Verne It will have the proportions determined by the officers of the Shannon, the instrument required by the perforation of the Scotia, and the power necessary to pierce the hull of the steamer. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1872]

As they parted upon the easy joke, Pauline felt the rest of the sentence pierce her. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams [1937]

Anthony Trollope Ada felt that if, as things went on, the woodcock should become her woodcock, the bullet which reached his heart would certainly pierce her own bosom also. The Landleaguers by Anthony Trollope [1883]

Yet if we had only been able to pierce the veil of the future, what should we both have seen? I think we should have fled the place and never have gone near it again. The Race of Life by Guy Boothby [1906]

H. Rider Haggard After the bright light outside, our eyes, weak as they were with staring at the snow, could not pierce the gloom of the cave for a while. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

John Galsworthy I want to help him; and I will!” Old Jolyon asked again: “Have you seen him?” His glance seemed to pierce right through the girl’s eyes into her soul. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy

Edith Wharton And the twilight, as she now sought to pierce it, was gradually lighted by a faint spark of reassurance. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

I recall phases of deep speculation, doubts and even prayers by night, and strange occasions when by a sort of hypnotic contemplation of nothingness I sought to pierce the web of appearances about me. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

D. H. Lawrence She wanted to pierce this amiable aloofness of his. Aaron’s Rod by D. H. Lawrence

Silent and swift the arrow flies, and seldom fails to pierce the object at which it is sent. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

George Gissing He found the door standing open, but his eyes were unable to pierce a single foot into the dense blackness within. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Once when they passed in the corridor she gave him a quick sidelong glance which seemed to pierce right into him and for a moment had filled him with black terror. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

Jules Verne The prisoners might have broken open one of the doors and begun to pierce a gallery across the layer of earth. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

George Meredith Nothing written by her touched him to pierce him so shrewdly; nothing could have brought him so closely the breathing image in the flesh of the woman now a phantom for him. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

H. G. Wells She had learnt of my mother’s death, and the thought of me had grown so strong as to pierce the silence I had imposed on her. In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells [1906]

William Hope Hodgson To windward, I perceived an enormous wall of spray bearing down upon us, and I heard again the shrill screaming, pierce through the roaring. The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” by William Hope Hodgson

Jules Verne Sometimes the clouds looked smooth and white as though they were reflections of the ice-banks; but there were entire days when the yellow rays of the sun could not pierce the tenacious fog. The English at the North Pole by Jules Verne

Abraham Merri What were they trying to tell him? What did they want him to do? Troubled, he stared across the lake, trying to pierce the mists that hung over it and hid the opposite shore. The Woman of the Wood by Abraham Merri

Nero is third, disdainful, wicked, fierce, And yet a woman found a way to pierce His angry soul. Petrarch’s Triumphs by Petrarch

In all ages of the world men have tried to hold converse with superior beings, and to pierce by their means the secrets of futurity. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

Abraham Merri I thrust my blade forward to pierce his throat. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

He moved it, felt the thing squirm under his fingers and pierce his palm again and again. The Slayer of Souls by Robert W. Chambers [1920]

Arthur Conan Doyle Yelling, they surged up to the hedge, and lined it for half a mile, struggling hard to pierce it. Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle [1906]

George Meredith Vainly now the floating Naiads Seek to pierce the laurel maze, Nought but laurel meets their glances, Laurel glistens as they gaze. Poems by George Meredith [1851]

Edith Wharton He had resumed his place in front of the harmonium, and sat close to her, his eyes on her face; and his look seemed to pierce to the very centre of her confused sensations. Summer by Edith Wharton [1917]

Spite of the roads, however, publick carriages began to pierce England, in various lines, from the era of 1660. Autobiographical Sketches by Thomas De Quincey [1853]

George Meredith We threaded the carriages; gazed at the horsemen in a way to pierce the hair on their faces. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

Napoleon lost nothing in the bargain, for this one is of Spanish manufacture, as you can see, and will pierce two five-franc pieces, one put over the other. The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas [1844]

Andrew Lang The little hare took it and cried, ‘Now it is my turn to pierce them,’ and as he spoke he passed the rod back through the reeds and gave Big Lion’s tail a sharp poke. The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Gustave Flauber The wooden screws could be heard creaking; dull knockings resounded; sometimes a sharp cry would suddenly pierce the air. Salammbo by Gustave Flauber

George Meredith Her curiosity to pierce it faded. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

That was a wipe in the eye for the Provost! The “bodies,” on their part, could rarely get near enough Gourlay to pierce his armour; he kept them off him by his brutal dourness. The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown [1901]

James Joyce They ought to have some law to pierce the heart and make sure or an electric clock or a telephone in the coffin and some kind of a canvas airhole. Ulysses by James Joyce [1922]

Andrew Lang And once thou camest into a man’s bed, and that bed not mine, wit ye well that I would not tarry till I had found a knife to pierce my heart and slay myself. Aucassin and Nicolete by Andrew Lang

Victor Hugo She made efforts to pierce into the blank which was her past life. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

H. Rider Haggard Remember also that cunning is mightier than strength, that lies pierce further than swords, and that witchcraft wins where honesty must fail. Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

Jules Verne If light was thus obtained, so would a means of access, for it would be as easy to pierce a door as windows, and to establish an exterior ladder. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

He was ready to work fifteen hours a day when the need came; he was able to pierce into the heart of a matter while others would be puzzling round the fringes of it. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

Arnold Bennett Every now and then, in the garden, Hilda glanced over her shoulder at the house, as though her gaze could pierce the house and see the sinister prison beyond. These Twain by Arnold Bennett [1916]

E. F. Benson This was one of the necessary concessions to modern convenience, for no lamp nurtured on oil would pierce those genuinely opaque panes, and illuminate the path to the gate. Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson [1920]

Jules Verne Ned raved, and tried to pierce the cloudy horizon. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1872]

James Joyce Tonight deftly amid wild drink and talk, to pierce the polished mail of his mind. Ulysses by James Joyce [1922]

Charles Dickens Mrs. Sparsit, from her place at the backgammon board, was constantly straining her eyes to pierce the shadows without. Hard Times by Charles Dickens [1854]

Sinclair Lewis All the way out to Biddlemeier’s Inn he tried to talk as an old friend, but he could not pierce the wall of her words. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

I lay awake at night constructing imaginary micro-scopes of immeasurable power, with which I seemed to pierce through all the envelopes of matter down to its original atom. The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O’Brien

D. H. Lawrence He felt he could guide the toboggan to a hair-breadth, almost he could make it pierce into the air and right into the very heart of the sky. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Alexander Pope What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot by Alexander Pope [1735]

Errand-boys whistled and tried to pierce through each other’s whistles with that nerve-rending whistle on two fingers. London in My Time by Thomas Burke

He woke an hour after, let down the window, which let in a snow-laden gust, and tried to pierce the gloom without. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

But contact seemed to be necessary; any cry which I could raise at that moment would be ineffectual enough to pierce those dull ears. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

Do not then level your gun at him or pierce him with a poisoned arrow — he has never hurt one living creature. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

Guy de Maupassan The rising sun was beginning to pierce through the slight mist, and as its beams grew stronger, they were reflected on the smooth surface of the sea as in a mirror. The History of a Heart by Guy de Maupassan

Arnold Bennett All beyond this was misty for her, and she never adjusted her sight in order to pierce the mist. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

Edith Wharton As fast as one channel closed on him he tried to pierce another through the sliding sands of incredulity. Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton [1910]

Benjamin Disraeli All was surrounded by a paling eight feet high, that no one might pierce the mystery of the preparations. The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli [1831]

H. G. Wells He dreaded, I think, having to explain, he feared our jests might pierce unwittingly to the truth. Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells [1909]

At a later time, she felt something like a pair of large needles pierce her, a little below the throat, with a very sharp pain. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Henry Handel Richardson He was trying to pierce the secret of existence — to rede the riddle that has never been solved. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

In popular usage to pierce with any weapon which remains fixed in the wound. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

George Gissing Their expression was ghastly; the jaw-bones seemed almost to pierce through the skin; the lips were shrivelled and somewhat drawn back over the clenched teeth. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

H. G. Wells It was to pierce and slash away the appearances of life for me, it was to open my way to infinite disillusionment, and unsuspected truths. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

First of all their spikes will pierce us, and then their mouths, which are really suckers, will drain us dry of blood — pretty thoroughly too; there are no half measures with shrowks. A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay [1920]

In philanthropic schemes for the benefit of society at large she took a cheerful part; no private sorrow touched her: no force or mass of suffering concentrated in one heart had power to pierce hers. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

Charles Dickens It was such as I had never heard before; roaring and swelling like the ceaseless surging of the sea; and, here and there, a single wailing note which seemed to pierce me with an inexpressible pain. The Haunted House by Charles Dickens [1859]

Jules Verne Since there was no means of dissipating the darkness, what was the use of straining his eyes by vainly endeavoring to pierce through it. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

Jules Verne Though his impassive face betrayed no symptoms of fear, he was tortured with anxiety, and his steady gaze was fixed on the north, as if trying to pierce through the thick mists that enshrouded it. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

William Godwin When you arrived however, you were presented with a wood of great circumference, the foliage of which was so thick that the beams of the sun could not pierce it. Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [1834]

In accordance with the plan laid down, we proceed to the consideration of the follies into which men have been led by their eager desire to pierce the thick darkness of futurity. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

I leaped to my feet, straining my eyes to pierce the darkness. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce [1893]