vain


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References in classic literature ?
Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n We warr, if warr be best, or to regain Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yeild To fickle Chance, and CHAOS judge the strife: The former vain to hope argues as vain The latter: for what place can be for us Within Heav'ns bound, unless Heav'ns Lord supream We overpower?
Having in vain attempted to raise his hand to his eyes, he said to Wamba, who, seeing his master's ill humour had prudently retreated to the rear, ``I pray thee, do me the kindness to wipe my eyes with the skirt of thy mantle; the dust offends me, and these bonds will not let me help myself one way or another.
But in vain he examined all the hedges and all the thickets; in vain he questioned everyone he met along the road.
His piercing look was fixed in vain on the satirical face of the Gascon and the unchanging countenance of Porthos.
Nor had I erred in my calculations -- nor had I endured in vain.
The engagement which you were eager to form a fortnight ago is no longer compatible with your views, and I rejoice to find that the prudent advice of your parents has not been given in vain.
So are there some vain persons, that whatsoever goeth alone, or moveth upon greater means, if they have never so little hand in it, they think it is they that carry it.
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.
And yet those two gallons of water, expended in vain, would have sufficed for nine days' halt in the desert.
In vain I argued, coaxed, entreated, threatened, scolded; in vain I kept her in from play, or, if obliged to take her out, refused to play with her, or to speak kindly or have anything to do with her; in vain I tried to set before her the advantages of doing as she was bid, and being loved, and kindly treated in consequence, and the disadvantages of persisting in her absurd perversity.
Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain.
A JUDGE who had for years looked in vain for an opportunity for infamous distinction, but whom no litigant thought worth bribing, sat one day upon the Bench, lamenting his hard lot, and threatening to put an end to his life if business did not improve.