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At worst   /æt wərst/   Listen
At worst

adverb
1.
Under the worst of conditions.  Synonym: at the worst.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"At worst" Quotes from Famous Books



... also humiliate us, degrade us, jeer at, ridicule the miseries that they and their society entail upon us. Yet for sooth, they must be spared the discomfort of becoming a little infatuated with a woman for a time—a short time, at worst! Their feelings must ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... into any adventure that came to hand; he knew Fear just as little as he knew Consequence. Well, now he found himself for the first time in his life face to face with Fate. All his adventures up to this had been little things involving at worst loss of life by accident. This was different; it involved his whole future and the future of the girl who had ...
— The Ghost Girl • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... way of clouds; and this is surely the right way. And if by any chance a simple intelligent person from the country comes in contact with any aspect of Nature unfamiliar and arresting, such a person's comment is always worth remark. It is sometimes an epigram, and at worst ...
— Alarms and Discursions • G. K. Chesterton

... chariots, but she turned her shoulder to me, and I could see the red blood mount to her cheek. With the foolish inconsistency of love I held my peace when I might have plead ignorance of the nature of my offense, or at least the gravity of it, and so have effected, at worst, a ...
— A Princess of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... night After the fierce day's irritant excess; Besides, a deep absorbing interest Detains me here, fills up my mind, and sways My inmost thoughts—has got, as 'twere a gripe Upon my very life, as strange as new. I scarcely know how well to speak of this, Fearing your raillery at best—at worst Even your contempt; yet, spite of ...
— A Roman Lawyer in Jerusalem - First Century • W. W. Story

... may depend upon it, my dear, that these agreeable assurances, and hopes of his begun reformation, shall not make me forget my caution. Not that I think, at worst, any more than you, that he dare to harbour a thought injurious to my honour: but he is very various, and there is an apparent, and even an acknowledged unfixedness in his temper, which at times gives ...
— Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... manner of arrival—the Fitchburg Railroad. One should have dropped down upon the sacred spot by parachute; or, at worst, have come on foot, with staff and scrip, along the Lexington pike, reversing the fleeing steps of the British regulars on that April day, when the embattled farmers made their famous stand. But I remembered that Thoreau, whose Walden solitude was disturbed by gangs of ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... big, likable boy she would have requited with sarcasm. But against him the cheveux de frise she successfully presented to the world seemed of no avail. He knew it was not timber but twigs, and that at worst one was scratched and not impaled. Day by day she watched the cropping of the long line of flaming willow plumes that escorted her brook toward the level. The line dwindled as the shorn pollards gave up their withes to bind the vines to the dwarf maples. She felt the ...
— The Collectors • Frank Jewett Mather

... at worst, and not only did King John keep much treasure there, but one supposes there's some hidden still. If I could only have found it, I'd be buying a castle for you and me to live in. Sir Lionel thinks that I, as his ward, will live ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... the Holy Alliance, the pet offspring of his pietism, does not deserve the sinister reputation it has since obtained. To the other powers it seemed, at best "verbiage'' and "exalted nonsense,'' at worst an effort of the tsar to establish the hegemony of Russia on the goodwill of the smaller signatory powers. To the Liberals, then and afterwards it was clearly a hypocritical conspiracy against freedom. Yet to Alexander himself it seemed the only means of placing the "confederation ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... very heroic perhaps. A few idlers caught in an illicit act and under threat of arrest. The consequences—of a truth—would not be vastly severe for the frequenters of this secret club; fines mayhap, which most of those present could ill afford to pay, and at worst a night's detention in one of those horrible wooden constructions which had lately been erected on the river bank for the express purpose of causing sundry lordly offenders to pass ...
— The Nest of the Sparrowhawk • Baroness Orczy

... "Well, at worst it is over, and my uncle is here in this dirty place instead of at your palace. We sail back to Cuba this very evening." He looked round him at Ramon's calicos and sugar tubs in the dim light, as if he accepted almost ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... last fourteen months. In the past, he had done his best to bear himself as an honest man and a gentleman; and, seen in the light of that past, the future turned to ashes before him. At best, it was void of honor; at worst, it was unthinkable. It had not been easy for him to swim against the tide, to strive, at the expense of his own plans, to rescue Lorimer from drunkenness and shame. At least, now that for so long a time he had succeeded in keeping his head above water, he would not wilfully cast himself upon ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... down into the mud of life. The wind's wail seemed to me the voice of a world in anguish; rain was the weeping of the feeble and the oppressed. But nowadays I can lie and listen to a night-storm with no intolerable thoughts; at worst, I fall into a compassionate sadness as I remember those I loved and whom I shall see no more. For myself, there is even comfort in the roaring dark; for I feel the strength of the good walls about me, and my safety from squalid peril such as pursued me ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... wearers of such dress in the room, each the very ditto of the other. There is only one way out of it: when the destined dance arrives he must go boldly up to one of them with the usual "My dance, I believe?" For there's, at any rate, an even chance of his being right; while, at worst, if she answers, "I think not," his doubt is at once solved in ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... instinctively shrunk from the broadsides of Johnsonian ridicule. The fears hid themselves in caves of mediaeval reaction and did not care to expose their eyes {173} to the smarting daylight of Johnsonian common sense. His appeal had always been to argument: the new appeal was at worst to sentiment, at best to history for which Johnson was too true to his century to care anything. When Voltaire writes an article on monasticism, he has nothing to say about how it arose and developed; he neither knows nor cares anything about that. ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... and suspicions, and with misgivings on Marian's behalf but indifferently mitigated by the reflection that, at worst, the girl had escaped unhindered and alone in her private car. By now she ought to be ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... they judge them by outward results, thinking only of material well-being. They hail some technical advance, which can help nothing but the body, as a great achievement. Real spiritual gains are at best under-valued, at worst entirely ignored. ...
— Concerning the Spiritual in Art • Wassily Kandinsky

... faculties, and self-satisfaction seemed to stand out on his brow like genial sweat while the banal phrases poured glibly from the cavern behind his jagged teeth; and each phrase was a perfect model of provincial journalese. George Cannon had to sit and listen,—to approve, or at worst to ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... will my trouble be to this lady's? But at worst I shall only be cussed by old Purley, and turned out of my place by the sheriff; and as I'm used to being cussed, and don't like my place, it ...
— Cruel As The Grave • Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... a few of these houses to the United States! Our country architecture is not only hideous, but frequently unpractical, being at worst shanties, and at best city residences set in the fields. An Appenzell farmer lives in a house from forty to sixty feet square, and rarely less than four stories in height. The two upper stories, however, are ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... forward to get the report of the mail agent. He had put things to right, and told me that, though the mail had been pretty badly mixed up, only one pouch at worst had been rifled. This—the one for registered mail—had been cut open, but, as if to increase the mystery, the letters had been scattered, unopened, about the car, only three out of the whole being missing, and those very probably had fallen into the pigeon-holes and would be ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... springs bound up with a million yards of stout cord, on purpose; and those extra buffers of India rubber Ropes put on to keep the tyres from grinding against the mud guards; so we ought to get off pretty well at worst," remarked Dick. "As for me, I shall feel defrauded if the car doesn't soon begin to bound like a chamois from one frightful obstacle to another, along the surface of the road, such ghastly things ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... human experience, so hopeless apparently, was not to be reached by the ordinary utterances of consolation. I had seen enough to enable me fully to understand the fearful nature of the retribution which had been visited upon him for what was, at worst, a weakness to be pitied, rather than a sin to be chastised. "Never was a man worse punished," he had truly said. But I was as far as ever from comprehending the secret of those nightly visitations. The statement of Rachel Emmons, that they were now produced ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 45, July, 1861 • Various

... case is a very small matter at most,—that it has no practical effect; that at best, or rather, I suppose, at worst, it is but an abstraction. I submit that the proposition that the thing which determines whether a man is free or a slave is rather concrete than abstract. I think you would conclude that it was, if your liberty depended upon it, and so would Judge Douglas, if his liberty depended upon ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... is out of season; at worst, the season 's out of it," sez Hammy to me: "and furthermore, good friend, in life, as on the stage, your part must be a role of actions, not of words." I used to say over the things 'at this pair made up, until I had 'em by heart, an' since then I've had a lot o' fun springin' ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... For certain Either som one like us night-founder'd here, Or els som neighbour Wood-man, or at worst, Som roaving ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... have been impossible—fiercely as they pushed and fought and clove their way, Tignonville was of the foremost. And for a moment, seeing the street clear before him and almost empty, the Huguenot thought that he might do something. He might outstrip the stream of rapine, he might carry the alarm; at worst he might reach his betrothed before harm befell her. But when he had sped fifty yards, his heart sank. True, none passed him; but under the spell of the alarm-bell the stones themselves seemed to turn to men. Houses, courts, alleys, the very churches vomited men. In a twinkling the ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... comedy. There was no knockabout business; nobody entered the room with a somersault, tripped over a pin or hung his hat on the scenery. They all behaved as if they were presenting us with what is known as a human document, to be regarded au grand (or, at worst, au petit) serieux. The fun—and there were some very pleasant touches—was not so much the fun of a huge and preposterous joke, but rather the humour of character or incidental detail. The part ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 8, 1914 • Various

... to the conclusive plea which we enter to Mr. Macaulay's indictment, namely—that all those acts alleged as the excuses of rebellion and regicide occurred after the rebellion had broken out, and were at worst only devices of the unhappy King to escape from the regicide which he early foresaw. It was really the old story of the wolf and the lamb. It was far down the stream of rebellion that these ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... to follow the directions given. So far I had done nothing to get back my own. I had been driven from pillar to post without making a single step forward. At worst I could but fail, while it might be possible that by this step I might be revenged ...
— The Birthright • Joseph Hocking

... wretch after all from the pangs of some lingering disease; and then again I shall have the character of a murderer, if known to have shot him; he will with many people have no such character, but at worst the character of a man too harsh (they will say), and possibly mistaken in protecting his property. And then, if not known as the man who shot him, where is the shadow even of vengeance? Strange it seemed to me, and passing strange, that I should be the person to urge arguments in behalf of letting ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... Brian. "But maybe the dog will manage to make me, some day. I was thinking—how I found him, tied to a table in a burning room. If Von Busche—— But anyhow, Sirius, you're no assassin! At worst, you're an avenger." ...
— Everyman's Land • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... manner. But, just see, the Republic was a 'man in an iron mask' or helmet, and turns out a military dictatorship, a throttling of the press, a starving of the finances, and an election of Louis Napoleon to be President. Louis Philippe was better than all this, take him at worst, and at worst he did not deserve the mud and stones cast at him, which I have always maintained and maintain still. England might have got up ('happy country') more crying grievances than France ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... Here, at worst, we have the picture, or series of pictures, demanded by Wagner's genius; here also is a dramatic idea of sorts. His imagination immediately flamed. The music is not like that of the symphony, dry and barren wood: on the contrary, it contains many passages of rare beauty ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... thy lot, now bad, still worse, my friend, For when at worst, they say, things always mend. To a Friend in ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... island. In Russia, if a man is hungry, he has only to walk far enough and he will come to a place where there is plenty to eat. Almost every Russian worker retains in some form or other connection with a village, where, if he returns, he will not be an entire stranger, but at worst a poor relation, and quite possibly an honored guest. It is not surprising that many thousands have "returned to the ...
— The Crisis in Russia - 1920 • Arthur Ransome

... designed to safeguard unconsciousness; made wise by the unwisdom of a civilisation which required ignorance of innocence, she had as yet lost none of her sweetness and confidence in herself and in a world which she considered a friendly one at best and, at worst, more ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... evening received. I see no present reason for changing your plan. Should any arise, you will see it, or if I do I will inform you. I think everything here is favorable now. Great good fortune attend you! I believe you will be eminently successful, and, at worst, can only make a march less fruitful of ...
— The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Complete • William T. Sherman

... possible fifty, one hundred and eight percent! That was because there were thirteen holes in the paper, someone having presented me with the extra three. Counting all the best shots as my own, my official score was 42; yet none of the shots were outside the second ring, and at worst my ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... melancholy pines, beside stagnant lagoons, across sluggish streams, and into cypress swamps, the lurking-place of reptiles, the dreary haunt of bats and vultures. The road, at best, was an indifferent bridle path, and at worst, a blind labyrinth of seldom trodden ways in the woods. Arlington carried in his saddle-bags a supply of bread and cheese, and he kept ready primed, in holster at his pommel, a ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... has conceived of them, when they were not incorporated, and had no lead. They were then only passengers in a common vehicle. They were then carried along with the general motion of religion in the community, and, without being aware of it, partook of its influence. In that situation, at worst, their nature was left free to counterwork their principles. They despaired of giving any very general currency to their opinions. They considered them as a reserved privilege for the chosen few. But when the possibility of dominion, lead, and propagation, ...
— Political Pamphlets • George Saintsbury

... scholars, failure was so nearly universal that no attempt at grading could have had value, and whether he stood fortieth or ninetieth must have been an accident or the personal favor of the professor. Here his education failed lamentably. At best he could never have been a mathematician; at worst he would never have cared to be one; but he needed to read mathematics, like any other universal language, and ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... literary property) collect some of your own writings and reprint them here. I think the Sartor would now be sure of a sale. Your Life of Schiller, and Wilhelm Meister, have been long reprinted here. At worst, if you wholly disliked us, and preferred Old England to New, you can judge of the suggestion of a knowing man, that you might see Niagara, get a new stock of health, and pay all your expenses by printing in England a book of travels ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, - 1834-1872, Vol. I • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... afternoon, in order to be inspected by me, and to be ready for a start early to-morrow morning. We are to have a sandcart with a desert horse for Cleopatra, who has tried a camel and found it wanting. I fancy she thinks a sandcart the best modern substitute for a chariot; and at worst, it ought to be as comfortable. Slaney has promised a yellow one —cart, not horse. The horse, by request, is to be white. The other ladies are having camels. I daren't think of Miss Hassett-Bean at the end of the week. The men, also, will camel. There is, indeed, no alternative ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... American knew this was a bull's-eye hit. A photograph of him in his rags, with his serape and his ventilated sombrero, face as brown as a berry, would be sufficient proof to exonerate Culvera of the charge of having shot an American. Steve had made up too well for the part. At worst Culvera could plead a ...
— Steve Yeager • William MacLeod Raine

... Some far-off hallo break the silent air. SEC. BRO. Methought so too; what should it be? ELD. BRO. For certain, Either some one, like us, night-foundered here, Or else some neighbour woodman, or, at worst, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. SEC. BRO. Heaven keep my sister! Again, again, and near! Best draw, and stand upon our guard. ELD. BRO. I'll hallo! If he be friendly, he comes well: if not, Defence is a good cause, and Heaven ...
— L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus, and Lycidas • John Milton

... generals, with orders to move straight upon Cuzco. He preferred not to trust himself farther in the enemy's country, where a defeat might be fatal. By establishing his quarters at Caxamalca, he would be able to support his generals, in case of a reverse, or, at worst, to secure his retreat on Quito, until he was again ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... how can I testify that a courtezan is my friend? But at worst, it is youth that bears the blame, ...
— The Little Clay Cart - Mrcchakatika • (Attributed To) King Shudraka

... the public candour, without fear My client waives all right of challenge here. No newsman from our session is dismiss'd, Nor wit nor critic we scratch off the list; His faults can never hurt another's ease, His crime, at worst, a bad attempt to please: Thus, all respecting, he appeals to all, And by the general voice ...
— The Rivals - A Comedy • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... it is good to be with you again, Signorina!" cried I, as I came with quick strides into the moonlit garden. I caught both her hands in mine, and laughed like an ineffably contented person. There was nothing very subtle about the boy that then was I; at worst, he overacted what he really felt; and just at present he was pleased with the universe, and he saw no possible reason for concealing ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... across the space of water. "That's the way to talk! Whatever happens, shoot straight if you have to shoot at all—and remember, at worst, the ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... jeers and blows he takes, perchance, beside. Brave, he accepts his lot; At worst he meets it with a martyr's pride. To bear, he knows not what, He seeks the crowd and will not ...
— Selected Poems • William Francis Barnard

... characterise. The proportions of the sitter must be sacrificed to the proportions of the portrait; the lights are heightened, the shadows overcharged; the chosen expression, continually forced, may degenerate at length into a grimace; and we have at best something of a caricature, at worst a calumny. Hence, if they be readable at all, and hang together by their own ends, the peculiar convincing force of these brief representations. They take so little a while to read, and yet in that little while the subject is so repeatedly ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Governor-General. On a transient view, bribery is rather a subject of disgust than horror,—the sordid practice of a venal, mean, and abject mind; and the effect of the crime seems to end with the act. It looks to be no more than the corrupt transfer of property from one person to another,—at worst a theft. But it will appear in a very different light, when you regard the consideration for which the bribe is given,—namely, that a Governor-General, claiming an arbitrary power in himself, for that consideration delivers up the properties, the liberties, and the lives of an whole people ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. X. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... considering its subject, a jail-delivery. Mr. Congreve, with whom I have commemorated you, is anxious as to its success, and so am I. Whether it succeeds or not, it will make a great noise, but whether of claps or hisses I know not. At worst, it is in its own nature a thing which he can lose no reputation by, as he lays none upon it."[5] Not only Swift, Pope, and Congreve were doubtful as to the opera's chance of success. Colley Cibber refused it for Drury Lane Theatre, and even when it was accepted by John Rich ...
— Life And Letters Of John Gay (1685-1732) • Lewis Melville

... "but hospitality may hide in that hovel. Knock and know." And having by this time arrived at the door of the dwelling, he proceeded to rain a succession of blows on it with his clinched fists, as if he were determined not to be denied, and, at worst, ...
— The Proud Prince • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... universe (for it will be remembered that we include ethics and philosophy with history and politics under the one broad heading); and there is hardly a boy who does not find, at best in all these subjects, at worst in one of them, the inspiration to vital work and the sense of living well, which goes with it. The boys start reading, widely; a thousand topics occupy their attention; poetry, plays, novels—all these are reached from the one starting point. Then clubs and groups of various kinds ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... that they really anticipated no possibility of an attack, as the Dijon franc tireurs were the first who appeared upon the scene of action; and the Prussians were, consequently, in entire ignorance of the vicinity of any armed body of the enemy and, at worst, apprehended a stray shot from a straggler from one of the French ...
— The Young Franc Tireurs - And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War • G. A. Henty

... Ethical Movement, so ably and often eloquently represented by leaders like Felix Adler, W. M. Salter, Washington Sullivan, Stanton Coit, and others; all these teachers with one accord deprecate and dismiss theological doctrines as at best not proven, at worst a hindrance, and commend instead morality as the all-embracing, all-sufficing and all-saving religion. To quote Mr. Salter, who certainly speaks with authority for ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... waters with a vast and rapid river—failed not during this time to keep up my excitement. The sea was now fast covering the shingles; one chance was yet before me, which the instant I reflected on, I hesitated not to put into execution. It could at worst be only exchanging one death for another, and death would have been a boon indeed, rather than the longer endurance of that deeply agonizing state of suspense. I can fancy my faithful dog, by his actions, had anticipated this resolution: his joyful bark as I sprung ...
— Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 475 - Vol. XVII, No. 475. Saturday, February 5, 1831 • Various

... year, was wont to come occasionally, express from Dresden, for a week or two, and give the young man lessons on the flute. The young man's Mother, good Queen Feekin, had begged this favor for him from the Saxon Sovereignties; and pleaded hard for it at home, or at worst kept it secret there. It was one of the many good maternities, clandestine and public, which she was always ready to achieve for him where possible;—as he also knew full well in his young grateful heart, and ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. VI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... to trust the unproven word of the fellow who's "on my side"—but the emotional moron is on no one's side, not even his own. Once, such an emotional moron could, at worst, hurt a few. But with the mighty, leashed forces ...
— Day of the Moron • Henry Beam Piper

... the house and negro cabins at the landing, (to prevent an alarm from being given,) then to take the side path, and if all went well, to surprise the camp; but if they got notice of our approach, through their pickets, we should, at worst, have a fight, in which ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 90, April, 1865 • Various

... princess, who was inclined to laugh, but strove to keep her gravity, "they are but stupid rogues at worst." ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... cost, she would obtain that, and obtain it as quickly and quietly as possible; no talk, no exposure, no disagreeable comments. This was the main point, and to carry it, Ethel Thorne felt herself capable of more than the surrender of one small child. The separation at worst would only be partial; she could see the boy every day if she wished—even after her marriage with Cecil Cumberland. Nesbit had promised, and in all her experience of him she had never known him break his word. Then she could retain the little fellow until all these troublesome affairs should ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... four hundred made up of the most brilliant artists, authors, doctors, professors, scientists, musicians, actors, and ministers, with their wives, daughters, and sisters, who will walk to one another's dinners, or at worst go by trolley, and occupy the cheaper seats at the opera, and dance in small and early assemblages, and live in seven-room-with-bath flats. Money must not count at all in the choice of these elect and ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... out his feelings on the matter. Before his visit to the Dream Shop he had never felt himself a murderer, no matter what the Earth authorities had accused him of. At worst, he had thought that he might have killed a man in a sudden uncontrollable fit of rage. But to plan and perform a murder in ...
— The Status Civilization • Robert Sheckley

... ranger that ever since he had mentioned his name this man had set himself more malevolently to compass his death. Onate maintained, on the other hand, that their prisoner was worth more to them alive than dead. There was a chance that he might weaken before morning and tell secrets. At worst they would still have his life as a card to hold in case of need over the head of the rebels. If it should turn out that this was not needed, he could be executed in the morning as ...
— Bucky O'Connor • William MacLeod Raine

... passed quietly. The lads were both a great deal better, and agreed that if—which would almost certainly not be the case—a means of escape should present itself, they would seize the chance, however hopeless it might be, for that at worst they could but be cut down in attempting it. No chance, however, presented itself. Two Malays always squatted near them, and their ...
— Among Malay Pirates - And Other Tales Of Adventure And Peril • G. A. Henty

... was fraught with a certain peril. Yet confident that at worst she could justify it, and little fearing that the worst would happen, she boldly went to work. She forged next day a brief note in which the Princess Sophia urgently bade Koenigsmark to come to her at ten o'clock that night in her own apartments, ...
— The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series • Rafael Sabatini

... necessary for him, as the present writer has said elsewhere, now to go from a country where he was absolute, to another where, so far from being supreme, when King and people differed on a matter of vital importance, the monarch had to give way—the price of resistance having been fixed, at worst at death, at best exile or civil war. He had to go from a country where he was the wealthiest and most important personage to another where he would be merely regarded as a minor German princeling set up as a figurehead, and where many of the gentry were wealthier than he. ...
— Lady Mary Wortley Montague - Her Life and Letters (1689-1762) • Lewis Melville

... Dred Scott case is a very small matter at most—that it has no practical effect; that at best, or rather I suppose at worst, it is but an abstraction. * * * How has the planting of Slavery in new countries always been effected? It has now been decided that Slavery cannot be kept out of our new Territories by any legal means. In what do our new Territories now differ in ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... brought me flowers. I never had any constitution—trust a Latin race for that—and I became very ill indeed. With a man like you, a chill at worst; with me, pneumonia in a day. Then she came to see me herself, saw the doctor, got in all sorts of things, and was coming to nurse me through the night herself. God bless her for the thought alone! I was supposed not to know; they thought I was unconscious already. ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... afterwards, it must be confessed—and if the working-people did not help each other, every crisis would remove a multitude of the surplus through death by starvation. Since, however, the most depressed period is brief, lasting, at worst, but one, two, or two and a half years, most of them emerge from it with their lives after dire privations. But indirectly by disease, etc., every crisis finds a multitude of victims, as we shall see. First, however, let us turn to another cause of abasement ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... constitution, he at least violated it for one of the noblest ends that any statesman ever had in view. His object was to free millions of his subjects from penal laws and disabilities which hardly any person now considers as just. He ought, therefore, to be regarded as blameless, or, at worst, as guilty only of employing irregular means to effect a most praiseworthy purpose. A very ingenious man, whom we believe to be a Catholic, Mr. Banim, has written a historical novel, of the literary merit of which we cannot speak very highly, for the purpose of inculcating this opinion. The ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... another; the word itself implies it; it means that something is lacking, that one man has a thing which another has not. But all men are equal, therefore, argues the democrat, I have no failing; therefore I need not try to conceal and control my alleged failings, as they are at worst merely ...
— The Cult of Incompetence • Emile Faguet

... wind, as Othello says. No, I adore the wife, that, when the heart is gone, boldy and nobly pursues the conqueror, and generously owns the whore;—not poorly adds the nauseous sin of jilting to it: that I could have borne, at least commended; but this can never pardon; at worst then the world had said her passion had undone her, she loved, and love at worst is worthy of pity. No, no, Myrtilla, I forgive your love, but never can your poor dissimulation. One drives you but from the heart you ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... harsh and strange, Something is wrong: there needeth a change. But what or where? at the last or first? In one point only we sinned at worst. ...
— Obiter Dicta • Augustine Birrell

... the halting-stones and resting-place of his tragedy—politic savings, and fetches of the breath—husbandry of the lungs, where nature pointed him to be an economist—rather, I think, than errors of the judgment. They were, at worst, less painful than the eternal, tormenting, unappeasable vigilance,—the "lidless dragon eyes", of present ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... Ezra, the night he died, Called sons and sons' sons to his side, And spoke, 'This world has been harsh and strange; Something is wrong: there needeth a change. But what, or where? at the last, or first? In one point only we sinned, at worst. ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... practice of holistic health. People are repeatedly directed by those with authority to an allopathic doctor whenever they have a health problem, question or confusion. Other types of healers are considered to be at best harmless as long as they confine themselves to minor complaints; at worst, when naturopaths, hygienists, or homeopaths seek to treat serious disease conditions they are called quacks, accused of unlicensed practice of medicine and if they persist or develop a broad, successful, high-profile and (this is the ...
— How and When to Be Your Own Doctor • Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

... teeth together, "I'll beard the wolf in his den. If my intuition has played me false, at worst the man can only sneer at me and I've always weathered his scornful moods. But if I ...
— Mary Louise Solves a Mystery • L. Frank Baum

... was over he walked slowly homeward along the deserted road, his mind still busy with recollections of the morning. Yes, life was decidedly endurable at worst. If he might not become celebrated, he might at least become content. He was not Tom Bassett, but he had Tom Bassett's friendship. He would live a simple life in his own class among his own people, and he would grow to be respected by those who ...
— The Voice of the People • Ellen Glasgow

... remark should happen to be endowed with neither wisdom nor symmetry, is it becoming of you, my reader, to institute an arbitrary standard of gracefulness, and despise every one who has not attained it! Is it for you to aggravate as a crime, what reason teaches is, at worst, a misfortune? Is it for you to calumniate those who have given you no personal offence; who are, notwithstanding their disadvantages, good members of society; and if in some respects defective, may not be vicious? ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... an error, doubtless, and a fearful one, to worship even such as them. But the error, when it arose, was at worst the caricature of a blessed truth. Even for the sinful, surely it was better to admire holiness than to worship their own sin. Shame on those who, calling themselves Christians, repine that a Cecilia or a Magdalen replaced an Isis and a Venus; or who can fancy that they are serving Protestantism ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... no attempt to understand things and thoughts different from those around and within them; so long as, like the men of the Middle Ages, they blandly threw everything into their own image, or, like those of the Renaissance to some extent and the Augustan period still more, regarded other ages at worst with contempt, and at best with indulgence as childish—the historical novel could not come into being, and did not. It only became possible when history began to be seriously studied as something more than a chronicle of external events. When it had thus been made possible, it was a perfectly ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... discussion, make a rule that politics and religion are not to be mentioned, and take it for granted that no decent person would attempt to discuss sex. The three subjects are feared because they rouse the crude passions which call for furious gratification in murder and rapine at worst, and, at best, lead to quarrels and undesirable states ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... African Press was under the influence of the magnates, it was not very easy to protest against the strange way in which the Raid was being excused. I am persuaded that, had the subject been allowed to drop, it would have died a natural death, or at worst been considered as an historical blunder. But the partisans of Rhodes, the friends of Jameson, and personages connected with the leading financial powers did their best to keep the remembrance of the expedition which wrecked the political life of Rhodes fresh before the public. The mere mention ...
— Cecil Rhodes - Man and Empire-Maker • Princess Catherine Radziwill

... said Sir George, bitterly. "If they do condemn me I shall claim the benefit of clergy. I know some of the prayers, and if I can only find the right page I shall get on well enough. They will only fine me, though, at worst." ...
— Heiress of Haddon • William E. Doubleday

... This your free, And sweet ingenuous confession, binds me Forever to you; and it shall go hard, But it shall fetch you back your husband's heart, That now seems blindly straying; or, at worst, In me you have still a sister.—Some wives, brother, Would think it strange to catch their husbands thus Alone with a trim widow; but your Katherine Is arm'd, I think, ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... then; but it is doubtful whether his misdeeds ever exceeded smuggling, or, at worst, privateering under the protecting flag of some belligerent nation. When all nations were warring, what was easier than for a few gallant fellows, with swift-sailing feluccas, to lurk about the shores of the gulf, and now under the Spanish flag, now under the French, ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... said truly, "You shall see me at my best as at worst." She did, for putting pride underneath his feet he showed her a brave sincerity, which she could admire but never imitate, and in owning a ...
— Moods • Louisa May Alcott

... I could feel like a cold-blooded villain, now, I would at worst be classifiable. But I intend the girl no harm, I am honestly fond of her. I shall talk my best, broaden her ideas, and give her, I flatter myself, considerable pleasure: vulgar prejudices apart, I shall leave her ...
— Jurgen - A Comedy of Justice • James Branch Cabell

... remained far more aware of him and his opinions than of theirs. She would have liked Gregory to show more consciousness of her and his relationship, of the fact that she, too, had Fanshawe blood in her veins. She would have liked to impress, or please or, at worst, to displease him. She would very much have liked to secure him more frequently for her dinners and her teas. He ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... house-builders, speaking of roofs, call a quarter-pitch. His chin, acting on the hint offered by the forehead, was likewise in full retreat. Altogether, one might have said of Mr. Fopling that if he were not a delightful, at worst he would never become a dangerous companion. Richard surveyed him with a deal of curiosity; then he ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... not to run down every clew. I can't believe that my daughter is wilfully consorting with such men. She always has been full of life and spirit; but she's got a clean mind, and her little escapades have always been entirely harmless—at worst some sort of boyish prank. I simply won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes. If she's with them she's being ...
— The Oakdale Affair • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... of service were at worst occasional; the embarrassment of the man's talk incessant. He was plainly a practised conversationalist; the nicety of his inflections, the elegance of his gestures, and the fine play of his expression, told us that. We, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... here. We have a capital room and all the sunshine that is to be had, plus a good fire when needful, and at worst one can always get a breezy walk on the ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2 • Leonard Huxley

... now he had not known misery. That Barbara should die, seemed nothing beside it! Death was no evil! Whether there was a world beyond it or not, it was the one friend of the race! In death at last, outworn, tortured humanity would find repose!—or if not, what followed could not, at worst, be worse than what went before! It must be better, for the one misery of miseries would be to live in the same world with Barbara married: She was out of sight of him, far as princess or queen—or angel, if there were such a being; but the ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... hold this a merry death, such as the Saints grant to few. Ay, and so would you were you as free as I am. Well, doubtless your lady has gone before. Or at worst soon she will follow after and greet you in the Gate of Death, where Murgh sits and keeps his ...
— Red Eve • H. Rider Haggard

... effect upon women who are without the high qualities which distinguish her; at the same time the habit, even as she illustrates it, wears an appearance of defiant boldness, making her a subject of indelicate remark—making her, in brief, a topic for discussion. The objection, I grant, is light, being at worst an offence against taste and custom; much more serious is her persistence in keeping up the establishment at Therapia. A husband might furnish her an excuse; but the Turk is too near a neighbor—or rather she, a single woman widely renowned for beauty, is too tempting to the brutalized unbelievers ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace



Words linked to "At worst" :   at best, at the worst



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