"Me petition the Empewo’!" exclaimed Denisov, in a voice to which he tried hard to give the old energy and fire, but which sounded like an expression of irritable impotence.
Even the enemy was the same as at Austerlitz and Friedland—yet the terrible stroke of his arm had supernaturally become impotent.
The deeper we delve in search of these causes the more of them we find; and each separate cause or whole series of causes appears to us equally valid in itself and equally false by its insignificance compared to the magnitude of the events, and by its impotence—apart from the cooperation of all the other coincident causes—to occasion the event.
After four days of solitude, ennui, and consciousness of his impotence and insignificance—particularly acute by contrast with the sphere of power in which he had so lately moved—and after several marches with the marshal’s baggage and the French army, which occupied the whole district, Balashev was brought to Vilna—now occupied by the French—through the very gate by which he had left it four days previously.
Not that sort of victory which is defined by the capture of pieces of material fastened to sticks, called standards, and of the ground on which the troops had stood and were standing, but a moral victory that convinces the enemy of the moral superiority of his opponent and of his own impotence was gained by the Russians at Borodino.
The terrible spectacle of the battlefield covered with dead and wounded, together with the heaviness of his head and the news that some twenty generals he knew personally had been killed or wounded, and the consciousness of the impotence of his once mighty arm, produced an unexpected impression on Napoleon who usually liked to look at the killed and wounded, thereby, he considered, testing his strength of mind.
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Lev stands there, impotent, unable to move, unable to process this.
Neal Shusterman -- Unwind
…in my mad dash for Sam—and I went airborne, landing with a jaw-popping force on the thin carpeting, jumped up, glanced back, and saw Ben Parish lying lifelessly there, arms outstretched, dark wet blotch of blood seeping through that ridiculous yellow hoodie, and then Sam screamed and I’m not too late, not too late, and here I come, you sonofabitch, here I come, and in the room a tall shadow loomed over the tiny figure whose tiny finger yanked impotently at the trigger of the empty gun.