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  • a hapless victim
  • Hapless child
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • Hapless Aegeon, whom the fates have mark’d
    To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
    William Shakespeare  --  The Comedy of Errors
  • perhaps a hapless gain
    William Shakespeare  --  The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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  • Four months ago, Madeleine randomly asked to be Andie’s friend, and Andie, like a hapless puppy, accepted, so I know the little girl fairly well, along with all her minutiae-enthralled friends, who take many naps and love Greek yogurt and pinot grigio and enjoy sharing that with one another.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • You also want to save this hapless creature.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • Still, there remained the important problem of all those who had been robbed of memories: the "recruited" children; the secret agents who’d been retrained as Helpers; Mr. Bloomburg, of course; and a good many of the Executives, who not so long ago had been hapless orphans in search of purpose and a home.
    Trenton Lee Stewart  --  The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • And the hapless boy who represented the traveler was the priggish little scholar they most cordially disliked.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • We even applauded them to spite our own hapless teams.
    Jerry Spinelli  --  Stargirl
  • When the spring was released, the fist shot out at a hapless puppet.
    Gail Carson Levine  --  Ella Enchanted

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  • Sydelle was in pain, but she wanted attention on her own terms, not as a hapless, foolish victim of fate.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
  • I had come to Brooklyn ostensibly "to write my guts out," as dear old Farrell had put it, not to play the hapless supernumerary in some tortured melodrama.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • He imagined some hapless monster terrorizing a random demigod in Kansas, only to find itself surrounded by several dozen carloads of heavily armored Romans.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • Unless these were the hapless remains of merchants accused of short-weighting the customers, it seemed a bit unsanitary to be burying people in the marketplace.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Once this procedure was the cause of a calamity of which Sebastijonas Szedvilas was the hapless victim.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • Frau Holtzapfel clamored, but her sentence was just another hapless voice in the warm chaos of the shelter.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • The hapless Dantes was doomed.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Expert tournament-goers will conduct this exercise while also carrying a cup of coffee, which sloshes onto their wrists and forearms, while other hapless souls will do so while also chasing toddlers.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • And oh! where meantime was the hapless owner of this wreck?
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • I heard of the discovery of the American hemisphere and wept with Safie over the hapless fate of its original inhabitants.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • He’d been a member of the hapless Sir John Franklin s first two expeditions and had survived both of them; it was Richardson who executed, by gunshot, the suspected murderer-cannibal on the first expedition.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • That had been part of the definition of the incubus—the ability to father children with his hapless prey.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • On the smooth sand we searched carefully for any trace of our hapless companions, but not the mark of a footstep could we find.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • On February 5, 1958, the hapless Vanguard team tried again for orbit and failed, although this time their rocket managed to at least clear the gantry before it blew up.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • Go, brave men, we owe you too much already; let us no longer involve you in our hapless fortunes!
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • O tearful Guadiana, and ye O hapless daughters of Ruidera who show in your waves the tears that flowed from your beauteous eyes!
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • For all Patrick knew, Ed McCabe-who’d been just a hapless victim a half hour ago-could have been the reason Peter started shooting.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • For eons, it seemed, I had accepted my plight as the hapless, put-upon victim of fate and the Furies, but this time I had to face the fact that I had brought my new catastrophe upon myself.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • He hurled at the hapless animal the most potent swearwords in the English language.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • _________ A sympathizing friend sends the following gem: A LAMENT (FOR S. B. PAT PAW) We mourn the loss of our little pet, And sigh o’er her hapless fate, For never more by the fire she’ll sit, Nor play by the old green gate.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-colour, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to clutch at any hapless object within reach.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • It is many and many a year since the hapless half-breed scooped out the stone to catch the priceless drops, but to this day the tourist stares longest at that pathetic stone and that slow-dropping water when he comes to see the wonders of McDougal’s cave.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • "A penny! thou shalt have three, thou hapless creature,"—and he fumbled in his pocket with nervous haste and got them out.
    Mark Twain  --  The Prince and The Pauper
  • I told her that I believed she had given me a faithful account of herself, and that we had both been hapless instruments in designing hands.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • We are only hapless victims of that irony.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • If I could honestly invest the hapless actor in this fateful drama with feelings of a loftier cast, my task would be easier and I would feel confident of the outcome.
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • He had never thought that a fugitive might be a hapless mother, a defenceless child,—like that one which was now wearing his lost boy’s little well-known cap; and so, as our poor senator was not stone or steel,—as he was a man, and a downright noble-hearted one, too,—he was, as everybody must see, in a sad case for his patriotism.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • And this hapless Lizaveta was so simple and had been so thoroughly crushed and scared that she did not even raise a hand to guard her face, though that was the most necessary and natural action at the moment, for the axe was raised over her face.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  Crime and Punishment
  • Everybody felt the allusion to her departure, and to her hapless orphan state.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • This is not an age of tragic grandeur, Prufrock suggests, but an age of hapless ditherers.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • For when the Trojans pulled it in, themselves, up to the citadel, they sat nearby with long-drawn-out and hapless argument- favoring, in the end, one course of three: either to stave the vault with brazen axes, or haul it to a cliff and pitch it down, or else to save it for the gods, a votive glory- the plan that could not but prevail.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • Others, more mild, Retreated in a silent valley, sing With notes angelical to many a harp Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall By doom of battle, and complain that Fate Free Virtue should enthrall to Force or Chance.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Confounding the curses that came his way-and there were many, for his usury was harsh beyond necessity-he continued to prosper, squeezing the life from those hapless creatures who were driven to borrow from him, and gaining his strength from their weakness.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • Although the air coming through the window had purified the atmosphere, there still remained for the one who could identify it the dying embers of hapless love in the bitter almonds.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • "I’m everyways agreeable, sir," says the hapless Jo.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Groans from the hapless radiators, coupled with the slamming of the wind against their windows, had kept them awake through the dark hours.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • It was the circumstance of being alone in a solitary office, up stairs, of a building entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations—an uncarpeted office, doubtless, of a dusty, haggard sort of appearance;—this it must have been, which greatly helped to enhance the irritable desperation of the hapless Colt.
    Herman Melville  --  Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
  • And I also knew, I hope, that it wasn’t about how I felt or how the hapless Haitian doctor felt.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Mr Dark loomed closer, magnificent in his picture-gallery flesh, his eyes, the eyes of all his beasts and hapless creatures cutting through his shirt, coat, trousers, fastening the old man tight, biting him with fire, fixing him with thousandfold attentions.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • A most romantic incident occurred when a handsome young Oxford graduate, noted for his chivalry towards the fair sex, stepped forward and, presenting his visiting card, bankbook and genealogical tree, solicited the hand of the hapless young lady, requesting her to name the day, and was accepted on the spot.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
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