He examined his hand carefully, vainly trying to find blood on it.
I tried vainly to put them together.
Arsenius went so far as to excommunicate the emperor, who, having vainly sought for pardon, took refuge in false accusations against Arsenius and caused him to be banished to Proconnesus, where some years afterwards (according to Fabricius in 1264; others say in 127 3) he died.
Nerva vainly strove to save, even at the risk of his own life, the men who had raised him to power, but the soldiers brutally murdered the unfortunate men, and forced him to propose a vote of thanks for the deed (Dio Cass.
Jerome vainly sought to bend his brother's will in an interview at Alexandria.