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Abstraction   Listen
noun
Abstraction  n.  
1.
The act of abstracting, separating, or withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal. "A wrongful abstraction of wealth from certain members of the community."
2.
(Metaph.) The act process of leaving out of consideration one or more properties of a complex object so as to attend to others; analysis. Thus, when the mind considers the form of a tree by itself, or the color of the leaves as separate from their size or figure, the act is called abstraction. So, also, when it considers whiteness, softness, virtue, existence, as separate from any particular objects. Note: Abstraction is necessary to classification, by which things are arranged in genera and species. We separate in idea the qualities of certain objects, which are of the same kind, from others which are different, in each, and arrange the objects having the same properties in a class, or collected body. "Abstraction is no positive act: it is simply the negative of attention."
3.
An idea or notion of an abstract, or theoretical nature; as, to fight for mere abstractions.
4.
A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life; as, a hermit's abstraction.
5.
Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects.
6.
The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining. (Modern)
7.
(Chem.) A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Abstraction" Quotes from Famous Books



... the circumstances of his family are reduced because of this new loyalty, his means of compensating them is to strive for such honor as may come to him through service to the United States. In his life, service to country is no longer a beautiful abstraction; it is the sternly concrete and unremitting obligation of service to the regiment, the group or the ship's company. He parts with old friends ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... a long time and he observed that she appeared to be perfectly contented and happy. She had her mandolin with her, and after quite a period of abstraction she took up her instrument, and soon her splendid voice sounded clear and melodious on the still air, for it was an afternoon when nature rested under a spell, as it were; not a breath of air appeared to float amid the leaves ...
— A Desperate Chance - The Wizard Tramp's Revelation, A Thrilling Narrative • Old Sleuth (Harlan P. Halsey)

... been secreted by the jeweller's wife, who, disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of her female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her master speak to the astrologer, drew near; and when she heard Ahmed, after some moments of abstraction, compare a woman to a poisonous dragon, she was satisfied that he must know everything. She ran to her mistress, and, breathless with fear, cried, "You are discovered by a vile astrologer! Before six hours are past the whole story will be known, and you will become infamous, if you ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... was included even the tendinous portion of that small slip of muscle taking its origin from the anterior aspect of the head and upper portion of the ulna, and which is so delicate and insignificant as to be generally overlooked by anatomists. There was great pain along the course of the tract of abstraction of the tendon. ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... refined for the generality of the human race. They are surrounded by sensible objects, and strongly attached to them; they are in a great measure unaccustomed to the most simple and obvious degrees of abstraction, and they can scarcely conceive anything to have a real existence that may not become an object of their senses. Possessed of such sentiments and views, they are fully prepared in embracing all ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... called upon his ladylove and in a fit of abstraction, looking about for a utensil to push the tobacco down in his pipe, chanced upon the lady's little finger, the law of gravitation was abrogated at once, and Newton and his pipe were sent, like nebulae ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... the desires which filled her soul for a change of state. The worthy man, accustomed, on his side, to the ways of the house, would scarcely have liked the introduction of a husband. Preoccupied by the sufferings he soothed, lost in the depths of prayer, the Abbe de Sponde had periods of abstraction which the habitues of the house regarded as absent-mindedness. In any case, he talked little; but his silence was affable and benevolent. He was a man of great height and spare, with grave and solemn manners, though his face expressed all gentle sentiments and an inward ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... man," echoed a thousand voices: "Society is only an abstraction." And, looking round, I saw, to my horror, that the women had quite disappeared, and their places were filled by men of all complexions, countries, times, ages, ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... shall begin my poem again. If I lived in Naples, or Andalusia, or one of the Antilles, I should write a great deal more poetry and music than in our grey, misty climate, which disposes one only to abstraction. I am in the midst of rehearsing my "Flying Dutchman". Some of my friends here would not leave me in peace; having heard my "Tannhauser" overture, they wanted absolutely to have a taste of one of my operas. I allowed myself at last to be ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... love, was grouped that confused scene of trouble and effort, of failure and success, which the poet saw round him; round her image it arranged itself in awful order—and that image, not a metaphysical abstraction, but the living memory, freshened by sorrow, and seen through the softening and hallowing vista of years, of Beatrice Portinari—no figment of imagination, but God's creature and servant. A childish love, dissipated by heavy sorrow—a ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... their action, and certainly there had not yet been any call for a popular convention, or any other device to ascertain the popular will. It was also difficult to imagine what was the exact entity of this abstraction called the "people" by men who expressed such extreme contempt for "merchants, advocates, town-orators, churls, tinkers, and base mechanic men, born not to command but to obey." Who were the people when the ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... being remiss in any duty which he owed his State or section. But all that he insisted was past. There was no longer any distinct sectional interest or principle to be maintained. The sword had decided that, whether right or wrong as an abstraction, the doctrine of secession should never be practically asserted in the government. The result of the struggle had been to establish, beyond a peradventure, what had before been an unsettled question: that the Nation had the power and the will to protect itself against any disintegrating movement. ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... sort of thing I think there is in Doctor V———-," pursued Churchill: "a touch of absence of mind, giving the idea of high abstraction, becomes a learned man well enough; but then it should only be slight, as a soupcon of rouge, which may become a pretty woman; all depends on the measure, the taste, with which these things are managed— ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... young doctor was the only young man whose admiration she had ever thought worthy to secure, and having met from him only cold politeness, she had lately felt for him only bitterness and dislike. Living as she had done in a kind of cold abstraction, enjoying only the pleasures of intellect, in all the sufficiency of self, it was a matter of indifference to her what people thought of her. She felt so infinitely above them, looking down like the aeronaut, from a colder, more rarefied atmosphere, upon objects lessened ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... far-off expression of the human eye that generally indicates abstraction of mind, he feared that she had not heard his earnest appeal; but after some seconds, she smiled drearily, and repeated with singular and touching pathos, lines which proved that his words were ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... not to be attracted by a face that had two such remarkable expressions; one of animation, amiability, and intelligence; and the other of total abstraction. He bent forward, even after he relieved himself of his load, and his attitude and gait suggested the idea of an American land-surveyor, who had been accustomed to carry heavy weights in the forest. Without condescending to notice the ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... ethical, psychological, or aesthetic forces that cause the problems which the satirist condemns, and to recommend what can be done to change these forces. If the satirist notes any pattern at all, it is one of ineffective, unmoving abstraction and generality. ...
— The Methodist - A Poem • Evan Lloyd

... Sampson for his companion, lost no time in his journey to Edinburgh. They travelled in the Colonel's post-chariot, who, knowing his companion's habits of abstraction, did not choose to lose him out of his own sight, far less to trust him on horseback, where, in all probability, a knavish stable-boy might with little address have contrived to mount him with his face to the tail. Accordingly, with the aid of his valet, who attended ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... few moments into a fit of gloomy abstraction, till the sound of the clock striking twelve made him start,—it was the only sound he had heard for some hours, and the sounds produced by inanimate things, while all living beings around are as dead, have ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... the tree, with its one broken branch which depended at an angle like the arm of a semaphore; nor did it relieve his mind to reflect that his mishap was partly due to his own foolish abstraction. He was returning to camp from a neighboring mining town, and while indulging in the usual day-dreams of a youthful prospector, had deviated from his path in attempting to make a short cut through the forest. He had ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... ended, one of them, as I said, accompanys me home lest I should be solitary for a moment; he at length takes his welcome leave at the door, up I go, mutton on table, hungry as hunter, hope to forget my cares and bury them in the agreeable abstraction of mastication, knock at the door, in comes Mrs. Hazlitt, or M. Burney, or Morgan, or Demogorgon, or my brother, or somebody, to prevent my eating alone, a Process absolutely necessary to my poor wretched digestion. O the pleasure of eating alone!—eating my dinner alone! let me think of it. But ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... demurred, "the soul, which is an abstraction, a part of the Infinite and thus of God Himself, is therefore imperishable. Socrates taught this, Pantheism is based on this, the arguments of the Peripatetic Philosophers all trend to this belief, and Christ preached the Soul's immortality and life after death. Thus, if ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... said the Doctor, "considered metaphysically or as an abstraction, is an animal possessing neither hide nor horns, bones nor flesh, but is the mere type, eidolon, and fantastical semblance of these parts of a quadruped. It has a shape without any substance, and no color at all, for its redness is the mere counterfeit or ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... stage of self-trance," says Dr. Paul. "In this state the Yogis, like the bat, the hedge-hog, the marmot, the hamster and the dormouse, acquire the power of supporting the abstraction of atmospheric air, and the privation of food and drink. Of Samadhi or human hibernation there have been three cases within the last twenty-five years. The first case occurred in Calcutta, the ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... Thyself, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee." That cry of St. Augustine has found its echo in unnumbered souls, and our humanity will never be satisfied while it is offered no more than an impalpable abstraction for the ...
— God and the World - A Survey of Thought • Arthur W. Robinson

... not knowing her for a courtesan—talks of her purity in burning words, that seem to glow and enhance his love from his convictions of her virtue; then suddenly falls into silent abstraction, looking like a man whose eyes are filled with visions of Paradise. No pains takes she to deceive him; for he supersedes the chance by deceiving himself beyond measure. He either listens not at all to intimation, or insists ...
— The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Christopher Marlowe

... shouldn't he?" challenged Betty, coming out of her abstraction and smiling gayly. "I like ...
— The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point - Or a Wreck and a Rescue • Laura Lee Hope

... And there, while I laugh'd at Grassot and Arnal, My eye fell on the face of a man at my side; Every time that he laugh'd I observed that he sigh'd, As though vex'd to be pleased. I remark'd that he sat Ill at ease on his seat, and kept twirling his hat In his hand, with a look of unquiet abstraction. I inquired the cause of his dissatisfaction. "Sir," he said, "if what vexes me here you would know, Learn that, passing this way some few half-hours ago, I walk'd into the Francais, to look at Rachel. ...
— Lucile • Owen Meredith

... calm-faced preceptress in Geneva how far the tide of love had swept her on. In the long afternoons, Major Hawke was apparently busied with the "dispatches" which duly mystified the Club quid mines, as they were ostentatiously displayed in the letter-box. No one but Ram Lal knew of the abstraction from the mail, and destruction of these carefully sealed envelopes of blank paper. But the thieving mail clerk in their secret pay, laughed as he consigned them later ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... serious happened?' said Neigh, noticing an abstraction in his companion. 'You don't seem in your usual ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... of thought can be treated in abstraction from their matter—in other words, that the general types of thinking are never affected by the particular context in which they occur. Now, this means that the question of real truth must not be raised; for, as we have seen (Chapter V.), real truth is always an affair ...
— Pragmatism • D.L. Murray

... moved and came out of his abstraction. "I'd better get that broom," he said slowly. "The place certainly needs some expert manicuring before we get that new stock in.... By George, I really begin to believe we've got a chance to do ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... beard covered the upper lip and chin; and so far as an opinion could be formed, from his sitting posture, he was tall and well-made. The expression of his countenance was gentle, and there was an air of introspection and abstraction about it as if he were much in the habit of communing with his own thoughts. The upper part of his person, which only was visible, the rest being hid by the table and depending cloth, was clothed ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... sat watching her as she straightened up the littered table. A book of poems they had once read fell open and the girl picked it up and began to read to herself. In a moment she was literally engulfed in it, and he watched her deep abstraction in full sympathy with the mood it represented. Presently ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... closed after them Kendric chanced to note Twisty Barlow at his elbow. A queer expression was stamped on the rigid features of the sailorman. Plainly Barlow, intrigued into a profound abstraction, was alike unconscious of his whereabouts or of the attention which he was drawing. His eyes stared and strained after the vanished Mexican and his companion; he, too, had been fascinated; he was like a man in a trance. Now ...
— Daughter of the Sun - A Tale of Adventure • Jackson Gregory

... were in progress, Napoleon, in Paris, was consecrating his energies with almost miraculous power, in developing all the resources of the majestic empire under his control. He possessed the power of abstraction to a degree which has probably never been equaled. He could concentrate all his attention for any length of time upon one subject, and then, laying that aside entirely, without expending any energies in unavailing anxiety, could turn to another, with all the ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... better—as happens to a great many other people in the gay days of their youth, in this most unjustly condemned and vilipended world. And now you will probably guess what occurred one day he was walking in his usual dreamy state of abstraction, and as nearly as possible tumbled head foremost into the Lignon. By dint of marching straight on, without minding either hedge or ditch, he found himself, when he awakened from his reverie, with his right foot raised, in the very act of stepping off the bank into ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843 • Various

... spent the evening with us I sang the song for him. While I did so, he stood by the piano in a state of profound abstraction, from which he recovered himself, as if coming back from very far away, and with an expression of acute pain on his countenance, he thanked me repeatedly for what he called the great favor I had ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... he picked up in abstraction the book which Wertheimer had been reading—and wondered if, by any chance, he had left it there on purpose, so strong seemed the hint. It was Stevenson's 'Travels with a Donkey.' Duchemin was familiar enough with the work, and had no need to dip anew into its pages to know ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... Mr. Wells's asseverations of the substantive reality of his Invisible King have been quoted above, it would be easy to lengthen their array. There is nothing on which he is so insistent. For example, "God is no abstraction nor trick of words....[3] He is as real as a bayonet thrust or an embrace" (p. 56). And again, on the same page: "He feels us and knows us; he is helped and gladdened by us. He hopes and attempts." There ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... there, I poured down a deep, cool draught on my indignation, then another, and then, becoming dejected, I sat plunged in cheerless reflections. The others read, talked, smoked, bandied over my head some unsubtle chaff. But my abstraction was respected. And it was without a word to any one that I rose and went out, only to be quite unexpectedly accosted in the bustle of the store by Jacobus ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... courses of nature, and the prodigious injustices of man in society, affect him with neither horror nor awe. He will see no monster if he can help it. For the fatal Nemesis or terrible Erinnyes, daughters of Erebus and Night, Emerson substitutes a fair-weather abstraction named Compensation. One radical tragedy in nature he admits—'the distinction of More and Less.' If I am poor in faculty, dim in vision, shut out from opportunity, in every sense an outcast from the inheritance of the earth, that ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 1, Essay 5, Emerson • John Morley

... study that made Isaac Hecker a puzzle to his very self, to say nothing of those who had to decide his place in the order. Father Othmann, in bidding him farewell at St. Trond, had told him to become "un saint fou," a holy fool; a direction based upon his excessive abstraction of mind towards mystical things, and his consequent incapacity for mental effort in ordinary affairs. Once, at least, during those two eventful years at Wittem, Father Othmann visited the place, and when he saw Brother Hecker he embraced him and exclaimed, "O here is the spouse of the Canticles!" ...
— Life of Father Hecker • Walter Elliott

... bucket next ascends, the water above it, not being able to return through the bucket valve, will be forced into the hot well through the delivery valve S. The hot water pump M, pumps a small quantity of this hot water into the boiler, to compensate for the abstraction of the water that has passed off in the form of steam. The residue of the hot water ...
— A Catechism of the Steam Engine • John Bourne

... abstraction Balder felt on his hand a touch soft as the flowing of a breath, yet pregnant of indefinite apprehension. When two clouds meet, there is a hush and calm; but the first seeming-trifling lightning-flash brings on the storm whereby earth's face ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... made her look still more altered. All this undercurrent of annoyance and distress added continually to the change in her face: gradually its expression grew more grave; she smiled less frequently; had fits of abstraction and reverie, which she had never been known to ...
— Hetty's Strange History • Anonymous

... a father-in-law who was exactly like Scrooge, his cheerfulness was not shared. Indeed, the lecture as a whole lacked something of his firm and elastic touch, and towards the end he found himself rambling, and in a sort of abstraction, talking to them as if they were his fellows. He caught himself saying quite mystically that a spiritual plane (by which he meant his plane) always looked to those on the sensual or Dickens plane, not merely austere, but desolate. He said, quoting Bernard Shaw, that ...
— Alarms and Discursions • G. K. Chesterton

... said, this is to make the coming of Christ merely figurative—the coming of ideas and principles only; only the coming of his religion; and this is but an invisible abstraction. We reply, that according to our view, Christianity cannot be conceived of as an abstraction, apart from the person of Jesus, nor can his religion come unless he comes with it. Jesus is with us always, in the world always, and ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... Starling was far out in one of her suppositions. Will Flandin came a good deal about the house, it is true; but Diana hardly knew he was there. If she thought about it at all, she was half glad, because his presence might serve to mask her silence and abstraction. She was conscious of both, and the effort to cover the one and hide the ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... obvious to you and every other right-minded man, or that I think I can clothe them in more attractive language, or utter them with more effect than others; but merely to account for my absence of mind and evident air of abstraction. I know my days are numbered, and in the nature of things, that those that ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... to my young sister any human document, however casually picked up, exceeded in interest the finest book ever written, then went on with an article on Education in which I happened to be interested. I roused myself from my abstraction to hear Julia mentioning to the strange man the name of Sea-Strand Cottage as our abode, and describing in her exaggerated fashion its ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... his supper at the hotel in the same abstraction, and then, still grave with plans for his new career, went out into the street to find Williams, his partner. It was inevitable that he should bring up at the bar of his former saloon; no other place in the town was so much like home, ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... his abstraction, he said: "Yes, we will go! It is time that my Natalie was introduced into this circle of influential Romans, that she may gain friends among people of importance, who may watch over and protect her when I ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... universal man, and another to consider a man as man. If, therefore, we take the universal, in the first way, no sensitive power, whether of apprehension or of appetite, can attain the universal: because the universal is obtained by abstraction from individual matter, on which ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... except the fact of her presence. Never was beauty so powerful as hers; never was the power of beauty used so artlessly, with such a complete unconsciousness. I began gloomily to speculate on the chances of her ultimately marrying Alresca, and a remark from her awoke me from my abstraction. We were nearing the top of ...
— The Ghost - A Modern Fantasy • Arnold Bennett

... Material wealth is an abstraction. Its usual evidence is the possession of property, which may be money, land, goods or chattels, as the case may be. In final analysis this concrete evidence ...
— The Planet Mars and its Inhabitants - A Psychic Revelation • Eros Urides and J. L. Kennon

... from a wrong conception of the nature of the human mind. We are too apt to believe in a kind of abstraction called "general ability," which is expected to exhibit itself under any and every condition. According to this doctrine, if a man is clever at one thing or successful under one set of circumstances, he must be equally clever at everything and equally ...
— Success (Second Edition) • Max Aitken Beaverbrook

... flagged, but by-and-by, she herself seemed to need some change of subject; she hastened to wind up her narrative briefly. Yet why she terminated with so concise an abridgment did not immediately appear; silence followed—a restless silence, not without symptoms of abstraction. Then, turning to me, ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... writings of Philo;—and the Socinians can never prove that these Jews did not know at least of the doctrine of their schools concerning the only-begotten Word—[Greek: Logos monogenaes],—not as an attribute, much less as an abstraction or personification—but as a distinct 'Hypostasis' [Greek: symphysikae]:-and hence it might be shown that their offence was that the carpenter's son, the Galilean, should call himself the [Greek: Theos phaneros]. This might have been rendered more than probable by the concluding ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... its passions. We see in such cases the vision of an individual soul, as we see the vision of an individual countenance. We can describe both, and can let a stranger into our knowledge. But how tell in words, so pure, so fine, so ideal an abstraction as Hamlet? We can, indeed, figure to ourselves generally his princely form, that outshone all others in manly beauty, and adorn it with the consummation of all liberal accomplishment. We can behold in every look, every gesture, every motion, the ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... hear her words. A curious fit of abstraction had seized him. His head was turned towards the corridor, he seemed to ...
— The Kingdom of the Blind • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... cried Sir Anthony. "And that's why I ask you what the devil you mean by calling England an abstraction. For us, she's the only thing in the world. We're elderly chaps, you and I, Perkins, and the only thing we can do to help her is to keep our heads high. If people like you and me crumple up, the ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... think nothing of thrusting a dagger between his ribs. Reality,—what a delight it is! The actual touch and feeling of the spontaneous natural creature have been so buried beneath centuries of hypocrisy and humbug that we have ceased to believe in them save as a metaphysical abstraction. But even as water, long depressed under-ground in perverse channels, surges up to the surface, and above it, at last, in a fountain of relief, so Nature, after enduring ages of outrage and banishment, leaps ...
— The Golden Fleece • Julian Hawthorne

... nothing but symbols and ratios. Symbols and ratios carry us and bring us forth and beat us down; gravity, that swings the incommensurable suns and worlds through space, is but a figment varying inversely as the squares of distances; and the suns and worlds themselves, imponderable figures of abstraction, NH{3} and H{2}O. Consideration dares not dwell upon this view; that way madness lies; science carries us into zones of speculation, where there is no habitable city ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the thermotaxic balance being habitually anomalous, the emergency was not successfully encountered; and this was more particularly the case because the nerve-centres of vital resistance to sudden and extreme thermal abstraction were atrophied." ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... a phantom-church: had he been himself pursuing anything better? He had been fighting for the truth: had he then gained her? where was she? what was she if not a living thing in the heart? Would the wielding of the sword in its name ever embody an abstraction, call it from the vasty deep of metaphysics up into self-conscious existence in the essence of a man's own vitality? Was not the question still, how, of all loves, to grasp the thing his soul ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... alternate evenings; who puts the weight at the University Sports and conducts the lady home from a College wine without a stain on her character; is rusticated for a year or so; returns to win the Newdigate and leaves without taking a degree. Or that other delightful abstraction—he has a Balliol accent too—with literary tastes and artistic rooms, where gambling takes place. He is invariably a coward, but dreadfully fascinating all the same; though he scorns women he has an hypnotic influence over them; something in his polished Oxford manner is irresistible. Throughout ...
— Masques & Phases • Robert Ross

... though small in themselves, become great by their frequency: and he very much mistakes his own interest, who to the unavoidable unskilfulness of abstraction and retirement, adds a voluntary neglect of common forms, and increases the disadvantages of a studious course of life by an arrogant contempt of those practices, by which others endeavour to gain favour ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... imposed upon them. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the rest had spoken the truth, but each only from one point of view, and on the basis of only one method of approach. The conclusions of each were the result of a process of more or less complete abstraction, and in abstractions the Fathers, true to the genius of Christian thought, could never rest content, but could only accord to them the appreciation which belongs to a temporary and preliminary stage in the search for the ...
— The Basis of Early Christian Theism • Lawrence Thomas Cole

... joined us this morning at breakfast. There came on a dreadful storm of wind and rain, which continued all day, and rather increased at night. The wind was directly against our getting to Mull. We were in a strange state of abstraction from the world: we could neither hear from our friends, nor write to them. Col had brought Daille on the Fathers[800], Lucas on Happiness[801], and More's Dialogues[802], from the Reverend ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... he had spent in the gloomy pine wood, the Philosopher could see a little in the darkness, and when he found there was no longer any hold on his coat he continued his journey quietly, marching along with his head sunken on his breast in a deep abstraction. He was meditating on the word "Me," and endeavouring to pursue it through all its changes and adventures. The fact of "me-ness" was one which startled him. He was amazed at his own being. He knew that the hand which he held up and ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... served in the library where Madame Proudfit and Miss Clementina had been in consultation with their lawyer. We were all rather silent as Madame Proudfit sat at the urn and the lawyer handed our cups down some long avenue of his abstraction. And now everything seemed to me a kind of setting for Delia and Abel, and Calliope kept looking at them as if, before her eyes, things might come right. So, I own, did I, though in the Proudfit library it was usually difficult to fix ...
— Friendship Village • Zona Gale

... mourner falls to scoffing, the justicer becomes a jester: the lover, with the skull of his murdered mistress in his hand, slides into such reflections on the influence of her living beauty as would beseem a sexless and malignant satirist of her sex. This power of self-abstraction from the individual self, this impersonal contemplation of a personal wrong, this contemptuous yet passionate scrutiny of the very emotions which rend the heart and inflame the spirit and poison the very blood of the thinker, is the special seal ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... Perhaps Osborn saw the abstraction of her mind and was jealous of it; at the moment she must think of nothing save him, as he could think of nothing but her. He put his hand under her chin, to lift her dreamy face, and he ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... that this motive-power, which they state to be the spring of man's action, is a substance of an unknown nature; so simple, so indivisible, so deprived of extent, so invisible, so impossible to be discovered by the senses, that its parts cannot be separated, even by abstraction or thought. The question then arises, how can we conceive such a substance, which is only the negation of every thing of which we have a knowledge? How form to ourselves an idea of a substance, void of extent, yet acting on our senses; that ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... sensation, formless matter, which the spirit can never apprehend in itself, in so far as it is mere matter. This it can only possess with form and in form, but postulates its concept as, precisely, a limit. Matter, in its abstraction, is mechanism, passivity; it is what the spirit of man experiences, but does not produce. Without it no human knowledge and activity is possible; but mere matter produces animality, whatever is brutal and impulsive in man, not the spiritual dominion, which is humanity. How often do we strive ...
— Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic • Benedetto Croce

... don't care," said Jeekie; "no more good to us. Can go and see how Big Bonsa feel, if he like," and stretching out his big hand as though in a moment of abstraction, he removed the costly necklaces from their guide's neck and thrust them into the pouch he wore. Also he picked up the gilded linen mask which Alan had removed from his head and placed it in the same receptacle, remarking, ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... he returned to his work at the office, and his fellow-clerks, during the whole of the next week, noticed that he was more zealous and more painstaking than ever. On the other hand, his periodical fits of abstraction grew more frequent and more pronounced. On one occasion he took a paper to the head of the department for signature, and after it had been signed, instead of removing it from the table, he remained ...
— Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches • Maurice Baring

... vinegar after the toils of the tourney. But still Sholto stood where his master had left him, looking at the green scum of duckweed which floated on the surface of the moat of Thrieve, yet of a truth seeing nothing whatever, till a low voice pierced the abstraction ...
— The Black Douglas • S. R. Crockett

... 'the cloth' which at once proclaims the preacher. His noble features were generally overspread with a benevolent smile, which seemed to shed an illumination as though from the ignition of the soul; while at other times he was possessed with a spirit of abstraction as if walking in ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... different kind. The nonsapient mind deals exclusively with crude sensory material. The sapient mind translates sense impressions into ideas, and then forms ideas of ideas, in ascending orders of abstraction, almost without limit. ...
— Little Fuzzy • Henry Beam Piper

... wind or the swaying of a drapery, but it seemed to her like the sweeping along of a train of silk. At the moment she thought that Mrs. Hawthorne was passing through the entry, but rousing herself from her abstraction she saw her sister sitting quiet and remembered that she had been so sitting for a considerable interval. "Why, I distinctly heard," said she, "the rustling of a silk gown in the entry!" The sisters rose and went into the hallway for an explanation, but all was dark and still, no ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... their victim, shirking school five or six times a week and doing everything they could to receive some punishment which would allow them to squall to their hearts' content. But she never beat them, nor even lost her temper; she lived on very well, placidly, indolently, in a state of mental abstraction amidst all the uproar. At last, indeed, this uproar became indispensable to her, to fill the void in her brain. She smiled complacently when she heard anyone say, "Her children will beat her some day, and it will serve her right." To all remarks, her utter indifference seemed to reply, "What ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... were nobles, you know, by decree of the King!—these precious old infants. But they did not realize it; they could not be called conscious of it; it was an abstraction, a phantom; to them it had no substance; their minds could not take hold of it. No, they did not bother about their nobility; they lived in their horses. The horses were solid; they were visible facts, and would ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc Volume 2 • Mark Twain

... question was being asked and answered, was a problem tasking Robert's ingenuity, and finally he assumed the office of writing-master, set her a sum in long division, which he assured her would require the deepest abstraction of thought, and advised a withdrawal to some other ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... connected with the predominance of the historical in Hegel's philosophy is its explicit critique of individualism and particularism. According to his doctrine, the individual as individual is meaningless. The particular—independent and unrelated—is an abstraction. The isolation of anything results in contradiction. It is only the whole that animates and gives meaning to the individual and the particular. This idea of subordinating the individual to universal ends, as ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... when she joined them, and left the conversation to Cedric. More than once Malcolm wondered what made her so thoughtful; but when they reached the house, and she bade him good-night in the hall, there was no coldness or abstraction in her beaming smile. ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... house of Agathon, who had been sacrificing in thanksgiving for his tragic victory on the day previous. But no sooner has he entered the house than he finds that he is alone; Socrates has stayed behind in a fit of abstraction, and does not appear until the banquet is half over. On his appearing he and the host jest a little; the question is then asked by Pausanias, one of the guests, 'What shall they do about drinking? as they had been all well drunk on the day before, and drinking on two successive ...
— Symposium • Plato

... can be higher than the highest, and the life of Jesus was the undimmed revelation of the highest. Faith to be effective must centre on a living person, and the highest objective it has ever found is Jesus. He is no abstraction but a spiritual reality, an ever-present friend and guide, our brother and our Lord. No one will ever compete with Jesus for this position in human hearts. When I speak of the eternal Christ, I do not mean someone different ...
— The New Theology • R. J. Campbell

... who drove her donkey or picked strawberries for her, at other times, in her boat on the lake; but I never showed any sign of recognition or interest, beyond a grave and respectful bow; she would return it with an air of melancholy abstraction, and we each went our separate ways, on the ...
— Raphael - Pages Of The Book Of Life At Twenty • Alphonse de Lamartine

... of passion, one speaks ill of another behind his back; and so far from the "Brotherhood" of Blue Masonry being real, and the solemn pledges contained in the use of the word "Brother" being complied with, extraordinary pains are taken to show that Masonry is a sort of abstraction, which scorns to interfere in worldly matters. The rule may be regarded as universal, that, where there is a choice to be made, a Mason will give his vote and influence, in politics and business, to the less qualified ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... land, naturally he misses as any available guide the ordinary utilitarian relations which would else connect persons and events with great outstanding interests of his own contemporary system. The very abstraction which has silently been performed by the mere effect of vast distances, wildernesses that swallow up armies, and mighty rivers that are unbridged, together with the indefinite chronological remoteness, do already of themselves translate such sequestered ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... gentleman's arm to conduct her properly out of a dining or ball-room,—so long as she shall consider it dangerous or unbecoming to walk half a mile alone by night,—I cannot see how the 'Woman's Rights' theory is ever to be anything more than a logically defensible abstraction. In this view Margaret did not at all concur, and the diversity was the incitement to much perfectly good-natured, but nevertheless sharpish sparring between us. Whenever she said or did anything implying the usual demand of Woman on the courtesy and ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... delicate critical perception that the true business of literature is with narrative; in reasoned narrative, and there alone, that art enjoys all its advantages, and suffers least from its defects. Dry precept and disembodied disquisition, as they can only be read with an effort of abstraction, can never convey a perfectly complete or a perfectly natural impression. Truth, even in literature, must be clothed with flesh and blood, or it cannot tell its whole story to the reader. Hence the effect of anecdote on simple minds; and hence good biographies and works of high, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... such a striking similarity to all Rosanne's "quarrel-cases," that the poor woman could not help adding them to the black list. Just as she could not help observing that, after the three events, Rosanne cheered up wonderfully and came out of the gloomy abstraction which always enveloped her when she was suffering from annoyance at the hands of others and left her when the offence had been mysteriously expiated by the offenders. Mrs. Ozanne was indeed deeply troubled. The disappearance ...
— Blue Aloes - Stories of South Africa • Cynthia Stockley

... little for the drive, although they passed through beautiful streets and along her favorite haunts, by the bay, and out on the avenues and quite beyond the noise and dust of the city, in the midst of God's own fair and beautiful nature. The mother noticed the child's abstraction, and it saddened her to think of the shadow that comes over the brightness of one's early being, shutting out the loveliness and the grace even from ...
— The Elm Tree Tales • F. Irene Burge Smith

... his ludicrous disaster had been brought up, was not to be shaken from the imperturbability he ever adopted when it became a topic of conversation among his companions. Drawing his lengthy legs after him with slow and solemn precision, he continued to whistle a Scotch air, in utter seeming abstraction from all around, and in his attempt to appear independent and perfectly at his ease, nearly ran down the pretty girl alluded to by De Courcy, who stood in the door way curtseying graciously, and welcoming each of the British officers, as ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... self-contained, Naught else but him there was, naught else above, beyond; Then first came darkness hid in darkness, gloom in gloom, Next all was water, chaos indiscreet In which the One lay void, shrouded in nothingness, Then turning inward by self-developed force Of inner fervor and intense abstraction grew." ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... the park, could not pass without observation, and surmises there were on the subject; then her occasional exclamation of "Tremble, villain!" would escape her; and sometimes in the family circle, after sitting for a while in a state of abstraction, she would lift her attenuated hand armed with a knitting-needle or a ball of worsted, and assuming the action of poising a pistol, execute a smart click with her tongue, and say, "I hit him ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... in parts during the next three years. Its merits were perhaps exaggerated at the time; to the modern critic they lie chiefly in its possession of the lucid simplicity of method without which its author could not write, and in the life which it infuses into a cold abstraction. If this is not Washington, it is at least a living and breathing person, whose interest for us lies not ...
— Washington Irving • Henry W. Boynton

... were too hard for her and resume her needle, or if she happened to catch my glance, she would start, smile reassuringly at me, and apply herself with exaggerated zeal to her work. These fits of abstraction were not those of a woman speculating on mysteries of the near future. Such Carlotta also indulged in, and they were easy to recognise, by the dreaminess of her eyes and the faint smile flickering about her lips. The moods of knitted brows were periods of ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... I mean to do. In such a hoard of gems a few of medium size could never be missed, even if missed, their abstraction could never be proved. I'm going to select the best of the medium-sized emeralds, topazes, rubies and sapphires; enough to fill the leather amulet-bags Chryseros gave us. All slaves wear amulet-bags, if they can get them; ours are old, worn and soiled and will ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... will be as absent-minded as King Stars-and-Garters in the fairy tale, who one day, in a fit of abstraction, buttered his newspaper and tried to ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... abstraction, and Nigel, though he was a double first, occasionally lost a game from a lapse in that condensed attention that secures triumph. The fact is, he was too frequently thinking of something else besides the moves on the board, and his ear was engaged while his eye wandered, if Myra chanced to rise ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... depths of him his wild African imagination and sent him soaring. And then the affectionate note, the plaint in those sacred songs: Deus, Deus meus!—"O God! O my God!" The Divinity was no longer a cold abstraction, a phantom that withdrew into an unapproachable infinite; He became the actual possession of the loving soul. He leant over His poor scarred creature, took him in His arms, and comforted him like a ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... Commander of a steam packet called the City of Boulogne, the property of the New Commercial Steam-Packet Company, on Monday appeared at the Mansion House to answer the complaint of the directors of that company, by whom he was charged with being privy to the abstraction of four packages, each containing gold, checks on bankers, bank-notes, and bills of exchange, which had been previously booked at the company's office in Boulogne, and paid for according to the rates agreed upon by the company, and which, with others, had been entrusted ...
— The Economist - Volume 1, No. 3 • Various

... he suddenly became conscious that he was very hungry. He hurriedly ate some sandwiches and drank some water, and again gave himself up entirely to mental labor. When, at last, the noise of machinery above him and the sound of voices aroused him from his abstraction, and the car emerged upon the surface of the earth, Clewe hastily slid back the door and stepped out. At that instant he felt himself encircled by a pair of arms. Bryce was near by, and there were other men by the engines, but the owner of those arms thought nothing ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... Tour d'Azyr shook himself out of the gloomy abstraction in which he had sat. The successor of the deputy he had slain must, in any event, be an object of grim interest to him. You conceive how that interest was heightened when he heard him named, when, looking across, he recognized indeed in this Andre-Louis Moreau the young scoundrel ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... deep and beautiful humanism, the closeness of its touch upon experience, the warmth of its sympathy with men and women in contact with the great movement of life. Growing out of such a soil, it could hardly have been otherwise, for New England represents, not an abstraction, but a commanding faith in personality, the clear self-realization of a man whose obligation goes straight to God, and to whom God's word travels like an arrow's flight. In one form or another, all the New ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O • Various

... men, as studies, are Dr. Harrison and Colonel Bath. The former, who is as benevolent as Allworthy, is far more human, and it may be added, more humorous in well-doing. He is an individual rather than an abstraction. Bath, with his dignity and gun-cotton honour, is also admirable, but not entirely free from the objection made to some of Dickens's creations, that they are rather characteristics than characters. Captain William Booth, beyond his truth to ...
— Fielding - (English Men of Letters Series) • Austin Dobson

... floated about her as she danced, a creation of Paquin's, daring but delightful. Her eyes were very full and soft. She was looking her best, and knew it. Nevertheless, she was just at the moment, a little distrait. She was watching the brilliant scene with a certain air of abstraction, as though her interest in it was, after all, ...
— The Illustrious Prince • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... her ever-present jealousy and apprehension rising, was carried from her moorings. She recalled the evidences of "duty" in Northrup's attitude toward her since his return from King's Forest; his abstraction and ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... were so great that he did not notice the silence and abstraction of his wife. His ardent mind invariably excavated a channel into which it poured its thoughts, digging its bed so deep as to flow on unconscious of everything else. Exulting in the prospect of attaching to himself a companion so gifted, never doubting for a moment that ...
— The Redemption of David Corson • Charles Frederic Goss

... reechoed through the silent streets, and snatched me in an instant out of the abstraction into which I had fallen. Hard upon the cry there came to me the sound of steel ringing upon steel. I legged it through the empty road, flung myself round a corner, and came plump upon the combatants. The defendant was a lusty young fellow apparently about ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... was that occurred to him the brilliant notion of making a clean breast of it to the Dean. He had not the pleasure of the Dean's personal acquaintance. The Dean was an abstraction; certainly much more abstract than Priam Farll. He thought he could meet the Dean. A terrific enterprise, but he must accomplish it! After all, a Dean—what was it? Nothing but a man with a funny hat! And was not he himself Priam ...
— Buried Alive: A Tale of These Days • Arnold Bennett

... that yesterday was the day of presentation for a certain paper, which you, in a fit of abstraction, no doubt, signed with ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume II (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... the salts shed into it. It has not generally done so. In the case of every substance but one the ocean continually gives up again more or less of the salts supplied to it by the rivers. The one exception is the element sodium. The great solubility of its salts has protected it from abstraction, and it has gone on collecting during geological time, practically in its entirety. This gives us the clue to the denudative history of ...
— The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays • J. (John) Joly

... done so mechanically that it made no more impression on my mind than the thrusting of an advertisement upon me. Indeed, I supposed it was an advertisement, and I only wonder that I retained it in my hand at all. But that I did do so, and that, in a moment of abstraction I went so far as to pin it to my cushion, is evident from the fact that a vague memory remains in my mind of having read this recipe which you see printed on the reverse side ...
— A Difficult Problem - 1900 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... when we attempt to abstract extension and motion from all other qualities, and consider them by themselves, we presently lose sight of them, and run into great extravagances. All which depend on a twofold abstraction; first, it is supposed that extension, for example, may be abstracted from all other sensible qualities; and secondly, that the entity of extension may be abstracted from its being perceived. But, whoever shall reflect, and ...
— A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge • George Berkeley

... critical attitude to select and reject suggestions with reference to a goal, the suggestions as they come cannot be accepted as units and followed. Such a procedure is possible only when the mental process is not controlled by an end. Control by a goal necessitates analysis of the suggestions and abstraction of what in them is essential for the particular problem in hand. It is because no complete association at hand offers a satisfactory response to the situation that the need for thinking arises. Each association as it comes must be broken up, certain parts or elements emerge, certain ...
— How to Teach • George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy

... of education, and is a credit to none. We have to get rid of this state of affairs, and we have to provide (i) a substantial mental training which shall lead at last to a broad and comprehensive view of things, and which shall be a training in generalization, abstraction, and the examination of evidence, stimulating and disciplining the imagination and developing the habit of patient, sustained, enterprising and thorough work, and (ii) we have to add a general culture, ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... bidding. You are refined, I am sure. You cultivate sympathy as some men cultivate orchids, until it blooms and luxuriates in the strangest and gaudiest shapes. Your real face is known of no other abstraction; indeed, you never see it yourself, so well-fitted and so constant is the mask through which you waft the endearments which have caused you to be avoided everywhere. This, I admit, is imagination; but is it very far from the ...
— Punch, or The London Charivari, Volume 101, October 31, 1891 • Various

... of all the evidence in the case, the General continued in the same position as before, and remained for some time apparently lost in abstraction. I shall never forget the singular expression on his face. I had been accustomed to see him in a storm of passion at any instance of oppression or flagrant injustice; but on this occasion he was too deeply affected to obtain relief in the usual way. His whole air ...
— Incidents of the War: Humorous, Pathetic, and Descriptive • Alf Burnett

... who knew few of his letters at four; and was superannuated—such was his impenetrability to learning—at the age of five from the school of which his father had been master. He was moreover till the age of six and a half so frequently subject to long fits of abstraction and of apparently causeless crying that his mother and grandmother feared for his reason and thought him 'an absolute fool.' We are told also by his sister—and there is no incongruity in the two accounts—that he early displayed a taste for 'preheminence and would preside over his ...
— The Rowley Poems • Thomas Chatterton

... first feeling was that of anger at the abstraction of his medicines; but in the next instant, recollecting that unless immediate steps were taken, the poor animal must inevitably be poisoned, he rushed on deck, without coat or hat, and knife in hand, to the great surprise and ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... practically immaterial, could have no effect other than the mischievous one of dividing our friends. As yet, whatever it may hereafter become, that question is bad as the basis of a controversy, and good for nothing at all—a merely pernicious abstraction. ...
— Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) • Abraham Lincoln

... by Colonel Forrester. Frequently, when winding through some dense forest, or moving over some extensive plain where nothing beyond themselves told of the existence of man, his companion would endeavour to divert him from the abstraction and melancholy in which he was usually plunged, and, ascribing his despondency to an unreal cause, seek to arouse him by the consolatory assurance that he was not the first man who had been taken prisoner—adding, that there was no use in snivelling, as "what was done couldn't be ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... and it flashed upon him that all things were one; the tumult of sense abated, and the mind found repose in the thought which former generations had been striving to realize. The first expression of this was some element, rarefied by degrees into a pure abstraction, and purged from any tincture of sense. Soon an inner world of ideas began to be unfolded, more absorbing, more overpowering, more abiding than the brightest of visible objects, which to the eye of the philosopher looking inward, seemed ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... infinite." But in what sense? . . . Press the idea of the infinite to its utmost extent, till it is alone in the universe, or rather is the universe itself, in this heaven of abstraction, nevertheless, a cloud begins to appear; a limitation casts its shadow over the formless void. Infinite is finite because it is infinite. That is to say, because infinity includes all things, it is incapable ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... rose and took a few steps up and down, but not with the celerity and precision which usually accompanied his movements. Doubt disturbed his mind and impeded his activity. He had caught a fair glimpse of Brotherson's face as he approached the window, and though it continued to show abstraction, it equally displayed serenity and a complete satisfaction with the present if not with the future. Had he mistaken his man after all? Was his instinct, for the first time in his active ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... trip—which period was necessarily spent by those in the wreck in a state of fearful inactivity—abundant opportunity was afforded for collecting the sentiments of many of the unhappy men around me; some of whom, after remaining perhaps for a while in silent abstraction, would suddenly burst forth, as if awakened from some terrible dream to a still more frightful reality, into a long train of loud and desponding lamentation, that gradually subsided into ...
— The Loss of the Kent, East Indiaman, in the Bay of Biscay - Narrated in a Letter to a Friend • Duncan McGregor

... feeling of painful emotion that I stood on the deck, gazing with an air of abstraction at the preparations for the long voyage which were actively going on around me. Once more I was alone among a crowd of people, with nothing to depend on but my trust in Providence. No friendly sympathetic being accompanied me ...
— A Visit to the Holy Land • Ida Pfeiffer

... to reason, as they would call it in Ireland Memory of them when hallowed by time or distance Might almost excite compassion even in an enemy Misfortune will find you out, if ye were hid in a tay chest Mistaking zeal for inclination Mistaking your abstraction for attention My English proves me Irish My French always shows me to be English Never able to restrain myself from a propensity to make love Nine-inside leathern "conveniency," bumping ten miles an hour No equanimity like his who acts as your second ...
— Quotes and Images From The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer • Charles James Lever

... elevate standards of living for the family and the children of the responsible—and possibly more selfish—sections of the community. The appeal to enter again into competitive child-bearing, for the benefit of the nation or the race, or any other abstraction, ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... them visit. It was prodigiously fatiguing for them under the July sun, and the ranks grew thin as the weaker spirits fell out dead tired, to rest awhile in hospitable cloister or by cooling well. Fabri found it very toilsome to struggle after mental abstraction, to rise to such heights as he desired of devotion and comprehension of all the holy influences around him, to seize every opportunity of contemplation and lose nothing; being soon thoroughly exhausted with his bodily exertions. Some alleviation there was: when holy women—nuns ...
— The Age of Erasmus - Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London • P. S. Allen

... proceed in his table of goods, from the more abstract to the less abstract; from the subjective to the objective; until at the lower end of the scale we fairly descend into the region of human action and feeling. To him, the greater the abstraction the greater the truth, and he is always tending to see abstractions within abstractions; which, like the ideas in the Parmenides, are always appearing one behind another. Hence we find a difficulty in following him into the sphere of thought which he is ...
— Philebus • Plato

... Jem Deady was grievously perturbed. That calm and placid philosopher had lost his equanimity. It showed itself in many ways,—in violent abstraction at meal-times, and the ghoulish way in which he swallowed cups of tea, and bolted potatoes wholesale; in strange muttered soliloquies in which he called himself violent and opprobrious names; in sacrilegious gestures towards ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... such deep abstraction in one who bore the outward signs of so vigorous a manhood. Tall, well-formed, muscular as his faultless clothes half revealed, half hid, his bronzed face bearing the clear eyes and steady lips of a man much out of doors, this thoughtful Englishman was indeed a man to ...
— High Noon - A New Sequel to 'Three Weeks' by Elinor Glyn • Anonymous



Words linked to "Abstraction" :   painting, quantity, set, grouping, theorisation, abstract entity, concept, reverie, remotion, picture, preoccupancy, abstractedness, preoccupation, removal, attribute, abstract, communication, theorization, teacher, revery, generalization, thing, relation, right



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