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Comprehend   Listen
verb
Comprehend  v. t.  (past & past part. comprehended; pres. part. comprehending)  
1.
To contain; to embrace; to include; as, the states comprehended in the Austrian Empire. "Who hath... comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure."
2.
To take in or include by construction or implication; to comprise; to imply. "Comprehended all in this one word, Discretion." "And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying."
3.
To take into the mind; to grasp with the understanding; to apprehend the meaning of; to understand. "At a loss to comprehend the question." "Great things doeth he, which we can not comprehend."
Synonyms: To contain; include; embrace; comprise; inclose; grasp; embody; involve; imply; apprehend; imagine; conceive; understand. See Apprehend.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Comprehend" Quotes from Famous Books



... Sing was made to comprehend the proposal, he, too, agreed, and the little household was organized. The next day Ben and Bradley went to work at Dewey's claim, which they found unexpectedly rich, while the Chinaman undertook the duties assigned him. Four weeks elapsed before Richard Dewey was in a condition to leave ...
— The Young Explorer • Horatio Alger

... them? Yet of all of them, so far as is in his power, I have been deprived; I have become a private citizen instead of a leader, an outcast from the franchise instead of consul, and this not by the action of the people or the senate but by his own act and that of his adherents, who do not comprehend that they are preparing a sovereign for themselves first of all. For how could one speak of enactments of people and senate, when the consuls and some others fled straightway from the city, in order to escape casting any such ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. III • Cassius Dio

... ever seen, though she had known her all her life. Miss Maynard had seen only her roughness. Mrs. Bouverie had found her way below it. Elizabeth was as sincere and open as the day, although from seldom meeting with anyone who could comprehend or sympathize with her ideas, her manners had acquired a degree of roughness and reserve, difficult to penetrate, and anything but attractive, suiting ill with her sweet smile and beaming eyes. She was talking quite happily and confidentially ...
— Abbeychurch - or, Self-Control and Self-Conceit • Charlotte M. Yonge

... "Yes, yes. I comprehend. Once I had a case of a flume. It was fifteen feet deep and it let in the water of the river to the mill-wheels. A flume regulates, concentrates, and controls the water power. I ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... the strokes of wit, and encored it merely for the music's sake. The effect was, nevertheless, unfortunate, and calculated to give those French ladies but a bad opinion of our morals. How could they comprehend that the taste was, like themselves, imported, and that its indulgence here did not characterize us? It was only in appearance that, while we did not enjoy the wit we delighted in the coarseness. And how coarse this travesty of the old fable mainly is! That priest Calchas, with his unspeakable ...
— Suburban Sketches • W.D. Howells

... understand? If I marred one move these men intend to make, if I showed a single card, they would defeat me for the time; for they would make new plans of which I should not have the least idea. You comprehend?" ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... "I cannot comprehend how the air pressure has anything to do with the weather. Is the air pressure really greater at ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: The Mysteries of the Caverns • Roger Thompson Finlay

... be persuaded that you are in any danger. It is possible that I have been too anxious. Do you speak the French language easily? Do you comprehend ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... was wrapped up in the study of the Healing Art, and troubled his head much more about Drugs, Cataplasms, and Electuaries, than about the Bow and Arrows of Dan Cupid. Though why the God of Love should have been christened Daniel, it puzzles me to comprehend. This accounts for the manner in which I had found my dear Protectress caparisoned in every respect as a Moorish Dame. She told me that this was by no means the first time she had seen me, and that my being Cymbal-Player in ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 3 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... wolfish voracity devoured the meal which had been meant for us. They had pocket-flasks with them, and as they attacked them with frequency the talk grew louder and wilder. By degrees it was possible to comprehend the extraordinary disaster which had befallen us, at least in a sketchy outline of which the detail was filled in later. Tony, it appeared, was the master of a small power-schooner which had been fitting ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... endeavor to stir up disturbances in order to provoke governments to embark upon a course of retaliation and repression. The seed of revolution is repression. The remedy for these things must not be negative in character. It must be constructive. It must comprehend the general interest. The real antidote for the unrest which manifests itself is not suppression, but a deep consideration of the wrongs that beset our national life and ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... time of prayer in which all heads were bowed, and a voice here and there murmured a few soft little words which she did not comprehend; but at the close they all joined in "the prayer"; and, when she heard the words, "Our Father," she closed her eyes, which had been curiously open and watching, and joined her voice softly with the rest. Somehow it seemed to connect ...
— The Girl from Montana • Grace Livingston Hill

... light of Michelet's theory,—that in the oppression and dearth of every kind of ideal interest in rural populations some safety-valve had to be found, and that there were real organised secret meetings, witches' Sabbaths, to supply this need of sensation,—the thing is less difficult to comprehend. The religious hysteria that resulted in the banishment of Mrs. Hutchinson was but another phase of the same thing. And the degeneration to be noted to-day in the remote hill-towns of New England is likewise attributable to Michelet's "dearth of ...
— The Romance of Old New England Rooftrees • Mary Caroline Crawford

... were, applauded and richly rewarded, yet they remained simple, unaffected, and cordial to these daring reporters. They spoke with quiet dignity of their work, their earnest efforts to give the public something better and finer. They wished the countless readers of the interviews to comprehend that their triumphs had come only with infinite work and struggle, that the beautiful comes only through suffering and sacrifice. At lighter moments they spoke gayly of their palatial homes, their domestic pets, their wives or husbands and their charming children. They all loved the great out-of-doors, ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... little, which some even pull out. They use very few words, which they consider well. Naturally they are very modest, simple and inexperienced; though in their actions high-minded enough, vigorous and quick to comprehend or learn, be it right or wrong, whenever they are so inclined. They are not straightforward as soldiers but perfidious, accomplishing all their enterprises by treachery, using many strategems to deceive their enemies, and usually ordering all their ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • Various

... by horror, threw up his arms with a terrible cry to heaven, and falling prone he let the bitterness of death pass over the love that had so late lain warm at his heart; while Jonathan crouched down, trembling and awestricken by the sight of emotion which, though he could not comprehend nor account for, stirred in him the sympathetic uneasiness of a dumb animal. Afraid to move or speak, he remained watching Adam's bent figure until his shallow brain, incapable of any sustained concentration of thought, wandered off to other interests, from which he ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union. The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater ...
— The Federalist Papers

... travelled far back in time. It was hard for us—"for you, especially," he amplified, with a courteous, enthusiastic flinging out of his hand, "with your unparalleled Scotch system of education"—to comprehend the mentality of a people which had been prevented, by the economic insanity of its governors and the determination of the Church to sit on its intelligence till it stopped kicking, from growing up. Among the things it hadn't attained to was the easy anthropocentric ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... hath blessed me with a son to be the coolth of mine eyes in my lifetime!" Then said the King's son to Shimas in presence of all the Olema, "O sage that art versed in spiritual questions, albeit Allah have vouchsafed to me but scanty knowledge, yet do I comprehend thine intent in accepting from me what I proffered in answer concerning that whereof thou hast asked me, whether I hit or missed the mark therein, and belike thou forgavest my errors; but now I am minded to question thee anent a thing, whereof my judgment faileth and whereto my capacity ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... Amine spared him the trouble of leading her back into the closet, and did it herself. The three calenders and the caliph, with his companions, were extremely surprised at this execution, and could not comprehend why Zobeide, after having so furiously whipped those two bitches, that, by the Mussulman religion, are reckoned unclean animals, should cry with them, wipe off their tears, and kiss them. They muttered among themselves; and the caliph, being more impatient than ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Volume 1 • Anonymous

... did not comprehend the words, I did their sense, for Pomp came crawling up closer to me like a beaten dog, and held up one ...
— Mass' George - A Boy's Adventures in the Old Savannah • George Manville Fenn

... inherited memories, outworn theories of law, government, and social control. They cannot get rid of these at once. They have used them so long, have found them so convenient, so satisfactory, that even when you show them something admittedly better; they are able only partially to comprehend and ...
— What eight million women want • Rheta Childe Dorr

... said to her that first morning after breakfast; "my books are here, you see, and the aspect suits me. The drawing-room will be almost entirely at your disposal. We have occasional callers, of course; I have not been able to make these impervious country people comprehend that I don't want society. They sometimes pester me with invitations to dinner, which no doubt they consider an amazing kindness to a man in my position; invitations which I make a point of declining. It will ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... which accompanied the movement, and a look I found it hard to comprehend flashed over his features, altering his expression so completely ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... At which the joy-bells multitudinous, Swept by an opposite wind, as loudly shook. Call back the mild archbishop to his house, To bless the people with his frightened look,— He shall not yet be hanged, you comprehend! Seize on Guerazzi; guard him in full view, Or else we stab him in the back, to end! Rub out those chalked devices, set up new The Duke's arms, doff your Phrygian caps, and men The pavement of the ...
— The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume IV • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... hundred miles of Paris, you would not pay it the slightest attention." Such places had their individuality, but she upheld that there is not a corner in the universe, "however common-place it may appear, but has a character of its own, unique in this world, for any one who is disposed to feel or comprehend it." In one of her village tales a sagacious peasant professes his profound contempt for the man who cannot like ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... to direct the manoeuvres of a body of troops on a review-ground, he was totally unequal to the command of an army; and with the littleness of a narrow mind, he was at the same time jealous of his generals; neither was he able to comprehend either the precise political position of his own kingdom, or that of Europe; and thus, although he assumed an appearance of authority, so soon as the controlling influence of the paramount favourite was ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... human wretchedness must always be through that region which is most thoroughly explored, not only by the information of the statistician, but by sympathetic understanding. We are daily attaining the latter through such authors as Sudermann and Elsa Gerusalem, who have enabled their readers to comprehend the so-called "fallen" woman through a skilful portrayal of the reaction of experience upon personality. Their realism has rescued her from the sentimentality surrounding an impossible Camille quite ...
— A New Conscience And An Ancient Evil • Jane Addams

... up, and seizing me, pointed to the arrows. I had nothing to say. Perhaps the expression of my countenance betrayed me. Several held me tight while the others spoke. Though I did not understand a word of their language, I could not fail to comprehend the tenor of their speeches. Their action, the intonation of their voices, their angry glances, showed it. "Our friends came here, and this man killed them. We came to look for them, and by the same arts with which he destroyed them he had endeavoured ...
— Dick Onslow - Among the Redskins • W.H.G. Kingston

... spirit of absolute assuredness so inseparably bound up with the reformers. 'Zwingli and Bucer may be inspired by the Spirit, Erasmus from himself is nothing but a man and cannot comprehend what is ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... throve in mind and body. For a time he prattled in a language none who saw him were able to comprehend. But he learned English quickly and soon forgot the jargon of his babyhood. The shadows of mystery that fell over his coming lengthened far into his life and were deepened by others that fell across ...
— Darrel of the Blessed Isles • Irving Bacheller

... seems, according to what I have just said, that there is often some confusion in the expressions of those who set at variance philosophy and theology, or faith and reason: they confuse the terms 'explain', 'comprehend', 'prove', 'uphold'. And I find that M. Bayle, shrewd as he is, is not always free from this confusion. Mysteries may be explained sufficiently to justify belief in them; but one cannot comprehend them, nor give understanding of how they come to ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... down the flowery meadows of experience. When either poetry or music is adult, the presence of each is a distraction to the other, and each prefers, in the elaborate ages, to stand alone, since the mystery of the one confounds the complexity of the other. Most poets hate music; few musicians comprehend the nature of poetry; and the combination of these arts has probably, in all ages, been contrived, not for the satisfaction of artists, but for ...
— Victorian Songs - Lyrics of the Affections and Nature • Various

... the Osmonds', but nevertheless a bitter sense of disappointment stole over her that evening. Where was the sense of restful unity which she had looked forward to? The new atmosphere felt strange, the new order of life this luxurious easy life was hard to comprehend. ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... the North, that but little sincerity could be attached to the assertion of independence by the Southern people. But as time elapsed and the contest grew more formidable and bloody, Northern men began by degrees to comprehend the magnitude of a chronic conspiracy which had cost the life-long labors of its ablest advocates to prepare. And though the hosts enlisted in the execution of this conspiracy for a time won the prestige ...
— The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details • I. Windslow Ayer

... of deserving. But the reviewer further says, the objection to the identity of the Niger and the Nile, is grounded on the incongruity of their periodical inundations, or on the rise and fall of the former river not corresponding with that of the latter. I do not comprehend whence the Quarterly Reviewer has derived this information; I have always understood the direct contrary, which I have declared in the enlarged editions of my account of Marocco, page 304, which has been confirmed by a most intelligent African traveller, ...
— An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa • Abd Salam Shabeeny

... that illness was, my aunt said it was useless to attempt to explain it to me. I next applied to the servants. One of them was less cautious than my aunt, and answered my question, but in terms that I could not comprehend. After much explanation, I was made to understand that "something was growing on my sister's neck that would spoil her beauty forever, and perhaps kill her, if it could not be got rid of." How well I remember ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... did not comprehend her hesitation and tone. Said he,—"Pierre is wonderfully changed since he and I wore the green sash of the seminary. He is taller than I, wiser and better,—he was always that,—but in heart the same generous, noble ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... he had once tried to read and had understood as little as Ariosto. At Rome the Sardinian minister innocently affronted him by repeating some verses of Marcellus, which the sulky young noble could not comprehend. In Ferrara he did not remember that it was the city of that divine Ariosto whose poem was the first that came into his hands, and which he had now read in part with infinite pleasure. "But my poor intellect," he says, "was then sleeping a most sordid sleep, and every day, as far as regards ...
— Modern Italian Poets • W. D. Howells

... in making laws—unless I need them," the Mexican continued. "I make laws only as the need arises, and I make them to suit myself. I interpret the laws as I please for my own pleasure or interests. Do you comprehend?" ...
— The Young Engineers in Mexico • H. Irving Hancock

... insist that my readers, the better to comprehend what is here said, shall peruse the Memoirs of M. de Reaumur on Bees, and those of the Lusace Society; but I must request them to examine the extracts in M. Bonnet's works, tom. 5. 4to edit. and tom. 10. 8vo, where they will find a short and distinct abstract of all that naturalists ...
— New observations on the natural history of bees • Francis Huber

... however, because he is more interested in things distant than in things near, but because thus he may more completely embrace in the scope of his work the beginning and the end, the boundaries of all things, and thus, indirectly, more fully comprehend all that they include. From ...
— Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science • Simon Newcomb

... But that a man driving an ambulance full of wounded should think he had the right to disturb a conversation that was blocking the traffic of only the entire water-front was a discourtesy no Salonikan could comprehend. ...
— With the French in France and Salonika • Richard Harding Davis

... alone Kirkwood and Dorothy owed a respite of freedom. Their hansom was already swinging down toward the great gates of the yard, the American standing to make the driver comprehend the necessity for using the utmost speed in reaching the Craven Street address. The man proved both intelligent and obliging; Kirkwood had barely time to drop down beside the girl, ere the cab was swinging out into the Strand, to the peril ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... not possible (so far as my simple reason can comprehend) that this perpetual current can by any means be maintained, but only by a continual reaccess of the same water, which passeth through the strait, and is brought about thither again by such circular motion as aforesaid, ...
— Voyages in Search of the North-West Passage • Richard Hakluyt

... once to comprehend, but when his sons had persuaded him to sit, he made a peremptory motion with his stick towards the old councillor who had spoken before. This individual glanced at the chief for permission, and having received it, told me this story at ...
— The Priest's Tale - Pere Etienne - From "The New Decameron", Volume III. • Robert Keable

... Chinese are, to summary justice, they could not be made to comprehend why criminals who are citizens of the United States should escape with impunity, in violation of treaty obligations, whilst the punishment of a Chinese who had committed any crime against an American ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Polk - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 4: James Knox Polk • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... not understand are stirring in our hearts. Voices are calling us to some great effort, to some mighty work. But we do not comprehend their meaning yet, and the hidden echoes within us that would reply are struggling, ...
— Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... notwithstanding the deprivation of his chief sense he could, by touch alone, make a statue in clay after a model. Le Cat also mentions a woman, perfectly deaf, who without any instruction had learned to comprehend anything said to her by the movements of the lips alone. It was not necessary to articulate any sound, but only to give the labial movements. When tried in a foreign language she was at a loss to understand a ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... afraid that Parmeno in Terence will hardly be able to comprehend these Things. I believe it readily. I would help you to some Venison, if I were ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... I had often observed in my own mother. In those ten days Henriette passed through all the contentions a young woman must endure to establish her independence. You, who for your happiness have the best of mothers, can scarcely comprehend such trials. To gain a true idea of the struggle between that cold, calculating, ambitious woman and a daughter abounding in the tender natural kindness that never faileth, you must imagine a lily, to which my heart has ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... so humbly beside a cottage door. When the stranger conversed, it was with gravity, and in such a way that Philemon felt irresistibly moved to tell him everything which he had most at heart. This is always the feeling that people have when they meet with any one wise enough to comprehend all their good and evil, and to despise not a tittle ...
— The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10) • Various

... perusal, and from the MS. having a leaf interposed near its commencement, which belonged to a subsequent part, and from the peculiar obscurity which sometimes attends the Saxon poetry, Idid not at that time sufficiently comprehend it, and had not leisure to apply a closer attention. But in the year 1818 I took it up again, as I was preparing my third edition, and then made that more correct analysis which was inserted in that and the subsequent editions, and which ...
— The Translations of Beowulf - A Critical Biography • Chauncey Brewster Tinker

... all the nameless industries—when the operations of all these are suspended for the day, and the workmen and workwomen loosed from labor—then, as this vast army suddenly invades and overflows bridge, roadway, street and lane, the startled stranger will fully comprehend the why and wherefore of the city's high prosperity. And, once acquainted with the people there, the fortunate sojourner will find no ordinary culture and intelligence, and, as certainly, he will meet with a social spirit and a wholesouled heartiness ...
— Pipes O'Pan at Zekesbury • James Whitcomb Riley

... shrank from this gaunt and gray-faced man who raved up and down the salon, questioning the frightened Portier, swearing fierce oaths, bringing accusation after accusation against some unnamed woman to whom he applied epithets that Marie's English luckily did not comprehend. Not a particularly heroic figure was Peter that night: a frantic, disheveled individual, before whom the Portier cowered, who struggled back to sanity through a berserk haze and was liable to swift relapses ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... inheritance, we should disturb beyond repair the intricate equilibrium of countless ages. The experience of the past rather than the desires of the present is thus the true guide to our policy. "We ought," he said in a famous sentence, "to venerate where we are unable presently to comprehend." ...
— Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham • Harold J. Laski

... he was with the man he had been. He never told me and I never asked what his feelings were at that moment. Did he feel that he was too culpable to have inspired a passion in a young girl whom he would have been a fool, almost a criminal, to marry? Did he comprehend that through his age which was so apparent, it was his youth which this child loved? Did he remember, with a keenness that was all too sad, that other, who had never given him a kiss like that at a time when he might have returned it? I only know that ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... this, Isabel?" asks he. He is as white as she is now. "Do you know what you are saying? This is a moment of excitement; you do not comprehend what your words mean." ...
— April's Lady - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... be prepared by what I have said to comprehend that it's just in this line of creating the news beforehand that we want to make use of you, and at the same time it will be the making of you, ...
— Captain Jinks, Hero • Ernest Crosby

... comprehend the more intricate processes of the higher peoples it is necessary to examine the textile industry in all of the culture areas. It is essentially woman's work, though among the Pueblos, strangely enough, men are ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... was staring at me with a wild surprise. Unable to comprehend why my name should have this effect on him, but hopeless of understanding this extraordinary man's behaviour, I repeated the ...
— Dead Man's Rock • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... yet to me. I've understood that two and two makes four; but how your 'belief' and poor old Betty Calvert make sensible connection I fail to comprehend. ...
— Dorothy's Travels • Evelyn Raymond

... manner such a mass of crystallized matter as the Giant's Causway and similar columns of basaltes, could have been raised without other volcanic appearances, may be a matter not easy to comprehend; but there is another power in nature besides that of expansile vapour which may have raised some materials which have previously been in igneous or aqueous solution; and that is the act of congelation. When the water in the experiments above related of Major Williams ...
— The Botanic Garden - A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation • Erasmus Darwin

... from them but from a much later authority, that we are bound by their words not by their private sentiments either as theologians or ecclesiastical politicians, and that in fact they had intended the Articles to comprehend a great body of their countrymen, who would have been driven away by any extreme and anti-Catholic declarations even against Rome. The temper of compromise is characteristic of the English as contrasted with the foreign Reformation. It is visible, not only in ...
— The Oxford Movement - Twelve Years, 1833-1845 • R.W. Church

... as our different ages move, 'Tis so ordained (would fate but mend it!) That I shall be past making love When she begins to comprehend it. ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... prevent the performance of this public duty the people now ask at your hands. The present truly great debt of our city, the bulk of which has been created in improvements, made enormously more costly by the failure of city governments in past times to comprehend the wants of a growing metropolis, admonishes you to act now, and secure the advantages the present favorable combination of circumstances offers. We confer on you the power to spend our money for the public good; and we ask you to act ...
— Parks for the People - Proceedings of a Public Meeting held at Faneuil Hall, June 7, 1876 • Various

... assure his custody, is against the Law of Nature. But the Later is Punishment, because Evill, and inflicted by publique Authority, for somewhat that has by the same Authority been Judged a Transgression of the Law. Under this word Imprisonment, I comprehend all restraint of motion, caused by an externall obstacle, be it a House, which is called by the generall name of a Prison; or an Iland, as when men are said to be confined to it; or a place where men are set to worke, as in old time men have been condemned ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... reading and writing. He was proud of being lord of a thousand or two acres, and one or two hundred negroes, and fancied that this was to rule over, as Mr. Rives called it, "a mimic commonwealth, with its foreign and domestic relations, and its regular administrative hierarchy." He did not comprehend that the isolated life of a slave plantation was ordinarily only a kind of perpetual barbecue, with its rough sports and vacuous leisure, where the roasted ox was largely wasted and not always pleasant to look at. There was a rude hospitality, where food, provided by unpaid ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... is true, a cumbrous system of machinery which is supposed to educate and civilize the Indian, called the Indian Bureau. Some men have studied it for years, and they fail yet to comprehend it. I believe it is incomprehensible. I believe it was never intended to be understood. Some men ask what it does. It does little, and largely shows how not to do; and any effort to Christianize and elevate the ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 42, No. 1, January 1888 • Various

... explained what is more easy by what is more difficult— ignotum per ignotius. I expect, on the other hand, the liberal acknowledgements of the learned. He who is buried in scholastick retirement, secluded from the assemblies of the gay, and remote from the circles of the polite, will at once comprehend the definitions, and be grateful for such a seasonable and necessary elucidation ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... him, he found his mother's picture gone. Dying, his father, it appeared, had wandered from his bed, detached the portrait, and with his own hands burnt it in the stove. The motive of the act Stefan could not comprehend. He only knew that this man had robbed him of his mother twice. All that remained of her was her wedding ring, which, drawn from his father's cash-box, he wore on his little finger. With bitterness amid his joy he took the train once more, and saw the lights of the town's shabby inn blink good-bye ...
— The Nest Builder • Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

... Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer and it is only because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to comprehend fully the purpose of life, to realize completely the relationship of human beings to each other, is to put an end to all suffering, to escape every ill and evil that afflicts us. Perfect ...
— Self-Development and the Way to Power • L. W. Rogers

... not strange, however, that Schamyl should not fully comprehend, as he appears not to do, the nature of the deliverance which would seem to be preparing for him. Attempts are said to have been made to induce him to adapt his policy to the peculiar state of the relations of eastern ...
— Life of Schamyl - And Narrative of the Circassian War of Independence Against Russia • John Milton Mackie

... acutely; perhaps because she had so near a fellow feeling that answered Karen's, and allowed her to comprehend how exceedingly the desire for his presence might grow strong in one who had a right to wish for it. And she knew that he would reckon old Karen his friend, whatever other ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... the budding bard Is, "Don't be long," and "Don't be hard." Your "gentle public," my good friend, Won't read what they can't comprehend. ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... was equally in the dark. They assaulted this Academician and that; laughed at Mr. Haydon, or sneered at Mr. Eastlake, or the contrary; deified Mr. Turner on one side of the table, and on the other scorned him as a madman—nor could Newcome comprehend a word of their jargon. Some sense there must be in their conversation: Clive joined eagerly in it and took one side or another. But what was all this rapture about a snuffy brown picture called Titian, this delight in three flabby nymphs by ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... in economics is to enable the student to comprehend the industrial world about him. It aims to liberate the mind from ignorance and prejudice, giving him insight into, and appreciation of, the industrial world in which he lives. In this aspect it is a liberal study. Economics produces in some measure ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... out of my depth; my shallow mind cannot comprehend, as it ought, these weighty subjects: Let me only therefore pray, that, after having made a grateful use of God's mercies here, I may, with my dear benefactor, rejoice in that happy state, where is no mixture, no unsatisfiedness; and where ...
— Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded • Samuel Richardson

... behind the earnest brow and the deep-set eyes. In them, indeed, did she read exultation, an ardour at least equal to her own, but an ardour for an object which she—the proud, exquisite pagan, the daughter of Augustus—wholly failed to comprehend. She had shown him the way to the imperium, to the diadem of Augustus, the sceptre of the Caesars, yet in his eyes, which were unfathomable and blue as the ocean that girt his own ancestral home of far ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... rode musing along for about three miles, when I was awakened from my reverie by a body of people, who came running up, and stopped the asses, giving me to understand that I must go with them to Peckaba, to present myself to the king of Walli, or pay customs to them. I endeavoured to make them comprehend that the object of my journey not being traffic, I ought not to be subjected to a tax like the slatees, and other merchants, who travel for gain; but I reasoned to no purpose. They said it was usual for travellers of all descriptions to make a present ...
— Travels in the Interior of Africa - Volume 1 • Mungo Park

... people themselves. No man on earth has more implicit confidence than myself in the integrity and discretion of this chosen band of servants. But is confidence or discretion, or is strict limit, the principle of our constitution? It will comprehend, indeed, all the functionaries of the government: but seceded from their consitutional stations as guardians of the nation, and acting not by the laws of their station, but by those of a voluntary society, having no limit ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... be, Can e'er our mortal natures comprehend, This side the veil which shrouds futurity, Thy Wisdom, Power, and Love? The end Of all conclusions, reasoned o'er and o'er, We know Thou dost exist! Can ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... concerning this matter, for I did not understand the work of the Spirit, and therefore saw not the powerlessness of human eloquence. Further, I did not keep in mind that if the most illiterate persons in the congregation can comprehend the discourse, the most educated will understand it too; but that the reverse does ...
— George Muller of Bristol - His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God • Arthur T. Pierson

... tricks of it and the despicable spirit in which this great game is often played. Something of her father's cunning, inherited and ineradicable, led her to condone the Captain's sporting creed and not to seek understanding. The man's high spirits made a sure appeal to her. She could not comprehend it wholly—but she had to admit that none of all her father's widening circle had ever appealed to her as this nimble-tongued adventurer, who could make her heart quicken every time their ...
— Aladdin of London - or Lodestar • Sir Max Pemberton

... successful if it is of the right sort and employed early. There is, to be sure, no cure-all. Powerful as the climatic treatment is, it must be supplemented by measures accurately adapted to the individual case, and failure to comprehend this fact still leads many a phthisical person to his grave. But information is rapidly being diffused, sanatoria for such of the tuberculous as can take advantage of them are multiplying, and those who ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIV • John Lord

... when shadowed by its wing, becomes as rife with wonders and adventure as if it were the passionate theatre of some old romance. Yes! the bright-eyed Greek page of her mysterious and absent lover was at her side-but then he spoke only Greek. In vain she tried to make him comprehend how much she desired to have tidings of his master. The graceful mute could only indulge in airy pantomime, point to the skies and ocean, or press his hand to his heart in token of fidelity. Henrietta amused herself in teaching Spiridion Italian, and repaid herself for ...
— Sketches • Benjamin Disraeli

... gives an elevated viewpoint from which better to observe all aspects of civilization to-day and thereby to comprehend ...
— A Guide to Methods and Observation in History - Studies in High School Observation • Calvin Olin Davis

... our country is a fine type of the true American of to-day, full of vim and vigor, quick to comprehend, and equally quick to act, not afraid to defend his opinions against all comers when satisfied that he is in the right, independent, and yet not lacking in fine social qualities, physically and morally courageous, and with a faith in himself and his God that is bound to make for good ...
— American Boy's Life of Theodore Roosevelt • Edward Stratemeyer

... being in the open air and among all the things that she loved, she was bound to rejoice once more; and rejoice she did, not even allowing herself to be hindered by Mr. Harrison's too obvious failures to comprehend her best remarks. Helen argued that she was not engaged to the man because of his cleverness, and that when she had come to the infinite happiness towards which she was traveling so fast, she would have inspiration enough for two. She had enough for the present to keep them ...
— King Midas • Upton Sinclair

... ships, robes of purple and palaces with terraced gardens, but she abandoned all to hide in the sea, waiting dozens of centuries for a wave to bear her to this coast so that Tio Ventolera might find her and bring her home to me. Why do you stare at me like that? You, poor child, cannot comprehend these things." ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... therefore, that the Boers, as the ruling and dominant class, have hopelessly failed to master or comprehend the new conditions with which they have been called upon to deal. They have not, as a body, shown either capacity or desire to treat the new developments with even a remote appreciation of their inherent value and inevitable trend. The Boer has simply set his back against the floodgates, ...
— Native Races and the War • Josephine Elizabeth Butler

... speculation of the Encyclopaedist period: a failure to allow for the strength of human passions and interests, and a deficient appreciation of the meaning of liberty. Much as the reformers acclaimed and fought for toleration, they did not generally comprehend the value of the principle. They did not see that in a society organised and governed by Reason and Justice themselves, the unreserved toleration of false opinions would be the only palladium of progress; or that a doctrinaire ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... throughout the Kwanto. Men competed to place their sons and younger brothers as kenin (retainers) in his service and the name of Hachiman-ko was on all lips. But Yoshiiye died (1108) in a comparatively low rank. It is easy to comprehend that in the Kwanto it became a common saying, "Better serve ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... this, and so necessary, and if no one can really find out any harm it can do him, and if the omission of it be not a still greater harm, why, then, should they abstain from it who serve and desire to serve God? Certainly I cannot comprehend it, unless it be that men have a mind to go through the troubles of this life in greater misery, and to shut the door in the face of God, so that He shall give them no comfort in it. I am most truly sorry for them, because they serve God at their own cost; for of those who pray, ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... as to the risk. The question of the moral aspect of the case, which involved the religious belief in which I had been reared, was not one to trouble me; for the issues, and the causes that lay behind them, were not within my power even to comprehend. The doubt of the success of the Great Experiment was such a doubt as exists in all enterprises which have great possibilities. To me, whose life was passed in a series of intellectual struggles, this form of doubt was a stimulus, rather than deterrent. What then ...
— The Jewel of Seven Stars • Bram Stoker

... quite exhausted, and fell to the ground fainting. De Lescure and Henri had both stood still for a moment, after having been made to comprehend that an immediate attack was about to be made on the chateau, but it was only for ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... saw that scientific knowledge would give no reply to my questions. I began to comprehend that though faith seemed to give unreasonable answers, these answers certainly did one important thing. They did at least bring in the relation of the finite to the infinite. I came to feel that in addition to the reasoning knowledge which I once reckoned ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... inward prayer, my own mind was comforted, so much so that I was able to speak earnest words, not only to my young brother, but to the others. Trundle and Jack looked very serious, but rather bewildered, as if they could not comprehend what was said. ...
— James Braithwaite, the Supercargo - The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat • W.H.G. Kingston

... slop-bowl in her abstraction, "this world and its affairs is to me a standing miracle. Of course I must believe that what you say is true, yet I can no more understand how electricity is made in a jar and sent flying along a wire for some hundreds of miles with messages to our friends than I can comprehend how a fly walks on the ...
— Post Haste • R.M. Ballantyne

... that he cannot err. Myself was once a "student," and indeed Fed with the self-same humour he is now, Dreaming on nought but idle "Poetry"; But since, Experience hath awaked my spirits, [ENTER STEPHANO] And reason taught them, how to comprehend The sovereign use of study. What, cousin Stephano! What news with you, that you are ...
— Every Man In His Humour • Ben Jonson

... took upon the Stationers word, who had been a pretty Schollar at Paules; for the word Bellarmine, he said, did comprehend warr, weapons and words of defiance. Ill words provoke men to draw their sword, and fighting makes an end of the busines; and all this is controversy. Pray, ...
— A Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. II • Various

... Ralph and knew him, but as yet she had not understood that he was her brother. She could not comprehend it at once, there were many explanations to be made, and Ralph's story was retold; but when the fact of his relation to her became fixed in her mind, it was to her a truth that could never ...
— Burnham Breaker • Homer Greene

... contented with their unenviable lot. Uninfluenced by feelings of patriotism—for such a word exists not in their language—unaffected by the love of glory, which they have not sufficient education to comprehend, the only motives by which they are actuated are their veneration for their Sultan and the distinctive character of their religion. It would be well for their Sultan did he appreciate the sterling military qualities of his people. With ...
— Herzegovina - Or, Omer Pacha and the Christian Rebels • George Arbuthnot

... proud steed shall know why Man restrains His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains: When the dull Ox, why now he breaks the clod, Is now a victim, and now AEgypt's God: Then shall Man's pride and dulness comprehend 65 His actions', passions', being's, use and end; Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impell'd; and why This hour a slave, ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... develop them into their most beautiful tone production before attempting to develop either higher or lower tones until these have been properly understood by both teacher and pupil. The pupil should also at once comprehend the importance of guarding the voice from injury and not transform or extend his gifts beyond their natural power and capability. The voice is often seriously impaired in using the high notes in both chest ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson

... were rendered uncapable to inherit but Edward the Fifth, his brother and sisters? Would not the act have specified the daughters of Edward the Fourth if the sons had been dead? It was to bastardise the brothers, that the act was calculated and passed; and as the words all the issue comprehend male and females, it is clear that both were intended to be bastardized. I must however, impartially observe that Philip de Comines says, Richard having murdered his nephews, degraded their two sisters in full parliament. I will not dwell on his mistake of mentioning two sisters instead of five; ...
— Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third • Horace Walpole

... stroked his hand, and snuggled closer to him. Then she heard a faint whimper, and her heart could stand the strain no longer; she leaned upon the child's shoulder, and mourned with him. The Pennington boy did not comprehend it all; but as he looked politely away from his friends, he felt the moisture in his eyes. He wiped it away quickly, glancing to see if his weakness had been detected. The woman recovered in a few moments, and arose with the boy's hand gripping hers warmly. He had felt her tears through his ...
— The Court of Boyville • William Allen White

... well-known danger signal and tried to tell Jimmie that someone was near. For some strange reason the lad failed to comprehend the information given, and not until it was too late did he realize that it was himself who ...
— Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal - or Perils of the Black Bear Patrol • G. Harvey Ralphson

... comprehend That ultimate and lofty aim Will wait in patience for the end, Knowing injustice cannot claim One lasting victory, or control Laws that bar ...
— Hello, Boys! • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... to-day, the same intolerance of anything higher than the low level, the same incapacity to comprehend simple devotion and lofty aims, the same dislike of a man who comes and rebukes by his silent presence the vices in which he takes no part. And it is a great deal easier to say, 'Poor fool! enthusiastic fanatic!' than it is to lay to heart the ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... of the salary as well as the position of private 'secretary?" queried the detective, half to himself, with a tone of amusement, which Mr. Whitney failed to comprehend. "Yes; I met him to-day ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... not read or write, had small knowledge of politics, little practical training in local administration, and none of the will to exercise control. Politics were still the affair of the few, because only the few could comprehend them, or were conscious of the uses and limitations of political power. The corrupt and misguided use of their votes by those who possessed them was some reason for not extending the franchise to still more ignorant masses; and it was not entirely ...
— The History of England - A Study in Political Evolution • A. F. Pollard

... listeners these teachings were unwelcome. It was a bitter disappointment to them to be told that their toilsome journey had been made in vain. The pardon freely offered to them through Christ they could not comprehend. They were satisfied with the old way to heaven which Rome had marked out for them. They shrank from the perplexity of searching for anything better. It was easier to trust their salvation to the priests and the pope than to seek for ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... else, then?" Hayoue looked up in surprise, as if unable to comprehend how a boy of the age of Okoya could think of anything else than ...
— The Delight Makers • Adolf Bandelier



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