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Obscure  n.  Obscurity. (Obs.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Obscure" Quotes from Famous Books



... there is a real moral principle involved. I believe that this deep instinct for labor in and about the soil is a valid one, and that the gathering together of people in cities has been at the cost of an obscure but actual ...
— The Brown Mouse • Herbert Quick

... which has been so blazed abroad as to obscure the rest, there are really many other questions agitating the village. The school erected under the Education Act, whilst it is doing good work, is at the same time in many cases a scene of conflict. The landlord can hardly remain aloof, ...
— Hodge and His Masters • Richard Jefferies

... between the classes. But the last hours' experiences had shown him how vain it was to assault single-handed the strong barrier between money and labour, and how his own dash at the breach had only thrust him farther back into the obscure ranks of the stragglers. It was, after all, only through politics that he could return successfully to the attack; and financial independence was the needful preliminary to a political career. If ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... completely developed. "From his theory of perpetual fluxion," says Archer Butler, "Plato derived the necessity of seeking a stable basis for the universal system in his world of ideas." Heraclitus was, however, an obscure writer, and moreover cynical ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... comest back once more, Though dark clouds hang and loud winds roar, And mists obscure the nearest hills, And dark and turbid roll the rills, Such pleasures then my breast shall know, That summer's sun shall round me glow; Then through the gloom shall gleam the May— 'Tis winter ...
— Poems • Denis Florence MacCarthy

... pens, foregather to eat the macaroni of the trattoria, trusting that the world will some day do them justice by strewing their paths with millions. Beginners, in the first place, who, to make their start, will accept contracts in any obscure municipal theatre of the Milan district, in hopes of a paragraph in a musical weekly to send to the folks at home as evidence of promise and success; and with them, overwhelming them with the importance of their past, the veterans of art—the ...
— The Torrent - Entre Naranjos • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... much sentiment, the sisters of the present owner. The place was "Willow Lake." The pond was the "Willow Mere," in defiance of the name of the place. The little rustic bridge was the "Bridge of Sighs," for some obscure reason, perhaps buried in the sentimental past of the sisters. And the little hollow which was profusely sprinkled with violets in the spring was "Idlewild." It was in "Idlewild" that the new family, perverse to the ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... place between Sir George Robinson and a common-looking man in black. As soon as I had time to look at my neighbor, I began to speculate, as one usually does, as to who he might be, and as he did not for some time open his lips except to eat, I settled that he was some obscure man of letters, or of medicine, perhaps a cholera doctor. In a short time the conversation turned on early and late education, and Lord Holland said he had always remarked that self-educated men were peculiarly ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... Tillie feel that in yielding her lips to this man for whom she did not care, and whom, if she could hold out against him, she did not intend to marry, she was desecrating her womanhood. Vague and obscure as her feeling was, it was strong ...
— Tillie: A Mennonite Maid - A Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch • Helen Reimensnyder Martin

... supposing that he was indebted for them to the devil. Voltaire has not inaptly designated him "De l'or encroute de toutes les ordures de son siecle;" but the crust of superstition that enveloped his powerful mind, though it may have dimmed, could not obscure the brightness of his genius. To him, and apparently to him only, among all the inquiring spirits of the time, were known the properties of the concave and convex lens. He also invented the magic-lantern; that pretty plaything of modern days, which acquired for him a reputation that ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... life at the feet of that same Jesus of Nazareth. She refused then, and even one hour ago she would still have refused; but now she would have trudged the highways, poverty-stricken, unknown and obscure, for His dear sake. She would have gone forth, like St. Paul, to the uttermost ends of the earth, she felt she loved Him so! There were tears in her eyes, and a new joy seemed to throb in her heart. She felt so kindly ...
— Beth Woodburn • Maud Petitt

... the island of Yezo for the third time in the summer of 1886, in order to study the Aino language, with a view to elucidate by its means the obscure problem of the geographical nomenclature of Japan. But, as is apt to happen on such occasions, the chief object of my visit soon ceased to be the only object. He who would learn a language must try to lisp in it, and more especially must ...
— Aino Folk-Tales • Basil Hall Chamberlain

... telegram was one from Dr. Jameson to his brother, Mr. S.W. Jameson, and had been despatched at about the same time. It was in the Bedford-McNeil Code, and was much mutilated—so much so that it was thought to have been purposely done in the telegraph office in order to obscure the meaning. One expression was clear, however, and that was: 'I shall start without fail to-morrow night.' It concluded with the words: 'Inform Dr. Wolff—distant ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... and sticks, danced before us, singing a comic song, the chorus of which was a long shrill rolling Coo-roo-coo-roo, coo-roo-coo-roo, delivered as they came to a standstill. Their true functions were just as obscure as the religion of the negroes generally; some called them devil-drivers, other evil-eye averters; but, whatever it was for, they imposed a tax on the people, whose minds being governed by a necessity for making some self-sacrifice ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... get near, so I bethought me of an alley which ran parallel to the street. There was an obscure hotel on the street, and I entered it through the rear entrance, and had no trouble in persuading the clerk to let me join some of the guests of the hotel who were watching the scene from the ...
— They Call Me Carpenter • Upton Sinclair

... these etymological mysteries must be probed. Perhaps the German professors, after the war, can usefully wreak themselves on this complex and obscure research. Meanwhile the above notes are offered not as a serious contribution to a subject so immense, but rather as a warning. The infectiousness of slang is incredible; and this gigantic inter-association of classes and clans has brought about a hitherto ...
— Observations of an Orderly - Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital • Ward Muir

... must endeavour to picture to himself the scene which followed the introduction of the neighbours to this weird and most novel court of inquiry. Imagine the place to be an humble cottage in a remote and obscure hamlet; the judge and jurors, simple unsophisticated rustics; and the witness an invisible, unknown being, a denizen of a world of whose very existence mankind has been ignorant; acting by laws mysterious and ...
— Hydesville - The Story of the Rochester Knockings, Which Proclaimed the Advent of Modern Spiritualism • Thomas Olman Todd

... Peter, thinking of it afterwards in the dark lanes that run towards the sea, when the evening was creeping along the hill, was of a fiery eye gleaming from old grandfather Westcott's pile of rugs. Was it imagined or was there indeed a triumph there—a triumph that no age nor weakness could obscure? ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... This beautiful and accomplished lady, so well known as the friend of Byron, was born at Curragheen, county Waterford, Ireland, and she was distinguished through life for literary eminence as well as personal beauty. She possessed a noble generosity, especially to obscure men of talent. Her house at Kensington Gore, near London, was for many years the resort of the most eminent literary men. ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... trifle with such a sacred deposit." It would appear that, however far the affair between him and Clarinda had passed beyond the sentimental friendship it began with, he did not regard it as placing in his hands any such "sacred deposit" as the fate of Jean, nor had one or two intrigues with obscure girls in Edinburgh shaken an affection which was much more deep-rooted than he often imagined. Clarinda was naturally deeply wounded by his marriage, and her reproaches of "villainy" led to a breach which was only gradually bridged. At one time, just before she set out for Jamaica ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... cities has as much relation to true art, as a totem to a Michael Angelo. Yet that is the only art that succeeds. The true artistic genius, who will not cater to accepted notions, who exercises originality, and strives to be true to life, leads an obscure and wretched existence. His work may some day become the fad of the mob, but not until his heart's blood had been exhausted; not until the pathfinder has ceased to be, and a throng of an idealless and visionless mob has done to death the ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... Aether, but we cannot see that wave motion, neither can we see the Aether itself, so that it is not strictly correct to call a ray visible or invisible. We have, however, accepted the terms in relation to the rays of the spectrum, to distinguish between the invisible or obscure rays of the spectrum and the visible rays. It was Sir W. Herschel who first discovered the existence of these invisible waves. He passed a thermometer through the various colours of the solar spectrum, and then noted the temperature of each colour. He did not, however, stop ...
— Aether and Gravitation • William George Hooper

... divinity was therefore only the nebulous expression of a developing social conscience in man, an obscure mixture of sentiments of wounded sympathy, adulation of the strong and great, and desire for vengeance and expiation. Till then man was accustomed to judge other men according to the right of the stronger, ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... no tender feelings, no sense of comradeship. On the contrary—for somewhere back of the mind of every workman there is, even during his country's danger, a certain doubt whether all war is not somehow hatched by the aristocrats and plutocrats of one side, or both. Other feelings obscure this instinct during the struggle, but it is never quite lost, and will spring up again the more confirmed for its repression. That we can avoid a straitened and serious time a few years hence I believe impossible. Straitened times dismally divide ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... Faust, Coster, and Gutenberg, invented the Book, craftsmen as obscure as many a great artist of those times appropriated paper to the uses of typography. In the fifteenth century, that naive and vigorous age, names were given to the various formats as well as to the different sizes of type, names that bear the impress of the naivete ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... Enormous flashes of lightning came all at once from all parts of the horizon, and their fires succeeded so quickly that there seemed no interval; they appeared to be a continuous flash. It was but rarely the flaming vault would suddenly become obscure; and it then instantly resumed its glare. It was not the light that seemed strange on this night, but ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility ...
— The 2000 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... the Tertiary formation, we find mammals in abundance; but a wonderful change has taken place. The obscure early types have disappeared, and we discover in their place a whole series of forms belonging to existing orders, and even sometimes to existing families. Thus, in the Eocene we have remains of the opossum family; bats apparently belonging to living genera; ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... go into that," said Godfrey, with a little smile, "there are one or two questions I should like to ask you, M. Pigot, in order to clear up some minor details which are as yet a little obscure. Is it true that the theft of the Michaelovitch diamonds ...
— The Mystery Of The Boule Cabinet - A Detective Story • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... another. Descending rapidly by a secret stair instead of entering the vestibule where half a dozen menials of different employments were in waiting, he passed by one of the narrow corridors of the palace into an inner court, and thence by a low and unimportant gate into an obscure alley which communicated with ...
— The Bravo • J. Fenimore Cooper

... before man. He is the dumb beast devoured by another, larger; the plants that are crowded from the sunlight. He knows the ache and pain of inanimate things. And then, at other moments, he is a certain forgotten individual, some obscure, nameless being, some creature, some sentient world like the monk Pimen or the Innocent in "Boris Godounow," and out of the dust of ages an halting, inarticulate voice calls to us. He is the poor, the aging, the half-witted; the drunken sot mumbling ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... that she could only maintain her ground by patient study, and steady persistent hard work. Failures she had unquestionably. Her rendering of a part was often rough, often unfinished. Not uncommonly she was surpassed in knowledge of stage business by the most obscure member of the companies with whom she played; but the public recognized instinctively the true light of genius which shone clear and bright through all defects and all shortcomings. It was a rare experience, whether on the stage, or in other paths of art, but not ...
— Mary Anderson • J. M. Farrar

... which served not to illuminate it, but merely to indicate its enormous extent. Far above rose the vaulted roof, to a height of apparently a hundred feet. Under this there was a lofty half-pyramid with stone steps. All around, as far as I could see in the obscure light, there were niches in the walls, each one containing a figure with a light burning at its feet. I took them for statues. Almah pointed in silence to one of these which was nearest, and I went up close ...
— A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder • James De Mille

... not have heard of this before," said Mrs. Mowbray, musingly; "and yet I might have guessed as much from his obscure hints respecting Ranulph. I see it all now. I see the gulf into which I might have been plunged; but I am warned in time. Father Ambrose," continued she, to the priest, who was pacing the chamber at some little distance from them, "is ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... year I lived with this man in an obscure court in London, during which time I had a child by him, whom Heaven, I thank it, hath been pleased to ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... compact, its details seem to have been hastily snatched up and put together, or perhaps the occupations of the missions prevented revision and consultation. There is a large surplusage of quotations from poets, many of them obscure, and worthy of praise rather as didactic writers than as poets; yet every word quoted bears on the point under discussion. To one who has labored in preparing sermons, each chapter looks like the cullings of the preacher's commonplace book set in order for memorizing; ...
— Life of Father Hecker • Walter Elliott

... of course; he had fallen he had no least idea how far; and, in some strange manner, this long-armed thing had supported him and eased him gently down. But what it meant or what lay ahead were matters too obscure for him to try to ...
— Two Thousand Miles Below • Charles Willard Diffin

... looked that his own affairs should take the foremost place in the Prince's scheme. Moreover, he saw well that it would give a false colour to the expedition if the first march of the Prince had been into Gascony; nor was the capture of so obscure a fortress as the Castle of Saut a matter to engross the energies of the whole of the ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... for her in front of the fire. The flames lit up her golden hair, and revealed her charming face in its becoming setting of the sables she wore. He sat in his obscure corner, watching her with moody eyes. He said to himself that he would never see her again, yet he laboured to make ordinary everyday talk. He asked after the General, and regretted that the hurry of these latter days had prevented his calling at ...
— Mary Gray • Katharine Tynan

... Truth's way, not mine—that I, whose service failed In action, yet may make amends in praise. Fabricius, Cesalpinus, say your word, Not yours, or mine, but Truth's, as you receive it! You miss a point I saw? See others, then! Misread my meaning? Yet expound your own! Obscure one space I cleared? The sky is wide, And you may yet uncover other stars. For thus I read the meaning of this end: There are two ways of spreading light: to be The candle or the mirror that reflects it. I let my wick burn ...
— Artemis to Actaeon and Other Worlds • Edith Wharton

... Beauchamp Tower; and it contains a large, square fireplace, in which is now placed a small modern stove. We were hurried away, before we could even glance at the inscriptions, and we saw nothing else, except the low, obscure doorway in the Bloody Tower, leading to the staircase, under which were found the supposed bones of the little princes; and lastly, the round, Norman arch, opening to the water passage, called the Traitor's ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... immemorial, the custom of the St. Johns to pass by the claims of females in the settlement of the entails; from male to male the estate had gone, furnishing warriors to the army, and senators to the State. And if when Lucretia first came to Sir Miles's house the bright prospect seemed somewhat obscure, still the mesalliance of the mother, and Sir Miles's obstinate resentment thereat, seemed to warrant the supposition that he would probably only leave to the orphan the usual portion of a daughter of the house, and that the lands ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... had known that I was there. Never otherwise could he have ignored me so completely. I was certain too, that his cryptic remarks about Bill Hayden were intended for my ears, for he never acted without a reason, obscure, perhaps, and far-fetched, but always, according to his own queer ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... He thought she would understand his mood and that he would achieve in her presence a position he had long been wanting to achieve. In the past when he had been with her and had kissed her lips he had come away filled with anger at himself. He had felt like one being used for some obscure purpose and had not enjoyed the feeling. Now he thought he had suddenly become too big ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... abated, and so, even when the snow had ceased falling and the sky was clear, the drift continued until all the loose accumulations on the hinterland, for hundreds of miles back, had been swept out to sea. Day after day deluges of drift streamed past the Hut, at times so dense as to obscure objects three feet away, until it seemed as if the atmosphere were almost ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... up, however, in a totally different frame of mind. He was pre-eminently a person of moods, dependent, probably, as all moods are, on certain obscure physical variations. And his mental temperature had run down in the night. The house, the people who had been fresh and interesting to him twelve hours before, were now the burden he had more than half expected them to be. He lay and thought of the unbroken ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... hut adjoining to the park wall. The place was not magnificent; but, as he only wanted rest, it did well enough for that: he did not wish for daylight, and was even still less desirous of being seen; wherefore, having shut himself up in this obscure retreat, he fell into a profound sleep, and did not wake until noon. As he was particularly hungry when he awoke, he ate and drank heartily: and, as he was the neatest man at court, and was expected by the neatest lady in England, ...
— The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete • Anthony Hamilton

... with passion; but she knew her niece too well to doubt her putting her threat into execution, and there was distraction in the idea of the vulgar obscure Grizzy Douglas being presented to a fashionable party as her aunt. After a violent altercation, in which Mary took no part, an ungracious permission was at length extorted, which Mary eagerly availed herself of; and, charged with kind messages from ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... waist, and struggled to hold him, while the magian struggled to get free. Gobryas called upon Darius, who was close behind him, to strike. Darius, brandishing his sword, looked earnestly into the obscure retreat, that he might see where ...
— Darius the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... of people from the cottage to the throne; and no individual, who had the least regard for his own character and quiet, would venture to preach up moderation, or even advise a suspension of belief until more certain information could be received. Fresh fuel was continually thrown in by obscure authors of pamphlets and newspapers, who stigmatized and insulted with such virulent perseverance, that no one would have imagined they were actuated by personal motives, not retained by mercenary booksellers, against that unfortunate nobleman. Not satisfied with ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... Termes, may easily enough Understand Them; and even a wary One may safely rely on Them. These Things I add, because a Person any Thing vers'd in the Writings of Chymists cannot but Discern by their obscure, Ambiguous, and almost AEnigmatical Way of expressing what they pretend to Teach, that they have no Mind, to be understood at all, but by the Sons of Art (as they call them) nor to be Understood ...
— The Sceptical Chymist • Robert Boyle

... to the last hour of her life remained her inexorable rule and habit. It arose from a wish to spare other people and fear of herself and her own feelings. To spare others was her ideal. Another characteristic was her pity for the obscure, the dull and the poor. The postman in winter ought to have fur-lined gloves; and we must send our Christmas letters and parcels before or after the busy days. Lord Napier's [Footnote: Lord Napier and Ettrick, father of Mark Napier.] coachman had ...
— Margot Asquith, An Autobiography: Volumes I & II • Margot Asquith

... he became acquainted with Middendorf. At first he obtained little from either. Schleiermacher seemed to him too temporizing and obscure. "He makes veils." He thought the young Westphalian, at their first meeting, merely "a nice fellow." But in time he learned to understand the great theologian, and the "favourite teacher" noticed him and took him into ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... saw Von's dragons fly, and Glaeval's paths obscure: their wings they shook; wide around me seemed the earth and heaven ...
— The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson • Saemund Sigfusson and Snorre Sturleson

... his face from her, and looked thoughtfully out the window, across the level reaches of the Mojave desert, to where the sun hung low over the Tehachapis. In the fading light the little dust-devils were beginning to caper and obscure the landscape, much as the dark shadows were already trooping athwart the horizon of Mr. Hennage's wasted life. The night—the eternal night—was coming on apace, and it came to Mr. Hennage that he, too, would depart with the sunset, and he ...
— The Long Chance • Peter B. Kyne

... Tom Thumb retired into honorable but obscure repose in its maker's warehouse at New York, from which it emerged, fifty years later, to take part in the centennial celebration of the beginning of the commercial history of Baltimore (that place having been ...
— Peter Cooper - The Riverside Biographical Series, Number 4 • Rossiter W. Raymond

... physicians impress upon these patients two injunctions: first that they shall take the known remedies for the disease one or two months in every year, and second that they shall confide to every physician whom they may consult for any chronic or obscure ailment, the fact that they have been infected with syphilis. This latter injunction is especially important; for nearly all disorders produced by syphilis can be promptly checked by certain remedies; yet many of ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... idea of real religion was, may be rather a difficult matter to settle. Probably it was an obscure idea to himself,—an idea of certain sentiment ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... his youth he had been schoolmaster at St. Laurent, and it seemed never to have occurred to him that he might claim a more distinguished post. Unconscious of any special self-sacrifice, he told us about his work, heroic through its quiet faithfulness, in that obscure hamlet. He enumerated with pride the various pastors and teachers who had been his scholars—among the former his eldest son, among the latter two of his daughters. Listening to his talk, we understood the intelligence of expression in many faces and the large proportion of young ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... yet no man at all. I had nearly said that what He came to reveal had become to her yet more vague from her nebulous notion of Him who was its revelation. Her religion was, as a matter of course, as dusky and uncertain, as the object-center of it was obscure and unrealized. Since her father's death and her comparative isolation, she had read and thought a good deal; some of my readers may even think she had read and thought to tolerable purposes judging from her answers to Faber in the first serious conversation they ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... winter weeks I had been hovering between life and death in an obscure hospital at Richmond. How I first came there I know not, but when at length I struggled back to recollection and life, there I found myself, and there I remained, slowly convalescing, a prisoner to weakness, until finally discharged but two days before. During those months little that related ...
— My Lady of the North • Randall Parrish

... slight reading, a student may know somewhat, but not judge of either author or subject. He used to say an old author could not be unprofitable; for although in their proper time they had little or no esteem, yet, in after times, they served to interpret words, customs, and other matters, found obscure in other books; of which A. Gellius is an apt instance. He courted, as a fond lover, all best editions, fairest character, best bound and preserved. If the subject was in his favour (as the Classics) he cared not how many of them he had, even of the same edition, if he thought ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... centre of the continent formed by Europe and Asia, the largest unbroken land-mass of the globe, there rises from the great central plateau the remarkable volcanoes of the Thian Shan Range. The existence of these volcanoes, of which only obscure traditional accounts had reached Europe before the year 1858, appears to be completely established by the researches of recent Russian and Swedish travelers. Three volcanic vents appear to exist in this region, and other volcanic phenomena have been stated to occur in ...
— The San Francisco Calamity • Various

... belong to a remote dream existence. Through the railings at his feet a hawker was thrusting fly-whisks, and imploring him in complicated English to purchase one. Vendors of beads, of fictitious "antiques," of sweetmeats, of what-not; fortune-tellers—and all that chattering horde which some obscure process of gravitation seems to hurl against the terrace of Shepheard's, buzzed about him. Carriages and motor cars, camels and donkeys mingled, in the Sharia Kamel Pasha. Voices American, voices Anglo-Saxon, guttural German ...
— Brood of the Witch-Queen • Sax Rohmer

... the conduct of public affairs had wanted for men of disinterested ability, but the extraordinary documents concealed (of all places in the world—it was as fantastic as a nightmare) in a "bargain" picked up at second-hand by an obscure scribbler, would be a calculable blow to the retrospective mind. Baron saw vividly that if these relics should be made public the scandal, the horror, the chatter would be immense. Immense would be also the contribution to truth, the rectification of history. He had felt for several days (and ...
— Sir Dominick Ferrand • Henry James

... from the by-street there was a square of ancient, handsome houses, now for the most part decayed from their high estate and let in flats and chambers to all sorts and conditions of men: map-engravers, architects, shady lawyers, and the agents of obscure enterprises. One house, however, second from the corner, was still occupied entire; and at the door of this, which wore a great air of wealth and comfort, though it was now plunged in darkness except for the fan-light, Mr. Utterson ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... fitter chapter in the history of country and party. For the wise selection of men, even obscure men, has been the tower of our national strength. America had her Thomas Jefferson to expound for all the world the real underlying truth of her Revolution. The equality of rights and duties spread from a dream of philosophers ...
— The Progressive Democracy of James M. Cox • Charles E. Morris

... near midnight, and the streets were almost empty. She kept her way along dark obscure streets, shunning the lighted thoroughfares. She had no settled plan in her mind, except to keep on. Hers was the instinct of the hunted creature for darkness and obscurity. Her fevered spirit hurried her ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... but they were all mutilated and stripped of all their clothing. The Indians had left nothing which they thought might be turned to the least account. One poor fellow had escaped the rigid scrutiny of the red men by crawling to an obscure place where he had died from his wounds. On his body was found a belt that contained three hundred dollars in gold—his hard earnings that he had been saving up against a day of need. Had the savages ...
— The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself • De Witt C. Peters

... sweeping off the native population of the Sandwich Islands, at the rate of one fortieth of the entire population annually. They seem to be a doomed people. The curse of a people calling themselves Christian, seems to follow them everywhere; and even here, in this obscure place, lay two young islanders, whom I had left strong, active young men, in the vigor of health, wasting away under a disease, which they would never have known but for their intercourse with Christianized Mexico and people from Christian America. One of them was ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... Bowerys as but the paltry nucleus to their Nineveh. From far up the Hudson, beyond Harlem River, where the young saplings are now growing, that will overarch their lordly mansions with broad boughs, centuries old; they may send forth explorers to penetrate into the then obscure and smoky alleys of the Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth-street; and going still farther south, may exhume the present Doric Custom-house, and quote it as a proof that their high and mighty metropolis enjoyed ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... the wearer bursting forth in all quarters, gave him the ludicrous appearance of a gigantic schoolboy. His wrists, and large sinewy hands, both employed at the bridle of his hard-mouthed charger, were markedly visible; for it was the Corporal's custom whenever he came into an obscure part of the road, carefully to take off, and prudently to pocket, a pair of scrupulously clean white leather gloves which smartened up his appearance prodigiously in passing through the towns in their route. His breeches were of yellow ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... meaning of this expression is obscure. Perhaps it implies that their Mahometan teachers had no mosques, because the Negroes were ignorant of the means and method of construction. The knowledge of God among the northern Negroes was assuredly due exclusively to the ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... country, that the treasurer (to use his own expression) should be taken off, a la negligence; that this might easily be done, and pass for an effect of chance, if it were preceded by encouraging some proper people to commit small riots in the night: and in several parts of the town, a crew of obscure ruffians were accordingly employed about that time, who probably exceeded their commission; and mixing themselves with those disorderly people that often infest the streets at midnight, acted inhuman outrages on many persons, whom they cut and mangled in the ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... Haven and had several children. He was a great friend of Reverend James Pierpont, the minister, and the story goes that they had beaten a path walking across their lots to talk over the fence and that Madame Pierpont used to ask her husband who that old man was who was so fond of living "an obscure and unnoticed life" and why he liked so much to talk with him, and he replied that "if she knew the worth and value of that old man she would ...
— Once Upon A Time In Connecticut • Caroline Clifford Newton

... the silver fog blew in little gusts about the house, making now this corner now that obscure, drifting, so that suddenly, when the door opened, the whole passage seemed full of smoke, clearing, for a moment, in the street below, showing lamp-posts and pavements and windows, and then blowing down again and ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... it. Would it be conducive to your happiness if I should break off the match? Your father would probably select another husband for you, perhaps in Poland or in Russia, and you would be buried with all the treasures of your beauty and accomplishments in some obscure corner of the world, while I shall take you to Vienna, to the great theatre of the world- -upon a stage where you will at least not lack triumphs and homage. And I? Why should I be such a stupid fool as to give you ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable; but if spiritual conclusions are separated from their premises, the nexus is lost, and the argument, with its rightful conclusions, becomes correspondingly obscure. The human history needs to be revised, and the ...
— Retrospection and Introspection • Mary Baker Eddy

... singularly rich and liberal, seeing that they trusted their surplus money in the hands of persons who were so loose of morals that they could find no other method of spending it than suppering and serenading men of my obscure stamp. ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... of absolute power, and called upon to nominate his master of the horse, he chose a poor man named Tarqui'tius, one who, like himself, despised riches when they led to dishonour. Thus the saving a great nation was devolved upon a husbandman taken from the plough, and an obscure sentinel found among the dregs of the army. 15. Upon entering the city, the dictator put on a serene look, and entreated all those who were able to bear arms, to repair, before sunset, to the Cam'pus Mar'tius (the place where ...
— Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome • Oliver Goldsmith

... of this vast country before the Roman Conquest is, as is history everywhere in the West before that event, vague and obscure. But this at least may be said: it was first in the occupation of the Etruscans, who in time were turned out, destroyed, or enslaved by the Gauls, those invaders who crossed the Alps from the west and who during nearly two hundred years, continually, though never with an enduring success, ...
— Ravenna, A Study • Edward Hutton

... had in view in placing it in that obscure and unfrequented place? As this query suggested itself to her mind, a man passed along on the bank of the stream! and in a few minutes another in the opposite direction; and in the last one she recognized one of her captors! She at once comprehended ...
— Eveline Mandeville - The Horse Thief Rival • Alvin Addison

... the corn Cicely recalled part of her dream. She had dreamed that under some strange circumstances—what they had been was still obscure—she had met a young man—a young man whiter than she and yet not all white—and that he had loved her and courted her and married her. Her dream had been all the sweeter because in it she had first tasted the sweetness of love, and she had not recalled it before because only in her dream ...
— The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, and - Selected Essays • Charles Waddell Chesnutt

... streets to his obscure lodging, seeking to keep pace, as it were, with the rapidity of the thoughts which crowded upon him, many doubts and hesitations arose in his mind, and almost tempted him to return. But what would they gain by this? Supposing he were to put Ralph Nickleby at defiance, ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... some time before we can distinguish objects in an obscure room after coming from bright day-light, though the iris presently contracts itself. We are not able to hear weak sounds after loud ones. And the stomachs of those who have been much habituated to the stronger stimulus of fermented or spirituous liquors, are ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... Hypnerotomachia, to set downe the hower and time when in his sleepe it seemed to him that hee was in a quiet solitarie desart, and vninhabited plaine, and from thence afterward how he entered vnaduisedly before he was aware, with great feare, into a darke obscure and ...
— Hypnerotomachia - The Strife of Loue in a Dreame • Francesco Colonna

... data at hand fails to show any explanation for it. It may exist in some of the little-understood biological actions which have their maximum effect under warm-water conditions, or it may be due—in some obscure way—to the liberation of air under the surface of the sand, accumulating with pressure enough to break the surface at innumerable points, thereby reducing the loss of head and extending the period of service. ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXXII, June, 1911 • E. D. Hardy

... But then he was less than himself; then he had but lost sight of his lode-star. Then he had forgotten, but only for awhile, that he owed all to the teaching of that God who had given to the young and obscure advocate the mission of affecting the ...
— Sermons on National Subjects • Charles Kingsley

... misfortune can not tarnish it; where malice can not blast it. Favoured of heaven, he departed without exhibiting the weakness of humanity; magnanimous in death, the darkness of the grave could not obscure ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... at Pergamum in the seventieth year of his age and the 200th of the Christian era, may be regarded as the downfall of anatomy in ancient times. After this period we recognize only two names of any celebrity in the history of the science—those of Soranus and Oribasius, with the more obscure ones of Meletius and Theophilus, the latter the chief of the ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Henry Prince, with some cavalry, was in the advance; the Third, Carr's, and the First, General David B. Birney's, following in the order named. At the Widow Morris', a somewhat obscure road bore off abruptly to the left, but which, somewhat circuitously, led to Robertson's Tavern. The head of Prince's column, however, was on the more direct road to Tom Morris' house, with flankers and cavalry well to the right. ...
— Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2 • Joseph Warren Keifer

... was a stately man, and of general conservative tendencies, just the one to hold on to the past, but he was a just man, and did not allow his practice as a lawyer, or his experience on the bench, to obscure his sense of right. I followed him, glad ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... hearing of his son, or grief at hearing he was in so miserable a condition, was most predominant in him; but the first emotions of both being a little moderated, the consideration of what was to be done, took place:—the clerk having found out that he was lodged in an obscure house at that place, in order to get on board the first ship that sailed, the father would needs go himself, and the merchant offering to accompany him in their little journey, a plan of proceeding was formed between them, which was executed in ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... contemptuously by those who had celebrated with various degrees of complacency and panegyric Paris, and Woman and A Syrian Tale, and Mrs. Lefanu, and Mr. Barrett, and Mr. Howard Payne, and a long list of the illustrious 50 obscure? Are these the men who, in their venal good-nature, presumed to draw a parallel between the Rev. Mr. Milman and Lord Byron? What gnat did they strain at here, after having swallowed all those camels? Against what woman taken in adultery dares the foremost ...
— Adonais • Shelley

... instance of that obscure operation of the feminine mind whereby the merest wish becomes ...
— Dolly Reforming Herself - A Comedy in Four Acts • Henry Arthur Jones

... make too much of a simple fact that I am not a savage." Mr. Van Wyk, utterly revolted by the thought of Sterne's obscure attempt, raised his voice incisively, as if the mate had been hiding somewhere within earshot. "Any consideration I have been able to show was no more than the rightful due of a character I've learned to regard ...
— End of the Tether • Joseph Conrad

... for keeping both, but for getting rid of both together. At present you close against men of talents that broad, that noble entrance which belongs to them, and which ought to stand wide open to them; and in exchange you open to them a bye entrance, low and narrow, always obscure, often filthy, through which, too often, they can pass only by crawling on their hands and knees, and from which they too often emerge sullied with stains never to be washed away. But take the most favourable ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... with a hearty good-will, Quirk only pausing, thoughtfully, to ask if he spoke in general terms of the colored race, or referred to himself singly; to which Jeff merely said "Yes," leaving the matter as obscure as before. ...
— The Brother Clerks - A Tale of New-Orleans • Xariffa

... on the conjunction of the intellect with man, is the first translation which enables the non-Semitic scholar to form any adequate idea of Averroes. The Latin translations of most of his works are barbarous and obscure. A great part of his writings, particularly on jurisprudence and astronomy, as well as essays on special logical subjects, prolegomena to philosophy, criticisms on Avicenna and Alfarabius (F[a]r[a]b[i]), ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... has nothing to do with the relationships of slaves with one another, nor is there any old statute by which such relationships were recognised. However, in the constitution which we have issued with regard to the rights of patrons—a subject which up to our times had been most obscure, and full of difficulties and confusion—we have been prompted by humanity to grant that if a slave shall beget children by either a free woman or another slave, or conversely if a slave woman shall bear children of either sex by either ...
— The Institutes of Justinian • Caesar Flavius Justinian

... we have lifted the brave sword in vain, We too should sink, sustain us in that hour! Meantime be mine, in cheerful privacy, 530 To wait Thy will, not sanguine, nor depressed; In even course, nor splendid, nor obscure, To steal through life among my villagers! The hum of the discordant crowd, the buzz Of faction, the poor fly that threads the air Self-pleased, the wasp that points its tiny sting Unfelt, pass by me like the idle wind That I regard not; while ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... life Boccaccio attached little importance, are early; several are historical in subject and are probably of later date, though one may be as early as 1348; there are others of a religions nature which belong to the author's later years. The allusions in these poems are so obscure that it would in most cases be hopeless to seek to unravel the meaning had not the author left us a key in a letter to Martino da Signa, prior of the Augustinians. Many of the subjects are purely ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... altogether stunning," suggested Betty judicially, her head on one side, "if you cocked it just a little further over one eye so as to obscure the ...
— The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point - Or a Wreck and a Rescue • Laura Lee Hope

... such effect in most peoples minds. The difference is in the reception accorded to an idea. The meaning and importance of an idea or event depend upon the interpretation put upon it by our previous experience. "Many a weak, obscure, and fleeting perception would pass almost unnoticed into obscurity, did not the additional activity of apperception hold it fast in consciousness. This sharpens the senses, i.e., it gives to the organs of sense a greater degree of energy, so that the watching ...
— The Elements of General Method - Based on the Principles of Herbart • Charles A. McMurry

... to six. Henry was at the wheel steering. Wada and Louis were below cooking the evening meal over the big coal-stove and the oil-burners. I had just come up from below and was standing beside the sounding-machine, not half a dozen feet from Henry at the wheel. Some obscure sound from the ventilator must have attracted me, for I was gazing at it when ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... translator has preserved Pedro Sancho's spelling of proper names, calling attention to the modern equivalent on the first occurrence of each name. In a few instances, where the text was unusually obscure, close translation has not ...
— An Account of the Conquest of Peru • Pedro Sancho

... she was seized with stage fright as the very first entrance of the ballet approached, but later she recovered. The apparent and painful insignificance of the part took fear away from her. She felt that she was so obscure it did not matter. Fortunately, she did not have to wear tights. A group of twelve were assigned pretty golden-hued skirts which came only to a line about an inch above the knee. Carrie happened to be ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... is being made in certain of the most obscure and squalid parts of the Metropolis, where rooms are opened, at night, for the gratuitous instruction of all comers, children or adults, under the title of RAGGED SCHOOLS. The name implies the purpose. They who are too ragged, wretched, filthy, ...
— Miscellaneous Papers • Charles Dickens

... that understands nothing of the Navy, nor ever would; and hath particularly blemished his master by name among us. I told Sir W. Coventry of my letter to Sir R. Brookes, and his answer to me. He advises me, in what I write to him, to be as short as I can, and obscure, saving in things fully plain; for all that he do is to make mischief; and that the greatest wisdom in dealing with the Parliament in the world is to say little, and let them get out what they can by force: which I shall observe. He declared to me much of his mind to be ruled by his ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... difficulty in recognising himself, for he was indicated by this little joke, which frequently recurred: "A young man from the College of Sens who has no sense." He was even represented as a poor devil from the provinces, an obscure booby trying to rub against persons of high rank. As for the Vicomte, he was made to play a fascinating part, first by having forced his way into the supper-room, then by having carried off the lady, and, finally, by having behaved all ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert



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