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Possibility   Listen
noun
Possibility  n.  (pl. possibilities)  
1.
The quality or state of being possible; the power of happening, being, or existing. "All possibility of error." "Latent possibilities of excellence."
2.
That which is possible; a contingency; a thing or event that may not happen; a contingent interest, as in real or personal estate.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Possibility" Quotes from Famous Books



... the six Franciscans executed on the "Martyrs' Mount" at Nagasaki by Hideyoshi's order, in 1597. But the missionaries did not obey. Suffering or even death counted for nothing with these men as against the possibility of saving souls. "Forty-seven of them evaded the edict, some by concealing themselves at the time of its issue, the rest by leaving their ships when the latter had passed out of sight of the shore of Japan, and returning ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... At least it's a better possibility than the things they're using up there." His voice was urgent. "And to think I might never have seen it if you hadn't put ...
— Pandemic • Jesse Franklin Bone

... natural versatility. For some reason or other he was not fond of the theatre, but he was in possession of a considerable genius for monodrama, and often delighted his friends by his impersonations. We have seen that it was once within the bounds of possibility that he would have become a professional singer. His conversational gifts were great. He was a writer of singular picturesqueness. A considerable interest in the progress of science was noted in him ...
— George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians • T. Martin Wood

... moment, therefore, that he [Mr. Motley] was aware of this condition of things, and the consequent possibility that there might be an untoward interference in their plans, he took the same frank and honorable course with Mr. Prescott that Mr. Prescott had taken in relation to Mr. Irving, when he found that they had both been contemplating a 'History of the Conquest of Mexico.' ...
— Memoir of John Lothrop Motley, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... bank, while his fishing-rod was floating in the middle of a water-hole, and that they had spent some time in attempting to recover it. Though the boys had returned safe, and one cause of anxiety was removed, there was still a possibility that the blacks would attack the place, should they have been on the watch, and have discovered that ...
— The Young Berringtons - The Boy Explorers • W.H.G. Kingston

... permitted to mention among the plants cultivated in ancient Lydia. Palms and birches are both found in Asia Minor; but I permitted them to grow side by side, thereby committing an offense against the geographical possibility of vegetable existence. The birch, in this locality, flourishes in the mountainous region, the palm, according to Griesbach (Vegetation of the Earth, Vol. I, p. 319) only appears on the southern coast of the peninsula. The latter errors, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... less egoistic. VON FALKENHAYN, who was War Minister when the War began and retained his office after he had superseded VON MOLTKE as Chief of the General Staff, shows himself incurably Prussian, refusing even to consider the possibility that any State which could wage war effectively would hesitate to do so from any ethical or humanitarian scruple. "Don't bother about a just cause, but see that it appears just before men," he seems to say. "The surprise effect of gas ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, February 18th, 1920 • Various

... peaked mountain between Jongri and Kubra, that it is not possible to account for the transport and deposit of these boulders by glaciers of the ordinary form, viz., by a stream of ice following the course of a valley; and we are forced to speculate upon the possibility of ice having capped the whole spur, and moved downwards, transporting blocks from the prominences on various parts of ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... new land, education will be every citizen's most prized possession. Our schools will have the highest standards in the world, igniting the spark of possibility in the eyes of every girl and every boy. And the doors of higher education will be open to all. The knowledge and power of the Information Age will be within reach not just of the few, but of every classroom, every library, every child. Parents and children ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... elsewhere. A recommendation of the Board of Trade, which still leaves the matter open, is plainly useless and inoperative. It has been overleaped, derided, despised, and will be so again—we scarcely dare to say unjustly; for no body of five men, however intelligent, could by possibility be expected to form an accurate judgment upon such an enormous mass of materials and conflicting statements as were laid before them. And yet, preliminary enquiry there must be. The movement is far too great, and charged with too ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... side of the Upper Bay; when the fill at this place was completed, the materials were sent to the tunnel company's yard on the Passaic, at Harrison, N. J., and a small part to the embankment in the Meadows Division. On account of the occasional closing of the Passaic by ice, this involved the possibility of, and to some extent resulted in, interruptions to the work of excavation. The contract for the cross-town tunnels carried an option in favor of the company to require the contractor for those tunnels to dispose of materials at a stated price, and in the latter part ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910 • Alfred Noble

... 1618 to 1648, decimated the German population, and reduced still further the possibility of marriage for many. Forced out of trades, women had only the lowest, most menial forms of trade labor as resort, and their position was ...
— Women Wage-Earners - Their Past, Their Present, and Their Future • Helen Campbell

... wanting with her but the power, to wipe us and the land we live on out of existence. Her interest, however, is her ruling passion! and the late American measures have struck at that so vitally, and with an energy, too, of which she had thought us quite incapable, that a possibility seems to open of forming some arrangement with her. When they shall see decidedly, that, without it we shall suppress their commerce with us, they will be agitated by their avarice on the one hand, and their hatred and their fear of us on the other. The ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... question was, Did they convey communications from the spirits of the dead, as the young women alleged, and as many persons believed (so they thought) from demonstrative evidence? The mere suggestion of the possibility of this of course awakened an inquisitive and eager interest everywhere. It became the subject of universal discussion and experiment in society. There was demand for other "mediums" to satisfy curiosity or aid investigation; and the demand at ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... wisdom—not making it the reason for doing what he could, but accepting that it not impossibly might apply. He saw one possibility right away. It looked fairly good. After a minute's examination it looked better. ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... disinheritance as a matter that was settled—so single-minded a race of beings were the Rattleburghers; but the remark of "Old Charley" brought them at once to a consideration of this point, and thus gave them to see the possibility of the threats having been nothing more than a threat. And straightway hereupon, arose the natural question of cui bono?—a question that tended even more than the waistcoat to fasten the terrible crime upon the young man. And here, lest I may be misunderstood, ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... would be graduated in three more weeks, and perhaps would go away then and they would see him no more. She caught a word or two now and then as he talked to Allison that indicated that he was seriously contemplating such a possibility. Yet he had not said a word to her about it! And they had been such good friends! A grieved look began to grow around her expressive little cupid's bow of a mouth, and her big eyes grew sorrowful as she watched the two. She was not ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... the first four or five days the indications grew more and more promising, and the telegrams and letters kept Mr. Bolton duly posted. But at last a change came, and the promises began to fail with alarming rapidity. In the end it was demonstrated without the possibility of a doubt that the great "find" was nothing ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 6. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... into the Danish campaign. He did nothing to bring it about, but the instant it showed itself on the cards he took advantage of it in the most predetermined, authoritative way, leaving his Austrian accomplice and victim no possibility of escape. From the hour when, in 1853, he boarded Count Richberg on the Carlsbad Railroad, and forced his enemy of the Francfort Bund to become his humble servant and carry out all his designs, to the hour when, in 1865, he drove Franz Joseph to sign ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891 • Various

... day the Genoese for the most part write what they have to write in that language, for there is no possibility of expressing their natural dialect with the pen.[7] Thus then it came to pass that the Book was put forth at first by Messer Marco in Latin; but as many copies were taken, and as it was rendered into our vulgar tongue, all Italy became filled with it, ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... on the line or at what time he might make an assault. He may assemble and organize an overwhelming force in the interior on his own side of the line, and, concealing his purpose, make a sudden assault upon some one of our posts so distant from any other as to prevent the possibility of timely succor or reenforcements, and in this way our gallant Army would be exposed to the danger of being cut off in detail; or if by their unequaled bravery and prowess everywhere exhibited during this war they should repulse the enemy, their numbers stationed ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... recommended a policy of isolation on grounds of expediency. Washington, as we have seen, regarded this policy as a temporary expedient, while Jefferson upon two separate occasions was ready to form an alliance with England. Probably neither one of them contemplated the possibility of the United States shirking its responsibilities as a member of the family of nations. Monroe's message contained the implied promise that if Europe would refrain from interfering in the political concerns of this hemisphere, ...
— From Isolation to Leadership, Revised - A Review of American Foreign Policy • John Holladay Latane

... At this possibility both the engineer and his young assistant displayed signs of consternation. Under pressure of work housekeeping had been an unimportant trifle frequently postponed; last meal's dishes were washed while the next meal was preparing; clothes were ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... Even that possibility did not daunt Paul. He only saw the frightened face of the little chap who so valorously clung to the lines, and shouted shrilly at the top of his childish voice, as though expecting the usually ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts - Or, The Struggle for Leadership • George A. Warren

... was presumptuous enough to imagine a condition in which I should not be a single man, and I speculated on the possibility that another might venture to share ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... making up his cash (as they call it) with tremulous fingers, as if he feared every one about him was a defaulter; in his hypochondry ready to imagine himself one; haunted, at least, with the idea of the possibility of his becoming one: his tristful visage clearing up a little over his roast neck of veal at Anderton's at two (where his picture still hangs, taken a little before his death by desire of the master of the coffee-house, which he had frequented for the last five-and-twenty years), but ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... and would finally lose the elective form. The incumbent would appoint his successor; and "thus the absolute form of a popular, would end in the absolute form of a monarchical government," and there would be no possibility of even rendering the monarchy limited or constitutional. Mr. Calhoun does not mention here the name of General Jackson or of Martin Van Buren, but American readers know very well what he was thinking of ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... bribe easy-going Sam Jorkins, the constable who, as Whitredge had said, was to take me to Jefferson. I weighed and measured all the chances and hazards, and there were only two for which I could not provide in advance. There was a possibility that Geddis might be staying late in the bank; and if he were not, there was the other possibility that he might have changed the combination on the vault ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde

... the drafted men to fill up my old regiments; and if you will fix a day to be in Savannah, I will insure our possession of Macon and a point on the river below Augusta. The possession of the Savannah River is more than fatal to the possibility of Southern independence. They may stand the fall of Richmond, but ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... the god roared again much nearer. Now the Kalubi's nerve gave out altogether, and quickened by some presentiment, he began to question Brother John, whom he had learned was a priest of an unknown sort, as to the possibility of another life ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... his town the people consumed in strong drink its entire valuation in every period of eighteen years eight months and twenty-five days! "Here are the figures," he said; "I know the quantity of liquor brought into the town annually. I am so situated that I am able to state this accurately, beyond all possibility of doubt, except that liquors may be brought here by other than the ordinary mode of transportation without my knowledge; but the quantities stated in this paper (which he held in his hand), and their cost are within my knowledge." This was ...
— Grappling with the Monster • T. S. Arthur

... because she did not wish to lead a selfish life that she intended to break off her engagement. She wished to live for something; she wished to accomplish something; what could she do? There was art. She would like to be an artist! She paused, astonished at the possibility. But why not she as well as the other women whom she had met at Mrs. Fargus'? She had met many artists—ladies who had studios—at ...
— Celibates • George Moore

... proposal; and under the influence of this feeling, determined to withdraw the church of Bohemia from all dependence on that of Rome. That the church of a single nation could stand alone, however, no communion being held with other churches, seemed then as far beyond the range of possibility, as that a branch torn from the parent tree would flourish; and John, whose principle in this respect was deeply-rooted, cast his eyes in the direction of Constantinople. I am not aware that of this fact, the ...
— Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, Visited in 1837. Vol. II • G. R. Gleig

... tracking you from road house to road house. Logan Black, knowing that the authorities were on his trail, mistook Reginald Maltravers for a detective, and held him prisoner at Morris's. Logan Black's men took away his clothes in order to minimize the possibility of his escape." ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... to look after a house and care for a bachelor, so I truly feel that if I can find a location I would like, and if Henry can plan me a house, and I can stretch my purse to cover the investment, that there is a very large possibility that somewhere within twenty miles of Los Angeles I may find ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... that U.S.A. threatens to come over and help us. I wish she would. The very thought of the possibility fills me with joy. I've been light-headed all day. It would be so ripping to live among people, when the war is ended, of whom you need not be ashamed. Somewhere deep down in my heart I've felt a sadness ever since I've been out here, at America's lack of gallantry—it's so easy to find excuses ...
— Carry On • Coningsby Dawson

... have had this instinct to some degree or I would surely have been lost in those mountain mazes. Not that anticipation of such a possibility would have deterred me—it would really have added allurement to the adventure. As it was, I did get lost, but always succeeded in ...
— A Mountain Boyhood • Joe Mills

... drumming on the window-pane and became suddenly interested. The one thing that had reconciled her to leaving Miss Stanley and the girls at the home was the possibility of seeing Dan again. She wondered what he looked like after these four years, whether he would recognize her, whether he had a sweetheart? She had been home three days now and had caught ...
— Calvary Alley • Alice Hegan Rice

... importance is the wasteful way in which the health, the lives, and the capacity for future motherhood of our young girls are squandered during the few brief years they spend as human machines in our factories and stores. Youth, joy and the possibility of future happiness lost forever, in order that we may have cheap (or dear), ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... Houses. This was exactly like him, for never was there a man so positive and violent in his opinion, and yet no man living could palliate it with smoother language. Though I thought of this expedient before M. de Bouillon, and perhaps could have said more for it, because I saw the possibility of it much clearer than he, yet I would not give him to understand that I had thought of it, because I knew he had the vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things, which was the only weakness I observed in his managing State affairs. I left him an answer in writing, ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... which come to light with provoking unexpectedness when you are encountered by an external enemy. Edwards, indeed, guards himself with extreme care by an elaborate system of logical divisions and subdivisions against the possibility of so unpleasant a surprise; but no man can dispense with the aid of a living antagonist, free from all suspicion of being a man of straw. The opponents against whom he labours most strenuously were unfortunately very feeble creatures for the most part; such as poor Chubb, ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... reduced to eight, to wit, Stafford, the four Fifth-form boys, the two hosts, and Dimsdale, assumed more manageable proportions. There was room at least to move an arm or a leg, and even to shut the door. But when it came to taking seats, it still became evident that the table could by no possibility hold more than six. Another crisis thereupon arose. Dimsdale was regretfully dismissed, and departed scarlet in the face, promising, as he slammed the door, to show "up" his hosts. These amiable worthies, much distressed, and ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... journey, and ordered his men to saddle and make ready. Meanwhile, having taken measures to recapture the Marquise should she have doubled back into France, Charlot was now organising an expedition to scour the road to Prussia, against the possibility of her having adhered to her original intention of journeying that way. Thus he was determined to take no risks, and leave ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... a possibility that someone may be in ambush here," said Walter, "we'd better keep a bit more mum. But I think Jack's plan is a good one. Let's cruise about a bit, but keep within sight of ...
— The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay - The Secret of the Red Oar • Margaret Penrose

... fashionable quarter, he had applied for a transfer to quiet Muktiarbad, giving as his reason, his need of rest from his too strenuous labours in the capital. His desire was to gain time and to keep out of the way of any possibility of coming into ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... a kind, that I cannot presume to oppose any knowledge of my own to the reasons which have been offered; but I cannot think that the conclusions drawn by the noble duke, are so evidently true as to force conviction, and exclude all possibility of reply; nor can I conceive it consistent with the dignity of this assembly, to yield implicitly to any man's assertions, or to pass any resolution without ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 10. - Parlimentary Debates I. • Samuel Johnson

... very apt to get into danger, even when at school, it becomes expedient to exercise the utmost vigilance, in order to prevent the possibility of accident; for where two hundred children are assembled together, the eldest not seven years of age, it is most certain that if there be danger, some will get into. For this reason, all the doors on the premises should be so secured, that the children cannot swing them ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... progress of the work to determine the physical character of the silt and its action on the tunnels, suggested the possibility that the use of pile supports might be inadvisable. This view was confirmed by actual experience in the operation of the tunnels of the Hudson Companies between Hoboken, N. J., and Morton Street, Manhattan, which were opened to traffic in February, 1908. The stability of these ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910 • Charles W. Raymond

... before you go!" he said eagerly. "Is there any possibility—in spite of my handicap?" And then he felt that his heart had, for a moment, ceased to beat. He forgot where he was. The chatter of the crowd was nothing to him; ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... of Airely's troop and Strahan's dragoons (upon notice given him by Sir John Cochran of Ochiltree[175]) came furiously upon them about four o'clock in the afternoon, when lying on the east end of Airs-moss. When they saw the enemy approaching, and no possibility of escaping, they all gathered round about him, while he prayed a short word; wherein he repeated this expression thrice over, Lord, spare the green and take the ripe. When ended, he said to his brother with great intrepidity, Come, let us fight it out ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... question, and today I honestly believe that the democracy of Ireland will turn with the utmost anxiety and sympathy to this country in every trial and every danger that may overtake it. [General cheers.] There is a possibility at any rate of history repeating itself. The House will remember that in 1778, at the end of the disastrous American war, when it might, I think, truly be said that the military power of this country ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... was always the possibility of making the voyage by sea. But the sea was very unpopular in the Middle Ages and for many very good reasons. In the first place, ships were very small. The vessels on which Magellan made his famous trip around the world, which lasted many ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... lantern's glass began to flicker feebly, and then came the certainty that perseverance had been rewarded. Light filled the narrow way, and she looked timidly down the rickety stone steps, dreading to venture into the blackness beyond. Ahead lay the possibility of escape, behind lay failure and the certainty that no other opportunity would be afforded her. So she bravely went down the steps, her knees weakly striking against each other, the lantern jangling noisily against ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... our hut was but a short distance away, and, believing there could be no possibility of our escape, our guards had relaxed their vigilance. Anderson and I stepped to the entrance and looked out. The guards paid ...
— The boy Allies at Liege • Clair W. Hayes

... slavery assuredly ought not to be astonished at the spectacle of American Protestantism upholding the State religion of Mexico, and that religion embodying the worst abuses of the system of Rome. It was, perhaps, because he foresaw the possibility of this, that "the gray-eyed man of destiny," William Walker himself, was reconciled last year to the ancient Church, and received into her bosom. As a Catholic, and as a convert to that faith from heresy, he might achieve those victories ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... centre of the universe, no army was ever enlisted for a nobler service than ours. Not only is it national life and a foremost place among nations that is at stake, but the vital principle of Law itself, the august foundation on which the very possibility of government, above all of self-government, rests as in the hollow of God's own hand. If democracy shall prove itself capable of having raised twenty millions of people to a level of thought where they can appreciate this cardinal truth, and can ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... no possibility of touching upon the subject of death and burial, and the conditions under which funerals should be conducted, without hurting some one's feelings. The Duke of Sutherland's attempt in England to do away with the dreadful shape which causes a shudder to all who have lost ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... most successful conclusion, the signers of the treaty being James Monroe, Robert R. Livingston, and F.B. Marbois, the representative of Napoleon. It was a significant bargain. By it Napoleon formed closer bonds of friendship between France and the United States, and prevented any possibility of the territory falling into the hands of Great Britain. He prophesied that this Republic would eventually become a world power and a commercial rival to England. How completely his prophecy was ...
— New York at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis 1904 - Report of the New York State Commission • DeLancey M. Ellis

... Furthermore, she concluded that beyond the vaguest hint of her call on Bascom and the object of the meeting, she could not show her hand to Maxwell; for he would feel it his duty to step in and prevent the possibility of any such open breach as failure on Hepsey's part would probably make in the parish solidarity. For once she must keep her own counsel—except for Jonathan, whose present infatuated condition made him an even safer and more satisfactory ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... thoughts running through her mind. To go back to Sour Creek meant a return to Cartwright, and then nothing could save her from him. Halfway to her saddle her foot struck metal, her own gun, which Arizona had dropped after firing the bullet. Was there not a possibility of escape? She heard Arizona humming idly behind her. Plainly he was entirely ...
— The Rangeland Avenger • Max Brand

... publicly beforehand commonly give us what they hope, or what they fear, or some conclusion from an abstraction of their own, or some guess founded on private information not half so good as what everybody gets who reads the papers,—never by any possibility a word that we can depend on, simply because there are cobwebs of contingency between every to-day and to-morrow that no field-glass can penetrate when fifty of them lie woven one over another. Prophesy as much as you like, but always hedge. Say ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... alone, put aside, one might say, by my brothers and sisters, whom I had, as it were, run in so cordially to meet, one thought came over me, as they were feasting with Christ, which made me weep. I thought of the possibility of being set aside in the great day. I said, ...
— Bertha and Her Baptism • Nehemiah Adams

... universe will not furnish his equal in virtue[201]. Men of the greatest merit in this country think the brilliancy of this Prince's actions and virtues must strike even envy dumb. Happy are they who are under the protection of so great a King. He proves the possibility of what appeared incredible in the great men of antiquity: he is a witness who gives evidence in their favour: he will serve for a master to posterity; and the best lessons in the art of war will be taken from ...
— The Life of the Truly Eminent and Learned Hugo Grotius • Jean Levesque de Burigny

... viz. To shew how much he confided in them, but out of Design to make them look the better to their Watch, which their Debauchery made them very remiss in. For the Prisoners Hands only were in Chains, and not his Legs; so that his possibility of running away, having his Legs at liberty, concerned them to be circumspect and wakeful. And they knew if he had escaped it were as much as their lives were worth. By this crafty and kind way did the King correct the ...
— An Historical Relation Of The Island Ceylon In The East Indies • Robert Knox

... through joint agreement with the Commandant of the Coast Guard, to carry out research and development of improved ports, waterways and coastal security surveillance and perimeter protection capabilities for the purpose of minimizing the possibility that Coast Guard cutters, aircraft, helicopters, and personnel will be diverted from non- homeland security missions to the ports, waterways ...
— Homeland Security Act of 2002 - Updated Through October 14, 2008 • Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives

... in colour, general structure, and especially in voice, between Gallus bankiva and the Game fowl; from their fertility, as far as this has been ascertained, when crossed; from the possibility of the wild species being tamed, and from its varying in the wild state, we may confidently look at it as the parent of the most typical of all the {237} domestic breeds, namely, the Game-fowl. It is a significant fact, that almost all the ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I. • Charles Darwin

... empty of arguments, they are invertebrate and produce but transient effects. If the sermon be simply and solely an intellectual effort it will be cold and nerveless and ineffective. You may convince a man beyond all possibility of contradiction or protest, and at the same time utterly fail to bring him to the decision you desire him to register. Probably an analysis of most of our congregations would prove that so far as merely intellectual agreement ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... to fear that he would not be allowed to make his way in the world by his own merit, unharmed and unhelped, but would be dogged by the malice of a despot and perhaps brought back to undergo the fate of Schubart. Worse still was the possibility that his father might be made to suffer from the duke's anger. Nevertheless he resolved to take the risk. He made known his purpose to a very few friends, one of whom, Frau von Wolzogen, offered him her house in Bauerbach, in the event of his sometime ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... of those who have not had the spectacle of the West Indies before their eyes. Owing to the progressive amelioration of the state even of the captive caste in the island of Cuba, the luxury of the masters and the possibility of gain by their work, have drawn more than eighty thousand slaves to the towns; and the manumission of them, favoured by the wisdom of the laws, is become so active as to have produced, at the present ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... Oolite the cruel spikes of the Crocodile and the Ichthyosaurus; I have seen the trenchant, saw-edged teeth of gigantic Cestracions and Squalidae that had been disinterred from the Chalk and the London Clay; and I have felt, as I examined them, that there could be no possibility of mistake regarding the nature of the creatures to which they had belonged;—they were teeth made for hacking, tearing, mangling,—for amputating limbs at a bite, and laying open bulky bodies with a crunch; but I could find no such evidence in the human ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... no intention of exposing himself to the possibility of a refusal. He bought a very handsome gold watch and chain, and laid it down upon a white seat—the white seat which still exists—in the garden at Earlham. 'If Betsy takes up that watch,' he said, 'it is a sign that she accepts me: if she does not take it up by ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... to be doubly sure of the result, and dreading even the possibility of a little disappointment, Overholt had decided that he would subject the only chemical substance which the machine consumed to a final form of refinement by heat, melting, boiling and cooling it, ...
— The Little City Of Hope - A Christmas Story • F. Marion Crawford

... of the legitimacy of the boy had never been distinctly discussed at Cross Hall, and the suspicious hints on the subject which had passed between the sisters, the allusions to this and the other possibility which had escaped them, had been kept as far as possible from their mother. They had remarked among themselves that it was very odd that the marriage should have been concealed, and almost more than odd that an heir to the title should have been born without any ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... involved the addition of other substances for the purpose of separating the gold; and it has been suggested that the gold produced by him was itself added during this process. There is no good reason for thinking so. Pyrites often contains a minute proportion of gold. Admitting the possibility of trickery in the case of the small specimen submitted to Agnello, it is incredible that the fraud should have been successfully repeated when the two hundred tons of mineral brought back by the second expedition came to be tested. The mineral undoubtedly ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1-20 • Various

... down by the bed, and entered into a full detail of the results of his expedition to Port Natal; reading over all the memoranda which they had collected, and satisfactorily proving that the descendants of the Europeans then existing could not by any possibility be from those who had been lost ...
— The Mission; or Scenes in Africa • Captain Frederick Marryat

... forward as the greatest treat of its existence. She seldom visits at a greater distance than the next door but one on either side; and when she drinks tea here, Sarah runs out first and knocks a double-knock, to prevent the possibility of her 'Missis's' catching cold by having to wait at the door. She is very scrupulous in returning these little invitations, and when she asks Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so, to meet Mr. and Mrs. Somebody-else, Sarah and she dust the urn, and the best china tea-service, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... opened the way for the later speculations of Schelling and Hegel. He dissented strongly from the Kantian distinction between matter and form of thought, and urged that philosophy should consider only thought in itself, pure thought, the ground or possibility of being. The fundamental principle of thought is, according to him, the law of identity; logical thinking is real thinking. The matter upon which thought operated is in itself indefinite and is rendered ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... even one man in a million could act freely, that is, as he chose, it is evident that one single free act of that man's in violation of the laws governing human action would destroy the possibility of the existence of any laws for the ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... if there is any possibility of getting away, I shall; and you, of course, will not stay behind. I don't know where they are going to, but you see, Tom, our only chance of getting off is while we are on the coast; if once we are marched into the interior, why, then it will be almost hopeless. What we must ...
— Poor Jack • Frederick Marryat

... lost to sight in the boiling waste of waters. Slag knew well what he meant. If they should cast off the rope before rescuing all, for the purpose of picking up the coxswain, there would be no possibility of getting back again to the schooner, for she was fast breaking up. Every current and eddy about these sands was well known to Joe Slag, also the set of the tides—besides, had not Bob got on his lifebelt? He felt, ...
— The Coxswain's Bride - also, Jack Frost and Sons; and, A Double Rescue • R.M. Ballantyne

... march to and fro between the mountain of the Hot Springs and Hippo-Zarytus, and so debar the Suffet from approaching the Tyrian towns, and from the possibility of a ...
— Salammbo • Gustave Flaubert

... Normandy is level, that at Carrara is steep, and that the forces which raised the beds of Carrara crystallized them also, so that the cleavage which is all-important in the stones of my garden wall is of none in the duomo of Pisa,—simply determined the possibility of the existence of Pisan sculpture at all, and regulated the whole life and genius of Nicholas the Pisan and of Christian art. And, again, the fact that you can put stones in true bedding in a wall, but cannot in an arch, ...
— Val d'Arno • John Ruskin

... said again. "I cannot take the oath of nihilism. I have already taken an oath which thoroughly obviates such a possibility." ...
— Princess Zara • Ross Beeckman

... Having shewn the possibility of conciliation, Mr. Robinson declined the further risk of his life, except on terms which would place his family beyond the reach of want. The Governor fully met his just claims, providing pensions for his wife and children, in case of his death, ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... with imagination might counter-counterplot by getting men inside Dawson's defences. I couldn't see how one would work it, but if German agents, say, could manage to become trusted servants of Dawson himself, they would have the time of their lives. So far I was guessing at a possibility, however improbable it might seem. Then when Dawson told us that he had sent Trehayne into the Antigone and that he was the one factor common to both vessels—the workmen and the maintenance part were all different—I ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... afraid that the spell would be broken if once she let go. Howel kissed her pale cheek, wiped those large black eyes, and comforted her as she had never hoped to be comforted again. Vague thoughts entered his mind of the possibility of beginning life afresh—of being a better husband and father—of giving up his wild, sinful courses. 'Shall the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... entire length. Suddenly a person entered the carriage by a door close to where I sat, and passed down the whole length of the car. I sprang from my seat, exclaiming aloud, "There is C——!" and rushed to the door before, by any human possibility, any one could have reached the other end of the car; but nobody was to be seen. My maid had seen nothing. The person I imagined I had seen was upwards of two hundred miles distant; but what was to ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... strolled up the dusty road, a carriage that must have come from Crosby's passed him. He stopped short, wildly considering an impulse of flight. Then he went on bravely, smiling at the thought that any entertainment given by the twins could be by any possibility, a ...
— Old Rose and Silver • Myrtle Reed

... dozed off, to be awakened by the sudden sound of a great fish leaping in the lake. I sat up and stared, fearing lest it might be the splash of a paddle, for I could not put from my mind the possibility of attack. All I saw, however, was the low line of the distant shore, and above it the bright and setting stars that heralded the coming of the sun. Then I woke the others, and we washed and ate, since once the sun rose ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... generally disbelieved the "trustworthy reports of the Danes," and when they thought of Vinland at all, doubtless thought of it as somewhere near the North Pole.[255] We shall do well to bear this in mind when we come to consider the possibility of Columbus having obtained from Adam of Bremen any hint in the least likely to be of ...
— The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) - with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest • John Fiske

... the consequences to be drawn from them were left to themselves; and would they not come to us, bristling with arguments drawn from the circumstances of nationality, time and space, to refute the possibility ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... fines which are the precious and rarely used artillery of the president. He little thought, as he did so, how he resembled his father, but his friends remarked upon it, chuckling. So far, in his high place above his fellow-students, he seemed set beyond the possibility of any scandal; but his mind was made up - he was determined to fulfil the sphere of his offence. He signed to Innes (whom he had just fined, and who just impeached his ruling) to succeed him in the chair, stepped down from the platform, and took his place by the ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... settled that I myself could not take any portion of it save the interest; but the other two-thirds were absolutely mine, whether I was married or single. By locking up one-third, my father had sought to provide against the possibility of my ever being reduced to poverty. The rest was my own, to keep if I pleased; to give up to my husband ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma • Hesba Stretton

... was followed by a long and tedious investigation. There was an inquest, and a rigid examination of every person who could by any possibility be imagined capable of throwing any light on the murder, and after all was over, the mystery was just as dark as it was ...
— The Fatal Glove • Clara Augusta Jones Trask

... memory, and quite sufficiently troubled by the number of dwellers in his house already; but he rather liked, as a good-looking man in his wane generally does, to think that he could marry if he pleased, and to hold the possibility over the heads of his household, as a chastisement of all their sins against him which he could use at any time. All the Mays grew hot and angry at the name of Mrs. Sam Hurst, and their fear and anger delighted their father. He liked ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... she has married the head of the establishment or maybe the clerk himself, and so abandons the business. It is, indeed, not until a woman has definitely put away the hope of marriage, or, at all events, admitted the possibility that she, may have to do so soon or late, that she buckles down in earnest to whatever craft she practises, and makes a genuine effort to develop competence. No sane man, seeking a woman for a post requiring laborious ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... be alive, yet unaware of his identity," broke in Helen, who was a keenly interested listener. She had been so accustomed to regard her husband as the only son of parents, both of whom were dead, that the mere possibility of his having a brother ...
— The Mask - A Story of Love and Adventure • Arthur Hornblow

... local or general, should be used, for the practised endoscopist can complete the examination within a minute of time and without pain to the patient. The technic for doing this should be acquired by every laryngologist. Anesthesia is absolutely contraindicated because of the possibility of the presence of diphtheria, and especially because of the dyspnea so frequently present in laryngeal disease. To attempt general anesthesia in a dyspneic case is to invite disaster (see Tracheotomy). It is to be remembered that coughing and straining ...
— Bronchoscopy and Esophagoscopy - A Manual of Peroral Endoscopy and Laryngeal Surgery • Chevalier Jackson

... not until he had reached the Acropolis and had referred, in the hearing of the most eminently dull of the many distinguished members of that club, to the possibility of a girl's experiences of man being likened to an astronomer without a telescope, that he ...
— Phyllis of Philistia • Frank Frankfort Moore

... The balls which this gun carried are more than a foot in diameter. The name of this enormous piece of ordnance is Mons Meg. It is now disabled, having been burst, many years ago, and injured beyond the possibility of repair. There were great rejoicings in Edinburgh at the time of Mary's marriage, and from some old accounts which still remain at the castle, it appears that ten shillings were paid to some men for moving up Mons Meg to the embrasure of the battery, ...
— Mary Queen of Scots, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... smile for which he was playing, Waldo received a frown, and directly thereafter the professor spoke in tones which could by no possibility be mistaken. ...
— The Lost City • Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

... men's lust. It criticised ably the educational system of Rousseau, and, with still more severity, the popular works of bishops and priests, who chiefly strove to inculcate an abject submission to man as the rightful lord of the sex. It demonstrated that the sole possibility of woman's elevation to the rank of man's equal and friend was in the cultivation of her mind, and in the thoughtful discharge of the duties of her lot. It is a really noble and brave little book, undeserving of the oblivion into ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... suggestion is of extreme significance, as it brings out the possibility that these celebrations were not only concerned with the prosperity of the community, as a whole, but may also have borne a special, and individual, aspect, and that the idea of Initiation into the group is closely connected with the ceremonial ...
— From Ritual to Romance • Jessie L. Weston

... introduction, caused more scientific inquiry and dispute, probably, than any other of the age, and settled beyond question the possibility of combustion, without the use of atmospheric air. The process consists in dropping the wet, spongy mass into a fire of wood or coal, and closing the furnace doors. The steam arising from the drying matter ...
— Scientific American, Vol.22, No. 1, January 1, 1870 • Various

... beside her window far into the night. At last she undressed and went to bed, but sleep would not come. She had gone to the city to talk with members of the School Board about a room in the grades. There was a possibility that she might secure the moth, and so be able to start to college that fall, but if she did not, then she wanted the school. She had been given some encouragement, but she was so unhappy that nothing mattered. She could not see the way open to anything ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... He was a base-born son, about to be turned out of his father's house because of the disgrace of his birth. In the eye of the law he was nobody. The law allowed to him not even a name;—certainly allowed to him the possession of no relative; denied to him the possibility of any family tie. His father had succeeded within an ace of giving him that which would have created for him family ties, relatives, name and all. The old Squire had understood well how to supersede the law, and to make the harshness of man's enactments ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... exclusively to one pole of a double truth. They did so, no doubt, in their hatred of the drama. Their belief that human relations were, if not exactly sinful, at least altogether carnal and unspiritual, prevented their conceiving the possibility of any truly Christian drama; and led them at times into strange and sad errors, like that New England ukase of Cotton Mather's, who is said to have punished the woman who should kiss her infant on the Sabbath day. Yet their extravagances ...
— Plays and Puritans - from "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... have been constantly face to face with sudden death have made me disregard the possibility of it. But I shall not insist in your case, Mr. Hamilton, if you do not wish it; and allow me to tell you that I admire your spirit. However, I should like to have you leave town for a few days, if your ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... parquet like a savage hyena. To play the symphonic poem again, to rescue from eternity his lost Luga, his lost comrades, to hear their extraordinary stories!... Trembling seized him. If the work could by any possibility be played again would not the same awful fate overtake the new men and perhaps himself? Decidedly that way would be ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... according to prescribed form, as the records of the proceedings clearly show, he himself fully consenting to it, he may, nevertheless, still harbor some resentment. If he should be in Ferrara there would be a possibility of his seeing the lady, and her Excellency would therefore be compelled to remain in concealment to escape disagreeable memories. He, therefore, requests your Excellency to prevent this possibility with your usual foresight. Thereupon his Holiness ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... translation in Middle English literature must include this consideration. If we are not in possession of the exact original of a translation, our conclusions must nearly always be discounted by the possibility that not only the subject matter but the comment on that subject matter came from the French or Latin source. The pronoun of the first person must be regarded with a slight suspicion. "I" may refer to the Englishman, but it may also refer to ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... some little time ago, a statement of the sum and substance of Milton's hypothesis. Let me now try to state as briefly, the effect of the circumstantial evidence bearing upon the past history of the earth which is furnished, without the possibility of mistake, with no chance of error as to its chief features, by the stratified rocks. What we find is, that the great series of formations represents a period of time of which our human chronologies hardly afford us a unit of measure. I will not pretend to say how we ought to estimate ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... same day the Prince wrote to the Premier that the Queen was much relieved. She had contemplated dismissing Lord Palmerston herself, but naturally shrank from using the power of the Crown, as her action would have been criticised without the possibility of making a public defence; in his view the Cabinet was rather strengthened than otherwise by Palmerston's departure, and public sympathy would not be with him. The rest of the letter is published in The Life of ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 • Queen Victoria

... the first things done was the making of a hurried survey of the kopje, Mak at once bending to his task of leading the travellers, rifle in hand, to the examination of every spot that suggested the possibility of its being used as a lair by any dangerous cat-like beast. But no lion sprang out, and there was nothing suggestive of danger till Mak led the searchers to where the stream spread out for a while before it sank down into ...
— Dead Man's Land - Being the Voyage to Zimbambangwe of certain and uncertain • George Manville Fenn

... claws. In fact, I find the lid intact on the threshold of the abandoned cells. Last comes a second mass of woody remnants, as easy to disperse as the first. The road is now free: the Cerambyx has but to follow the spacious vestibule, which will lead him, without the possibility of mistake, to the exit. Should the window not be open, all that he has to do is to gnaw through a thin screen: an easy task; and behold him outside, his long ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... expression of a most natural feeling, in connection with which etiquette would be simply a mockery. Etiquette, being only a system devised and found convenient for the social rule and guidance of the many, cannot by any possibility be applied to the conduct of two who may reasonably be supposed to be acquainted with each other's sentiments before they begin to speak about them. If they are not so acquainted, all the etiquette in the world cannot help them, nor preserve them from ...
— Frost's Laws and By-Laws of American Society • Sarah Annie Frost

... far as vision went, that boat was manned with ten oilskin coats and sou'-westers. A few seconds took them out of sight; and thus, as far as the Gull lightship was concerned, the drama ended. There was no possibility of our ascertaining more, at least during that night; for whatever might be the result of these efforts, the floating lights had no chance of hearing of them until the next visit of their tender. I was therefore obliged to turn in once more, at three a.m. Next forenoon we saw the wreck, bottom ...
— Man on the Ocean - A Book about Boats and Ships • R.M. Ballantyne

... that Cayke laughed aloud and even the Frogman's wide mouth curled in a smile. Neither was a bit afraid to go to the Bear City and it seemed to both that there was a possibility they might discover the missing ...
— The Lost Princess of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... dared, tired though he knew it to be. His plan was simple enough. He meant to ride to within a mile of the village, and then dismount, letting the horse go wherever it liked. Its usefulness to him would be over as soon as it had put him past the possibility of pursuit. He thought his troubles were nearly over. But suddenly, around a turn in the road, came a glare of light, and in his ears sounded the bugle of a German ...
— The Boy Scouts In Russia • John Blaine

... by the impish words of Falstar's Billy, he was brought face to face with a possibility ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... shadows where the water was deeper? She had never seen them before. Now they were pointed out and seen to be rich and clear, a sort of dilution of sunlight, with a suggestion of sunlight's other riches of possibility. The rank unmown grass that fringed the stream, Diana had never seen it but as what the scythe had missed; now she was made to notice what an elegant fringe it was, and how the same sunlight glanced upon its curving stems and blades, and ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... task, with his coat and waistcoat off, his sleeves rolled back, and his intent mien, one realised why, as a hangman, he had been a success. He left absolutely nothing to chance. When he was through with his experimenting, the possibility of an exhibition of the proneness of inanimate objects to misbehave in emergencies had been ...
— From Place to Place • Irvin S. Cobb

... known for years past as an inveterate drunkard, he had been seen overnight going home in liquor; he had been found locked up in his room, with the key inside the door, and the latch of the window bolted also. No fire-place was in this garret; nothing was disturbed or altered: nobody by human possibility could have got in. The doctor reported that he had died of congestion of the lungs; and the jury gave their ...
— Man and Wife • Wilkie Collins

... set out to visit the chief he knew that there was a possibility of his being out after deer, but in that case he meant to await his arrival, at least until nightfall, and then he could leave a hieroglyphic message, which the Indian would understand, requiring his immediate presence ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... do not, Ernest. And for this reason: I deny that any malignant, spiritual personality would ever be permitted by the Creator to exercise physical powers over the living, or destroy human beings without reason or justice. The horror of such a possibility to the normal mind is sufficient argument against it. Causes beyond our apparent knowledge were responsible for the death of Nurse Forrester; but who shall presume to say that was really so? Why imagine anything so irregular? I prefer to think that had the post-mortem been ...
— The Grey Room • Eden Phillpotts

... operation of natural forces, or whether it is simply a statement of the manner in which a supernatural power has thought fit to act, is a secondary question, so long as the existence of the law and the possibility of its discovery by the human intellect are granted. But he must be a half-hearted philosopher who, believing in that possibility, and having watched the gigantic strides of the biological sciences during the last twenty years, doubts that science will sooner or later ...
— Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews • Thomas Henry Huxley

... possesses an almost uncanny faculty of discerning latent talent in the line of his profession. You may not know one dance step from another, yet his discerning eye will detect a possibility for you in some branch of the dancing art that results will later prove as correct as they ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... knowing who he was, Terry would try to bluff him out of the road, counting confidently upon his leaping to safety at the last moment; there was the other possibility that she mistook his motives and would run him down in a sort of ...
— Man to Man • Jackson Gregory

... musicians of no matter what nationality. Similarly with figures, the German counts: ein, zwei, drei; the Frenchman says: un, deux, trois, and in English we use the words: one, two, three, but the figures: 1, 2, 3, though differently spoken, are intelligible to all and mean the same. There is no possibility of misunderstanding in the cases of either music or figures. Thus it is also with the universal language peculiar to the higher Regions of the Desire World and the still more subtile realms in nature, it is intelligible to all, an exact ...
— The Rosicrucian Mysteries • Max Heindel

... doubted that this sage had intercourse in the homes of the Nymphs with the Salamander folks. He learnt of them and showed to the unhappy mortals the art of producing and conserving fire. Of all the innumerable advantages that men have drawn from this celestial present, one of the happiest was the possibility of cooking food, and by this treatment, to render it lighter and more subtle. And it's in a large part due to the effect of a nourishment submitted to the action of the flame that slowly and by degrees mankind ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... protected, and nearly the whole of the Artillery manned by British soldiers, with railway and telegraph communication from one end of India to the other, with the risk of internal trouble greatly diminished, and the possibility of external complications becoming daily more apparent, circumstances and our requirements were completely altered, and it had become essential to have in the ranks of our Native Army men who might confidently be trusted to take their share of ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... improving whatever truth there might be in them. By birth and otherwise he was well and widely connected, and was a familiar figure in many of the best-known houses in England. He was an indefatigable writer of memoirs, and of all such writers he was incomparably the most intrepid. The possibility of offending others, even though they might be his hosts and hostesses, had no terrors for him. I was once staying at a country house in Sussex when a new book by him appeared, and had just been sent down from Mudie's. I had ...
— Memoirs of Life and Literature • W. H. Mallock



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