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Axiom   /ˈæksiəm/   Listen
Axiom

noun
1.
A saying that is widely accepted on its own merits.  Synonym: maxim.
2.
(logic) a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof; its truth is assumed to be self-evident.



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"Axiom" Quotes from Famous Books



... rejoined the Doctor, testily. "The origin of the muscle, or place where it arises, is the first thing to be described. The use comes afterwards. It is an axiom ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... not merely in his soul but in the most sensitive part of his soul—his pride. He called himself by the worst epithet of opprobrium: Simpleton! The bold and sudden stroke had now become the fatuous caprice of a damned fool. Had he, at his age, been capable of overlooking the elementary axiom: once a wrong 'un, always a wrong 'un? Had he believed in reclamation? He ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... his study of the character of Christ, had led him to the near confines of Anabaptism. Expanding his views upon the estates of the church into an axiom, he taught that "charters of perpetual inheritance were impossible;" "that God could not give men civil possessions for ever;"[468] "that property was founded in grace, and derived from God;" and "seeing that forfeiture was the punishment of treason, ...
— The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3) • James Anthony Froude

... said Holmes. "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. Can you remember any other little ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... and their means of flying, that if an artificial machine were formed with wings in exact imitation of the mechanism of one of those beautiful living machines, and applied in the very same way upon the air, there could be no doubt of its being made to fly, for it is an axiom in philosophy that the same cause will ever produce the same effect.' With this he confesses his inability to produce the said effect through lack of funds, though he clothes this delicately in the phrase 'professional avocations ...
— A History of Aeronautics • E. Charles Vivian

... science, and the wisdom which has for its object the administration of human affairs. The masters of science explore a multitude of phenomena to ascertain a single cause; the statesman and legislator, engaged in pursuits "hardliest reduced to axiom," examine a multitude of causes to explain a solitary phenomenon. The investigations, however, to which such questions lead, are singularly difficult, as they require an accurate analysis of the most complicated class of facts which can possibly engross ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... had apparently accepted every article of faith in God and man which had been offered for her guidance through life with unquestioning confidence; at least she had never been heard to object to any time-honoured axiom. And she did, in fact, accept them all, but only provisionally. She wanted to know. Silent, sociable, sober, and sincere, she had walked over the course of her early education and gone on far beyond it with such ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... tracts which rouged poor Christianity on the cheeks, clapped a crown of innocent daffodillies on her head, and set her to dancing a pas de zephyr in the pastoral ballet in which Saint-Simon pipes to the flock he shears; or having first laid it down as a preliminary axiom that— ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... of these men in religion rendered it easy for them to conform in all external points to custom. Their fundamental axiom was that a scientific thinker could hold one set of opinions as a philosopher, and another set as a Christian. Their motto was the celebrated Foris ut moris, intus ut libet.[11] Nor were ecclesiastical authorities dissatisfied with this attitude during the ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... (1821-1891), one of the foremost physicians of Odessa. His Auto-Emancipation (Berlin, 1882) is now recognized as the forerunner of Herzl's Judenstaat, which appeared fifteen years later. Pinsker accepts as an axiom what Sokolov had tried to demonstrate as a proposition. Jew-hatred, he claims, like Lombroso in his work on anti-Semitism, is a "platonic hatred," a hereditary mental disease, which two thousand years' duration ...
— The Haskalah Movement in Russia • Jacob S. Raisin

... raising and paying troops in Germany and the Low Countries. Even if we are capable of beating off invasion, it is always wise policy to keep the war out of our own country, and not trust to such miracles as the dispersion of the Armada. In war, Defoe says, repeating a favourite axiom of his, "it is not the longest sword but the longest purse that conquers," and if the French get the Spanish crown, they get the richest trade in the world into their hands. The French would prove better husbands of the wealth of Mexico and Peru than the Spaniards. ...
— Daniel Defoe • William Minto

... questions of any kind, and pointed out that in any case his acquaintance with Cuba was altogether too recent to have enabled him to form even the most elementary opinion on the question, at the same time mentioning as a general axiom that Englishmen were usually regarded as cherishing a weakness in favour of good government and the maintenance ...
— The Cruise of the Thetis - A Tale of the Cuban Insurrection • Harry Collingwood

... enemy would be glad to manoeuvre a year—or a long time—to get me in. I was going into the enemy's country, with a large river behind me, and the enemy holding points strongly fortified above and below. He said that it was an axiom in war that when any great body of troops moved against an enemy they should do so from a base of supplies which they would guard as the apple of the eye, etc. He pointed out all the difficulties that might be encountered in the campaign proposed, and stated in ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... abused. It is doubtful which exercises the greater influence, poem or picture. In England, perhaps, picture wields the greater power; in France, song. Yet, "let me write the ballads and you may govern the people," is an English axiom which was well known before pictures became so plentiful or so popular, or the refined cartoons of Mr. Punch were ever dreamt of. In Paris, where art-education is highly developed, fugitive designs seems to have, with but ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... as a hit at the critics; but I am by no means sure that the god was in the right. I am by no means certain that the true limits of the critical duty are not grossly misunderstood. Excellence, in a poem especially, may be considered in the light of an axiom, which need only be properly put, to become self-evident. It is not excellence if it requires to be demonstrated as such; and thus, to point out too particularly the merits of a work of Art, is to admit that they are not ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... indispensable condition which alone met the problem, and which the successful steam-engine must possess. He abandoned all else for the time as superfluous, since this was the key of the position. This is the law he then laid down as an axiom—which is repeated in his specification for his first patent in 1769: "To make a perfect steam engine it was necessary that the cylinder should be always as hot as the steam which entered it, and that the steam ...
— James Watt • Andrew Carnegie

... convincing axiom Is, "Life is like a play"; For, turning back its pages some Few dog-eared years away, I find where I Committed my Love-tale—with ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... wine in old bottles, daughter," he said sadly, as he glanced down into the valley. The car was running smoothly, slowly and noiselessly around a sharp curve, and the Reverend Mr. Goodloe both heard and answered the sad axiom. ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... Instruction.' It is with these axioms that the Treatise commences, and from such an introduction we might expect that the writer would go on to unfold the various principles of duty, derived from an analysis of man's moral constitution. Confining himself, however, to the second axiom, he proceeds to say that 'the path may not for an instant be left, and that the superior man is cautious and careful in reference to what he does not see, and fearful and apprehensive in reference to ...
— THE CHINESE CLASSICS (PROLEGOMENA) Unicode Version • James Legge

... moralist, "before expressing your opinion, you should consider what your opinion is worth." But this shaft would have glanced harmlessly from off the panoply of the stupid and self-complacent old lady of whom I am thinking. It was a fundamental axiom with her that her opinion was entirely infallible. Some people would feel as though the very world were crumbling away under their feet, if they realized the fact ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... of our future intentions was raised, prematurely by me; for two conflicting theories were clashing in my brain. But the contents of the letter dogged me now, and 'when at a loss, tell the truth', was an axiom I was finding sound. So I answered, 'Pretty soon, in about a week. But I'm expecting a letter at Norderney, which may give me an extension. Davies said it was a good address ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... us. "Conduct," he said once, "is the outcome of selfishness limited by self-conceit." It was his way so to put things as to strip them of friendly, decent covering; had he said self-interest limited by self-respect, the axiom would have been more accepted and less quoted. A superficial person used to exclaim to me, "And yet he is so kind!" A man without ideals finds kindness the easiest thing in the world. In truth he was kind, and in a confidential sort of way that seemed to chuckle and wink, saying, "We're ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... to the decrees of that law, whatever is received by the earth from the sun, an equivalent for the same must again be returned from the earth to the sun, to the uttermost fraction.[2] Such being the conditions, how may this retro-acting process that all analogy and the profoundest scientific axiom prove to be in constant operation—how, I ask, may this retro-acting process be explained? What equivalent may the earth give back as compensation for such enormous benefits, for such stupendous powers? The laws of conservation may not be ...
— New and Original Theories of the Great Physical Forces • Henry Raymond Rogers

... was answered by the President that it was not desirable to rob Saint Peter's altar in order to build one to Saint Paul. It might have been simpler to suggest that the consumer would pay the tax, supposing it were ever paid at all, but the axiom was not so familiar three centuries ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... still being done carefully. It had become an axiom of a British sailor that a German was not to be trusted—that when he appeared the least dangerous, it was time to watch him more carefully. Consequently, in spite of the impending armistice, the vigilance of the British fleet was ...
— The Boy Allies with the Victorious Fleets - The Fall of the German Navy • Robert L. Drake

... be. The first principle, on which the theory of a science of history can be plausibly argued, is that all actions whatsoever arise from self-interest. It may be enlightened self-interest, it may be unenlightened; but it is assumed as an axiom that every man, in whatever he does, is aiming at something which he considers will promote his happiness. His conduct is not determined by his will; it is determined by the object of his desire. Adam Smith, in laying the foundations of political economy, expressly eliminates ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... permissible, but ran his unpracticed eye unnecessarily over the whole field of American diplomacy. "That distance and three thousand miles of intervening ocean make any permanent political union between a European and an American state unnatural and inexpedient," may have been a philosophic axiom to many in Great Britain as well as in the United States, but it surely did not need reiteration in this state paper, and Olney at once exposed himself to contradiction by adding the phrase, "will hardly be denied." Entirely ignoring the sensitive ...
— The Path of Empire - A Chronicle of the United States as a World Power, Volume - 46 in The Chronicles of America Series • Carl Russell Fish

... "An axiom," said I, "not to be disputed; but now that we are safe, and have time to think about it, are you not slightly of opinion that we behaved somewhat scurvily to our better half, in leaving it so quietly in the hands of ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... have been better, had it been possible, that man should have had a divine book-revelation to tell him that a divine book-revelation was impossible. Great as is my admiration of Mr. Newman, I should, myself, have preferred having God's word for it. However, let us lay it down as an axiom that a human book-revelation, showing you that 'a divine book-revelation is impossible,' is not impossible; and really, considering the almost universal error of man on this subject,—now happily exploded,—the ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... wisdom which belongs to him, and with that power of richly adorning truth from the wardrobe of genius which he possessed above almost all men, "Civil knowledge is conversant about a subject which, above all others, is most immersed in matter, and hardliest reduced to axiom."[28] ...
— A Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations • James Mackintosh

... surmounted by a brown mug of true Taunton ale. We instinctively took our seats; and there must have been some downright witchery in the provisions which surpassed all of its kind; nothing like it on the wide terrene, and one glass of the Taunton, settled it to an axiom. While the dappled sun-beams played on our table, through the umbrageous canopy, the very birds seemed to participate in our felicities, and poured forth their selectest anthems. As we sat in our sylvan hall of ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... do with me; what does that prove? that the more we love the better we are loved: but if that axiom is false, from the earthly point of view, it is certainly exact from the divine point of view; which would be monstrous, and would come to this, that the Lord would not treat the soul of a Poor Clare ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... whose son has suddenly died in the flower of his years, says to him, "Patience, my friend, we all must die!" Would you think it strange if this father were offended at such an impertinence? For it is an impertinence. There are times when even an axiom can become an impertinence. How many times ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... his mind that he could have no occasion to hold it in doubt." In this absolute isolation of his mind, without past and without future, Descartes, first of all assured of his own personal existence by that famous axiom, "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), drew from it, as a necessary consequence, the fact of the separate existence of soul and of body; passing oft by a sort of internal revelation which he called innate ideas, he came to the pinnacle of his edifice, concluding ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... breeder is—est in equis patrum virtus—"Like produces like." But the second axiom is, "The goodness of the horse goes in at his mouth." The moral is, that like produces like only under like natural conditions. Turn out all the winners of the last ten years to breed on Dartmoor or in Shetland; what would be the betting about a colt or a filly so bred for ...
— Hints on Horsemanship, to a Nephew and Niece - or, Common Sense and Common Errors in Common Riding • George Greenwood

... present were Miss Baker and Miss Todd. Miss Baker was not quite happy in her mind. It was not only that she was depressed about Caroline: her firm belief in the grammatical axiom before alluded to lessened her grief on that score. But the conduct of Sir Lionel made her uncomfortable; and she began to find, without at all understanding why, that she did not like Miss Todd as well as she used to do at Jerusalem. Her heart took Mr. O'Callaghan's side in ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... superficial to make Treitschke and Bernhardi his disciples, as some American writers have made Roosevelt his disciple. Treitschke is a heavy-footed historian who raised the axiom of self-preservation into a philosophy of force. Von Bernhardi's book, though extreme in its expression, is based on the fundamental truth that if Germany desired a just proportion of oversea territories (a proportion denied her by England) she would have to gain it by force of arms. In the development ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... enjoy it together." But he uses no compulsion; with those who turn a deaf ear to him he is powerless. Science on the other hand tries to compel belief by irresistible processes of logic; the scientist's axiom is that if the premises be true the conclusion must follow, and he pours scorn upon all who refuse assent to his interpretations, denouncing them as ignorant, superstitious, if not wilfully blind and perverse. Mystery, ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... glimpse. From the work and fatigues of this world, people had gathered for a little enjoyment of what we call society. It is true that both the room and its occupants did not indicate that there had been much recreation. But, then, one can lay it down as an axiom that the people who work for pleasure are the hardest-working people in the world; and, as it is that for which society labors, this scene is but another proof that they get very much fatigued over ...
— The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him • Paul Leicester Ford

... laid down as an unfailing and universal axiom, that "all pride is abject and mean." It is always an ignorant, lazy, or cowardly acquiescence in a false appearance of excellence, and proceeds not from consciousness of our attainments, but ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... in practice with the desired results. This is, beyond question, a bold and presumptuous doubt, inasmuch as many distinguished characters, called men of the world, long-headed customers, knowing dogs, shrewd fellows, capital hands at business, and the like, have made, and do daily make, this axiom their polar star and compass. Still, the doubt may be gently insinuated. And in illustration it may be observed, that if Mr Brass, not being over-suspicious, had, without prying and listening, left his sister to manage the conference on their joint behalf, or ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... What's that?" I cried, looking at the slovenly, dirt-streaked wrapper and the shabby golf-cape that had slipped from her shoulders to the cot. She regarded me with pity for my ignorance, and then delivered herself of an axiom. ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... world is governed too much," though unhappily too truly spoken of many countries—and perhaps, in some aspects, true of all—has done much mischief whenever it has been too unconditionally accepted as a political axiom. The popular apprehension of being over-governed, and, I am afraid, more emphatically the fear of being over-taxed, has had much to do with the general abandonment of certain governmental duties by the ruling powers of most modern states. It is theoretically the duty of government to provide ...
— The Earth as Modified by Human Action • George P. Marsh

... very likely," replied Mr. Dinks, with the polite air of a man assenting to an axiom in a science of which, unfortunately, he has ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... of America, public opinion prevails. It is an axiom of the old political economy, as well as of the new sociology, that no man, or set of men, may with impunity defy public opinion; no law can be enforced contrary to its behests; and even life itself is scarcely worth living without its approbation. Public opinion ...
— Commercialism and Journalism • Hamilton Holt

... method of statement for the benefit of others to whom it will carry conviction. A relation once clearly grasped in its mathematical aspect becomes thenceforth one of the unalterable truths of the universe, no longer a thing to be argued about, but an axiom which may be assumed as the foundation on which to build up the edifice of further knowledge. But, laying aside mathematical formulae, we may say that because the Infinite is infinite there can be no limit ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... and call aloud This axiom undoubted— Would thou hae Nobles' patronage? First learn to live ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... partially impelled by surrounding physical circumstances, and partially by its own second suggestions, growing out of those primary impressions received from nature. The moral influence, the historian asserts, is the weakest of the three, which control the destiny of man. Not an axiom now current, but was known and taught in the days of Plato, of Zoroaster, and of Confucius; yet how wide the gap intervening between the civilization of the different eras! Moral without intellectual culture, is ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... too," continued Madame, "in the name of that poor little Naiad, who is indeed the most charming creature I ever met. Moreover, she laughed so heartily while she was telling me her story, that, in pursuance of that medical axiom that laughter is the finest physic in the world, I ask permission to laugh a little myself when I recollect ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... would have understood at once such a child as Margaret Fuller was, or would have done even as wisely as he? And how long is it since a wiser era has dawned upon the world (its light not yet fully welcomed), in which attention first to physical development to the exclusion of the mental, is an axiom in education! Was it so deemed forty years ago? Nor has it been considered that so gifted a child would naturally, as she did, seek the companionship of those older than herself, and not of children who had little in unison with her. She needed, doubtless, to be urged into the usual sports ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... spoke, Mr. Wentworth saw the handle of the door begin to turn; the door opened and remained slightly ajar, until Felix had delivered himself of the cheerful axiom just quoted. Then it opened altogether and Gertrude stood there. She looked excited; there was a spark in her sweet, dull eyes. She came in slowly, but with an air of resolution, and, closing the door softly, looked round at the three persons present. Felix went to ...
— The Europeans • Henry James

... head by mentioning two examples among others which he brings to explain the better what he means by his first philosophy. The first is this axiom, "If to unequals you add equals, all will be unequal." This, he says, is an axiom of justice as well as of mathematics; and he asks whether there is not a true coincidence between commutative and distributive justice, ...
— Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope • Lord Bolingbroke

... brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is the first law of nature. If he had been, perhaps he would have been prepared for this. Not being prepared, however, it alarmed him the more; so away he went like the wind, with the old ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... manner in which you cross the threshold of married life depends your future happiness. It is not a small matter to lay the first stone of an edifice. A husband's first kiss"—I felt a thrill run down my back—"a husband's first kiss is like the fundamental axiom that serves as a basis for a whole volume. Be prudent, Captain. She is there beyond that wall, the fair young bride, who is awaiting you; her ear on the alert, her neck outstretched, she is listening to each of your movements. At every creak ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... fulfils his debt to the Church if he has recited by mistake an office other than the one assigned in the calendar of the day. Theologians teach that such a recitation fulfils the debt. The Church does not wish to impose a second recitation, and her axiom "officium pro officio valet" holds, provided always that the order of the psalms as laid down in the new psaltery is followed. This order is necessary always for validity. However, if the substituted office be very much shorter than the omitted office, it is advised to equalise them ...
— The Divine Office • Rev. E. J. Quigley

... the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States, in the event of disunion, that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics, that vicinity or nearness of situation, constitutes nations natural enemies. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness ...
— The Federalist Papers

... be. The first principle, on which the theory of a science of history can be plausibly argued, is that all actions whatsoever arise from self-interest. It may be enlightened self-interest, it may be unenlightened; but it is assumed as an axiom, that every man, in whatever he does, is aiming at something which he considers will promote his happiness. His conduct is not determined by his will; it is determined by the object of his desire. Adam Smith, in laying ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... exhibit them in broad daylight; which, instead of rejecting traditional dogmas and the prejudices of conscience, asks only to verify them; which, while defending itself against exclusive opinions, takes for an axiom the infallibility of reason, and, thanks to this fruitful principle, will doubtless never decide against any of the antagonistic sects? Is it possible that the religious and political conservatives ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... and the authority of princes. Even in a speech to the parliament where he begged for supply, and where he should naturally have used every art to ingratiate himself with that assembly, he expressed himself in these terms: "I conclude, then, the point touching the power of kings, with this axiom of divinity, that, as to dispute what God may do, is blasphemy; but what God wills, that divines may lawfully and do ordinarily dispute and discuss. So is it sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power. But just kings will ever be willing ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... is based upon a denial of the axiom that the satisfaction of one want breeds another want. Experience does not teach the decay but the metamorphosis of individuality. Under socialised industry progress in the industrial arts would be slower and would absorb a smaller proportion of individual interest, in order that progress ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... receiving yours of the 10th inst. on yesterday, and was very happy to hear from you. The advice you kindly give me I shall cheerfully take. It has ever been my maxim to be moderate but firm. Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, should be an axiom with all politicians. We continue to progress in the high way of republicanism, and you will find, by our toasts, we have not forgot one of its ablest supporters. ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... Sagalassus.' I do not wish to ridicule or make a jest of these pretty histories; I write for a practical purpose: any one who avoids these and similar errors is already well on the road to historical success; nay, he is almost there, if the logical axiom is correct, that, with incompatibles, denial of the one amounts ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... from his debts, and have undisturbed possession of Les Jardies, where they could live en pigeons heureux. Ever inclined to give advice, he suggested to her that she should have her interests entirely separate form Anna's, quoting the axiom, N'ayez aucune collision d'interet avec vos enfants, and that she was wrong in refusing a bequest from her deceased husband. She should give up all luxuries, dismiss all necessary employees and not spend so much of ...
— Women in the Life of Balzac • Juanita Helm Floyd

... axiom seemed to satisfy Arthur, probably because he knew no better, and he rose to take ...
— From One Generation to Another • Henry Seton Merriman

... upon diet, until the "Physiology of Common Life" (George Henry Lewes) discussed Liebig's brilliant error in considering food chemically, and not physiologically. The rest assume his classification without reserve, and work from the axiom that heat-making, carbonaceous and non-nitrogenous foods (e.g. fat and sugars), necessary to support life in the arctic and polar regions, must be exchanged for the tissue-making, plastic or nitrogenous ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... or sarcasm, for people look beneath the veneer nowadays. They remember and repeat the axiom, "there's many a true word spoken ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... activity, but not in knowledge of moral principle. The most ancient wisdom in morals is also the most modern. Time and the progress of civilization have added nothing to the demands of the conscience or to moral perception. The golden rule is an axiom of ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... observe, there are two things which are to be learned from this passage. The first is this, that happiness is not our end and aim. It has been said, and has since been repeated as frequently as if it were an indisputable axiom, that "Happiness is our being's end and aim." Brethren, happiness is not our being's end and aim. The Christian's aim is perfection, not happiness, and every one of the sons of God must have something of that spirit which marked their Master; ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... she runs the race of disorganization as ardent as any, striving to be a leader among other leaders to ruin. Every one is astounded at the sudden and remarkable change. It is truly inexplicable, save by the fearful axiom, Quos Deus vult perdere, dementat. Hence not a few expect soon to see storms sweep over the devoted island of Great Britain, which no longer forms an exception to the universality of the evil ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... the man into a corner. In its beginning it summons this same man out of the corner and asks him to rely upon himself for the great and the small things of life, thus ultimately developing that sturdy citizen who knows the value of the axiom, "Ubi bene, ibi patria." The great deeds, the great dreams become possible for nation or for individual only through the constant performance of small deeds. "For it must be remembered that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments. The greater part of our time ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... effect in Tokyo of these happenings had been electrical. Relying on the well-known Japanese police axiom, that the man who gets in his story first is the prosecutor and the accused the guilty party, irrespective of what the evidence may be, the newspapers all came out with the same account of a calculated attack by "ferocious Chinese soldiers" on a Japanese detachment ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... the agnats, or paternal kindred of the nearest degree, were compelled to act as the natural guardians: the Athenians were apprehensive of exposing the infant to the power of those most interested in his death; but an axiom of Roman jurisprudence has pronounced that the charge of tutelage should constantly attend the emolument of succession. If the choice of the father and the line of consanguinity afforded no efficient guardian, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... Thus, Pindar, the author of those Odes, which are so admirably restored by Mr Cowley in our language, ought for ever to be the standard of them; and we are bound, according to the practice of Horace and Mr Cowley, to copy him. Now, to apply this axiom to our present purpose, whosoever undertakes the writing of an opera, which is a modern invention, though built indeed on the foundation of ethnic worship, is obliged to imitate the design of the Italians, who have not only invented, but brought to perfection, this sort of dramatic ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... beautiful, I would not blot it with the shadow of my finger. I concede that talent is not necessary to usefulness, and a woman may fulfill every duty of her station without it. But our question is of comparative usefulness; and there I have something to say. It is an axiom that knowledge is power; and, if it is, the greater the knowledge, the greater should be the power of doing good. To men, superior intelligence gives power to dispose, control, and govern the fortunes ...
— The Ladies' Vase - Polite Manual for Young Ladies • An American Lady

... demonstration, he winds round it and round it, adding proof to proof, but never escaping the same vicious circle: substance exists because it exists, and the ultimate experience of existence, so far from being of that clear kind which can be accepted as an axiom, is the most confused of all our sensations. What is existence? and what is that something which we say exists? Things—essences— existences; these are but the vague names with which faculties, constructed ...
— Froude's Essays in Literature and History - With Introduction by Hilaire Belloc • James Froude

... pretty thing that I giddily grabbed for it, sometimes when it was too far off, and sometimes when it was but six inches away but seemed a foot—alas, with thorns between! I learned a lesson; also I made an axiom, all out of my own head —my very first one; THE SCRATCHED EXPERIMENT SHUNS THE THORN. I think it is a very good one ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... study, he said: "That is the best I can do; I shall never write a better sermon." I have been told that when a man says he has reached the topmost effort of his abilities, it presages his end, and the march of events seemed to verify the axiom. ...
— T. De Witt Talmage - As I Knew Him • T. De Witt Talmage

... consult him. This class of men influence less than they ought. Sensible persons are apt to set them down, as either fools or pedants. Their very magniloquence condemns them; for, in the present day, it seems an axiom, that simplicity and ...
— A Love Story • A Bushman

... but rather as actual obsessions of the evil one, who contrived in this manner to give scandal to the faithful, and selected the most godly for his evil purpose. This ingenious defence of the field-chaplain was the saving of my back, for my father, who was a believer in Solomon's axiom, had a stout ash stick and a strong arm for whatever seemed to him to be a falling away ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... truth. This theory, which was nearly unknown to the republics of antiquity—which was introduced into the world almost by accident, like so many other great truths—and misunderstood by several modern nations, is at length become an axiom in the political science ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... assume any definite form. For after all, what possible connection could there be between the two occurrences? Then again, he never allowed himself to be governed by prejudice, nor had he as yet enriched his formulary with an axiom he afterward professed: "Distrust all circumstances that seem to favor your ...
— Monsieur Lecoq • Emile Gaboriau

... to watch the departure of a prince, thereupon broke into loud outbursts of laughter, and when I said to them, 'I suppose you are glad that this happened to me?' they replied, 'Yes, it was very funny.' On this incident I based my axiom that you can please the German public by your misfortunes if by nothing else. As there was no other train to Leipzig for five hours I telegraphed to my brother-in-law, Hermann Brockhaus (whom I had asked to put me up), telling him of my delay, and allowed a man who introduced ...
— My Life, Volume II • Richard Wagner

... different countries, making morality an affair of latitude, and what is right and proper in one place wrong and improper in another. It must, however, be understood that, since all civilised nations appear to accept it as an axiom that ceremony is the touchstone of morality, there is, even according to our canons, nothing immoral about this Amahagger custom, seeing that the interchange of the embrace answers to our ceremony of marriage, which, as we know, ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... called the Viscount Turenne), in conjunction with the forces to be supplied by the republic. "Any treaty of peace on our part with the King of Spain," said the States-General, "is our certain ruin. This is an axiom. That monarch's object is to incorporate into his own realms not only all the states and possessions of neighbouring kings, principalities, and powers, but also all Christendom, aye, the whole world, were it possible. We joyfully concur then in your Majesty's resolution to carry on the war ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... became mine, and I found out the falsity of the axiom, 'Sublata lucerna nullum discrimen inter feminas', for even in the darkness a man would know a black woman ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... educator as the school itself. In this case the school would have taken as little notice of the boy's natural bent as his father. It would, in all probability, never have discovered it at all. But it has become so much an accepted axiom that children are to be manufactured into anything that happens to suit the taste or convenience of their guardians, that it probably never occurred to the parent in question that he was committing a cruel and foolish act in forcing his son out of the path into which the boy's natural instinct ...
— The Curse of Education • Harold E. Gorst

... his brain two thoughts: the first, the axiom, whenever and wherever you find a leper, look for the other leper; the second, the desired Irish terrier, who was owned by Daughtry, with whom Kwaque had been long associated. And here all swiftness of eye- flashing ceased on the part of Walter Merritt ...
— Michael, Brother of Jerry • Jack London

... acting is the complete truth in one short sentence: Nature's triumph over art; reversing the copy-book axiom! But the Lord deliver us from ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 2 (of 3), 1857-1870 • Charles Dickens

... canal axiom to the passengers assembled before the starting on the promenade, Uncle Moses objected strenuously to its truth, and Dr. Hawkes warmly supported him. The statement did ...
— Asiatic Breezes - Students on The Wing • Oliver Optic

... studied," observed the Colonel, "the Republic of Plato you would have been saved your initial mistake; for it was an axiom among the Greeks that in all things women are inferior, and never to be trusted in large affairs. The great Plato pointed out, and it has never been controverted, that women are given to concealment and spite; and that in times of danger they are timid and cowardly, and ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... he had just set down, to such a degree that he forgot to attend to his new companion? Nothing could be more wide of the truth; but that is the way we judge and misjudge one another. She was almost hurt at his silence, before he spoke again. The fact is, that the general axiom that a man can always put in words anything of which his head and heart are both full, seems to have one exception. Mr. Dillwyn was a good talker, always, on matters he cared about, and matters he did not care about; and yet now, when he had secured, one would say, the most favourable ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... different from that desire of pleasing, which is so natural and so consistent even with the greatest modesty, in that it always builds on some falsity, mistaken for a means of pleasing, though nothing can more surely defeat that intention; there is not an axiom more true than that the graces are incompatible with affectation. They vanish at the first appearance of it: and the curse of affectation is, that it never but lets itself be seen, and wherever it is seen, it is sure to offend, and to frustrate ...
— A Treatise on the Art of Dancing • Giovanni-Andrea Gallini

... wretched business was gone into, thoroughly and exhaustively, and yet Larry felt that across one corner of it there was a fold of curtain drawn. He said he would go and see Cousin Dick. There was always a chance that Christian, also, might be in the study. The axiom that "If a man want a thing he mus' have it," should, in Larry's case, have the corollary that he must ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... compelled to believe and to show that among would-be artists some are true artists and some are not, and that among true artists some are greater than others. That what has generally passed under the name of aesthetic criticism assumes as an axiom that every true work of art is unique and incomparable is merely the paradox which betrays the unworthiness of such criticism to bear the name it has arrogated to itself. The function of true criticism is to establish a definite hierarchy among the great artists ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... bashful, as if not at home, and not sure of its right to be there at all. It is rather homely withal, having nothing in feather, feature, or form, to attract notice. It is seemingly made to be heard, not seen, reversing the old axiom addressed to children when getting voicy. Its mission is music, and it floods a thousand acres of the blue sky with it several times a day. Out of that palpitating speck of living joy there wells forth ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... of circumspection on the part of Stephen Dale that he should welcome a stranger, and a soldier, too, as a guest at his family meal. But it was his favorite axiom that a sergeant might not be looked down upon "like as if he was a common Tom, Dick, or Harry in the ranks"; so that his hospitality was to be expected in the present instance. Had either anxious parent had the slightest fear of the attractive sergeant's ...
— Up in Ardmuirland • Michael Barrett

... not to fly, my little chevalier," replied the captain; "it is an axiom of the art which I advise you to consider; besides, I am not sorry to study your play. Ah! you are a pupil of Berthelot, apparently; he is a good master, but he has one great fault: it is not teaching to parry. ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... people will read with attention what he has written, they will soon understand the great difference existing between him and the author of the "Maxims." Without even speaking of that which separates prose from poetry, an axiom from a hasty expression, grave from gay, maxims from satire, the difference is still enormous. Lord Byron had not received from nature, any more than the author of the "Maxims," the gift of seeing things in a roseate hue. On the ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... items of the government program for 1864. Armed with this, Davis braced himself for the great task of making head against the enemies that now surrounded the Confederacy. It is an axiom of military science that when one combatant possesses the interior line, the other can offset this advantage only by exerting coincident pressure all round, thus preventing him from shifting his forces from one front to another. On this principle, the Northern strategists ...
— The Day of the Confederacy - A Chronicle of the Embattled South, Volume 30 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... to speak of a woman as a "nymph," or a "fair"; of sheep as "the fleecy care"; of fishes as "the scaly tribe"; and of a picket fence as a "spiculated paling." Lowell says of Pope's followers: "As the master had made it an axiom to avoid what was mean or low, so the disciples endeavored to escape from what was common. This they contrived by the ready expedient of the periphrasis. They called everything something else. A ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... Nature two objects identically alike. In the Natural Order two and two never make four; to do so, four exactly similar units must be had, and you know how impossible it is to find two leaves alike on the same tree, or two trees alike of the same species. This axiom of your numeration, false in visible nature, is equally false in the invisible universe of your abstractions, where the same variance takes place in your ideas, which are the things of the visible world extended by means of their ...
— Seraphita • Honore de Balzac

... Hamlet. He has by his trifling with Ophelia caused her death. Laertes calls him a poor demented one, exclaims over his lack of moral sense, and winds up by bidding the crazy Prince leave the cemetery. Quand on finit par folie, c'est qu'on a commence par le cabotinage. (Which is a consoling axiom for an actor.) Hamlet with his ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... the Exercises is stated in the axiom that "Man was created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord and thereby to save his soul." To fit a man for this work the spiritual exercises were divided into four periods called weeks, though each period might be shortened or lengthened at the discretion of ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... after a most pitiless arraignment of the universe and man. And here is the paradox. This quartet of genius suffered from and were slain by consumption. (Stevenson died directly of brain congestion; he was, however, a victim to lung trouble.) That the poets turn their sorrow into song is an axiom. Yet these men met death, or what is worse, met life, with defiance or impassible fronts. And the world which loves the lilting rhythms of Chopin's mazourkas seldom cares to peep behind the screen of notes for the anguish ambushed there. Watteau has painted the gayest scenes of pastoral ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... with a taste for natural history became obtrusive and sought close investigation. It was part of Nickie's duty to fill such visitors with a proper respect for Missing Links, but ninety-nine out of every hundred accepted Mahdi in good faith. It is an axiom in the show business that the people who can't be deceived are so few that they are ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... melancholy amusement that I read in the scientific journals that sewer-gas was comparatively innocuous. After the hundreds of sanitary tracts in which the deadliness of sewer-gas has been an axiom of faith, after the thousand-and-one deaths from it in the contemporary novel, it is grimly diverting to learn that sewer-gas may be welcomed without fear to our hearths and homes. The same process appears to be overtaking ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... the contradictions involved. As Hobbes observed, people would dispute even geometrical axioms if they had an interest in doing so; and, certainly, they are ready to dispute the plainest doctrines about money. The other remark, that we cannot deduce a complete theory from the axiom is, of course, true. Thus, for example, although the doctrine may be unimpeachable, there is a difficulty in applying it to the facts. As gold has other uses besides its use as money, its value is not regulated exclusively by the principle assigned; as other ...
— Social Rights and Duties, Volume I (of 2) - Addresses to Ethical Societies • Sir Leslie Stephen

... direct them what to say or leave unsaid. Whatever opinion we may form of their force and range, we cannot but recognise that it is themselves whom they are expressing. And it may be taken as an axiom that nothing so commends the man who speaks to the interest of the man who listens as this—the fact that the speaker is telling his own thought. That, I believe, is the secret of the hold which Browning possesses upon his votaries, ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... "priority of need" will supersede the law of "supply and demand." And the organizations built up during the war, if they prove efficient, will not be abolished. Hours of labour and wages in the co-operative League of Nations will gradually be equalized, and tariffs will become things of the past. "The axiom will be established," says Mr. Webb, "that the resources of every country must, be held for the benefit not only of its own people but of the world . . . . The world shortage will, for years to come, make import duties look both ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... is wisdom to observe not so much the person that speaks as that which he says, because the teacher's faults are always in evidence. But when we consider precepts of God and true obedience, this axiom should be reversed. Then we should observe not so much that which is said, but the person of him who speaks. In respect to divine precepts, if you observe that which is said and not him who speaks, you will easily stumble. ...
— Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II - Luther on Sin and the Flood • Martin Luther

... spiritual entity that, so far as general principles can be applied to particular instances, often gave me a grip of the evil, and enabled me, by dealing with the generating cause, to strike at its immediate manifestation. My axiom was that in the human subject mind is king; the mind commands, the body obeys. From this follows the corollary that the really great doctor, however trivial the complaint, should always begin by trying to understand the mind of his patient, ...
— Doctor Therne • H. Rider Haggard

... be laid down as an axiom, that that system must be radically wrong which can only be supported by transgressing the ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... of most grave importance which relate to religion and morals, we must follow strenuously the norm of reason rightly applied, as of the highest faculty of the mind; which law of thinking and perceiving, if it be applied to prove any positive religion (theological Rationalism) lays it down as an axiom that religion is revealed to men in no other manner than that which is agreeable both to the nature of things and to reason, as the witness and interpreter of divine providence; and teaches that the subject-matter of every supposed supernatural revelation, is ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... it was ridiculous to suppose that any Cabinet Minister wished the War to end or England to be victorious. The contrary was an axiom on which the whole future of his political creed was based. One had but to look at them to see how flabby and vacillating they were and how devoted to the pickings ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 22, 1916 • Various

... familiar axiom,"—he said—"'Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.' The 'Dream' was first of all nothing but a dream in my brain till I set to work with Fazio and made it a reality. Owing to our discovery of the way in which to compel the ...
— The Life Everlasting: A Reality of Romance • Marie Corelli

... followed up, before the complication of its consequences, only half understood, can prove its falsity; and even when all is revealed, the opposite principle is acted upon, self is contradicted, and justification sought, in the incomparably absurd modern axiom, that in political economy there ...
— What Is Free Trade? - An Adaptation of Frederic Bastiat's "Sophismes Econimiques" - Designed for the American Reader • Frederic Bastiat

... the fair flowers of wealth—to have good success and to win therefore fair fame;" [Footnote: Pind. Isth. iv. 14.— Translated by E. Myers.] and the passage represents his habitual attitude. That the gifts of fortune, both personal and external, are an essential condition of excellence, is an axiom of the point of view of the Greeks. But on the other hand we never find them misled into the conception that such gifts are an end in themselves, apart from the personal qualities they are meant to support or adorn. The oriental ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... evolutionary philosophy, and after it begins to dawn on the thinking mind how utterly irreconcilable they are, the absolute impossibility of a consistent evolutionist believing in an inspired, inerrant, and infallible Bible becomes well nigh an axiom. It is no wonder that Dr. W. B. ...
— The Church, the Schools and Evolution • J. E. (Judson Eber) Conant

... maritime law it became the mother of wages, as the crew were obliged to moor the ship on her return in the docks or forfeit them. So severely was the axiom maintained, that if a ship was lost by misfortune, tempest, enemy, or fire, wages also were forfeited, because the freight out of which they were to arise had perished with it. This harsh measure was intended to augment the care of ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... the production and rearing of children; and this, as we have seen, is the end of society. With the family therefore social reconstruction should start. And we may lay down as the fundamental ethical and social axiom that everybody not physically disqualified ought to marry, and to produce at least four children. The only question here is whether the state should intervene and endeavour so to regulate marriages as to bring together ...
— A Modern Symposium • G. Lowes Dickinson

... know What has happen'd," he said,... "let us go to her now." Alfred started at once to his feet. Drawn and wan Though his face, he look'd more than his wont was—a man. Strong for once, in his weakness. Uplifted, fill'd through With a manly resolve. If that axiom be true Of the "Sum quia cogito," I must opine That "id sum quod cogito;"—that which, in fine A man thinks and feels, with his whole force of thought And feeling, the man is himself. He had fought With himself, and rose up from his self-overthrow The survivor of much which that strife had ...
— Lucile • Owen Meredith

... this principle as an axiom, that whatever conduces to augment the sum of human happiness, must be an object of solicitude to the conscientious and intelligent physician. He will be anxious that his fellow citizens should be sober, peaceable, and virtuous; ...
— A Dissertation on the Medical Properties and Injurious Effects of the Habitual Use of Tobacco • A. McAllister

... industry and impeded social progress. It seems strange that any evidence should be thought necesary to prove that a man will not sow if he does not hope to reap, and that he will not build houses for strangers to enjoy. This would be taken as an axiom anywhere out of Ireland. Of all the people in Europe, the Irish have suffered most from the oppression of those who, from age to age, had power in the country. Whoever fought or conquered, they were always the victims; and it ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... to the trite axiom with the respect due one who has met and grappled successfully with his one great chance. His well-fed appearance, his genial, contented smile, gave an impression of prosperity even when his linen was frayed and his elbows glossy; now in the latest achievement ...
— The Lady Doc • Caroline Lockhart

... axiom founded upon the evidence of past work, and a respect for the laws of construction in the carpenter's department, that when foliage appears in panels divided by plain spaces, it should never be made to look as if it grew ...
— Wood-Carving - Design and Workmanship • George Jack

... never safe. God will arrest him. Di- vine justice will manacle him. His sins will be millstones about his neck, weighing him down to the 105:27 depths of ignominy and death. The aggravation of er- ror foretells its doom, and confirms the ancient axiom: "Whom the gods would destroy, ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy



Words linked to "Axiom" :   aphorism, apophthegm, Euclid's postulate, expression, proposition, moralism, logic, saying, gnome, locution, apothegm



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