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Decipher   /dɪsˈaɪfər/   Listen
Decipher

verb
(past & past part. deciphered; pres. part. deciphering)
1.
Convert code into ordinary language.  Synonyms: decode, decrypt.
2.
Read with difficulty.  Synonym: trace.  "The archeologist traced the hieroglyphs"



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"Decipher" Quotes from Famous Books



... an important find. Although much plundered, the walls were intact, and the delicate carvings in the white limestone walls were exceptional examples. And there were some very interesting things to decipher. A scholar and an explorer could ...
— The Fortieth Door • Mary Hastings Bradley

... too. Love-letters of the passing year, she called them; songs dyed with the autumn's heart's-blood of regret that he must yield the sweet, warm earth to his gray rival, winter. She had pretended that the small, crossed veinlets of the leaves were Chinese ideographs which it was given her to decipher. Holding him off with one outstretched arm she would have read to him,—fantastic, exquisite interpreter of love,—but he, mad brute, had caught the little hands, the autumn leaves, and crushed them to one hot glow, crying aloud that ...
— The Dragon Painter • Mary McNeil Fenollosa

... in Rabelais' own hand; afterwards that it might be at least a copy of his unfinished work. The task was a difficult one, for the writing, extremely flowing and rapid, is execrable, and most difficult to decipher and to transcribe accurately. Besides, it often happens in the sixteenth and the end of the fifteenth century, that manuscripts are much less correct than the printed versions, even when they have not been copied by clumsy ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... handwriting points to an early period of Leonardo's life. It has become very indistinct, and is at present exceedingly difficult to decipher. Some passages ...
— The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Complete • Leonardo Da Vinci

... few of the passes used by Harriet throughout the war. Many others are so defaced that it is impossible to decipher them. ...
— Harriet, The Moses of Her People • Sarah H. Bradford

... Englishwomen seem to be almost deprived. 'I am Eve!' say the mocking, melting eyes of the Southern woman, and so said Camilla's eyes. No man could rest calm under that glance; no man could forbear the attempt to decipher the hidden secrecies of its message, and no man ...
— Hugo - A Fantasia on Modern Themes • Arnold Bennett

... There is one volume of his journal covering this period, bound in vellum, at the Massachusetts Historical rooms, presented by the Rev. Chandler Robbins. It is a miracle of neatness and precision, but in such fine penmanship that it is difficult to decipher. His love of detail is manifest in the most accurate information in regard to the ship's progress in her various voyages; and in his account of the small-pox and measles, both of which diseases assailed ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 4, April, 1886 • Various

... nothing in the earth beneath its hills and valleys and teeming soil. Now they walk consciously over the ruins of old worlds; they can decipher the strange characters and read the strange history graven on these gigantic tablets. The stony veil is rent, and they can look inimitable periods back, and see the curious animals which then moved up ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... Chapultepec by a narrow road winding through the remnant of a once vast forest, attention was called to the ancient inscriptions upon the rocks at the eastern base of the hill near the roadside. They are in half relief; and, so far as we could decipher them, they seemed to be Toltec rather than Aztec. They are engraven on the natural rock, and are of a character quite unintelligible to the present generation. For years these were hidden by the dense undergrowth, being on the ...
— Aztec Land • Maturin M. Ballou

... was at that time far beyond the northernmost extreme of railways, hard upon the shore of that ill-omened strait of whirlpools, in a land of moors where no stranger came, unless it should be a sportsman to shoot grouse or an antiquary to decipher runes, the presence of these small pedestrians struck the mind as though a bird-of-paradise had risen from the heather or an albatross come fishing in the bay of Wick. They were as strange to their surroundings as my lordly evangelist or the ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... say, had fallen at last into the great scheme of Law. Religious doctrines, many of them at least, have been up to this time all but as catastrophic as the old Geology. They are not on the lines of Nature as we have learned to decipher her. If any one feel, as Science complains that it feels, that the lie of things in the Spiritual World as arranged by Theology is not in harmony with the world around, is not, in short, scientific, he is entitled to raise the question whether this be ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... services; while, on the other hand, the aristocrats in all the various ministries looked upon him as a dangerous Mephistopheles, courted him, and gave him back with usury the flatteries he bestowed in the higher sphere. As difficult to decipher as a hieroglyphic inscription to the clerks, the vocation of the secretary and his usefulness were as plain as the rule of three to the self-interested. This lesser Prince de Wagram of the administration, to whom the duty of gathering opinions and ideas and making verbal reports thereon was ...
— Bureaucracy • Honore de Balzac

... confederacy, only three were Hellenic, and the rest Pelasgic. But with the increasing influence of the Dorian oracle of Delphi, with which it was connected, it became gradually considered a Hellenic institution. It is not possible to decipher the first intention of this league. The meeting was held at two places, near Anthela, in the pass of Thermopylae, and Delphi; at the latter place in the spring, at the former in the autumn. If tradition imputed to Amphictyon the origin of the council, it ascribed to Acrisius, ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... fern brake. We scrutinized the underbrush, but there was no sign of human being, except the fern stems broken by my shots. I wrenched the stone spear-head from the tree. It was curiously ornamented with such a multitude of intricate carvings I could not decipher any design. Then I discovered that the medley of colors was produced by inlaying the flint with small bits of a bright stone; and the bright stones had been carved into a rude likeness ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... one as, before I begin to decipher him, I dare not affirm to be any thing less than a courtier. So much he is during this open time of revels, and would be longer, but that his means are to leave him shortly after. His name is Hedon, a gallant wholly consecrated ...
— Cynthia's Revels • Ben Jonson

... a slip of parchment into the hand of the host, who turning it once or twice round in the vain attempt to decipher its intention, passed it to the ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... for himself. Then he had applied to the court and received a license to practise—that was all. I doubt not that this book of mine, and perhaps a manuscript collection of recipes and prescriptions, and a few Latin treatises that he could hardly decipher, formed his entire pharmacop[oe]ia. As he had chanced to inherit a small fortune from a relative, he became a physician of some note; for in colonial days wealth and position were as essential as were learning and experience, to enable one ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... given him. She had not opened the packet, for she felt that the letters were for the actress's child's eye alone. He, when he looked at it, did so with a feeling of mixed reverence and fascination which was deepened by his inability to decipher the secrets bound together by the bit of blue ribbon tied around it. How the sight of the packet recalled to him that sad, that solemn hour in which it had been given into his hands! When getting him ready for boarding-school, Mrs. Allan had packed the letters with his other belongings, for she ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... first fleshed his sword? Now, unbuckle him at once, dame, that he may write in my name a letter of thanks to this noble Fleming. I have not written a letter for years, and our friend would scarce be able to decipher it were I to try." Then he went on, as she removed Albert's casque: "There was good taste as well as judgment in the purchase of those arms, Agatha. To me who knows what arms are, they are superb, but to the ordinary eye they would seem no better ...
— A March on London • G. A. Henty

... house, scored all over with hieroglyphics by perished hands. When we decipher one of these hieroglyphics, we find in it the statement of a mistaken opinion; but knowledge has crept onward since the hand dropped from the wall; we no longer entertain the opinion, and we can trace ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... her stealthy glances towards it told, something else than the book was occupying her attention. A piece of detached paper that gleamed whiter between the leaves, was evidently the object of her solicitude. It was the writing upon that she was trying to decipher. I watched with eager glance. I noted every movement of the fair reader. Marian had joined me. ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... by-gone days, no song of bird or wealth of plumage gladdens its forlorn branches; no lovely flowers or shade-loving moss and fern make patches of emerald and gold;" no weary pedestrian turns aside from the hot, dusty path where the heated air flows in tremendous rays unless to decipher some name on the bark where Nature in pity is covering the ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... the great civilization of Egypt also came originally from this Atlantic race. Nevertheless, his volumes are important, because they furnish materials which others can use more carefully, and because he has learned to decipher some of the Central American writings and brought to view certain paths of inquiry which others may pursue ...
— Ancient America, in Notes on American Archaeology • John D. Baldwin

... eyes atoned for the "only," and she bore no resentment, for she had met his look and read there the thought he could not decipher, and it sunk deep into ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... circumstance to Mr. Sumner, who replied: 'Mr. Frederick Douglass is a very noble, talented man, and I know of no one who writes a more beautiful letter.' I am sending you a long letter, Lizzie, but I rely a great deal on your indulgence. My fear is that you will not be able to decipher the scrawl written ...
— Behind the Scenes - or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House • Elizabeth Keckley

... understood to support him,) and Mr. Nevil Story Maskelyne, Keeper of the Mineraloglcal Department. Of the alphabetical Mr. Hamilton we know something. He is one of the ablest palaeographists of his years in England, and the possessor of a pair of eyes of such microscopic powers that he can decipher manuscript which to ordinary sight seems obliterated by time, or even fire: a man of worth, too, as we hear, and one who has borne himself in this affair with mingled confidence and modesty. He says, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... he was bent on understanding was puzzling, if not difficult to decipher, in consequence of the interpolated passages, repetitions, and parts eliminated or abridged; in fact, to say the truth, as the result of a certain incoherence, accounted for no doubt by the circumstance that the work had been carried on, altered or extended ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... looked sharply at him on his arrival, whispered a little boy, who ran away, and quickly returned with the mayor of the town. LOUVET soon discovered that there was no danger in the mayor, who could not decipher his forged passport, and who, being well plied with wine, wanted to hear no more of the matter. The landlady, perceiving this, slipped out and brought a couple of aldermen, who asked to see the passport. 'O, yes; but drink first.' ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... Productions, that of late they never mention the Q—n or P—l at length, though they speak of them with Honour, and with that Deference which is due to them from every private Person. It gives a secret Satisfaction to a Peruser of these mysterious Works, that he is able to decipher them without help, and, by the Strength of his own natural Parts, to fill up a Blank-Space, or make out a Word that has only the first or ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... each kind. A bamboo pipe, with a reed tongue of the same material, or even one with a flute action, was not so sweet in tone as the voice of my friends; but they saw what I was trying to do, and could, after growing familiar with the sound of my pipes, decipher my meaning. The astonishment of my captor and his family at finding that their monster Batrachian could not only express simple ideas with his one mouth, but all the most complex notions by pieces of bamboo fastened ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... of this letter is in cipher: but the notes annexed to it, have enabled the Editor to decipher and publish it.] ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... that I want to pry, either, but if I am to help you I must see that letter. If you trust me and believe in my friendship, let me see it. Perhaps I may be able to discover the key in the first word or two, and then you can decipher it for yourself. You understand, I don't wish you to show it to me unless you really have confidence in me, unless you are sure that there is nothing in it which one who has your welfare and peace of mind at heart should ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... for information to colleagues in all parts of the country, Susan, as the contributions began to come in, struggled to decipher the often almost illegible, handwritten manuscripts, many of them careless and inexact about dates and facts. To their request for data about her, Lucy Stone curtly replied, "I have never kept a diary or any record ...
— Susan B. Anthony - Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian • Alma Lutz

... of vocal music. When they entered, they found themselves in the presence of about twenty matrons and maidens of distinguished Saxon lineage. Four maidens, Rowena leading the choir, raised a hymn for the soul of the deceased, of which we have only been able to decipher two or ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... in some instances, to wrap the body in. There were about eight or ten monuments built of plaster, with small square slabs for inscriptions. One of these was turned topsy-turvey, which was not to be wondered at, for a native almost always holds English characters upside-down when either trying to decipher them himself or when holding them to be ...
— Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet • by William Henry Knight

... and I was unexpectedly called upon to begin it before a class of some seventy-five teachers. It was necessary to commence speaking without having definitely determined my first point. I had, however, a few notes which I was attempting to decipher and arrange, while talking as best I could, when I became conscious of a slight clatter from all parts of the room. On looking up I found that the noise came from the pencils of my audience, and they were writing down ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... is composed. To them some fraction of will, of power, of knowledge, and of feeling may perhaps be attributed, and from their aggregation something of the same kind may perhaps be deduced. If the traveller can decipher that, he may utilise the material object to his advantage; but if he conceives the path to have been made with any teleological object or intelligent purpose, he is abandoning himself to superstition, and is as likely to be led by ...
— Life and Matter - A Criticism of Professor Haeckel's 'Riddle of the Universe' • Oliver Lodge

... the first paper in her hand Darsie found it impossible to decipher the words. The type danced mistily before her eyes; and when at last letters shaped themselves out of the confusion, the last state was worse than the first, for she was convinced—drearily, hopelessly convinced—that she could not answer ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... was extremely mysterious. Upon the marble top of the washhand-stand in the bedroom the police found some scrawled words in a character they could not decipher. Experts were brought in, when it was found that the writing was in Russian character, and the words were: "The holy ...
— The Minister of Evil - The Secret History of Rasputin's Betrayal of Russia • William Le Queux

... eldest, if not both, died before their father. The eldest has vipers in his hand, and in the distant landscape appears in a maze, with these words, Fata viam invenient. The other has a woman behind him, sitting near the sea, with strange monsters surrounding her. I don't pretend to decipher this, nor to describe half the entertaining morsels I found here; but I can't omit, as you know I am Grammont-mad, that I found "le vieux Roussel, qui 'etoit le plus fier danseur d'Angleterre." The ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... to glorify the sage, but we may not, on account of it, discredit the finding of the ancient copies of the Books. We have K'ung An-kwo's own account of their being committed to him, and of the ways which he took to decipher them. The work upon the Analects, mentioned above, has not indeed come down to us, but his labors on the Shu-ching still remain. 5. It has been already stated, that the Lun Yu of Ch'i contained two Books more than that of Lu. In this respect, the old Lun Yu agreed with the Lu exemplar. ...
— THE CHINESE CLASSICS (PROLEGOMENA) Unicode Version • James Legge

... character upon the island, and seems to have no affinity either with that or with the Assyrian, which is discovered to have been once used there. The work of M. de Luynes will open a new problem for the philologists. It will be difficult to decipher the inscriptions and language, unless there can be found somewhere an ancient Cyprian inscription, with a translation in some known tongue; but in a time which has read the riddles of the pyramids, nothing of this sort is to be despaired of. M. de Luynes is the last of the great ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... it," murmured Cicely, as with eager, trembling fingers she cut the stitches. At length they were undone and a sealed inner wrapping also, revealing, amongst other documents, a little packet of parchments covered with crabbed, unreadable writing, on the back of which, however, they could decipher the names of Shefton and Blossholme by reason of the larger letters in which they were engrossed. Also there was a writing in the scrawling hand of Sir John Foterell, and at the foot of it his name and, amongst others, those of Father Necton and of ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... from an inner pocket, he selected one and offered it to Mahony. Mahony led the way indoors, and lighting a kerosene-lamp stooped to decipher the letter. ...
— Australia Felix • Henry Handel Richardson

... Why, Thomas Higgs, to be sure," replied Peter, pleased to be able to decipher it at last. Then, feeling that they had been acting rather unceremoniously, he ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... a false position as he thinks that,—had we known, we might not have let him come. Personally, I am quite glad to have him; but we did not have much talk as, immediately after dinner, Braithwaite brought me the decipher of Lord K.'s answer to my reminder to him. This has greatly saddened me and takes up the whole ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... egotistical sky; in the now unhaunted hill; then be sure, exalted to Jove's high seat, the great Sperm Whale shall lord it. Champollion deciphered the wrinkled granite hieroglyphics. But there is no Champollion to decipher the Egypt of every man's and every being's face. Physiognomy, like every other human science, is but a passing fable. If then, Sir William Jones, who read in thirty languages, could not read the simplest peasant's face, in its profounder and more ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... themselves. It would be a fatal mode of dependency upon an alien and separable accident if they needed an external commentary. But they do not. The syllables lurk up and down the writings of Lamb, which decipher his eccentric nature. His character lies there dispersed in anagram; and to any attentive reader the regathering and restoration of the total word from its scattered parts is inevitable without an effort. Still it is always a satisfaction in ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... ocean and river deposited fresh beds in uninterrupted succession, the accumulation of materials went on as before, a new set of animals and plants were introduced, and a time of building up and renewing followed the time of destruction. These periods of revolution are naturally more difficult to decipher than the periods of rest; for they have so torn and shattered the beds they uplifted, disturbing them from their natural relations to each other, that it is not easy to reconstruct the parts and give them coherence and completeness ...
— Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) - Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky • Various

... All these, even the most illegible examples, give evidence of experience in handling or mishandling the pen. The signature most difficult to read is frequently the production of the hand which writes most frequently, and it is very much harder to decipher than the worst specimens of an untrained hand. The characteristics of the latter are usually an evident painstaking desire to imitate faulty ideals of the letters one after the other, without any attempt to attain a particular effect by the signature as a whole. In very extreme cases, the ...
— Disputed Handwriting • Jerome B. Lavay

... in her manner and her conduct which implied mystery; but Roland Graeme was not of an age or temper to waste much time in endeavoring to decipher her meaning. All that was obvious to his perception in the present journey, promised pleasure and novelty. He rejoiced that he was travelling towards Edinburgh, in order to assume the character of a man, and lay aside that of a boy. He was delighted to think that ...
— The Abbot • Sir Walter Scott

... quite as fallible, quite as partisan, and far less well informed than our scholars to-day. Thus it is the dogmatists themselves who exalt the reason of man above the word of God, forbidding us to listen to the more direct voice of God in our own soul; forbidding us to decipher the revelations which the Divine Hand has written on the rocks, and tree, and animal structure, and even frowning upon that profounder study of the Scripture called the higher criticism, but bidding us accept, in its stead, the man-made ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... said Lawyer Perkins, "there's a will and no will,—that is to say, the fragments of what is supposed to be a will were found, and we are trying to put the pieces together. It is doubtful if we can do it; it is doubtful if we can decipher it after we have done it; and if we decipher it it is a question whether the document is ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... wills; Sir Nigel's preparation for a possible early demise always took the form of elaborately and sadly adding up his accounts. He had a large ledger beside him on the sofa, and slips of paper covered with intricate figures which neither he nor any one else could decipher. ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... or rather imitated, by Pamphos, Rhianus, Phemius, Homer, Bion Proconnesius, Onomacritus, and others. Many of the sacred terms could not be understood, nor interpreted; they were however [548]retained with great reverence: and many which they did attempt to decipher, were misconstrued and misapplied. Upon this basis was the theology of Greece founded: from hence were the names of Gods taken: and various departments attributed to the several Deities. Every ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume I. • Jacob Bryant

... nice inspector of associations can almost uniformly trace his predilections to some definite cause. This, doubtless, was the case with Chatterton. He found old parchments early in life. In the first instance, it became an object of ambition to decipher the obscure. One difficulty surmounted, strengthened the capacity for conquering others; perseverance gave facility, till at length his vigorous attention was effectually directed to what he called "antique lore:" and this confirmed bias of his ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... Craymoor, bearing the figures and escutcheons of knights and dames of "the old family," as the villagers said; but the inscriptions were worn and almost illegible, and for some time we none of us took the pains to decipher them. ...
— A Stable for Nightmares - or Weird Tales • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... the window, striving to recall the vision that had appeared there, and he felt, rather than saw, his hostess start and change color when her eyes fell upon the ring he was wearing. He lifted his hand covertly, and turned the trinket around in the light, but he tried in vain to decipher the irregular characters traced ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... conscience. Creeds, it was said, divided men; but at least morals united them. The soul might seek the strangest and most remote lands and ages and still find essential ethical common sense. It might find Confucius under Eastern trees, and he would be writing "Thou shalt not steal." It might decipher the darkest hieroglyphic on the most primeval desert, and the meaning when deciphered would be "Little boys should tell the truth." I believed this doctrine of the brotherhood of all men in the possession of a moral sense, and I believe it still—with other things. And I was thoroughly annoyed with ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... some to watch me, I did not quit their agreeable society until the "wee short hours ayont the twal." Before turning in I glanced at the early edition of the Commercial, to see that something—I was too tired to decipher precisely what—had happened. It was, in point of fact, the arrival about midnight of Gen. Frank P. Blair and ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... only sunshine of his life, the sunshine of his dreams. His head was back to the door so that the light of the candle burning on the shelf might fall on a slate which rested on his breast. Though he occupied a punishment cell he was writing, and Hugh Ritson's quick eyes could decipher the words: "Oh, that it would please God to destroy me; that He would but loose His hand and cut me off! Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He paused in his writing ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... these first d'Arthenays was still to be seen in the old burying-ground: they had been the first to be buried there. The old stone was sunk half-way in the earth, and was gray with moss and lichens; but the inscription was still legible, if one looked close, and had patience to decipher the ...
— Marie • Laura E. Richards

... arms resting on his knees; and stooping forward in his chair, as if what he said were written on the ground in some half legible character, which it was his occupation to decipher and ...
— The Chimes • Charles Dickens

... manuscripts in his library, though he could not read them, purchased writing and box, and discharged the merchant. The Caliph, however, thought he would like to know what the writing contained, and asked the Vizier if he knew any one who could decipher it. ...
— The Oriental Story Book - A Collection of Tales • Wilhelm Hauff

... and friend of the deceased, in a husky voice, his gold-rimmed glasses helping him to decipher the brown writing or endorsement of the yellow parchment. ...
— The Dark House - A Knot Unravelled • George Manville Fenn

... and blackened even in the fifteen yeas that I have known him. He is a phantom that is about to disappear; in spite of all the care lavished upon him, a poor phantom about to fall to pieces, to sink into nothingness. We move our lantern about his hooked nose, the better to decipher, in the play of shadow, his expression, that still remains authoritative. . . . To think that once the destinies of the world were ruled, without appeal, by the nod of this head, which looks now somewhat narrow, under the dry skin and the horrible whitish hair. What force of will, of passion ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... history is the development, not of a single human race nor of the movements of a century, but the development of animal life through ages. And even if our attempts to decipher a few pages here and there in the volumes of this vast biological history are not as successful as we could hope, we must not allow ourselves to be discouraged from future efforts. Even if our translation is here and there at fault, we must never forget ...
— The Whence and the Whither of Man • John Mason Tyler

... certificate, Sir; you can't read them,' remarked a solicitor to the chairman at the Devon Appeal Tribunal (Exeter Panel), as he sought to decipher the hand- [Inverted: writing on one of those documents. Previously in the day a certificate had been handed to Lieutenant Stirling with the remark, 'You won't be able to read it.' The] resourceful military representative, however, thought he might succeed, and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, June 27, 1917 • Various

... had been made, except one step which is now stated by modern Anglo-Saxon scholars to have been a false one. Professor Stephens following Haigh thought he could decipher on the top stone of the cross the words Cadmon Mae Fawed, and inferred therefrom that the Cross Lay of which fragments were inscribed on the Ruthwell monument was the work of Caedmon, "the Milton of North England ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... explain that the writing was not his own; and as for deciding between the t's and l's, he could not do it. Eventually he would be directed to put the letter into the box. They would do their best with it, Lizzie said, but in a voice that suggested how little hope she had of her efforts to decipher it proving successful. ...
— Auld Licht Idylls • J. M. Barrie

... editorship was the hieroglyphical character of his handwriting. His missives of instructions to artists and writers came as a terror to the receivers, who could make little of them. "Mr. Tom Taylor's letters," Mr. Swain informs me, "were often very difficult to decipher. His writing was peculiar, and he would also continue the letter if necessary in any odd corner that was vacant. I remember his writing some instructions to an artist one day in this fashion, while I stood at his table, and, while blotting it, ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... were in power at Rome. Corsica, too, was at this time under their control. Their commerce was considerable. Many well preserved monuments of their art have been discovered, but no one has yet been able to decipher any of the inscriptions upon them. The power of these people was gradually lessened by the Romans, and after the fall of Veii, in ...
— History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD • Robert F. Pennell

... estates in the country; and there, under the good-natured authority of some village mayor to have gratified the sorrowful longing of his friend. Law, constitutional and administrative, begets nothing; it is a barren monster for peoples, for kings, and for private interests. But the peoples decipher no principles but those that are writ in blood, and the evils of legality will always be pacific; it flattens a nation down, that is all. Jacquet, a man of modern liberty, returned home reflecting on the ...
— Ferragus • Honore de Balzac

... in another world at once, and the very novelty and strangeness of her surroundings had a great charm for her. Slowly she made her way round the church, looking at every tablet and monument, and trying in vain to decipher the writing upon them. But one amongst them brought her to a standstill: it was the figure of a little girl sculptured in white marble, lying in a recumbent position; her hands were crossed on her breast, with a lily placed between ...
— Odd • Amy Le Feuvre

... christening to Tristram ("the most unlucky"). If much learning can make man mad, Walter Shandy was certainly mad in all the affairs of ordinary life. His wife was a blank sheet, and he himself a sheet so written on and crossed and rewritten that no one could decipher the manuscript.—L. Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... messages to-day are like the one you caught at Camp Brady. Apparently they are innocent messages but they have a hidden meaning. The most difficult cipher messages, I have heard, are of the substitution kind, where many alphabets are used. It is pretty difficult to decipher such messages unless ...
— The Secret Wireless - or, The Spy Hunt of the Camp Brady Patrol • Lewis E. Theiss

... and easy day that thus opened. The answers to his telegrams did not begin to arrive till noon, and then they were only formulae acknowledging receipt, which he did not need his code-book to decipher. With his black umbrella opened against the drive of the sun, he carried them at his leisure to the Baron, where he sat alone in his cool upper chamber working deliberately among his papers, received the customary ghost ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... he said, "but maybe we'll find someone who can decipher it—I know they have experts for that. It might come in handy to know what they ...
— Facing the German Foe • Colonel James Fiske

... himself. No name is given at length; but the initials are perfectly intelligible, except in one place. It is said that the D. of Y. was reminded of the duty which he owed to his brother by P.M.A.C.F. I must own myself quite unable to decipher the last five letters. It is some consolation that Sir Walter Scott was equally unsuccessful. (1848.) Since the first edition of this work was published, several ingenious conjectures touching these mysterious letters have been communicated ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... it lay at my feet. Stooping, I found a silver ring, beauteously bedecked with one glowing crystal. Round the rim is formed a quaint legend, bearing a fair device, which some learned clerk may perchance decipher." ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... from the north country. A short-sighted clergyman of what is known as the "old school" was preaching one winter afternoon to a slumberous congregation. Dusk was falling, the church was badly lighted, and his manuscript difficult to decipher. He managed to stumble along until he reached a passage which he rendered as follows: "Enthusiasm, my brethren, enthusiasm in a good cause is an excellent—excellent quality, but unless it is tempered with judgment, it is apt to lead us—apt to lead ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... a tremendous rate, and quite forget that I have traveled upward of forty miles to-day, and that I promised my mother, whenever I could, to go to bed early. Good-by, my dear Mrs. Jameson. I hope you will be able to make out this scrawl, and to decipher that ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... pictures—decollete Venuses, Love's greuze heads—tied up with rose-ribbon, and a sleepy half-light. On a small table at the owner's elbow, a blue-velvet jeweler's case stands open. On its white-satin lining my long-sighted eyes enable me to decipher the name of Hunt and Roskell; and it does not need any long sight to observe the solid breadth of the gold band bracelet, set with large, dull turquoises and little points of brilliant light, which ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... of despair; he is bright with wit, he is full of irony, he is purposely enigmatic—all of which require an Atticus who knew him and the people among whom he had lived, and the times in which the events took place, for their special reading. Who is there can read them now so as accurately to decipher every intended detail? Then comes some critic who will not even attempt to read them—who rushes through them by the light of some foregone conclusion, and missing the point at which the writer subtly aims, tells us of some purpose of which he was altogether innocent! ...
— The Life of Cicero - Volume II. • Anthony Trollope

... was a liar, which fact was undoubted in spite of all his good qualities. For instance, that day at church, when he pretended to read out of Molly's psalm-book, he sang quite other words than those which were down in the book, of which he could not decipher a syllable. And he pretended to understand music, whereupon the Swiss valet brought him some, and Master Gumbo turned the page upside down. These instances of long-bow practice daily occurred, and were patent to ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... only to decipher him by his works (although works in commendation and dispraise must ever hold a high authority), but more narrowly will examine his parts; so that (as in a man) though all together may carry a presence full of ...
— A Defence of Poesie and Poems • Philip Sidney

... within the fragment of the pot, and protected by a shale of rock, was the enclosed scrap, which I thought might interest you, as you have a leaning in the direction of finding out hidden and abstruse things. Probably, you can decipher what it says. All the men are well, and are feeling jolly. We may be ready to return in a week. I hope the old ship is ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Adventures on Strange Islands • Roger Thompson Finlay

... seaport town where he first saw the light had a public school for the poorer people, in which he was taught to read and write. By the former of these elementary branches—supplemented by a smattering of Spanish, picked up in South American ports—he is enabled to decipher the writing upon the card—for it is in writing—and so gets the correct address, both the ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... filled him with a feeling of very deep yearning sadness. According to his usual habit, he ought to go and work a few hours in the office; but he could not do it; he went out to the Carlsberg[5] instead. There he stood and gazed out over the heaving sea, striving to decipher in the waves and in the grey misty clouds which had gathered in wonderful shapes over Hela,[6] as in a magic mirror, his own destiny in days ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... connect the past with the present. And yet, after all, what a mere matter of yesterday its extreme antiquity is! My explorations this morning bore reference to but the later eras of the geologist; the portion of the geologic volume which I was attempting to decipher and translate formed the few terminal paragraphs of its concluding chapter. And yet the finis had been added to them for thousands of years ere this latter antiquity began. The boulder-clay had ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... most docile, his business brings him into contact with men of various dispositions; but he conquers all with the same weapons. What a contrast have we often thought he presents to some whose physiognomy looks like a piece of harsh handwriting, in which we can decipher nothing but self, self, self; who seem, both at home and abroad, to be always on the watch against any infringement of their dignity. Poor men! their dignity can be of little value if it requires so much care in order to be maintained. True manliness need take but little pains to ...
— Friends and Neighbors - or Two Ways of Living in the World • Anonymous

... Doc Peets or Enright was along. They'd shore dig somethin' outen this citizen.' "'Mebby he's got papers in his wamus,' says Boggs, 'which onfolds concernin' him. Go through him, Texas, anyhow: "All Texas can find on the dumb man is one letter; the postmark: when we comes to decipher the same, shows he only gets it that mornin'. Besides this yere single missif that a-way, thar ain't a scrap of nothin' else to him; ...
— Wolfville Days • Alfred Henry Lewis

... my claim to remarkable discoveries. I believe I am only trying to stammer out the first terms of a forgotten knowledge. But I have no desire to revive dead kings, or dead sages. It is not for me to arrange fossils, and decipher hieroglyphic phrases. I couldn't do it if I wanted to. But then I can do something else. The soul must take the hint from the relics our scientists have so marvelously gathered out of the forgotten past, and from the hint develop a new living utterance. The spark is from ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... progress of Geology, there have been great fluctuations of opinion respecting the nature of the causes to which all former changes in the earth's surface are referable. The first observers conceived that the monuments which the Geologist endeavors to decipher relate to a period when the physical constitution of the earth differed entirely from the present, and that, even after the creation of living beings, there have been causes in action distinct in kind or degree from these now ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... hope of Yaquita, of Benito, of Manoel, and of Minha, and, shut up in the house, they passed long hours in endeavoring to decipher the writing. ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... accelerate sale an investigation of title deeds, documents which a great English lawyer—Lord Westbury—once described as "difficult to decipher, disgusting to touch, and impossible to understand," is not necessary prior to sale; for an enjoyment for six years of the rents of an estate brings with it the right to sell, and proof of title is needed only after purchase has been completed ...
— Ireland and the Home Rule Movement • Michael F. J. McDonnell

... scarcely a motor had we seen since leaving Biarritz, except in Madrid; but now, when I tried to decipher the road hieroglyphics, the dust showed more than one track of pneus. Cars had come to Seville from Madrid for Semana Santa, and had evidently run out this way for a spin more than once. As I had not Ropes' detective talent I was unable to ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... I forgot everything else— forgot that the Widow Canby's house had been robbed and that I was on the track of the robber— and drawing close to the feeble light the lantern afforded, strove with straining eyes and palpitating heart to decipher the contents ...
— True to Himself • Edward Stratemeyer

... Mr. Lossing exchanged glances. There is an Arabian legend of an angel whose trade it is to decipher the language of faces. This angel must have perceived that Alma's eyes said, with the courage of a second in a duel, "Go on, now is the time!" and that Harry's answered, with masculine ...
— Stories of a Western Town • Octave Thanet

... a scrawl impossible to decipher up to the thirteenth century, when Plain Song[1] (Plain Chant) made its appearance in square and diamond-shaped notes. The graduals and introits had not yet been reduced to bars, but the songs of the troubadours appear to have been in ...
— On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music • Camille Saint-Saens

... of anti-Romish and anti-Royal sermons and pamphlets, followed as a rule by a series of recantations, kept men's minds in a ferment. The good that Laud did by his gifts—and he was a munificent patron of learning—he destroyed by his dogmatism. Scholars could not decipher Greek texts while they were torturing biblical ones into arguments for and against the opinions of the Chancellor. What is the true story about the gorgeous vestments which were found in a box in the house ...
— Oxford • Andrew Lang

... possess for him, as they did for the learned men of the Renaissance, or for Petrarch, who cherished a manuscript of Homer without being able to decipher ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... shoulder—this with two antlered stags, collared, with hanging chains for supporters; above it a cap of maintenance and a stag's head coupe for crest; and beneath a scroll bearing some words which Tilda could not decipher. She glanced at Chrissy, alert at once and on the defensive. She had recognised the four diamonds, but all the rest was a mere mystery ...
— True Tilda • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... to make his transcript. Where Mr. JEAVES' labours ended mine began; I spent many days in minutely comparing the transcript with the original. There are still left passages that neither of us could decipher, but they are ...
— A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. • Editor: A.H. Bullen

... desideratum of the perpetual motion, since it was utterly impossible to fix it for one moment on any object: and there was in it a lurking expression, which, though something of a physiognomist, I could not readily decipher. ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... have been hard for the expert in physiognomy to decipher Raisky's characteristics, inclinations and character from his face because of its extraordinary mobility. Still less could his mental physiognomy be defined. He had moments when, to use his own expression, he embraced the whole ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... men in esoteric idiom, unintelligible to the vulgar, have endeavoured to write down in books how the human mind works in its house,—and I believe they have not succeeded very well. They have broken into this house when it was empty, and laboured to decipher the mystic hieroglyphics written on its walls, and learn to what uses the departed craftsman put the strange, delicate implements which they found fastened ...
— Dwellers in the Hills • Melville Davisson Post

... She tried to decipher the mask he wore: it was proof against her imploring eyes. 'If you can ask me—if you can positively wish it—yes,' she said. 'But think of what you are doing. Oh! Alvan, not back ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... to you, as, MONSIEUR, Louis XIV.'s brother, said to his wife, to whom he was in the habit of showing what he had written and asking her to decipher it: See into my heart and mind, dear friend, disperse the mists, quiet the worries, and the flux and reflux of will which this affair stirs up in me. My poor Louise was mistaken, was she not? I am not a woman, am I, on whom the passion of love could gain a foothold? The man who, on some glorious ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... of Cobre, which was a one-hour ride from the capital. Ward possessed the exclusive right to excavate that buried city and had held it against all comers. The offers of American universities, of archaeological and geographical societies that also wished to dig up the ancient city and decipher the hieroglyphs on her walls, were met with a curt rebuff. That work, the government of Amapala would reply, was in the trained hands of Senor Chester Ward. In his chosen effort the government would not disturb him, nor would it permit ...
— The Lost Road • Richard Harding Davis

... some papers writ in Spanish that I'd give much to decipher. Confidence for confidence, let me tell thee that I am no scholar, but just a ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... at any rate, and Katharine sat down at her own table, untied the bundle of old letters upon which she was working, smoothed them out absent-mindedly, and began to decipher the faded script. In a minute she looked across at her mother, to judge her mood. Peace and happiness had relaxed every muscle in her face; her lips were parted very slightly, and her breath came in smooth, controlled inspirations like those of a child who ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... Who will decipher the I.H.S.—M.I.A. the letters at the top of the plate? Is there no defendant of the haughty Seignior of Beauport, Rob. Gifart, to give us his biography, and tell us of his sporting days; of the black and grey ducks, brant, widgeon, teal, snipe, and curlew, ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... trying to understand natural phenomena by recognizing their significance as letters in nature's script, we must look now for other phenomena which can be joined with this one to form the relevant 'word' we have set out to decipher. ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... to find the way into the darkness of a patient's soul. Physiognomy teaches, not only to read in the face and external appearance, the story of a life which is written there in characters which only experience may decipher, but also to realize when the patient employs physiognomical expressions to hide what we persistently seek; ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... decipher their meaning Assyriologists had compared, from the palaeographic point of view, the different varieties of the written character known as cuneiform—a character which lent itself for some two thousand years, to the notation ...
— A History of Art in Chaldaea & Assyria, v. 1 • Georges Perrot

... to speak. At that moment I was gazing at the funnel, trying to decipher a monogram upon it; but I heard a new voice, rapid and incisive, sure of its subject, resolving doubts, and making the crooked straight. It was the man with the brown paper parcel. That was still under his arm—in fact, the parcel contained pink pyjamas, and there was ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... consequence of all the clerks being laid up with fever, and we could neither read nor send messages, I determined that I would on the first opportunity learn electric signalling, in order that I might be able to decipher and send telegrams should I ever again find myself in ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... of Mars are by no means simple. We can imagine the embarrassment of the early astronomer who first undertook the task of attempting to decipher these movements. The planet is seen to be a brilliant and conspicuous object. It attracts the astronomer's attention; he looks carefully, and he sees how it lies among the constellations with which he is familiar. A few nights later he observes ...
— The Story of the Heavens • Robert Stawell Ball

... to be found here. The visitor who is a subscriber to this library passes into a small, dark room, where one window looking on the street hardly does more than make the darkness visible, and he must take the catalogue to the window and stand in order to decipher the list, which is hardly, indeed, worth the trouble, as there are very few volumes of any pretension to importance in the collection, and of late years no additions, apparently, have ever been made. The other circulating library, while far preferable, is still ...
— Italy, the Magic Land • Lilian Whiting

... come, and no trace of him was found after his flight. Nothing was missed, he went without his wages, and no reason could be divined for his departure except the foreign letter. Bedford remembered it, but forgot what postmark it bore, for he had only been able to decipher "Italy." My lady made many inquiries and often spoke of him; but when month after month passed and no news came, she gave him up, and on Lillian's account feigned to forget him. Contrary to Hester's fear, she did not seem the worse for the nocturnal fright, but evidently connected the ...
— The Mysterious Key And What It Opened • Louisa May Alcott

... She began to think, to fear, he had left London; yes—to fear! It had come to that! Realizing it, she felt humiliation. But his eyes had seemed to tell her that she possessed for him great attraction! She longed to see those eyes again, to decipher their message more carefully. The exact meaning of it might have escaped her in that brief instant of encounter. She wondered whether the young man had known who she was, or whether he had merely been suddenly struck by her appearance, and had thought, "I wish I knew that woman." ...
— December Love • Robert Hichens

... for the smugglers, there was discovered on board a tin box which absolutely gave their case away. In this tin box was found an instructive memorandum which it requires no very great ingenuity to decipher, and ran something ...
— King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855 • E. Keble Chatterton

... the lady in black fell upon the will which was still lying partially exposed on the escritoire just as it had fallen from Sir Jasper's hand ere he had sank into that reverie which had been disturbed by the entrance of Edith; she obtained but a hurried glance, yet it was sufficient for her to decipher its full meaning. As she realized this a dark cloud passed across her features, she moved silently to the window and looked out; when she again turned the cloud had vanished and her face was calm and serene. So occupied ...
— Vellenaux - A Novel • Edmund William Forrest

... spirit in which it was begun. Pepys was not such an ass, but he must have perceived, as he went on, the extraordinary nature of the work he was producing. He was a great reader, and he knew what other books were like. It must, at least, have crossed his mind that some one might ultimately decipher the manuscript, and he himself, with all his pains and pleasures, be resuscitated in some later day; and the thought, although discouraged, must have warmed his heart. He was not such an ass, besides, but he must have been conscious of the deadly explosives, the gun-cotton and the giant ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... found at the spot where he had wintered last year; but imagine my surprise when he gave me a note from the Commander, and said that Benoit and Augustus, two of the men, had just joined them. The note was so confused, by the pencil marks being partly rubbed out, that I could not decipher it clearly; but it informed me, that he had attempted to come with the two men, but finding his strength inadequate to the task, he relinquished his design, and returned to Fort Enterprise, to await relief with the others. There was another ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 2 • John Franklin

... thus discovered is represented in the next cut. It will be seen that some of the letters have a number of different forms. This discovery was hailed as of the greatest importance, and a number of scholars at once set about to decipher the tablets. They were speedily undeceived. The alphabet is, practically, of no help whatever. Prof. Valentine even goes so far as to declare that this alphabet was not of ...
— The Prehistoric World - Vanished Races • E. A. Allen

... with its sun and its wind, and with its battlefields. The body of a man was graven by such a superscription. And no doubt even a child could read something of it. But the writing on Rosamund was much fainter, was far less easy to decipher; it was perhaps traced on the soul rather than on the body. The new legend of Dion was perhaps an assertion. But this story of Rosamund, what was it? She saw the man in Dion, lean, burnt, strong, ardent, desirous, ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... of torn paper and tried to decipher the writing on it by the light from the lamp. He seemed almost dazed now with the awful catastrophe that had befallen him, and the fear that his own wretched life would have to pay the penalty for ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... the burial of our last year's sins," said Irais, as we started; and there certainly was a funereal sort of feeling in the air. Up in our gallery pew we tried to decipher our chorales by the light of the spluttering tallow candles stuck in holes in the woodwork, the flames wildly blown about by the draughts. The wind banged against the windows in great gusts, screaming louder than the organ, and threatening to blow ...
— Elizabeth and her German Garden • "Elizabeth", AKA Marie Annette Beauchamp

... dash" represents "per" "par," and "por"; and in Wright's "Court Handwriting restored" we find that in the most perfectly formed script a "p" with a dash through the lower part similarly represented "per," "par," and "por," this is repeated in Thoyts' "How to decipher and study old documents," and the same information is given in numerous other works. There is therefore no possible excuse for Dr. ...
— Bacon is Shake-Speare • Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence

... to ask him, and he explained it so clearly and concisely, and sometimes so impressively, that they never forgot it again. That was much easier than awkwardly searching for themselves, and labouring hard to decipher the words only to be unable to understand them when they ...
— I.N.R.I. - A prisoner's Story of the Cross • Peter Rosegger

... of steamers and boats, that we had several thousand men. Now came an aide from General Gillmore, at Port Royal, with your cipher-dispatch from Midway, so I steamed down to Port Royal to see him. Next day was spent in vain efforts to decipher-finally it was accomplished. You thought that the state of the roads might force you to turn upon Charleston; so I went there on the 15th, but there was no sign yet of flinching. Then I went to Bull's Bay next day (16th), and found that the troops ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... one of the brethren searching the cave wherein the holy woman dwelt, found there neither food, furniture, nor other matters; saving one bracelet of gold, of large size and strange workmanship, engraven with foreign characters, which no one could decipher. The which bracelet, being taken home to the Laura of Scetis, and there dedicated in the chapel to the memory of the holy Amma, proved beyond all doubt the sanctity of its former possessor, by the miracles which its virtue worked; the ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... note that I was trying to decipher through my tears when Monsieur de Monbert swaggered ...
— The Cross of Berny • Emile de Girardin

... FRANCOIS, a celebrated French Egyptologist, born in Figeac, dep. of Lot; early gave himself to the study of Coptic and Egyptian antiquities; was the first to decipher the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, a great discovery; conducted a scientific expedition to Egypt in 1828, and returned in 1830 with the fruits of his researches; a chair of Egyptology was in consequence ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... and still found me bending over, or rather leaning against that magic book. I could not, it is true, decipher the black-letter, but I found some explanations in Roman type, and devoured them; while every wood-cut was examined with aching eyes and a palpitating heart. Assuredly I took in more of the spirit of John Foxe, even by that imperfect mode of acquaintance, than many do by reading his book through; ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... ink; and there was a blank space beneath the last. At the bottom of the page something had been scribbled in pencil. Harkless tried vainly to decipher it, but the twilight had fallen too deep, and the writing was too faint, so he struck a match and held it close to the paper. The action betokened only a languid interest, but when he caught sight of the first of the four subscribed lines he sat up straight ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... that of singing, who is generally a poor musician, selected from among the worst pianists to be found, or who cannot play the pianoforte at all—some old superannuated individual, who, seated before a battered out-of-tune instrument, tries to decipher a dislocated score which he does not know, strikes false chords major, when they are minor, or vice-versa, and under the pretext of conducting and of accompanying by himself, employs his right hand in setting the chorus-singers wrong in their time, and his left hand in setting ...
— The Orchestral Conductor - Theory of His Art • Hector Berlioz

... a commentary on his life was written on his dress for any one who can decipher a dress! Above all, what trousers! made, by long wear, as black and shiny as the camlet of which lawyers' gowns are made! A waistcoat, bought in an old clothes shop in the Temple, with a deep embroidered collar! A rusty black coat!—and everything well brushed, clean after a fashion, ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... this all. It led me to observe and ponder over the daily pages of the most profound and yet the most fascinating book that man has ever tried to read; and though, it seemed to me, my feeble attempts to decipher its text were always futile, it has, nevertheless, not only taught me to love Nature with an ever-increasing passion, but it has inspired in me an infinite homage toward the Almighty; for, as Emerson says: ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... diamonds. At last, however, by touching a secret spring, an inner compartment will open—a roll of paper appears—you seize it—it contains many sheets of manuscript—you hasten with the precious treasure into your own chamber, but scarcely have you been able to decipher 'Oh! Thou—whomsoever thou mayst be, into whose hands these memoirs of the wretched Matilda may fall'—when your lamp suddenly expires in the socket, and leaves ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... key to some of its wondrous hieroglyphics; let him study the remaining letters of this mystical alphabet for himself! These inscriptions are indeed trilingual, phonetic, and sacred, yet the simple and loving soul may decipher them without the genius of Champollion; their meaning is written within it. It will readily learn to connect the sign with the thing signified, and under the fleeting forms of rhythmed time and measured space, learn to detect the ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... study the same music, they would soon harmonise their fancies, and decipher the hieroglyphic; and this was a thing clearly demonstrated to the Queen Isabella, that Savoisy's horses were oftener stabled at the house of her cousin of Armagnac than in the Hotel St. Pol, where the chamberlain lived, ...
— Droll Stories, Volume 1 • Honore de Balzac

... you, Grant," said John. "I do wish we could decipher that code though. This makes ...
— The Go Ahead Boys and the Treasure Cave • Ross Kay

... for a fresh coat of whitewash, discovered the frescoes and charcoal drawings, as well as the brass plaque of which I sent you a tracing; and I think not above a fortnight later that, on your suggestion, I set to work to decipher and copy out the old churchwardens' accounts. On the Monday after Easter, at about nine o'clock P.M., I was seated in the Vicarage parlour, busily transcribing, with a couple of candles before me, when my housekeeper Frances came ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... effect, the table of contents of a volume whose thrilling text and stupendous illustration are engraved immortally in the rocks; a volume whose ultimate secrets the scholarship of all time perhaps will never fully decipher, but whose dramatic outlines and many of whose most thrilling incidents are open to all at the expense of a little study at home and a little thoughtful seeing in the places where the facts are pictured in lines so big and graphic that none may ...
— The Book of the National Parks • Robert Sterling Yard

... perhaps, an hallucination. If not, there must be a great deal unrevealed. The letter which Godfrey said the Pasteur would write was not enclosed, and if it had been, probably would not have helped him much as he did not understand French, and could scarcely decipher his cramped calligraphy. Lastly, he had heard nothing ...
— Love Eternal • H. Rider Haggard

... comedies are not personal revelations altogether—the multiform nature of the man rushing towards the sun at once in Falstaff, Hamlet, and Romeo. But calling Montaigne an egotist does not go a great way to decipher him. No writer takes the reader so much into his confidence, and no one so entirely escapes the penalty of confidence. He tells us everything about himself, we think; and when all is told, it is astonishing how little we really know. The esplanades of Montaigne's palace are thoroughfares, men ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... received the names of Paule-Marie-Aurore. The baptismal festivities were planned by the Duc des Hoisons, grand master of the ceremonies, in accordance with a formulary dating from the Emperor Honorius, which was so mildewed and so nibbled by rats that it was impossible to decipher any of it. ...
— The Story Of The Duchess Of Cicogne And Of Monsieur De Boulingrin - 1920 • Anatole France

... but one easy to decipher; for the cheeks crimsoned with embarrassment, the lips quivering with indignation, and the eyes aglow with a happiness no mortification could conceal, told all her secret in living characters. Mrs. Macon ...
— Sara, a Princess • Fannie E. Newberry

... forgive me!" she cried, looking more beautiful than ever with the flush which overspread her face. "I came in to ask about a word in your editorial which I could not decipher. I waited for you, as I felt sure you would be in shortly—and I was so TIRED I sat down for just a second to rest—and that is all I knew about it. You must forgive me, sir!—I did ...
— An Ambitious Man • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... when you extend your hand for the billet of a mistress, and receive your tailor's bill! How provokingly slow are most domestic chieftains in this anxious operation! They turn the letters over and over, and upside and down; arrange, confuse, mistake, assort; pretend, like Champollion, to decipher illegible franks, and deliver with a slight remark, which is intended as a friendly admonition, the documents of the unlucky wight ...
— The Young Duke • Benjamin Disraeli

... childhood, and there had been no money to spare for repairs of anything of that sort, so she had tied it securely with the strongest of twine, and written on the cover in big schoolgirl hand the words, "DON'T ANY ONE DARE TO TOUCH!" Although Viny was unable to decipher the writing in the least, it was fun enough to attack the string, which presently succumbed to the violent onslaught of tooth and nail, and the precious, precious bits of brightness were soon at the mercy ...
— Twilight Stories • Various

... large, clear hand, not difficult to decipher, even by the dim light of a moonlight lamp; and, while Dr. Englehart stood regarding me in the shadow, anxiously enough, I perceived, to keep me entirely on my guard, I perused, with mingled derision and terror, this truly characteristic epistle. My running commentaries, as I read—entirely ...
— Sea and Shore - A Sequel to "Miriam's Memoirs" • Mrs. Catharine A. Warfield

... gorgeous roof and hung with crimson curtains, awaits him. The roof is literally thatched with flowers ingeniously arranged so as to form symbols and mottoes, which the superior beast is supposed to decipher with ease. The floor of this splendid float is laid with gilt matting curiously woven, in the centre of which his four-footed lordship is installed in state, surrounded by an obsequious and enraptured crowd of mere bipeds, who bathe him, perfume him, fan him, feed him, ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens



Words linked to "Decipher" :   trace, encode, read, decode, decrypt, rewrite



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