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Incomprehensible   /ɪŋkˌɑmprəhˈɛnsɪbəl/   Listen
Incomprehensible

adjective
1.
Incapable of being explained or accounted for.  Synonym: inexplicable.  "Left the house at three in the morning for inexplicable reasons"
2.
Difficult to understand.  Synonym: uncomprehensible.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Incomprehensible" Quotes from Famous Books



... and incomprehensible! You two sitting here and ignoring each other! Surely you don't ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... mean? I fail to understand again," Miuesov interrupted. "Some sort of dream again. Something shapeless and even incomprehensible. What is excommunication? What sort of exclusion? I suspect you are ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... After this incomprehensible announcement, they walked on for some minutes in silence, broken only by occasional monosyllables, with which Coningsby responded at hazard to the sound remarks of Sir Joseph. As they approached the Palace a party of English who were visiting the Chamber of Peers, and who were acquainted ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... from any definite cause of dread which his past experience might have given him, he felt that native and original horror of the excellent Judge which is proper to a weak, delicate, and apprehensive character in the presence of massive strength. Strength is incomprehensible by weakness, and, therefore, the more terrible. There is no greater bugbear than a strong-willed relative in the circle of ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... taste, incomprehensible laziness, the ignorance of a savage, so much so that she regarded Doctor Derogis as a person of great celebrity, and she felt proud of entertaining himself and his wife, because they were "married people." She lectured with a pedantic air on ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert

... the part of the enemy seemed incomprehensible unless, not having sufficient numbers to hold the edges of the flat-topped hill they had concentrated at one spot, where with machine-guns they could rake the skyline as the ...
— Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force • Percy F. Westerman

... come. And even if there were no life to come, his present life is happier far than that of the man who grabs at all the wealth he can get until he drops into the grave. The man who works "all for love and nothing for reward" is a being incomprehensible to us ordinary mortals; he is an angel, and if ever he was a candidate for a seat in Parliament he was not elected. Even love—"which rules the court, the camp, the grove"—is given only with the hope of a return of love; for hopeless ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... The soup-pot had been taken up the second time and was about to be placed in the middle of the table where every one could serve themselves as they wished, but Mrs. Brewster gave her a look and sign that was incomprehensible. She was confused for once ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... accompanied by an undertone of carelessly gabbled ritual, he depressed a lever. Instantly the room was in darkness and the spluttering wire ceased its crackling. The priest passed into the great hall, motioning Constans to follow him. Another brief and incomprehensible ritual and he approached the vibratory motor. Constans watched intently as he proceeded to manipulate a series of polished rods and levers. Suddenly the loud, humming note separated into two distinct tones, at first in musical accord and then becoming more and more dissonant. The revolving ...
— The Doomsman • Van Tassel Sutphen

... thus to be invaded? Why, the Nightingale, on his way from the rose-leaf, had, perhaps somewhat inconsiderately, tapped at his door, to inform him that all he could get out of the Dewdrop was (a very incomprehensible sentiment to a sleepy bird), that he was a tear wept by the Sky when it lost the Sun; and he was bound in all sincerity to add, that it seemed rather a dull and ...
— The Story of a Dewdrop • J. R. Macduff

... conclusive evidence, that the Constitution empowers Congress to abolish the inter-state slave trade, it is incomprehensible to many, that such states as Virginia and Maryland should have consented to deprive themselves of the benefit of selling their slaves into other states. It is incomprehensible, only because they look upon such states in the light of their ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... life was not dimmed by any affections, and pity was a sensation which to him was entirely alien. In this record of his deeds the reader has been spared all mention of the atrocious tortures he was in the habit of inflicting on his victims for any or no provocation, and many of them are as incomprehensible as they are sickening. That in which he was supreme was his craft as a seaman in an age when real seamen were rare; on land he was frequently defeated, at sea there seems to be no record of such an occurrence. ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... Sword in the lagoon was due to chance the situation remains unchanged, and no power, not even England, will think of seeking for the Sword inside the cavern. If, on the other hand, as the result of an incomprehensible revelation, it has been learned that Back Cup is become the retreat of Ker Karraje, if the expedition of the Sword was a first effort against the island, another of a different kind—either a bombardment from a distance, or an attack by a landing party—is to be expected. Therefore, ere ...
— Facing the Flag • Jules Verne

... come, so that Adrienne, absorbed in painful thoughts with regard to Agricola, did not perceive the different signals exchanged between the princess, the doctor, and the abbe. Even had she done so, they would have been incomprehensible to her. ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... was bid to play it in the light of day. To such a master of shuffling and evasion, the clear-sighted determination which made Clarendon insist upon a point of form in demanding an open order to depart, and which compelled his refusal to allow a triumph to his foes, might well seem incomprehensible. The result was only that Clarendon was besieged with new suggestions that he should escape, by a flight which it was more than hinted would be connived at. Charles's unkingly task was to bring about by hint and stratagem, what he was not man enough to prescribe by order. He satisfied Clarendon's ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... of his army during the attack never has been disclosed. I saw him using one of the eye-telescopes. There was also a telephonic device and occasionally he would discharge a silent signal radiance—a curious intermittent green flare of light. His charts of the topography of New York City were to me incomprehensible hieroglyphics—mathematical formula, no doubt; the co-ordinates of altitudes and contours of our world-space in its relation to the mountainous terrain of his world which stood mingled here with the New York ...
— The White Invaders • Raymond King Cummings

... that these phenomena were produced by means of animal magnetism, is utterly insufficient. How, for instance, could this account for the deeply demoniacal nature of old Lizzie Kolken as exhibited in the following pages? It is utterly incomprehensible, and perfectly explains why the old pastor, notwithstanding the horrible deceits practised on him in the person of his daughter, retained as firm a faith in the truth of witchcraft as ...
— The Amber Witch • Wilhelm Meinhold

... And great people both embarked and landed, one doing this and the other that, though nobody seems to have ever done both, if history is to be relied upon. The glory of the place is still preserved in a seal and an immemorial stick, each of which is blessed with marks as incomprehensible as could be wished, though both are to be seen for sixpence. The name of the place is written in more than forty different ways, they say; and the oldest inhabitant is less positive than the youngest how to ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... of life, and in large measure at the period of greatest usefulness. During thirty years, from 1881 to 1910 inclusive, there perished in England and Wales from cancer no less than 703,239 lives. Figures like these, for the average intelligence, are practically incomprehensible; for this thirty-year tribute to malignant disease in a signle country represents more human being than all estimated to have perished on the battlefields of Europe for two hundred years. And if we were able to add the mortality ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... "the thing is as incomprehensible to me as if you'd tattooed yourself; but," he added philosophically, clasping his hands behind his head and staring up into the sky, "every man knows his own fun. There's a friend of mine who knows this Burns," ...
— Nancy Stair - A Novel • Elinor Macartney Lane

... affectation which answers praise of his work with an exclamation of dismay: "Is it as bad as that?" He invents new excesses and eccentricities to insure misunderstanding, and proclaims the doctrine that, as anything great must be incomprehensible, so anything incomprehensible must be great. And the public has taken him, at least partly, at his word. He may or may not be great, but he is certainly incomprehensible and probably a little mad. Until he succeeds the public looks upon ...
— Artist and Public - And Other Essays On Art Subjects • Kenyon Cox

... beyond his power to foresee the day when she would have become to him a mere symbol of something that was. Suppose that some day, when married, he again met her? In spite of everything, he did not believe that she had ceased to love him; somewhere she still kept her faith, martyred by the incomprehensible fate which had torn her from his arms. To meet her again would be to forget every tie save that holiest which made one of ...
— A Life's Morning • George Gissing

... a gendarme and repeated his question, with no better result than before, for the fellow waved his arms wildly in all directions and roared a volley of incomprehensible French phrases that conveyed ...
— The Master Key - An Electrical Fairy Tale • L. Frank Baum

... mounted a horse, he showed a love for the exercise, and a power of endurance utterly at variance with all other exhibitions of his strength; and he very soon acquired a degree of skill which made him an object of envy to all the cavalry-officers stationed in the neighborhood. So inconsistent and incomprehensible ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... of true civilisation in this unique, abnormal, diseased, unsatisfied, incomprehensible, and truly miraculous and supernatural race we call man, had been literally, and in actual fact, miraculous and supernatural likewise? What if that be the true key to the mystery of humanity and its origin? What if the few first chapters of the most ancient and most ...
— Historical Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... heard when he comes to speak and labor upon higher platforms. This was the case with Carlyle; and when he published that new Book of Job, that weird and marvellous Pilgrim's Progress of a modern cultivated soul, the "Sartor Resartus," in "Fraser's Magazine," strange, wild, and incomprehensible as it was to most men, they did not put it contemptuously aside, but pondered it, laughed at it, trembled over it and its dread apocalyptical visions and revelations, respecting its earnestness and eloquence, although not comprehending what manner of writing it essentially ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... letter which reads as follows:—"My study of antiquities has kept me in constant thought of the perpetual fluctuation of everything. The whole art is really to live all the days of our life. Admire the Creator and all His works, to us incomprehensible, and do all the good you can on earth; and take the chance ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... venture may, at this distance of time, appear a little improbable, it is well to state here some little-known facts concerning the now rather incomprehensible pursuit of gold smuggling—a romantic subject if ever ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... put to him. But the singularity of the answers were not his blame; indeed, he never imagined anything singular about them. However, he took it all quietly, and waited for the professor to recover himself. These peals of laughter were quite incomprehensible to him. ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... supposed to show them that we, too, have a spoken language, to prove that their language and ours were mutually incomprehensible, and to demonstrate the need for devising a means of communication. At least that was what the book said. It demonstrated nothing of the sort to this crowd. It scared them. The dignitary with the staff twittered excitedly. ...
— Naudsonce • H. Beam Piper

... subjected to the inevitable progression of logics incomprehensible to them we see them as greatly astonished by the events of which they were the heroes as are we ourselves. Never did they suspect the invisible powers which forced them to act. They were the masters neither of their fury nor their weakness. ...
— The Psychology of Revolution • Gustave le Bon

... less astonishing than incomprehensible. We have waited upon you by your own express invitation on the day appointed by yourself; and we have been received in a manner, I must say, we did not expect, considering this is the first visit of our niece Lady ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... This image I could stand at the head of my bed, and its very presence would cure me. When I refused this offer and smiled at its absurdity, the boy thought me very strange. To be so wise in some respects, and yet so ignorant as to refuse such a chance, was to him incomprehensible. The saints, I found, are there often lent out to friends that they may exercise their healing powers, or rented out to strangers at so much a day, When they are not thus on duty, but in a quiet corner of the hut, they get lonely. The woman will then ...
— Through Five Republics on Horseback • G. Whitfield Ray

... looking for its existence to charity, and substituting alms-taking for independent labor, was unknown there. As for "visiting" among them, as technically understood and practiced by Englishwomen among their poorer neighbors, such a civility would have struck mine as simply incomprehensible; and though their curiosity might perhaps have been gratified by making acquaintance with my various (to them) strange peculiarities, I doubt even the amusement they might have derived from them being accepted as any equivalent for what would have seemed the ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... some nameless cause, at least some cause to us incomprehensible, the affections take fire the instant two persons, whose minds are in unison, observe each other, which, however, they ...
— The History of Emily Montague • Frances Brooke

... planets. Some worship such men as have been eminent in former times for virtue or glory, not only as ordinary deities, but as the supreme god. Yet the greater and wiser sort of them worship none of these, but adore one eternal, invisible, infinite, and incomprehensible Deity; as a Being that is far above all our apprehensions, that is spread over the whole universe, not by His bulk, but by His power and virtue; Him they call the Father of All, and acknowledge that the beginnings, the increase, ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... never sleeps, that the Divine Hand is never still, he must be sober in his observations; he must yield neither to his fancy nor to his imagination; but neither must he banish God from history, for then everything in it would become incomprehensible and inexplicable, absurd and barren. It was this same God who guides events at His will that inspired and sustained the devoted missionaries in their efforts against the revenue-farmers in the matter of the sale of intoxicating liquors to the savages. The struggle which ...
— The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval • A. Leblond de Brumath

... of the "Babylonian Captivity," the development of the religious orders—in contemporary history—the Italian question during the last fifty years, or the present position of the Church in France? These are incomprehensible phenomena without the Church to give the key to the controversies and meaning to the ideals. Without knowing the Catholic Church from within, it is impossible to conceive of all these things as realities affecting ...
— The Education of Catholic Girls • Janet Erskine Stuart

... the chief and most effective means of teaching the younger child religion, nor does the appeal of the story form of expressing truth lose its charm for those of older years. Lessons incomprehensible if put into formal precept can be readily understood by the child if made a part of life and action, and the story does just this. It shows virtue being lived; goodness proving itself; strength, courage, and gentleness expressing themselves in practice; and selfishness, ugliness, ...
— How to Teach Religion - Principles and Methods • George Herbert Betts

... had. Genevieve convulsed them by a dramatic representation of a stormy scene between herself and Madame Philippe; then Miss Evans's new evening frock, Miss Marlowe's incomprehensible taste in preferring Jane Austen to Dickens, Miss Langton's terrifying sarcasm, Miss Ashwell's sweet new sweater coat, all were discussed with an enormous ...
— Judy of York Hill • Ethel Hume Patterson Bennett

... and the other Indians, crowding about the entrance, crooked their necks with anxiety to see what would happen. Pio had not yet disrobed, and stood dolefully awaiting the worst, from nightcap to stockings a clown like and altogether incomprehensible figure. Again the Father's funny vein got the better of him. He knew that he was compromising himself forever, but for the life of him he could not help it—his lip trembled, he tried to control it but failed, he chuckled, ...
— The Penance of Magdalena & Other Tales of the California Missions • J. Smeaton Chase

... his great surprise, he pushed him no more money than at first. This was incomprehensible. When he lost, money was paid to him, and when he won, he was paid only half ...
— Conscience, Complete • Hector Malot

... processes were radically dissimilar. There was no intimate vocabulary. The Western mind penetrated the Chinese mind but a short distance when it found itself in a fathomless maze. The Chinese mind penetrated the Western mind an equally short distance when it fetched up against a blank, incomprehensible wall. It was all a matter of language. There was no way to communicate Western ideas to the Chinese mind. China remained asleep. The material achievement and progress of the West was a closed book to her; nor could the West open the book. Back and deep ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... their fellow-countrymen. Being Italians, and above all being Romans, they assuredly were not sustained by one scrap of the mystical enthusiasm of the French: such a state of mind would have been incomprehensible to them. They knew that so far as dogmas went Victor Emmanuel was as good a Catholic as the Pope. It is surprising that with part of his force demoralised Lamoriciere was still able to hold his own for three or four hours. General Pimodan and many of the French officers were killed; Lamoriciere ...
— The Liberation of Italy • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... which showed him what their use had been. They were grouped into a variety of patterns to decorate the entire wall, being stuck with their thin end into a layer of soft clay with which it was coated for the purpose. Still more original and even rather incomprehensible is a wall decoration consisting of several bands, composed each of three rows of small pots or cups—about four inches in diameter—stuck into the soft clay coating in the same manner, with the mouth turned outward of course! Loftus found such a wall, but unfortunately has given no design of ...
— Chaldea - From the Earliest Times to the Rise of Assyria • Znade A. Ragozin

... hankering for the "flesh-pots" that induced them to lead their followers into Egypt, rather than out of it. They were partly moved by a hatred of slavery and its long train of abuses that was irrepressible, and which to most persons was incomprehensible, and partly by a love for their fellows in distress that was so insistent as to make them forget themselves. Their impulses seemed to be largely intuitive, if not instinctive, and if called upon for a philosophical explanation they could not have ...
— The Abolitionists - Together With Personal Memories Of The Struggle For Human Rights • John F. Hume

... book met with a very unemotional reception. Its style was peculiar,—almost as unlike that of his Essays as that of Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus" was unlike the style of his "Life of Schiller." It was vague, mystic, incomprehensible, to most of those who call themselves common-sense people. Some of its expressions lent themselves easily to travesty and ridicule. But the laugh could not be very loud or very long, since it took twelve years, as Mr. Higginson tells us, to sell five hundred copies. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... the mystery of death, which no human mind can answer. The child was in a vortex of wonder, grief and speculation. It was the first great lesson of his life, and he would learn it well, the more that it was so severe and incomprehensible. But sleep and fatigue overcame Hubert at length. The light from the fire no more danced with his shifting curls, but settled down in a steady golden glow over the mass that mingled its yellow-brown with the black beard of the stricken man. For the father would not lay away his sleeping child. He ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... very tropical-looking; but more sombre than Frederiksted. There are palms everywhere,—cocoa, fan, and cabbage palms; many bread-fruit trees, tamarinds, bananas, Indian fig-trees, mangoes, and unfamiliar things the negroes call by incomprehensible names,—"sap-saps," "dhool-dhools." But there is less color, less reflection of light than in Santa Cruz; there is less quaintness; no Spanish buildings, no canary-colored arcades. All the narrow streets are gray or neutral-tinted; the ground has a dark ashen ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... unpacked, and a case emptied for the books she had brought from Germany. To be sure, on the other side was still a dreary wall of theological treatises in funereal black, but Helen was not without hopes that continued doses of cheerfulness might cure her father of such incomprehensible habits, and obtain for her the permission to move the books to ...
— King Midas • Upton Sinclair

... Although much of the conduct of the mutineers is easily understood with regard to the captain, the wholesale crime of thrusting so many innocent persons out to the mercy of the winds and waves, or to the death from hunger and thirst which they must have believed would inevitably overtake them, is incomprehensible. ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... mind the concluding sentence of Mr. Ruskin's fifth chapter in his second volume—"The infinity of God is not mysterious, it is only unfathomable; not concealed, but incomprehensible; it is a clear infinity, the darkness of the pure, unsearchable sea." Plato, if we rightly remember, says—"Truth is the body of God, light ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... "But such incomprehensible matters lie too far off to be a theme of daily meditation and thought-distracting speculation. And further, let him who believes in immortality be happy in silence; he has no reason to hold his head high because ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... "It's quite incomprehensible," Juve muttered; "surely there can't have been any powder aboard? No explosives are carried on these great liners; they only take passengers and the mails." He scanned the list of passengers. "Etienne Rambert's name is given among the first-class passengers, right ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... deliberately choose as an example particular and narrow: an especially doctrinal story. I mean the story of St. Thomas of Canterbury, of which the modern historian makes nothing but an incomprehensible contradiction; but which is to a Catholic a sharp revelation of the half-way house between the ...
— Europe and the Faith - "Sine auctoritate nulla vita" • Hilaire Belloc

... the ancient stained glass, dyeing their dirty sheepskin crimson, and purple, and green, until they looked like illuminations in old missals. To the eye and the mind of western Europe it was all incomprehensible. Yet those were the people of Russia who are to-day her mass of armed defenders; the element that has been counted on from the first by Russia and her allies stood penniless before an altar laid over with gold and silver and precious stones. Just before we got to Kiev, ...
— Woman as Decoration • Emily Burbank

... left; till where the world had been, with gods and men and all their works, there was only nothingness; hideous, inscrutable and unfathomable. And in it, above it, around it—for what are the dimensions of nothingness?—there reigned the incomprehensible Unity of the Primal One, in calm and pitiless self-concentration, beyond—the Real, nay even beyond the Conceivable—for conception implies plurality—the Supreme One of the Neo-Platonists to ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... none of the secondary causes which Gibbon has assigned for the rapidity with which Christianity spread over the world, while Judaism scarcely ever acquired a proselyte, operated more powerfully than this feeling. God, the uncreated, the incomprehensible, the invisible, attracted few worshippers. A philosopher might admire so noble a conception; but the crowd turned away in disgust from words which presented no image to their minds. It was before Deity embodied ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... the ancients the beginning of philosophy, has no place in science; what cannot be explained is superstitious and must be rejected as false. The source of art, as of religion, must be sought not in the ineffable, incomprehensible phenomena of nature, but in the human mind, in reason, to ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... eastern outlet of Memmert Balje, the channel which runs east and west behind Juist Island, direct to the south point of Memmert. How we had reached it was incomprehensible to me at the time, but the reader will understand by comparing my narrative with the dotted line on the chart. I add this brief explanation, that Davies's method had been to cross the channel called the Buse Tief, and strike the other ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... the boy? He's the most incomprehensible child I ever saw! The idea of crying at the promise of a new suit of clothes!—any other child would have ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... deal of grinning and gabbling perfectly incomprehensible to the listeners, the Indians mounted again and sat gazing with shaded eyes across the grassy plain, till, apparently satisfied of the direction their companions had taken, one of them uttered a deep-toned Hugh! and rode off, followed by ...
— The Peril Finders • George Manville Fenn

... sharply, the sharpness was directed not to Miss Polly, but to herself—to her own incomprehensible childishness. The man interested her; already she had thought of him daily since she first came to the house; already she had begun to wonder about him, and she realized that she should wonder still more because of what ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... of noises and hisses. I turned on my flashlight, and a very muddy face covered with a shock of red hair looked in at the door of my little room, and with many contortions and winkings, emitted a series of incomprehensible noises. What with the stammering man and the barking dog, I was at my wits end to find out the trouble. At last by a process of synthesis, I pieced the various sounds together and found that the man wanted the location of a certain ...
— The Great War As I Saw It • Frederick George Scott

... how this book—the creation of a writer in the spring-time of his genius—the essence of fun, the unfailing source of merriment to countless readers past, present, and to come, came to be associated with the memory of a terrible and still incomprehensible tragedy. ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... recurred to me the memory of Tom Cragg, the Pugilist; of how he too had winked at me, and of his incomprehensible manner afterwards beneath ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... wonder, for an Indian notices few things in the woods beside those that pertain to his trapping and hunting; and to see a mouse wash his face was as incomprehensible to him as to see me read a book. But all wood mice are very cleanly; they have none of the strong odors of our house mice. Afterwards, while getting acquainted, I saw him wash many times in the plate of water that I kept filled near his den; but he never washed more than his face and the sensitive ...
— Secret of the Woods • William J. Long

... the woman whom they had just left had been landlady of an inn, and that a murder had been committed under her roof, he was led to ask himself if any explanation might be found, in these circumstances, of the otherwise incomprehensible effect produced on Mrs. Rook by the inscription on ...
— I Say No • Wilkie Collins

... sir, thank you," cried the incomprehensible house-agent, with an air of ecstasy. "You'll excuse my concern, sir. You know I'm wild on wild animals. I'm as wild as any of them on that. Thank you, sir. But ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... incomprehensible than the existence of so bad a man in such a dark age is the renewed confidence ever accorded him, when, after more than once betraying the armies of his country into the hands of their foes, and fighting openly in the hostile cause, he is again forgiven, nay, ...
— Alfgar the Dane or the Second Chronicle of Aescendune • A. D. Crake

... infallible; he hadn't even recognized me as Race Cargill! Or—suddenly the sweat broke out, again, on my forehead—or had he? Had the whole thing been one of those sinister, deadly and incomprehensible ...
— The Door Through Space • Marion Zimmer Bradley

... inopportune for this person to let himself dwell gracefully upon those lighter points of recollection which have engraved themselves from time to time upon his mind without leading to any more substantial adventure worthy to record. Many of the things which seemed strange and incomprehensible when he first came among this powerful though admittedly barbarian people, are now revealed at a proper angle; others, to which he formerly imagined he had found the disclosing key, are, on the ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... lost scent. For twenty minutes or more he continued his researches, measuring with the most exact care the distance between marks which were entirely invisible to me, and occasionally applying his tape to the walls in an equally incomprehensible manner. In one place he gathered up very carefully a little pile of grey dust from the floor, and packed it away in an envelope. Finally, he examined with his glass the word upon the wall, going over ...
— A Study In Scarlet • Arthur Conan Doyle

... God—if you needs must have something to kow-tow to! You're a fine atheist, with all that superstition about woman still in you! You're a fine free-thinker, who dare not think freely about the dear ladies! Do you know what that incomprehensible, sphinx-like, profound something in your wife really is? It is sheer stupidity!—Look here: she cannot even distinguish between th and t. And that, you know, means there is something wrong with the mechanism. When you look at the case, it looks like a ...
— Plays by August Strindberg, Second series • August Strindberg

... a question of her 'caring' for him as you say, Mrs. Turner," spoke up Mrs. Truscott, with unusual spirit. "He is my husband's warmest friend. We're all proud of him, all indignant at his treatment, and your language is simply incomprehensible!" ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... palmer had more than once, during his narration, been fastened upon this handsome knight, with incomprehensible significance, and particularly as he spoke of the attempt of the Templar to ride over the prostrate champion of Zelica, did his large orbs cast upon the richly attired guest a look of mingled scorn and anger, which, ...
— The Duke's Prize - A Story of Art and Heart in Florence • Maturin Murray

... triumvirate retired to rest, each to dream of the subjects that lay nearest his heart and imagination at the moment. Hockins dreamed of tobacco-pipes and explosions; Mark dreamed of freed slaves, thunder-struck queens, eloping lovers and terrible consequences; and Ebony dreamed of incomprehensible situations, crashing thunderbolts, and unimaginable coruscations ...
— The Fugitives - The Tyrant Queen of Madagascar • R.M. Ballantyne

... bound for Stirling, and craves the protection of your honour's party in these kittle times. Ah' your honour has a notable faculty in searching and explaining the secret,—ay, the secret and obscure and incomprehensible causes of the backslidings of the land; ay, your honour touches the ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... dazzling effulgence of divine majesty is veiled under a covering of flesh. Nevertheless, it is GOD who weeps with Martha, and Mary; who wipes away the widow's tear, and speaks words of comfort to the outcast. Incomprehensible Mystery! It is GOD incarnate, who suffers and dies upon the cross to purchase life for His enemies. What a picture is this! So far as it is capable of being reproduced, God loves to see it revived in His children; and never does a man become more truly great, or more faithfully represent ...
— Religion in Earnest - A Memorial of Mrs. Mary Lyth, of York • John Lyth

... but he always asked to see the letters, and read them with great care, sometimes over and over again. They came very regularly for six or seven months, and then there was a gap of a few weeks, and then came a strange, almost incomprehensible, letter from Valentin, containing news which almost caused Mere Giraud's heart to burst with joy and gratitude. Laure was married, and had made such a marriage as could scarcely have been dreamed of. A rich aristocrat, who had visited her employers, had fallen in love with her, and married ...
— Mere Girauds Little Daughter • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... Jeanne rode between the Archbishop of Rheims and Dunois. The Archbishop had never been friendly to the Maid, and now it was clear, watched her with that half satirical, half amused look of the wise man, curious and cynical in presence of the incomprehensible, observing her ways and very ready to catch her tripping and to entangle her if possible in her own words. The people thronged the way, full of enthusiasm, acclaiming the King and shouting their joyful exclamations of "Noel!" though it ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... therefore, in spite of the presence of De Crussol, but redoubled my precautions. The pretended widowhoods of my wife, the frequent visits of the filibuster, the Caribbean, and the buccaneer, furnished a collection of facts so incomprehensible that it was impossible to distinguish the truth, which was in our favor. ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... them) have now become tiresome duties, distinguishes himself from the general notion of the order "Philistine" by means of a superstition: he fancies that he is himself a son of the Muses and a man of culture. This incomprehensible error clearly shows that he does not even know the difference between a Philistine and his opposite. We must not be surprised, therefore, if we find him, for the most part, solemnly protesting that he is no Philistine. Owing to this lack of self-knowledge, ...
— Thoughts out of Season (Part One) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... which filled the soul, and directed all the actions, of the man Jesus. Thus, after revolving around the theological circle, we are surprised to find that the Sabellian ends where the Ebionite had begun; and that the incomprehensible mystery which excites our ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... once. Two policemen, attracted by the excitement, tried to make their way through; but they encountered an incomprehensible resistance and were unable to get clear of the shoulders that pushed against them, the ...
— The Blonde Lady - Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsne Lupin and the English Detective • Maurice Leblanc

... granite foundation of the established government. Selfish heads tossed upon sleepless pillows, haunted by the thought that the dawn would break upon a great change, boding ruin to their prospects, monetary or political. Even the butterflies felt that there was a something impending; incomprehensible, but uncomfortably suggestive of work instead of pleasure. So Washington rose red-eyed and unrefreshed on the 4th ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... merciful gift of love—almost inconceivably great," said the young wife; "but the fulness of this happiness shall be tasted in that future life, when it will increase and exist to all eternity. The idea is incomprehensible to me." ...
— The Sand-Hills of Jutland • Hans Christian Andersen

... by their tremendous booming and their disastrous power. Shells from the palace walls fell upon us thick and fast. No lightning's flash can accomplish such ruin as the modern ordnance projectile. A few centuries back the thought would have been incomprehensible; even so the visionary and ridiculed idea of to-day may be realised in the future. The shots descended, a veritable storm of lead, and several times the clouds of choking dust they set up enveloped ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... is the bicycle. And our individual and incomprehensible self is the rider thereof. And seeing that the universe is another bicycle riding full tilt, we are bound to suppose a rider for that also. But we needn't say what sort of rider. When I see a cockroach scuttling across the floor and turning up its tail I stand ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... of brass, to confound all who accused him of irreligion:—"Do we want to contemplate His power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate His wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate His mercy? We see it in His not withholding His abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not written books, but the Scriptures called ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... defiance of the Decalogue, shocked me. Why all the very very early pictures of the Virgin, and many of our blessed Saviour himself, done in the first ages of Christianity should be black, or at least tawny, is to me wholly incomprehensible, nor could I ever yet obtain an explanation of its cause from men ...
— Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... of people: habitual vagabonds who beg and are freely accused of stealing, and the literary, artistic, antiquarian, or scientific vagabonds who take to tramping by fits and starts. The latter class, being quite incomprehensible to the rustic mind in Guyenne, are regarded by it with almost as ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... ETERNAL be, Dear sir, it can not fail, For 'tis incomprehensible, And wants both head ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... understanding, does not see this. He who, casting his eyes on visible things, really seeth them, is said to have eyes and understanding. The faculty called understanding is so called because of the knowledge and comprehension it gives of unknown and incomprehensible things. He who is acquainted with the words of persons that are learned, that are of cleansed souls, and that have attained to a state of Brahma, succeeds in obtaining great honours. When one seeth creatures of infinite diversity to be all one and the same and ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... councils. And how the trade with Indians, though not members of a State, yet residing within its legislative jurisdiction, can be regulated by an external authority, without so far intruding on the internal rights of legislation, is absolutely incomprehensible. This is not the only case in which the articles of Confederation have inconsiderately endeavored to accomplish impossibilities; to reconcile a partial sovereignty in the Union, with complete sovereignty in the States; to subvert a mathematical axiom, by taking away a part, and ...
— The Federalist Papers

... he published, in 1839, Festus, a poem in dramatic form, having, for its dramatis personae, God in his three persons, Lucifer, angels, and man. Full of rare poetic fancy, it repels many by the boldness of its flight in the consideration of the incomprehensible, which many minds think the forbidden. The Angel World and The Mystic are of a similar kind; but his last work, The Age, a Colloquial Satire is on a mundane subject ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... where the whole mass of your constituents have condemned the work in the most unequivocal manner, and are looking to you as their last hope to save them from the effects of the avarice and corruption of the first agent, the revolutionary machinations of others, and the incomprehensible acquiescence of the only honest man who has assented to it. I wish that his honesty and his political errors may not furnish a second occasion to exclaim, 'curse on his virtues, they have ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... in astonishment. He had at least expected to be knocked down, and this, behaviour was quite incomprehensible. ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... said the commander. "Ask him if he has any objection to accompany us; and if he is ready to come we will take you and him into the gig, while we tow the canoe astern." After a few more signs and incomprehensible words had passed between Popo and the white boy, they both stepped into the gig; the latter still holding the pearls in his hand, which, as soon as he was seated, he again offered to the commander, who this time received them, and ...
— Twice Lost • W.H.G. Kingston

... And the notebook that was in the side-pocket? And his cigarettes? Where had Nikita taken his clothes? Now perhaps to the day of his death he would not put on trousers, a waistcoat, and high boots. It was all somehow strange and even incomprehensible at first. Andrey Yefimitch was even now convinced that there was no difference between his landlady's house and Ward No. 6, that everything in this world was nonsense and vanity of vanities. And yet his hands were trembling, his feet were cold, and he was filled with ...
— The Horse-Stealers and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... from representation, something of which, consequently, we have no image; over against it they place a consciousness empty of images, of which we are unable to form any idea. Lastly, to fill consciousness, they invent an incomprehensible action of this formless matter upon this matterless thought."[Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 9 (Fr. ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... Respect: a deep and stable Resolution founded on Humilitie without any Baseness ... a generous confidence, and a great inclination to Heroical deeds; all these conspire to compleat it, with a severe and mighty expectation of Bliss incomprehensible.... ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... shown forth in the Transfiguration may be as incomprehensible to the human mind as is a full conception of the attendant splendor from verbal description; some features of the results achieved are apparent, however. Unto Christ the manifestation was strengthening and encouraging. ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... blood, and went off in a sedan-chair, while I remained petrified, feeling that I did not deserve to live, and finding her conduct utterly outrageous and incomprehensible. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... hands, and forbade the natives to approach the tents. "Nothing damps the ardour of troops so much," says General Lloyd, "as an unexpected obstacle at the moment of attack," and these strong men stood still and looked foolish, when they saw the five men in line, with incomprehensible weapons in their hands. Just then, our three dogs ran at them, and no charge of cavalry ever succeeded better. They all took to their heels, greatly laughed at, even by the rest of their tribe; and the only casualty befell the shepherd's dog, which biting at the legs ...
— Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia • Thomas Mitchell

... at the moment Philippa was suffering acutely, she was by no means prepared to permit this vile thing to conquer. She would fight it and root it out. It had come upon her so suddenly. What was the cause? Was it merely a freak of that incomprehensible phenomenon the human mind that had twisted the chain of her affection into so mischievous a knot, or merely a figment of the brain springing from inner consciousness to torment her with devilish ingenuity? or did the fault lie with her in some simpler, more tangible way? Was ...
— East of the Shadows • Mrs. Hubert Barclay

... her window, which opened towards the north, on the rugged banks and windings of the roaring Ouzen, over which hung the castle of the Khan. By the side of this being, innocent as a child, Ammalat forgot the desires which she as yet knew not; and, dissolving in a joy, strange, incomprehensible to himself, he thought not of the past nor of the future; he thought of nothing—he could only feel; and indolently, without taking the cup from his lips, he drained his draught of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843 • Various

... which our actors move from scene to scene. To make plain the course of the story was evidently the chief aim of the stage managers. The choruses are finger-posts. It is true that the choruses in Shakespeare are generally so overloaded with curious ornament as to be incomprehensible except as explanations of things already understood. The prologue to Romeo and Juliet is a riddle to which the play is the answer. One might at first suppose that the need of such finger-posts betrayed a dull audience, but no dull person was ever enlightened by Shakespeare's ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... the distance of 100 yards from the diving board; on this slender platform fourteen shivering specimens of humanity ranged themselves, and at the word of the starter plunged into the water with that downward plunge so incomprehensible to the uninitiated. A short, sharp struggle followed, the competitors swimming with the sidelong movement and obstreperous puffing which likens the swimmer so closely to the traditional grampus. Eventually one of the group is seen heading the others, and breasting the water ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... though we were begotten without an earthly father, spoken into existence, or sprang like Minerva from the brow of Jove? Why should the world stand agaze for nineteen centuries at one miracle, when sixty, full as great, as incomprehensible, are happening every minute? If God is the author of us all, is it more wonderful that He should create us in one way than in another? Was it necessary that the All-Father should change the order of generation to prove ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... for example at Pesth, which is not demanded from a well-dressed person - nor from the Czigany, who have frequently no dress at all - and whose insouciance stands in striking contrast with the trembling submission of the peasants. The Gypsy, wherever you find him, is an incomprehensible being, but nowhere more than in Hungary, where, in the midst of slavery, he is free, though apparently one step lower than the lowest slave. The habits of the Hungarian Gypsies are abominable; their hovels appear ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

... visualised dimly through that dust and the grammatical difficulties, the spectacle of the chorus chanting grotesquely, helping out protagonist and antagonist, masked and buskined, with the telling of incomprehensible parricides, of inexplicable incest, of gods faded beyond symbolism, of that Relentless Law we did not believe in for a moment, that no modern western European can believe in. We thought of the characters in the unconvincing wigs and costumes of our school ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... goods were distributed over several shops under any name but his. It was always difficult to bring legal proof of this; the books were in Chinese, and the whole business was in a state of confusion incomprehensible to any European. But these risks were well known beforehand. It was only then that the original credit had to be written off by the foreigner as a nett loss—often small when set against several years of accumulated profits made in ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... miseries of my present situation is that it is all so intangible, and to the outsider so incomprehensible. There is no particular reason why I should write. I do not need the money; I believe I do not desire fame. Let me try to be perfectly frank about this; I do not at all desire the tangible results of fame, invitations to banquets, requests to ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... that she could not go on. David was always incomprehensible to her when it came to Dick. Had been incomprehensible from the first. But she could not proceed without telling him that the village knew something, and what that something was; that already she felt a change in the local attitude toward Dick. He was, for one thing, not ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... is the person in the circle (of the sun). In man's body breath and ether are the immortal, the essence of which is the person in the eye. There is a visible and invisible brahma ([a]tm[a]); the real brahma is incomprehensible and is described only by negations (3. 4. 1; 9. 26). The highest is the Imperishable (neuter), but this sees, hears, and knows. It is in this that ether (as above) is woven (3. 8. 11). After death the wise man goes to the world of the ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... good works? Ay! you must die." Therefore Peter says, here, this is the corner stone which indeed was rejected of men, whereon ye must be built by faith. This is now wonderful in our eyes, as the prophet says; it seems strange to us, and where the Spirit does not teach it, it is utterly incomprehensible. Therefore he says, in God's eyes the stone is elect, and an extremely precious stone; it is of great importance also that it takes away death, satisfies for sin, and rescues from hell, besides that ...
— The Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude Preached and Explained • Martin Luther

... out the perfect instrument. It was evident she would be a thorough student, and do her work conscientiously, if she began. I resolved to try and see what could be done. At the end of sixteen months the change in the voice and woman was almost incomprehensible. The obstacles which seemed unsurmountable at first were but the first defects to be overcome, but with good understanding and proper placement these faults disappeared as quickly as the frost before the ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson

... cannot and will not renounce the sublime truths of Scripture. They may be incomprehensible; they may be inconsistent; and some of them may look ridiculous; but still they are sacred and sublime, and I will not renounce them although my reason may not accord with them, because they are the laws ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... hands on his fat knees, with his legs wide open, and stared long and hard at his incomprehensible visitor. So strange a request stunned for a moment even that sound business head. A minute or two he paused. Then, with a violent effort, he pulled himself together. "Come, come," he said, "Mr. Tyrrel; let's be practical and above-board. I don't want to rob ...
— Michael's Crag • Grant Allen

... like a generation ahead of our gentlemen in his attitude towards women and all that concerns them. There are certain points of view commonly taken up by Englishmen, even superior ones, which always exasperate women, and which seem equally incomprehensible by American men. You will guess the sort of things I mean. I do not know whether it is more really than the elite of Yankees (in which case we also have our ames d'elite in chivalry)—but I fancy as a race they seem to be shaking off the ground-work idea of woman as the lawful PREY of man, who ...
— Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books • Horatia K. F. Eden

... rather small for the sleeping Indian. Boston got up and walked over to the log. Doctor Tom's blanket only was there. Boston looked for the musket; it was in its old place against the tree. His own rifle was undisturbed. Boston concluded that Doctor Tom had gone for water or was off on some incomprehensible Indian freak, the reason of which was not worth a white man's time to puzzle out, rolled up in his blanket again and became oblivious to the ...
— Bears I Have Met—and Others • Allen Kelly

... criticised some of his compositions very severely, and is said to have remarked that "Beethoven was wanting in aesthetic culture and sense of beauty," a remark difficult to understand in these later days. It is the more incomprehensible from the fact that Spohr in after years was the very first musician of eminence to interest himself in Wagner's talent, for he brought out at Cassel "Der Fliegende Hollaender," and continued with "Tannhaeuser," notwithstanding the opposition of the court. He considered Wagner ...
— Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday • Henry C. Lahee

... them the truth that they can know their best interests and the real motives which will lead them to happiness. Long enough have the instructors of the people fixed their eyes on heaven; let them at last bring them back to the earth. Tired of an incomprehensible theology, of ridiculous fables, of impenetrable mysteries, of puerile ceremonies, let the human mind occupy itself with natural things, intelligible objects, sensible truths, and useful knowledge. Let the ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... takes place. The scene that follows is rather incomprehensible. A young mariner has a clandestine interview with the obedient slave, and receives 10 dollars to make a large box. An elderly mariner, not that mariner, but another mariner—rushes madly in and fires a ...
— The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 1 • Charles Farrar Browne

... this jeunesse, in spite of the clothes it wore, in spite of the memories these clothes evoked, was wildly gay. This seems incomprehensible, but it is true. Explain if you can that Dance of Death at the beginning of the fifteenth century, which, with all the fury of a modern galop, led by Musard, whirled its chain through the very Cemetery of the Innocents, and left amid its tombs ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas, pere

... of Michelangelo, not as Parlagreco and Lombroso show him, nor even as the minute examination of letters and of poems proves him to have been, but as tradition and the total tenor of his life display him to our admiration. Incalculable, incomprehensible, incommensurable: yes, all souls, the least and greatest, attack them as we will, are that. But definite in solitary sublimity, like a supreme mountain seen from a vast distance, soaring over shadowy hills and misty plains into the clear ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds



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