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Speculative   /spˈɛkjələtɪv/   Listen
Speculative

adjective
1.
Not financially safe or secure.  Synonyms: bad, high-risk, risky.  "High risk investments" , "Anything that promises to pay too much can't help being risky" , "Speculative business enterprises"
2.
Not based on fact or investigation.  Synonym: notional.  "Speculative knowledge"
3.
Showing curiosity.  Synonyms: inquisitive, questioning, wondering.  "Raised a speculative eyebrow"



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"Speculative" Quotes from Famous Books



... in New Orleans and elsewhere, gave rise to apprehension, in the minds of many, that refunding operations had been carried to too great an extent; that too many bonds had been subscribed for on speculative account, and that any forced settlement of the subscriptions falling due in April would produce a panic. Private telegrams sent here conveyed information to the effect that arrangements would be made between yourself ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... of the mass of mankind will answer these questions without a moment's hesitation. Healthy humanity, finding itself hard pressed to escape from real sin and degradation, will leave the brooding over speculative pollution to the cynics and the 'righteous overmuch' who, disagreeing in everything else, unite in blind insensibility to the nobleness of the visible world, and in inability to appreciate the grandeur of ...
— On the Relations of Man to the Lower Animals • Thomas H. Huxley

... front of a tumbledown cheap 'villa' in an unfinished cheap neighbourhood,—the whole place a living monument of the defeat of the speculative builder. ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... misled in these matters, but I cannot help believing that this volume, which looks as if it had been re-bound, is the one Thomas Bewick mentions in his Memoir as having been his companion in those speculative wanderings over the Town Moor or the Elswick Fields, when, as an apprentice, he planned his future a la Franklin, and devised schemes for his conduct in life. In attaining Cornaro's tale of years he did not succeed; though he seems to have faithfully practised the periods ...
— De Libris: Prose and Verse • Austin Dobson

... church," said Udell thoughtfully; "Well, Mr. Wicks, I'll tell you why I don't go to church. Just because I've got too much to do. I make my own way in the world and it takes all the business sense I have to do it. The dreamy, visionary, speculative sort of things I hear at meeting may be all right for a fellow's soul, but they don't help him much in taking care of his body, and I can't afford to fill my mind with such stuff. I am living this side of the grave. Of course I like to hear a good talker, ...
— That Printer of Udell's • Harold Bell Wright

... delightful; as boys we had often seen the outside walls of that fine property which had come to the speculative builder at last, but never a glimpse within; so that there was no desecration for us in the modern laying out of that beautiful double garden of ours, whatever there might have been for such ghosts of Montmorencys as chose to revisit ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... very peculiar. We choose to boast ourselves of being different in England, but we have simply les qualites de nos defauts after all. The clash of speculative opinions is dreadful here, practical men catch at the ideal as if it were a loaf of bread, and they literally set about cutting out their Romeos 'into little stars,' as if that were the most natural ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... have just named—pen in hand. The ordinary text-books of formal logic do not seem to meet the special aim which I am now trying to impress as desirable—namely, the habit of valuing, not merely speculative nor scientific truth, but the truth of practical life; a practising of the intellect in forming and expressing the opinions and judgments that form the staple of ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 1: On Popular Culture • John Morley

... the master workman to draw his designs upon. By it we are reminded that, as the operative workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the master on his trestle-board, so should we, both operative and speculative, endeavor to erect our spiritual building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in the great books of nature and revelation, which are our spiritual, moral and ...
— Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason • George Thornburgh

... itself on the mind, be uppermost in the mind, occupy the mind; have in one's mind. make an impression; sink into the mind, penetrate into the mind; engross the thoughts. Adj. thinking &c. v.; thoughtful, pensive, meditative, reflective, museful[obs3], wistful, contemplative, speculative, deliberative, studious, sedate, introspective, Platonic, philosophical. lost in thought &c. (inattentive) 458; deep musing &c. (intent) 457. in the mind, under consideration. Adv. all things considered. Phr. the mind being on the stretch; the mind turning upon, the head turning upon, the ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... North-American Slavery, more especially considered in its economical aspects. But the author has been led to enlarge his view, and has brought before the public one of the most significant works that have yet appeared on this momentous subject. So far as the treatise is a speculative one, it has an interest for all inquirers. So far as it is intended to influence or modify the current estimate of the great conflict in this country, it bears more directly on the people of England; but, unless we have determined ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... were of wider range, and those of a woman who mixed hearing with reading, and observation with her musings. She has no doleful ejaculatory notes, of the kind peculiar to women at war, containing one-third of speculative substance to two of sentimental—a feminine plea for comprehension and a squire; and it was probably the reason (as there is no reason to suppose an emotional cause) why she exercised her evident sway over the mind of so plain and straightforward an Englishman ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... 'My four "doctors,"' he tells Manning, 'are doctors to the speculative man; would they were such to the ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... her admirers, she had half laughingly replied that she had once found her "ideal," but never would again. Yet the jest had scarcely passed her lips before she became pale and silent. With this change came also a desire to re-purchase the picture, which she had sold in her early success to a speculative American picture-dealer. On inquiry she found, alas! that it had been sold only a day or two before to a Chicago gentleman, of the name of Potter, who had taken ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... a way that showed me his brainstorm over Robert Gordon had been checked. But there was a startled look in his eyes which changed to a more speculative scrutiny before he ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... with harmonizing resignation to the unalterable decree, offering his private wish a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of natural piety. That he shall know his friends hereafter is not impossible, not improbable; neither is it certain. He may desire it, expect it, but not with speculative pride dogmatically affirm it, nor with insisting ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... speculative in these sinister forebodings. The precise dates of the approaching catastrophes were alone uncertain. It was known, however, that they were very distant. Accordingly, neither the learned dissertations of men of science nor the animated descriptions of certain poets produced any impression upon the ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... of the speculative understanding contemplating for contemplation's sake. This act has all the marks of happiness. It is the highest act of man's highest power. It is the most capable of continuance. It is fraught with pleasure, purest and highest ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... were found and I did eat them,"(Jer. xv. 16.) A speculative knowledge of the word of God, and especially of those parts that are prophetical, will afford pleasure to the human intellect, even though the mind be unsanctified. (Matt. xiii. 20, 21.) But when the prophet gets a farther insight into the contents as ...
— Notes On The Apocalypse • David Steele

... It's unfortunate that the market broke before I could get rid of them, but it may rally. I'm rather disturbed about the matter; but, after all, one has to take one's chance in buying shares. Dealing in the speculative sorts is to a large extent a game ...
— Ranching for Sylvia • Harold Bindloss

... Cicada. His nature was not, perhaps, so perverted as to think about persons of such condition and position in life as Cicada; but since he had heard the discussion about women, and their several classifications, he had somehow become speculative in his sentiments, and ambitious of testing all those different varieties by his own experience. While matters were in this state Iyo-no-Kami returned to the capital, and came in haste to pay his respects to Genji. He was ...
— Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan • Various

... no room for it in the courts of princes, where great affairs are carried on by authority." "That is what I was saying," replied he, "that there is no room for philosophy in the courts of princes." "Yes, there is," said I, "but not for this speculative philosophy, that makes everything to be alike fitting at all times; but there is another philosophy that is more pliable, that knows its proper scene, accommodates itself to it, and teaches a man with propriety and decency to act that part which has fallen to his share. If ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... of this work to show that as long as the railroads are permitted to be managed as private property and are used by their managers for speculative purposes or other personal gain, or as long even as they are used with regard only for the interest of stockholders, they are not performing their proper functions; and that they will not serve their real purpose until ...
— The Railroad Question - A historical and practical treatise on railroads, and - remedies for their abuses • William Larrabee

... complete record of the rise and progress of poetry, philosophy, and the arts. Here his work is extremely deficient. Indeed, though it may seem a strange thing to say of a gentleman who has published so many quartos, Mr Mitford seems to entertain a feeling, bordering on contempt, for literary and speculative pursuits. The talents of action almost exclusively attract his notice; and he talks with very complacent disdain of "the idle learned." Homer, indeed, he admires; but principally, I am afraid, because he is ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... thing is such as seems to him to require explanation, and the explanation is that this thing is the doing of some god. If the thing that arrests attention is some disaster, which calls for remedy, the community approaches the god with prayer and sacrifice; its object is practical, not speculative; and no myth arises. But if the thing that arrests attention is not one which calls for action, on the part of the community, but one which stimulates curiosity and provokes reflection, then the reflective answer to the question, why has this thing ...
— The Idea of God in Early Religions • F. B. Jevons

... own—anybody's Youth—no limp and yellowed keepsake, but all crisply done up and ready for putting on. So sharp for the moment was his sense of accepting the invitation to put it on with her as the best possible traveller's guise, especially for seeing Venice in, that catching the speculative eye of the large lady turned upon him, he quailed sensibly. She had the air of having detected him in an attempt to establish a relation with her companion on the ground of their common youngness, and finding herself ...
— The Lovely Lady • Mary Austin

... beasts towards other species arises from hunger, the necessity of nourishment; the cruelty of man towards man arises only from the vanity of his masters and the folly of his impertinent prejudices. Speculative men, who endeavour to make us believe, that all in the universe was made for man, are much embarrassed, when we ask, how so many hurtful animals can contribute to the happiness of man? What known advantage results to the friend of the gods, from being bitten by a viper, ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... divine consolation in the hour of death. Flatter not yourself that there is any happiness beneath the sun aside from this. "There is no peace saith my God to the wicked," and, he who says there is, contradicts Jehovah, and is yet "in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." A speculative faith is of but little consequence, so long as it does not influence our life and conversation for the better. We must believe to the saving of the soul from the evil of the world. "Then shall thy light break ...
— Twenty-Four Short Sermons On The Doctrine Of Universal Salvation • John Bovee Dods

... Edwardeans is continued down to the middle of the nineteenth century, and later, through different lines, ending in Emmons of Franklin, Taylor of New Haven, and Finney of Oberlin, and is represented among the living by the venerable Edwards A. Park, of Andover, who adds to that power of sustained speculative thinking in a straight line which is characteristic of the whole school, a wide learning in the whole field of theological literature, which had not been usual among his predecessors. It is a prevailing trait of ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... o'clock the family and guest retired, the father to indulge his soul's long habit of speculative conjecture, the daughter to sleep, Oswald to think ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... which scientists have stood baffled. Every child of the human race has asked, "What is the origin of the material world, what is the origin of life, and what is the origin of sin?" In general the philosophers held (and most of what science says concerning these matters is not science but speculative philosophy) that matter was eternal and simply asked how it came to its present state. One group, the materialists, held that an active principle inherent in the matter working through long ages, brought about the present state ...
— The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods • Josiah Blake Tidwell

... "enlightened"—that is to say, we presume, the most rationalistic and scientific—century the world has yet passed through. We can imagine him asking whether, in all the past history of the human race, so great a zeal for poetry, romantic, lyrical-descriptive, speculative, has ever been manifested at once in such force and width in England, Germany, France, America. And we can fancy him completely satisfied with that single phenomenon. We can also imagine him setting opinion against opinion, outweighing Macaulay ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... Montana, went into the Firehole basin and cut a large number of poles, intending to come back the next summer and fence in the tract of land containing the principal geysers, and hold possession for speculative purposes, as the Hutchins family so long held the Yosemite valley. One of these men was named Harry Norton. He subsequently wrote a book on the park. The other one was named Brown. He now lives in ...
— The Discovery of Yellowstone Park • Nathaniel Pitt Langford

... evolution. People generally thought the idea absurd, as well as irreligious. All previous efforts on the part of advanced thinkers to persuade mankind of the truth of evolution had been nearly without effect. Among the early philosophers the whole idea was purely speculative. They made no attempt to prove it, and the conception was without influence upon the thinking of the ordinary man. This remains true until the time of Lamarck. This French genius succeeded in persuading not a few people of the validity ...
— The Meaning of Evolution • Samuel Christian Schmucker

... be worth double, perhaps three times as much as at present. He confided the fact that he had put all his savings into the stock of the present company at its greatly depressed present value. The company was not paying dividends; he had bought at forty. His air of financial success, of shrewd speculative insight impressed them all. Miss M'Gann evidently knew all about this; she smiled as if the world were a pretty ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... bulk and stature is pressed upon by a superincumbent weight of 30,000 pounds or 13.5 tons. An inch fall or rise in the barometer shows that this load is lightened or increased, sometimes in a few hours, by nearly 1,000 pounds; and no notice is taken of it, except by the meteorologist, or by the speculative physician, seeking the subtle causes of epidemic and endemic complaints. At Dorjiling (7,400 feet), this load is reduced to less than 2,500 pounds, with no appreciable result whatever on the frame, however ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... leave anticipations and imaginings,—which, by the way, is a forbearance hard of practice in a region where all things are on the whirl of speculative change, and where practical results outrun the projections of even the most visionary theorist,—and return to make such rapid survey of this interesting city as may be ventured on during a first visit of some twenty days. I feel, indeed, that but little can be really known in so ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... their inquisitiveness about ancestry to the breaking-point Patsy blinked a pair of steely-blue eyes while she wrinkled her forehead into a speculative frown: "Faith! I can hearken back to Adam the same as yourselves; but if it's some one more modern you're asking for—there's that rascal, Dan O'Connell. He's too long dead to deny any claim I might put on him, so devil a word will I be saying. ...
— Seven Miles to Arden • Ruth Sawyer

... their intensive values, interpretation of these variations is speculative. They indicate that the pairs of beats are combined in higher groups of four; that the differences of mean variation in the first interval are functions of an alternating major and minor accentuation, the former occurring in the second and fourth, ...
— Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 • Various

... Hamilton and Clinton approached the Court-house from opposite directions, on the morning of the 17th, they did not cross the street to avoid meeting, although they bowed with extreme formality and measured each other with a keen and speculative regard. Clinton was now forty-nine years old, his autocratic will, love of power, and knowledge of men, in their contemptuous maturity. He was a large man, with the military bearing of the born and finished martinet, a long hard ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... problems, and to enjoy and take part in their discussion; but it could scarcely be expected that, with his numerous other employments, he should really sound to their utmost depths the profundities of Greek thought, or understand the speculative difficulties which separated the various schools one from another. No doubt his knowledge was superficial, and there may have been ostentation in the parade which he made of it; but we must not deny him the praise of a quick, active intellect, and a width of ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire • George Rawlinson

... that lay beneath the horizon in the distance. Was it the brotherhood of fatigue and suffering endured in common that had served thus to dissipate his wrathful feelings? He was Bonapartist by birth, and had never thought of the Republic except in a speculative, dreamy way; his feeling toward the Emperor, personally, too, inclined to friendliness, and he was favorable to the war, the very condition of national existence, the great regenerative school of nationalities. Hope, all at once, ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... philosophy was much more definite than Coleridge's; it gave substance to his character and edge to his intellect, and, in the end, can scarcely be distinguished from the emotion generating his verse. There is, however, no trace of originality in his speculative writing, and we need not regret that, after hesitating whether to be a metaphysician or a poet, he decided against philosophy. Before finally settling to poetry, he at one time projected a complete and systematic ...
— Shelley • Sydney Waterlow

... this time colonized by the French; and a French settler there, De Gronsseliers, an enterprising and speculative man, after travelling in various directions, reached a country, where he received information respecting Hudson's Bay: he therefore resolved to attempt to reach this bay by sea. In the course of this undertaking ...
— Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18 • William Stevenson

... from the actual state of society. It arises from the distress and destitution which will fall at times upon a great manufacturing population, and from the wild and extravagant opinions which are naturally generated in an advanced and speculative state of society. ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... transportation for the then existing population of the State, and the consequent reckless creation of a State debt for money borrowed at extravagant interest and liberal commissions. The State underwent a season of speculative intoxication, in which, by the promised and expected rush of immigration and the swelling currents of its business, its farms were suddenly to become villages, its villages spreading towns, and its towns transformed into great cities, while all its people were ...
— A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History • John G. Nicolay

... speculative work done in New York is after the most trivial plans made by some mere draughtsman or carpenter, and the "superintendence" is under the "keen" eye of the builder and owner—who is usually one and ...
— The American Architect and Building News, Vol. 27, No. 733, January 11, 1890 • Various

... the country of speculative science visited by Pantag'ruel and his companions in their search for "the oracle of the Holy ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... in giving those extracts is, to shew the vital necessity for the formation of Homes at all our leading ports. At Liverpool, for instance, the crimps are so active and speculative in driving their abominable traffic, that no sooner do they hear of a man-of-war being paid off at Portsmouth, or any other naval port, than they send their agents to entice the sailors down to Liverpool. ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 453 - Volume 18, New Series, September 4, 1852 • Various

... a little apart, watching her husband with speculative eyes. Then she came and stood near him, on the side farthest from the alarming bone ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... trudging on, his mind intent upon something which was part of a scene elsewhere, or on the objects and results of the solemnities in celebration, as yet purely speculative, might have been disagreeably surprised at discovering himself the subject of study by a stranger whose dress proclaimed him a foreigner; possibly the Prince's stare, which we have already seen was at times powerfully magnetic, filled him with aversion and ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... development of my flock of sheep were partially due to my speculative desires. I was persistent in having them gratified, and succeeded, by being allowed the privilege of selling off the fat wethers whenever they became marketable, and replacing them with young ewes, which increased rapidly. These could be ...
— Twenty Years of Hus'ling • J. P. Johnston

... committee was uninteresting to Mr. Vigil, it was not so to the speculative inhabitants of Limehouse, or to the credulous shopkeepers of Rotherhithe. On the evening of the day on which Mr. Blocks was examined, the shares went up 20 per cent; and when his evidence was published in ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... imposed on the colonies by the Parliament of Great Britain, engrosses the conversation of the speculative part of the colonists, who look upon this unconstitutional method of taxation, as a direful attack upon their liberties, and loudly exclaim against the violation. What may be the result of this, and of some other (I think I may add) ill-judged measures, I will not undertake to determine; but this ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... my journal, as it was written at the moment that the information was given. I have no theory, as I do not indulge in the luxury of geographical theories; but I shall give my information in the same words in which I received it from the natives. Speculative geographers may then ...
— Ismailia • Samuel W. Baker

... of their faculties on their rural doings left them childish and inefficient in the use of their brains for other purposes. Mention has been made of the "fatalism" which still prevails in the village outlook; but fatalism is too respectable a name for that mere absence of speculative thought which was characteristic of the peasant kind of people I have known. The interest of their daily pursuits kept their minds busy upon matters obvious to the senses, while attention to opinions and ideas was discouraged. For this reason the older ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... nervousness, his sleeplessness, and the state of his heart. Then followed reproaches, such as he had never made before. They were sharp enough to make her weep, and true enough to put tragedy into her face. This tragedy she carried down to the breakfast table. It made Jack and Mrs. Hemingway speculative, and it worried Ned. They glanced to him for explanation, ...
— When God Laughs and Other Stories • Jack London

... dark cloud still crowded the zenith, but along the eastern horizon, against the increasing blue, lay a city of golden spires and mosques and minarets—an Oriental city, indeed, such as is inhabited by poets and dreamers and other speculative persons fond of investing their small capital in such unreal estate. Young Lynde, in spite of his prosaic profession of bookkeeper, had an opulent though as yet unworked vein of romance running through his composition, and he said to himself as ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... have received a partial and inexact report. My opinion is, that certain things are indifferent and unworthy of pursuit or attention, as lying beyond our research and almost our conjecture; which things the generality of philosophers (for the generality are speculative) deem of the first importance. Questions relating to them I answer evasively, or altogether decline. Again, there are modes of living which are suitable to some and unsuitable to others. What I myself follow ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... Manderson kept the diamonds in which he had been investing for some time past. I didn't open them; I could feel the tiny stones shifting under the pressure of my fingers. How many thousands of pounds' worth there were there I have no idea. We had regarded Manderson's diamond-buying as merely a speculative fad. I believe now that it was the earliest movement in the scheme for my ruin. For any one like myself to be represented as having robbed him there ought to be a strong inducement shown. That had been provided with ...
— The Woman in Black • Edmund Clerihew Bentley

... man; with the man whose dreams are no longer visions of the imagination, but are becoming incorporate in some external order; whose passions are no longer seething within him, but are working themselves out in vital consequences; whose thought is no longer purely speculative, but has begun to give form and shape to laws, habits, or institutions. It is the revelation of the human spirit in action which we find in the epic and the drama; the inward life working itself out in material and social relations; the soul of the ...
— Books and Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... and its rather arid, dour population, should have become the centre of growth for the new German nation, considering the latter's possession of its own rich and vital characteristics, and its own fertile and beautiful lands; but so it was. Perhaps the general German folk, with their speculative, easygoing, almost sentimental tendencies, needed this hard nucleus of Prussianism—and its matter-of-fact, organizing type ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... his philosophy, and Bishop Horne his simple but pathetic lines on the "Fall of the Leaf,"—lessons of nature which will still find their way to the hearts of mankind, when the more subtle workings of speculative philosophy shall be ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, - Issue 282, November 10, 1827 • Various

... essential of life, whether I was sane or insane. I resolved then and there to study out a new course. By toiling like a sailor at the pump of a sinking ship, I had taken advantage to the uttermost of the respite Galloway's help had given me. My property was no longer in more or less insecure speculative "securities," but was, as I had told Langdon, in forms that would withstand the worst shocks. The attacks of my enemies, directed partly at my fortune, or, rather, at the stocks in which they imagined it was still invested, and partly at my personal character, were doing me ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... less plain to us and as easy of explanation,—just as plain as to how and why some birds eat gravel to improve their digestion. In the cases of different susceptibility to the action of strychnia or of narcotics, the explanation must of necessity, for the present, be more or less speculative. But how are we to account, even in the way of speculation, for the peculiar immunity, lack of predisposition and hereditary tendencies to disease exhibited by the Hebrew, who, since the history of the world, has been a civilized and rational being,—even ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... language. My thoughts cannot make themselves apparent but by words, and to my words she will be able to affix no meaning. Yet is not that a hasty decision? The version from the dramas of Zeno which I found in her toilet was probably hers, and proves her to have a speculative knowledge of our tongue. Near half a year has since elapsed, during which she has dwelt with talkers of English, and consequently could not fail to have acquired it. This conclusion is somewhat dubious, but experiment will give ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... spinster aunt was ingeniously contrived, but it seemed rather speculative and rash—she might not have had a penny. His only ground for jumping to the conclusion that she had a fortune was that, on his saying that "Tupman only wants your money"; "The wretch!" she exclaimed—"Mr. ...
— Pickwickian Studies • Percy Fitzgerald

... such an extravagant problem, by one so new to our councils and deliberations. I never was more fashed in my life; for having hitherto, in all my plans for the improvement of the town, not only succeeded, but given satisfaction, I was vexed to see the council run away with such a speculative vagary. No doubt, the popular fantasy anent education and academies, had quite as muckle to do in the matter as Mr Plan's fozey rhetoric, but what availed that to me, at seeing a reasonable undertaking reviled and set aside, and grievous debts about to be laid on the ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... grave would quench for ever the transient existence of the hideous corpse which he had looked upon as the cradle of life. He sleeps; but he is awakened; he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains, and looking on him with yellow, watery, but speculative eyes. ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... the smooth road in the summer sunshine, Grace cast more than one speculative glance about her, trying to glean some faint hint of their destination. Although conversation went on briskly between herself and her Fairy Godmother, her keen eyes lost no detail that might possibly furnish ...
— Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer • Jessie Graham Flower

... demand pushed the trade deficit up in recent years, although the trade balance improved in 2006. Housing prices probably peaked in 2005, diminishing the prospect that interest rates would be raised to prevent a speculative bubble. Conservative fiscal policies have kept Australia's budget in ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... and passionate moods; and she could sing and play quite well. Her voice was, of course, quite untrained—she was only fourteen—but it was pleasant to listen to. She was beginning to show the combined traits of her mother and father—Jennie's gentle, speculative turn of mind, combined with Brander's vivacity of spirit and innate executive capacity. She could talk to her mother in a sensible way about things, nature, books, dress, love, and from her developing tendencies Jennie caught keen glimpses of the new worlds ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... the village of Lauterbach appeared at the end of the valley, and very proud I felt as I surveyed the tall and handsome house of the late Christian Haas, my future abode, the centre of my property, real and speculative. I admired its situation by the long dusty road, its vast roof of grey shingle, the sheds and barns covering with their broad expanse the wagons, the carts, and the crops; behind, the poultry-yard, then the little ...
— The Man-Wolf and Other Tales • Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

... great as Dante's own, who when he had by his prowess in arms recovered it for the Empire, stood resolutely between it and the destruction which in the opinion of his comrades it had merited, is condemned to share with a Pope and an Emperor the penalty of speculative heterodoxy. On the other hand, we find Charles of Anjou, the foreign intruder, the bitter foe of the Empire and pitiless exterminator of the imperial race, a man in whom later historians, free from personal or patriotic bias, have seen hardly any virtue to redeem the sombre cruelty of his ...
— Dante: His Times and His Work • Arthur John Butler

... three times wearing around, providing they didn't come to mending before that," mused the "Pet," with a speculative look in her blue eyes, but with a quiver of the dimples that evoked another paroxysm of laughter from her audience. "But I say, Sadie," she went on with the next breath, "Miss Minturn is a downright sweet-looking girl, and I'll wager ...
— Katherine's Sheaves • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... The speculative market, sensitive barometer of governmental policy, immediately underwent such violent fluctuations as to indicate a general belief that Gladstone's speech meant action in the war. The price of raw cotton dropped so abruptly ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... Guernsey, the laws of the city of London are carried over with him. To take the laws as they stand in Canada has been allowed—to act according to those laws, and to be bound by their coercion, is a natural consequence. In this view I think the bill has done nothing obnoxious. I have no speculative opinions. I would have consulted the French customs to a much greater extent, if it had been for me to have framed the law." Colonel Barre, Lord John Cavendish, and Sergeant Glynn next warmly opposed the bill, and they were followed by the Solicitor-general, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... in amazement; nothing of this kind had come into his life before. He kept shyly glancing at the girls; and, noting the speculative innocence in Greta's eyes, he smiled. They soon came to two great poplar-trees, which stood, like sentinels, one on either side of an unweeded gravel walk leading through lilac bushes to a house painted dull pink, with green-shuttered windows, and ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... to draw a comparison between an ordinary roadside inn in England and its synonym up in the country of America; a better parallel is a speculative railway tavern verging always on bankruptcy. There is an utter absence of the old-fashioned coziness which enables you easily to dispense with luxuries. You enter at once into a stifling, stove heated bar-room, defiled with all ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... much difficulty in belief as in action, for belief is itself an action of the mind. He was always anxious to believe anything that would carry him beyond the limits of time and space, but it was not often that he could give more than a speculative assent to even the most improbable of creeds. Always seeking fixity, his mind was too fluid for any anchor to hold in it. He drifted from speculation to speculation, often seeming to forget his aim by the way, in almost the collector's delight over the curiosities ...
— Poems of Coleridge • Coleridge, ed Arthur Symons

... more fitting occasion, I would merely mention now that these questions constitute, in the opinion of our most eminent authorities, the two great standing enigmas of meteorology. Indeed it was the interest manifested in them by Sir John Herschel, in a letter of singular speculative power, addressed to myself, that caused me to enter upon the consideration of these questions ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... demonstration of the unity of the power that is in the universe and manifests itself through it? The unity of God? The Lord our God is one! And this is no question of speculation, it is demonstrated truth. Now, as to any speculative or metaphysical division of God's nature into three parts or personalities, there is not, and there cannot be, in the nature of things, one slightest particle of proof. The unity is demonstrated: anything ...
— Our Unitarian Gospel • Minot Savage

... which, under any circumstances, would have thrown itself into the deepest speculative thought of its time. He seems soon to have passed through the mere ecclesiastical debatings to the deep questions which lay below them. There was one lesson—probably one only—which he had never been able to learn from his great master, namely, to acknowledge that there ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... to 1873 has been characterized as one of rampant prosperity, and such it was for the commercial, the manufacturing, and especially the speculative interests of the country. For the farmers, however, it was a period of bitter depression. The years immediately following the close of the Civil War had seen a tremendous expansion of production, particularly of the staple crops. The demobilization of the armies, the closing of war ...
— The Agrarian Crusade - A Chronicle of the Farmer in Politics • Solon J. Buck

... pleased to correct that imagination where you find it. I ever thought the study of it my best entertainment and pastime, but I have no ambition nor design upon the style.' Until he accepts religion, with all its limitations and encouragements, he has not even sure landmarks on his way. So speculative a brain, able to prove, and proving for its own uneasy satisfaction, that even suicide is 'not so naturally sin, that it may never be otherwise,' could allow itself to be guided by no fixed rules; and to ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... a sight, when he may have been looking at a chronometer perhaps. What I do know about his procedure is, that he always used a very rough method of equal altitudes, which would make a mathematician stare and gasp; that his nautical almanac was a ten-cent one published by some speculative optician is New York; that he never worked up a "dead reckoning;" and that the extreme limit of time that he took to work out his observations was ten minutes. In fact, all our operations in seamanship or navigation were run on the same happy-go-lucky principle. ...
— The Cruise of the Cachalot - Round the World After Sperm Whales • Frank T. Bullen

... Her expression became speculative. Her brown eyes lighted. "I've been wondering if I should look Outward, too. Whether it makes sense—for ...
— The Planet Strappers • Raymond Zinke Gallun

... dark, drizzly, melancholy night; a fair specimen of Gravesend weather and the parts adjacent; no 'star that's westward from the pole' to point my destined path, and furnish food for speculative thought; and, after sliding five or six times up and down some twenty feet of wet deck, I groped my way to the cabin. The captain was not on board, and I found myself a stranger among men. Of all gregarious animals man is the most tardy in getting acquainted: meet them for the first time in a jury-box, ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... continued to happen that until the [x] last half-century Herbal Physic has remained only speculative and experimental, instead of gaining a solid foothold in the field of medical science. Its claims have been merely empirical, and its curative methods ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... wide, speculative eyes. "He must be from the north. Some of them I do not know. But all of them have ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... des Menages" did not long discourage Balzac. At the beginning of 1840 he made an engagement to provide Harel, the speculative manager of the Theatre Porte-St-Martin, with a drama. The play was accepted before it was written; and in order to be near the theatre Balzac established himself in the fifth floor of the house of Buisson, his tailor, at the corner of the Rue ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... altered indefinably. Inspecting his chafing prisoner now with narrowed, speculative eyes which glinted keenly, he fell presently to whistling softly, laughed and with tantalizing abruptness fell silent again. Immobile and subtle now as his silent companion, he stared curiously at the other's fastidiously pointed ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... if I am to catch the 4:48 train. Keep your eye on the men, and keep Baggs up in the collar, and see that Wilkes and Ranger get their just dues. I must have rest, Jennie; and as for the wife, why, there'll be more some day for this purely speculative family of yours if we—— By the way, there's the whistle at Anderson's crossing. Good-by, ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... craft to which he belonged. At that time, every man had a 'new principle' of his own for the sneck of the shears, some theoretical mode of cutting, which was to make the coat fit like the skin. Our neighbour, who had a practical and mechanical, rather than a speculative head, resolved not to be behind in the race of competition, but to proceed in a different way. 'It is all very well,' thought he, 'to talk of principles and theories; but with the requisite apparatus, the human figure may be measured as accurately as a block of stone;' and accordingly he set ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 442 - Volume 17, New Series, June 19, 1852 • Various

... Alan Tremaine and Elisabeth Farringdon grew apace during the next twelve months. His mind was of the metaphysical and speculative order, which is interesting to all women; and hers was of the volatile and vivacious type which is attractive to some men. They discussed everything under the sun, and some things over it; they read the same books and compared notes afterward; they went out sketching together, and ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

... to be the means of our conversion. The multitude have neither the time, the patience, nor the clearness and exactness of thought, for processes of investigation and deduction. Reason is slow and abstract, cold and speculative; but man is a being of feeling and action; he is not resolvable into a dictum de omni et nullo, or a series of hypotheticals, or a critical diatribe, or an algebraical equation. And this obvious fact does, as far as ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... reverence of magistrates; or if she can form a Timoleon or a Numa Pompilius to the government of a state—how meritorious is the work! One king—nay, one minister or counsellor of state—imbued with her precepts is of more value than all the speculative, retired philosophers or cynical revilers of princes and magistrates ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... evidently a little puffed up with a feeling of satisfaction at the clever way in which he had got out of the difficulty, without displaying his ignorance of astronomy, and was even venturing, in the pride of his heart, to make some speculative and startling assertions in regard to the "'eavenly bodies" generally, when Buzzby put ...
— The World of Ice • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... satisfaction; But to be free and bounteous to her mind: And heaven defend your good souls, that you think I will your serious and great business scant For she is with me: no, when light-wing'd toys Of feather'd Cupid seel with wanton dullness My speculative and offic'd instruments, That my disports corrupt and taint my business, Let housewives make a skillet of my helm, And all indign and base adversities Make head ...
— Othello, the Moor of Venice • William Shakespeare

... of overcoming, as in the times of their fathers, the dread of exile, confiscation, and death, was rarely of power to resist the slightest impulse of selfish ambition or of selfish fear. Such was the texture of the presbyterianism of Lauderdale, and of the speculative republicanism of Halifax. The sense of political honour seemed to be extinct. With the great mass of mankind, the test of integrity in a public man is consistency. This test, though very defective, is perhaps the best that any, except very acute or very ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... in sail. The special fastidious shyness of his face attracted those accustomed to another kind of face. And though he did not precisely look at them, they in turn inspired in him the compassionate, morbid curiosity which persons who live desperate lives necessarily inspire in the leisured, speculative mind. One of them deliberately approached him from a side-street. Though taller and fuller, with heightened colour, frizzy hair, and a hat with feathers; she was the image of the little model—the ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... was no place to go seeking "real boys." But Luck had been a range man himself before he took to making motion pictures; he knew range towns as he knew men,—which was very well indeed. He looked, as he stood there, not disgusted but mildly speculative. Two horses were tied to the hitching rail before Rusty Brown's place. These horses bore saddles and bridles, and, if you know the earmarks, you can learn a good deal about a rider just by looking at his outfit. Neither saddle was new, ...
— The Phantom Herd • B. M. Bower

... man lurking near and moving as they moved, with a speculative air. Writs were out against Raikes. He ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... after some discussion, "we aren't in the market for timber in the ordinary, speculative sense. I happen to know that particular stand of cedar, or I wouldn't be interested. We're a body of returned men engaged in making homes and laying the foundation for a competence by our joint efforts. ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... were in this essay, it interested them both. There was nothing which gave the least reason to suspect insanity on the part of the writer, whoever he or she might be. There were references to suicide, it is true, but they were of a purely speculative nature, and did not look to any practical purpose in that direction. Besides, if the stranger were the author of the paper, he certainly would not choose a sheet of water like Cedar Lake to perform the last offices for him, in case he seriously meditated taking unceremonious leave of life ...
— A Mortal Antipathy • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... of facts of the past period of over four years; and that the system employed in safeguarding the accuracy of statements contained in it will produce a document of great historical value without entering upon any speculative conclusions as to cause and effect of the various phases of the war or attempting to project into an historical document individual opinions. With these ends in view, this History will be of the greatest value. Signature ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... were fixed in a speculative stare upon the mass of roses that glowed at the center of the table. Miss Marne, glancing at him, knew that, whether or not he was thinking of them, he was conscious of their beauty in every fibre of his being. "I wonder," he ...
— The Fate of Felix Brand • Florence Finch Kelly

... it was with an excruciatingly painful struggle that left him shrinking and nerveless, lying in a corner, blinking at the light of a kerosene lamp. Corrigan sat on the edge of a flat-topped desk watching him with an ugly, appraising, speculative grin. It was as though the man were mentally gambling on his chances to ...
— 'Firebrand' Trevison • Charles Alden Seltzer

... the Tigmores, can without doubt be made to pay from one hundred to five hundred per cent, on any investment within the first year. The Canaan Company will not have to depend upon shallow sheets of mineral against dead rock, as do many of the speculative enterprises of the mining section. The Canaan Company will not cut blind. It knows its field, it knows its chances, it knows its future'—and so on, and so on—how do you think ...
— Sally of Missouri • R. E. Young

... the shifting influence of speculative trading, by taking the business out of the hands of middlemen at home, the Exchange found it quite as important to maintain the control of its ...
— The Dollar Hen • Milo M. Hastings

... three, beside himself, attained maturity. These were his eldest brother Garrett, on whose death Edmund succeeded to the patrimonial Irish estate, which he sold; his younger brother, Richard, a highly speculative gentleman, who always lost; and his sister, Juliana, who married a Mr. French, and was, as became her mother's daughter, a rigid Roman Catholic—who, so we read, was accustomed every Christmas Day to invite to the Hall the maimed, the aged, and distressed of her vicinity to ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... two sects of Greek philosophy that had most adherents among the Romans were those of the Epicureans and the Stoics. Cassius, as an Epicurean, would have no faith in any superhuman powers; but in the moments of danger a man's speculative principles give way to the common feelings of all mankind. I have kept Plutarch's word "enthusiasm," which is here to be understood not in our sense, but in the Greek sense of a person ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... that speech of the child's, that intelligent, illuminating speech that seemed to prove that there was indeed a powerful, thoughtful mind behind those profoundly speculative eyes. ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... court of Saxe-Gotha. See the Theologia Aethiopica of Gregory, in (Fabric. Lux Evangelii, p. 716—734.) * Note: The travels of Bruce, illustrated by those of Mr. Salt, and the narrative of Nathaniel Pearce, have brought us again acquainted with this remote region. Whatever may be their speculative opinions the barbarous manners of the Ethiopians seem to be gaining more and more the ascendency over the practice ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... features, seemed to assure the individual addressed, that in Bletson he conversed with a person of intellect far superior to his own. This was a triumph of intellect only, however; for on all occasions of difference respecting speculative opinions, and indeed on all controversies whatsoever, Bletson avoided the ultimate ratio of blows ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... he joined the staff of the Clyde Iron Works, near Glasgow, at a time when the Company had only two blast-furnaces at work. The office of accountant, which he held, precluded him from taking any part in the manufacturing operations of the concern. But being of a speculative and ingenious turn of mind, the remarkable conversions which iron underwent in the process of manufacture very shortly began to occupy his attention. The subject was much discussed by the young men ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... have time, heaps of time, and an oppressive stock of enthusiasm, and I may add, fascinating experience, upon which to draw. The last-mentioned quality is invaluable in all such enterprises. If you have it, full play is permitted the speculative, if not the imaginative, faculties. If you have it not, then the work is merely a brutal exercise, in ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... prejudices which one does not meddle with at nineteen. "Youth is conservative because it is afraid." Moya, for all her fighting blood, was traditionally and in social ways much more in bonds than Paul, who had inherited his father's dreamy speculative habit of thought, with something of the farm-hand's distrust of society and its ...
— The Desert and The Sown • Mary Hallock Foote

... an amusing story about Sir William Rowan Hamilton which exactly illustrates my meaning: "When he had soared into a high region of speculative thought he took no note of objects close by. A few days after our first meeting we walked together on a road, a part of which was overflowed by a river at its side. Our theme was the transcendental philosophy, of which he was a great ...
— A Cotswold Village • J. Arthur Gibbs

... his countrymen might yet be propelled, thus superseding the ponderous paddle of teak, He here expected to be involved in an intricate labyrinth of mechanical inventions,—in a stormy discussion on the comparative merits of rival machinery,—to be immersed in speculative but gigantic theories. He was elected an honorary member of a news-room; had his coat whitened with cotton; and was obliged to confess that he knew of no beverage that could equal their superb cold punch. Our philosopher now gave himself up to despair; ...
— A Love Story • A Bushman

... one-sided. There are to be referred to that period many legislative enactments in the highest degree conducive to civil and religious liberty. The foundation of the Royal Society marked the inauguration of a new interest in speculative enquiry, of a great activity in scientific research, and of a broader and more liberal habit of thought on questions connected with government and education. These advantages were attained in spite of a worthless king, of corrupt ministers, and a licentious ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman



Words linked to "Speculative" :   unsound, theoretical, curious, speculate, theoretic, speculativeness



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