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Vague   Listen
verb
Vague  v. i.  To wander; to roam; to stray. (Obs.) "(The soul) doth vague and wander."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Vague" Quotes from Famous Books



... first time—and in Mesmerism every thing is new. An objection may be made that the article has rather a Magazinish air; Mr. Poe having evidently written with a view to effect, and so as to excite rather than to subdue the vague appetite for the mysterious and the horrible which such a case, under any circumstances, is sure to awaken—but apart from this there is nothing to deter a philosophic mind from further inquiries regarding it. It is a ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... lips and visage worn by suffering, at first gazed at the closed door with vacant eyes. Closed? The word unconsciously roused a vague fancy in his mind, the fancy that he had seen for an instant the light of the lanterns through a chink between the door and the wall. A morbid idea of hope, due to the weakness of his brain, stirred his whole ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... its warm, heady air, from which the nostrils dilate avidly, with its aromas, gliding from unseen gardens and flower-beds,—the head of each one of them was aflame and the heart quietly and languishingly yearning from vague desires. It was joyous and arrogant to sense after the rest the new, fresh strength in all the sinews, the deep breathing of the lungs, the red, resilient blood in the veins, the supple obedience of all the members. And—without words, without thoughts, without consciousness—one was drawn ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... he received a vague reply, desiring him to have patience. The affair got wind in the town, and a gentleman came to him, asking if he would accept him as bail. Efforts had been made in his favor, and the police were ready to set him free. ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... have got his wits together by this time, and to have a vague consciousness that he might have been saying more than he meant for anybody's ears.—I have been talking a little wild, Sir, eh? he said.—There is a great buzzing in my head with those drops of yours, and I doubt if my ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... together, and the little jealousies which deform the natures of us all have in their case, for this reason, freer scope, and tend more to isolation. Here, at last, we have a school, ignorant it may be, conceited possibly, as yet with but vague and unrealised objects, but working together with a common purpose, according to certain admitted principles, and looking to one another for help and sympathy. This is new in England, and we are very anxious it ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... the application of it beyond its true limits and to make it include popular songs, stories, myths, and the like, regardless of its fitness of application. Some writers, no doubt, would apply this vague term to a large part of the poetical pieces which are given in this book. [Page 114] On the same principle, why should they not apply the term folklore to the myths and stories that make up the body of Roman and Greek mythology? The present author reserves the term folklore for application to those ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... keep out one pair?" said Ellen, who had a vague notion that by some mysterious means her stockings were to be prevented from ever looking ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... elections. At present there is every appearance of the return of a House of Commons very favourable to the present Government, but the Tory party keeps together in the House of Lords, and they are animated with vague hopes of being able to turn out the Ministry, more from a spirit of hatred and revenge than from any clear view of the practicability of their carrying on the Government. I conceive, however, that as soon as Parliament is up there will be a creation of Peers. In the House of Commons the Irish ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... like sweet potatoes when these trees catch," returned the sheriff grimly. "No." Even as he spoke, a dropping rain of fire spattered through the leaves from a splintered redwood, before overlooked, that was now blazing fiercely in the upper wind. A vague and indefinable terror was in the air. The conflagration no longer seemed to obey any rule of direction. The incendiary torch had passed invisibly everywhere. They scrambled out of the hollow, and again ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... wonder if they will keep fresh until I reach home. Once more:—I approach a city. I see woods and two gardens, either flower or vegetable, from which comes music. On a mound wild flowers are growing, some white, some small and dark. I gather them. Then very remote and vague,—my brother is there. I see a long snake which my brother puts on(?) and covers my flowers. Still another vision was of a branch of beautiful; fragrant apple blossoms growing through the wall of a room. Some of the flowers were ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... back for the next speaker that modicum of quiet attention which he, at all events, had the art of gaining and of keeping. As she came forward this time one of her auditors looked at the Woman Leader in the Crusade with new eyes—not with sympathy, rather with a vague alarm. Vida Levering's air of almost strained attention was an unconscious public confession: 'I haven't understood these strange women; I haven't understood the spirit of the mob that hoots the man we know vaguely for their ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... gained the corner of the Square and was lost from view, a lithe figure—kin of the shadows which had masked it—became detached from the other shadows beneath the trees of the central garden and stood, a vague silhouette seemingly looking up at her window as Gianapolis ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... writers, and the charming wicked Aristophanes (whom he vowed to be the greatest poet of all). But he went at such a pace that, though he certainly galloped through a considerable extent of the ancient country, he clean forgot it in after-life, and had only such a vague remembrance of his early classic course as a man has in the House of Commons, let us say, who still keeps up two or three quotations; or a reviewer who, just for decency's sake, hints at a little Greek. Our people are the most prosaic in the world, but ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Each time as he lifted one of his long feet and set it slowly down a special little effort had to be made. To move about at all was a painful performance, something he did not want to do. All physical acts were to him dull but necessary parts of his training for a vague and glorious future that was to come to him some day in a brighter and more beautiful land that lay in the direction thought of rather indefinitely as the East. "If I do not move and keep moving I'll become like father, like all of the people about here," Hugh said to ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... for the sake of those whom she loved and longed to befriend. She had known they must be poor, but she had not heard of their poverty from themselves. They resided in a remote and thinly peopled district in Scotland, where the means of communication were few and difficult. Nothing but vague reports had reached her. She had hoped against hope till the time came when she could set her fears at rest, or know the worst, by seeing them herself. Now, standing in the bare room, in the midst of many marks of want and sickness, it grieved ...
— The Orphans of Glen Elder • Margaret Murray Robertson

... the gold-rimmed glasses to her eyes, she looked into the landscape as if she were expecting someone to appear. The day was grimy with clouds; mist had risen, and it hung out of the branches of the elms like a veil of white gauze. Withdrawing her eye from the vague prospect before her, Mrs Norton played listlessly with the tassel of one of the blinds. "Surely," she thought, "he cannot have been foolish enough to have walked over the downs such a day as this;" then, raising her glasses ...
— A Mere Accident • George Moore

... a somewhat trying ordeal; for the night was pitch dark—the moon being new and not a star visible, the sky overcast, and the wind fresh and at times gusty. Moreover, they could form but a very vague idea of the dangers by which they were surrounded, the chart showing nothing but a clear sea; and, to further increase their anxiety, there was a heavy ground-swell rolling in from the westward, which caused the ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... winter-quarters, in those Passau regions; postponing the explosion of the Broglio-Seckendorf projects, till Spring; and returned to Vienna for the Winter gayeties and businesses there. How the high Maria Theresa is contented, I do not hear;—readers may take this Note, which is authentic, though vague, and straggling over wide spaces ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... world, the elements, and the stars. In respect to the world, or rather the universe, the author's opinion is the same with that of several ancient philosophers, that it is a Deity, uncreated, infinite, and eternal. Their notions, however, as might be expected, on a subject so incomprehensible, are vague, confused, and imperfect. In a subsequent chapter of the same book, where the nature of the Deity is more particularly considered, the author's conceptions of infinite power are so inadequate, that, by way of consolation for the limited powers of man, ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... his original state of perfec- tion, man has fallen into the imperfection that requires evil through which to develop good. Were we to [10] admit this vague proposition, the Science of man could never be learned; for in order to learn Science, we begin with the correct statement, with harmony and its Principle; and if man has lost his Principle and its harmony, from evidences before him he is inca- [15] pable of knowing the ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... fully intended to call at Primrose Croft that very afternoon, to see Mr Roberts, or if he were absent, Mistress Grena; but he preferred the gentleman, as being usually more manageable than the lady. He meant to terrify the person whom he might see, by vague hints of something which he had heard—and which was not to be mentioned—that it might be mournfully necessary for him to report to the authorities if more humility and subordination to his orders were not shown. But he was detained, first by ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... too uncertain; I do not know the wants of the Maplewood people, and I must provide for Hector. I would not let these vague dreams interfere with her resolute work; but, Margaret, what a vision it is! I can see you laying the first stone on that fine ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... and meaningless to mortal sense; Its vague desire can never reach its goal Till knowledge vanishes in omniscience And God surrounds her soul, Breaking its barriers down and flooding in Through all her wounds in one almighty tide, Mingling her soul with that great Love wherein My soul ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... particulars. I despatched a courier to Madame de Saint-Simon, requesting her to send me another the next day, and I passed the rest of this day, in an ebb and flow of feelings; the man and the Christian struggling against the man and the courtier, and in the midst of a crowd of vague fancies catching glimpses of the future, painted in ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... the present occasion, I mention this name as one of many your institution can boast of, it is because I have more than one reason to do so. For what I have to tell you and to show you this evening concerns, in a large measure, that same vague world which Professor Crookes has so ably explored; and, more than this, when I trace back the mental process which led me to these advances—which even by myself cannot be considered trifling, since they are so appreciated by you—I ...
— Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High - Frequency • Nikola Tesla

... therefore the marvellously gifted statesman had always a weary gloom in the deep caverns of his eyes, as of a child that has outgrown its playthings or a man of mighty faculties and little aims, whose life, with all its high performances, was vague and empty, because no high purpose had ...
— The Snow Image • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... and sat beside him. Her attempt at a smile worried him. After all, she was just a kid, being bundled off in disgrace. He felt a vague regret that he meant so little to her. He wondered if she really loved any one. Then her search for "regular parents" came back to haunt him. Funny business this, having ...
— The Cricket • Marjorie Cooke

... handing about bills of fare, as if they had been programs. All this was sufficiently curious; but the agreeable thing, later, was to sit out on one of the great white decks of the steamer, in the warm breezy darkness, and, in the vague starlight, to make out the line of low, mysterious coast. The young Englishmen tried American cigars—those of Mr. Westgate—and talked together as they usually talked, with many odd silences, lapses of logic, and incongruities of transition; like people who ...
— An International Episode • Henry James

... curious and undefined sense of pleasure in her words. In the act of crossing he had held her arm for a few moments, and though her assent to his physical guidance had been purely negative, there was yet something about it which had given him a vague pleasure. Instinctively he knew that she was of the order of women to whom the merest touch from a man whom they disliked would have ...
— A People's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... this inn, an old garden adorned with sham ruins and statues, and full of autumn flowers and the shimmer of clear water. Sitting there and drinking my tea—alone as I thought at first, in the twilight—I became aware that the garden had another occupant; that at another table, not far from me, a vague and not very prosperous-looking woman in a shabby bonnet was sitting, with her reticule lying by her, also drinking tea and gazing at the after-glow of the sunset. An elderly spinster I thought her, a dressmaker perhaps, or a retired ...
— More Trivia • Logan Pearsall Smith

... sheriff did not move. Nor did Deveny change his position. A queer, cold chill had come over Deveny—a vague dread, a dragging reluctance—an indecision that startled him and made of his thoughts an odd jumble of half-formed impulses that seemed to die ...
— 'Drag' Harlan • Charles Alden Seltzer

... humped and feathers puffed, our thrush flew down to feed in the first pale-gold glimmer of very-much-diluted sunlight, the hedge-sparrow did not move. Now, in opening his wings, possibly from a vague idea of frightening the hedge-sparrow away from the magic swept circle on the lawn close by, and its bread, the thrush brushed heavily against that hedge-sparrow, so that—oh, horror!—it fell, or swung over backwards, rather, and hung head downwards, swaying slightly, like a toy acrobat on ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... writer then gives us a curious account of the present constitution of the House. The Dean, whom he calls "the right reverend gentleman," is, "in a kind of way, master of the College. The Canons, in a vague kind of way, are supposed to control the College." The Senior Students "dare not call their souls their own," and yet somehow dare "to vent their wrath" on the Junior Students. His hazy, mental picture of the position of the ...
— The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll • Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

... You know just how it looks. You have turned to it often; there you seem to be joined to him, though only by the turning of a leaf. And over your thoughts, as you look at that page of the record, there sometimes wanders a vague shadowy fear, which will come,—that your own name may soon be there. You try to drop the notion, as if it were not fairly your own; you affect to slight it, as you would slight a boy who presumed on your acquaintance, but whom you have no desire to know. ...
— Dream Life - A Fable Of The Seasons • Donald G. Mitchell

... fear of what was going to happen to him next. So much that was appalling had already happened to him! He wanted repose; he wanted surcease; he wanted nothingness. He was too tired to move, but he was also too tired to lie still. And thus he writhed faintly on the bed; his body seemed to have that vague appearance of general movement which a multitude of insects will give to a piece of decaying matter. His skin was sick, and his hair, and his pale lips. The bed could not be kept tidy ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... impressions which, of late, have occasioned me much anxiety and surprise. I need not tell you how sceptical I have hitherto been on the topic of the soul's immortality. I cannot deny that there has always existed, as if in that very soul which I have been denying, a vague half-sentiment of its own existence. But this half-sentiment at no time amounted to conviction. With it my reason had nothing to do. All attempts at logical inquiry resulted, indeed, in leaving me more sceptical than before. I had been advised to study Cousin. I studied him in his own works as well ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... (a fiery tear he put in every tone), "How should my child frequent your house where lust is sport, Violence—trade? Too true! I trust no vague report. Her angel's hand, which stops the sight of sin, leaves clear The other gate of sense, lets outrage through the ear. What has she heard!—which, heard shall never be again. Better lack food than feast, a Dives in the—wain Or reign or train—of Charles!" (His language was not ours: 'T is ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... then the papers about the conditions of partnership disappeared, no one knew how, and d'Alibert's wife and child were ruined. D'Alibert's brother-in-law, who was Sieur de la Magdelaine, felt certain vague suspicions concerning this death, and wished to get to the bottom of it; he accordingly began investigations, which were suddenly brought to an ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... endeavored, even at the risk of being tedious, to give such specific directions as will qualify the novice to hive a swarm of bees, under almost any circumstances; for I know the necessity of such directions and how seldom they are to be met with, even in large treatises on Bee-Keeping. Vague or imperfect directions always fail, just at the moment that the inexperienced attempt to put them ...
— Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee - A Bee Keeper's Manual • L. L. Langstroth

... truth about the night expedition to the castle. All the boys' answers consisted in dark allusions to the fact that the ghost was wandering about Wildenstein more than ever. As not one of them wanted to admit the hasty retreat before the ghost had even been properly inspected, they only dropped vague and terrifying words ...
— Maezli - A Story of the Swiss Valleys • Johanna Spyri

... are hints, very vague, that, in 1593, Bothwell aimed at changing the dynasty. {140b} The fable that Gowrie was a maternal grandson of Margaret Tudor, widow of James IV, by Henry Stewart, Lord Methven, her third husband, and ...
— James VI and the Gowrie Mystery • Andrew Lang

... me anything,' he said. 'I've mended her watch, and I always thought she was all right up to this, but the Lord only knows whether she did it.' He paused, and then, as if there were some vague connection in his mind between this charge and a general disposition towards acts of dishonesty, he added: 'She always ...
— The Queen Against Owen • Allen Upward

... known in parts of Hampshire even. If one were far from the main road, where news might be had from the driver or guard of a coach, information could only come from some wandering pedlar to a remote village, and might or might not be true. Vague stories were told, and forgotten as soon as told. Men and women, with a hard living to earn, cared little what was happening fifty or a hundred miles away, unless a son or brother or friend had had part in the rebellion. At the village of Aylingford ...
— The Brown Mask • Percy J. Brebner

... Junes. Wrapped in his love, you float in a delicious rest, rocked in the bosom of purple, scented waves. Nameless melodies sing themselves through your heart. A golden glow suffices your atmosphere. A vague, fine ecstasy thrills to the sources of life, and earth lays hold on Heaven. Such friendship is worship. It elevates the most trifling services into rites. The humblest offices are sanctified. All things are baptized into a new name. Duty is lost in joy. Care veils itself ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IV. (of X.) • Various

... the void which Henry's absence would have made in my life, that I welcomed with pleasure the idea of entering upon a new scene. I had also a vague indefinite hope that far from Elmsley—away from the material objects which recalled to me continually my fatal secret—I should, perhaps, shake off, in some degree, the sense of oppression that weighed upon me. I was only seventeen, and prematurely miserable as I was become, still there remained ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... time, I had thought I could get away only by marriage. I was ready to marry anybody who offered me food and shelter, and I had even thought of prostitution as a means of escape from domestic drudgery. I had not the slightest idea of what prostitution in its accepted sense meant. I knew in a vague way that women sold their bodies to men for money, that they lived luxurious lives, went to theatres and balls, wore beautiful gowns and seemed to be gay and happy. I was willing to marry any man who ...
— An Anarchist Woman • Hutchins Hapgood

... Committee bustled off after telling our friends to make themselves perfectly at home, Pepita Le Roy came up to them. She was a handsome woman, in a foreign way, with large, dark eyes and an abundance of raven black hair. She was rather flashily dressed and walked with a sort of swagger that in a vague way ...
— The Girl Aviators' Motor Butterfly • Margaret Burnham

... vague answer that it was not easy to make out what he meant—the old man brought Else to him, and ...
— Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... demanded by their self-chosen task. That they possessed some real affection for the country is doubtless true, but it was not the prime inspiration of their verse. They had the ambition to write poetry rather than the call; a slight bent towards the country, heightened by a vague dissatisfaction and weariness with the artificial luxury of Rome, led them to choose pastoral poetry. They make up for depth of observation by a shallow minuteness. In the seven eclogues of Calpurnius may be found a larger assortment ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... benefit from it, he wants it habitable, and habitable for Frenchmen of the year 1800. Consequently, he takes into account the habits and dispositions of his tenants, the pressing and permanent wants for which the new structure is to provide. These wants, however, must not be theoretic and vague, but verified and defined; for he is a calculator as close as he is profound, and ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... that Charles, who had seen so many instances of the jealousy of the commons, who had himself so much roused that jealousy by his frequent evasive messages during this session, could imagine that they would rest satisfied with an answer so vague and undeterminate. It was evident, that the unusual form alone of the answer must excite their attention; that the disappointment must inflame their anger; and that therefore it was necessary, as the petition seemed to bear hard on royal prerogative, to come early to some fixed resolution, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... up with the same vague wonder with which children look at dragon flies; sometimes they do not look at all, for all that comes in France has its part with the wonder of a terrible story as well as with the incidents of the day, incidents that recur year in and ...
— Tales of War • Lord Dunsany

... to feel unhappy and a vague desire began to take possession of him. He drank water—it was not that; he stretched out to the port-hole and breathed the hot, moist air—it was not that; he tried to think of his native place and the snow—it was not that.... At last he felt ...
— The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories • Anton Tchekoff

... If the rather vague Victorian public did not appreciate the deep and even tragic ethics with which Stevenson was concerned, still less were they of a sort to appreciate the French finish and fastidiousness of his style; in which he seemed to pick the right ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... and took to his heels until he was out of shot from stone or word. It seemed to him that in this country of England there was no protection for a man save that which lay in the strength of his own arm and the speed of his own foot. In the cloisters he had heard vague talk of the law—the mighty law which was higher than prelate or baron, yet no sign could he see of it. What was the benefit of a law written fair upon parchment, he wondered, if there were no officers to enforce it. As it fell out, however, he had that very evening, ere ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... See preceding note (1), p. 168. In answer to the vague objection that the alleged leaders were two brothers, Mr. Thorpe observes that the circumstance of two brothers being joint-kings or leaders, bearing, like Hengist and Horsa, alliterative names, is far from unheard of in the annals of ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... hostile. The two boats sent ashore found that the entrance to the river was effectually barred by a row of iron stakes and by an inner boom, and that a large and excited crowd forbade them to land. A vague promise was given that an opening would be made in the obstructions to admit the passage of the English ships; but on the boats repeating their visit on the succeeding day they found that the small ...
— China • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... into the brakes. The others did likewise. Utter silence fell, save for the far, vague roar of the city. A vagrant little breeze was stirring the new foliage, through which a few stars curiously peeped. The four men seemed far, very far from ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... come Mrs. Catesby's decision to remove to the city that her daughter might have educational advantages. It was with genuine regret that Ree had learned her plans. He would never have admitted even to himself that he had, in a certain boyish, vague way, dreamed of a dim, distant time when he and Mary might be more than friends; but maybe some such thought had been in his mind at some time. Strange it would be had nothing of the kind ...
— Far Past the Frontier • James A. Braden

... night than the Lloyds. Mr. Bowser and Frank came in to exchange congratulations, and they rejoiced together over the boys' success. Mr. Bowser was as delighted over Frank's passing as Mr. Lloyd was over Bert's scholarship. Like many men of defective education, he had very vague views about college. It was all a mystery to him, and that Frank, whom he was just finding out to be something more than a boy, should so easily penetrate these mysteries, and take a good place among the candidates for admission, was a source of ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... will sink with ill-concealed relief upon the dusty velvet cushions of the returning train, thoroughly disappointed in the vaunted marvels of Pompeii, which his imagination had led him to expect. A vague impression of low broken walls, of narrow—to his eyes absurdly narrow—streets, of broken columns and of peeling frescoes fills his tired brain, as he is borne back to his hotel in Naples. But this disenchantment is his own fault, for no one who sets foot ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... scalded. I was at the foot of a ladder up which a sailor was carrying a great pot of hot coffee. He slipped, and the boiling liquid poured down on me. I must have had some bad days after that, for I was terribly burned, but they are mercifully vague. My next vivid impression is of seeing land, which we sighted at sunset, and I remember very distinctly just how it looked. It has never looked the same since. The western sky was a mass of crimson and gold clouds, which took on the shapes of strange and ...
— The Story of a Pioneer - With The Collaboration Of Elizabeth Jordan • Anna Howard Shaw

... vague, indifferent glance to enter the throng of pedestrians, plainly showing that he did not see the person indicated. (Please note this proof of the person's qualifications as ...
— What's-His-Name • George Barr McCutcheon

... Pacific of philosophy,—that theory of the sole Divine Substance, the All-One, which Goethe in early life found so pacifying to his troubled spirit, and which, vague and barren as it proves on nearer acquaintance, induces at first, above all other systems, a sense of repose in illimitable vastness and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... world outside, and especially was there conveyed to her, through Alice for the most part, news that concerned the fortunes of Catholics. Politics, except in this connection, meant little enough to such as her. She heard, indeed, from time to time vague rumours of fighting, and of foreign Powers; and thought now and again of Spain, as of a country that might yet be, in God's hand, an instrument for the restoring of God's cause in England; she had heard, too, in this year, of one more rumour of ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... wrote Bret Harte, "I took up Longman's Magazine* and began to lazily read something about the Spanish Armada. My knowledge of that historic event, I ought to say, is rather hazy; I remember a vague something about Drake playing bowls while the Spanish fleet was off the coast, and of Elizabeth going to Tilbury en grande tenue, but there was always a good deal of 'Jingo' shouting and Crystal Palace fireworks about it, and it never seemed real. In the article I was reading the style ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... leaving but a vague mark for our spears, and besides, there was the danger of striking Desiree. We were barely able to keep pace with the thing as it receded swiftly down the broad passage. Desiree had twisted her ...
— Under the Andes • Rex Stout

... regarded as a suggestion for purchase. Should such requests come from users of several branches at once, the desired book is very likely to be purchased. Often the demand is general rather than specific, as for "a book about the Caucasus" or for "more works on surveying," and sometimes they are vague or misleading, titles being wrong and authors' names spelled phonetically; yet the work made necessary in looking up these demands is more than repaid by the knowledge that it may result in making the library of more value to ...
— The Building of a Book • Various

... time when the battle of Fair Oaks was fought, June 1, 1862. All the vessels of the Commission except "The Spaulding"—and she was hourly expected—were on the spot, and ready. "The Elm City" happened to be full of fever cases. A vague rumor of a battle prevailed, soon made certain by the sound of the cannonading; and she left at once (4 A. M.) to discharge her sick at Yorktown, and performed the great feat of getting back to White ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... long period of European peace which began in 1815 was not one of internal repose; the very absence of those engrossing and imperious interests which belong to a time of warfare gave freer play to the feelings of discontent and the vague longings for a better political order which remained behind after the convulsions of the revolutionary epoch and the military rule of Napoleon had passed away. During thirty years of peace the breach had been ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... of the tower of Saint-Jacques, what wind is blowing up for the morrow, and what it will bring with it. In that great city of nerves, through which electric vibrations pass, there are invisible currents of fame, a latent celebrity which precedes the actuality, the vague gossip of the drawing-rooms, the nescio quid majus nascitur Iliade, which, at a given moment, bursts out in a puffing article, the blare of the trumpet which drives the name of the new idol into the thickest heads. Sometimes that trumpet-blast alienates the first ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... Historia tripartita, lib. viii: Quum Valentinianus Imperator as oras Hesperias navigaret, id est ad Italiam, et Hispaniam. Elsewhere the same author mentions the islands off the west coast of Africa, of which he received some vague information as: Incognitam terram qui communi vocabulo Hesperi appellantur Ethiopes. Pliny, Strabo, in the last chapter De Situ Orbis, Diodorus, and others make similar usage of the terms. St. Anselm, De Imagine Mundi, lib. i., cap. xx., Juxta has, scilicet Gorgonas ...
— De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) - The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera • Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt

... be little doubt that Russia will gain the enormous advantage of a free opening into the Mediterranean and that the battle of the Marne turned the fortunes of France from disaster to expansion. But the rest of the settlement is still vague and uncertain, and German imperialism, at least, is already working hard and intelligently for a favorable situation at the climax, a situation that will enable this militarist empire to emerge ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... on the girls, that carefully selected library, the porter's bell, these casual allusions to "discipline" that set her thinking of scraps of the Babs Wheeler controversy. There was a regularity, an austerity about this project that chilled her, she hardly knew why. Her own vague intentions had been an amiable, hospitable, agreeably cheap establishment to which the homeless feminine employees in London could resort freely and cheerfully, and it was only very slowly that she perceived that her husband was by no means convinced of the spontaneity of their coming. ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... bad, he knew the day would be a hundred times worse. Already a gray light was sifting into the hollow of the sky. The vague misty outlines of the mountains were growing sharper. Soon from a crotch of them would rise a red hot cannon ball to pour its heat into the ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... appears strange that not less than twenty-five should here be described as new; and there can be no doubt many so described are included under the vague and uncertain descriptions of Lamarck and Lamouroux; but, in the absence of authentic specimens, or trustworthy figures, I have found it impossible to identify satisfactorily the species described by them, and have therefore thought ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... another signature, were composed or dictated by this man,—articles evading the censure and penalties of the law, but very mischievous in their tone. All who had come into familiar communication with this person were impressed with a sense of his powers; and also with a vague belief that he belonged to a higher class in breeding and education than that of a petty agent de change. My colleague set himself to watch the man, and took occasions of business at his little office to enter into talk with him. Not by personal appearance, ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... BREAKFAST the invitation cards are similar in form to dinner cards. But since the manner of serving, the numbers invited, etc., are not so definitely fixed it is proper to add R.S.V.P. on cards that especially call for a reply in the judgment of the hostess. Otherwise many people with vague ideas of the "informality" of these occasions might omit ...
— Etiquette • Agnes H. Morton

... interview with the Cointets with a vague feeling of uneasiness; not, however, on account of the proposed partnership, nor for his own interests—he felt nervous as to their opinion of his work. He was in something the same position as a dramatic author before his judges. The inventor's pride in ...
— Eve and David • Honore de Balzac

... I have a vague idea that one night I was taken from my bed, wrapped up in a mantle, and carried to a chalet on the Concha, belonging to one Errazu, who was a relative of my mother's. We lived there for a time in the cellar of ...
— Youth and Egolatry • Pio Baroja

... nation that rose upon the wreck of Rome. In other lands, in Spain or Gaul or Italy, though they were equally conquered by German peoples, religion, social life, administrative order, still remained Roman. Britain was almost the only province of the Empire where Rome died into a vague tradition of the past. The whole organization of government and society disappeared with the people who used it. Roman roads indeed still led to desolate cities. Roman camps still crowned hill and down. The old divisions of the land remained to furnish bounds of field and farm for the new settlers. ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... downs," as Jimmy Hill would say in his weekly letters home. He rarely missed a fortnight that this sage observation did not appear in some part of his four-page epistle. Jimmy stuck religiously to four pages, though he knew enough of censorship rules to avoid mention of his work, except in vague generalities. This necessity made writing four pages dull work at times, and resulted in Jimmy's adoption of various set phrases as filling matter. His mother, who knew Jimmy as only mothers know their ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Flying Corps • James R. Driscoll

... on one occasion, how, after making my hearers cry over the natural and permanent tragedy of Shylock, I asked the fatuous question, addressing it, as one does, to the vague air— ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... genius move wonderfully to a perpetual music. In truth, however, these eminent Victorians of Lady RITCHIE'S circle must have been a rare company; I have no space for even a catalogue of them—Mrs. CAMERON, with her vague magnificence, pouring letters and an embarrassment of gifts upon her dear TENNYSONS; the KEMBLE sisters, LOCKHART, THACKERAY himself, a score of great and (to the kindly chronicler) gracious personalities live again in her pages. I should add that the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, January 21st, 1920 • Various

... dazed and confused, feeling that my six feet made me too conspicuous, and longing in a vague and futile way to let her know without words that I would do what ...
— The Old Stone House and Other Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... influence on the new age greater than yours, more largely prepared the way of the newest music. You are indeed the good friend of all who dream of a new musical language, a new musical syntax and balance and structure, and set out to explore the vast, vague regions, the terra incognita of tone. For you are their ancestor. If, in its general, homophonic nature, your work belongs primarily to the romantic period, your conviction that the content conditions the form of every piece makes you the link between classic and modern ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... its powers and virtues; and, at last, when he had grown tired of it, have bartered it for any more desirable article that might take his fancy. All these advantages were present to his mind in a vague shifting form, but he could not find either courage or ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... following the vague language of Columbus, the great discoverer, the New World is called the Indies, slightly distinguished, in grammatical number only, from ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III. • Robert Kerr

... standing before the advertisement board[4226] trying to spell out the Journal Officiel, whose abstract phrases, beyond their reach, pass over their heads in aerial and transient flight, like some confused rustling of vague and unknown forms. To guide them in political life, much more difficult than in private life, they require a similar guide to the one they take in the difficult matters of their individual life, a legal or business adviser, one that is qualified and competent, able to ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... vague childish way she had been looking forward to full sympathy from her eldest sister, and ...
— A Christmas Posy • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... kept pace with the brilliancy of the menu. Repeated references on the part of the guests to the local political conditions and prospects in Sir James's constituency were met with vague "ahs" and "indeeds" from Lady Drakmanton, who might have been expected to ...
— The Toys of Peace • Saki

... It was accepted, not, however, without a slight manifestation of reluctance. Mr. O'Royster's senses were somewhat clouded, but the shadows of the entry were dark enough to impress even him with a vague feeling of dread. ...
— Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York • Lemuel Ely Quigg

... on deposit unless by the peculiarity of their rules, I should be obliged to withdraw it. They objected to taking the money as a Government deposit, or as an official deposit in my name, having some vague idea that if they took it and opened an official Government account they should be liable for the appropriation of the money unless documents from the United States were filed with them taking away that liability, but they ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 2 • George S. Boutwell

... of mine," resumed Pendleton; "her mother was connected in some vague way with my mother; and because of this indefinite link, we've always been"—here he hesitated for an instant—"well, rather friendly. Last night we happened to meet at Upton's, and I took her in to dinner. Edyth is a nice girl, but I've noticed of late that she's not had a great deal to say. ...
— Ashton-Kirk, Investigator • John T. McIntyre

... along seen how Philip's wooing could issue successfully, if it ever came to the point of wooing; the elements were too discordant, and principles too obstinate; and yet she had worked on in hope, vague and doubtful, but still hope, thinking highly herself of Mr. Dillwyn's pretensions and powers of persuasion, and knowing that in human nature at large all principle and all discordance are apt to ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... Chief-Justice Osgoode's ancestry. A French-Canadian writer asserts that he was an illegitimate son of King George the Third. No authority whatever is assigned in support of this assertion, which probably rests upon no other basis than vague rumour. Similar rumours have been current with respect to the paternity of other persons who have been more or less conspicuous in Canada, and but little importance should be attached to them. He was born in the month of March, ...
— Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... words to the vague feeling which had depressed them all, ever since the discovery of the murder; that here was something vastly greater than the accidental finding of a person killed by an outsider, that the crime touched Sloanehurst personally. The foreboding had been patent—almost, ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... second that, roused, startled, shocked, he was yet the next moment looking after it, as it went, with envy. The most extraordinary thing that had happened to him—though he had given that name to other matters as well—took place, after his immediate vague stare, as a consequence of this impression. The stranger passed, but the raw glare of his grief remained, making our friend wonder in pity what wrong, what wound it expressed, what injury not to be ...
— The Beast in the Jungle • Henry James

... sat down to the morbid sort of a meal one gets in London lodgings: a calm soup; a segment of vague fish smothered painlessly in a pale pink blanket of sauce; a cut from the joint, rare and lukewarm; potatoes boiled dead; sad sea-kale; nonconformist pudding; conservative ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... men; and that while reforming government the people would remain orderly, as they had generally remained in America during the transition from British rule to selfgovernment. Burke maintained that if the existing political order were broken up there would be no longer a people, but "a number of vague, loose individuals, and nothing more." "Alas!" he exclaims, "they little know how many a weary step is to be taken before they can form themselves into a mass, which has a true personality." For the sake of peace ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... this sand tearing along at ninety, a hundred, a hundred and twenty, or any other number of miles per hour. Imagine, further, this sand to be invisible, impalpable, yet to retain all the weight and density of sand. Do all this, and you may get a vague inkling of what that ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... car seemed at rest; but although we saw nothing, we could hear a vague and distant murmur which charmed our ears after the long silence of space like a strain of music. Whether this was due to the sounds of the surface collected in the clouds, or to electrical discharges I cannot say, ...
— A Trip to Venus • John Munro

... every atom, explain and annihilate it, and yet, years after you had thought that all had been disposed of for ever, the mention of a name wakes up associations in the mind of some one who heard the calumny, but never heard or never attended to the refutation, or who has only a vague and confused recollection of the whole, and he asks the question doubtfully, "But were there not some suspicious ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... head with a smile and seemed to look beyond the Baron at something in the vague distance, while the glass top of the table, which had been clouded by her breath, cleared gradually, and revealed a large house almost hidden among trees. It was a photograph of the Baron's ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... and painful death—he could scarcely have acted otherwise, seeing that he had nothing to do but give orders for a few rope's ends to be dropped over the side to them. Then, although she had given no sign of it, his manner toward her had been such as to fill her with vague fear; while his behaviour toward Leslie, when that individual had unavailingly attempted to convince him of the presence of another survivor upon the floating wreckage, was scarcely of a kind to inspire a woman ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... before. I remember the worried, plaintive look that came into his eyes as he examined the ice. (This plaintive look always came into our eyes when we did not understand a thing, or when we felt the prod of some vague and inexpressible desire.) Red-Eye, too, when he investigated the ice, looked bleak and plaintive, and stared across the river into the northeast, as though in some way he connected the Fire People ...
— Before Adam • Jack London

... remember, whether it was Otway Bethel who committed it; for I have always doubted Bethel, in an indefinite, vague manner. Richard replied it was not Bethel, but a stranger. Well, Barbara, in my dream I thought that stranger came to West Lynne, that he came to this house here, and we were talking to him of him, conversing as we might with any other visitor. Mind you, ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... most puzzling. These are the true Sylvia, the real wood-birds. They are small, very active, but feeble songsters, and, to be seen, must be sought for. In passing through the woods, most persons have a vague consciousness of slight chirping, semi-musical sounds in the trees overhead. In most cases these sounds proceed from the warblers. Throughout the Middle and Eastern States, half a dozen species or so may be found in almost every locality, as the redstart, the Maryland yellow-throat, the ...
— Wake-Robin • John Burroughs

... had he not one solace, so purely self-wrought, so utterly fanciful, that it may seem laughable. It was that the face of Olivia came before him at his most doleful moments—sometimes unsought by his imagination, though always welcome; with its general aspect of vague sweet sadness played upon by fleeting smiles, her lips desirable to that degree he could die upon them in one wild ecstasy, her eyes for depth and purity the very mountain wells. She lived, breathed, moved, smiled, sighed ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... beginning of the eighteenth century. No doubt it existed and ravaged the herds of Europe for many years and perhaps centuries before that time, but veterinary knowledge was so limited that the descriptions of the symptoms and post-mortem appearance are too vague and too limited to admit of the identification of the maladies to which they refer. It has been supposed by some writers that certain passages in the writings of Aristotle, Livy, and Virgil show the ...
— Special Report on Diseases of Cattle • U.S. Department of Agriculture

... in the eyes of its owners. They duly brought down the Union Jack and the American flag, and—as a concession to Diana—planted them side by side on its scanty soil. They decided not to tell seniors or juniors anything at all about it. Of course, in a vague way, the whole school knew of its existence, but nobody had troubled before to land on its few yards of surface. It was well hidden by the boat-house, so that any operations there were not visible from the garden or orchard. The ...
— A harum-scarum schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... a vague idea of seeing someone about the matter, and getting something done for the bushman—of bringing a little influence to his assistance; but I suddenly remembered that my clothes were worn out, my hat in a shocking state, my boots burst, and that I owed for a week's board and lodging, ...
— While the Billy Boils • Henry Lawson



Words linked to "Vague" :   indistinct, dim, faint, vagueness, unclear, obscure, wispy, undefinable



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