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Equivocal   /ɪkwˈɪvəkəl/   Listen
Equivocal

adjective
1.
Open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead.  Synonym: ambiguous.  "The polling had a complex and equivocal (or ambiguous) message for potential female candidates" , "The officer's equivocal behavior increased the victim's uneasiness" , "Popularity is an equivocal crown" , "An equivocal response to an embarrassing question"
2.
Open to question.  "His conscience reproached him with the equivocal character of the union into which he had forced his son"
3.
Uncertain as a sign or indication.



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"Equivocal" Quotes from Famous Books



... Dervock, 1853, as being inadequate, defective, and unfaithful—part of the document couched in abstract, evasive, and equivocal language. Also, we condemn and reject the Pittsburgh Bond, as ambiguous, self-contradictory and treacherous—"a snare on Mizpah." We abjure and testify against Popery, as delineated by our ancestors in the ...
— The Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and • The Reformed Presbytery

... progress. Here the prize was within every man's reach: patient industry need never doubt its reward; nay, in defiance of the four Gospels, assiduity in pursuit of gain was promoted to the rank of a duty, and thrift and godliness were linked in equivocal wedlock. Politically she was free; socially she suffered from that subtle and searching oppression which the dominant opinion of a free community may exercise over the members who compose it. As a whole, ...
— Pioneers Of France In The New World • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... mentioned, however, my translation may fairly claim to be true to the spirit of the original. Even the strictest moralist will not cavil at seeing equivocal situations painted in Bilse's book when his purpose in doing so has been the radical exposure of ills existing in a body around which cluster so many traditions of honor and duty well done as is the case with the German army. And there is no excuse to ...
— A Little Garrison - A Realistic Novel of German Army Life of To-day • Fritz von der Kyrburg

... Hadrian had, as it were, thrown down a challenge to him. At the Diet of Besancon in Burgundy in 1157 two papal envoys appeared with a complaint of Frederick's conduct in some particular. The letter which they bore spoke of the late coronation of the Emperor by the Pope and used the equivocal word beneficia to describe the papal act. When the assembled nobles resented the expression as implying a feudal relation between Pope and Emperor, the papal representative, the Chancellor Roland, boldly asked, "From whom, then, does the ...
— The Church and the Empire - Being an Outline of the History of the Church - from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304 • D. J. Medley

... love-letter was brought to him. It purported to come from the lady at whom he had flung the comfits;[27] offered him her heart, and begged an interview with him. The bearer was a masked woman, who owned to an equivocal position in Count Guido's household. Caponsacchi saw through the trick, declined the proposed interview on the ground of his priesthood, and completed his answer with an allusion to the husband, which would punish him in the probable case of its passing directly into his hands. ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... well knew that some men can satisfy their consciences by calling a certain sort of treachery by the soft name of gallantry. He was aware that he could, like many others in similar circumstances, deceive by equivocal looks and expressions, and then throw the blame from themselves, by asking why the woman was such a fool as to believe, protesting that they never had a thought of her, and swearing that they had ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... laughter mean? What is the basal element in the laughable? What common ground can we find between the grimace of a merry-andrew, a play upon words, an equivocal situation in a burlesque and a scene of high comedy? What method of distillation will yield us invariably the same essence from which so many different products borrow either their obtrusive odour or ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... not so sure, for to me there was something equivocal in his air and bearing. He might have been, I thought, the son of some good family who had fallen early into dissipation and run from home. But, making every allowance, how admirable was his talk! I wish you could have heard ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... There is evidently something equivocal in all this; and I pointed this out when outlining and discussing the different theories of matter. It consists in taking from among the whole body of sensations certain of them which are considered to be special, and which are then invested with the privilege of being more important than ...
— The Mind and the Brain - Being the Authorised Translation of L'me et le Corps • Alfred Binet

... terminations, and their names. The preponderance of testimony is in favor of four antecedent cycles, the present being the fifth. The interval from the first creation to the commencement of the present epoch, owing to the equivocal meaning of the numeral signs expressing it in the picture writings, may have been either 15228, 2316, or 1404 solar years. Why these numbers should have been chosen, no one has guessed. It has been looked for in combinations ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... fire-engine with the money; the Quakers can have no objection to that; and then, if you nominate me and I you as a committee for that purpose, we will buy a great gun, which is certainly a fire-engine." "I see," says he, "you have improv'd by being so long in the Assembly; your equivocal project would be just a match for their wheat ...
— Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... he said, slowly, "if they might not find their presence here a little equivocal. Your Majesty is no longer a private individual, and Mr. and Miss Van Decht, however agreeable in themselves, are not of the rank which entitles them to a ...
— The Traitors • E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim

... incident is regretted, coupled with the statement that the affair was not of an unusual character in ports where foreign sailors are accustomed to meet. It is not for a generous and sincere government to seek for words of small or equivocal meaning in which to convey to a friendly power an apology for an offense so atrocious as this. In the case of the assault by a mob in New Orleans upon the Spanish consulate in 1851, Mr. Webster wrote to the Spanish minister, Mr. Calderon, that the acts complained ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume IX. • Benjamin Harrison

... constraint on her feelings only so long as by giving vent to them, she might make her firmness of purpose appear equivocal. When, however, she is being led forth to inevitable death, she pours forth her soul in the tenderest and most touching waitings over her hard and untimely fate, and does not hesitate, she, the modest virgin, to mourn the loss of nuptials, and the unenjoyed bliss of ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... brutal and deliberate violence of her husband when he knows the truth, and the perfidious meanness with which he makes her the reluctant instrument of her lover's ruin, win back for her much of our alienated sympathy. Yet at the close her position is curiously equivocal. It is at her prayer that Bussy has spared Montsurry when "he hath him down" in the final struggle; but when her lover is mortally wounded by a pistol shot, she implores his pardon for her share in bringing him to his doom. And when the Friar's ghost seeks to reconcile ...
— Bussy D'Ambois and The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois • George Chapman

... achieve independence—his treaty with the Indians, his sensational plan to incorporate the Cherokees into the new state, his constancy to an ideal of revolt against others in face of the reality of revolt against himself, his struggle, equivocal and half-hearted, with the North Carolina authorities under Tipton—despite all these heroic efforts, the star of Franklin swiftly declined. The vigorous measures pursued by General Joseph Martin, and his effective influence focussed upon a movement already honey-combed with disaffection, ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... and observed, the more deeply was she convinced that everything was now in a fairer train for Miss Crawford's marrying Edmund than it had ever been before. On his side the inclination was stronger, on hers less equivocal. His objections, the scruples of his integrity, seemed all done away, nobody could tell how; and the doubts and hesitations of her ambition were equally got over—and equally without apparent reason. It could ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... the relations existing between Zinaida and Count Malevsky. He was handsome, clever, and adroit, but something equivocal, something false in him was apparent even to me, a boy of sixteen, and I marvelled that Zinaida did not notice it. But possibly she did notice this element of falsity really and was not repelled by it. Her irregular education, strange acquaintances ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... the equivocal office which my friend Mark had prepared for me. If family squabbles were to arise, I had no fancy to mix in them; and I did not want a collision with Mr. Larkin either; and, on the whole, notwithstanding his modesty, I thought Wylder very well able to take care of himself. There was time enough, ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer,' indicate at once the extent and the horror of the practice. Balaam (that equivocal prophet), on the border-land of Arabia and Palestine, was courted and dreaded as a wizard who could perplex whole armies by means of spells. His fame extended far and wide; he was summoned from his home beyond the Euphrates in the mountains of Mesopotamia ...
— The Superstitions of Witchcraft • Howard Williams

... perfect Penelope's web. Carpenters and bricklayers have been at work for these eighteen months, and yet I sometimes stand and wonder whether anything has really been done. One exploit in last June was, however, by no means equivocal. Our good neighbour fancied that the limes shaded the rooms, and made them dark (there was not a creature in the house but the workmen), so he had all the leaves stripped from every tree. There they stood, poor miserable skeletons, ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... and of menaces and apprehension on the other. That which we wish to believe, we are already greatly in progress to embrace; and that which will bring upon us disgrace and calamity, we are more than half prepared to reject. Persecution however is of very equivocal power: we cannot embrace one faith and reject another at ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... following rather the former, though with sadness and fatigue, and all the problems of life becoming more and more enveloped in darkness, it is possible that he passed through gloomy hours, wherein equivocal expressions escaped his pen. In a word, if he avoided dizziness, he was not equally fortunate ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... ask old ladies to tea, Or invite male supporters to crumpets or cricket; Should a snug Party Club prove a trifle too free, Or give an equivocal "treat," or hat-ticket; A seven years' nursing of Slopville-on-Slime, A well-fought Election and Glorious Victory (Crowed o'er by proud Party prints at the time) May—lose you your Seat. It does ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 24, 1892 • Various

... be unadulterated, or the infusion will be destroyed by its pernicious qualities. Nothing is more prejudicial to the health, or the intellectual faculties of mankind, than adulterated liquors. Articles which in their purest state are of an equivocal character, and never to be trusted without caution, are thus converted into decided poisons.—Another way of making wormwood ale. Take a quantity of the herb, according to the intended strength of the liquor, and ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... spiritual among the Jews is called real, the terms really, substantially, and essentially, are used in the Protestant Confessions, and by their Doctors." It is plain from what he subjoins, that he sought rather to unite different sentiments by means of equivocal expressions, than by an exact Creed, which might be susceptible of only one sense. "We must not condemn, says he, those who assure us that the Eucharist is but the sign of the body of Jesus Christ, ...
— The Life of the Truly Eminent and Learned Hugo Grotius • Jean Levesque de Burigny

... this bestowed on Washington. Doubtless there would have been Newton Market, and Socrates Market, and Solomon Market, but for the patriotism of the town, which has forbidden it from going out of the hemisphere, in quest of names to illustrate. Bacon Market would doubtless have been too equivocal to be tolerated, under any circumstances. Then Bacon was a rogue, though a philosopher, and markets are always appropriated to honest people. At all events, I am rejoiced the reproach of having a market called "The Bear" has been taken away, ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... did any one avow more loftily this contempt for the "world," which is the essential condition of great things and of great originality. He pardoned a rich man, but only when the rich man, in consequence of some prejudice, was disliked by society.[1] He greatly preferred men of equivocal life and of small consideration in the eyes of the orthodox leaders. "The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him."[2] We can understand how galling the reproach of not having ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... "devil-may-careism" as prime badges of genius, and he proceeded accordingly to astonish the natives, many of whom, in their turn, set themselves to copy his faults. But when we subtract some half-dozen pieces, either coarse in language or equivocal in purpose, the influence of his poetry may be considered good. (We of course say nothing here of the volume called the "Merry Muses," still extant to disgrace his memory.) It is doubtful if his "Willie brew'd a peck ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume IV. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... Moreover, the agreement not to fortify any part of that region was not reciprocal, so long as Great Britain held Jamaica and commanded the entrance to the canal. He had always regarded the terms of the British protectorate over the Mosquito coast as equivocal; but the insuperable objection to the treaty was the European partnership to which the United States was pledged. The two parties not only contracted to extend their protection to any other practicable communications across the ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... the bedroom floor and for a full minute pressing his ear to the sheet of metal that had already engaged his attention. Then he rose to his feet, nodded, dusted his trousers, and Mr. Carlyle moved to a less equivocal position. ...
— Four Max Carrados Detective Stories • Ernest Bramah

... the women of her blood. Upon the following day she was going to Tangier with her promised husband, Isaac Nunez. He himself and her relatives had counselled her to have one last interview with the Spaniard, so as to put an end to an equivocal situation that might compromise the honor of a good merchant and destroy the tranquility of a peaceful man. They would marry at Tangier, where her fiance's family lived; perhaps they would remain there; perhaps they would journey ...
— Luna Benamor • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... aristocracy no longer advances in a body to screen the lady. She has not, like the great lady of the past, the demeanor of lofty antagonism; she can crush nothing under foot, it is she who would be crushed. Thus she is apt at Jesuitical mezzo termine, she is a creature of equivocal compromises, of guarded proprieties, of anonymous passions steered between two reef-bound shores. She is as much afraid of her servants as an Englishwoman who lives in dread of a trial in the divorce-court. This ...
— Another Study of Woman • Honore de Balzac

... night before Wyvis' return. The whole household seemed somewhat disorganized by the prospect. There was an air of subdued excitement visible in the oldest and staidest of the servants, for in spite of Wyvis' many shortcomings and his equivocal position, he was universally liked by his inferiors, if not by those who esteemed themselves his superiors, in social station. Mrs. Brand had gone to bed early, and Janetta hoped that she was asleep; Mrs. Wyvis had kept Janetta at her bedside until after eleven o'clock, regaling her with an account ...
— A True Friend - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... frequently said, we are aware, that if God had pardoned the sinner without enforcing the demands of the law, he would have displayed his mercy alone, and not his justice; but in fact this would have been a very equivocal display of mercy. It would have shown only one of two things: either that God regarded the sinner with an eye of compassion, or that he did not regard his sin: either that he was merciful, or that he had no great abhorrence of sin: either that he loved ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... master of the field—the paladin, who had rescued the fair, for which I received much clapping of hands from the dark visages, and an intense look of gratitude from the fair, pale creature, whom I had released from the very equivocal rudeness of her admirers. The thanks from Monsieur Manuel, the father, were neither silent nor few, and when he found that I could converse in French, he exhausted the vocabulary of that copious language of all its expressions of gratitude. I hardly could ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... his proffered arm, Chloe walked beside him in a sudden pensive silence which Anstice found oddly appealing after her impetuous speech; and for a moment he forgot his own equivocal position in a desire to help her through what he guessed to be a ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... madness even about a courtesan, had she once taken his fancy; his prodigality was princely, although he had no income; further, he was most sensitive to slights, as all men are who, because they are placed in an equivocal position, fancy that everyone who makes any reference to their origin is offering ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... "Soldiers," said he, "imitate this man; and around their fallen leader strew heaps of Gauls." Gods and men assisted at that fight; and the struggle was carried on against the Gauls with a fury by no means equivocal in its result, so thoroughly were both armies impressed with the respective success of the two soldiers, between whom the single combat had taken place. Among the first party, whose encounter had called out the others, there was a desperate encounter: the rest ...
— The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08 • Titus Livius

... these must absorb them. I subsequently found, in a strange American book,[24] some descriptions which may be applied to his odd expression of eye. Monsieur Edmond About's mouth was sneering and sensual, and even then affected Voltaire's sarcastic grimace. His bitter and equivocal smile put you in mind of the grinding of an epigram-mill. One could detect in his attitude, his physiognomy, and his language, that obsequious malice, that familiarity, at the same time flattering and jeering, which Voltaire turned to such good account in his commerce with the great people ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... ignorance of the aspect in which we might encounter the thing. No sane person had ever seen it, and few had ever felt it definitely. It might be pure energy—a form ethereal and outside the realm of substance—or it might be partly material; some unknown and equivocal mass of plasticity, capable of changing at will to nebulous approximations of the solid, liquid, gaseous, or tenuously unparticled states. The anthropomorphic patch of mold on the floor, the form of the yellowish vapor, and the curvature of the tree-roots in some of the ...
— The Shunned House • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... of the susceptibility of his heart; but it is not stated that he ever formed an attachment. In many of his pieces he speaks with tenderness of a female whom he calls Fanny; and in one of them, from which it appears that she was dead, he expresses his regard in no equivocal manner; but there are other grounds for concluding that his happiness was affected by disappointed affection. To his friend Mr. Maddock, in July, ...
— The Poetical Works of Henry Kirke White - With a Memoir by Sir Harris Nicolas • Henry Kirke White

... sentence of death in the prison at Bordeaux she attracted the attention of Tallien, the son of the Marquis of Bercy's butler and ci-devant lawyer's clerk, who had blossomed into "a Terrorist of the first water." He obtained her release and she became his mistress. She took advantage of the equivocal but influential position which she had attained to engage in a vile traffic. She and her paramour amassed a huge fortune by accepting money from the unfortunate prisoners who were threatened with the fate which she had so narrowly escaped, and to which she was again to be ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... grey-headed negresses, so respectably attired, as to show at once they were confidential servants in some of the better families. As for the young ladies themselves, most were still of the age of school girls; though there were some of that equivocal age, when the bud is just breaking into the opening flower, and one or two that were even a little older; young women in forms and deportment, though scarcely so in years. One of a party of two of the last, appeared to me to possess all the grace ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... that cases are known of boys of fifteen or so resorting to self-mutilation, to save themselves from the temptations of early manhood. These apostles of purity do not always scruple to have recourse to violence or deceit. They ensnare their victims by equivocal forms of speech, and having thus obtained their consent virtually upon false pretences, they reveal to the confiding dupes the real meaning of the engagement they have entered into only at the last moment, when it is too late for them to escape the murderous ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... of the American workingman is a 'moving picture' in two senses of this equivocal phrase. It is kinetoscopic, first of all, in its lifelikeness and the convincing reality of the actions it pictures. Then, again, it is emotionally moving; for the character of Anton, the big, honest, alert and energetic ...
— An Anarchist Woman • Hutchins Hapgood

... years of philandering he had never experienced so keen a desire for conquest; and if this inexplicable husband chose to leave his wife in an equivocal position, he must be prepared to accept the consequences, which are, in general, the last things that any average man is prepared to accept. Shrewdness and vanity alike convinced Garth that Quita's attitude on Dynkund, viewed in the light of her subsequent disclosure, ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... results of observation may be set aside; first, because the so-called facts are in their own nature equivocal; secondly, because they stand on insufficient authority; thirdly, because they are not sufficiently numerous. But, in this case, the disease is one of striking and well-marked character; the witnesses are experts, interested in denying and disbelieving ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... Madame de Rosenberg was dead, and asked me if the Comte de Waldstein had in the library the illustration of the Villa d'Altichiero, which the Emperor had asked for in vain at the city library of Prague, and when I answered 'yes,' he gave an equivocal laugh. A moment afterwards, he asked me if he might tell the Emperor. 'Why not, monseigneur? It is not a secret.' 'Is His Majesty coming to Dux?' 'If he goes to Oberlaitensdorf (sic) he will go to Dux, too; and he may ask you for it, for there is a monument there which relates to him ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... directions for it are as follow:—"Scene—An ale-house room.—Several shabby fellows with punch and tobacco; Tony at the head of the table, &c., discovered." Never perhaps, in any previous representation, was the mise en scene so perfect. It drew three rounds of applause. A very equivocal compliment to ourselves it may be; but such jolly-looking "shabby fellows" as sat round the table at which our Tony presided, were never furnished by the supernumeraries of Drury or Covent-garden. They were as classical, in their way, as Macready's ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... steady, but light, and the passage was a delightful one through the narrow channels among the islands. The skipper got up a nice dinner of beefsteak, green corn, and tomatoes, which Mr. Hines declared was equal to the table at the Bay View; and this was no equivocal compliment. ...
— Little Bobtail - or The Wreck of the Penobscot. • Oliver Optic

... have others and worse behind." This answer was made in an equivocal tone of voice, corresponding to the peculiarity of his manner, and like that seeming emotion of a deep but very ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... been recommended to Yulia Mihailovna, and she had received him with reverence. I know now that he had only spent one evening in her company before the reading; he had not spoken all that evening, had listened with an equivocal smile to the jests and the general tone of the company surrounding Yulia Mihailovna, and had made an unpleasant impression on every one by his air of haughtiness, and at the same time almost timorous readiness to take ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... the previous day from the steps of the front door. "Milk below," (certainly much below "proof"), was answered by the assent of the busy cooks, when a knock at the door of Mrs Smith's room from the red knuckles of the housemaid, awoke her to a sense of her equivocal situation. ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... a mirror, in green sloping banks of turf. In its glassy bosom was reflected the dark mass of a neighboring grove, one of the most important features of the garden. This grove goes by the sinister name of "the Devil's Wood," and enjoys but an equivocal character in the neighborhood. It was planted by "The Wicked Lord Byron," during the early part of his residence at the Abbey, before his fatal duel with Mr. Chaworth. Having something of a foreign and classical taste, he set up leaden statues of satyrs or fauns at each end of the grove. ...
— Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey • Washington Irving

... looks to in the present alliance. Though at the age of forty, she is, I assure you, very far from being cold and insensible; her fire may be covered with ashes, but it is not extinguished.—Don't be deceived, my dear, by that prudish and sanctified air.—Warm devotions is no equivocal mark of warm passions; besides, I know it is a fact, (of which I have proofs in hand, which I will tell you by word of mouth) that our learned and holy prude is exceedingly disposed to use the means, supposed in the primitive command, let what will come of the end. ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... of anger, and in the belief that Raleigh had given information against him, to accuse Sir Walter himself of being privy to a conspiracy against the government. This charge Cobham retracted, confirmed, and retracted again, behaving in so equivocal a manner, that no reliance whatever can be placed on any of his assertions. But as the King was afraid of Raleigh as much as the secretary hated him, this vague charge, unsupported by other evidence, was made sufficient to commit him to the Tower; ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... bore the same character. Winter and summer the hall-door, which had long lost the knocker, lay hospitably open. The parlor had a very equivocal appearance; for the furniture, though originally good and of excellent materials, was stained and dinged and hacked in a manner that denoted but little sense of care or cleanliness. Many of the chairs, although not worn by age, wanted legs or backs, evidently from ill-usage alone—the grate ...
— The Emigrants Of Ahadarra - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... other, on gaining the street, as people look who have just rounded together a dangerous corner, and there was therefore already enough unanimity sketched out to have lighted, for her companion, anything equivocal in her action. But the amount of light men did need!—Kate could have been eloquent at this moment about that. What, however, on his seeing more, struck him as most distinct in her was her sense that, reunited after his absence ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... more curiously a weak spot in Hooker's character than the odd pride he took in Mr. Lincoln's somewhat equivocal letter to him at the time of his appointment, ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... the quaint arrangements of the rambling building, and their yet quainter fittings. Here, a cabinet, painted and carved in a sentimental but vicious style; there, an equivocal-looking chapel, studded with enamels and mother-of-pearl, with miniatures on ivory wrought out in relief, like those on old-fashioned snuff-boxes; there, one of those pretty Florentine retreats, adapted to the hypochondriasis of women, and even then called boudoirs. Everywhere—on ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... factories in great cities, may be distributable with such ease and cheapness over the whole surface of the land as no longer to require that close local relation which means overcrowding in work and in home life. If science could do this it would confer upon humanity an advantage far less equivocal than that which belongs to the present reign ...
— Problems of Poverty • John A. Hobson

... course at this time was extremely indirect and equivocal. The memoir to Seignelay, cited above, declares—and other documents sustain it—that he was playing into the hands of the English, by sending furs, on his own account and that of his associates, to Albany, where he could sell them at a high rate, and at the same time ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... together. Don't you see that she had a lover, and that he was about her in London and other places? Stop! Fact 10.—Those two were married for years, and had no child but this equivocal one; and now four years and a half have passed, during all which time they have had none, and the young parson has ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... the like equivocal sayings, were followed by a vague buzz, which was traceable to no individual author, but seemed to rise on all sides, like a dark mist, and envelop that ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... by what justice could the money belong to my friend, who had, as yet, done nothing but help to squander it? A more sturdy honesty, joined to a more even and impartial temperament, would have drawn from these considerations a new force of industry, that this equivocal position might be brought as swiftly as possible to an end, and some good services to mankind justify the appropriation of expense. It was not so with my friend, who was only unsettled and discouraged, and filled full of that trumpeting ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... so much about her equivocal position that her future troubled her. If there was just enough money to give her a college education, she wanted to know it. If she must prepare herself for taking some place at the end of her schooldays in the work-a-day world, she wanted to ...
— A Little Miss Nobody - Or, With the Girls of Pinewood Hall • Amy Bell Marlowe

... the notion of pulling the irrigation project down in ruins at the moment of Weir's own fall. Judge Gordon a few days later had pieced out the method, which was either to corrupt the workmen to wreck dam and camp or to place them in the equivocal position of having done so apparently though others did it in fact. Vorse and Burkhardt devised the details. Weir should be left free until the blow had fallen on the camp, whereupon he should ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... the sentence well, that nothing bears But the free comfort which from thence he hears; But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow. These sentences, to sugar or to gall, Being strong on both sides, are equivocal: But words are words; I never yet did hear That the bruis'd heart was pierced through the ear.— I humbly beseech you, proceed to the ...
— Othello, the Moor of Venice • William Shakespeare

... attained: the Poet has come to read Nature less through "the spectacles of books," and does not hesitate to meet her face to face, and to trust and try himself alone with her. The result of all which appears in a greater freshness and reality of delineation. Here the persons have nothing of a dim, equivocal hearsay air about them, such as marks in some measure his earlier efforts in comedy. The characters indeed are not pitched in so high a key, nor conceived in so much breadth and vigour, as in several of the plays written at earlier dates: the plan of the work did ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... widespread criticism in Germany—though, in view of the fact that it was conditional on the abandonment of the greater part of the rest of the Treaty, it could hardly be regarded as a serious one.[143] But the German Delegation would have done better if they had stated in less equivocal language how far they ...
— The Economic Consequences of the Peace • John Maynard Keynes

... possession of this male creature, whose part it now was to do for me a thousand things that hitherto I had been forced to do for myself, was almost naive. I could not hide it. I was at last a man's woman. I had a protector. Yes; I must not shrink from the equivocal significance of that word—I had ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... thus left alone was confounded for an instant; but, recovering himself with true Indian shrewdness, burst into a loud laugh, and affected to turn off the whole matter as a piece of pleasantry. Mr. Stuart by no means relished such equivocal joking, but it was not his policy to get into a quarrel; so he joined with the best grace he could assume in the merriment of the jocular giant; and, to console the latter for the refusal of the horse, made him a present of twenty charges of powder. They parted, ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... William Carson. A distinguished medical graduate of Edinburgh, Carson incurred the dislike of Governor Duckworth, and his successor, Governor Keats, by his outspoken pamphlets. Indeed, there was nothing equivocal in Carson's views: ...
— The Story of Newfoundland • Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead

... of that. He will bring his instructions. I am old enough in state affairs to understand how people can be supplanted, without being actually deprived of office. First, he will produce a commission, couched in terms somewhat obscure and equivocal; he will stretch his authority, for the power is in his hands; if I complain, he will hint at secret instructions; if I desire to see them, he will answer evasively; if I insist, he will produce a paper of totally different import; and if this fail ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... was he tottering on the battlements of some old turret, when a storm arose, the maiden crept to his side, but in an instant, with a hideous crash, she was borne away by the rude grasp of the tempest. He awoke, with a mortifying discovery that the crash had been of a somewhat less equivocal nature. A cabinet of costly workmanship lay overturned at his feet, and a rich vase, breathing odours, strewed the floor ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... may be nothing equivocal, the minister carries his idea still farther, and on the same principle that we have heard him call the intensity of labor riches, we will find him calling the abundant results of labor, and the plenty of every ...
— Sophisms of the Protectionists • Frederic Bastiat

... see her father's murderer brought to justice, and now, when through the efforts of M. Godin, a man stood all but convicted of the crime, she was pleased to hear Maitland, whose efforts to track Latour she had applauded in no equivocal way, say that he should spare no pains to give the suspect every possible chance to prove his innocence. There was certainly a reason, whatever it might have been, for Gwen's attitude in this matter, for that young ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... hundred copies of the first edition of my ROBBERS were exhausted before all the admirers of the piece were supplied. A second was therefore undertaken, which has been improved by greater care in printing, and by the omission of those equivocal sentences which were offensive to the more fastidious part of the public. Such an alteration, however, in the construction of the play as should satisfy all the wishes of my friends and critics has not ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... summons welcome in itself, and at this moment doubly so as putting a stop to the reformer. Even that person condescended to be pleased on the former consideration, though reasonably incensed on the other; and he advanced to the table in a continued ejaculation of inarticulate grunts—a sort of equivocal language in which he designed to convey alike his approbation of supper ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... in the engagement of August 10, which the British had not thought fit to add to their fleet, but used simply as carriers; mounting their guns on the fortifications of Kingston. Cooper justly remarks, "This sufficiently proves the equivocal advantage enjoyed by the possession of these craft." Chauncey himself, at the end of the campaign, recommended the building of "one vessel of the size of the 'Sylph,'"—three hundred and forty tons,—"in lieu of all the heavy schooners; for really ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 2 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... able to get the money to pay off Cossey and Son, and if he did, it would not help him, because he could not pay the interest on it. Under these circumstances you have to choose between putting yourself in an equivocal position and letting events take their course. It would be useless for anybody else to undertake the task, and of course I cannot guarantee that even you will succeed, but I will not mince matters—as you doubtless know, any man would find it hard to refuse a favour ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... diminutive bowls, but most of them slumbering in a variety of grotesque attitudes. None of these Mongols who observe your curiosity seems to hold any feeling of resentment for the effective separation of the races, which places him, the native of the land, in a position that might be called equivocal. ...
— East of Suez - Ceylon, India, China and Japan • Frederic Courtland Penfield

... the trig, close house that Mrs. Royston had built for her, and the abundance of warm furnishings and nutritious food, a degree of luxury indeed which was hardly known elsewhere in the Boundary. Her prosperity had evolved the equivocal advantage of restoring her prestige as a sibyl, and she had entered upon a new lease of the practice of the dark arts of fortune-telling and working charms and spells. He gave a humorous account of her expressions of gratitude to him for the restoration of her sight, which facetiousness Bayne, who ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... and till all the juries of matrons have finished their inquest, one shall not care to make one's choice: I was going to say, "throw one's handkerchief," but at present that term would be a little equivocal. ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... feminine hypocrisies would cost them on either side much more than the usual effort. Mrs. Ambient, smooth-haired, thin-lipped, perpetually fresh, must have regarded her crumpled and dishevelled visitor as an equivocal joke; she herself so the opposite of a Rossetti, she herself a Reynolds or a Lawrence, with no more far-fetched note in her composition than a cold ladylike candour and a well-starched ...
— The Author of Beltraffio • Henry James

... opened his eyes. It was rather an equivocal compliment, considering the person to whom she spoke. But he was not one of the kind to take ...
— Janet's Love and Service • Margaret M Robertson

... uncompromising hostility, and had his words been thunderbolts of denunciation, then indeed would he have been a hero after the very hearts of the abolitionists. But, as it is, they have to apologize for the great apostle, and try, as best they may, to deliver him from his very equivocal position! But if they are true apostles, and not false, then, we fear, the best apology for his conduct is that he had never read the Declaration of Independence, nor ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... except for concealment, says, "a member of my family," when "a child" is meant. The term members, besides being equivocal, and requiring explanation, is not so good as "children of the church," an expression which includes and covers all that any would ...
— Bertha and Her Baptism • Nehemiah Adams

... catch at any stray marvels that fell in their way. The subterraneous and half-concealed passage in the rock, or rather shale, on which the castle stands, always under the ban of some vague and silly apprehension, had been reported of late as manifesting more than equivocal symptoms of supernatural possession. Dick Empson, or long-nebbed Dick, a sort of shrewd, half-witted incarnation, it might be, of the goblin or elfin species, a runner of errands from the abbey of Furness to the castle, and a ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... and to its peaceful ideals he had always been extremely sympathetic, and to Page especially he had never manifested anything but cordiality. Yet it was evident, as Page came into his office this morning, that to Lord Robert, as to every member of the Government, the President's note, with its equivocal phrases, had been a terrible shock. His manner was extremely courteous, as always, but he made no attempt to conceal his feelings. Ordinarily Lord Robert did not wear his emotions on the surface; but he took occasion on this visit to tell Page how greatly ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... Yet, at the same time, in the true spirit of a polytheist, he accuseth them of adoring Earth, Water, Fire, the Winds, and the Sun and Moon. But the Persians of every age have denied the charge, and explained the equivocal conduct, which might appear to give a color to it. The elements, and more particularly Fire, Light, and the Sun, whom they called Mithra, [1201] were the objects of their religious reverence, because they considered them as the purest symbols, the noblest productions, and the most powerful ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... her virtue is safe. In this way girls who have themselves had experience of the marriage bed are said to detect the virgin. The virgin's eyes are cast down and almost motionless, while she who has known a man has eyes that are bright and quick. But this sign is equivocal, says Schurig, for girls are different, and can simulate the modesty they do not feel. Yet this indication also rests on a fundamentally sound psychological basis. (See "The Evolution of Modesty," in the first volume of ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... Feng Yao bridge, Hsiao Hung makes known sentimental matters in equivocal language. In the Hsiao Hsiang lodge, Tai-yue gives, while under the effects of the spring lassitude, expression to her ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... sure of it," she continued, "although your behaviour is somewhat equivocal, but you may have reasons which I do not know; and you must now confide them to me. You have protected my daughter from slander, you have fought a duel on her behalf—consequently you have risked your life... Do not answer. I know that you will not acknowledge ...
— A Hero of Our Time • M. Y. Lermontov

... flaps of a travelling casquette, hung two dingy little mirrors of talc from Cacongo, set in clumsy frames of ruddled wood. Masses of coral encircled his neck, and the full-dress naval uniform of a French officer, with epaulettes of stupendous size, exposed a zebra'd guernsey of equivocal purity. A long black staff, studded with broad-headed brass beads, served to clear the room of the lieges, who returned as fast as they were turned out—the baton was evidently not intended ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... revelation of ancient Greece is the Venus or Apollo, a Parthenon frieze or a fateful drama! The best political essays on the French Revolution are based on the economical and social facts recorded in the Travels of Arthur Young. The equivocal action of Massena, when he commanded Paris against the Allies, is explained in the recently published letter of Joseph Bonaparte, wherein we learn his deficiency of muskets. Humboldt accounted for ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... ever questioned the long shuttered front of an old Italian house, that motionless mask, smooth, mute, equivocal as the face of a priest behind which buzz the secrets of the confessional? Other houses declare the activities they shelter; they are the clear expressive cuticle of a life flowing close to the surface; but the old palace in ...
— Crucial Instances • Edith Wharton

... a declaration, and Stanislas happened to come in just as I told the boy to get up again. A woman, under any circumstances, has claims which courtesy prescribes to a gentleman; but in contempt of these, Stanislas has been saying that he came unexpectedly and found us in an equivocal position. I was treating the boy as he deserved. If the young scatterbrain knew of the scandal caused by his folly, he would go, I am convinced, to insult Stanislas, and compel him to fight. That would simply be a public proclamation of his love. I need not tell you that your wife is ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... despotism, and sent Lafayette to a foreign dungeon, and his master to the block. You came out victorious; but, from the violence of the rupture, you took a political bias not perhaps entirely for good; and the necessity of the war blended you, under equivocal conditions, with other colonies of a wholly different origin and character, which then "held persons to service," and are now your half-dethroned tyrant, the Slave Power. This Revolution will lead to a revision of many things,—perhaps ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... these two lines to record their visit. They pray the Blessed Virgin that she will maintain them safe and sound from everything equivocal that may befall them (sempre sani e salvi da ogni equivoco li possa accadere). Oh, farewell! We reverently salute all the present statues, and especially the Blessed Virgin, and ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... together with the wish of avoiding an interview with the Duke and his daughter, from which he augured nought but pain, overcame Wilton's repugnance to hold any private communication with one whom he had certainly seen in a situation at the least very equivocal; and merely saying to Lord Sherbrooke, "I must speak with this gentleman for a moment, and therefore cannot come with you," he left the young lord to follow Sir John Fenwick, and turned with the stranger ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... worship does not see his way to himself suggest opposition to this course in our Town Council, or in our Provincial Council, and the Most Worshipful the Assessors do not either see theirs; it being, as you know, an equivocal and onerous thing for either council to express or suggest in their assembly views antagonistic to those of the Prefecture, so that I fear, most honoured and reverend friend, it will not be in my power farther to press this matter, and I fear also that your parish ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... that the Rio Negro issued immediately from it. (* See the classical memoir of this great geographer in the Journal des Savans, March 1750 page 184. "One fact," says D'Anville, "which cannot be considered as equivocal, after the proofs with which we have been recently furnished, is the communication of the Rio Negro with the Orinoco; but we must not hesitate to admit, that we are not yet sufficiently informed of the manner in which this communication takes place." I was surprised to see in ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... contrive to perpetuate babyhood, in the vain hope of preferring innocence: nor could I shelter myself by saying how little I understood of the dialect it was written in, as the action was nothing less than equivocal; and in the burletta which was tacked to it by way of farce, I saw the soprano fingers who played the women's parts, and who see more of the world than these friars, blush for shame, two or three times, while the company, most of them grave ecclesiastics, applauded ...
— Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... has made herself acquainted with this much, we had better let her know the whole truth—that you are engaged to marry me as soon as you are twenty; otherwise your being here with me, and by appointment too, may appear strange, even equivocal ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... dais only a little lower than that provided for the duchess de Berri. At a dinner at Baron Rothschild's, Careme, the Delmonico of those times, surprised her with a column of ingenious confectionery architecture on which was inscribed her name spun in sugar. It was a more equivocal compliment when Walter Scott christened two pet donkeys Hannah More and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... other—it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission from sire to son of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint and equivocal appellation of the "House of Usher"—an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family ...
— Selections From Poe • J. Montgomery Gambrill

... unjust to him, to pause without dissipating the cloud we have unexpectedly cast over him. The temptation to scrutinize his conduct and bearing is irresistible. Is it not better to lay bare all the facts, than to leave matters in the equivocal condition they now are?" ...
— The Paternoster Ruby • Charles Edmonds Walk

... beautiful triumph of poetry over prose, of soul and heart over calculation and business. A Soul's Tragedy exhibits the inverse process: the triumph of mundane policy and genial savoir faire in the person of Ogniben over the sickly and equivocal "poetry" of Chiappino. Browning seems to have thrown off this bitter parody of his own idealisms in a mood like that in which Ibsen conceived the poor blundering idealist of the Wild Duck. Chiappino is Browning's Werle; the reverse side of a type ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... involved by the want of unity in the Cabinet—especially between Mr. Townshend and Lord Shelburne on the Irish questions—is minute and voluminous; and only a few letters have been selected from the mass to show the course of ministerial diplomacy in reference to the equivocal relations subsisting at that period between the two countries. They form a running commentary upon a curious passage in Irish history; and although the circumstances to which they relate have long been ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... it is," he replied. "I have held an equivocal position for months, and it isn't pleasant. Why, I've practically ...
— His Lordship's Leopard - A Truthful Narration of Some Impossible Facts • David Dwight Wells

... and my business frankly. I said I heard the house was considered to be haunted,—that I had a strong desire to examine a house with so equivocal a reputation; that I should be greatly obliged if he would allow me to hire it, though only for a night. I was willing to pay for that privilege whatever he might be inclined to ask. "Sir," said Mr. J——, with great courtesy, "the ...
— Haunted and the Haunters • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... hero of a whole legendary cycle of tavern tricks and cheateries. At best, these were doubtful levities, rather too thievish for a schoolboy, rather too gamesome for a thief. But he would not linger long in this equivocal border land. He must soon have complied with his surroundings. He was one who would go where the cannikin clinked, not caring who should pay; and from supping in the wolves' den, there is but a step to hunting with the pack. And here, as I am on the ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... action were contrasted with loose cones of scoriae, tuff, and lava, or with narrow streams of lava in great part scoriaceous and porous, such as were observed to have proceeded from Vesuvius and Etna, the resemblance seemed remote and equivocal. It was, in truth, like comparing the roots of a tree with its leaves and branches, which, although the belong to the same plant, differ in form, texture, colour, mode of growth, and position. The external cone, with its loose ashes and porous lava, may be likened to the light ...
— The Student's Elements of Geology • Sir Charles Lyell

... newest proposal was an improvement, for several reasons he could not accept it. The assignment of black specialists to white units was a key part of the committee's program, and despite Gray's private assurances that specialists would be integrated, Fahy was not prepared to accept the Army's "equivocal" language on this subject. There was also the issue of the quota, still very much alive between the committee and the Army. The committee was bound, furthermore, to resent being ignored in the approval process. ...
— Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 • Morris J. MacGregor Jr.

... that goes by evolution can very well dispense. Men easily come to consider clearness and positiveness in their opinions, staunchness in holding and defending them, and fervour in carrying them into action, as equivocal virtues of very doubtful perfection, in a state of things where every abuse has after all had a defensible origin; where every error has, we must confess, once been true relatively to other parts of belief in those who held the error; and where all parts of ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... doctor, softened perceptibly under this; she was so young and innocent-looking, this girlish little English mademoiselle. Monsieur up-stairs must be a lucky man to have won her tender young heart so utterly. Strange and equivocal a thing as the pretty child (she seemed a child to him) was doing, he never for an instant doubted the ignorant faith and love that shone in the depths of her beautiful agonized eyes. He bowed to her as deferentially as to a sultana, when he made ...
— Theo - A Sprightly Love Story • Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett

... the thing that is beginning help being revolutionary? Those who are the first to cry out are alone, and therefore ignored or despised. You yourself just said so. But posterity will remember the vanguard of martyrs. It will hail those who have cast a doubt on the equivocal word 'fatherland,' and will gather them into the fold of all the innovators who went before them and ...
— The Inferno • Henri Barbusse

... returned at all this disguise and mystery, and a doubt again arose in his mind as to the propriety of taking passengers who came on board under such equivocal circumstances. A feeling of compassion, however, added to the graceful manners and sweet voice of the lady, decided him to persevere in his original intention; and politely requesting her to make herself at home in the cabin, he returned on deck. Ten ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... am come merely with a design to gratify it, and only expect you will judge of my desire to oblige you by my readiness in obeying your commands; were I myself the subject, the motive for my obedience might be equivocal.' ...
— A Description of Millenium Hall • Sarah Scott

... to Rowland, and then went to kiss her grandmother, who began to cry when she saw her. Mr Prothero suppressed a very equivocal question concerning the reason of her again appearing at Glanyravon, ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... a mounted man he assumed an air of less equivocal command in the family; and not only to his own relations was this authority manifested, but to his more distant acquaintances, and, in short, to the whole parish. The people now began to touch their hats to him, which act of respect he returned ...
— Going To Maynooth - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... equivocal in all the words in use to express the excellence of manners and social cultivation, because the qualities are fluxional, and the last effect is assumed by the senses as the cause. The word gentleman has not any correlative abstract[377] ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... Indeed this official sympathy with princely emotion first came up in the Italian States. At the root of the practice may be a beautiful, humane sentiment; the utterance of it, especially in the poets, is, as a rule, of equivocal sincerity. One of the youthful poems of Ariosto, on the Death of Leonora of Aragon, wife of Ercole I, contains besides the inevitable graveyard flowers, which are scattered in the elegies of all ages, some thoroughly ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... fear had passed, and she seemed less concerned about the equivocal situation than a girl should be; at least, this is the way Tom's thought was shaping itself. He tried to imagine Ardea in Nan's place, but the thing was baldly unimaginable. A daughter of the Dabneys would never run and cower and beg to be hidden at the possible cost of her good ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... quarter of an hour, he started again the same farce and repeated it often during the evening; he mimicked as if he were calling a person on the second floor and giving her equivocal advices drawn from his imagination of a commercial traveler. At times he assumed a dismal air and sighed:—"Poor girl!"—or he muttered in his teeth, with a peevish air:—"Rascal of a Prussian!"—Several times, when ...
— Mademoiselle Fifi • Guy de Maupassant

... was far more agreeable. That is to say, she was chatty; and to be chatty is no slight recommendation at sea. She became excessively intimate with most of the ladies; and, to my profound astonishment, evinced no equivocal disposition to coquet with the men. She amused us all very much. I say "amused," and scarcely know how to explain myself. The truth is, I soon found that Mrs. W. was far oftener laughed at than with. The gentlemen said little about her; but the ladies in a little ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... a fresh, strawberry and cream complexion under a plenteous harvest of flaxen hair would not be associated in America with anyone very serious. There she would have been thought arrayed by Nature as a tearing blonde, suitable for the equivocal light stage, or as a frivolous artist's model, or as promenade girl in a suit and cloak house. But in Fraeulein the extraordinary combination of volatile comeliness and unimpeachable earnestness daily worked ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... make much account of all these counsels that people are so anxious to give her with better intentions than competence. Otherwise, Sulzer and his school might have made German poetry adopt a very equivocal style. It is no doubt a very honorable aim in a poet to moralize the man, and excite the patriotism of the citizen, and the Muses know better than any one how well the arts of the sublime and of the beautiful are adapted to exercise this ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... name for me," she said, casting Crossman a look whose intimacy made his blood run hot within him. "'The Black Dawn'—n'est-ce-pas? Though I have heard him call me in the night—by another name," with which equivocal statement she swung the axe into the curve of her arm, turned on her heel, and softly closed the door ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... which shook the family, that one party or the other took up and patronized Dolores for a while, more, as it would appear, out of hatred for the other than any real love to her. At such times it was really affecting to see with what warmth the poor child would receive these equivocal demonstrations of good-will—the nearest approaches to affection which she had ever known—and the bitterness with which she would mourn when they were capriciously withdrawn again. With a heart full of affection, she reminded me of some delicate, climbing plant trying vainly to ascend the ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... not at all points incompatible in tone with the innocence which it certainly fails to establish—except in minds already made up to accept any plea as valid which may plausibly or possibly be advanced on her behalf; and the arguments advanced by Vittoria are not more evasive and equivocal, in face of the patent and flagrant prepossession of her judges, than those put forward by the Queen of Scots. It is impossible not to wonder whether the poet had not in his mind the actual tragedy which had ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... not necessary to insist on, nor reiterate, the decadence of the Palais Royal. It is no longer the "capitol of Paris," and whatever its charms may be they are mostly equivocal. It is more a desert than an oasis or a temple de la volupte, and it was each of these things in other days. Its priestesses and its gambling houses are gone, and who shall say this of itself is not a good thing in spite of the ...
— Royal Palaces and Parks of France • Milburg Francisco Mansfield

... important to insist on the distinction between religion as an individual personal function, and religion as an institutional, corporate, or tribal product. I drew this distinction, you may remember, in my second lecture. The word "religion," as ordinarily used, is equivocal. A survey of history shows us that, as a rule, religious geniuses attract disciples, and produce groups of sympathizers. When these groups get strong enough to "organize" themselves, they become ecclesiastical institutions with corporate ambitions ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... passions of youth had died away. The excitable, thoughtless, pleasure-seeking officer of the king had become a grave, industrious, indefatigable, moral, austere servant of the people and of liberty. The songs of joy, of equivocal jesting, of political satire, had died away on those lips which only opened now in the clubs, in the National Assembly, to utter inspired words in regard ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... mysterious man you are.' 'Ay, ay!' observes Mr. Fairfax, 'Indeed!' Now Mr. Fairfax says this ay, ay, and indeed, which are slight words enough in themselves, with so very unfathomable an air, and accompanies them with such a very equivocal smile, that ma and the young ladies are more than ever convinced that he means an immensity, and so tell him he is a very dangerous man, and seems to be always thinking ill of somebody, which is precisely ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... of the princess, who imagined it was preparatory to her undergoing the same fate as lady Jane Gray, upon the same block. Assured that this project was not in agitation, she entertained an idea that the new keeper of the Tower was commissioned to make away with her privately, as his equivocal character was in conformity with the ferocious inclination of those by whom ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... before, your wife had spoken of you in rather equivocal terms to Madame de Fischtaminel: your fair friend comes to visit her, and Caroline compromises you by a long and humid gaze; she praises you and says she never ...
— Petty Troubles of Married Life, Part First • Honore de Balzac

... war with Masinissa, and not contented with the humiliation of their old rival, aimed at her absolute ruin, though she had broken no treaties. The Carthaginians, broken-hearted, sent embassy after embassy, imploring the Senate to preserve peace, to whom the senators gave equivocal answers. The situation of Carthage was hopeless and miserable—stripped by Masinissa of the rich towns of Emporia, and on the eve of another conflict with ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... slave!" cried Macbeth. "If thou speakest false, thou shalt hang alive upon the next tree, till famine end thee. If thy tale be true, I care not if thou dost as much by me"; for Macbeth now began to faint in resolution, and to doubt the equivocal speeches of the spirits. He was not to fear till Birnam wood should come to Dunsinane; and now a wood did move! "However," said he, "if this which he avouches be true, let us arm and out. There is no flying hence, nor staying here. I begin to be weary of ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... which Mr. Stewart spoke most entertainingly, but with more willingness to let it be known that he had a kinsman's interest in the matter than he would formerly have shown. He was getting old, in fact, and an almost childish pride in his equivocal ancestry was growing upon him. Still his talk and ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic



Words linked to "Equivocal" :   ambiguous, equivocalness, inconclusive, unequivocal, evasive, double, forked, indeterminate, questionable



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