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Decipher   Listen
verb
Decipher  v. t.  (past & past part. deciphered; pres. part. deciphering)  
1.
To translate from secret characters or ciphers into intelligible terms; as, to decipher a letter written in secret characters.
2.
To find out, so as to be able to make known the meaning of; to make out or read, as words badly written or partly obliterated; to detect; to reveal; to unfold.
3.
To stamp; to detect; to discover. (R.) "You are both deciphered,... For villains."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Decipher" Quotes from Famous Books



... (?) Destroyer 60, (the names were hard to decipher in the darkness and therefore were uncertainly established) and four destroyers—3, 78, 06, and 27—were destroyed by our fire. One destroyer was cut in two by the ram of a German battleship. Seven destroyers, including ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... passed; in that perpetual blackness there was no such thing as day. We saw no one save Desiree and the serving men. Once a messenger appeared carrying a bundle of quipos; I was able to decipher their meaning sufficiently to understand that we were invited to some religious ceremony in the great cavern. But I thought it injudicious to allow a meeting between Harry and the king, and ...
— Under the Andes • Rex Stout

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

... in other parts of Italy, but gained no firm foothold. At one time, in the sixth century, they were in power at Rome. Corsica, too, was at this time under their control. Their commerce was considerable. Many well preserved monuments of their art have been discovered, but no one has yet been able to decipher any of the inscriptions upon them. The power of these people was gradually lessened by the Romans, and after the fall of Veii, in 396, became ...
— History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD • Robert F. Pennell

... say the same of me," replied Ligarius. "I am just as able to decipher an obelisk as to read a ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the piquant contrast of female loveliness clothed and sumptuously adorned, has conquered. He has presented the Romanised legend of the fair Colchian sorceress in such a delightfully misleading fashion that it has taken all these centuries to decipher its true import. What Giorgione and Titian in these exquisite idylls—for so we may still dare to call them—have consciously or unconsciously achieved, is the indissoluble union of humanity outwardly quiescent, ...
— The Earlier Work of Titian • Claude Phillips

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

... satisfied me as to my correspondent. It was from Father Rush, my old tutor. I hurried eagerly from the spot, and regaining my quarters, locked the door, and with a beating heart broke the seal and began, as well as I was able, to decipher his letter. The hand was cramped and stiffened with age, and the bold, upright letters were gnarled and twisted like a rustic fence, and demanded great patience and much time in unravelling. It ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

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

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

... the cry—and no wonder. The original printed Gospel had been so interlined and scribbled upon by the author in a hand so obscure and irregular, that, accustomed as I was to the perusal of the written Mandchou, it was not without the greatest difficulty that I could decipher the new matter myself. Moreover, the corrections had been so carelessly made that they themselves required far more correction than the original matter. I was therefore obliged to be continually in the ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

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

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

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

... to me that words of law flowing from such lips might have been suggestive of the harmony of the universe. The chirography of Mr. Choate was equal to any Chinese puzzle; it was even more difficult to decipher than that of Horace Greeley. I once received a note from him and was obliged to call upon my family to aid me in reading it. He had a fund of humor which was universally applauded by an admiring public. Once, in replying to a toast on Yale College ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... Captain Dave came in again. Cyril had just finished the work; some of the accounts were long ones, and the writing was so crabbed that it took him some time to decipher it. ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... dare not forget. Our adventure may satisfy us: does it satisfy Nature? She is letting us camp for awhile here among the wrecked graveyards of mightier dynasties, not one of which met her tests. Their bones are the message the epochs she murdered have left us: we have learned to decipher ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day

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

... monuments, books about Druidic remains, Roman walls and coins, etc., etc. It was only when men of imagination and of elegant tastes were enlisted in such pursuits that the dry stick of antiquarianism put forth blossoms. The poets, of course, had to make studies of their own, to decipher manuscripts, learn Old English, visit ruins, collect ballads and ancient armor, familiarize themselves with terms of heraldry, architecture, chivalry, ecclesiology and feudal law, and in other such ways inform and ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... would be a help to me. I had despaired of finding such, but, on the whole, I rather like you; believe you can suit me exactly if you will, and I am disposed to give you a trial. Sit down here and copy this paragraph; let me see what sort of hieroglyphics I shall have to decipher if I ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... more fires to-night, McCormick," he said. "But I'll watch with you every night until we get this incendiary. Meanwhile I'll see what I can decipher, if anything, ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... study the same music, they would soon harmonise their fancies, and decipher the hieroglyphic; and this was a thing clearly demonstrated to the Queen Isabella, that Savoisy's horses were oftener stabled at the house of her cousin of Armagnac than in the Hotel St. Pol, where the chamberlain lived, since the destruction of his residence, ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... Long pilgrimages are made to the Old World for this purpose, and when the traveler discovers in the crowded church-yard a moss-covered, crumbling stone, which bears the name he seeks, he takes infinite pains to decipher the half-obliterated epitaph, and finds in this often what he regards as ample remuneration for all his trouble. How vastly greater would be his satisfaction if he could obtain even the simplest and briefest history of those in whom he takes ...
— The Citizen-Soldier - or, Memoirs of a Volunteer • John Beatty

... 200) the first Chinese dictionary was written; this "lesser seal" is still fairly readable after a little practice, but for daily use it has long been and is impracticable and obsolete. If we reflect how difficult it is for us to decipher the old engrossed charters and written letters of the English kings, we may all the more easily imagine how even a slight change in the form of "letters," or strokes, will make easy reading of Chinese impossible. It is a mistake to suppose that the ...
— Ancient China Simplified • Edward Harper Parker

... Athenians raise to Aesop; and a poor pariah slave they planted upon an everlasting pedestal. I have not scrupled to introduce the word pariah, because in that way only could I decipher to the reader by what particular avenue it was that the sublimity which I fancy in the passage reached my heart. This sublimity originated in the awful chasm, in the abyss that no eye could bridge, between the pollution of slavery,—the being a man, yet without right or lawful power ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... writes, the date being recorded by my father, "Received July 24, 1851," one of the frolicsome letters which it requires second-sight to decipher, the handwriting being, apparently, "writ ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... unlooked at, but she thought she must know the principal articles of expense in dress by her actual possessions. There was a heap of little crumpled bills which, with Felicie's griffonage, Helen had thrown into her table-drawer. In vain did she attempt to decipher the figures, like apothecaries' marks, linked to quarters and three-quarters, and yards, of gauzes, silks, and muslins, altogether inextricably puzzling. They might have been at any other moment laughable, but now they were quite terrible to Helen; ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... people of these islands! I had not hoped for the honor of an interview to-night, Signore, and I had prayed, before laying my head upon the pillow, when one charged by the council brought to me a jewel, with an order to decipher the arms and other symbols of its owner. 'Tis a ring, with the usual marks ...
— The Bravo • J. Fenimore Cooper

... in his library, even though he could not read them, purchased the scroll and the box, and dismissed the pedlar. Then, being anxious to know what might be the contents of the scroll, he asked the Vizier if he did not know of anyone who might be able to decipher it. ...
— The Green Fairy Book • Various

... fountain-pen is really a great comfort. I am writing with my new one, so this letter won't, I hope, be such a puzzle to decipher as ...
— Olivia in India • O. Douglas

... princes a wide berth, bows hastily and glances furtively at them, and runs by skittishly, then you may know that he is some half-pay colonel or insignificant civil servant. Something, too, may be inferred from the length of time the lord chamberlain takes to decipher the name of the comer on the slip of paper which is handed him. If he scans it long and hard, and holds it a good way from him and says "Major Te—e—e—bosh—bow," then in a loud voice, "Major Tebow," you will be safe in thinking ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... the apartment where his daughter was reposing.—The pretended Jew followed his guide with the most profound sobriety, handling sundry vials and jars he had brought with him, and upon which the Bey looked with not a little interest and respect, as he strove to decipher the ...
— The Circassian Slave; or, The Sultan's Favorite - A Story of Constantinople and the Caucasus • Lieutenant Maturin Murray

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

... exceedingly hard to read. The dramatis personae include a full cast from the Arcadia; and somewhat more stress appears to be laid on the pastoral elements than is the case in either of the printed plays. From what I have thought it necessary to decipher, however, I see no reason to differ from Mr. Bullen, who dismisses it as 'a dull play.'[299] The prologue may serve as a specimen of the ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... interesting registers in a large town (which shall be nameless) in England. I wrote to the custodian of it, and asked him kindly to do the search for me, and if he was unable to read the names to get some one who understood the writing of that date to decipher the entries for me. I did not have a reply for a fortnight, but one morning the postman brought me a very large unregistered book-packet, which I found to be the original Parish Registers! He, however, addressed a note with it stating ...
— Enemies of Books • William Blades

... an interest in the stranger. He, on the other hand, looked up to her from time to time with a terrific grin that was intended for a sweet smile. As often as he turned his face toward her she sought to decipher his real features, which the ...
— The Delight Makers • Adolf Bandelier

... and seeing a great glittering in the distance, drops his eyes bewildered and dazzled, and goes back for rest to the shadowy side of his familiar hill. Yet there is now and then one brave enough to gaze fixedly on this glittering, and to decipher something of the shape within it. Poets and philosophers, thinkers and teachers,—all those who are the "elder brothers of the race,"—have beheld this sight from time to time, and some among them have recognised ...
— Light On The Path and Through the Gates of Gold • Mabel Collins

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

... Epochs of Nature was at first a theory to account for the existing order of nature. For a long time it satisfied the inquiring mind, if not with a solution at least with an answer to its queries. After geologic science had learned to decipher the facts of the world's growth as written on the stones which orb it, the religious mind fondly identified the upheavals and cataclysms there recorded with those which its own fancy had long since ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... the casements of the palaces; the jackal roams among the ruins in vain; there is not a bone left for him to gnaw of the multitudes which have passed away. There is their handwriting upon the temple wall, upon the granite slab which has mocked at Time; but there is no man to decipher it. There are the gigantic idols before whom millions have bowed; there is the same vacant stare upon their features of rock which gazed upon the multitudes of yore; but they no longer stare upon the pomp of the glorious city, but upon ruin, and rank weeds, and utter desolation. How many suns ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... of oneself in a cerebral torture that obliterates all the beauty, the fascination, and the grandeur of the pageant of Nature. Figures, and naught but figures, would not be entertaining, even to those most desirous of instruction. Let the reader take courage! We do not propose that he shall decipher the hieroglyphics of algebra and geometry. Perish the thought! For the rest, figures are but the scaffolding, the method, and ...
— Astronomy for Amateurs • Camille Flammarion

... tied about him from the middle to the knees, leaving a pair of legs visible, that were mottled over with characters which would, if found on an Egyptian pillar, put an antiquary to the necessity of constructing a new alphabet to decipher them. This, or the inverted breeches, with his father's flannel waistcoat, or an old coat that swept the ground at least two feet behind him, constituted his state dress. On week days he threw off this finery, ...
— Phelim O'toole's Courtship and Other Stories • William Carleton

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

... it, in all its original beauty and splendour. Nor was this all. It led me to observe and ponder over the daily pages of the most profound and yet the most fascinating book that man has ever tried to read; and though, it seemed to me, my feeble attempts to decipher its text were always futile, it has, nevertheless, not only taught me to love Nature with an ever-increasing passion, but it has inspired in me an infinite homage toward the Almighty; for, as Emerson says: "In the ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... finding a heap of gold under an oak tree some thousand years old, near Arundel, I've made them out: Eight, divided by three; that is to say, three couples of petals, with two odd little ones inserted for form's sake. No wonder I couldn't decipher ...
— Proserpina, Volume 1 - Studies Of Wayside Flowers • John Ruskin

... and not very distinct, it required a close observation to decipher it; but the plan was a successful one, nevertheless, and for four long years the blue umbrella had done good service to its mistress, shielding her alike from sunshine and from storm, and now in the crowded city it performed a double part, preventing those standing near from seeing, while ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... stone walls and escarpments warm in the sun; finally a mouth to the city, which seemed to engulph both the white road and the citizens walking to and fro upon it like flies. But it was some time yet before I could decipher the image on the gonfalon streaming in the breeze above the Signiory. It was actually, on a field vert, a griffin rampant sable, langued gules. "So ho!" said the guide when! had described it, "So ho! the Mountain ...
— Earthwork Out Of Tuscany • Maurice Hewlett

... scientific gazer first caught the colors of the new morning in advance. But the whole vast range alike of sweeping glooms overhead, dwelt upon all meditative minds, even those that could not distinguish the altitudes nor decipher the forms. It was, therefore, not her own age alone, as affected by its immediate calamities, that lay with such weight upon Joanna's mind; but her own age, as one section in a vast mysterious drama, unweaving through a century back, ...
— Miscellaneous Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... a Captain Shrimpton, who thus became possessed of a large collection of manuscripts. These were sold to a bookseller. They were so full of erasures and interlineations that no printer could decipher them. It was necessary to call in the aid of a professed critic; and Theobald, the editor of Shakspeare, and the hero of the first Dunciad, was employed to ascertain the true reading. In this way a volume of miscellanies in verse and prose was got ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

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

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

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

... what do you speak? I remember that some time back Khan Cochut, in whom I then placed unlimited confidence, at my order examined into the state of my treasures, and found some papers which I was unable to decipher. He informed me that they were of no value; but I directed him to allow them to remain in the casket in which they were placed. Some time afterwards, on visiting my treasury with the intention of placing ...
— The Young Rajah • W.H.G. Kingston

... use in his surveying operations, he proceeded to investigate more carefully the luminous orb. But he failed to trace any of the lineaments, supposed to resemble a human face, that mark the lunar surface; he failed to decipher any indications of hill and plain; nor could he make out the aureole of light which emanates from what astronomers have designated Mount Tycho. "It is not the ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... passed in correspondence. The count's papers were long in coming, his parents utterly refused their consent. At last the papers came—a package of hieroglyphics impossible to decipher,—certificates of birth, baptism, &c. That which particularly amused us was a sheet filled with the titles of my future son-in-law, ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

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

... the original version of a book by Paracelsus. I have not read it yet, for the writing is most difficult to decipher, but one point caught my eye on turning over the pages. That is the gruesome fact that Paracelsus fed the homunculi he manufactured on human blood. One wonders how he ...
— The Magician • Somerset Maugham

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

... distance between them. He did not at first even feel surprise that she should be wandering solitary on the hill at that hour. Presently she stood still, while he continued to move forward. It was as if she drew him; and soon, in the pale moonlight and the wavering light of the furnaces, he could decipher all the details of her face, and he saw that she was smiling fondly, invitingly, admiringly, lustrously, with the old undiminished worship and affection. And he perceived a dark discoloration on her right cheek, as though she had suffered a blow, but this mark did not long occupy his mind. ...
— Tales of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... treasure, probably, when first lighted on) I was greatly amused to behold an excellent caricature of my friend Joseph,—rudely, yet powerfully sketched. An immediate interest kindled within me for the unknown Catherine, and I began forthwith to decipher her ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... not encouraging, but Shorthouse did not pause to decipher it. He paid the man, and then pushed open the rickety old gate swinging on a single hinge, and proceeded to walk up the drive that lay dark between close-standing trees. The house soon came into full view. It was tall and square and had once evidently been white, but now the walls ...
— The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories • Algernon Blackwood

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

... haunting, rare, indefinable fragrance about it. Jimmie Dale's hands turned the envelope now this way, now that, as he looked at it. Wonderful hands were Jimmie Dale's, with long, slim, tapering fingers whose sensitive tips seemed now as though they were striving to decipher ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

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

... words of mine could put before you what her face really was like, as it appeared to me then and afterwards when I had learnt to watch and decipher every versatile look and expression it wore. Sometimes, when in repose, it reminded me of one of Raphael's angels. At other times, when moved by mirth and with arch glances dancing in the deep, grey eyes,—and they could make merry when they ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... 2 A.M. The mosquitoes were singing their nightly chorus, and the situation reports were coming in from the battalions in the line. With his hair sizzling in the flame of the candle, the Brigade Orderly Officer who was on duty for the night tried to decipher the feathery scrawl on the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, February 28, 1917 • Various

... and wise ambition. He made of his son—a sensible and intelligent boy—a machine to copy documents, and spend his days guessing the conundrums in the illustrated newspapers, which he read as easily as M. Ledrain would decipher the cuneiform inscriptions on an Assyrian brick. Also—an admirable result, which should rejoice the old watch-maker's shade—his son had become a gentleman, a functionary, so splendidly remunerated by the ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

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

... in Creation and Providence carries the same message, but it is often there hard to decipher, like some half-obliterated inscription in a strange tongue. In Jesus the writing is legible, continuous, and needs no elaborate commentary to make its meaning intelligible. But we may note that what the Apostle ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... is a map which you can easily study out and decipher, and which will surely lead you to the hidden treasure. It is a wild and uninhabited part of the town, only about five miles from the frontier border. That red dot there marks the spot where it is secreted, and you notice that all lines on the diagram lead to it. ...
— The Boy Nihilist - or, Young America in Russia • Allan Arnold

... though in sheltering kindness for the dead. Tempted by the beauty of the place the man entered, and, in the deep shade of the old trees, screened from the road by their mossy trunks, found a seat. Here and there, among the old graves under the trees, a few people moved slowly; pausing often to decipher the inscriptions upon the leaning and fallen tombstones. So old was that ancient burying place that there was left among the living no one to keep the flowers upon the graves and visitors came only from ...
— Their Yesterdays • Harold Bell Wright

... somewhat old and dilapidated, and was sadly in need of the painter's brush and a new covering of paint. Over the doorway swung a dingy, time-worn and weather-beaten sign, upon which he could barely decipher the words: "HENRY BLACK, Locksmith," and over which were suspended a pair of massive crossed keys which at one time had been bright golden, but which now were old and rusty looking. In the low window in front there was a rare and curious collection of ...
— The Burglar's Fate And The Detectives • Allan Pinkerton

... to exclaim as we decipher them: "Even so, Lord, it is done as thou didst say." "Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever and so doth thy memorial from generation to generation." Of the references to Christian worship discoverable in documents later than the New Testament Scriptures ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... page the directions for use were given in a separate language. French, Fijian, Syrian, Basque were there—forty languages—so that all the sons of men could read the good tidings and amuse themselves at the same time by trying to decipher the ...
— Septimus • William J. Locke

... read them," says the Doc. "That is what comes of neglecting minor details. But fortunately I came in time to decipher this one. Observe the fateful number,—thirteen. Note the colors here,—brown, golden, pink. The pink of the mallow means youth, the goldenrod stands for hoarded wealth, the brown for age. And all are bound together by wire grass, which is the tightening snare. ...
— On With Torchy • Sewell Ford

... can decipher the sign as illustrated in the sketch, Fig. 1, which you pretend to have read over the shop of an ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... people said that Stamfordham was quite conscious of the advantage of having writing which could not be read without a close scrutiny. It was no doubt possible. However, having the clue to what the contents of the paper were, Rendel, to his immense relief, found that he could decipher it. As he was writing the first word of the fair copy the door of the study opened slowly, and Sir William Gore appeared on the threshold, a ...
— The Arbiter - A Novel • Lady F. E. E. Bell

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

... of the Old Testament were extracted from the palimpsests. The original writing—the superincumbent rubbish being removed—looked out in a bold, well defined character, in as fresh a black, in some places, as when newly written; in others, in a dim, rusty colour, which a practised eye only could decipher. Thus the war against knowledge has gone on. The Caliph Omer burnt the Alexandrine library. Next came the little busy creatures the monks, who, mothlike, ate up the ancient manuscripts. Last of all appeared the Pope, with his Index Expurgatorius, to put under lock and key what the Caliph had ...
— Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber - Or The Influence of Romanism on Trade, Justice, and Knowledge • James Aitken Wylie

... morning of sunshine after a night of so much horror, I sat down and drew from my breast the little folded paper which represented my poor Ada's will. Opening it with all the reverent love which I felt for her memory, I set myself to decipher the few trembling lines which she had written, in the hope they would steady my thoughts and suggest, if not reveal, the way I should take in the more than difficult path I ...
— The Mill Mystery • Anna Katharine Green

... ff: There are a great many brief notices in this diary relative to Jane Dee, most of which are expressed in astrological symbols; and as they are exceedingly difficult to decipher satisfactorily, and are certainly of very little, if any importance, I have thought it expedient to omit them. The entry of "Vnar unq gurz" is also of frequent occurrence, though what "gurz" can refer to I have not been ...
— The Private Diary of Dr. John Dee - And the Catalog of His Library of Manuscripts • John Dee

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

... affecting the higher classes. Monarchs, stone-blind, have tumbled headlong from their thrones, and princes have been conducted by their subjects out of their principalities. The aristocracy are purblind, and cannot distinctly decipher the "signs of the times." The hierarchy cannot discover why people would have religion at a reduced price: in fact, they are all blind, and will not perceive that an enormous mass, in the shape of public opinion, hangs over their heads and threatens to annihilate them. ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... as you aint in your usual good spirits?" said that observant spectator, coming closer up to "his clergyman." Elsworthy's eyes were full of meanings which Mr Wentworth could not, and had no wish to, decipher. ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

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

... legs, two hanging ears; His name is Harlequin, I wot, And that's a name in every plot: Resolved to save the British nation, Though French by birth and education; His correspondence plainly dated, Was all decipher'd and translated: His answers were exceeding pretty, Before the secret wise committee; Confest as plain as he could bark: Then with his fore-foot set his mark. TORY. Then all this while have I been ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... Garland (p. 69), is an account of this legend, but with a variant of one incident. The box containing the treasure had a Latin inscription on the lid, which John Chapman could not decipher. He put the lid in his window, and very soon he heard some youths turn the Latin sentence ...
— Folklore as an Historical Science • George Laurence Gomme

... long excuse, Tommy plunged into a sea of ink and floundered through, pausing now and then to decipher one of his ...
— Little Men - Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... have been careful about the label, James. It was not possible to decipher it when smothered with dirt, but we can read it now. Yes, what I thought, original ticket without a doubt. Joseph filius. Bring me that bottle of benzine and the hog-hair brush." This being done, the chief takes the brush ...
— The Repairing & Restoration of Violins - 'The Strad' Library, No. XII. • Horace Petherick

... the capitals of some of them are curiously sculptured. On the lower member of the entablature of one capital there are still traces of an inscription; but it is so injured by neglect and violence, that we were unable to decipher a single word. The capital itself is fanciful ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... both as Shakspere and Shakspeare. The ink of the first signature in the will has now faded almost beyond decipherment, but that it was 'Shakspere' may be inferred from the facsimile made by Steevens in 1776. The second and third signatures to the will, which are also somewhat difficult to decipher, have been read both as Shakspere and Shakspeare; but a close examination suggests that whatever the second signature may be, the third is 'Shakespeare.' Shakspere is the spelling of the alleged autograph in the British Museum copy of Florio's 'Montaigne,' but the genuineness of that signature ...
— A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles • Sidney Lee

... decipher the writing traces on the paper. Conclusions. The Professor's journey. Prospecting in the hills. Discovery of numerous fissures in the rocks. A skeleton in one of them. The telltale arrows. Mute evidence of the character of ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island • Roger Thompson Finlay

... written laws follow unwritten conventions; the legal is the outgrowth of the extra-legal; and constitutional government is developed out of extra-constitutional government. One need not search the records of antiquity nor decipher the monuments for illustrations of these truths; for in the early political history of Iowa there is a recurrence of the process of institutional evolution including the stage of customary law. Here in our own annals one may read plainly ...
— History of the Constitutions of Iowa • Benjamin F. Shambaugh

... garret—let him know't who will— There was my bed—full hard it was and small; My table there—and I decipher still Half a lame couplet charcoaled on the wall. Ye joys, that Time hath swept with him away, Come to mine eyes, ye dreams of love and fun; For you I pawned my watch how many a day, In the brave days ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 1 (of 4) • Various

... nature had been so much diluted that reason, only half baffled, struggles to decipher the dim runes and vestiges of a ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... will be able to decipher this, written at steam speed with a breaking pen, the hotfast postman at my heels. No excuse, says you. None, sir, says I, and touches my 'at most civil (extraordinary evolution of pen, now quite doomed - to resume - ) I have ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... deep in the book. He was reading it, pencil in hand, marking all the passages he disliked or quarreled with, with the Italian "Ma!"—and those he approved of with mysterious signs which she who followed him through the volumes could not always decipher. Mr. Knowles, she reported, the busy editor of the Nineteenth Century, was trying to persuade the great man to review it. But "Mr. G." had ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... concealment even if, guessing where I was, he came straight to it; and twenty if he were obliged to look for me. But this was time enough to allow me to read the cherished letter, whose fragments I hastened to unite again. The writing was already fading, but I managed to decipher it all." ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... packet, for she felt that the letters were for the actress's child's eye alone. He, when he looked at it, did so with a feeling of mixed reverence and fascination which was deepened by his inability to decipher the secrets bound together by the bit of blue ribbon tied around it. How the sight of the packet recalled to him that sad, that solemn hour in which it had been given into his hands! When getting him ready for boarding-school, Mrs. Allan had packed the letters with his other ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... not be safe, Randal Leslie knew that he had gone by the name of Fairfield,—knew his supposed parentage, and would be sure to proclaim them. How account for the latter name without setting curiosity to decipher the anagram it involved, and perhaps guiding suspicion to his birth from Nora, to the injury of her ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... did France want, or rather, what did General Bonaparte want? None but himself knew. None could read his thoughts in his marble countenance. None could decipher his future actions from his laconic utterances. None could tell what Bonaparte intended to do and what aim ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... from Sir Arthur, he was glad to enter into conversation with Edie Ochiltree, who witnessed the finding of the treasure with a keen eye to future operations. Edie had surreptitiously obtained possession of the treasure box-lid, and on it he and the conjurer were able to decipher, "Search number one." The old beggar, who knew many of the traditions of the country, told Dousterswivel that the remains of Malcolm the Misticot were, along with a large amount of gold and silver, buried somewhere at St. Ruth. Moreover, he recited ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

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

... doubt left in the minds of students that the Indian races which have peopled Mexico were of Mongolian stock. Many words in some dialects are easily understood by Chinese immigrants. A secretary of the Japanese legation here was able recently to decipher old Mixtec inscriptions found ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

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

... about two or three little steps, which were all that his room admitted of. At the very first peep of daylight he started out of bed, got out of his pocket the newspaper which Huckaback had lent him, strove to decipher the advertisement, and then sank into bed again—but not to sleep, till four or five o'clock; having nevertheless to rise at half-past six, to resume his detested duties at Tag-rag and Co.'s, whose shop he ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... thunderbolt upon the ears of the investigating magistrate. He jumped in his chair. Feeling that his face was turning crimson, he took up a large bundle of papers from his table, and, to hide his emotion, he raised them to his face, as though trying to decipher an illegible word. He began to understand the difficult duty with which he was charged. He knew that he was troubled like a child, having neither his usual calmness nor foresight. He felt that he might commit the most serious blunders. Why had he ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

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

... are lost," a sickening sensation came over, and her eyes refused to convey to her mind the meaning of the letter. It was dropping from her trembling hands when, by a great effort, she recovered herself, and at length was able to decipher the writing. She read on. The Thisbe and Headland were safe. Poor Harry was lost. She blamed herself for selfishly feeling that this was a relief. Then May, crushed by the agony of her grief, ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... yourself too much by racking your memory to decipher the details of the past," returned Wagner. "I dare not stay another minute with you now: therefore listen attentively to what more I have to say. Yield yourself not up to despondency—on the contrary, cherish every hope that is dear to you. Within a few days Flora shall be yours! ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... knew this, and knew also that Mrs. Trevarthen as a rule employed Aunt Butson to write her few letters and decipher the few ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Driftwood. Centrifugal and centripetal motion. The forest animals. Orang-outan. The monkeys. Reaching the hill. The scaling vine. Reaching the recessed rocks. The two skeletons in the rocks. A gun and trinkets. A sextant. A letter. No identity. The message. Effort to decipher it. A mound for the bones. Forwarding copy of message to John. John's examination of the Illyas' village. The remarkable character of the buildings. Muro returns with the wagons. The Tuolos as fighters. Two captured. Trying to open communications. Returns ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Conquest of the Savages • Roger Thompson Finlay

... by Major Frederick Burnham, of the British Army. Later Major Burnham revisited it, and Mr. Holder accompanied him, their purpose to decipher the ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... There's not a doubt about that," he added, aloud. He wrote one more letter, a very short one, and addressed the envelope with an inscription which Lupin was able to decipher when the letter was placed beside ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... tincture of Psychology know how much is to be inferred from this; and that no man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad. How much lies in Laughter: the cipher-key, wherewith we decipher the whole man! Some men wear an everlasting barren simper; in the smile of others lies a cold glitter as of ice: the fewest are able to laugh, what can be called laughing, but only sniff and titter and snigger from the throat outwards; or at ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... secretary of the ambassador from Holland, who was appealed to, asserted beforehand that he "could read anything that ever was written in Dutch." Yet, after a long inspection, he frankly owned his inability to decipher a single word of it. Mr. Mickley was determined to ascertain the contents. As the document could not be bought at any price, and could not even be removed over-night from its place of keeping, he caused photographs to be taken of it. One such copy was sent to a ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, Old Series, Vol. 36—New Series, Vol. 10, July 1885 • Various

... and confirmed these feelings. Soon after my arrival in the hovel I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory. At first I had neglected them, but now that I was able to decipher the characters in which they were written, I began to study them with diligence. It was your journal of the four months that preceded my creation. You minutely described in these papers every step you took in the progress of your work; this history was mingled with accounts of domestic occurrences. ...
— Frankenstein - or The Modern Prometheus • Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

... as she was busy settling Madame Feuillot's accounts a servant came into the shop and inquired for Mademoiselle Victoire: he presented her a note, which she found rather difficult to decipher. It was signed by her cousin Manon, who desired to see Victoire at her hotel. "Her hotel!" repeated Victoire with astonishment. The servant assured her that one of the finest hotels in Paris belonged to his lady, and ...
— Murad the Unlucky and Other Tales • Maria Edgeworth

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

... been replaced with masculine pyjamas of violet silk. The pantaloons had the edges turned up over a pair of white Turkish slippers into which were tucked her bare feet. Over her heart there was embroidered a design whose letters Ulysses was not able to decipher. Above this device the point of her handkerchief was sticking out of the pocket. Her opulent hair, twisted on top of her head and the voluptuous curves that the silk was taking in certain parts of her masculine attire were the only things that ...
— Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) - A Novel • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... full of artificialities that men are deceived as to whom they are marrying, and no one but the Lord knows. After the dressmaker, and the milliner, and the jeweler, and the hair-adjuster, and the dancing-master, and the cosmetic art have completed their work, how is an unsophisticated man to decipher the physiological hieroglyphics, and make accurate judgment of who it is to whom he offers hand and heart? This is what makes so many recreant husbands. They make an honorable marriage contract, but the goods ...
— The Wedding Ring - A Series of Discourses for Husbands and Wives and Those - Contemplating Matrimony • T. De Witt Talmage

... fossil sequence of species. If paragraphs and pages are missing from the brief embryonic recapitulation, whole chapters and volumes of the fossil series have been lost for all time. The investigators whose task it has been to decipher the story of the earth's evolution have had to meet numerous and exasperating difficulties which do not confront the embryologist and anatomist who study living materials. Nevertheless the library of palaeontological documents is one which has been founded for over ...
— The Doctrine of Evolution - Its Basis and Its Scope • Henry Edward Crampton

... clear; here and there, again, there was only one decipherable letter amongst a few broken hieroglyphics. Mr. Sheldon was accustomed to the examination of very illegible documents, and he was able to master the substance of that random impression. If he could not decipher the whole, he made out sufficient for his purpose. Money was to be offered to a man called Goodge for certain letters. He knew his brother's affairs well enough to know that these letters for which ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... who had blighted the lives of his wife and children, creating in him a repulsion that was even a physical discomfort. But Lapidoth did not let himself be discouraged, asked leave to stay and hear the reading of papers from the old chest, and actually made himself useful in helping to decipher some difficult German manuscript. This led him to suggest that it might be desirable to make a transcription of the manuscript, and he offered his services for this purpose, and also to make copies of any papers in Roman characters. ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

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

... perspective of unfamiliar styles of painting, he is, nine times out of ten, merely expressing his inability to identify two-dimensional shapes as "representing" three-dimensional things; so far proving that we do not decipher the cubic relations of a picture until we have guessed what that picture is supposed to stand for. And this is my reason for saying that visible shapes, though they may be aspects of cubic objects, have no body; and that the thought of ...
— The Beautiful - An Introduction to Psychological Aesthetics • Vernon Lee

... translation. About seven hundred, however, had been retained by an employe of the committee. The re-opening of the Presidential controversy by the Democrats, and especially the offensive letter of Mr. Marble, led to a renewed effort to decipher the reserved telegrams. The translation was accomplished by an able and ingenious gentleman on the editorial staff of the New-York Tribune (Mr. William M. Grosvenor), and the result disclosed astonishing ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... "avis aux voyageurs," the finger-posts, wayside bills, signs on shop-fronts, are all in French. When by any chance the owner of a shop breaks out into an English notification of his wares—and it is generally a Chinaman or Parsee who is fired by this noble ambition—the result is as difficult to decipher as if ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... How many of the negroes on the plantations can comprehend a written contract by reading it, because a man may be somewhat educated and not be able to decipher a contract? —A. I cannot give you an exact proportion, for it varies to a great extent. I can only say that that number ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... had been all eagerness to begin, caught at the book, and tried to decipher the roughly-written words, but got on no better ...
— Sappers and Miners - The Flood beneath the Sea • George Manville Fenn

... laid down his pipe on the mantel-piece and began to cast his eye over the letter, which was much defaced by frequent foldings, and in any case would have been difficult to decipher, so vilely was it scrawled. But Mr. Snowdon's interest was strongly excited, and in a few moments he had made out ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... gave him certain interests apart from his wife. He was, however, very much in love with her, and showed it chiefly by writing her nearly every day long, elaborate, and conspicuously illegible love-letters. She was not an expert in handwriting, nor had she time or patience to decipher them. So she merely treasured them (unread) in a green and white striped silk box. For under all her outward sentimentality, Felicity was full of tenderness, especially for her husband. This was not surprising, for he was a most agreeable companion, a great friend, quite devoted to her, ...
— The Twelfth Hour • Ada Leverson

... his door again, sat down on the bed and opened the other letter. His hand shook as he unfolded it. He was so scared and excited that he could scarcely decipher the angular, ...
— The Flaming Jewel • Robert Chambers

... possess the rudiments of an education. Many of them can neither read nor write and are forced to keep their accounts in their memory, or by means of ingenious hieroglyphics, intelligible only to their inventors. Others can decipher the calendar and the lives of the saints, and can sign their name with tolerable facility. They can make the simpler arithmetical calculations with the help of a little ...
— Rabbi and Priest - A Story • Milton Goldsmith

... of Naples. On the second of these two trips, being obliged to travel night and day, I could only keep my eyes open by means of the strongest coffee. When I reached my destination I was immediately compelled to decipher the despatches with the Queen of Naples in the office of the Secretary of State. That done, General Acton ordered some one, I know not whom, to conduct me, I know not where, but it was to a place where, after ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 6 • Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess Lamballe

... sight and memory.... He told me that he had great materials towards the life of the old Lord Burleigh and Mr. Foxe the martyrologist, which he wished he could have finished, but most of his papers are in "characters"; his grandson is learning to decipher them.' Under the dates of September 1st and 7th Oldys records that 'the Yelverton library is in the possession of the Earl of Sussex, wherein are many volumes of Sir Francis Walsingham's papers'; and a few days later, 'Dr. Pepusch offered me any intelligence ...
— The Great Book-Collectors • Charles Isaac Elton and Mary Augusta Elton

... misrepresentation from the Church. The various authorities on which this assertion was based were then produced in due order; along with some curious particles of evidence culled from old manuscripts, which it must have cost much trouble to collect and decipher. ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... very vital part of her—she kept before their eyes on the exterior of this ancient church in the market-place where her merchant-princes daily met, her admonition to uphold them in righteous dealing. One might decipher it wrought into the wall of the apse under the stones of the frieze, in quaint lettering that tempted to the perusal and endowed the mastered motto with the impressiveness of a rite—for the legend assumed a quality of mystery, being ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... postmark. Eager to open her lover's letter, yet resolved to delay its perusal, so that she could look forward to the delight of reading it (Mavis was already something of an epicure in emotion), she tore open the other, to decipher its contents with difficulty. She read ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (at ...
— Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools - Edited With Notes, Study Helps, And Reading Lists • Various

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

... to Basle, and here it was that another kind of letter came. It was in a strange hand, at once cramped and fluttering, which puzzled the recipient a good deal; it was a long time before even the signature unravelled itself. Then he forced himself to decipher it, sentence by sentence, with a fierce avidity. It ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... much labor we have been able to decipher a morsel which we give to the public: and of the authenticity of which there can be no doubt. We render homage to the brave French army to which ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... is your device. You turn the leaves of dead books; you are too young for antiquities. Look about you, the pale throng of men surrounds you. The eyes of life's sphynx glitter in the midst of divine hieroglyphics; decipher the book of life! Courage, scholar, launch out on the Styx, the deathless flood, and let the waves of sorrow waft you to oblivion ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... existence. If a few words must be added the "P. S." is omitted. Dodging about on the pages, from first to third, then to second and fourth, is to be avoided. Don't write across your written pages; a plaided letter is so difficult to decipher that one is justified in destroying it unread. One is supposed to have sufficient letter paper on hand. A half sheet should never be used as a means of eking out an epistle. Don't ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... go down to his lodgings in Duke Street and would read aloud to him the work fresh from the master's hand. It was written on long ruled foolscap on rather darkish blue paper in a pale blue ink, and it needed young eyes to decipher it. There were only a few of such nights, but the enjoyment of them remains as a remembrance. I shall never forget how he laughed over Mr Wegg's earlier ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... aloud to each other the quaint inscriptions. Now and again they pause, note-book in hand, to copy some chiseled epitaph that strikes the fancy. They kneel or lie prone upon the turf before a crumbling tomb to decipher its doleful couplets, thrusting aside the concealing grasses, lest a word be missed. They wander here and there beneath the shadow of the venerable elms and pines, and, before departing, enter the old church, to rest and pray within the stillness of ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... it desire for knowledge, that impelled him to decipher the sacred text in an unknown language at what cost soever? It is certain that no difficulty affrighted him. Word by word he translated the Latin text by dint of comparing it with the Hebrew original, and he succeeded in acquiring a large number of Latin words. He is not alone ...
— The Renascence of Hebrew Literature (1743-1885) • Nahum Slouschz

... your mind from your own misfortune, I shall be honoured to confide it to you. Stay, the tenth invitation, which an accident prevented my dispatching, would explain the circumstances tersely: but I much fear that the room is too dark for you to decipher all the subtleties. Have I your permission ...
— A Chair on The Boulevard • Leonard Merrick

... laughing at?" goody Liu inquired. "I can decipher the characters on this honorary gateway. Over at our place temples of this kind are exceedingly plentiful; and they've all got archways like this! These characters give the name of ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... were present; I wrote down their names, but it is difficult to decipher them now. There was the Sawbwa of Keng-tung, forty days' journey from his capital east and south of Mandalay, and north of Siam; the Sawbwa of Yawnghwe; the Sawbwa of Lawksak; and the Myosa of this state, and the Myosa of that, and their wives. The Princess with the green jacket was Sao Nang Wen ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch



Words linked to "Decipher" :   encode, decipherer, trace, decipherment



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