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Illusion   Listen
noun
Illusion  n.  
1.
An unreal image presented to the bodily or mental vision; a deceptive appearance; a false show; mockery; hallucination. "To cheat the eye with blear illusions."
2.
Hence: Anything agreeably fascinating and charming; enchantment; witchery; glamour. "Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!"
3.
(Physiol.) A sensation originated by some external object, but so modified as in any way to lead to an erroneous perception; as when the rolling of a wagon is mistaken for thunder. Note: Some modern writers distinguish between an illusion and hallucination, regarding the former as originating with some external object, and the latter as having no objective occasion whatever.
4.
A plain, delicate lace, usually of silk, used for veils, scarfs, dresses, etc.
Synonyms: Delusion; mockery; deception; chimera; fallacy. See Delusion. Illusion, Delusion. Illusion refers particularly to errors of the sense; delusion to false hopes or deceptions of the mind. An optical deception is an illusion; a false opinion is a delusion.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Illusion" Quotes from Famous Books



... possession of them without statute. Such power either has no beginning or it has no end. If it exists, it need submit to no legal restraint. I am not alarmed that it would plunge us straightway into dictatorship, but it is at least a step in that wrong direction. * * * But I have no illusion that any decision by this Court can keep power in the hands of Congress if it is not wise and timely in meeting its problems. A crisis that challenges the President equally, or perhaps primarily, challenges Congress. If not good law, there was worldly wisdom in ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... go quite so far as that," said Madame de Nailles, dryly. "It is enough for me that she produced an illusion of such beauty upon you. Now I know what ...
— Jacqueline, v1 • Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc)

... no choice of being, When the sap begins to climb,— Strong insistence, sweet intrusion, Vasts and verges of illusion,— So I win, to time's confusion, The one perfect pearl of time, Joy and joy and joy forever, Till the ...
— Songs from Vagabondia • Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

... traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of ...
— The 2005 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... you take beauty in the narrow sense in which I should fancy your cousin uses the word; but, in a higher and broader sense, is it not the one fine thing in life which is a certainty, the one ideal which is not illusion?" ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... his mother, what the course of her life had been—happily occupied, filled, or merely self-contained, hiding much in a deep, even flow? Her head was turned away from him, and he could see the girlish profile, the astonishing illusion of youth renewed. Howat wanted to ask her how she had experienced, well—love, since there was no other word. It had come to her quickly, he knew; her affair with Gilbert Penny had been headlong, or else it would not have been at all; yet he felt she ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... The questionable witticisms might perhaps be attributed to an attempt to relieve the strain, but there is an unusual amount of Homeric imitation, and inartistic allusion to contemporaries which, as in the youthful Bucolics, destroys the dramatic illusion. Thus, Vergil not only dwells upon the ancestry of the Memmii, Sergii, and Cluentii, but insists upon reminding the reader of Catiline's conspiracy in the Sergestus, furens animi, who dashes upon the rock in his mad ...
— Vergil - A Biography • Tenney Frank

... same principles I call the plains high because the plains always are high; they are always as high as we are. We talk of climbing a mountain crest and looking down at the plain; but the phrase is an illusion of our arrogance. It is impossible even to look down at the plain. For the plain itself rises as we rise. It is not merely true that the higher we climb the wider and wider is spread out below us the wealth of the world; it is not merely that the devil or some other respectable guide ...
— Alarms and Discursions • G. K. Chesterton

... to have been, thus far, that people have been under the illusion that history should be taken as a solid. They seem to think it should be taken in bulk. They take it, some of them, a solid hundred years of it or so, and gulp it down. The advantage of prophecy is that it cannot ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... fairy meeting. Some other objects, which ignorant folks believed in, were not to be allowed in the company. The door-keeper was notified not to admit the eagles of darkness, that live in a cave which is never lighted up; or the weird, featherless bird of leather, from the Land of Illusion and Phantasy, that brushes its wing against windows, when a funeral is soon to take place; or the greedy dog with silver eyes. None of these would be permitted to show themselves, even if they came and tried to get in. Some other creatures, not recognized in the good society ...
— Welsh Fairy Tales • William Elliot Griffis

... curtains. Patty was lying in one of the corner beds near a window, propped up on pillows, with her hair tumbled about her face, and a table beside her covered with flowers and glasses of medicine. This elaborate paraphernalia of sickness created a momentary illusion in the minds of the visitors. Priscilla ran to the bedside and dropped on her knees beside ...
— When Patty Went to College • Jean Webster

... Langdon," said my uncle. "Why, what can he be about?" On this he whistled twice, very softly, but there was no answer. We then hurried up to the spot where the figure was observed. It was no optical illusion; there certainly was a person, but he took no notice of our presence. Our two men then went up to him, thinking to awake him; but as they took him by the arms he slipped from their grasp, and fell to the ground. An exclamation of horror made us hurry up to them. It was a corpse we ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... carrot colonel marshal indite assent sleigh our stair capitol alter pearl might kiln rhyme shone rung hue pier strait wreck sear Hugh lyre whorl surge purl altar cannon ascent principle mantle weather barren current miner cellar mettle pendent advice illusion assay felicity genius profit statute poplar precede lightning patience devise disease insight dissent decease extant dessert ingenuous liniment stature sculpture fissure facility essay allusion advise pendant metal seller minor complement currant baron wether mantel ...
— The Art Of Writing & Speaking The English Language - Word-Study and Composition & Rhetoric • Sherwin Cody

... adoption of such a view might of course have an identity with one of those numerous ways of being a fool that seemed so to abound for him. It would remain none the less the way to which he should be in advance most reconciled. His mature motive, as to which he allowed himself no grain of illusion, had thus in an hour taken imaginative possession of the place: that precisely was how he saw it seated there, already unpacked and settled, for Milly's innocence, for Milly's beauty, no matter how short a time, to be housed with. There were things she would ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... transient illusion is over,—the pageant melts from the fancy,—monarch, priest, and warrior return into oblivion with the poor Moslems over whom they exulted. The hall of their triumph is waste and desolate. ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... moment there was a blinding flash, a moment of swooning darkness, and then they were staring through transparent walls into the phosphorescent gloom of the underseas crypt. Suddenly, what they had recently undergone seemed the product of an illusion, a dream. Ward shook himself vigorously. "I guess it was real enough," he said. "Let us see ...
— The Heads of Apex • Francis Flagg

... self-imposed, I am all the more bent upon fulfilling them; and, in order to keep faith with myself, I am returning to Budapest before the middle of November, and shall remain there till April. Perhaps I am less useless there than elsewhere; it is an idea or an illusion of mine. ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End" • Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

... then powdered on some dry cocoa, which certainly gave a dusky and non-European aspect to her features, especially when combined with the feather head-dress. Her dark hair, plaited in two long tails, completed the illusion. The girls held a complacent review of their toilets, then walked downstairs with caution, for Nora's dish-cover was difficult to balance as a hat, and Verity's heels kept slipping out of the sabots. Fil's ringlets, alas! were already beginning to untwist, ...
— A Popular Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... illusions, and who sings and prays and gazes into the azure without very well knowing what she sees or what she is doing, and who, with her eyes fixed on heaven, wanders in a garden where there are more birds than are in existence. O Fantine, know this: I, Tholomyes, I am all illusion; but she does not even hear me, that blond maid of Chimeras! as for the rest, everything about her is freshness, suavity, youth, sweet morning light. O Fantine, maid worthy of being called Marguerite or Pearl, ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... the papacy which had Rosmini for an adviser, Ventura for a preacher, Gioberti for a prophet, and to conclude that he thus became a trusted representative, until the revolving years found him the champion of a vanished cause, and the Syllabus exposed the illusion and bore away his ideal. Harless once said of him that no good could be expected from a man surrounded by a ring of liberals. When Doellinger made persecution answer both for the decline of Spain and the fall ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... Berlioz began a new art; and one finds in it all the daring and gracious ardour of youth. The iron laws that bound the art of Wagner are not to be found in Berlioz's early works, which give one the illusion of perfect freedom.[92] ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... be it, they are illusions. I am an illusion; those savages who died upon the rock will tell you so. This fair woman before you is an illusion; Humphrey, I am sure, knows it as you will also before you have done with her. These halls are illusions. Live ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... definite here. From the moment I saw him plainly face to face the illusion was gone. Before, I had seen him by every light but daylight, and generally in profile. The profile is not the man. It is the plan in outline, but the eyes, the mouth, tell what he has made of himself. So attitude is not speech. As a shape in the moonlight he had been ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... the black drop, or ligament, is entirely an illusion, and, broadly speaking, of an optical origin. Something very similar will be noticed if one brings one's thumb and forefinger slowly together against a very ...
— Astronomy of To-day - A Popular Introduction in Non-Technical Language • Cecil G. Dolmage

... his signal triumphs Yoritomo was invited to Kyoto on several occasions. Various considerations deterred him. He wished, in the first place, to dispel the popular illusion that the Imperial capital was the centre of all dignity and power. People must be taught to recognize that, although Kyoto might be the ultimate source of authority, Kamakura was its place of practical exercise. He ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... a theatre, where the horses do indeed run furiously, but where we all know well that they are not getting anywhere. There is a moving floor beneath them, and it is only the shifting of the scenery that makes them seem to go. Is human history like that? Is progress an illusion? Is it all going to end as Bertrand Russell says? Those who believe in the living God are certain of the contrary, for stability amid change is the gift ...
— Christianity and Progress • Harry Emerson Fosdick

... passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favourite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducements or justification. ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... the aeolian harp). Take heed! take heed! Noble art thou in thy birth, By the good and the great of earth Hast thou been taught! Be noble in every thought And in every deed! Let not the illusion of thy senses Betray thee to deadly offences. Be strong! be good! be pure! The right only shall endure, All things else are but false pretences! I entreat thee, I implore, Listen no more To the suggestions of an evil spirit, That even now is there, Making the foul seem fair, ...
— The Golden Legend • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... Bull Run was an important event. It dispelled the illusion of the people of the north as to the duration and gravity of the war. It demonstrated the folly of ninety days' enlistments. It brought also, to every intelligent mind, the dangers that would inevitably result from disunion. On the ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... founding and of editing for two years a monthly review, The New East (Shin Toyo),[7] with for motto a sentence of my own which expresses what wisdom I have gained about the Orient, The real barrier between East and West is a distrust of each other's morality and the illusion that the distrust is on ...
— The Foundations of Japan • J.W. Robertson Scott

... and some self-anathema I did nothing. What was the use? The beautiful German city so full of artistic delight was made to live in, not to work in. The entire absence of poverty in that city of half a million inhabitants alone gave it an air of illusion, gave one the sense of being the guest of a hospitable monarch who only asked to provide a banquet for all that could appreciate. I look back upon Munich as the romance of my life, the only place on this globe that came ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... sunshine shone but in illusion, and soon gave place to the old sad questioning, which filled his soul with darkness. Was he already called, or should he be called some day? He would give worlds to know. Who could assure him? At last some words of the prophet Joel (chap. iii, 21) encouraged him ...
— The Life of John Bunyan • Edmund Venables

... which at once made him happier. There was a faint remonstrance from the back seat, which he pretended not to hear; or he would rejoin, "mother, have you munched all those caraway seeds you took along to meeting?" My driving on the way home was much like the illusion which follows us through life. Hands in front of ours direct our actions and our affairs. We hold but the slack of the reins, and the driven imagines himself the driver. There was a short whip in the socket, which ...
— Confessions of Boyhood • John Albee

... as a perversion of the judgment, a chimerical thought; an illusion, an incorrect impression of the senses, counterfeit appearances; hence we speak of a delusion of the mind, an illusion of the senses. Lawyers lay great stress on the presence of delusions as indicative of insanity. An hallucination is a sensation which is supposed by the patient to be produced by external impressions, although no material object acts upon his ...
— Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology • W. G. Aitchison Robertson

... combat which so many have to pass through, and which he understands so well, because in it his own life has developed itself; therefore in no instance can he be said to present to the reader what belongs to the world of illusion, but only that which bears witness to truth, and which, as is the case with all such testimony, has a universal and ...
— The True Story of My Life • Hans Christian Andersen

... me much better. Doctor Jolks was so contemptuously sturdy and positive on the point, that I began to have comfortable doubts about the reality of my ghost; and having still a horror indescribable of the illusion, if such it were, the room in which it appeared, and everything concerning it, I would neither speak, nor, so far as I could, ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... that much of our supposed knowledge ends in a perception of our ignorance. He was now disposed to accept what seemed to be the providential order that truth and error should mingle in our earthly life, that truth should be served by illusion; he would not rearrange the disposition of things if he could. He was inclined to hold by the simple certainties of our present life and to be content with these as provisional truths, or as temporary illusions which lead on towards ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... exclaimed, "What a beautiful, superb creature!" He called it, and it came, daintily sniffed at his leg, and leaped on his lap, where he stroked and fondled it. And all the while he continued to discuss illusion, while Lefevre poured and drank tea (tea, which Julius would not share: tea, he said, did not ...
— Master of His Fate • J. Mclaren Cobban

... when one of them kindles in you a light blaze of curiosity, you have only to pull yourself together, you have only to mobilize your forces, and you are presently enjoying little successes that surprise and delight you and that may give you the illusion of mastery. ...
— Modern American Prose Selections • Various

... attention of careless and reckless fatalistic relatives is attracted to a child's stammering, they labor under the mistaken illusion that the child 'will outgrow it.' A more harmful doctrine has never been perpetuated than the one contained in that stock phrase. As a matter of experience, speech troubles are not 'outgrown.' They become 'ingrown.' If not corrected ...
— Stammering, Its Cause and Cure • Benjamin Nathaniel Bogue

... Delightful illusion of paint and tinsel and silk attire, of cheap sentiment and high and mighty dialogue! Will there not always be rosin enough for ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... street I saw a house which amazed me. I thought I must be mistaken: I looked at it more closely,—looked at the houses near it, compared them with the first house and then with each other, and even then I believed that it was an optical illusion. I turned hastily down a side street, and still I seemed to see the same thing. At last I was persuaded that the fault was not with my eyes, but with the ...
— Holland, v. 1 (of 2) • Edmondo de Amicis

... and comfortable—but it must have been long ago. Yes, my people, long ago." Dropping the bridle, he raised his arm in a gesture usual with him in the pulpit. In the fading light there was about him an illusion of black and white; he moved his arm as though it were clad in the sleeve of a surplice. "I am not often denunciatory," he said, "but I denounce this weary going to and fro, this turning like a dervish, this finding that every straight line ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... walked away from Lida the mist again had lent its illusion, and he seemed to become of heroic size before the gray screen ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... refraction and other odd phenomena for which the high latitudes are so remarkable. On July 30, the fine weather continuing, everybody was correspondingly elate and merry when both Herald and Wrangel islands were sighted from the "cro'-nest" and, as they were neared, apparently free from ice. This illusion, however, was soon dispelled. On approaching the land strong tide rips were encountered, and finally the ice, the drift of which was shown by the drop of a lead-line to be west-northwest. We steamed through about fifteen miles of this ...
— The First Landing on Wrangel Island - With Some Remarks on the Northern Inhabitants • Irving C. Rosse

... feeling whatever that he had suffered from violence of any kind, his head was clear and bright, his limbs felt as elastic and virile as ever. He was like a man who had suddenly awakened from a long sleep; he was just as fresh and vigorous. The bed on which he was lying completed the illusion. ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... this case makes all the difference, but I shall have my new one in fairly soon now and then illusion will help me!" ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... seemed to open up and offer us a passage. The upper surfaces of these clouds are not uniformly level, like the under sides seen from the earth, but they are of a conical or pyramidal shape. These imposing masses seem to precipitate themselves upon the earth, as if to engulf it, but this optical illusion was due to the apparent immobility of the balloon, which at the moment was rising at the rate of about twenty ...
— Wonderful Balloon Ascents - or, the Conquest of the Skies • Fulgence Marion

... Alcott very pointedly, and said we should never miss a chance to hear his conversation, but that when he put pen to paper all his inspiration left him. His thoughts faded as soon as he tried to set them down. There must have been some curious illusion about it all on the part of Emerson, as no fragment of Alcott's wonderful talk worth preserving has come down to us. The waters of the sea are blue, but not in the pailful. There must have been something analogous in Alcott's ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... did you destroy the illusion under which I have so long rested?" said Fanny, when both were more composed. "Why tell me a truth from which no good can flow? Why break in upon my happy ignorance with such a chilling revelation? Oh, mother, mother! Forgive me, if I say you ...
— True Riches - Or, Wealth Without Wings • T.S. Arthur

... There, the illusion of the sea is undeniable, imperious, positive. It is achieved by salting the water of the bath; by mixing, according to the Codex formula, sulphate of soda, hydrochlorate of magnesia and lime; by extracting ...
— Against The Grain • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... Margery and Fred Dillingham. I fancy she'd be rather relieved to get me out of the way. In fact, everybody says go, except Doctor Queerington. He is a cousin of ours, used to be my English professor, up at the university. He has always harbored the illusion that I can write. Wants me to settle down some place in the country and go at ...
— A Romance of Billy-Goat Hill • Alice Hegan Rice

... to myself, although it is true that the effect of the picture is chiefly produced by its beauty of line. And there was Lot, departing from Sodom with his daughters, a picture great because of the perfect illusion of movement. They go on and on, against the wind and storm, with Horror behind them and Hope in front, at the back, to the right, the burning city, to the left, a smiling landscape. How unique the ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... lying on the merge of the cold-water tank, with a crowd of people about him, laughing at him; for the napkin was fallen from his middle and discovered his yard in point. So he knew that all this was but an imbroglio of dreams and an illusion of hashish and was vexed and said to him who had aroused him, 'Would thou hadst waited till I had put it in!' Then said the folk, 'Art thou not ashamed, O hashish-eater, and thou lying asleep and naked, with thy yard on end?' And they cuffed him, ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume II • Anonymous

... he said, and went towards the door. He even moved differently, like a man who has lost illusion and doubts whether it is worth ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... on its way; now rushing, now slackening, but never halting. Sometimes it seemed to Anne that she sat motionless while the world raced by her. She had often seen herself thus. And then with a thrill of the pulses came the exultation of rapid movement, banishing the illusion, while the very heart of her rejoiced in the knowledge thereof. For this one day—for this one day—she had left the desert behind her. She had yielded half against her judgment, but she knew no regret. On the morrow she would ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... of her own senses. Her belief in the man she loved was so great that his words seemed at first to have destroyed and swept away what must have been a bad dream, or a horrible illusion, and her face was quiet and happy again as she passed him and went in through the open entrance. She found herself in a vestibule from which doors opened to the right and left. He turned in the latter direction, leading ...
— In The Palace Of The King - A Love Story Of Old Madrid • F. Marion Crawford

... physical belief; a supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are in matter; an illusion; a belief that ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... descendants of Englishmen; said they "were not to be cheated out of them by any phantom of virtual representation or any other fiction of law or politics." Again: "No such phrase as virtual representation is known in law or constitution. It is altogether a subtlety and illusion, ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... explained the Shaggy Man, "is what is called an optical illusion. It is quite real while you have your eyes open, but if you are not looking at it the barrier doesn't exist at all. It's the same way with many other evils in life; they seem to exist, and yet it's all seeming and not true. You will notice that ...
— The Patchwork Girl of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... evening, "I do not believe in their existence exactly, and yet there is a strange fascination about the idea that I can't understand. Now I do not believe we saw a man walking on fog the other night, and yet I can't resist the desire to hunt the matter out and discover what sort of an optical illusion it was. I am not at all certain the man who took a shot at us was the one we saw across the ravine, either. I had an experience once when I was about nine years old, that, in a way, tainted my mind with the ghost ...
— Pocket Island - A Story of Country Life in New England • Charles Clark Munn

... as many men, perhaps most, loved their young wives? That he had felt for her no ardor, no worship? If so, then the crisis had come at the right moment; at the moment when, by one of those tricks of nature which make us half acquiesce in the belief that our personality is an illusion, that we are but cosmic automata, the power of love had been granted to him again. Yet for all that—very fortunately, seeing that the crisis was more acute than he was aware—he did not fancy that ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... believe in Bibles. At any rate Sebastian, son by the first marriage, is desperately in love with Ruby—so, you see, the old man had something to worry about. However, it all turns out to be, in fact, mere illusion, developing into a fatal monomania, and the family business is left to be carried on by such of the next generation as have not been convinced by the formidable array of evidence, anti-Theistic and anti- Christian, of two of the characters ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 18, 1917 • Various

... thundered past carrying men to the front, and we were informed that the famous regiment called "Dare-to-die" had gone to crush the Imperial troops. With a thrill we saw these brave warriors pass, but a brief period sufficed to dispel "the great illusion," and twelve hours later the same men were dashing back to Taiyueanfu, carrying a terrible tale. "Had we stayed longer we should have been dead men; the bullets were falling in our midst." The officer, however, gave a different explanation of their return. "Poor chaps, they are worn out, and I ...
— The Fulfilment of a Dream of Pastor Hsi's - The Story of the Work in Hwochow • A. Mildred Cable

... awaits you in Langona Church is its chancel, which stands high above the level of the nave, and, rising suddenly beneath a fine Early English arch, carries the eye upward to the altar with a strange illusion of distance. Even in those days the first impression was one of rare, almost singular, beauty—an impression lost in a series of small pangs as your eye rested on the ruinous details one by one. For of the great screen ...
— The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... the middle of the seventeenth century, Sir William Davenant, manager of the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, discarded the 'traverses' and tapestries which had theretofore been accepted as sufficient for the purposes of stage illusion, and substituted regular scenes 'painted in perspective,' without doubt there were to be found many conservative old playgoers who lifted up their voices against the startling innovation, and prophesied the approaching downfall ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... group called The Young Bull, in the Hague Gallery. All the figures in this are as large as life, and so extraordinarily true to nature as not only to appear real at a certain distance, but even to keep up the illusion when seen near. ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... the nature of the services for which this fantastic community have him unmanageable wealth and power and real respect. It was all a monstrous payment for courageous fiction, a gratuity in return for the one reality of human life—illusion. We gave them a feeling of hope and profit; we sent a tidal wave of water and confidence into their stranded affairs. "We mint Faith, George," said my uncle one day. "That's what we do. And by Jove we got to keep minting! We been making ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... when such subjects of antiquity are represented, nothing in the picture ought to remind us of modern times. The mind is thrown back into antiquity, and nothing ought to be introduced that may tend to awaken it from the illusion. ...
— Seven Discourses on Art • Joshua Reynolds

... ravine, And 'flamboyants' ablaze at night, And jewels, and evening's after-green, And dawns of pearl and gold and red, Mamua, your lovelier head! And there'll no more be one who dreams Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff, Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems, All time-entangled human love. And you'll no longer swing and sway Divinely down the scented shade, Where feet to Ambulation fade, And moons are lost in endless Day. How shall we wind ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... the forenoon, as we were jogging along, I saw a deer standing just at the edge of the road and looking across it, as if in fear of its blazing publicity. It seemed for a moment as if he were an optical illusion, so beautiful, so shapely, and so palpitant was he. I had no desire to shoot him, but, turning to Burton, called in a low ...
— The Trail of the Goldseekers - A Record of Travel in Prose and Verse • Hamlin Garland

... be explained either as a real miracle implying a personal appearance of Christ, or as a pious fraud, or as a natural phenomenon in the clouds and an optical illusion, or ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... air, through which can be seen a minute bell surmounting a sort of anvil. Such it appears, at least, from the Place Saint Andre des Arts. Symbolically it might be called a piteous appeal, always rejected by souls hardened and hammered by vice, of that anvil which was only an optical illusion, and ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... contrary have no force, being founded only on the semblance of defects; and M. Bayle's objection, which tends to prove that the law of the best would impose upon God a true metaphysical necessity, is only an illusion that springs from the misuse of terms. M. Bayle formerly held a different opinion, when he commended that of Father Malebranche, which was akin to mine on this subject. But M. Arnauld having written in opposition to Father Malebranche, M. Bayle altered his opinion; ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... was silent, troubled. He had not the heart to argue with the girl, perhaps he thought, and rightly thought, that this strange illusion of the brain, this confident belief in her own convictions, would help to tide her over the first days ...
— The Petticoat Commando - Boer Women in Secret Service • Johanna Brandt

... as a whole. And we are further conceded to be the happiest people in the world, unless you can find a people happier than those who "repose in a paradise of mental illusions." Yes! But we shall find in the end that it was neither ignorance nor illusion, but the wisdom of the wise. Let ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, - Volume I, No. 9. September, 1880 • Various

... in order to clear away a possible preconception by the reader, to try and dispel the illusion that army and navy officers are eager for war, in order that they may get promotion. This idea has been exploited by people opposed to the development of the army and navy, and has been received with so much ...
— The Navy as a Fighting Machine • Bradley A. Fiske

... its owners, dependants and friends, had the air of being not realities but symbols pushed up into my thought by some prank of the fantastic psyche who dwells in the subconscious. I should not have been surprised at any incongruity in the brief passing of that illusion. ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... Germany, and she clung to this precedent with a confident tenacity that we did not try to weaken. It was foolish, of course, we said. She was pinning her faith to a case in a thousand; but the hope gave the women something to live for, and the wound would heal the better for the illusion. ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... lost their senses. The body also stands in need of exercise, and in all stations men owe several exterior duties both to others and themselves, and to neglect any of these, upon pretence of giving the preference to prayer, would be a false devotion and dangerous illusion. Though a Christian be a citizen of heaven, while he is a sojourner in this world, he is not to forget the obligations or the necessities to which this state subjects him, or to dream of flights which only angels and their fellow inhabitants of bliss take. As a life altogether taken up in action ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... hours I dropped off to sleep, and eventually slept soundly, to be awakened by the noise of steam blowing off, close at hand. I started up, listened for a moment to assure myself that the sound was not an illusion, and, satisfied that it was real, scrambled up on the junk's deck, to be greeted with the sight of several ships of war close at hand. A single glance sufficed to assure me that my troubles were at an end; for the ships in sight were those of Admiral Kamimura's squadron, the Idzumi ...
— Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun - A Story of the Russo-Japanese War • Harry Collingwood

... eyes going back on her? She could see neither animal distinctly: they seemed to be shaking in some cosmic disturbance, and were but blurs. This illusion—for to her, it seemed it must be optical—persisted, grew worse, until the quaking forms of the two unfortunate creatures were like so much ectoplasm in swift motion, ghosts whirling about in ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 • Various

... of a black and glittering sea. At one time I fancied I was moving, that the butte was sailing onward, and the buffaloes were standing still. My head swam with dizziness, and I leaped to my feet to drive away the strange illusion. ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... hands before her face, and made a bohooing noise to keep up the illusion; whereupon the affectionate little fellow slipped off his sister's knee, and ran to his mother ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... light shone in the trench. John knew that innumerable sentinels were on guard, striving to see and hear, but a million or two million men lay buried alive there, while the snow drifted down continually. The illusion that the days of primeval man had come back was strong upon him again. They had become, in effect, cave-dwellers once more, and their chief object was to kill. He listened to the light swish of the snow, and thought of the blue heights into which he ...
— The Hosts of the Air • Joseph A. Altsheler

... very much like soldiers as they marched toward the slope, each armed with a gun and half a dozen cartridges, and the tumult which could be heard distinctly, heightened the illusion. ...
— Down the Slope • James Otis

... made a frantic grab for the stanchion, then relaxed. Cirgamesc had taken the Great Twitch. It was an illusion, a psychological quirk. One instant the planet lay ahead; then a man winked or turned away, and when he looked back, "ahead" had become "below"; the planet had swung an astonishing ninety degrees across the sky, and ...
— Sjambak • John Holbrook Vance

... she, too, saw the charm and came under the spell, that Rachael suffered to-night. If she could have laughed it to scorn, could have admired the surface prettiness, and congratulated Magsie upon the almost perfect illusion, then she would have had the most effective of all medicines with which to cure ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... about 5.30 a.m. the mist lifted, and everybody's gaze was directed on Talana Hill, where numbers of men in black mackintoshes could be seen. The general impression was that they were members of the town guard, but the arrival of the first shell soon dispelled this illusion. ...
— The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War - With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland • Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward Mainwaring

... printing considers two dimensions only, width and length. The third dimension, depth, which must be treated in all but flat surfaces, can only be represented on the printed page and the means of showing depth is really an illusion by which the eye sees various colors and tones ...
— Applied Design for Printers - Typographic Technical Series for Apprentices #43 • Harry Lawrence Gage

... now, after her confession, that all the time she had believed him to be the Judge and yet, because when with Mary Allen the Judge's very existence had been forgotten, Jim could not accuse himself of having fostered her illusion. Honesty would compel her to admit that. And, on the other hand, thinking it over, he could not remember that he had ever talked of the road, his business, or commercial adventure, because it was a rule of ...
— Mixed Faces • Roy Norton

... breadth of views as in position, he espoused the rationalistic opinions advocated by the Scipionic circle, and applied them with more warmth than judgment to the ancient legends. Grote, Niebuhr, and others, have shown how unsatisfactory this treatment is; illusion is lost without truth being found; nevertheless, the man who first honestly applies this method, though he may have ill success, makes an epoch in historical research. Cicero gives him no credit for style; his annals (he says) ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... he could not. He was under the obligation to say 'No' to her innocent and delightful request; and yet could he say 'No'? Could he bring himself to desolate her by a refusal? (She had produced in him the illusion that a refusal would indeed desolate her, though she would of course bear it with sweet fortitude.) Business was ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... Selfs, and the co-ordination stated in the two clauses therefore intimates that intelligence is the character of the beings denoted 'I' and 'Thou'; 'abandon therefore,' the text goes on to say, 'the illusion that the difference of outward form, divine and so on, causes a corresponding difference in the Selfs.' If this explanation were not accepted (but absolute non-difference insisted upon) there would be no room for the references to difference which ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... fascinations, you know,' he remarked lightly. In the eyes of both of them Morton had become sort of fairy godfather—a mysterious, wonderful gnome at whose beck gold leaped from the mountainside. It was just the illusion he wished to create. In the final analysis the figure of the gnome is the most beloved figure in the rotten ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... The water wizards of old had done their grotesque utmost here. What with sculpturing and frescoing, they had made that most fantastic wilderness the Painted Desert. It looked like a mirage. The travellers had an impression that here was some atmospheric illusion. It seemed as if it could not last five minutes if the sun should shine upon it. There were crowding hills so variegated and gay as to put one in mind of masses of soap-bubbles. But the coloring was laid on fifteen hundred feet deep. It consisted ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... existence, and both clung fervently to the belief that a pretty sham has a more intimate relation to morality than has an ugly truth. Yet so unconscious were they of weaving this elaborate tissue of illusion around the world they inhabited that they called the mental process by which they distorted the reality, "taking a true view of life." To "take a true view" was to believe what was pleasant against what was painful in spite ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... the reason back of it all, I asked, as I thought of those wonderful eyes of hers? Was it a sort of auto-hypnotism? There was, I knew, a form of illusion known as ophthalmophobia—fear of the eye. It ranged from mere aversion at being gazed at all the way to the subjective development of real physical action from an otherwise trivial objective cause. Perhaps Inez was right about the eyes. One might fear them, and that fear might ...
— The Gold of the Gods • Arthur B. Reeve

... The nights were so fine that the long raft went on its way with the stream without even a halt. The two picturesque banks of the river seemed to change like the panoramas of the theaters which unroll from one wing to another. By a kind of optical illusion it appeared as though the raft was motionless between ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... fusillade greeted it. There was firing from the streets, windows, courts and roofs. I followed it through my field glass, and for a moment I thought it had been hit, for it paused in its flight. But this was an optical illusion.... The plane simply flew higher, having without doubt heard the sound of the fusillade and the bullets having perhaps whistled too close to the pilot's ears. When he was almost over my post, a light white cloud appeared under its wings and, in the ten ensuing seconds, there followed a ...
— Fighting France • Stephane Lauzanne

... bless: Heaven and earth are witnesses That Thy glory goodness is. Not for sport of mind and force Hast Thou made Thy universe, But as atmosphere and zone Of Thy loving heart alone. Man, who walketh in a show, Sees before him, to and fro, Shadow and illusion go; All things flow and fluctuate, Now contract and now dilate. In the welter of this sea, Nothing stable is but Thee; In this whirl of swooning trance, Thou alone art permanence; All without Thee only seems, All beside is ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... long a number of self-appointed apostles who are eager to answer his question in many strange and inconsistent ways, calculated to increase rather than resolve the obscurity of his mind. He will learn that mysticism is a philosophy, an illusion, a kind of religion, a disease; that it means having visions, performing conjuring tricks, leading an idle, dreamy, and selfish life, neglecting one's business, wallowing in vague spiritual emotions, ...
— Practical Mysticism - A Little Book for Normal People • Evelyn Underhill

... the week Norris was beginning to be almost cheerful once more. And then, on the Monday before the match, Samuel Wilberforce Gosling came to school with his right arm in a sling. Norris met him at the School gates, rubbed his eyes to see whether it was not after all some horrid optical illusion, and finally, when the stern truth came home to him, almost swooned ...
— A Prefect's Uncle • P. G. Wodehouse

... but cover it up. Cover it up. Turn away the head. On this Holy Night of Illusion let us forget the truth for once. There are three hundred and sixty-four other nights in which to consider the eternal verities. On this one, let us be as little children. "Let us now go even to Bethlehem and see this thing ...
— Back Home • Eugene Wood

... itself may stimulate a convict. His human mind cannot comprehend despair. Instinct forces him to hope. So weeks, months, years go by, and hope seems to him more instead of less justifiable, till at last, perhaps, he dies with the illusion still strong in him. Real despair is un-human and possibly rare. Otherwise prison mutinies and killings would be more frequent. The argument of despair is, "Since I must die here anyway, I'll take two or three of those devils with me!" But few men believe ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... go, swifter than the wind, And Helena of Athens look thou find: All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer, With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear. By some illusion see thou bring her here; I'll charm his ...
— A Midsummer Night's Dream • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... history should prove all a platitude. "Are you telling me the truth, so that I shan't have been a bigger idiot than I can bear to know? I haven't lived with a vain imagination, in the most besotted illusion? I haven't waited but to see the door ...
— The Beast in the Jungle • Henry James

... a pleasing recreation of the intelligence should be allowed, while lying must not be tolerated. Children have a natural inclination for mystifications, for masquerades, for raillery, and for theatrical performances, &c. This inclination to illusion is perfectly normal with them, and should be permitted. The graceful kingdom of Art is developed from it, as also the poetry of conversation in jest and wit. Although this sometimes becomes stereotyped into very prosaic conventional forms of speech, ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... a still weaker. It made its lair where it chose, crushing under its careless body those other still lesser things which had not sense enough or the opportunity to slip out from under it. Love, as man looked upon it or pretended to look upon it, was no real emotion but a poetical illusion. Nor was it so much as truly poetical, since poetry is truth and this thing was a lie. There was no love but the old, primal love of life, a blind, unreasoning instinct. He did not love Ygerne; he had never loved Ygerne because, in the nature of nature, there could ...
— Wolf Breed • Jackson Gregory

... be aware that you have not been visiting any house whatever, but have been passing your nights in the cemetery, among the tombs of the Heike;—and it was before the memorial-tomb of Antoku Tenno that our people to-night found you, sitting in the rain. All that you have been imagining was illusion—except the calling of the dead. By once obeying them, you have put yourself in their power. If you obey them again, after what has already occurred, they will tear you in pieces. But they would have destroyed you, sooner or later, in any event... ...
— Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things • Lafcadio Hearn

... which Hardy sent from time to time had no power to destroy this agreeable illusion; for of course letters were bound to come, and she answered them all with cousinly affection, as she would have answered them in any case. At last one came which roused her from her indifference, for ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... the political machinery; not, as a century before, an intrusive body acting spasmodically and hampering instead of regulating the executive power of the Crown. The last Stuart kings had still fancied that it might be reduced to impotence, and the illusion had been fostered by the loyalty which meant at least a fair unequivocal desire to hold to the old monarchical traditions. But, in fact, parliamentary control had been silently developing; the House of Commons had been getting ...
— English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century • Leslie Stephen

... wrapped in cotton with only its queer little wizened face and blue eyes visible it had a startling resemblance to a human baby until its long tail would suddenly flop into sight and dispel the illusion. It lived only four days in ...
— Camps and Trails in China - A Narrative of Exploration, Adventure, and Sport in Little-Known China • Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews

... to wear overpoweringly good clothes and perfectly new hats and caps, and their russet shoes were resplendent. They moved as though everything belonged to them, from the wild crests of the hills above to the calm blue water below, and the hotel servants did their best to foster the agreeable illusion. They all wanted chairs, and tables, and things to drink, and fruit. One very fair little lady with hard, restless eyes, and clad in white serge, insisted upon having grapes, and no one could convince her that grapes were not ...
— Adam Johnstone's Son • F. Marion Crawford

... of illusion I see her waiting, like the soul of music, With deep eyes, lovelier than cerulean pansies, Shadow and fire, yet merciless as poison; With red lips, sweeter than Arabian storax, Yet bitterer than myrrh.—O tears and kisses! ...
— Myth and Romance - Being a Book of Verses • Madison Cawein

... communications. We know now that the withdrawal of the seat of the government from Brussels to Liege was at one moment seriously contemplated, and that the same troops were made to pass again and again through the streets of the capital in order to give the illusion that the garrison was stronger than it really was (Frankfurter Zeitung, August 22nd, 1916). Besides, Germany had not yet given up all hopes of coming to terms with King Albert, since a third attempt was to be made at Antwerp to separate the Belgian Government from the Allies. In these ...
— Through the Iron Bars • Emile Cammaerts

... of Stott's child. Heinecken was physically feeble; at the age of three he was still being fed at the breast. The Stott precocity appeared to be physically strong; his body looked small and undeveloped, it is true, but this was partly an illusion produced by the abnormal size of the head. Again Heinecken learned to speak very early; at ten months old he was asking intelligent questions, at eighteen months he was studying history, geography, Latin and anatomy; ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... the wicked gambols of wizards and witches. Many a poor iniquitous old woman, from some mysterious hints of her power to tell fortunes, or to gratify the revengeful feelings of her neighbours, was put to a cruel death. More enlightened times have dissipated this illusion, and driven these imaginary imps of ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... wanted to miss anything good. All irritation was forgotten and healed as they stood gazing raptly at the beautiful view. The cliffs looked as if volcanic fires were again burning within their hearts, and the mist from the valley crept up to form an illusion of smoke rising from the sharply outlined peaks. A purple haze enveloped the mountains and the dusky-red streaks in the sky perfected the appearance of a vast eternal fire ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... thought nothing could have turned me, neither general despair nor personal fear. For I believed that the deep secrets of nature were being revealed to me; I felt that everything was immortal and that death was only a pleasant illusion. But I really did not think very much about it, since I was not particularly in a mood for mental synthesis and analysis. But I gladly lost myself in all those blendings and intertwinings of joy and pain from which spring the spice of life ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... Two years ago our women's fingers were busy making "Havelocks." It seemed to us then as if the Havelock made half the soldier; and now we smile to think of those days of inexperience and illusion. We know now what War means, and we cannot look its dull, dead ghastliness in the face unless we feel that there is some great and noble principle behind it. It makes little difference what we thought we were fighting for at first; ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... appeased. He didn't want to stay, and I don't know why he should. So we gave him Laura Lindsay." She nodded good-naturedly in the direction of a young girl, whose sharp thin little face was turned joyfully toward the handsome Parker. "And we added our cousin Caspar, not for conversation, but to give an illusion of youth and gayety. Caspar is the captain of the polo team. By the way, what do you think ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... one of those weird passages of psychological speculation, the border territory where reason and illusion hold contested sway,—where the relations between spirit and matter seem so incomprehensibly involved and complicated that we can only feel, without being able to analyze them, and even the old words created for our coarse material needs seem no more suitable than would a sparrow's wings ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... or that it arose at length from personal perception and authority into common credit, the fact remains equally prominent and interesting that throughout the traceable history of human opinion there is a line of dissenters who have thought death the finality of man, and the next world an illusion. The history of this special department of thought opens a wide and fertile subject. To gain a comprehensive survey of its boundaries and a compact epitome of its contents, it will be well to consider it in these two lights and divisions, all the time ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... was not the sight of Moro that caused me to start with astonishment; it was at seeing another well-remembered animal—another horse. Was I mistaken? Was it an illusion? Were my eyes or ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... cat for crawling, and a deer for flight, A hawk for rending, and a dog for sight To judge the strength of men that wake or sleep, A snake, when 't is advisable to creep, Illusion's self, to seem a saint or rogue, Goddess of Speech in understanding brogue; A light in blackest night, in holes a lizard I can be, A horse on terra firma, and a ship ...
— The Little Clay Cart - Mrcchakatika • (Attributed To) King Shudraka

... intoxication, arising, perhaps, from the great and unexpected discoveries which have been made of late years, in various branches of science. To men elate and giddy with such successes, every thing appeared to be within the grasp of human powers; and, under this illusion, they confounded subjects where no real progress could be proved with those where the progress had been marked, certain, and acknowledged. Could they be persuaded to sober themselves with a little severe and ...
— An Essay on the Principle of Population • Thomas Malthus

... monster: and, to say truth, we no longer LIVED on board. The entire ship's crew were undergoing a nervous excitement, of which I can give no idea: they could not eat, they could not sleep—twenty times a day, a misconception or an optical illusion of some sailor seated on the taffrail, would cause dreadful perspirations, and these emotions, twenty times repeated, kept us in a state of excitement so violent that a reaction ...
— Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea • Jules Verne

... fantastic attire with so much aplomb and genteel measure that the stranger found it difficult not to believe them high-born gentlemen, attending a fancy-dress ball. Their aristocratically thin legs, of which they displayed fully the usual Indian proportion, aided this illusion. There is something too at all times very mock-Indian in the theatrical French millinery tie of the Pottawottomi turban; while it is next to impossible for a sober white man, at first sight, to believe that the red, green, black, blue, and yellow cosmetics, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... contains seven of these, and another eight. Each scale averages about an inch and a quarter in length, by about three quarters of an inch in breadth; and the parallelogramical field which it presents is occupied by a curious piece of carving. By a sort of pictorial illusion, the device appears as if in motion: it would seem as if a sudden explosion had taken place in the middle of the field, and as if the numerous dislodged fragments, propelled all around by the central force, were hurrying to the sides. But these seeming ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... the laborious progress of the human spirit in the dim transcendant province of the mothers-problem. (Faust, Part II.) More and more sleepy and ever less able to retain my thoughts, I saw suddenly with the vividness of an illusion a dream image. I stood on a lonely stone pier extending far into a dark sea. The waters of the sea blended at the horizon with an equally dark-toned mysterious, heavy air. The overpowering force of this tangible picture aroused me from my half sleeping ...
— Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts • Herbert Silberer

... strange fancies disturb thee, whencesoever they arise. Bravely observe thy purpose and thy upright intentions towards God. It is not an illusion when thou art sometimes suddenly carried away into rapture, and then suddenly art brought back to the wonted vanities of thy heart. For thou dost rather unwillingly undergo them than cause them; and so long as they displease thee and thou ...
— The Imitation of Christ • Thomas a Kempis

... and twisting turning flight gives the illusion of great speed. The small, compact flocks commonly fly low over the marshes, and often ...
— Ducks at a Distance - A Waterfowl Identification Guide • Robert W. Hines

... reality and life of the dialogue, in which Vindici and Hippolito first tempt their mother, and then threaten her with death for consenting to the dishonor of their sister, passes any scenical illusion I ever felt. I never read it but my ears tingle, and I feel a hot blush overspread my cheeks, as if I were presently about to proclaim such malefactions of myself, as the brothers here rebuke in their unnatural parent, in words ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... geometrical construction, could imagine that, hanging so airily there, to all appearance supported on nothing, were twenty or more tons dead weight of stone, that would have made a prison for an elephant if so arranged? The art which produced this illusion was questionable, but its success was undoubted. 'How lovely!' said Ethelberta, as she looked at the fairy ascent. 'His staircase alone is worth ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... rolled over and lay with his face upon his folded arms, alive to the finger-tips; alive and fighting. For there are times when the soul of a man awakes and demands a reckoning, and reviews pitilessly the past and faces the future with the veil of illusion torn quite away—and does it whether the man ...
— The Uphill Climb • B. M. Bower

... must go a great way back, and begin with our grandfathers, with the ancestors who freed us from Great Britain, but did not free themselves from the illusion that equality resides in incivility and honesty in bluntness. That was something they transmitted to us intact, so that we are now not only the best-hearted but the worst-mannered of mankind. If our habitual carriage were not rubber-tired by ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... sun shining upon the bright river Nile in the foreground, and its appearance upon close inspection, was equal to the difference in the scenery of a theatre as regarded from the boxes or from the stage. Even that painful exposure of an optical illusion would be trifling compared with the imposture of Khartoum. The sense of sight had been deceived by distance, but the sense of smell was outraged by innumerable nuisances, when we set foot within the filthy and miserable town. After winding through some narrow, dusty lanes, ...
— In the Heart of Africa • Samuel White Baker

... three bits of chairs, a table-top on boxes, and an inimitable ancestral smell that no deodorizer known to modern warfare can cope with. And all this is called "Trenches!" Our servants do their best to support the official illusion by neglecting to clean our boots and regarding with surprise and some little sadness any tendency on our ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 29, 1916 • Various

... they heeded the wounded soldier, the stretcher-bearers would go on open ground. This he frequently does, if he is at all able to get on without aid; once hit he thinks himself invulnerable—a singular illusion which has brought about many catastrophes. At the first dressing-station and at the front hospital, relief begins. In ordinary times, this will be quite complete, and the wounded will not be carried to the rear until they are really able ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... throughout his life, to tread the same steps on the same circle; always applauding his past conduct, or, at least, forgetting it to amuse himself with phantoms of happiness, which were dancing before him; and willingly turned his eyes from the light of reason, when it would have discovered the illusion, and shown him, what he never wished ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... on the hill are more real to me than things that happened yesterday, but I do not know that I can make them live to others. A ghost-show used to come yearly to Thrums on the merry Muckle Friday, in which the illusion was contrived by hanging a glass between the onlookers and the stage. I cannot deny that the comings and goings of the ghost were highly diverting, yet the farmer of T'nowhead only laughed because he had paid his money at the ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... a Greek asked I would fain ask too, Who knows if all the Spectacle be true, Or an illusion of the gods [the Will, To wit] some ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... himself, as they would prove to the lady for whom they were intended that he had not been able to write them without borrowing. And, as to offer me some consolation, he told me that, in recopying the lines, he would take care to make a few mistakes in the rhythm to complete the illusion. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... Europe and America are indebted to Dr. Jameson for any knowledge which they may have acquired of the Transvaal and its Uitlander problem. Theirs is a disordered knowledge, and perhaps it is not unnatural that they should in a manner share the illusion of the worthy sailor who, after attending divine service, assaulted the first Israelite he met because he had only just heard of the Crucifixion. A number of worthy people are still disposed to excuse ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... definition of a ghost is just the reverse of truth; it makes one consist of a soul without a body, while really a specter, an illusion, a humbug of the eyesight and the touch, is a human body not vitalized through and ...
— Starr King in California • William Day Simonds

... large black-headed pin, saying, in Margery's careful caligraphy: 'Many happy returns of the day, Master Garthie.' It was very touching, because it was meant to be so comforting and tactful. But it destroyed the illusion! Since then the door has been ...
— The Rosary • Florence L. Barclay

... to her. Then it comes to her knowledge—she obtains absolute proof—that Annabel was anything but the saint she was believed to be. By a single word she can overturn the altar of her martyrdom, and shatter the dearest illusion of her persecutors. Shall she speak that word, or shall she not? Here is a crisis which comes within our definition just as clearly as the other;[8] only it happens to be entirely natural and probable, and eminently illustrative of character. ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... summit. In the clear air the peaks themselves seemed not a dozen miles away, but Y.D. had not ridden cactus, sagebrush and prairie from the Rio Grande to the St. Mary's for twenty years to be deceived by a so transparent illusion. Far over the plains his eye could trace the dark outline of a ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead

... hundred years before Constable, Turner or Corot was born. But time is an illusion; all souls are of one age, and in spirit these men were contemporaries and brothers. Claude, Corot and Turner never married—they were wedded to art. Constable ripened fast; he got his reward of golden guineas, and society caught him in its silken mesh. Success came faster ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... SAHTOF). Oh, no, how can you say: "je rserve mon opinion"? And the infant with the little wings? Didn't you see? At first I thought it was only an illusion, but afterwards it became clearer ...
— Redemption and Two Other Plays • Leo Tolstoy et al

... most perfect diversion; but alas! harlequin, my dear favourite harlequin, my passion, makes me more melancholy than cheerful. Instead of laughing, I sit silently reflecting how everything loses charms when one's own youth does not lend it gilding! When we are divested of that eagerness and illusion with which our youth presents objects to us, we are but the caput ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole



Words linked to "Illusion" :   phantasy, illusory, deceit, conjuring trick, semblance, illusionary, phantasm, conjuration, legerdemain, dissembling, will-o'-the-wisp, trick, phantasma, bubble, ignis fatuus, fancy, prestidigitation, wishful thinking, misconception, magic trick, delusion, deception, appearance, performance, shadow, head game, phantom limb, illusional, fantasm, dissimulation, sleight of hand, optical illusion, fantasy, apparition, irradiation, card trick, thaumaturgy, magic, illusionist, phantom



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