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Literal   Listen
adjective
Literal  adj.  
1.
According to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as, the literal meaning of a phrase. "It hath but one simple literal sense whose light the owls can not abide."
2.
Following the letter or exact words; not free. "A middle course between the rigor of literal translations and the liberty of paraphrasts."
3.
Consisting of, or expressed by, letters. "The literal notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers."
4.
Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of-fact; applied to persons.
Literal contract (Law), a contract of which the whole evidence is given in writing.
Literal equation (Math.), an equation in which known quantities are expressed either wholly or in part by means of letters; distinguished from a numerical equation.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Literal" Quotes from Famous Books



... just because of his imaginative nullity: his tremendous revelations could be the more distinctly and unmistakably inscribed upon an intelligence of that sort, which alone could render again a strictly literal ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... you were a trifle vague upon some of the Articles of Religion, and the Table of Kindred and Affinity. You must remember that these articles are not to be subjected to your own sense or comment, but must be taken in the literal and grammatical meaning. However, you show outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace. It so happens that I know of a small chapel, in the country, that has been closed for lack of a minister. I can put you in ...
— Where the Blue Begins • Christopher Morley

... many other cases of noble history, apocryphal and other, I do not in the least care how far the literal facts are true. The conception of facts, and the idea of Jewish womanhood, are there, grand and real as a marble statue,—possession for all ages. And you will feel, after you have read this piece of history, or epic poetry, with honourable care, that there is somewhat more to be thought of ...
— Mornings in Florence • John Ruskin

... lat. 28 N., long. 177 W., his water going rotten, and misled by Hoyt's "North Pacific Directory," which informed him there was a coaling station on the island, Captain Trent put in to Midway Island. He found it a literal sandbank, surrounded by a coral reef, mostly submerged. Birds were very plenty, there was good fish in the lagoon, but no firewood; and the water, which could be obtained by digging, brackish. He found good holding-ground off the north end of the larger bank in fifteen ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "If received in a literal sense, I find that it gives one a far higher notion of God's majesty, power, and wisdom, if we believe that the spirit of evil is really subject to the will of the Almighty, and is as easily controlled by ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... later verse become more prosaic, but he becomes considerably less intelligible. There is a passage in "The Old Bachelor," too long to quote but worth referring to, which, though it may be easy enough to understand it with a little goodwill, I defy anybody to understand in its literal and grammatical meaning. Such welters of words are very common in Crabbe, and Johnson saved him from one of them in the very first lines of "The Village." Yet Johnson could never have written the passages which earned Crabbe his fame. The great lexicographer knew man in general much better than ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... eleven, the twelfth, and greatest (El-Mahdi), being yet to come. The Ismailians also introduced mysticism into the interpretation of the Koran, and even taught that its moral precepts were not to be taken in a literal sense. Thus the Fatimite caliphs founded their authority upon a combination ...
— History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 11 (of 12) • S. Rappoport

... certain man isn't rich, but he has "prospects;" because he has a wealthy aunt who is very fond of him, or he is employed by a business that is growing fast, or he owns property which seems sure to increase in value, or some other good fortune is likely to befall him. The literal meaning of "prospect" is "looking forward." So most of us have come to think of our prospects as just possible occurrences in the future, to the happening of which we may look ahead ...
— Certain Success • Norval A. Hawkins

... intervals of time, and the skill to supply the lost words and syllables of history by careful collation with those which are spared. How faithfully this accidentally found MS. typifies such a labor, the reader may judge from the literal copy of it I now ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... incongruities. Every thing of this kind was now awakened; while, in order to master the Hebrew, I occupied myself exclusively with the Old Testament, and studied it, though no longer in Luther's translation, but in the literal version of Sebastian Schmid, printed under the text, which my father had procured for me. Here, I am sorry to say, our lessons began to be defective in regard to practice in the language. Reading, interpreting, grammar, transcribing, and the repetition of words, ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... and international name for a French soldier. Its literal meaning is "hairy, shaggy," but the word has conveyed for over a century the idea of the virility of a Samson, whose strength lay in ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... wires are pulled by the master, which produce all the turmoil and strife that before riveted our attention. It is good for him who would arrive at all the improvement of which our nature is capable, at one time to take his place among the literal beholders of the drama, and at another to go behind the scenes, and remark the deceptions in their original elements, and the actors in their proper and ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... way in which the image is formed in the mind of the native story-teller. Foreigners and Hawaiians have expended much ingenuity in rendering the mele or chant with exactness,[5] but the much simpler if less important matter of putting into literal English a Hawaiian kaao has never ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... graceful and earnest man to be a graceful and earnest Christian teacher. The question of fitness for the position as an executive was soon settled beyond the possibility of a doubt. It required but a brief acquaintance with President Lord to teach any one, that he fully believed in the most literal acceptation of the doctrine, that "the powers that be ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... a likeness as the Abbey picture, only more literal, less "arranged." The Abbey picture, also by a French artist of another school, was younger, and had a fine, romantic, Rene-like charm. "Rene" had been her laughing name for him—her handsome, melancholy, eloquent poseur! Like many of his family, he was proud of his French culture, ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... (for example, Canto I, stanzas 11, 12), and examine the language to see what kind of words are most effective: specific or general, concrete or abstract, figurative or literal. ...
— Teachers' Outlines for Studies in English - Based on the Requirements for Admission to College • Gilbert Sykes Blakely

... Essene he never became, but he remained throughout his life very partial to certain forms of the Essene belief, more especially those which coincided with the Greco-Roman superstitions of the time, such as the literal prediction of future events, the meaning of dreams, the significance of omens.[2] These ideas, handed down from primitive Israel, had lived on among the masses of the people, though discarded by the learned teachers, and Josephus, finding them ...
— Josephus • Norman Bentwich

... investigating and enforcing the English language, is, that by this mode of analyzing and reducing it to practice, it cannot, in this age, be comprehended as the medium of thought. Were this method to prevail, our present literal language would become a dead letter. Of what avail is language, if it can not be understood? And how can it be accommodated to the understanding, unless it receive the sanction of common consent? Even if we admit that such a manner of unfolding the principles ...
— English Grammar in Familiar Lectures • Samuel Kirkham

... those words from the region of symbol to that of literal description. A great horror fell upon all nations, when the news came. Rome taken? Surely the end of all things was at hand. The wretched fugitives poured into Egypt and Syria—especially to Jerusalem; perhaps with some superstitious hope that Christ's tomb, or even Christ himself, ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... be said that the incidents here related are literal facts, which came under the writer's observation in the midst of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... hint," said Mr. Slick, "I was in jeest like; but there is more in it, for all that, than you'd think. It ain't literal fact, but it is figurative truth. But now I'll shew you sunthin' in this town, that's as false as parjury, sunthin that's a disgrace to this country and an insult to our great nation, and there is no jeest in it nother, but a downright lie; ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... the eye against his gun, which he was carrying before him; and after a minute's rueful look he joined heartily in the shouts of laughter of his father and brother at his expense, "Ah, Charley, brag is a good dog, but holdfast is a better. I never saw a more literal proof of the saying. There, jump up again, and I need not say look out ...
— On the Pampas • G. A. Henty

... to which the heroine is exposed had any foundation in reality it is impossible to say; and there is a passage in Murphy's memoir which almost reads as if it had been penned with the express purpose of anticipating any too harshly literal identification of Booth with Fielding, since we are told of the latter that "though disposed to gallantry by his strong animal spirits, and the vivacity of his passions, he was remarkable for tenderness and constancy to his wife ...
— Fielding - (English Men of Letters Series) • Austin Dobson

... he entered the store-house had felt that bacon heavier than the heaviest end of the biggest stick of timber he had ever helped to cant. He felt guilty, sneaking, disgraced; he felt that the literal Devil had first tempted him near the house, then all suddenly—with his own hunger pangs and thoughts of his starving family—swept him into the smoke-house to steal. But he had consented to do it; he had said he would take flour too,—and he would, he was so obstinate! ...
— Old Man Savarin and Other Stories • Edward William Thomson

... prisoner's side, were illegal; but Monseigneur de Beauvais was well aware that anything would be legal which effected his purpose, and that once Jeanne was disposed of, the legality or illegality of the proceedings would be of small importance. I have thought it right to give to the best of my power a literal translation of these examinations, notwithstanding their great length; as, except in one book, now out of print and very difficult to procure, no such detailed translation,(8) so far as I am aware, exists; and it seems to me that, even at the risk of fatiguing the reader (always capable ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... the literal beloved, but the purified stainless image of her,—surely this would be to ascend into the region of spiritual love, a love unhampered and untainted by ...
— The Worshipper of the Image • Richard Le Gallienne

... without embarrassment. When once his mind is settled, it is no trifle that will amuse this Mr. Ludlow. I do not know a more literal construer of his orders in the fleet;—a man, Sir, who thinks words have but a single set of meanings, and who knows as little as can be imagined on the difference between a sentiment ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... with the circumstances that gave rise to the mission, and the degree of estimation in which they held it. It was written in the Tartar, Chinese, and Latin languages, from the last of which, as rendered by the missionaries, the following is a literal translation. The contents were addressed to the Council of India, but on the outside wrapper, "To the King of Holland." It may serve at the same time as a ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... things that sparks do set off. Any one with even a moderate amount of what I may call mental agility would have followed me without any difficulty, and refrained from asking your very foolish question. But it is difficult to be literal enough to please you. What I ought to have said, what I would have said if I had realised at the moment that I was talking to you, is this. We are living the kind of life comparable to that of the people whose cottages are built round the ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... apoleon! Throw away another letter, and what have you but poleon! Throw away letter after letter, and what do you get but words—Napoleon, apoleon, poleon, oleon, leon, eon, or, if you like, on! Now these are all Greek words—and what, pray, do they mean? I will give you a literal translation, and I challenge any Greek scholar who may be here present to set me right, that is, to show me wrong: Napoleon the destroyer of cities, being a destroying lion! Now I should like to know a more sure word of prophecy than that! Would any one ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... honest, literal John," he said, lazily. "Listen; from my back window in the country, yesterday, I observed one of my hens scratching her ear with her foot. How would you like to be able to accomplish ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... usually went by the name of George Blaurock (Bluecoat) and whom his disciples hailed as a second Paul, was spread far and wide and made a great noise, the government ordered a conference to be held with them at the council-house. The following are the literal contents of Blaurock's Confession: "I am a door. He who enters by me will find pasture, but he who enters elsewhere, is a thief and a murderer, as it is written: I am a good shepherd; a good shepherd lays down his life for ...
— The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli • Johann Hottinger

... eating far back into the mountain mass, forming a V-shaped depression called a cove, and between two coves thus formed is a reverse [symbol: upside-down V], called a point, always, naturally, composed of the hardest rock, and not infrequently ending in a literal point so sharp that it is like a vast granite bowsprit thrust out into the green plains far below, terminating in a sheer precipice of several hundred feet. Roughly, then, you may visualize this section of the Cumberlands as a giant double-edged saw, a thousand feet thick, laid ...
— Penguin Persons & Peppermints • Walter Prichard Eaton

... that what I have now written will by some be branded as false and malicious. It will be denied, not only that such a thing ever did transpire, as I have now narrated, but that such a thing could happen in Maryland. I can only say—believe it or not—that I have said nothing but the literal truth, gainsay it ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... for social contacts.—The position of persons and peoples on the earth gives us a literal picture of the spatial conception of social contact. The cluster of homes in the Italian agricultural community suggests the difference in social life in comparison with the isolated homesteads of rural ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... lance' is among military men, or the privateer among those of the true marine. Any one who has been familiar with one of the 'craft,' has probably heard him say at one time or another—'what I have seen would make one of the most remarkable novels you ever read;' and he spoke the literal truth. ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... Hell, there was less Witchcraft, less true literal Magick than there has been since; there was indeed no need of it, the DEVIL did not stoop to the Mechanism of his more modern Operations, but rul'd as a Deity, and receiv'd the Vows and the Bows of his Subjects in more State, and with more Solemnity; whereas since that, ...
— The History of the Devil - As Well Ancient as Modern: In Two Parts • Daniel Defoe

... saw me—sensation—whispers of "papalangai" were heard on all sides, and looks of astonishment were cast in my direction. Certainly my entrance to Natondre could not have been more dramatic, and I believe that they almost thought that I had fallen from the skies, which is the literal meaning ...
— Wanderings Among South Sea Savages And in Borneo and the Philippines • H. Wilfrid Walker

... the House of Hanover has been hailed by its members with fresh hopes of a change in their favour, which hopes have ended in disappointment; but perhaps it is as well. The navy require no prophet to tell it, in the literal sense of the word, that one cannot touch pitch without being defiled; but there is a moral pitch, the meanness, the dishonesty, and servility of Court, with which, I trust, our noble service will ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... if taken in their literal sense of 350 days, would be a most unmeaning interval for Theseus to fix upon,—it would almost require explanation as much as the difficulty itself: it is therefore much easier to suppose that Chaucer meant to imply the interval of a solar year. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 72, March 15, 1851 • Various

... the keen criticism they contain of the views Plato had advocated. Here at once the intellect of Europe found an exact exposition of principles, and began immediately to debate their excellence and their defect. St. Thomas Aquinas set to work on a literal commentary, and at his express desire an accurate translation was made direct from the Greek by his fellow-Dominican, William of Moerbeke. Later on, when all this had had time to settle and find its place, St. Thomas worked out his own theory of private property in two ...
— Mediaeval Socialism • Bede Jarrett

... and the worthy man was not yet half dressed. When I say not yet half dressed, I mean the expression to be taken in the literal sense of the word. He was sitting in the middle of the room on a rich purple ottoman, enfolded in a red burnous, sucking away at a huge chibook, puffing smoke all round him, and contemplating himself in a large mirror exactly opposite to him. At the opposite end of the ottoman sat a huge orang-outang ...
— A Hungarian Nabob • Maurus Jokai

... neither a great man, nor an educated one. On the contrary, he was ignorant of any life outside of his own narrow sphere, and intolerant of all spirit of advance or change, singularly devoid of tact, but literal, honest, and well-meaning. Moreover, he was absolutely self-satisfied, but utterly lacking in the sense of fun which makes conceited people so much less disagreeable, since it gives them a glimmering appreciation of ...
— In Blue Creek Canon • Anna Chapin Ray

... dealing separately with intellectual or moral or physical beauty. His appropriate sphere is swift sensibility, the intersecting line between the sensuous and the intellectual or moral. Mere sensation is too literal for him, mere feeling too blind and dumb, mere thought too cold.... Wordsworth is always exulting in the fulness of Nature, Shelley is always ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... propriety, object to the term equilibrium being applied to a body that is without weight; but I know of no expression that would explain my meaning so well. You must consider it, however, in a figurative rather than a literal sense; its strict meaning is an equal diffusion. We cannot, indeed, well say by what power it diffuses itself equally, though it is not surprising that it should go from the parts which have the ...
— Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 • Jane Marcet

... out a literal dish of tea, black and boiling; and I drained the tin with a feeling of relief such as one seldom knows. The place was lined round with bunks like the forecastle of a ship. After a time I rose to depart and asked the man who acted as cook how much there ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler

... perhaps to some seem quite absurd, that the authorities of Harvard in 1791 felt obliged publicly to deny that Gibbon's History was used as a text-book at the University. But with the exception perhaps of Tom Paine, no one in this country had then ventured to assail the literal interpretation of the Scriptures. Probably the masses of the people then believed that "Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they obeyed him," that Jonah was swallowed by ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 6: Literary Curiosities - Gleanings Chiefly from Old Newspapers of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts • Henry M. Brooks

... his travels gave him, made him the man of the hour among Richmond children. And how much he had to tell! At Stoke-Newington it was always the boys at home that were the heroes of the stories he spun by the yard for the entertainment of his school-fellows—the literal among whom had come to believe that there was no feat a Virginia boy could not perform. Now that he was in Richmond, the Stoke-Newington boys themselves loomed up as the wonder-workers, and his playmates listened ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... the sidewalks, are in the vernacular of La Belle France. In Jackson Square, notices to warn visitors not to disturb the shrubbery, are posted in two languages, the French being first. On one poster I saw the sentence: "Ne touche pas a les fleurs," followed by the literal translation into English: "Don't touch to the flowers." I was happy to observe that the ...
— Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field • Thomas W. Knox

... of relief is necessary. In the country, even in large towns, people have a knowledge of each other, and distress never rises to that extreme height it sometimes does in a metropolis. There is no such thing in the country as persons, in the literal sense of the word, starved to death, or dying with cold from the want of a lodging. Yet such cases, and others equally ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... Septuagint, with a literal translation into English (The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament; with an English Translation, and with various Readings and Critical Notes: Samuel Bagster and Sons), is a work attempted by no one, we believe, ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... founded on the form and substance of ancient documents; but I have hardly ever introduced into it literal quotations; I believe that unless it possesses a certain unity of language a book is unreadable, and ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... motion and almost gauge it by miles per hour. And in the distance they seemed to brush the tops of the hills. Seeing this, the doctor remembered what he had heard of rain in this region. It would come, they said, in sheets and masses—literal water-falls. Dry arroyos suddenly filled and became swift torrent, rolling big boulders down their courses. There were tales of men fording rivers who were suddenly overwhelmed by terrific walls of water which rushed down from the higher mountains in masses four and eight feet high. In coming they ...
— The Night Horseman • Max Brand

... and wild; the clergy was corrupt almost past belief; the dreaded Turk was gathering his forces, a menace to Christendom itself. The times were indeed evil, and the "servants of God," of whom then, as now, there were no inconsiderable number, withdrew for the most part into spiritual or literal seclusion, and in the quietude of cloister or forest cell busied themselves with the ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... which electrified the world of imaginative readers, and has become the type of a school of poetry of its own-and, in evident earnest, attributes its success to the few words of commendation with which we had prefaced it in this paper.—It will throw light on his sane character to give a literal copy of ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... the second place, if it does, it will show that he did not do it by analysis. In the third place,—to say nothing of not doing it by analysis,—if he had analysed it before he did it, he could not have analysed it afterward in the literal and modern sense. In the fourth place, even if Shakespeare were able to do his work by analysing it before he did it, it does not follow that undergraduate ...
— The Lost Art of Reading • Gerald Stanley Lee

... Eastern origin. In the Sepher Haggadah there is an ancient parabolical hymn, in the Chaldee language, sung by the Jews at the feast of the Passover, and commemorative of the principal events in the history of that people. For the following literal translation we are indebted to Dr Henderson, ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... the room, and as Margaret stood there, the focus of all eyes, the titter changed to literal shouts and shrieks of laughter. The boys doubled themselves up into knots, the girls staggered helplessly about, and Mrs. Danvers just sank into the nearest chair and laughed until the tears ran down her face. The room fairly ...
— The Rebellion of Margaret • Geraldine Mockler

... speculation. The point here is that if a nation is really vegetarian let its government force upon it the whole horrible weight of vegetarianism. Let its government give the national guests a State vegetarian banquet. Let its government, in the most literal and awful sense of the words, give them beans. That sort of tyranny is all very well; for it is the people tyrannising over all the persons. But "temperance reformers" are like a small group of vegetarians who should silently and systematically act on an ethical assumption entirely unfamiliar to ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... creation we find a gradually ascending series. Creeping things, "great sea monsters," (chap. I, V. 21, literal translation). "Every bird of wing," cattle and living things of the earth, the fish of the sea and the "birds of the heavens," then man, and last and crowning ...
— The Woman's Bible. • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... men. The last gale was the most severe; they said it was the tail of a cyclone. One is apt on land to regard such phrases as the "shriek of the storm," or "the roar of the waves," as poetical hyperboles; whereas they are very literal and expressive renderings of the sounds of horror incessant throughout a gale at sea. Our cabin, though very nice and comfortable in other respects, possessed an extraordinary attraction for any stray wave which might be wandering about the saloon: once or twice I have ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... thy face with thy hands; well mayst thou blush to look on him whose body thou didst consign to chains, his hand to guilt, and his soul to misery. Saved once more by the virtue of her who calls thee father, go hence, and may the pardon and benefits I confer on thee prove literal coals of fire, till thy brain is seared and ...
— The Black Dwarf • Sir Walter Scott

... hereafter be confined to those bodies to which its literal meaning refers—fat, unctuous, inodorous (when pure), greasy substances—and can no longer be applied to those odoriferous materials which possess qualities diametrically opposite to oil. We have grappled with "spirit," and fixed its meaning in a chemical sense; we have no longer "spirit" ...
— The Art of Perfumery - And Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants • G. W. Septimus Piesse

... pedantic rectitude in these passages is characteristic. Every smallest thing is either right or wrong, and if wrong, can be articulately proved so by reasoning. Life grows too dry and literal, and loses all aerial perspective at such a rate; and the effect is the more displeasing when the matters in dispute have a rich variety of aspects, and when the aspect from which Mr. Spencer deduces ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... refuge in the midst of a destruction hardly less terrible than that from which the eight souls were saved of old, a destruction in which the wrath of man had become as broad as the earth and as merciless as the sea, and who saw the actual and literal edifice of the Church raked up, itself like an ark in the midst of the waters. No marvel if with the surf of the Adriatic rolling between them and the shores of their birth, from which they were separated for ever, they should have looked upon each other ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... cicatrices which he obtained without the use of any ointment, pulcherrimas cicatrices sine unguento aliquo inducebat, then further that he impugned the use of poultices and of oils on wounds, while powders were too drying and besides had a tendency to prevent drainage, the literal meaning of the Latin words saniem incarcerare is to "incarcerate sanious material," it is easy to understand that the claim that antiseptic surgery was anticipated six centuries ago is no exaggeration and no far-fetched explanation with modern ideas in mind of certain clever modes ...
— Old-Time Makers of Medicine • James J. Walsh

... these, again, we find masses varying from a few tons in weight down to only a few pounds or ounces, and these when we see them, which is not often, we call meteors or shooting-stars; and to the size of these meteorites there would appear to be no limit: some may be literal grains of dust. There seems to be a regular gradation of size, therefore, ranging from Sirius to dust; and apparently we must regard all space as full of these cosmic particles—stray fragments, ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... literal fact!" shouted Joe Bigler, a drunken, returned Confederate sojer; "they hev yoor nose eggsactly, and they're the meanest yaller brats in ...
— "Swingin Round the Cirkle." • Petroleum V. Nasby

... probably the most varied and suggestive natural vessel. We find that the primitive potter has often copied it in the most literal manner. One example only, out of the many available ones, is necessary. This is from a mound ...
— Origin and Development of Form and Ornament in Ceramic Art. • William Henry Holmes

... fairly literal, and Malleson (a clergyman) has taken pains with the scientific portions of the work and added the chapter headings, he has made some unfortunate emendations mainly concerning biblical references, and has added a few 'improvements' of his own, which ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... chosen each from among literal hundreds, and they were cared for far more tenderly than the masters cared for themselves. There was a reason in it, for upon their speed and endurance depended the life of the outlaw. Moreover, the policy of Jim Boone was one of ...
— Riders of the Silences • Max Brand

... He wastes some time, moreover, in trying to bring within the four corners of his definition some uses of the terms of beauty, which are really only applied to objects by way of analogy, and are not meant to predicate the beautiful in any literal or ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... behaved like a Christian. He did not forget that his uncle and aunt lived in that old and dilapidated house, and he did his best to keep the peace with them. In the most literal manner he returned good for evil. It is true he could not respect his uncle, or get up a very warm regard for him,—he was too mean, selfish, and unprincipled to win the respect and regard of any decent person,—but he could ...
— Freaks of Fortune - or, Half Round the World • Oliver Optic

... Copleston's parody that the Edinburgh Review began conspicuously to illustrate what Copleston here satirises; it was not till a time more recent still that periodical literature generally exemplified in literal seriousness what Copleston intended as extravagant irony. It is interesting to compare with Copleston's remarks what Thackeray says on the same subjects in the twenty-fourth chapter of Pendennis, entitled 'The Pall Mall ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... herself. But shyness and a quaint disposition, dating from her childhood, to pause and hover on the threshold of discovery, thus prolonging a period of entrancing, distracting suspense, withheld her. She dared not ask—in any case dared not ask just yet; and therefore took up his words in their literal application. ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... "She's a desperately literal woman, primitive, the kind you never meet—well, out here. She has a thirst for happiness, ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... that the younger Darwin gave the words "natural selection" the importance which of late years they have assumed; he probably adopted them unconsciously from the passage of Mr. Matthew's quoted above, but he ultimately said, {87a} "In the literal sense of the word (sic) no doubt natural selection is a false term," as personifying a fact, making it exercise the conscious choice without which there can be no selection, and generally crediting it with the discharge of functions which can only be ascribed legitimately to living and reasoning ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... tyranny, and these princes became voluptuaries or sages. Florence, the city of Leo X., of philosophy, and the arts, had transformed even religion. Catholicism, so ascetic in Spain, so gloomy in the north, so austere and literal in France, so popular at Rome, had become at Florence, under the Medici and the Grecian philosophers, a species of luminous and Platonic theory, whose dogmata were only sacred symbols, and whose pomps were only ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... reader finishes it he should feel that his understanding of life and of people has been increased and broadened. But it should always be remembered that truth is quite as much a matter of general spirit and impression as of literal accuracy in details of fact. The essential question is not, Is the presentation of life and character perfect in a photographic fashion? but Does it convey the underlying realities? 2. Other things being equal, the ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... is literal, as it ought to be, but science is not life; science takes no note of this finer self, this duplicate on a higher scale. Science never laughs or cries, or whistles or sings, or falls in love, or sees aught but the coherent reality. It says ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... French Revolution were strong in his heart. He saw the evils of life and was intent on changing them. The Catholic faith is an elastic one, both esoteric and exoteric, and those who are able can take the poetic view of dogma instead of the literal, if they prefer. Henry George and his wife took the spiritual or symbolic view, and moved steadily forward in the middle of the road. He was too gentle and considerate to quote Voltaire and Rousseau at inopportune times, and she sustained and encouraged his mental independence. All of ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... which they were beset, they had spiritual troubles also. They fully believed in witchcraft as did all their contemporaries, in a personal devil who was busily plotting the ruin of their souls, in an everlasting hell of literal fire and brimstone, and in a Divine election, by which most of them had been irrevocably doomed from before the creation of the world to eternal perdition, from which nothing which they could do, or were willing to do, could help to rescue them. The ...
— The Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Settlement of the Town of New Milford, Conn. June 17th, 1907 • Daniel Davenport

... akin to his own imaginative mood, something which he alone could fully comprehend and interpret. From the superficial narratives of writers like Bandello he extracted a spiritual essence which was, if not the literal, at least the ideal, ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... of his magic pencil the Laureate has drawn a powerful picture of such a state of things in ancient Britain, of which we can scarcely deny the literal faithfulness. It is not a poetic conception; it ...
— The Man-Wolf and Other Tales • Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

... machines like our own. She uses mechanical principles everywhere, in inert matter and in living bodies, but she does not use them in the bald and literal way we do. We must divest her mechanisms of the rigidity and angularity that pertain to the works of our own hands. Her hooks and hinges and springs and sails and coils and aeroplanes, all involve mechanical contrivances, but how differently they impress us from ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... There were among the nobles who had taken the Cross not a few to whom the law seemed less rigid and perdition less sure, and Eleanor herself gave her sins gentle names; but the Englishman was old-fashioned, and even the good Abbot of Sheering had been struck by his literal way of accepting all beliefs, in the manner of a past time when the world had trembled at the near certainty of the Last Judgment, expiating its misdeeds by barefooted pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and its venial faults by ...
— Via Crucis • F. Marion Crawford

... the Merriams were Presbyterians, going to the Methodist church held a certain novelty—savouring of entertainment—and diversion from the same old congregation, the same old church choir, and the same old preacher. In literal truth, also, the new Methodist preacher was not old; he was quite young. Missy had already heard reports of him. Some of the Methodist girls declared that though ugly he was perfectly fascinating; and grandpa and grandma ...
— Missy • Dana Gatlin

... these solar myths. He caught tripping in a thousand cases the translations of our holy books. The Ox and Ass legend at the Nativity he realized was the Pseudo-Matthew's description to Habakkuk of the literal presence: "In the midst of two animals thou shalt be known;" which is a mistranslated Hebrew text in the Prayer ascribed to Habakkuk. It got into the Greek Septuagint version of the Prophet made by Egyptian Jews before 150 B.C. It should read, ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... bread and butter, flat buttered rusks liberally spread with 'muisjes' (sugared aniseed—the literal translation is 'mice'), together with tarts and sweets of all descriptions, are put out in endless profusion on all the best china the good wife possesses. For each of the guests two of these round ...
— Dutch Life in Town and Country • P. M. Hough

... in its turn on to a broad wooden verandah. The latter ran round three sides of the house, and in summer the delicate pink of Dorothy Perkins fought for supremacy with the deeper red of the Crimson Rambler, converting it into a literal bower ...
— The Hermit of Far End • Margaret Pedler

... that we are able to love God by our own natural strength, to love God above all things, at least to the extent that we deserve grace. And, say the scholastics, because God is not satisfied with a literal performance of the Law, but expects us to fulfill the Law according to the mind of the Lawgiver, therefore we must obtain from above a quality above nature, a quality which they ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... dinner, M. Gail rose, as if in a moment of inspiration, from his seat—and recited the Latin verses which are here enclosed.[162] They will at least make you admire the good humour of the poet. He afterwards chanted a song: his own literal version of the XIXth ode of Anacreon, beginning [Greek: He ge melaina pinei]. The guests declared that they had never sat so long at table, or were more happy. I proposed a stroll or a seat upon the lawn. Chairs and benches were at hand; and we requested that the coffee might ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... hung its murky vapors about her heart, curtaining it from the sunshine of God's smile. It was not difficult to trace her gradual progress if so she might term her unsatisfactory journey. Rejecting literal revelation, she was perplexed to draw the exact line of demarcation between myths and realities; then followed doubts as to the necessity, and finally as to the probability and possibility, of an external, verbal revelation. A revealed code or system was antagonistic ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... all brown like a leaf with Valley dust and sun and rain. The old cadet cap was older yet, the ancient boots as grotesquely large, the curious lift of his hand to Heaven no less curious than it had always been. He was as awkward, as hypochondriac, as literal, as strict as ever. Moreover, there should have hung about him the cloud of disfavour and hostility raised by that icy march to Romney less than three months ago. And yet—and yet! What had happened since then? Not much, indeed. The return of the Stonewall Brigade ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... fiddler at the concert of a master, Sylvia's failures had taught her the meaning of success. Although her inexperience kept her from making at all a close estimate of the literal cost of the toilet, her shrewdness made her divine the truth, which was that Mrs. Marshall-Smith, in spite of the plainness of her attire, could have clad herself in cloth-of-gold at a scarcely greater expenditure of the efforts and lives of others. Sylvia felt that her aunt ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... to those who should lay hands upon him had been falsified, but to the literal sense of David Gillespie he had not yet been sufficiently proved an impostor: till he should bring his daughter a strand of the hair which Dylks had proclaimed it death to touch, she would believe in him, and ...
— The Leatherwood God • William Dean Howells

... in the endeavour to make the translation a faithful reproduction of the meaning of the original, whilst literal accuracy has been aimed ...
— Discovery of Oxygen, Part 2 • Carl Wilhelm Scheele

... no painter who has so well succeeded in putting a wet sky into his pictures as Turner; and in this I judge him by the literal chiaroscuro of engraving. In proof of it, I take down from my shelf his "Rivers of France": a book over which I have spent a great many pleasant hours, and idle ones too,—if it be idle to travel leagues at the turning of a page, and to see hill-sides spotty with vineyards, and great ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... inner satisfaction. He was glad that he had come back to give Storch that "even break." It was something of an achievement to have compelled Storch's faith in so slight a thing as a literal honesty. ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... disciple has felt his particular applications of the method to be satisfactory. Many have let them drop entirely, treating them rather as a sort of provisional stop-gap, symbolic of what might some day prove possible of execution, but having no literal cogency or value now. Yet these very same disciples hold to the vision itself as a revelation that can never pass away. The case is curious and ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... balanced each other in number and statements, until the spirit of Naboth appeared and turned the scale against Ahab. The spirit of Naboth it had been, too, that had let astray the prophets of Ahab, making them all use the very same words in prophesying a victory at Ramothgilead. This literal unanimity aroused Jehoshaphat's suspicion, and caused him to ask for "a prophet of the Lord," for the rule is: "The same thought is revealed to many prophets, but no two prophets express it in the same words." (42) Jehoshaphat's mistrust ...
— THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS VOLUME IV BIBLE TIMES AND CHARACTERS - FROM THE EXODUS TO THE DEATH OF MOSES • BY LOUIS GINZBERG

... regards language, that had no historic relation to the Greek of the past or of the future. It was not, to any great extent, derived from the Greek translations of the Old Testament—often, as Dr. Blass says, slavishly literal—nor from the literary language of the time, but was the spoken Greek of the age to which it belonged, modified by the position and education of the speaker, and also to some extent, though by no means to any large extent, by the Semitic element which, ...
— Addresses on the Revised Version of Holy Scripture • C. J. Ellicott

... ruled,—as witness the verses of Hughes, [Footnote: See Corydon.] Collins, [Footnote: See Selim, or the Shepherd's Moral.] and Thomson,[Footnote: See Pastoral on the Death of Daemon.]—it is obvious that these gentlemen were in no literal sense expressing their views on the poet's habitat. It was hardly necessary for Thomas Hood to parody their efforts in his eclogues giving a broadly realistic turn to shepherds assuming the singing robes. [Footnote: See Huggins and Duggins, and The Forlorn Shepherd's ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... study of one thing you concentrate on that thing, you deliberately and carefully study everything in it, while in a sketch you work only for general effect. The study is the storehouse of facts to the painter. By it he assures himself of the literal truths he needs, collecting them as material in color or black and white, and as mental material by his mental understanding of them, only to be gained in ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... contrast of comedy and sentiment concerning the cemetery. His impression by the epitaphs Byron gave in more letters than one. Nor is there any affectation in his remarks about his own burial, about his children, or any other subject. They did "pickle him and bring him home" (a quotation, not quite literal, from Sheridan's Rivals), and his funeral procession through London is the theme of a memorable passage in Borrow's Lavengro. "Juan" is of course Don Juan. "Allegra," his daughter by Jane (or ...
— A Letter Book - Selected with an Introduction on the History and Art of Letter-Writing • George Saintsbury

... our approach to Plato's Dialogues is not a matter of indifference. They will mean more or less to us, according to our spiritual condition. Much more passed from Plato to his disciples than the literal meaning of his words. The place where he taught his listeners thrilled in the atmosphere of the Mysteries. His words awoke overtones in higher regions, which vibrated with them, but these overtones ...
— Christianity As A Mystical Fact - And The Mysteries of Antiquity • Rudolf Steiner

... qui servent de fondement la religion Chrtienne, Londres (Amsterdam), 1768. Translation of Anthony Collins, A Discourse on the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, London, 1724. Contains also The Scheme of literal Prophecy considered, 1727, also by Collins in answer to the works of Clarke, Sherlock, Chandler, Sykes, and especially to Whiston's Essay towards restoring the text of the Old Testament, one of the thirty-five works directed against ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... about between cold and anger, and slapping himself like a cabman, "he doesn't seem to have been very literal or truthful in this case, nor you either. Why the deuce, may I ask, have you brought us out ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... that apostolic ordinance, "the kiss of peace," down through the liturgical changes and revolutions of eighteen hundred years, can fail to be interested in finding in a single clause of one of the exhortations of our communion service that which corresponds to the literal kiss of primitive times, as well as to the petrified symbol of the original reality, the silver, ivory, or wooden "osculatory" of the mediaeval Church?[94] So with "Ash-Wednesday," a single syllable opens a whole chapter of Church ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... some McGuires, two Swansons, the Costeklo twins, and Montmorency Shannon," was the literal reply. ...
— The Campfire Girls of Roselawn - A Strange Message from the Air • Margaret Penrose

... I have here paraphrased, as any literal translation would have been hopelessly obscure to most modern readers. Campion could but hint darkly his comparison of the Elizabethan persecution to the Decian. The Latin runs: Etenim, ut nostrorum ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... Dorset. It has appeared in literature in our time in the most erratic and opposite shapes, set to almost inaudible music by Walter Pater and enunciated through a foghorn by Walt Whitman. But the great mass of men have always been unable to achieve this literal universality, because of the nature of their work in the world. Not, let it be noted, because of the existence of their work. Leonardo da Vinci must have worked pretty hard; on the other hand, many a government office clerk, village constable or elusive plumber may do (to all human ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... to the more genial business of defence. You attack my fight on board the COVENANT: I think it literal. David and Alan had every advantage on their side - position, arms, training, a good conscience; a handful of merchant sailors, not well led in the first attack, not led at all in the second, could only by an accident ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to one of the figures, a youth holding out a long bare arm, and remarked that I had never seen an arm of such length, my criticism brought out an unsuspected principle of art. "The Cubists would say that you were altogether too literal. They are making us all understand that what art ought to do is to express not what we merely see with our eyes, but what we feel. If by lengthening that arm, the painter gets an effect that he wants, he's justified in refusing to be bound by the mathematical ...
— The City of Domes • John D. Barry

... son [Greek: Deute paides,] etc., was written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionize Greece. This translation is as literal as the author could make it in verse. It is of the same measure as that of the original. [For the original, see Poetical Works, 1891, Appendix, p. 792. For Constantine Rhigas, see Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 199, note 2. Hobhouse (Travels in Albania, 1858, ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7) • Lord Byron

... this word with its literal translation, "tail-horn-hoofed Satan," and be shy of compound epithets, the components of which are indebted for their union exclusively to the printer's hyphen. Henry More, indeed, would have naturalized the word without hesitation, and 'cercoceronychous' would have shared ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... spread enough of skirt for a modern ballroom, with bowing, reclining, or musical swains of what everybody calls the "conventional" sort,—that is, the swain adapted to genteel society rather than to a literal sheep-compelling existence. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Peter Byrne had heard Harmony's story or knew her name, Rosa having called her "The Beautiful One" in her narrative, and the delicatessen-seller being literal in his repetition. ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... has failed to make his readers feel the charm he himself felt. Put into English, the Saga seems too Norse; and there is often a hitchiness in the verse that suggests translation with overmuch heed for literal closeness. It is possible to assume alien forms of verse, but hardly to enter into forms of thought alien both in time and in the ethics from which they are derived. "The Building of the Long Serpent" is not to be named with Mr. Longfellow's "Building of the Ship," which he ...
— The Function Of The Poet And Other Essays • James Russell Lowell

... have been announced at a more opportune time. For some years the scientific world had been agog over the question whether such a form of lightning as that reported—appearing in a clear sky, and hurling literal thunderbolts—had real existence. Such cases had been reported often enough, it is true. The "thunderbolts" themselves were exhibited as sacred relics before many an altar, and those who doubted their authenticity had been chided as having "an evil heart of unbelief." ...
— A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... epesi poieon}: "even in the verses which he composed," in which he might be expected as a poet to go somewhat beyond the literal truth.] ...
— The History Of Herodotus - Volume 1(of 2) • Herodotus

... magister aut dominus videretur esse judicum', Cic. de Orat.); and the loose and desultory style is an imitation of the 'accustomed manner' in which Socrates spoke in 'the agora and among the tables of the money-changers.' The allusion in the Crito may, perhaps, be adduced as a further evidence of the literal accuracy of some parts. But in the main it must be regarded as the ideal of Socrates, according to Plato's conception of him, appearing in the greatest and most public scene of his life, and in the height of his triumph, when he is weakest, and yet his mastery ...
— Apology - Also known as "The Death of Socrates" • Plato

... with feeling. Here, now, is an exquisite piece, which soothes one like the fall of evening shadows,—like the dewy coolness of twilight after a sultry day. I shall not give you a bald translation of my own, because I have laid up in my memory another, which, though not very literal, equals the original in beauty. Observe ...
— Hyperion • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... before the present truly glorious Reign, did Hibernia tune her old Harp, now newly strung to universal Harmony and Elegance, and rear her awful Head from the stupid dismal Dozes of Ages; where comes the literal Application ...
— An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland • Henry Brooke

... they are a stubborn lot. That the field seems barren, is nothing to them. They set up shop in a desert and carry on just the same. To them, poverty is an asset. Christ's admonition to the rich man, to give his substance away and follow Him, is a literal command to ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... to have been intended by the Writer as the dedication to some longer one. The stanza on the opposite page [1] is almost a literal translation from Dante's ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... everything from the Confessions of Saint Augustine to the newspapers. He wrote a "Book of the Sword," that is the standard book on that implement for the carving of the world. His translations of the "Arabian Nights" is a Titanic work, invaluable for its light upon Oriental folk lore, and literal to a degree that will keep it forever a sealed book to the Young Person. His translations of Camoens is said to be a wonderful rendition of the spirit of the Portuguese Homer. His Catullus is familiar to students, but not edifying. He wrote a curious volume on Falconry in ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... it may sound, it is the literal fact that young Scott Brenton was led into the ministry by the prayer of his widowed mother. Furthermore, the prayer was not made to him, but offered in secret and in all sincerity at the Throne ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... city a circular was sent around asking for subscriptions to a volume of Pekinese Folklore, published by Baron Vitali, Interpreter at the Italian legation, which, on examination, proved to be exactly what I wanted. He had collected about two hundred and fifty rhymes, had made a literal—not metrical—translation and had issued them in ...
— The Chinese Boy and Girl • Isaac Taylor Headland

... James I.'s reign it is supposed that the earliest needlework pictures appeared. They were obviously literal copies of the tapestries which had now become of general use in the homes of the wealthy, being worked in what is known as "petit point," or "little stitch." This stitch was worked on canvas of very close quality, with fine silk thread, ...
— Chats on Old Lace and Needlework • Emily Leigh Lowes

... most happy suggestion of Marsden's, in absence of all knowledge of the fact that the original narrative was French, that this Dor represented the Emperor of the Kin or Golden Dynasty, called by the Mongols Altun Khan, of which Roi D'Or is a literal translation. ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... method the grim, but very significant formula that is employed (I believe it is a literal fact) in the exercise yards of the American penitentiaries. "What have YOU brought?" asks the San Quentin or Sing Sing convict of the new arrival, meaning, "And how long is your sentence?" There is the same human touch about this, the ...
— The Hohenzollerns in America - With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and other impossibilities • Stephen Leacock

... such a man, she felt, the direct and obvious appeal of Rose Stribling would be victorious. He could discern pink and white and blue and gold; but the indeterminate shades, the subtleties and mysteries of charm were enigmatical to him. His emotions would be as literal as his convictions or his oratory. Yet there must be some faculty in him which did not appear on the surface, some primitive grasp of realities in his understanding of men. Why should the influence of this sanguine, loud-talking ...
— One Man in His Time • Ellen Glasgow

... language was yet in its infancy, visible symbols were the most vivid means of acting upon the minds of ignorant hearers. The next step was to pass to symbolical language and expressions; for a plain and literal exposition, even if understood at all, would at least have been listened to with indifference, as not corresponding with any mental demand. In such allegorizing way, then, the early priests set forth their ...
— The Symbolism of Freemasonry • Albert G. Mackey

... something which will pass as a settlement, either China's—and Siberia's—interests will be sacrificed in some unfair compromise, or irritation and friction will be increased—and in the end so will armaments. In any literal sense, it is ridiculous to suppose that the problems of the Pacific can be settled in a few weeks, or months—or years. Yet the discussion of the problems, in separation from the question of armament, may be of great ...
— China, Japan and the U.S.A. - Present-Day Conditions in the Far East and Their Bearing - on the Washington Conference • John Dewey

... that view. So far as Poetry attempts to improve on truth in that way, so far it abandons truth, and is false to itself. Even literal facts, exactly as they were, a great poet will prefer whenever he can get them. Shakespeare in the historical plays is studious, wherever possible, to give the very words which he finds to have been used; and it shows how wisely he was guided in this, that those magnificent ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... thoughtfulness. The town is old, and very mean, but has, I think, a market. In this house, the Welsh translation of the Old Testament was made. The Welsh singing Psalms were written by Archdeacon Price. They are not considered as elegant, but as very literal, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... choice. There is (barring a possible double meaning or two) nothing of the kind generally known as licentious; it is the merely foul and dirty language of common folk at all times, introduced, not with humorous extravagance in the Rabelaisian fashion, but with literal realism. If there had been a little less of this, the piece would have been much improved; but even as it is, it is a capital example of farce, just as Ralph Roister Doister is of a rather rudimentary kind ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... completely abandoned the letter of the last precept. No one except a Quaker refuses to take an oath. Every bishop on the bench has done so, and every incumbent of a living. Nowhere throughout the Sermon on the Mount have Christians felt themselves bound to a literal or legal interpretation of its teaching. No one wants a man to be tried for murder and hanged for hating his brother. No judge grants a divorce because a man or woman has "committed adultery in his heart." Christ Himself did not literally "turn the other cheek" when ...
— Sex And Common-Sense • A. Maude Royden

... service to them, and they were always particularly desirous of obtaining it for their younger children. They distinguished this kind of food by the name of kanibroot, and biscuit or soft bread by that of shegalak, the literal meaning of which terms we never could discover, but supposed them to have some reference ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... even in the lifetime of its founder the Franciscan fraternity crystallised under the insensible but enormous pressure of the world, the flesh and (doubtless) the devil. Saint Francis of Assisi, for instance, taught literal poverty—abstinence from money, goods and books. His Franciscans wouldn't have it. They asked for money and took it. Not always ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... the foot of the bed, gazing at the wall above his head. "I must earn our expenses until we're safe," said she, once more telling a literal truth that ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... on the bare, literal fact any more than they can live on bread alone; there is something in every man to feed besides his body. He has been told many times by men of great disinterestedness and ability that he must believe only ...
— Famous Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... as Lord Warwick or Raoul de Fulke. The great House of De la Pole (Duke of Suffolk), the heir of which married Edward's sister Elizabeth, had been founded by a merchant of Hull. Earls and archbishops scrupled not to derive revenues from what we should now esteem the literal resources of trade. [The Abbot of St. Alban's (temp. Henry III.) was a vendor of Yarmouth bloaters. The Cistercian Monks were wool-merchants; and Macpherson tells us of a couple of Iceland bishops who got a license from Henry VI. for smuggling. ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... but a composition by portions of that experience suggested. Thus while egotism was avoided, the fancy was exercised, and the heart satisfied. I translate as before, and my translation is nearly literal; it continued thus:— ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... the text in the Apocalypse (v. 12): "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." One may question, indeed, if figurative language of the kind in question can ever be successfully transferred to canvas; whether this literal lamb, on its red-damasked table, in the midst of these carefully marshalled squadrons of Apostles, Popes, and Princes, can ever quite escape a hint of something ludicrous. One may question all this, ...
— Beautiful Europe - Belgium • Joseph E. Morris

... by the late Bertholdy Seemann that the "language of Hoffmann and Heine" contained a literal and complete translation of The Nights; but personal enquiries at Leipzig and elsewhere convinced me that the work still remains to be done. The first attempt to improve upon Galland and to show the world what the work really is was made by Dr. Max Habicht and was printed at Breslau (1824-25), ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... avoiding a contract which have been dealt with thus far are conditions concerning the conduct of the parties outside of the itself. [327] Still confining myself to conditions arising by construction of law,—that is to say, not directly and in terms attached to a promise by the literal meaning of the words in which it is expressed,—I now come to those which concern facts to which the contract does in ...
— The Common Law • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

... the terrible wits of our age are said to borrow their weapons. The Ship in danger is easily understood to be its old antitype the commonwealth. But how to analyse the Tub was a matter of difficulty, when, after long inquiry and debate, the literal meaning was preserved, and it was decreed that, in order to prevent these Leviathans from tossing and sporting with the commonwealth, which of itself is too apt to fluctuate, they should be diverted from that game by "A Tale of a Tub." And my genius ...
— A Tale of a Tub • Jonathan Swift

... supreme sway, the race would be snuffed out in hopeless night. These men who come out effect their mission, not by making all men Come-Outers, but by imperceptibly changing the complexion of the mass. They are the true and literal saviors of mankind. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 2 of 14 - Little Journeys To the Homes of Famous Women • Elbert Hubbard

... and sniff gastronomic possibilities in the humblest materials. Joseph Bourgogne looked the cook. His phiz gave us faith in him; eyes small and discriminating; nose upturned, nostrils expanded and receptive; mouth saucy in the literal sense. His voice, moreover, was a cook's,—thick in articulation, dulcet in tone. He spoke as if he deemed that a throat was created for better uses than laboriously manufacturing words,—as if the object of a mouth were to receive ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various



Words linked to "Literal" :   literal error, figurative, error, literal interpretation, plain, unrhetorical, literalness, denotative, exact, explicit, mistake



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