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Mystification   Listen
noun
Mystification  n.  The act of mystifying, or the state of being mystied; also, something designed to, or that does, mystify. "The reply of Pope seems very much as though he had been playing off a mystification on his Grace."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Mystification" Quotes from Famous Books



... mighty stream, a violent thunderstorm broke over our heads with the suddenness characteristic of the country. We were wet to the skin before we could get at the rain-cloaks on which we were sitting, but our boatmen remained as dry as ever, to our mystification. In the middle of the storm, our unworthy vessel sprung a fresh leak, the water poured in, and we were forced to run aground on a sand-bank for repairs. These were speedily effected, with a wad of paper, by Piotr, who, with a towel cast about his head and ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... a minute or two, very still, and then bade the boy hold her pony; while without troubling herself about his mystification she got out of the chaise, and basket in hand, opened the wicket and softly went up the path. The neat little shoes and spotless white dress were close beside the poor creature grubbing there in the ground before she knew it, and there they stood still; Daisy ...
— Melbourne House, Volume 2 • Susan Warner

... no importance, Merriman was a little intrigued, and he looked more closely at the vehicle. As he did so his surprise grew and his trifling interest became mystification. The lorry was the same. At least there on the top was the casting, just as he had seen it. It was inconceivable that two similar lorries should have two identical castings arranged in the same way, and at the same time and place. And yet, ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... not yet reached with the folks in Happy Valley he began to realize the amazing good that St. Hilda was doing in the hills. What a place he was earning for himself he was yet to learn, but through some mystification an inkling came. To be sure, everybody spoke to him as though he were a fixture in the land. He could pass no door that somebody did not ask him to come in and rest a spell, or stay all night. He never went by the mill that Aunt Jane did not have a glass of buttermilk ...
— In Happy Valley • John Fox

... hour. Then an illustration may be even less clear than the argument to be illustrated. We have heard scientific illustrations of this character, from which the hearer derived a supplementary dose of mystification rather than an elucidation of the problem with which he was already manfully grappling. An illustration may be too pathetic, and people may weep from the wrong cause, an event which often occurs in church. It is one thing to shed tears over a touching story and another to shed them from ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... simply a piece of mystification; I am in a position to know that the whole book was composed and illustrated by Lord Derby himself. In fact, there is no such a person at ...
— Nonsense Books • Edward Lear

... from the Chickahominy, when senators and clergymen gathered with the slaves to raise the breastworks, and men turned blankly to ask one another "Where is the army?" With the girl the question meant only mystification; she felt none of the white terror that showed in the faces round her. There was in her heart an unquestioning, childlike trust in the God of battles—sooner or later he would declare for the Confederacy ...
— The Battle Ground • Ellen Glasgow

... spoken to him before yesterday, how I knew nothing of his business, and so forth. Of course I said nothing of his midnight walk or of having conversed with him at all after going to bed. The Count's mystification and annoyance were manifest, the more so when, after some time, the servants returned to say that the missing man could not be found. When he had heard their report, the Count ...
— The Bright Face of Danger • Robert Neilson Stephens

... needless mystery around it. In considering any matter in connexion with Borrow it is always necessary to take into account the secretiveness of his disposition, and also his passion for posing. He had a child’s fondness for the wonderful. It is through his own love of mystification that students like Dr. Knapp must needs pry into these matters—must needs ask why Borrow drew the veil over seven years—must needs ask whether during the “veiled period” he led a life of squalid misery, compared with which his sojourn with ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... head in mystification. "The sports of youth never interested me—indeed, I never ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... yet the different propositions that express it are one!" The unity of the propositions is that of the mind that harbors them. Any one who insists that their diversity is in any way itself their unity, can only do so because he loves obscurity and mystification for their ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... talking merely for the sake of mystification," said Brain. "If you have any practical advice to give you might as well make ...
— The Man Who Knew Too Much • G.K. Chesterton

... that Miss Ward was the most beautiful blonde girl he had ever seen. After an hour's chat in the actor's big, comfortable library Mr. Southard proposed that they call upon Mr. Forest that morning. Miss Pierson had written Miss Harlowe about the part, he declared, to the complete mystification of both Kathleen and Evelyn. He was glad Miss Ward had been able to come. He was sure she would be exactly suited to the part in "The Reckoning." Kathleen managed to shoot a warning glance at Evelyn not to betray herself. ...
— Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus • Jessie Graham Flower

... A good account of Holbach, though short and incidental, is to be found in M. Avzac-Lavigne's Diderot et la Socit du Baron d'Holbach (Paris, 1875, 8vo), and M. Armand Gast has a little book entitled Diderot et le cure de Montchauvet, une Mystification littraire chez le Baron d'Holbach (Paris, 1895, 16vo). There are several works which devote a chapter or section to Holbach. [3:4] The French critics and the histories of philosophy contain slight notices; Rosenkranz's "Diderot's Leben" devotes a chapter to Granval, Holbach's country seat, ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... see. And now let us make music," he added, his good humour restored by the Tenor's mystification. "If you will be so good as to accompany me with your piano, I will give you a treat. I brought my music the last time I was here;" and there it was, piled up, on a ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... been excitement at Gate City during a brief visit of the General and his aid inspecting the affairs of Major Burleigh, who, confined to his bed by nervous prostration, and forbidden by his doctor to see anybody, had nevertheless sent his keys and books and bank account, and to the mystification of the chief, more money was found in the big office safe at the depot quartermaster's than was necessary to cover his accountability. The General and his inspector were fairly puzzled. They personally questioned the bank cashier and the quartermaster's clerks. They ransacked that safe and pored ...
— A Wounded Name • Charles King

... half expecting the waiter to come back for the number again; but to his immense surprise and mystification, the fellow didn't. Instead of that, he returned some minutes later, all respectful attention, bringing the bill on a salver, duly headed and lettered, "Mr. Billington, number 40." In unspeakable trepidation, ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... furnished their own repast, laid it on the carved-oak chair, and laid on its lid the painted card; then for a moment they stood side by side, gazing round the room, seeing in imagination the scene which would follow the return of the family from church . . . the incredulity, the amaze, the blind mystification, the joy. . . . Peg beamed in anticipation of the delight of the youngsters; Margaret had the strangest, eeriest feeling of looking straight into a sweet, worn face; of feeling the clasp of work-worn ...
— The Empire Annual for Girls, 1911 • Various

... wanted assistance from Therese? No, that was improbable and furthermore, distasteful, so Melicent would not burden herself with the suspicion. It was far more agreeable to believe that affairs were shaping themselves according to her wishes regarding her brother and her friend. Yet her mystification was in no wise made clearer, when David left them to go ...
— At Fault • Kate Chopin

... inconsistency of arousing Arjuna to the mighty activities of the battle-field, and at the same time indoctrinating him in the spirit of a dead and nerveless asceticism, struggles hard with the awkward task of bridging the illogical chasm with three chapters of mystification. ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... society, though the adjective 'Free' should by rights attract the masses." On the second Sunday we reversed the order of things, and found the Established bonnet much finer than the Free bonnets, which was a source of mystification to us, until we discovered that it was a question of morning or evening service, not of the form of Presbyterianism. We think, on the whole, that, taking town and country congregations together, millinery has not flourished under Presbyterianism,—it seems to thrive better in the ...
— Penelope's Progress - Being Such Extracts from the Commonplace Book of Penelope Hamilton As Relate to Her Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... had announced one morning, to his mystification, "you're the Francis X. Bushman of the breakfast table. I believe you ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... even the most intelligent child finds, as a rule, very great difficulty. The use of letters is a mystery, which seems to have no purpose except mystification. It is almost impossible, at first, not to think that every letter stands for some particular number, if only the teacher would reveal what number it stands for. The fact is, that in algebra the mind is first taught to consider general ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... to me," I must add that in the many confidences William Sharp made to me on the matter, I was always aware of a reserve of fanciful mystification, and I am by no means sure, even now, that I, or any of us—with the possible exception of Mrs. Sharp—know the whole truth about "Fiona Macleod." Indeed it is clear from Mrs. Sharp's interesting revelations of her ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... describing a parabola, struck its subjective with fearful impact, Sir," replied the bad boy imperturbably, misquoting from his latest fiction (and calling it a "parry-bowler," to "Grandfather's" considerable and very natural mystification). ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... and he resolved that Mr. Billiter should not baulk him. Where is the actor who does not delight in stratagems and mysteries? Bless their honest hearts, they could not endure life without an occasional plot or mystification! Two months after Letty's incarceration, a decently-dressed man called at Mr. Billiter's with a parcel. The visitor was clad in tweed; his smart whiskers were dexterously trained and he looked like a natty draper's assistant. "These things were ordered by post, and ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... particularly the Scotchmen, the doctors, and the naturalists. Like Sir Walter, Cooper seems to have taken but little pains in the deliberate planning of his plots. Frequently he accepts a ready-made formula of villain and hero, predicament and escape, renewed crisis and rescue, mystification and explanation, worthy of a third-rate novelist. His salvation lies in his genius for action, the beauty and grandeur of his landscapes, the primitive veracity of his children of nature. Cooper was an elemental man, and he comprehended, by means of something deeper than mere artistic instinct, ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... been supposed that the elaborate paraphernalia of mystification which Butler used in The Fair Haven was deliberately designed in order to hoax the public. I do not believe that this was the case. Butler, I feel convinced, provided an ironical framework for his arguments merely that he might render them more effective than they had been when ...
— The Fair Haven • Samuel Butler

... spot in the hearer's brain. Still, she reflected, these sorts of skill are almost exclusively masculine; women neither practice them nor know how to value them; and one's husband's proficiency in this direction might legitimately increase one's respect for him, since mystification is no bad basis for respect. No one could doubt that William was a scholar. The reading ended with the finish of the Act; Katharine had prepared ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... now began to drift rather aimlessly, as without apparent purpose I continued to linger on an island that might well seem to have little attraction to a stranger—how little I could see by the mystification of the good Tom, in whom, for once, of course, I could not confide. Yet I had a vague purpose; or, at least, I had a feeling that, if I waited on, something would develop in the direction of my ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... to this worthy bookseller, so easy, so affable, so hale, Rodolphe scented some mystification, and preserved the watchful silence of a man who has ...
— Albert Savarus • Honore de Balzac

... also prone to a histrionic, prancing gait and to an elaborate exaggeration of the motions, whether of stealth or of onslaught, involved in their deeds of exploit. Similarly in athletic sports there is almost invariably present a good share of rant and swagger and ostensible mystification—features which mark the histrionic nature of these employments. In all this, of course, the reminder of boyish make-believe is plain enough. The slang of athletics, by the way, is in great part made up of extremely sanguinary locutions borrowed from the terminology of warfare. Except ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... which I thought very odd indeed. After several vain attempts to comprehend the motives of these two droll old creatures for inviting me to join them at their gouter, I at last fairly gave it up, and resigning myself to inevitable mystification, I sat and looked first at one, then at the other, taking care meantime to do justice to the confitures, cakes, and coffee, with which they amply supplied me. They, too, ate, and that with no delicate appetite, and having demolished a large portion of the solids, they proposed a "petit verre." ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... Far indeed went he in his bitter defiance of High God! His attendants looked on in frightened mystification at the changes now preparing in the inner of the two up-stairs rooms in which their master had been wont to work. Some simple carpentry; a large number of unusual articles commanded from Moscow: one, more expensive than all the others, brought in a coffin-like ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... in the same category. She WAS interesting, she was distinguished; at any rate he had accepted her: it came to the same thing. But he left the theatre that night without speaking to her— moved (a little even to his own mystification) by an odd procrastinating impulse. On the morrow he was to read his three acts to the company, and then he should have a good deal to say; what he felt for the moment was a vague indisposition to commit himself. Moreover he found a slight confusion of annoyance ...
— Nona Vincent • Henry James

... and providentially attended to by Reine Vincart, the return to the chateau in the vehicle belonging to La Thuiliere, the sending of the lilies, were all a source of great mystification to Manette. She suspected some amorous mystery in all these events, commented somewhat uncharitably on every minor detail, and took care to carry her comments all over the village. Very soon the entire parish, from the most insignificant woodchopper to the Abbe Pernot himself, ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... necessary to say how much the party with whom the two neophytes in fashion had come, enjoyed all this, though they concealed their amusement under the calm exterior of people of the world. From Mr. Effingham the mystification was carefully concealed by his cousin, as the former would have felt it due to Mrs. Houston, a well-meaning, but silly woman, to put an end to it. Eve and Grace laughed, as merry girls would be apt to laugh, at such an occurrence, and they danced the remainder of the evening with lighter hearts ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... name,' asked the earl, 'what means this mystification? Miss McCabe, Melissa, do not trifle with me. Is this part of the great American Joke? You are playing it pretty low down on me, Melissa!' he ended, the phrase being one of those with which ...
— The Disentanglers • Andrew Lang

... 'upsetting' then in vogue in the African universities, to which we all have reason enough to be thankful, seeing that it drove Saint Augustine from Carthage to Rome; and they, in compliance with the usual fashion of tormenting any simple creature who came in their way by mystification and insult, commenced a series of personal witticisms, which the beggar bore stoically enough. The coin was offered him, but he blandly put aside the hand of the giver, and keeping his place on the pavement, seemed inclined ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... plateau is a boundary-stone, and we pass anew into Spain,—stopping to cross and recross the frontier several times, with grave ceremony, and to the unconcealed mystification of the guide. The path slopes up again, passes a dejected little mountain tarn, and another half hour brings us to the final cone, the summit just overhead. The mists are still whirling down, but as often lift again; the Pic de la Pique has disappeared ...
— A Midsummer Drive Through The Pyrenees • Edwin Asa Dix

... Rube!" I said in an appealing tone. I feared that his secretive instincts would get the better of him, and he would delay giving his reasons, out of the pure love of mystification that was inherent in the old fellow's nature. I was too anxious to be patient; but my ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... tenderness. The burlesque tone, which in many languages may be tolerated, has been properly rejected by the French, for whenever it is not guided by judgment and taste, it sinks to disgusting vulgarity. Don Japhet represents in a still ruder manner the mystification of a coarse fool. The original belongs to the kind which the Spaniards call Comedias de Figuron: it also has undoubtedly been spoiled by Scarron, The worst of the matter is, that his exaggerations are trifling without ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... originals, and whether he made the copies, if copies they were, from the Library, which was, however, rigorously closed during the reign of Nicholas I., are literary secrets which it is impossible to fathom. So far as Diderot is concerned, some of the spirit of mystification that haunted literature in the eighteenth century still hovers about it in the nineteenth. This we shall presently find in a still more interesting monument of Diderot than even his ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... be the very essence of the conveyance of matter from mind to mind, as in words; from mind to eye, as by pencil, brush, or chisel; palpable or otherwise, the impression intended should be beyond doubt, and that this end may be secured, mystification by high flown figures of rhetoric, or false drawing, or sculpture out of line or proportion, must at the outset of all work, art work above all, be sternly trodden under foot, and the solid and truthful experience ...
— Violin Making - 'The Strad' Library, No. IX. • Walter H. Mayson

... ought not to be numerous," said Fritz; "I will, therefore, take Willis, in case this mystification has anything to do with ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... a term to the mystification that had gripped him as well as the others. He raised a hand to the dog's throat, to restrain the too eager demonstrations of affection. At the collar he felt something unaccustomed. He looked, idly enough, and saw that a leathern thong had been tied firmly in the ring. To the thong was attached ...
— Heart of the Blue Ridge • Waldron Baily

... be frank, I felt somewhat annoyed by your evident suspicions touching my sanity, and so resolved to punish you quietly, in my own way, by a little bit of sober mystification. For this reason I swung the beetle, and for this reason I let it fall it from the tree. An observation of yours about its great weight ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... appearance if each feigned ignorance of the other's engagement; and it was equally desirable that all the marriages should take place on the same day, to prevent the discovery of one clandestine alliance, operating prejudicially on the others. Hence, the mystification of Mr. Calton and Mr. Septimus Hicks, and the pre-engagement of the ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... The mystification practised by authors who have passed off as their own work the compositions of others is familiar to all literary students. SHAKSPEARE'S assumption of borrowed plumes is of course the classic example. But another and more ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Nov. 14, 1917 • Various

... began to perceive something else, which added the last half-witted touch to my mystification. The Rev. Ellis Shorter, of Chuntsey, in Essex, was by no means behaving as I had previously noticed him to behave, or as, considering his age and station, I should have expected him to behave. His power of dodging, leaping, and fighting ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... to the Duke and Capraja, not wishing to be the victims of mystification. Only Vendramin and the French doctor listened to them for a few minutes. The opium-smoker understood these poetic flights; he had the key of the palace where those two sensuous imaginations were wandering. The doctor, too, ...
— Massimilla Doni • Honore de Balzac

... an arm round her as if to take her to her room, fixed on him eyes that appealingly contradicted her; in spite of which, however, he showed once more his mystification. ...
— The Beast in the Jungle • Henry James

... and its corroboration in the finding of the rope. As he continued he felt sure that the story was gripping his companion more and more closely. At last she stopped dead and turned to him with eyes which had in them intense mystification ...
— The Hunt Ball Mystery • Magnay, William

... head some well-applied blows against the curb-stone, and then, pushing through the crowd, carries him off bodily. As for me, my curiosity unsatisfied, I grow resigned—may the will of the Commune be done—and I give it up. More hopeless mystification from the Citizen Beslay, who regrets not having been chosen to aid in this "heroic act." He also alludes to the drawing of lots, and I begin after all to fancy poor M. Thiers must be at the bottom of it all, but he continues: —"Citizens, what can I say after the eloquent ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... which they would be the most admired or the least esteemed; they delight in hiding themselves behind a cunning interrogatory smile of imperceptible mockery. Having on every occasion a taste for the pleasure of mystification, from the most witty and droll to the most bitter and lugubrious kinds, one would say that they see in this mocking deceit a form of disdain for the superiority which they inwardly adjudge to themselves, but which they veil with the care and cunning ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... humourists, that meaning not being always expected of them, it is not always sought by their readers with sufficient care. Anyhow, it may be suspected that this retort of Tristram's is too often passed over as a mere random absurdity designed for his interlocutor's mystification, and that its extremely felicitous pertinence to the question in dispute is thus overlooked. The point of it, of course, is that the business in which the commissary was then engaged was precisely analogous to that of exacting salt dues ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... the outcome of this, her first step in the meadows of meditation, which she took without help and without intention, and in which she has become so versed, to the mystification of those about her, who look upon woman as a bearer of children, a plaything for sunny hours, useful in time of rain, endowed with the brain of a pea-hen, and as much soul as the priests see fit to ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... words on party politics, factions, religious schisms, current controversy of creeds, policy of clans or state clipper cliques, I have nothing to do; but when the eternal principles of truth are falsified, and light is turned into darkness by mystification of language or a false delineation of facts, so that the just indignation of the true, virtuous, upright citizens of the commonwealth is aroused into vigilance for the dear-bought liberties of themselves ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... in adding to the mystification, to the disquietude he betrayed by fidgeting more ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... evening paper in question lying on the writing-table, a little crumpled from use, but with a certain "displayed-headed" article of three columns length in full view, he turned round and stared at Cleek with an air of awe and mystification. "My dear fellow, you must be under the guardianship of some uncanny familiar. You surely must, Cleek!" he went on. "Do you mean to tell me that is what kept you at home? That you have been reading about the preparations for the forthcoming coronation of ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... the colonel, without waiting to question further, and as the trumpet gave out the "Forward—gallop!" the Hussar troop went sweeping through the gate, leaving the guard-sergeant and his men in a state of great mystification and no little chagrin; he, their chief spokesman, saying ...
— The Free Lances - A Romance of the Mexican Valley • Mayne Reid

... around to a discussion of sleight-of-hand, and two minutes later the Wonder Worker was dragging the coal shovel and the vinegar cruet out of the Mayor's inside pockets, to the intense mystification and delight of ...
— You Can Search Me • Hugh McHugh

... Nelson, and his character as involved in this matter, the fact is beyond dispute that he believed himself the father, and Lady Hamilton the mother, of the girl, whose origin he sought to conceal by an elaborate though clumsy system of mystification. This might possibly have left the subject covered with clouds, though not greatly in doubt, had not Lady Hamilton, after wildly unnecessary lying on her own part, recklessly preserved her holdings ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... for Le Gardeur was the only key which ever unlocked her real feelings. When the fox praised the raven's voice and prevailed on her to sing, he did not more surely make her drop the envied morsel out of her mouth than did Angelique drop the mystification she had worn ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... course under mystification, Anne was silent. Some men had that irritating way with women; Walter's smile suggested that he might have it. She was not going to minister to his male delight. Unfortunately her silence seemed ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... mystification for the lady of honor, who told Boehmer to instantly go and see his official superior, the chief of the king's household. She herself being very soon afterwards summoned to the Queen's presence, the affair came up, and she told the Queen all she knew about it. Marie Antoinette ...
— The Humbugs of the World • P. T. Barnum

... mystified than ever; but his mystification was as nothing compared to his anxiety when, on reaching Forty-second Street, Miss Hollister rose, and sweeping by him without a sign of recognition, ...
— The Water Ghost and Others • John Kendrick Bangs

... difficult. The girls sat puzzling over them, and writing the answers when they got inspiration. Irene scribbled away delightedly, but Lorna, who had almost forgotten the nursery rhymes of her childhood, was in much mystification, and only filled in a few of the vacant spaces. Numbers 6, 7, 13 and 14 proved the most baffling and no one was able ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... near, and into this he tossed something as valueless. One of the letters evidently caused him considerable annoyance, for, removing his hat, he passed his hand slowly over his bald head as he sat staring at it in mystification. Then he rang the bell, and ordered something from a waiter. A liqueur of brandy was brought, and, tossing it off at a gulp, he rose, wrote a telegram at the table near ...
— Hushed Up - A Mystery of London • William Le Queux

... ferreting out of a mysterious crime. After the publication of the Gold Bug he received from all parts of the country specimens of cipher-writing, which he delighted to work out. Others of his tales were clever pieces of mystification, like Hans Pfaall, the story of a journey to the moon, or experiments at giving verisimilitude to wild improbabilities by the skillful introduction of scientific details, as in the Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar and Von ...
— Initial Studies in American Letters • Henry A. Beers

... preceding, a stout little woman, of robust health; a friend of Madame Margaritis; she gladly contributed her share to the mystification of Gaudissart as conceived by her husband. [Gaudissart ...
— Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z • Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe

... assumed from all this mystification that men are beings clear as daylight, both to themselves and to women. Poor, simple, manageable souls, their wants are easily satisfied, their psychology—which, it is implied, differs little from their physiology—long since ...
— Prose Fancies (Second Series) • Richard Le Gallienne

... A venial wickedness, a self-complacent malice, is an enjoyment for those who have neither resources in themselves nor a wholesome external activity. No age is quite exempt from such pruriences. We had often tricked each other in our childish years: many sports turn upon mystification and trick. The present jest did not seem to me to go farther: I gave my consent. They imparted to me many particulars which the letter ought to contain, and we ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... unwarned by the discomfitures of the morning, he propounded some questions which his companions could not answer; among which was, "Why are there black sheep?" How he would have solved this difficult problem in natural history, I do not know. Mystification sat on all faces, when the individual who had before attacked Mr. Latham's misstatements, took up the defence of the puzzled colonists by volunteering to answer the question if he would explain ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... along the Riverside Road, partly suspecting Trefusis of some mystification, but inclining to believe in him, and, in any case, to take his advice as to Gertrude. The conversation he had overheard in the avenue still perplexed him. He could not reconcile it with Trefusis's ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... me any idea how much longer those rare dainties may take in preparing, and in the meantime enable me to support the pangs of starvation by procuring me the favour of a penny roll, if I am not trespassing too much upon your good-nature? [The Waiter, in a state of extreme mystification and alarm, departs to ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101. July 4, 1891 • Various

... every one, appointed Margaret of Parma to be Regent, with the Bishop for her prime minister—had as little reason to be satisfied with the combinations of royal and ecclesiastical intrigue as the Prince of Orange himself. Soon after this unsatisfactory mystification, William turned his attentions to Germany. Anna of Saxony, daughter of the celebrated Elector Maurice, lived at the court of her uncle, the Elector Augustus. A musket-ball, perhaps a traitorous one, in an obscure ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... and yet regard him as in many things mistaken and wrong-headed was strictly incomprehensible to him, and from this angle the curious relations which existed between him and Dr Richard Garnett of the British Museum are of uncommon interest. They afford a strange example of mutual mystification. ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... cellars in which the peasants had been shut had openings to the outer air, and through them came shouts and cries which added to the mystification of the besiegers and increased their prudence. The walls of the chateau were massive, the floors thick, the wine cellar far away, and no sound came from them to the inmates of the great hall. Indeed, in the exciting adventure that had ...
— The Eagle of the Empire - A Story of Waterloo • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... leisurely alighted and shuffled through the trees until he stood before Diane with a square of birch bark in his hand. Greatly astonished—for this negro was apparently too lazy to talk when he deemed it unnecessary—Diane took the birch bark and inspected it in mystification. A most amazing message ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... There is a deeper mystification still in this passage, where a writer is said to "plant himself in the very heart of the subject." The general tenor of M. Bergson's philosophy warrants us in taking this quite literally to mean that the field from which inspiration draws its materials is not the man's present ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... in respect to Susie absent from the chain of association. She knew so herself what she thought of Susie that she would have expected the lady of Lancaster Gate to think something quite different; the failure of which endlessly mystified her. But her mystification was the cause for her of another fine impression, inasmuch as when she went so far as to observe to Kate that Susan Shepherd—and especially Susan Shepherd emerging so uninvited from an irrelevant past—ought, by all the proprieties, ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 • Henry James

... extreme mystification (and joy), I came across a bear and its cub lying dead at the foot of a hummock. I could not believe my eyes. There she lay on her right side, a spot of dirty-white in a disordered patch of snow, with one little eye open, and her fierce-looking mouth also; and the cub lay across ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... be foremost in the eyes of serious people. In truth the men who have done most for the world have taken very little heed of influence. They have sought light, and left their influence to fare as it might list. Can we not imagine the mingled mystification and disdain with which a Spinosa or a Descartes, a Luther or a Pascal, would have listened to an exhortation in our persuasive modern manner on the niceties of the politic and the social obligation of pious fraud? It is not given to many to perform ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... explanation. Disraeli, in a speech which Bright called "a mixture of pompousness and servility," described his audiences of the Queen, and so handled the Royal name as to convey the impression that Her Majesty was on his side. Divested of verbiage and mystification, his statement amounted to this—that, in spite of adverse votes, he intended to hold on till the autumn, and then to appeal to the new electorate created by the Reform Act of the previous year. As the one question to be submitted to the electors was that of the Irish Church, the campaign ...
— Prime Ministers and Some Others - A Book of Reminiscences • George W. E. Russell

... extraordinary one; but if, after thus surprising them, I went on to explain that by the Atlantic I did not mean the ocean, nor by America the western continent, but that the Atlantic meant the village green, and America the squire's house on the other side of it, I should justly gain credit for a very silly mystification. As Nicholas Nickleby very justly remarked, If Dotheboy's Hall is not a hall, why call it one? Mr. Squeers, in his reply, no doubt stated the law of the case: If a man chooses to call his house an island, what is to hinder him? If the author of Man and his Dwelling-Place means ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... accordingly, washed and shaved, and, putting on his dazzling robe of cloth-of-gold thickly sewn with gems, he joined Fakrash—who, by the way, was similarly, if less gorgeously, arrayed—in the sitting-room, in a state of some mystification. ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... observer with adequate experience will lay down an unalterable rule. Habit no doubt counts for a great deal, but apart from habit there are differences of temperament and peculiar sensibilities. Some men write best when they sign what they write; they find impersonality a mystification and an incumbrance; anonymity makes them stiff, pompous, and over-magisterial. With others, however, the effect is just the reverse. If they sign, they become self-conscious, stilted, and even pretentious; it is only when they are anonymous that they recover simplicity ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... "X" may happen to be we have not the remotest idea. But who would not forgive a little mystification for so brilliant a pun?—THE ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 1, July 17, 1841 • Various

... something. They never left Italy at all, it seems. I am rather mystified, and I hate mystification. The old man is a fool; all old men are fools, excepting myself. Will you smoke? No? Allow me, then. It is a modern invention, but a very good one." He lit a cigarette. "I wish your Liras were in Tophet," he continued, ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... sprang to his feet. Queen of Heaven! the girl was real. She had stepped from the page of an old romance into life and laughter, wearing for the mystification of chance beholders, an old-time gown of gold brocade! The mystery of her gown, the river setting, the laughing sweetness of her face, rooted him to the spot in wonder and delight. He knew every subtlety of her ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... new variety in her eyes, and entertained her greatly. Where the bounds of banter ended, was not easy to define, but whenever he tried a little mystification, she either entered merrily into the humour, or threw it over with keen wit that he kept constantly on the stretch. They were always discovering odd, unexpected bits of knowledge in each other, and a great ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... singularly perverse and mischievous. His confidence in his own powers led him to contemn the powers of other people. He enjoyed nothing so much as mystifying those who were engaged in the same pursuits as himself, and his favourite method of mystification was to announce anonymously the discovery of documents which owed all their existence to his own ingenuity. This, he admitted, was his notion of "fun." Whenever the whim seized him, he would in gravest manner reveal to the Press, or even contrive to bring to the notice of a learned society, ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... If the laws which regulate psychic development and the progress of civilization were understood by popular writers on Japan, and if the recent progress of Japan had been stated in the terms of these laws, there would not have been so much mystification in the West in regard to this matter as there evidently has been. Japan would not have appeared to have "jumped out of her skin," or suddenly to have escaped from the heredity of her past millenniums of development. This wide misunderstanding of Japan, then, is not simply due to the fact ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... VII. is roughly but satisfactorily drafted: a very little work should put that to rights. But Chapter VI. is no joke; it is a MARE MAGNUM: I swim and drown and come up again; and it is all broken ends and mystification: moreover, I perceive I am in want of more matter. I must have, first of all, a little letter from Mr. Ewing about the phonograph work: IF you think he would understand it is quite a matter of chance whether I use a word or a fact out of it. If you think he would not: I will go without. Also, ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... seemingly faithless Bellamant has, in reality, abandoned her on the day set for their marriage because he was unwilling to have her share in the loss of his fortune. She, meanwhile, has inherited a convenient sum, redeems him from his creditors, and after practicing a little mystification to test his constancy, leads him to the altar. Few of Mrs. Haywood's novels are more entirely moral or ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... mirth-satyrs and follies, clowns and devils wheeled wildly by, waving torches, clashing cymbals, or screaming at the top of their voices, while sedater spirits, masked and muffled in mantles of sombre hue, moved through the tumultuous throng and found their abated pleasure in mystification and intrigues. ...
— If I Were King • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... she's really better—!" But he checked himself, wanting only to be easy about it and above all not to appear engaged to the point of mystification. "We shall miss her the more ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... amusement; confusion, mystification, bewilderment; tumult, commotion, hurly-burly; ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... impression of my being "myself;" and informed me that all Strasbourg would be delighted to see me, which latter piece of news was only the more flattering, that I knew no one there, nor had ever been in that city in my life; and after about an hour's mystification as to my tastes, habits, and pursuits, he fell fast asleep, leaving me to solve the difficult problem as to whether I was not somebody else, or the only alternative—whether travelling en courier might not be prescribed by physicians as a ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... of speech and in the English by a confusion of thought. For the Irish bull is a license with the symbol of language. But Bull's own bull, the English bull, is "a dumb ox of thought"; a standing mystification in the mind. There is something double in the thoughts as of the soul mirrored in many waters. Of all peoples they are least attached to the purely classical; the imperial plainness which the French do finely and the Germans coarsely, but the Britons hardly at all. They ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... one had been issued to him. No French ships were fitted out to aid him, or despatched to the coast of Guiana. Nothing, it may confidently be asserted, was ever farther from his thoughts than the surrender of territory he might appropriate to any foreign Crown. All simply was a game of mystification devised for one purpose by Winwood, and, for a different purpose, joined in by James and the rest. The Spanish faction wished to give Spain cause to fancy its foe was being unchained to do his worst against it at his own discretion, and by any agency ...
— Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography • William Stebbing

... stands next to a southerly one, for a hunting morning. This is all simple enough, and needs not the mystification with which it has been surrounded. A valuable account of this may be found in Johnson's Shooting Companion, a work that is ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... scientific man simply confessed that he was baffled by this problem of the grasshopper's back legs. Yet, as I have said, if a public speaker may fidget with his back legs while he is stridulating, why not a public grasshopper? The more I see of science the more it strikes me as one large mystification. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 21, 1920 • Various

... and Mrs. Winters, too, though unpretending, were persons of refinement and intelligence. He was puzzled to understand how a young girl, reared in so much seclusion, should possess such grace and culture as did Edna. After tea, when she played and sang, his mystification increased, for the bird-like voice and delicate touch were superior to much that he heard among his city friends. It came out in the course of conversation, however, that Edna had spent the last six years in one of the finest schools in Boston—an inmate of her aunt's family; and ...
— Divers Women • Pansy and Mrs. C.M. Livingston

... and the Squire were dumfounded. Their mystification culminated in one grand chorus of amazement when, on Friday, the Squire came to the hotel hugging under his arm ...
— The Tangled Threads • Eleanor H. Porter

... there is emotion and surprise, and on the author's a sort of pleasant slyness which seems to delight in playing tricks upon you, only tricks of the most dainty and brilliant kind. Juste Olivier has the passion we might imagine a fairy to have for delicate mystification. He hides his gifts. He promises nothing and gives a great deal. His generosity, which is prodigal, has a surly air; his simplicity is really subtlety; his malice pure tenderness; and his whole talent is, as it were, the fine flower ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... great deal of mystification abroad, and nobody felt at ease. Still, the ebullitions of terror that had accompanied the earlier caprices of the elements were not renewed. People were ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... interesting symptom that the State Church seems more and more anxious to repudiate all complicity with the principles of the Protestant Reformation and to call itself "Anglo-Catholic." Inspiration, deprived of its old intelligible sense, is watered down into a mystification. The Scriptures are, indeed, inspired; but they contain a wholly undefined and indefinable "human element"; and this unfortunate intruder is converted into a sort of biblical whipping-boy. Whatsoever scientific investigation, historical or physical, ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... the following phenomena had occurred. Bishop Butler had insisted on spelling his name, "Bubler," for which offence against orthography and good manners he had been dismissed as out of temper. John Milton (suspected of wilful mystification) had repudiated the authorship of Paradise Lost, and had introduced, as joint authors of that poem, two Unknown gentlemen, respectively named Grungers and Scadgingtone. And Prince Arthur, nephew of King John of England, had described himself as ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... suddenness of it. I think I remember telling you the last time we met'-he turned to Trent—'that Manderson shared the national fondness for doings things in a story-book style. Other things being equal, he delighted in a bit of mystification and melodrama, and I told myself that this was Manderson all over. I hurried downstairs with my bag and rejoined him in the library. He handed me a stout leather letter-case, about eight inches by six, fastened with a strap with a lock on it. I could just squeeze it into my side-pocket. Then ...
— Trent's Last Case - The Woman in Black • E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley

... was a way with Miss Carmichael to play with the pupil's mystification. "'Be a kitten and cry mew,'" said she, her eyes snapping with the humour of it. "Why mew and not baa? Why does the family of ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... "Oh—yes," he answered. Advancing, he caught her suddenly, almost vehemently, in his arms, aud covered the face that was perforce upturned with kisses. When she was released from this overwhelming embrace, and stood panting and flushed, regarding him with narrowed, intent eyes, in which mystification was mellowed by the gleam of not-displeased curiosity, he preferred a request ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... the liberties or to protect the interests of the people. We long ago got at the truth about the great English rebellion. 'Pride's Purge,' the 'elective kingship without a veto of the 'New Model,' and the merciless mystification of Bradshaw, tell their own story. Steering to avoid the Scylla of Strafford, the luckless Parliamentarians ran the ship of State full into the ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... New York and Canada; a reputation that was certainly more limited in its territorial and numerical extent, than those which are possessed in civilized life, but which was compensated for what it wanted in these particulars, perhaps, by its greater justice, and the total absence of mystification and management. ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... to continue the mystification, "you are unjustly severe in your animadversions on poor Monsieur ——. Does he not prove himself a true philanthropist in devoting the time to the affairs of others that might be usefully occupied in attending to ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... shameless senses rebelled at the contact of religious ideas. He floated like wreckage between Licentiousness and the Church, they each threw him back in turn, obliging him as he approached one to return at once to that which he had left, and he was inclined to ask if he were not a victim to some mystification of his lower instincts, seeking to revive themselves, without his consciousness, by the cordial ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... their images at certain angles, and had got the habit of very often looking at the reflecting surface of one or the other of the glasses, when he seemed to be looking through them. It put a singular power into his possession, which might possibly hereafter lead to something more significant than the mystification of the Widow Hopkins. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... high-handed, secret way the Admiral told them nothing; he even took away from the other captains all the charts that they had made of this coast, so that no one but himself would be able to find the way back to it; and he took a kind of pleasure in the complete mystification thus produced on his fellow-voyagers. "None of them could explain whither I went nor whence I came; they did not know the way to return thither," he writes, ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... but always with the same result. I was killed instantly and completely. People got sick of putting me out of my misery after a while and I was allowed to wander around at large in a state of great mystification and excitement, shooting my blank bullets into the face of nature in an aimless sort of manner whenever the battle began to pall ...
— Biltmore Oswald - The Diary of a Hapless Recruit • J. Thorne Smith, Jr.

... eyes; one said, Is this a joke, and, if so, where is the point of it? And then, as if not content with so much mystification, Mr. Whistler assured his ten o'clock audience that there was no such thing as nationality in art, and that you might as well speak of English mathematics as of English art. We do not stop to inquire if such answers contain one grain of truth; ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... these detectives would do—what move his employers at Chicago would make—then he would slip away—down to New York, where it was easy to hide. He knew enough about that city to know that its mysteries and possibilities of mystification were infinite. ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... Diamond to Miss Rachel was said, as usual, by way of a mystification or joke. He gravely entreated her (in the interests of science) to let him take it home and burn it. "We will first heat it, Miss Rachel," says the doctor, "to such and such a degree; then we will expose it to a current of air; and, little by little—puff!—we ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... Of course, I may be wrong in the motives which I ascribe to this Whitehall agent, but misunderstanding is certain to arise out of a system of such deliberate mystification, which can only be compared to that employed by the Russian ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... Hamilton, which I shall quote later on. To say that Sir William Hamilton, a man of the world with vast experience of human deceptions and intrigues, could have been put off the scent, in view of all the circumstances, is too great a tax on credulity, but it is wholly characteristic of Nelson's ideas of mystification. But even if there were any further proof needed, Lady Hamilton has settled the matter by preserving the correspondence Nelson urged her to destroy. This will be ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... private bulletin. Her first fears of peril had died away, but her sense of mystification had increased and was more deeply touched with awe. She opened certain windows every night and felt that she was living in the world of supernatural things. Robin's eyes sometimes gave her a ghost of a shock ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... his sympathetic audience. "About five-thirty I happened to be in the club. Medford was there, and as usual catering to Jackson, when the latter was called to the 'phone. Naturally, I put two and two together." He paused to more thoroughly enjoy the look of utter mystification that hovered on the girl's countenance. It was very apparent that this method of deduction through addition was unsatisfying. "What Jackson said to Medford, on his return," the young man continued, "I did not hear; but from the expression on the listener's face I could ...
— Jane Cable • George Barr McCutcheon

... countess, retreating into her bedroom. "Can it be that I am the victim of some noble mystification?" she asked herself. The thought had hardly crossed her mind when Constantin brought her the following letter written by Thaddeus ...
— Paz - (La Fausse Maitresse) • Honore de Balzac

... was just as well he did so; the evidence is too clear for doubt or mystification; he knew he had no chance, and has taken the seemliest course; and, doubtless, the best for ...
— The Evil Guest • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... of Lamb's, gotten up by him to puzzle his young correspondent, the conveyancer. The coolness referred to between himself and Robinson and Talfourd, Procter said, was also a fiction invented by Lamb to carry out his legal mystification." ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... Certainly, Shelley loved mystification scarcely less than he loved truth itself. He was a romanticist as well as a philosopher, and the reading in his childhood of novels like Zofloya the Moor—a work as wild, apparently, as anything Cyril Tourneur ever wrote—excited ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... state of utter mystification, (a very disagreeable state, by-the-bye,) I hold it advisable to lay my unhappy case, in strict confidence, in the lowest possible whisper, and quite in a corner, before my kind friend, patron, ...
— The London Visitor • Mary Russell Mitford

... with the terminology and intricacies of legal lore, came forward and gravely explained that the law said so and so and was such and such and that the law was incontestible in support of Astor's claim. The hard-working farmers listened with mystification and consternation. They could not make out how land which they or their fathers had paid for, and which they had tilled and improved, could belong to an absentee who had never turned a spade on it, had never seen it, all simply because he had the advantage of a legal technicality and ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... he inquired, looking about in mystification, wondering if something had happened in the ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... chance to fall in with one of those simple-minded individuals, whose countenances invite mystification, he would steal from him during his sleep his coat and pantaloons, whose dimensions with needle and thread he would contrive greatly to diminish. He would then awaken his victim, begging him to dress ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... found poor old Roberts here, looking out for a cook that he'd never seen before, and expecting to recognize a woman that he'd never met in his life." He explodes in another fit of laughter. The ladies stare at him in mystification. ...
— The Albany Depot - A Farce • W. D. Howells

... was a real Colonel Clay, in the Indian Army. I also found out he chanced to be coming home on leave this season. I might have made more out of him, no doubt; but I disliked annoying him, and preferred to give myself the fun of this peculiar mystification. I therefore waited for him to reach Paris, where the police arrangements suited me better than in London. While I was looking about, and delaying operations for his return, I happened to hear you wanted a detective. So I offered myself as out of work to my old employer, ...
— An African Millionaire - Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay • Grant Allen

... of suffering. He simply sank back into himself, and became the man he had been before, plus his experience of feeling, and minus the ingenuousness of his self-knowledge. He took instead to self-mystification, trying to persuade himself that because he could not have Alison, Alison was not worth having. After that, it was but a step to palming off on his reason the monstrous syllogism that because Alison was unworthy, and Alison was a woman, therefore all women were unworthy. ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... over toward her, so as to look into the face she instinctively averted, while she could not help glancing at him from the corner of her eye. "You have the color and the light of the South," he said. "When you get to Italy, you will live in a perpetual mystification. You will go about in a dream of some self of yours that was native there in other days. You will find yourself retrospectively related to the olive faces and the dark eyes you meet; you will recognize sisters and cousins in the patrician ladies when you see their portraits ...
— The Lady of the Aroostook • W. D. Howells

... and listened to all this in a state of the completest mystification. Not having heard Barnworth's opening statement, he had no glimmer of a suspicion that the cause celebre occupying the attention of this august assembly was anything but a pleasant fiction from beginning to end, and he had been wondering to himself whether such ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... very easily by a little painstaking practice, and much amusement may be had through the mystification of those who do not understand it. A "wigwag" flag may be easily made by sewing a white square of muslin in the centre ...
— A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee" • Russell Doubleday

... sort of lingo, compounded of bad French, grafted upon worse Latin, forming a mongrel and incomprehensible race of words, with French heads and Latin tails, which answered the purpose intended—that of mystification.—Flotsam and jetsam are of this breed. Flot, derived from the French flottant, floating; and jet, from the verb jeter, to throw up; both used in seignoral rights, granted by kings to favourites, empowering them to take ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... ethical and physical ideas, such application of moral conceptions to material phenomena, was characteristic of the alchemical method of regarding nature. The necessary results were; great confusion of thought, much mystification of ideas, and a superabundance ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... no pretense to be exact studies of nature, cannot fairly be censured on this head. Like fairy tales they have a place of their own in art. One of the prettiest of these is Les Dames Vertes, in which the fable seems to lead us over the borders of the supernatural; but the secret of the mystification, well kept till the last, is itself so pleasing and original that the reader has no disappointing sense as of having had a ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... window, I arise, and take up my journey toward Philippopolis, the city I had intended reaching yesterday. It is after crossing the Kodja Balkans and descending into the Maritza Valley that one finds among the people a peculiarity that, until a person becomes used to it, causes no little mystification and many ludicrous mistakes. A shake of the head, which with us means a negative answer, means exactly the reverse with the people of the Maritza Valley; and it puzzled me not a little more than once yesterday afternoon when inquiring whether I was on the right road, ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... the edition (1803) of Chatterton's Works by R. Southey and J. Cottle, published for the benefit of the poet's sister. The neglected condition of the study of earlier English in the 18th century alone accounts for the temporary success of Chatterton's mystification. It has long been agreed that Chatterton was solely responsible for the Rowley Poems, but the language and style are analysed in confirmation of this view by Prof. W.W. Skeat in an introductory essay prefaced to vol. ii. of The Poetical Works of ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1 - "Chtelet" to "Chicago" • Various

... winked at Trego, to the further mystification of the pseudo-missionary, who took the seat beside me. Captain Riggs took the head of the table, so that he was between Trego ...
— The Devil's Admiral • Frederick Ferdinand Moore

... a window, unglazed and wooden barred. A fat brown olla, dripping moisture, almost filled the deep window sill, but the interior was all in shadow. Its one door was closed. The Vijil family was scattered around in the open, most of them under the ramada, and after a frowning moment of mystification the young fellow resumed his task, but ...
— The Treasure Trail - A Romance of the Land of Gold and Sunshine • Marah Ellis Ryan

... Madeline's guests as it had been by Stillwell. They were highly amused and speculative to the point of taking sides and making wagers on their choice. Moreover, this situation so frankly revealed by Stillwell had completed their deep mystification. They were now absolutely nonplussed by the singular character of American cowboys. Madeline was pleased to note how seriously they had taken the old cattleman's story. She had a little throb of wild expectancy that made her both fear and delight in ...
— The Light of Western Stars • Zane Grey

... in general mystification. Kate, who could have thrown a light, did not come down to breakfast. She ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... my part; that's your part," answered Wyndham, enjoying his mystification. "S'posing we go for the old game—'Hot boiled beans and very good butter'? Hallo!" The smile died from his face as his glance went to the roadway. "Here are some of your lot! They haven't got wind of our ...
— The Hero of Garside School • J. Harwood Panting

... in between us, and met with a perfectly civil reception despite the liberty. I did not know the boy by sight, nor did Raffles introduce us; but their conversation proclaimed at once a slightness of acquaintanceship and a license on the lad's part which combined to puzzle me. Mystification reached its height when Raffles was informed that the other's father was anxious to meet him, and he instantly ...
— The Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... their great campaigns and cosmopolitan systems for the regimentation of millions, and the records of science and progress. They need not be angry with us, who plead for those who will never read our words or reward our effort, even with gratitude. They need surely have no worse mood towards us than mystification, seeing that in recalling these small things of broken hearts or homes, we are but recording what cannot be recorded; trivial tragedies that will fade faster and faster in the flux of time, cries that fail in a furious and infinite wind, wild words of despair that are ...
— Eugenics and Other Evils • G. K. Chesterton

... wrong place. But a quick search of the ground with his flashlight showed him that he had come to the right spot. He could see the tracks made by the wheels of the machine; he could see, also, evidences of the brief struggle between Harry and Graves. For a moment his mystification continued. But then, with a low laugh, Jack Young emerged from the cover in which he ...
— Facing the German Foe • Colonel James Fiske

... then, that all is ended; it seems that, with the cessation of the worship and mystification of humanity by itself, the theological problem is for ever put aside. The gods have gone: there is nothing left for man but to grow weary and die in his egoism. What frightful solitude extends around me, and forces its way to the bottom of my ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... footprints, which, if like those of horses or cows, are the reverse of, or the negatives of, cups—of symbols that are regularly received somewhere upon this earth—steep, conical hill, somewhere, I think—but that have often alighted in wrong places—considerably to the mystification of persons waking up some morning to find them upon ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... under the flickering hall gas, and again from time to time in the shine of street lamps; but he had never once been with her in daylight. She herself was conscious of this, at first accidental, but now deliberate, mystification; and she dreaded the disclosure that was bound to come. It was not, she knew, that she was ugly; but only that to a man like Toby her small face and sandy hair might mark her down and ruin everything. She feared to notice a change in him, a ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... dazzled by his quickness as to forget that the routed point is not, after all, the one in question, you suppose all is over with it. Moreover, he contrives to mingle up so many stinging allusions, so many piquant personalities, that by the time he has done his mystification, a dozen others are ready and burning to spring on their feet to repel some direct or indirect attack all equally ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... bloody-minded he is, and that he hates me as he probably never hated anyone before, I must be prepared to meet him, and, if possible, to blow up that Satanic cabal, which without money I can't. It was partly a mystification about the election; of course, it will be expensive, but nothing like the ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... expressing a certain clouded resentment of whose very unexplainableness she secretly stood in awe. She was not astute enough, poor girl, to leave him alone, and when with innocent questionings she endeavoured to discover his trouble, the greatest mystification she encountered was that he had the power to make her feel that she was in some way taking a liberty, and showing her lack of ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett



Words linked to "Mystification" :   puzzlement, activity, confusion, artifact, artefact, bewilderment, mystify, muddiness, mental confusion, bafflement, disarray, confusedness, bemusement



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