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Riddle   Listen
noun
Riddle  n.  Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling. "To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, That solved the riddle which I had proposed." "'T was a strange riddle of a lady."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Riddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... the secret of Venetian history, the one key by which it is possible to understand the strange riddle of the Republic. For thirteen centuries Venice lay moored as it were off the coast of Western Europe, without political analogue or social parallel. Its patriciate, its people, its government were not what government or people or patriciate ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... answer to the riddle," said the President. "We know of this Benoni, also that he purposed to demand his granddaughter of us, though until he did so it was not for us to speak." Then he put it to the Court that ...
— Pearl-Maiden • H. Rider Haggard

... come in, leading a tiger-forest out of slavery, the charm would be broken, and the evil spirit would no longer have control over me. When the fortune-teller's answer was brought to my father, he gave up hope, and so did I, for no one understood the meaning of such a senseless riddle. ...
— A Chinese Wonder Book • Norman Hinsdale Pitman

... the men on the English decks all at their guns, the Americans off guard, lounging on the lumber piles. Quick as flash a cannon shot rips across the Chesapeake's bows, followed by a broadside, and another, and yet another, that riddle the American decks to kindling wood before the astonished officers can collect their senses. Six seamen are dead and twenty-three wounded when the Chesapeake strikes her colors to surrender; but the Leopard does not want a captive. ...
— Canada: the Empire of the North - Being the Romantic Story of the New Dominion's Growth from Colony to Kingdom • Agnes C. Laut

... [Footnote 24: Riddle (Dict. Lat. in voce) says, that this was the regular punishment for deserters, and was inflicted by ...
— The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 • Cicero

... SGAN. The riddle is that her ball is at Valre's; that I saw her go to him under cover of night, and that she is at this moment ...
— The School for Husbands • Moliere

... penny, but I zaid five poun'. The wager was laid, but the money not down. Zinging right fol de ree, fol de riddle lee While I am a-zinging I'd five ...
— Nic Revel - A White Slave's Adventures in Alligator Land • George Manville Fenn

... knows? the mystery may have some quite simple solution. I saw two children, attired like little princes, taken from their mother and consigned to other care; and a fortnight afterwards, one of them barefooted and like a beggar. Who will read this riddle of ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was a riddle... He worried him, that was true, but somehow not on the same point. He might still have a struggle to come with Svidrigailov. Svidrigailov, too, might be a means of escape; but Porfiry was ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... that the missile will split or crush the board, but not penetrate it. Fire a bullet at the same target, and it will penetrate, but neither crush nor split. Balance a plank on its edge, so that a pistol-ball thrown from the hand will knock it down; you may yet riddle it through and through by the same balls from a revolver, and leave it standing. Bring this commonplace fact to bear upon the question, how to destroy an iron-clad; shall we destroy it by punching holes through it, or by splitting and crushing? It is a difficult problem, and many pages of Mr. Holley's ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... end, I know not whether I mean the Thought for the Fancy—or the Fancy for the Thought, or why the book trails off to playing, rather than standing strong on unanswering fact. But this is alway—is it not?—the Riddle of Life. ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... speak what we can the nearest way, so as we keep our gait, not leap; for too short may as well be not let into the memory, as too long not kept in. Whatsoever loseth the grace and clearness, converts into a riddle; the obscurity is marked, but not the value. That perisheth, and is passed by, like the pearl in the fable. Our style should be like a skein of silk, to be carried and found by the right thread, not ravelled and perplexed; then all is a knot, a heap. There are words that do as much raise a style ...
— Discoveries and Some Poems • Ben Jonson

... puzzled-like—kep' on mutterin': 'Who did it? Who could have the cool darin' to shoot him dead in broad daylight, at his own door, before his servants?' She was sort of forcin' herself to think, to find out, just as if it was a riddle, an' the right answer was on the tip of her tongue. An' then, all at once, she gev a queer little laugh. 'Why, of course, ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... up at him in credulous surprise. But he was too ill and weak to ask the meaning of this riddle. Montague Nevitt! What on earth could Waring mean by that? How on earth could Montague Nevitt have influenced and directed him in ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... within us, though seemingly not of us, which some dreamers have sought to interpret as inherited remembrances,—recollections of pre-existence.... Vainly you ask yourself:—"Whose voice?—whose face?" It is neither young nor old, the Face: it has a vapoury indefinableness that leaves it a riddle;—its diaphaneity reveals no particular tint;—perhaps you may not even be quite sure whether it has a beard. But its expression is always gracious, passionless, smiling—like the smiling of unknown friends in dreams, with infinite indulgence ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Mystic-Humorous Stories • Various

... spoils all the former, for these farthingales take up all the room now-a-days; 'tis not a woman, questionless. Shall I be put down with a riddle? Sirrah Heuresis, search the corners of your conceit, ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... the glasses and slowly shook his head. Something was forming itself in his mind, this was evident. He walked around the ledge and back again. Finally, he said: "I wish it were night, it might help to solve the riddle." ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Adventures on Strange Islands • Roger Thompson Finlay

... at the low dead-blue cloud swinging from across channel. What could be the riddle of Renee's letter! It ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... eyes. The riddle of his surroundings was confusing but his mind was quite clear—evidently his sleep had benefited him. He was not in a bed at all as he understood the word, but lying naked on a very soft and yielding mattress, in a trough of dark glass. The mattress was partly ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Guthrie, Hendricks, Johnson, McDougall, Morgan, Nesmith, Norton, Riddle, Saulsbury, Stewart, Stockton, ...
— History of the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States • Wiliam H. Barnes

... have her, for there was not another female for him in the whole wide world—they all think that for the time being—and of course he married her. Then he made a seven-day feast, and unfortunately he amused the company with a riddle. Of course his wife was dying to know the answer, and her people threatened her if she did not find it out, and altogether it was a lively discussion, and she made his life a burden and a delusion and she wept before ...
— Fair to Look Upon • Mary Belle Freeley

... just God, and YET a Saviour; to be just to his law, just to his threatening, just to himself, and yet save sinners, can no way be understood till thou understandest why Jesus Christ did hang on the tree; for here only is the riddle unfolded, 'Christ died for our sins,' and therefore can God in justice save us (Isa 45:21). And hence is Christ called the Wisdom of God, not only because he is so essentially, but because by him is the greatest revelation of his wisdom towards ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... asked—"Suppose the parson fell in love with the lady or the lady with the parson! Is it a riddle?" ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... dust, though none of the death. When once more he found that she did not even close her lips to return his passionate salute, he desisted. With that saddest of things, a child's sigh, and a look that seemed to Mrs. Porson to embody the riddle of humanity, he reseated himself on the beam, with his little feet on his mother's bosom, where so often she had made them warm. He did not weep; he did not fix his eyes on his mother; his look was level and moveless ...
— A Rough Shaking • George MacDonald

... sensible to take two if I could manage to procure them. It was more than an ordinary man was qualified to cope with, to make his observations, write his letters, and look after their transmission, without having to attend to his nag, and do an odd turn of cooking at a pinch. The riddle was how to get the horse—a sound hardy animal that would not call for elaborate grooming, or refuse a feed of barley. Horse-flesh was at a premium, but he thought I might be able to have what I wanted at Bayonne, on payment of an extravagant price. A requisition for forage and corn could be ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... an unsolved riddle. In the century prior to 1872 (See the digest of Dagonet's publication in Chapter XV) French psychiatrists wrote some good descriptions of stupor and offered brilliant, though sketchy generalizations about the condition. Two years later ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... when it is cold, with the assurance that it can't last. Our misfortune this time has been that it has lasted unusually long. How the Italians manage without fires I cannot make out. So chilly as they are, too, it's a riddle. ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... pat it with her delicate cat-like paw, cautiously and daintily applied, and caught back suddenly and rapidly after every touch, as if her poor captive had been a red-hot coal. Finding that these pats entirely failed in solving the riddle (for the hedgehog shammed dead, like the lamb the other day, and appeared entirely motionless), she gave him so spirited a nudge with her pretty black nose, that she not only turned him over, but sent ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... and gets into the cab, after telling the cabby to drive down to St. Kilda. Then he polishes the drunk one off with chloroform, gets out of the cab, jumps into another, and after getting out at Powlett Street, vanishes—that's the riddle I've got to find out, and I don't think the Sphinx ever had a harder one. There are three things to be discovered—First, who is the dead man? Second, what was he killed for? And ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it and encaged, and doth not yet fly above ...
— Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None • Friedrich Nietzsche

... abroad. He could not keep his tongue still about it. One day he was boasting to one of his neighbors, and he said, "The girl is so clever that not even the King himself could ask her a question she couldn't answer, or read her a riddle she ...
— Tales of Folk and Fairies • Katharine Pyle

... It is an easy riddle to answer. A man who gives away horses worth a hundred louis, who drinks wine at a pistole the bottle, and who lodges in a garret in the Rue du Temps Perdu, what should he ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... that is was ever bound to be; Since grim, eternal laws our Being bind; And both the riddle and the answer find, And both the carnage and the calm decree; Since plain within the Book of Destiny Is written all the journey of mankind Inexorably to the end; since blind And mortal puppets ...
— Rhymes of a Red Cross Man • Robert W. Service

... would come to life and resume his savage splendors and his gilded villainies. To make it certain that the writer here refers to this expectation, we find, in chapter xvii., another reference to the Beast, which seems at first a riddle, but which is easily interpreted. "The five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come"; "The Beast that thou sawest was and is not, and is about to come out of the abyss." "The Beast that was ...
— Who Wrote the Bible? • Washington Gladden

... it was a joke, was it? And suppose the neighbors fire their pistols at me and riddle me with ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... authority of Locke and Sidney, Bacon and Tillotson, and the author of Cato's Letters, enabled him to announce, in the very spirit and all but the very words of Diderot and Rousseau, of whom he had never heard, that "the design of Christianity was not to make good riddle-solvers or good mystery-mongers, but good men, good magistrates, and good subjects." And so he renounced the ministry in favor of "that science by which mankind raise themselves from the forlorn, helpless state, in which nature leaves them, to the full enjoyment of all the ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... deeper and wider than any particular lesson to be learned from it; and just when we think that we have at last guessed its best meanings, it laughs in our face with some paradox which turns our solution into a new riddle. ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 8 • Various

... human entity, and this part is the physical body. In order to throw light upon its conception of this physical body, occult science at first directs attention to a phenomenon which confronts all observers of life like a great riddle,—the phenomenon of death,—and in connection with it, points to so-called inanimate nature, the mineral kingdom. We are thus referred to facts, which it devolves on occult science to explain, and to which an important part of this work must be devoted. But to begin ...
— An Outline of Occult Science • Rudolf Steiner

... was afflicted with a monster which infested the highroad. It was called the Sphinx. It had the body of a lion and the upper part of a woman. It lay crouched on the top of a rock, and arrested all travellers who came that way proposing to them a riddle, with the condition that those who could solve it should pass safe, but those who failed should be killed. Not one had yet succeeded in solving it, and all had been slain. OEdipus was not daunted by these alarming accounts, but boldly advanced to the trial. ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... event the goddess Juno, always hostile to Thebes, sent a monster, called the sphinx, to propound a riddle to the Thebans, and to ravage their territory until some one should solve the riddle—the purport of which was, "What animal is that which goes on four feet in the morning, on two at noon, and on three at evening?" OEdipus, the ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... been so may seem very strange to us who now have been told the answer to the riddle; for the upper waters of this great river were known of before Christ and spoken of by Herodotus, Pliny and Ptolemy, and its mouths navigated continuously along by the seaboard by trading vessels since the fifteenth century, but they were not ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... answers, and laugh derisively at her own affected ignorance. She would guess again and again, and assume the most gleeful surprise upon at last giving the proper answer, and then she would laugh jubilantly, and mockingly scout herself with having given out "a fool-riddle" that she could guess "with both ...
— Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley • James Whitcomb Riley

... absent-mindedly to the hymn, and did not press the singer any further—though she was quite resolved, in her own mind, to find out the meaning of the riddle later. But her maid, who, being a Florentine, could not understand the Corsican dialect any better than her mistress, was as eager as Miss Lydia for information, and, turning to Orso, before the English lady could warn her by a nudge, ...
— Columba • Prosper Merimee

... rarities As please the mind will, and will feed the eyes With those, which, if a Christian, thou wilt see Not small, but things of greatest moment be. Nor do thou go to work without my key; (In mysteries men soon do lose their way;) And also turn it right, if thou wouldst know My riddle, and wouldst with my heifer plough; It lies there in the window. Fare thee well, My next may be to ...
— The Holy War • John Bunyan

... tendency in man 'to transfer the sense of his own nature, in the radical explanation of all phenomena whatever.' Writing in the same key, Schopenhauer calls man 'a metaphysical animal.' He is speaking of the need man feels of a theory, in regard to the riddle of existence, which forces itself upon his notice; 'a need arising from the consciousness that behind the physical in the world, there is a metaphysical something permanent as the foundation of constant change.' Though not here alluding to the ghost theory, this ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... the brain received as yet no clear message. She felt, struggling with that diffused kindness and young vanity, something like discomfort and fear. So her mood was complex enough, unharmonized, parted between opposing currents. She was a riddle to herself. ...
— Foes • Mary Johnston

... a sky where the moonbeams all danced While a comet was telling a riddle, Where the stars and the planets and sun-dogs all pranced While the moon ...
— The Peter Patter Book of Nursery Rhymes • Leroy F. Jackson

... pages represent in the main a discussion of certain celebrated mysteries, as viewed in the light of the discoveries set forth in the writer's earlier work "The Riddle ...
— Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters • H. Addington Bruce

... had taken off his hat before the might of death, and made a perfunctory sign of the cross. He looked up and down the lofty wall, as if it could give him the word of that riddle. Twice his spurs clashed softly, and, with one hand grasping the rope, he stooped low in ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... distracting torture. Mine eyes sought him every where, but he was not granted them; and I hated all places, for that they had not him; nor could they now tell me, "he is coming," as when he was alive and absent. I became a great riddle to myself, and I asked my soul, why she was so sad, and why she disquieted me sorely: but she knew not what to answer me. And if I said, Trust in God, she very rightly obeyed me not; because that most dear friend, whom she had ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... those great white eyeballs, and that it was only a pitch-black world which it could tolerate. Perhaps, indeed, it was the glare of my lantern which saved my life at that awful moment when we were face to face. So I read the riddle. I leave these facts behind me, and if you can explain them, do so; or if you choose to doubt them, do so. Neither your belief nor your incredulity can alter them, nor affect one whose ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... window and the scared look remained. Whenever she turned her eyes suddenly upon her mother, she found her looking at her with a strange, searching intentness. It was plain that Mrs. Dinneford saw in Edith's face as great a change and mystery as Edith saw in hers, and the riddle of her husband's countenance, so altered since morning, was harder ...
— Cast Adrift • T. S. Arthur

... the valley of shadows, Empty the power of kings; Blind is the favor of fortune, Hungry the caverns of death. Dim is the light from beyond, Unanswered the riddle of life." ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... a riddle, Laddie?" asked Russ. For Laddie was the name of the gray-eyed and curly-haired boy, and he was very fond of asking puzzle-questions. "Is ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's • Laura Lee Hope

... occurs. Death consequently is but the constituent of a change. When it comes, that which was living assumes a state that has in it the potentiality of another form. A tenement has crumbled and a tenant gone forth. Though just where is the riddle. ...
— The Lords of the Ghostland - A History of the Ideal • Edgar Saltus

... date of the establishment of the Kit-Cat club has never been decided, the consensus of opinion fixes the year somewhere about 1700. More debatable, however, is the question of its peculiar title. The most recent efforts to solve that riddle leave it where ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... immediately started to land. In spite of this, I followed him, because his was the only enemy machine in sight. I stuck to him and fired, but he would not fall. The pilot of a Farman machine is well protected by the motor, which is behind him. Though you can kill the observer, and riddle the engine and tanks, they are always able to escape by gliding. But in this case, I think I wounded the pilot also, because the machine made the typical lengthwise tilt that shows it is out of control. ...
— An Aviator's Field Book - Being the field reports of Oswald Boelcke, from August 1, - 1914 to October 28, 1916 • Oswald Boelcke

... So the riddle of the Tugela had at last been solved. Even now, with all the light which has been shed upon the matter, it is hard to apportion praise and blame. To the cheerful optimism of Symons must be laid some of the blame of the original entanglement; but man is mortal, and he ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... perdus Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing 15 Of poets, by poets—as the name is a poet's, too. Its letters, although naturally lying Like the knight Pinto, Mendez Ferdinando, Still form a synonym for Truth.—Cease trying! You will not read the riddle, though you do the ...
— Selections From Poe • J. Montgomery Gambrill

... ago, I became an idolater, and my idol crumbled to pieces at my feet. That transient vision of the beautiful half reclaimed me from my doubts; the darkness of the succeeding night taught me juster views of the miseries of man and the incomprehensible riddle of his existence; and I half blushed at my glimpse of ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... London Fog over yonder, in a strange way, and the murky stagnancy is all getting on fire; the English intent, as seldom any Nation was, to give the Spaniards an effectual beating. Which they hope they can,—though unexpected difficulties will occur. And, in the mean while, what a riddle of potentialities for his poor Majesty to read, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... theme of their constant conversation. Goby fifty years old, unattached, and with dyed moustaches, was the affable comrade of the youngest member of his club: when absent, a friend wrote him the last riddle from the smoking-room; when present, his knowledge of horses, of cookery, wines, and cigars, and military history, rendered him a most acceptable companion. He knew the history and achievements of every regiment in the army; of every general ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... mystic tapet lies! Soft and smooth and even-spreading As if made for angels' treading; Tufted circles touching ever, Inwrought figures fading never; Every figure has its plaidings, Brighter form and softer shadings; Each illuminated,—what a riddle!— From a Cross ...
— Sanders' Union Fourth Reader • Charles W. Sanders

... The excited audience hung breathlessly upon Latour's utterance. At last they were to know how this miracle of crime had been performed. Every auditor leaned forward in his seat, and those who were a trifle dull of hearing placed their hands to their ears, fearful lest some syllable of the riddle's solution should escape them. M. Latour remained dumb. The Judge regarded him sternly ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... of victuals, A debauch of smuggled whisky, And his children in the workhouse Made the world so black a riddle ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... pressing request of Lord Ashburton, who had desired that an American should propose the health of Mr. Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, and Mr. Riddle, our Commissioner, had designated me for the service; so I spoke about five minutes, and my remarks were most kindly received by the entire company; yet The Times of to-day, in its report of the ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... is it, O my Lady Wisdom. But truly I begin to think you a riddle worth the reading. It may be, that with somewhat of teaching, you might prove a pupil apt ...
— Nicanor - Teller of Tales - A Story of Roman Britain • C. Bryson Taylor

... my heart was beating rapidly, and, so selfish is the nature of man, I was more glad to learn that my company was acceptable to Val Beverley than I should have been to have had the riddle of Cray's ...
— Bat Wing • Sax Rohmer

... the most stout of their youth, in pretense to be his companions, but in reality to be a guard upon him, that he might not attempt to give them any disturbance. Now as they were drinking merrily and playing, Samson said, as was usual at such times, "Come, if I propose you a riddle, and you can expound it in these seven days' thee, I will give you every one a linen shirt and a garment, as the reward of your wisdom." So they being very ambitious to obtain the glory of wisdom, together with the gains, desired him to propose his riddle. He, "That a devourer ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... to work to exert the energies of his mind, and, when they arrived at a guess, they noted it down on paper; after which every individual member of the family made a choice of some object, and composed a riddle, which was transcribed in a large round hand, and affixed on the lantern. This done, the eunuch took his departure, and when evening drew near, he came out and delivered the commands of the imperial consort. "The conundrum," he said, "written by Her Highness, the other day, has been solved ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... the following battles: Fort Sumter, First Manassas, Yorktown, New Stone Point, West Point, Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Chancellorsville, Riddle's Shop, Darby's Farm, Fossil's Mill, Petersburg, Jerusalem, Plank Road, Reams' Station, Winchester, Port Republic, and Cedar Run. Severely wounded in leg at Mechanicsville and again at Cedar Run, October 12th, ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... stared at him, crossed his knees, and continued to stare. Occasionally he shook his head, as if the riddle were proving too much for him. Galusha did not move. Neither man spoke. The old clock ticked off ...
— Galusha the Magnificent • Joseph C. Lincoln

... take a lesson from these few observations and they will no longer go about seeking an answer to the riddle, "Why did the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 28th, 1920 • Various

... to me the solution of the little riddle propounded by Pascal in one passage of his Thoughts: "Two faces that are alike, although neither of them excites laughter by itself, make us laugh when together, on account of their likeness." It might just as well be said: "The gestures of a public speaker, no ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... hundred and thirty-eight in all. Finally, I took these, one by one, to ascertain if any of the houses were known to me, and found three, out of the whole number, to be the residences of persons whom I knew. One was a German gentleman, and the other two were Americans who had visited Germany. The riddle was read! During a former residence in New York, I had for a time been quite overrun by destitute Germans,—men, apparently, of some culture, who represented themselves as theological students, political refugees, ...
— Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home • Bayard Taylor

... the artist at all; but, on the other hand, you will find but few of the great artists of the ages who have not been thrilled and haunted with the deep desire to help others, to increase their peace and joy, to interpret the riddle of the world, to give a motive for living a fuller life than the life of the drudge and the raker ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... directly to the invasion was that some week-end guest of the East Cliff Hotel left a copy of "The Riddle of the Sands" in the coffee-room, where von Gottlieb found it; and the fact that Ford attended the Shakespeare Ball. Had neither of these events taken place, the German flag might now be flying over Buckingham Palace. And, then again, it ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... be a simple and convenient solution of the riddle if the work of analysis made it at all possible for us to trace the meaningless and intricate dreams of adults back to the infantile type, to the realization of some intensely experienced desire of the day. But there is no warrant for such an expectation. Their dreams are generally full ...
— Dream Psychology - Psychoanalysis for Beginners • Sigmund Freud

... Monsieur, you tink to be varry conning; mais you not so conning as Kookoo, no;" and the inquisitive little man would shake his head and smile, and shake his head again, as a man has a perfect right to do under the conviction that he has been for twenty years baffled by a riddle and is learning to read it at last; he had guessed what was in 'Sieur George's head, he would by and by guess what was in ...
— Old Creole Days • George Washington Cable

... one adopted belongs to Lyman Trumbull, who had introduced it early in the first session of this Congress. It passed the Senate on the 8th of April, 1864, only six members voting against it, namely, Davis, Hendricks, McDougall, Powell, Riddle and Saulsbury, but failed in the House on the 15th of June following. It now came up on the motion of Mr. Ashley to reconsider this vote. Congress had abolished slavery in the District of Columbia, and ...
— Political Recollections - 1840 to 1872 • George W. Julian

... Rutherford's voice was like the snap of a whip. "Try it. Try it. I'll hunt you down like a wolf and riddle yore carcass." ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... people pliant and inured to slavish obedience, confirmed in him the faith that for his "I wish" there were no limits. At present his vanity, too, was wounded painfully. There was, besides, in Lygia's opposition and resistance, and in her flight itself, which was to him incomprehensible, a kind of riddle. In trying to solve this riddle he racked his head terribly. He felt that Acte had told the truth, and that Lygia was not indifferent. But if this were true, why had she preferred wandering and misery to his love, his tenderness, and a residence in his splendid mansion? ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... he spoke his eyes began To shiver the heart of the grey old man; And the old man stuttered, And "Sir," he muttered, "The words you speak are the merest riddle, But-five pounds down, and you own the fiddle! And I'll choose for your hand, while the pounds you dole out, A bow with which you may pick that ...
— The Vagabond and Other Poems from Punch • R. C. Lehmann

... and flattering; what's the use of telling you what good things you have written, or—I hope I may add—that I know them to be good? A propos, when I first opened upon the just-mentioned poem, in a careless tone I said to Mary, as if putting a riddle, "What is good for a bootless bene?" [3] To which, with infinite presence of mind (as the jest-book has it) she answered, "A shoeless pea." It was the first joke she ever made. Joke the second ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... have clearly shown in my Science of Thought that thought without word and word without thought are impossible and inconceivable, and why it is so. Here is the first key to a historical solution of the riddle at the beginning of the Fourth Gospel. We know that Greek philosophy after making every possible effort to explain the world mechanically, had already in the school of Anaxagoras reached the view that the hylozoic as well as the atomic theory leaves ...
— The Silesian Horseherd - Questions of the Hour • Friedrich Max Mueller

... road or ready way to virtue; it is not an easy point of art to disentangle ourselves from this riddle or web of sin. To perfect virtue, as to religion, there is required a panoplia, or complete armour; that whilst we lie at close ward against one vice, we lie not open to the assault of another. There go so many circumstances to piece up one good action that it is a lesson to be good, and we ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... oath. "We've got 'em. They can't reach it without horses as quick as we can with them." He whirled upon Melissy. "March into the house, girl. Don't you dare make a move. I'm leaving Buck here to watch you." Sharply he swung to the man Lane. "Buck, if she makes a break to get away, riddle her full of holes. ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... a stubborn riddle for us to try and read. And our surroundings at that particular moment were not the most favorable to coherent thought or plausible theory-building. When a man has been robbed at the point of a gun, and set afoot in the heart of an unpeopled waste, with a dead ...
— Raw Gold - A Novel • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... near the end of his third session in the school that the riddle was, quite suddenly, solved. Edgar Poe was now in his fifteenth year. One perfect May day, when the song of birds, the odors of flowers, the whisper of soft breezes and the languor of mellow sunshine outside of the open school windows were wooing all poetic souls to ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... capital had looked proudly out upon an empire mightier than Rome—an empire which the Atlantic Ocean had swallowed up. The story of this cataclysm which had engulfed Atlantis, brought to new lands by a few survivors, had bequeathed to men the legend of the Deluge. The riddle of The Sphinx, most ancient religious symbol in the known world, was resolved; for Paul saw it to represent man emerging from the animal and already aspiring to ...
— The Orchard of Tears • Sax Rohmer

... burlesque imitation of scholastic Latin, as "hocus-pocus" or "panjandrum"), originally a term meaning whim, fancy or ridiculous idea; later applied to a pun or play upon words, and thus, in its usual sense, to a particular form of riddle in which the answer depends on a pun. In a transferred sense the word is also used of ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 2 - "Constantine Pavlovich" to "Convention" • Various

... clear-sighted to neglect home duties, yet leave this difficulty unfaced, in that they look for all the pleasure of their life outside home, and within that home allow themselves to live in an atmosphere of friction and peevishness. The girl who does that has left the riddle of home life unsolved: she was meant to wrestle with that difficulty till she wrung from it the blessing, the peace which comes only from self-conquest and acceptance of all ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... was in black, and so it's possible that your mother may have died, and that she took you to see your father, to whom, for some reason or other, she wanted to introduce you. That's how I read the riddle, but ...
— The Loss of the Royal George • W.H.G. Kingston

... boat was full, the prisoners wondered what was going to be done with their cargo of dirt? The riddle was solved when the overseer steered for ...
— In Midsummer Days and Other Tales • August Strindberg

... and wax-moths and ants, and even mice. These things eat the honey and riddle and ruin the comb. Then birds eat the bees, and spiders catch them. Honey-bees do nothing but good that I can see, yet Nature 's pleased to fill the world with their enemies. Queen and drone and the poor unsexed workers—all have their troubles; ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... once seriously undertake to solve the riddle of man's origin, and go back along the line of his descent, I doubt if we can find the point, or the form, where the natural is supplanted by the supernatural as it is called, where causation ends and miracle begins. Even the first dawn of protozoic life in the primordial seas must ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... Powerful is my foe's position, I a vassal, she a woman; Heaven reveal some way in pity, Though I doubt it has the power; When in such confused abysses, Heaven is all one fearful presage, And the world itself a riddle. ...
— Life Is A Dream • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... gossip about his family's great wealth had any thing to do with it). He could not account for it by any process of reasoning, and was simply obliged to accept the fact and give up trying to solve the riddle. He found himself dragged into society and courted, wondered at and envied very much as if he were one of those foreign barbers who flit over here now and then with a self-conferred title of nobility and marry ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... archaeologists are rather stupid to have given up the riddle?" she asked, as she and her escort turned away and stepped out again into ...
— A Venetian June • Anna Fuller

... smartest streets lived on the interest of capital, or on salaries received by officials from the public treasury; but what the other eight streets, which ran parallel for over two miles and vanished beyond the hills, lived upon, was always an insoluble riddle to me. And the way those people lived one is ashamed to describe! No garden, no theatre, no decent band; the public library and the club library were only visited by Jewish youths, so that the magazines and new books lay for months uncut; rich and well-educated ...
— The Chorus Girl and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... the western gate, Luke Havergal, There are the crimson leaves upon the wall. Go, — for the winds are tearing them away, — Nor think to riddle the dead words they say, Nor any more to feel them as they fall; But go! and if you trust her she will call. There is the western gate, Luke ...
— The Children of the Night • Edwin Arlington Robinson

... your mind. You know why, of course, while I can only guess; but it doesn't matter. You took them into the drift pile and put them into a hole there. The next thing you know of them I have them on my feet, and I assure you I haven't been inside the drift pile since you entered it. Solve that riddle in any way you choose. I blocked up the entrance, and this morning I have let you out. Not one of the boys knows anything about this affair, and not one of them shall know, unless you choose to tell them, ...
— Captain Sam - The Boy Scouts of 1814 • George Cary Eggleston

... The riddle of personality! Are we at last upon the track of its uncovering? That elusive mystery, which philosophers have wrapped in the thousand veils of Greek and Latin words, and psychologists, even unto the third and ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... whether, in short, we may not throw the gospels into the waste-paper basket, or put them away on the fiction shelf of our libraries. I venture to reply that we shall be, on the contrary, in the position of the man in Bunyan's riddle who found that "the more he threw away, the more he had. "We get rid, to begin with, of the idolatrous or iconographic worship of Christ. By this I mean literally that worship which is given to pictures and statues of him, and to finished and unalterable stories about ...
— Preface to Androcles and the Lion - On the Prospects of Christianity • George Bernard Shaw

... male, sir, which, in another folio, is, no salve, in the male, sir. What it can mean is not easily discovered: if mail for a packet or bag was a word then in use, no salve in the mail may mean, no salve in the mountebank's budget. Or shall we read, no enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy—in the vale, sir—O, sir. plantain. The matter is not great, but one would wish for ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

... not [OE]dipuses to read the riddle of another man's inside, and most men judge by appearances, it behooves a man to barter for a good esteem, even from his clothes and outside. We guess the goodness of the pasture by the mantle ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... legend. And, lastly, she turns up in the shape of a court-page, and swaggers along London Bridge at this hour of the night, chanting a love song. Faith! it would puzzle the sphinx herself to read this riddle, ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... if poor Sabine was a woman he had known, he had known nothing of her: she had always remained for him a phantom of his heart. Ada took upon herself to make him make up for lost time. In his turn he tried to solve the riddle of woman; an enigma which perhaps is no enigma except for those who ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... followed him out of the room—the tall boyish figure, the nobly carried head. The riddle of her flushed cheek and sparkling eye was hard to read. But there were one or two persons living who could have read it, and who could have warned you that the true story of Eugenie de Netteville's life was written, not in her literary studies ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Macquarie was now, to a certain extent, cleared up, but there still remained another riddle to solve in the course and outlet of the Darling. Sturt, the discoverer of this river, was destined to find the answer to ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... been relaxed, the public mind being rendered gradually tolerant of the idea that not for six thousand, nor for sixty thousand, nor for six thousand thousand, but for aeons embracing untold millions of years, this earth has been the theatre of life and death. The riddle of the rocks has been read by the geologist and palaeontologist, from sub-Cambrian depths to the deposits thickening over the sea-bottoms of today. And upon the leaves of that stone book are, as you know, stamped the characters, plainer and surer than those ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... And Genoa lost a world. Sir Advocate! I understand your meaning; it were hard Fame drafts upon the Future should be paid Ere present recognition! 'Twere unjust That hope unhazarded in act, were crowned With the same coronal that crowns success. The starving mariner upon your shore— The riddle of the West unsolved—stood not In the same light to set his worthiness, As when an unimagined Future streamed All over him in glory. Yet he stood In that light lonely, as in the old dark, Lonely, but looking to that light for life. Spring-pinioned Hope impetuously ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... teaching of Lucretius, yet on this road he marches with a step so firm and buoyant, an eye so awake to all beauty and grandeur, a spirit so elate, that as we read we catch the energy and elation. The reading of the riddle is this: the religion against which Lucretius made his attack was not the soaring idealism of Plato, nor the inspiring and consolatory faith of Christianity, but an outworn mythology in which this world ...
— The Chief End of Man • George S. Merriam

... and Winds, sing your great chant of love! Heaven and Space and Time, echo back the melody! For Life has called to us the answer of his riddle! Heart to heart we sit, and lips to lips, and we are more wise than Solomon, and richer than barbarian kings, ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... Love and the Graces, one Grace bore a rose, a second a branch of myrtle, a third dice;—who can read that riddle? ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... dead, the Nazarene came and seized his seat beneath the sun, The votary of the Riddle-god, whose one is three ...
— The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi • Richard F. Burton

... indifference in between my meetings impressed me more and more. I realised the vagueness of my own plans as I had never done before I brought them to the test of this experience. I was perplexed by the riddle of just how far I was, in any sense of the word, taking hold at all, how far I wasn't myself ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... him, in a word to be him, and, if you are utterly foiled in the attempt, you cannot flatter yourself that you have been successful to the measure of your desire. A person interests, or piques, or tantalises you, you do your best to make him out; yet strive as you will, you cannot read the riddle of his personality. From the invulnerable fortress of his own nature he smiles contemptuously on the beleaguering armies of your curiosity and analysis. And it is not only the stranger that thus defeats you; it may be the brother brought up by the same fireside with you, the best friend ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... came Greek corruption, Greek worship, Greek vice. For years the mysteries of Dionysus and the orgies of the Maenads were celebrated on the slopes of the Aventine and in those deep caves that riddle its sides, less than a mile from the Forum, from the Capitol, from the house of the rigid Cato, who found fault with Scipio of Africa for shaving every day and liking Greek verses. The evil had first come to Rome from Etruria, ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... Bane. Little is known of his boyhood. He was supposed to have been brought to the district by Highlanders who were in the habit of bringing to Crieff cartloads of split pine from Rannoch Forest, which they sold to riddle-makers to make riddle rims. During one of those visits the child is supposed to have been left. He was called Alastair, owing to his supposed Highland descent, and Bane, because of his white hair. As he grew up to manhood he showed symptoms of a wandering disposition, ...
— Chronicles of Strathearn • Various

... the gray woods. The moon shone very brightly, and there was no wind. So unearthly was the quiet of the night, so solemn the light, so high and still and calm the universe around him, that awe fell upon his soul. It was well to lie upon the hilltop and guess at the riddle of the world; now dimly to see the meaning, now to lose it quite, to wonder, to think of death. The easy consciousness that for him death was scores of years away, that he should not meet the spectre until the wine was all drunken, the garlands withered, and he, the guest, ready to depart, made ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... The idea, the amazing, ridiculous idea which had burst upon me suddenly began to lose something of its absurdity. Somehow it began to look like the answer to my riddle. I realized that my main objection to the Campbell prescription had been that I must take it alone or ...
— Kent Knowles: Quahaug • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Life and Being, Thou wouldst see through Birth and Death. Thou wouldst solve the eternal Riddle, Thou, a speck, ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various



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