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Riddle   Listen
verb
Riddle  v. t.  To explain; to solve; to unriddle. "Riddle me this, and guess him if you can."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Riddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... mouth came the sneer of one propounding a riddle already solved—"it is not meet, is it, to thresh on the Sabbath day? Yet since you permit your followers to do so, how are we to distinguish between what is lawful and ...
— Mary Magdalen • Edgar Saltus

... riddle that I could not read. Among my last actions of this day was one that had been almost my earliest, and bedtime found me staring at his letter, as I stood, half undressed, by my table. The calm moon brought ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... in rivers.—To riddle. To fire through and through a vessel, and reduce her to ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... probably inherent, for the facts of his early life, so far as known, afford no clue to the reading of the riddle. He was the second son in a family consisting of eighteen children, and was born at Grovesend, in the market town of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, on the 4th of March, 1793. His father, Thomas Rolph, was a physician of some local repute, who seems to have been impelled to emigrate in consequence ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... most pig-headed sot! (aloud) Young man, you cannot know the risk you run. Th' alternative's in earnest—not in fun. Dame Turandot will spin you a tough riddle, That's not to be "got thro' like any fiddle." Not such as this, which any child might guess— (Though the Emperor could not, I must confess;) "What gives a cold, cures a cold, and pays the doctor's bill?" Not short enigmas lightly disentangled; Hard nuts you'll have to crack, fresh ...
— Turandot: The Chinese Sphinx • Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

... to solve the riddle of the Universe, and to adjust the relations of mankind with the various forces represented by the deities. The priests systematized existing folk beliefs and established an official religion. To secure the prosperity of the State, it was considered necessary to render homage unto whom ...
— Myths of Babylonia and Assyria • Donald A. Mackenzie

... of waste Under the vision of the vacant sky? And thou, who on the ocean of thy days Dost like a swimmer patiently contend, And though thou steerest with a shoreward gaze Misdoubtest of a harbour or an end, What would the threat, or what the promise be, Could I but read the riddle of ...
— The Meaning of Good—A Dialogue • G. Lowes Dickinson

... The riddle was too great for solving. Perhaps Wilbur had disappeared merely to play a practical jest on her; but that supposition was too childish to be retained an instant. Perhaps—perhaps Pierre himself had discovered her, but having vowed never to see her again, he cared for her like the invisible ...
— Riders of the Silences • John Frederick

... that a decade earlier, when the place was inhabited, strange sounds were rife about the locality, the "sacred fire" was unkindled on the great "Sanctified Day," the two cheera-taghe of the town mysteriously disappeared, and their fate had remained a dark riddle. ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... corridors, soft-handed waiters moving about on deep, silent carpetings, perhaps round white shoulders across the table and the faint smell of delicate perfumes—that he should prefer to eat from the white oilcloth of his kitchen table was a riddle far beyond any ordinary intellect. And yet he was happy in this life; happy in his escape from the tragic routine of being decently civilized; happier, he knew, than he ever could be among all the artificial pleasures that wealth could buy him. Sometimes, as a concession to this ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead

... 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 ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... cringed for an alms from the same lady Corsack before her window, which she generously gave him; but at the same time reminded him of his former wicked life, particularly, his persecuting the people of God. He went off, but with small amendment; and some time after ended his wretched life.—Samson's riddle, A—d—k—n, &c. ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... so just and tender which, he prefixes to his son's literary remains, remarks that all his son's talk about this old desperate riddle of the origin and significance of evil, like the talk of Leibnitz about it, resolved itself into an unproved assumption of the necessity of evil. In truth there is little sign that either Arthur Hallam ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... will happen. Let me tell your worship that for a man to whip himself in cold blood is a hard thing, especially if the stripes fall upon an ill-nourished and worse-fed body. Let my lady Dulcinea have patience, and when she is least expecting it, she will see me made a riddle of with whipping, and 'until death it's all life;' I mean that I have still life in me, and the desire to make good what ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... clean rye straw cheese (being the most common and convenient in the country,) and when flowing from the press, a vessel should be provided, with the bottom full of gimlet holes, in the style of a riddle, on which lay a coarse cloth, then a layer of clean sand, over which a parcel of coarse rye straw, and suffer it to filter thro' this vessel into the large receiving tub; the rye straw will intercept the coarser pieces of pumice, and may be changed frequently—This mode will rid the liquor of ...
— The Practical Distiller • Samuel McHarry

... as I lay a-dreaming, I tried so hard to read this riddle through, To catch some golden cord that I saw gleaming Like gossamer against ...
— The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems • William Morris

... let his head sink forward on his breast, wearied by the oft-repeated endeavor to solve that which was fast becoming a riddle, a chimera to him, and he probably would have fallen asleep had he not been startled suddenly into a consciousness of his surroundings by a low whinny; soft and plaintive as a child's voice. Looking up, he saw Starlight standing before him with ears erect ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... toys in mah pa't of de store says as how I kept 'em guessin'," was the answer. "Dey done say dey nebber know whut I'm gwine to do nex'. I suah mus' be a riddle." ...
— The Story of a China Cat • Laura Lee Hope

... Judas remain an unsolved riddle. The Gospels leave no doubt that money played a part with him. But could a man whom Jesus selected and trusted be actuated by so sordid a motive alone? Was he perhaps embittered because he had staked his ambition on the Galilean Messiah ...
— The Social Principles of Jesus • Walter Rauschenbusch

... Matthews, "are you influenced in what you say by your hope that Professor Brierly will help solve the riddle of the Tontine groups and help ...
— Death Points a Finger • Will Levinrew

... to have visited Solomon, "to prove him with hard questions," by which have generally been understood enigmatical puzzles. Some of these are to be found in sacred writ, of which the riddle which Samson proposed to the young men of Timnath, is a very ancient and curious specimen. It appears from the writings of the ancients, that the Greeks and all the Eastern nations, were singularly attached to enigmas. Plutarch, ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... of stone, Had not so hard a-hearted one. 330 She had a thousand jadish tricks, Worse than a mule that flings and kicks; 'Mong which one cross-grain'd freak she had, As insolent as strange and mad; She could love none, but only such 335 As scorn'd and hated her as much. 'Twas a strange riddle of a lady: Not love, if any lov'd her! Hey dey! So cowards never use their might, But against such as will not fight; 340 So some diseases have been found Only to seize upon the sound. He that gets her by heart, must say her The back way, like a witch's prayer. Mean while the ...
— Hudibras • Samuel Butler

... in a compressed voice, "that he don't know why I was going to hang him; he's a liar; yes, a million times worse than a liar—he's a murderer! I thought I'd save you the trouble of helping me to string him up, for when you hear what he's done you'll riddle him full of holes and ...
— A Lover in Homespun - And Other Stories • F. Clifford Smith

... this councillorship query remained, of course, a riddle to her, yet she handed him the paper without replying. It was a coarse wood-cut, representing a splendid meteor "as seen in the town of Cologne," which was to be ...
— Andersen's Fairy Tales • Hans Christian Andersen

... was the riddle of the Sphinx! Angelique's life, as she had projected it, depended upon the ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... whispered her that these marks betokened the oddities of the Pyncheon family, and that the chicken itself was a symbol of the life of the old house, embodying its interpretation, likewise, although an unintelligible one, as such clews generally are. It was a feathered riddle; a mystery hatched out of an egg, and just as mysterious as if the egg had ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people." says Sampson's Philistine wife to him, Judges ...
— Five Pebbles from the Brook • George Bethune English

... keep your hand from that bell," retorted von Schalckenberg, sternly, levelling the pistol, quick as light, at the count's head. "Utter a sound above a whisper, or move so much as an eyelid, and I will riddle your worthless brain with bullets. My little exhibition just now was simply intended to convey to you, in a thoroughly practical manner, some idea of the capabilities of this weapon of mine. I have fired two shots from it, and there are consequently ...
— With Airship and Submarine - A Tale of Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... This is no riddle, the answer being too easy. Men would have answered, "Guessed in once, she was pretty!" And the women would guess in once too, but would keep silent, the pretty ones merely smiling, having sampled the Coventry-sending powers of plain women in the ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... Three or four times over; exactly as you said it to him. He knew that was how you got the upper hand of me, according to your memory, but not mine; and he tried to do it the very same way; but the Lord makes a lot of change in thirty years of time. Mary quite turned her nose up at any such riddle, and he pulled his spotted handkerchief out of that new hat of his, and the fagot never saw fit to heed even the color of his poor red cheeks. Stephen, you would have marched off for a week if I had behaved to ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... vague rumors of battles said to have been fought at San Francisco, Port Townsend, and Seattle, had arisen, even these sources of information ran dry. The question from where all the hostile troops had come, remained as much of a riddle as ever. That was a matter of indifference after all; the chief consideration was to adopt measures of defense as ...
— Banzai! • Ferdinand Heinrich Grautoff

... first riddle, the second, the third, all in one corner of the card, then turned it round impatiently to look at another. Before he could begin reading the riddles printed here the sound of the church ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... trees—you think them divine. But when it's a question of taking on this divine, fresh, pure, enchanting loveliness yourself, in your own person, it immediately becomes a cruel and wicked degradation. Here we have a strange riddle, in my opinion." ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... riddle yet? Hath she a fitting phrase selected? But time flies and she doth forget They long at home have her expected— Whither two neighbouring dames have walked And a long time about her talked. "What ...
— Eugene Oneguine [Onegin] - A Romance of Russian Life in Verse • Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

... through the garden gap, Who should I meet but Dick Red-cap! A stick in his hand, a stone in his throat, If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give ...
— Young Canada's Nursery Rhymes • Various

... That was the riddle that plagued Boris Godunov what time—in the winter of 1604—he sent his armies to meet the invader. He sent them because, crippled now by gout, even the satisfaction of leading them was denied him. He was forced ...
— The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series • Rafael Sabatini

... guessed the riddle! Friend Guido, you have the subtlest wit under the red lily of Florence. I heartily commend your taking to wife so high a dame. Of a surety, will spring of this union a numerous progeny of canzones, sonnets ...
— The Well of Saint Clare • Anatole France

... least we can sometimes fancy that that baby might become the Saviour of the World, he reminds us of those babies we have all seen in real life with a look in their eyes as though they had solved the riddle of the universe. But the Man Christ does not convince; we only tolerate him because we have been brought up to acquiesce in the convention. The Christs of pictures and statues are not, however, such failures as the Christ at Ober-Ammergau; by keeping still ...
— Castellinaria - and Other Sicilian Diversions • Henry Festing Jones

... a minute, and the answer, a big one, to this great riddle will come," cried the captain. "Can't you see, man? the lads are busy there getting ready for your friend to speak. Another moment or two and you will hear what he says—that Don Ramon is President of this Republic, and ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... consciousness of his misery is evidence of his greatness; "Nature confounds the Pyrrhonist, and reason the dogmatist;" "Man is but a reed, the feeblest of created things, but a reed which thinks." How is this riddle of human nature to be explained? Only in one way—by a recognition of the truth taught by religion, that human nature is fallen from its true estate, that man is a dethroned king. And how is the dissonance in man's ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... only exasperated the Indians. In the course of the next summer (after doing much mischief in a smaller way in the meantime), they gathered together to the number of six hundred, and led on by Colonel Bird, a British officer, came down upon Riddle's and Martin's stations, at the forks of Licking river. They had with them six cannons, and managed their matters so secretly, that the first news of their approach was given to the settlers by the roar of their guns. Of course it was of no use to resist; the pickets could not defend ...
— The Adventures of Daniel Boone: the Kentucky rifleman • Uncle Philip

... I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle. What farther hath befallen or may befall The hero of this grand poetic riddle, I by and by may tell you, if at all: But now I choose to break off in the middle, Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall, While Juan is sent off with the despatch, For which all Petersburgh is ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... amnesia similar to that observed in neurotics for later experiences, the nature of which consists in their being detained from consciousness (repression). But what forces bring about this repression of the infantile impressions? He who can solve this riddle will also ...
— Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex • Sigmund Freud

... whispered back, while Mary's sweet voice in the mare's delicate ear sounded like a song, "sometimes an unguessed riddle hath less weight than a guessed one, and some fish of knowledge had best be left in the stream. I tell thee she is safe." So saying, I looked him full in his honest, boyish face, which was good to see, though sometime I wished, for the maid's sake, that it had more ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... brings out the flesh tints. The face is intelligent, but not refined; the clear dark eyes bespeak the artist spirit, but the full mobile mouth tells the material nature of the man. In looking at this one can solve the riddle of the dissonance between his art and his life. As a young man Andrea was full of spirit; he loved lively society, and knew almost all the young artists who lived very much as students now. They met each other in the art schools, and ...
— Fra Bartolommeo • Leader Scott (Re-Edited By Horace Shipp And Flora Kendrick)

... something rather marvelous about you. You'd make a man—even a hardened one—want to go down on his knees before you in worship and at the same time you'd make a timid one want to dare hellfire to take you in his arms. In short, you're a secret and a riddle: an ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... 'It's no riddle, sir,—it's a solution of all the riddles. I will tell you. While I was convalescing, I went to a Y.M.C.A. camp. I had never been to one of these places before; I don't know why I went then, except that ...
— "The Pomp of Yesterday" • Joseph Hocking

... Throttl'd at length in the Air, expir'd and fell; So after many a foil the Tempter proud, Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride 570 Fell whence he stood to see his Victor fall. And as that Theban Monster that propos'd Her riddle, and him, who solv'd it not, devour'd; That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spight Cast her self headlong from th' Ismenian steep, So strook with dread and anguish fell the Fiend, And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought Joyless triumphals of his hop't ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... but he seemed to find himself absolutely within that brighter better sphere to which they belonged, to see them walking in it in their white robes, to hear their songs of praise, and to know whence came that atmosphere that they carried about with them, and that he had felt when it was a riddle to him. ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to-morrow, to-day, now, by the waves that pass, by the breeze that blows, by the pebble that falls, by the hour that strikes; on a certain day, man, that trembling, stumbling being, the plaything of chance and of the passing moment, rises suddenly before the riddle that is called human life, feels that there is within him something greater than this abyss,—honour! something stronger than fatality,—virtue! something more mysterious than the unknown,—faith! and alone, feeble and naked, he says to all this formidable mystery that envelopes him: "Do with me ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... feedle, fuddle! Was there ever such a muddle? Fuddle, feedle, faddle, fiddle! Who is there will solve the riddle? ...
— The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat • Thornton W. Burgess

... truth, I was not fond of those cruel spectacles; and if it were not so ancient a custom, founded, as I had heard, upon the wisest maxims, I should be apt to censure the inhumanity of those who introduced it." All this will be a riddle to the waking reader, till I discover the scene my imagination had formed upon the maxim, "That a lion would never hurt a true virgin." "I dreamed, that by a law of immemorial time, a he-lion was ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... disguises. Now he is the most beautiful and noble of the Greek gods, Apollo; now he is Odin, with a single eye; now he is Hercules, the hero, with his twelve great labours for the good of men; now he is Oedipus, who met the Sphinx and solved her riddle. In the early times men saw how everything in the world about them drew its strength and beauty from the sun; how the sun warmed the earth and made the crops grow; how it brought gladness and hope and inspiration to men; and they made it the centre of the great ...
— Myths That Every Child Should Know - A Selection Of The Classic Myths Of All Times For Young People • Various

... would not have been likely to pause to invent anything complicated. It would, indeed, be curious that he should have invented anything at all under such circumstances, and when he could have so little hope that the riddle would be solved. But, on the other hand, his position was desperate; he was quite surrounded by foes; there was no chance of his being able to convey the secret in any other way, and he /might/ ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... Andy was yanking savagely at the latigo; and he, also, had never a word to say. He was still wondering how it had happened. He looked the roan over critically and shook his head against the riddle; for he had known him to be a quiet, dependable, all-round good horse, with no bad traits and an easy-going disposition that fretted at nothing. A high-strung, nervous beast might, from rough usage and abuse, go "bad"; but the blue roan—they had called him ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... have spoken already—it was inconceivable otherwise. Then why had the prince not acted at once, summarily? His excellency was not one to hesitate about drastic measures. Mr. Heatherbloom could not solve the riddle at all. He could only crouch back farther ...
— A Man and His Money • Frederic Stewart Isham

... Riddle death-sealed for ever, Let it rest! . . . One's heart could blame her never If one guessed That go she did. She knew her ...
— Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses • Thomas Hardy

... themselves like the star-rise described, and shine out distinctly above the prevailing twilight of the book, everywhere haunted by breaths of fragrance, and glimpses of beautiful things, which cannot be determined as any certain scent or shape. For example, who can guess this riddle? ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... ordered to go. And we went to sleep at night, because we felt tired. All our existence seemed to be only for the sake of discipline; and that discipline, again, seemed a thing in itself. But the moment they told us of mobilization and war, our riddle was solved. It suddenly became clear to us why we had been caught and brought to where we were, and why we had been suffering all the time. It looked as if year in, year out, we had been walking in the darkness ...
— In Those Days - The Story of an Old Man • Jehudah Steinberg

... on one condition," decided Pike. "Disclose the whole of this from first to last, and then we may part friends. But try to palm off one lie upon me, and I'll riddle you through. To begin with: what brought you ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... We left an air behind us, which alone Was able to make the two next companies Eight witty; though but downright fools were wise. When I remember this, * * * I needs must cry I see my days of ballading grow nigh; I can already riddle, and can sing Catches, sell bargains, and I fear shall bring Myself to speak the hardest words I find Over as oft as any with one wind, That takes no medicines, but thought of thee Makes me remember all these things to be The wit of our young men, fellows that show No part of good, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... friend Peakslow!" he said. "If you come upon my premises with a gun, threatening to shoot folks, I'll riddle you with small shot; I'll fill you as full of holes as ...
— The Young Surveyor; - or Jack on the Prairies • J. T. Trowbridge

... dreamed of 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

... inclined to attach no importance to it, seemed, itself, to be something wonderful. Here in Geometry and Arithmetic, here was order and harmony unsurpassed and unsurpassable. What wonder then that Pythagoras concluded that the solution of the mighty riddle of the Universe was contained in the mysteries of Geometry? What wonder that he read mystic meanings into the laws of Arithmetic, and believed Number to be the explanation and origin of ...
— Bygone Beliefs • H. Stanley Redgrove

... adversary as a fundamental concession and that all were seeking the best welfare of England. The differences regarded only the expedients which were proper for the moment. One could see that foes furious in the arena might at the same time be closest personal friends. It was not a riddle that in the tea-rooms and the smoking-rooms Greek and Trojan could sit together in friendly tete-a-tete, or that such incidents could occur as the genial congratulations extended by Gladstone to Joseph Chamberlain over the fine promise of his son Austin Chamberlain making ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... thou shalt receive All honourable aidance! But haste hence! Travel will ripen thee, and enterprise Beseems thy years! Be thou henceforth my soldier! And whatsoe'er betide thee, still believe 415 That in each noble deed, achieved or suffered, Thou solvest best the riddle of thy birth! And may the light that streams from thine own honour Guide thee to ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... of old, and with a sigh we turn from the ghastly sight to the pages of French history where we again read in detail the accounts of his life and death, and then it is for us to decide upon our answer to this riddle which offers ...
— Ten Boys from History • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... 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, or unfortunate clerks and ...
— Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home • Bayard Taylor

... to freedom" (what nonsense!) are nothing but the short interregnums of freedom obtained by the poor Indian Aryans between the monarchies. They are 200 300 120. And I propose to you, master of the Vedas, the riddle, how do I know that the first republican interregnum (anarchy, to the barbarians) was 200 years long? The Indian traditions begin therefore with 7000, and that is the time of Zaradushta. I find many reasons for adopting your opinion on the origin of the ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... have a monomania about a non-existent trouble. Dear, dear,' the doctor shook his head sadly, 'I shall never understand human nature; there is always an abyss below an abyss, and the firmest seeming ground is usually quagmire when you come to step on it. George Pendle is a riddle which would puzzle the Sphinx. Hum! hum! another fabulous beast. Well, well, I can only wait and watch until I discover the truth, and then—well, what then?—why, nothing!' And Graham, having talked ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... they were before the old soldier tried the experiment which he expected would be so decisive. The ill-success of his past efforts so stimulated Dumay's sense of duty, that he determined not to go to Paris to see after his own fortune as announced by his patron, until he had guessed the riddle of Modeste's heart. These friends, to whom feelings were more precious than interests, well knew that unless the daughter were pure and innocent, the father would die of grief when he came to know the death of Bettina and the blindness of ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... he strode about the room in silence, as if he thought it necessary to give Joseph a few moments in which to consider his war gear (intended as an elaborate piece of symbolism). In response to the riddle presented, Joseph began to wonder if Nicodemus regarded himself rather as a riddle than as a reality—a riddle that might be propounded again and again, or if he could not do else than devise gaud and trappings to conceal his inner emptiness, a dust-heap of which he himself was grown weary. ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... so full of melancholy? The composer has sought to catch them, has touched them with his refining art and has spoiled them. The playwright has striven to transfer from the field to the stage a cotton-picking scene and has made a travesty of it. To transfer the passions of man and to music-riddle them is an art with stiff-jointed rules, but the charm of a cotton-picking scene is an essence, and is breathed but cannot be caught. Here seems to lie a sentiment that no other labor invites, and though old with ...
— An Arkansas Planter • Opie Percival Read

... a rational explanation of the universe is covered, although it does not offer an explanation of the "ultimate," or "the riddle of the universe," does insist that any view held be one that shall be based on truth and conformity to reality. It further maintains that if a view be propagated it should be held in the same position that any scientific proposition is held. It must ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... where we are going, and what it is all about. It can never have been a greater puzzle than now, when we are all busily engaged in killing each other. And at every stage there have been those who have cried, "Lo, here!" and "Lo, there!" and have called men to witness that they have read the riddle and have torn the secret from the heart ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... wouldst wend with me, To leave both tower and town, Thou first must guess what life lead we That dwell by dale and down. And if thou canst that riddle read, As read full well you may, Then to the greenwood shalt thou speed, As blythe ...
— Lyra Heroica - A Book of Verse for Boys • Various

... that full soft volume of melody which gives to common speech the fascination of music. Mr. Chainmail could not reconcile the dress of the damsel with her conversation and manners. He threw out a remote question or two, with the hope of solving the riddle, but, receiving no reply, he became satisfied that she was not disposed to be communicative respecting herself, and, fearing to offend her, fell upon other topics. They talked of the scenes of the mountains, ...
— Crotchet Castle • Thomas Love Peacock

... no need of the sanction of my poor opinion for anything it may please him to do," answered Spikeman. "But resolve me your riddle." ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... looking long at you, The woman almost fades from view. A cipher of man's changeless sum Of lust, past, present, and to come, Is left. A riddle that one shrinks To challenge ...
— Traffic in Souls - A Novel of Crime and Its Cure • Eustace Hale Ball

... ordinarily from one language into another, or from the language of one period into that of another; it may also be a statement giving the doubtful or hidden meaning of that which is recondite or perplexing; as, the interpretation of a dream, a riddle, or of some difficult passage. Definition, explanation, exposition, and interpretation are ordinarily blended in a commentary, which may also include description. A comment is upon a single passage; a commentary ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... he gave vent to his merriment, which by no means relieved me. "Shall I give you some good advice?" continued Gulab-Sing, changing his tone for a more serious one. "Don't trouble your head with such vain speculations. The day when this riddle yields its solution, the Rajput Sphinx will not seek destruction in the waves of the sea; but, believe me, it won't bring any profit to the Russian Oedipus either. You already know every detail you ever will learn. So leave the rest to ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... perceived as a mere mask, veiling horrors; but in the passion and the worship of love was surely a never-failing fountain of growth and power; this the draught that would leave no bitter aftertaste, its enjoyment the final and all-sufficient answer to the riddle of life. Rossetti put into utterance for her so much that she had not dared to entrust even to the voice of thought. Her spirit and flesh became one and indivisible; the old antagonism seemed at an ...
— The Unclassed • George Gissing

... also eat, but did not know That from the lion's carcase it did flow. So down his father went unto the woman, And Samson made a feast, as it was common Among young men. The Philistines provide Thirty companions with him to abide And Samson said unto them, now behold, I have a riddle for you to unfold; Which if you do before the seven days' feast Be ended, I will give to every guest A sheet and change of garments; but if ye Cannot declare it, ye shall give to me Full thirty sheets, and thirty changes too. Then said ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... makes up for size in quality," declared the detective, while Jack blushed. "He is the youngster who solved the 'ghost' riddle and spoiled this same gang's game ...
— The Young Railroaders - Tales of Adventure and Ingenuity • Francis Lovell Coombs

... unlocks the riddle of Time Is, That offers choice of glory and of gloom; The solver makes Time Shall Be surely his.— But hasten, Sisters! for even now the tomb Grates its slow hinge and calls ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 49, November, 1861 • Various

... it was human-faced like the Sphinx? There's no riddle to solve, whate'er the world thinks: The fiat that made it, from its heels to its hair, Wasn't simply 'Be man!' but ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... ridiculous imperial folly of Caligula is but a special form of man's arrogant assumption of divinity. Only when we have abandoned this untenable illusion, and taken up the correct cosmological perspective, can we hope to reach the solution of the Riddle ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... remember than it seemed at first glance, she decided to copy it. She did not know where to look for a sheet of paper, but remembered several paper bags on the pantry shelves, so she went in search of one. Finding one with only a cupful of sugar left in it, she tore off the top and wrote the riddle on that with a stub of a pencil which she ...
— Georgina of the Rainbows • Annie Fellows Johnston

... ingenious a series of books for little folks as has ever appeared since "Alice in Wonderland." The idea of the Riddle books is a little group of children—three girls and three boys decide to form a riddle club. Each book is full of the adventures and doings of these six youngsters, but as an added attraction each book is filled with a lot of the best riddles ...
— Roy Blakeley's Bee-line Hike • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... interpretation of this riddle? What is the character of this felucca? Who and what is her skipper? And whither ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... gaze not merely with the eye of to-day, or even of the whole nineteenth century, but with his mind educated to the strange conditions of earlier civilisation. For in these conditions will be found the root of the widespread mischief—the answer to many a riddle which superficial observers have been unable to comprehend. The racial hatred between Boer and Briton is not a thing of new growth; it has expanded with the expansion of the Boer settlers themselves. In fact, on the Boer side, it is the only thing independent of British enterprise which has ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... 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

... would have been folly for him to make for any point near that from which he departed when he set out from the Kentucky shore. Such a proceeding would be seen by his enemies, and would invite them to riddle him with bullets ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... The riddle was not solved even when the scout of the Missouri train, crowded ahead by the steady rush of the shouting and laughing savages, raised his voice as though in warning and shouted some word, unintelligible, which made them ...
— The Covered Wagon • Emerson Hough

... the rest. It'll be of the same quality, devil a doubt, and it doesn't help us to solve the riddle that's ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... 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 ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... safe condition. And they said that an old oracle had been uttered by the children in earlier times in Carthage, to the effect that "gamma shall pursue beta, and again beta itself shall pursue gamma." And at that time it had been spoken by the children in play and had been left as an unexplained riddle, but now it was perfectly clear to all. For formerly Gizeric had driven out Boniface and now Belisarius was doing the same to Gelimer. This, then, whether it was a rumour or an oracle, came out as I ...
— History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8) - The Vandalic War • Procopius

... certain forms of matter may be a residuum of some original form of energy which is inherent in great cosmical masses, and has fed our sun during all the ages required by the geologist for the structure of the earth's crusts? It may be that in this phenomenon we have the key to the great riddle of the universe, with which profounder secrets of matter than any we have penetrated will be opened to ...
— Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science • Simon Newcomb

... thou have done to grieve because the fire from above has kissed thy gates. For hadst thou done this last thing or left the first undone, I should have known that thy heart was wicked, and by now thou wouldst have wept indeed—tears of blood, Mopo. It is well for thee, then, that thou hast read my riddle aright." ...
— Nada the Lily • H. Rider Haggard

... the Duke that you may be faithful to the Duchy?" he questioned, scorn running ever stronger in his voice. "Sirs, it is a riddle I'll not ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... in its huge granite brain; for when the full day sprang in glory over the desert and illumined its large features with a burning saffron radiance, its cruel lips still smiled as though yearning to speak and propound the terrible riddle of old time; the Problem ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... guardian of what to him was doubtless a consecrated offering to the Sun God; Sorez, acquiring it with the tradition that the image held the secret, thought that with the psychic gift of the girl he had solved the riddle. This much seemed a reasonable explanation. But where was this treasure, and of what did it consist? He turned to the second parchment. At the end of an hour he had before him a half page of minute directions for approaching the ...
— The Web of the Golden Spider • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... wonder—a riddle surpassing any of Solomon's," the inquisitor said next. "As you see, I am in the time of life when curiosity is as ungovernable as it was in childhood, when to trifle with it is cruelty. Tell me further, and I will honor you as kings honor each other. Give me all you know about the newly ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... there with Him. The quest for Eternal Happiness, which was always His Own Divine Thought. Why, then, did He create ugliness and evil? Why write those upon the scroll? Ah, this perhaps is the Eternal Riddle! But, in 2930, they told me that there could be no beauty without ugliness with which to compare it; no truth without a lie; no consciousness of happiness without unhappiness to ...
— Astounding Stories, May, 1931 • Various

... had gone to pieces from overwork and his mode of life. For months he was not allowed to write down a note. And now, I think some one must have prescribed marriage as a cure for his ills. There followed that strange affair which was a riddle as late as the time Miss Newmarch's biography appeared in 1900; a solution was then hoped from a sealed document left by Kashkin, and not to be opened till the year 1927. Tschaikovski himself had looked over his own diary, and had been so terrified at what he read that ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... brings no kind of stigma - Dance we to another tune! String the lyre and fill the cup, Lest on sorrow we should sup; Hop and skip to Fancy's fiddle, Hands across and down the middle - Life's perhaps the only riddle That we shrink ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... picture of the second-rate playwright than of the world-poet. Attempting to solve this problem Emerson coolly assumed that the men of the Elizabethan age were so great that Shakespeare himself walked about among them unnoticed as a giant among giants. This reading of the riddle is purely transcendental. We know that Shakespeare's worst plays were far oftener acted than his best; that "Titus Andronicus" by popular favour was more esteemed than "Hamlet." The majority of contemporary poets and critics regarded Shakespeare rather as a singer of "sugred" verses ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... many princes thither frame, To seek her as a bed-fellow, In marriage-pleasures play-fellow: Which to prevent he made a law, To keep her still, and men in awe, That whoso ask'd her for his wife, His riddle told not, lost his life: So for her many a wight did die, As yon grim looks do testify. What now ensues, to the judgement your eye I give, my cause who lest ...
— Pericles Prince of Tyre • William Shakespeare [Clark edition]

... Nevertheless, with this trifling exception, he was a pattern of filial duty; and now the time was come that his father must die—his mother was dead long before; and he was left alone in the world with his riddle. The whole house, board, trade—what there was of it—all was his. When he came to take stock, and make an inventory—in his head—of what he was worth, it was by no means such as to endanger his entrance into ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... to my anecdotes about our being lost through inability to riddle out our name on the part of the police, I must relate an instance where the post-office displayed remarkable powers of divination. One day I received an official notification from the post-office that ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... build a house or to enlarge your estate, or to increase the number of your slaves, there is granted to you a great habitation, vast acres, and a multitude of men.' Rumour had immediately seized on this riddle and now began to solve it. Nothing was more talked of, especially in Vespasian's presence: such conversation is the ...
— Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... flattered himself that he had reached the end of her superficial attractions; and in a minute, by some startling metamorphosis, she was changed from a being of transparent shallows into the immemorial riddle of sex. She might be anything, or everything, except the ingenuous girl of ...
— One Man in His Time • Ellen Glasgow

... last, my darling one, Flushed and tired with thy play, From morning dawn until setting sun Hast thou been at sport away; And thy steps are weary—hot thy brow, Yet thine eyes with joy are bright,— Ah! I read the riddle, show me now The ...
— The Poetical Works of Mrs. Leprohon (Mrs. R.E. Mullins) • Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon

... abstraction Blue-Star Woman prepared her morning meal. "Who am I?" had become the obsessing riddle of her life. She was no longer a young woman, being in her fifty-third year. In the eyes of the white man's law, it was required of her to give proof of her membership in the Sioux tribe. The unwritten law of heart prompted her naturally to say, "I am a being. I am Blue-Star ...
— American Indian stories • Zitkala-Sa

... make that out," the keeper muttered in his beard. That Lucas should be in one moment cured of his urgent need of seeing the Comte de Mar was too much for him, but no riddle to me. I knew he had come to stab M. Etienne in his cell. It was his last chance, and he had missed it. I feared him no longer, for I believed in Mayenne's faith. My master once released, ...
— Helmet of Navarre • Bertha Runkle

... of thirty the face of a woman is a book written in a foreign tongue, which one may still translate in spite of all the feminisms of the idiom; but on passing her fortieth year a woman becomes an insoluble riddle; and if any one can see through an old woman, ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... line of reasoning for some minutes. His companion fitted a wooden chimney on the doll house, found it a trifle out of plumb, and proceeded to whittle a shaving off the lower edge. Then Asaph sighed, as one who gives up a perplexing riddle, put his hand in his pocket, and produced a ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... principle will also account for that feeling of littleness, vacuity, and perplexity, which a stranger feels on entering the streets of a populous city. Every individual he meets is a blow to his personal identity. Every new face is a teazing, unanswered riddle. He feels the same wearisome sensation in walking from Oxford Street to Temple Bar, as a person would do who should be compelled to read through the first leaf of all the volumes in a library. But it is otherwise with respect to nature. A flock of sheep is not ...
— Lectures on the English Poets - Delivered at the Surrey Institution • William Hazlitt

... read my uncle's riddle,' said Stanley;'the cautious old soldier did not care to hint to me that I might hand over to you this passport, which I have no occasion for; but if it should afterwards come out as the rattle-pated trick of a young Cantab, cela ne tire a rien. You are therefore ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... right, the explanation of Rosanna's strange language and behaviour might have been all in this—that she didn't care what she said, so long as she could surprise Mr. Franklin into speaking to her. Granting that to be the right reading of the riddle, it accounted, perhaps, for her flighty, self-conceited manner when she passed me in the hall. Though he had only said three words, still she had carried her point, and Mr. Franklin ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... that, as often as thou hadst not been with me, I sent word that the priest had not been with me. Who but thou, that hast suffered jealousy to blind thee, would have been so witless as not to read such a riddle? But thou must needs mount guard at night beside the door, and think to make me believe that thou hadst gone out to sup and sleep. Consider thy ways, and court not the mockery of those that know them as I do, but turn a man again as thou wast ...
— The Decameron, Vol. II. • Giovanni Boccaccio

... Honorificabilitudinitatibus; and it was absolutely impossible that the citation of Priscian could ever have been understood before the sentence containing the information which is of the most important description had been "revealed." We say "revealed" because the riddle ...
— Bacon is Shake-Speare • Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence

... The giant, both shall slay. And if perchance My saying, dark as Themis or as Sphinx, Fail to persuade thee, (since like them it foils The intellect with blindness) yet ere long Events shall be the Naiads, that will solve This knotty riddle, and no damage light On flock or field. Take heed; and as these words By me are utter'd, teach them even so To those who live that life, which is a race To death: and when thou writ'st them, keep in mind Not to conceal how thou ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... scarcely tell why, to look at the dying girl. A transient flush had again lit up her pale wasted face. She was evidently greatly excited. "Can you read me that riddle, Mr Cringle? Does no analogy present itself to you between what you have seen, between the mysterious power possessed by these ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... has become a meaningless riddle and uninteresting to most people because it is not rightly divided. It is assumed that all parts of the Bible are addressed to everybody. This is far from the truth. While we must recognize the unity and interdependence of the entire Bible and that each part teaches great ...
— To Infidelity and Back • Henry F. Lutz

... plodded on, but did not reach the summit that night, nor did they find any further solution to the riddle of the lost bear skull, which latter Rob left in the trail, intending to pick it up on their return, although Skookie seemed to be averse to this performance; owing, no doubt, to some of his native superstitions. That night they camped high up in an air ...
— The Young Alaskans • Emerson Hough

... note came there upon the floor was a riddle which I was too much bewildered to explain by any natural means. Joseph, who burst in upon me, in my extremity of pain and difficulty, solved it at once. It had fallen out of the glove, where it had lain folded, silent, unnoticed, during all ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... plainly he does—he walks away in a temper, changes his mind, comes back 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? ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... precision of soldiers. Together they wheeled through the open doors of the Commercial Trust Building, together they left-turned into the elevator, and simultaneously raised their heads to examine its roof, as though in its panelled ceiling was concealed some Delphic oracle who would answer the riddle which circumstances ...
— Bones in London • Edgar Wallace



Words linked to "Riddle" :   stick, penetrate, screen, diffuse, interpenetrate, conundrum, work out, riddle canon, vex, enigma, nonplus, permeate, intercommunicate, baffle, problem, pose, solve, dumbfound, puzzle, gravel, brain-teaser, perforate, beat, amaze, perplex, sieve, mystify, lick, flummox, pervade, puzzle out, spiritize, work, communicate, figure out, stupefy, James Riddle Hoffa, spiritise, sift, imbue, strain



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