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Comprehend   /kˌɑmprihˈɛnd/   Listen
Comprehend

verb
(past & past part. comprehended; pres. part. comprehending)
1.
Get the meaning of something.  Synonyms: apprehend, compass, dig, get the picture, grasp, grok, savvy.
2.
To become aware of through the senses.  Synonym: perceive.
3.
Include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory.  Synonyms: cover, embrace, encompass.  "This should cover everyone in the group"



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"Comprehend" Quotes from Famous Books



... shades which one sees over fancy clocks and articles of bijouterie. This cover is composed of over six hundred pieces of glass, arranged in a complicated and scientific system of lenses and prisms, very difficult to comprehend, but very beautiful in the result; for every ray of light from that brilliant flame is shivered into a thousand glittering arrows, reflected, refracted, tinted with all the rainbow hues, and finally projected through the clear plate-glass windows of the lantern with all the force and brilliancy ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859 • Various

... happily found in a monastery; and he exhorted them to insist on the renewal and observance of it: the barons swore, that they would sooner lose their lives than depart from so reasonable a demand [x]. The confederacy began now to spread wider, and to comprehend almost all the barons in England; and a new and more numerous meeting was summoned by Langton at St. Edmondsbury, under colour of devotion. [MN Nov. 1.] He again produced to the assembly the old charter of Henry; renewed his exhortations of unanimity and vigour in the prosecution ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... the Admiral is far more capable than I of estimating it at its true worth. It is a matter for a naval man to comprehend and decide." ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... a pie as well as anybody," answered Sam, who, however, not being acquainted with the Greek alphabet, did not quite comprehend the joke. ...
— Sam's Chance - And How He Improved It • Horatio Alger

... beside him, and stopped abruptly, shaken by a sudden consciousness that had never before occurred to him. Could it be that out of her own experience she did comprehend? She looked up piteously and her face ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... and tenderness, "You have sinned against Heaven, and you have sinned against the Church and your own calling,—but the greatest sinner can do no more than repent and strive to make amends. For I see you fully know and comprehend the ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... journals devoted to temperance and general literature in the Western States, and became known as possessing a keenly observing and philosophic mind. This experience, perhaps, prepared and eminently fitted her for the service into which she entered at the breaking out of the war, and enabled her to comprehend and provide for the necessities and emergencies of ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... in view of the information thus obtained, to interdict my further intercourse with your sister or any other member of your family. Since I cannot battle with shadows, or refute insinuations the drift of which I do not in the least comprehend, may I trouble you to put the allegations to which you refer into a definite and tangible shape? Let me know who are my accusers, and what are the iniquities with which they charge me. The worst criminal against human and divine laws ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... nothing against him that I have not said to him. If you'll come back with me up the elevator I'll tell him he's a self-seeker and selfish, and with no thought above his own interests. He won't mind. He'd say I cannot comprehend his motives. Why, you've only to look at his record. When the Venezuelan message came out he attacked the President and declared he was trying to make political capital and to drag us into war, and that what we wanted was arbitration; but when the ...
— The Lion and the Unicorn and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... to the others in the picture, and then to the chief, the latter seemed for the first time to comprehend, but he slowly shook his head and grunted, or made use of his own language to indicate that he had no knowledge of them. The boys were fairly ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: The Tribesmen • Roger Finlay

... was quite exhausted, and fell to the ground fainting. De Lescure and Henri had both stood still for a moment, after having been made to comprehend that an immediate attack was about to be made on the chateau, but it was ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... gasped, unable even yet to comprehend the everyday fact that so many gently nurtured Western girls are accustomed to those ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... duties which those positions involve. It is an injustice to the Society that the training of its missionaries should be incomplete. And it is an injustice to the Missions generally, should they be placed in the hands of men who are unable, from defective education, rightly to comprehend their claims, and to fulfil the important duties which the charge of them now involves. In addition to considerations such as these, the Directors observed that for some years past their missionary students had been trained in a variety of ways; a few being educated in the ordinary ...
— Fruits of Toil in the London Missionary Society • Various

... thing; [namely] that God endured to be born and become man. [69:1] If I undertook, said I, [Justin] to prove this by doctrines or arguments of men, you should not bear with me. But if I quote frequently Scriptures, and so many of them, referring to this point, and ask you to comprehend them, you are hard-hearted in the recognition of the mind and will ...
— The Lost Gospel and Its Contents - Or, The Author of "Supernatural Religion" Refuted by Himself • Michael F. Sadler

... with his dim eyes, but the philosopher took care that Melissa should not be left to herself and the terrors of her heart. He employed all the eloquence at his command to make her comprehend what it meant to be an empress and the consort of the ruler of the world. In flaming colors he painted to her the good she might do in such a position, and the tears she might wipe away. Then he reminded ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... The brethren assembled around the tomb of Hiram, is a representation of the disciples lamenting the death of Christ on the cross. The Master's word, which is said to be lost, since the death of Hiram Abiff, is the same that Christ pronounced on the cross, and which the Jews did not comprehend, "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani," "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me! have pity on and forgive my enemies."—Instead of which words were substituted, M. B. N. (Mac-be-nac), which, in Arabian, ...
— The Mysteries of Free Masonry - Containing All the Degrees of the Order Conferred in a Master's Lodge • William Morgan

... girl, ask your conscience. Enthusiasm for art I can comprehend; I can even sympathize with it. But if this grave national question is to be decided by considerations ...
— The Great Adventure • Arnold Bennett

... their movements. The driver, one of the wisest of his set, seemed to comprehend the situation by instinct, and trod the halls and stairs as though his feet had been shod in velvet. He was a strong man, too, and between them they carried the slight effeminate form with ease and laid him upon the elegant bed in his elegant room, he still sleeping the heavy ...
— Three People • Pansy

... old gentleman testily. "You seem to be unable to comprehend. My wife has a duodenal ulcer, sir. Had it for fourteen years in September, and you talk to ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Edward J. O'Brien and John Cournos, editors

... him believe it, would take frequent opportunities of embracing him, crying out at the same time, "would to God you were my brother!" This he often put in practice before me, which M. de Guise seemed not to comprehend; but I, who knew his malicious designs, lost all patience, yet did not dare to reproach him ...
— Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, Complete • Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre

... not only the effect of the still-working man that the busy man cannot anticipate, but neither can he comprehend the present labour. If Horace had told ...
— Friends in Council (First Series) • Sir Arthur Helps

... get out of my depth; my shallow mind cannot comprehend, as it ought, these weighty subjects: Let me only therefore pray, that, after having made a grateful use of God's mercies here, I may, with my dear benefactor, rejoice in that happy state, where is no mixture, no unsatisfiedness; ...
— Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded • Samuel Richardson

... by a look of the keenest inquiry, followed instantly and superseded by another flash of expression. I could not comprehend it at the time. The eyes, which had startled me by their steely gleam, softened wonderfully with what looked like nothing so much as reverence, along with some other expression which I could neither read at the moment nor ...
— Daisy • Elizabeth Wetherell

... that the figurative meaning of the word "erfassen" like that of "apprehend" and "comprehend" [or of the native "grasp"] is a metaphysical extension of the primitive "prehension" by ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... not proceed in his instructions. He now began to think his brother in the right, and that the boy was too young, or too weak, to comprehend the subject. ...
— Nature and Art • Mrs. Inchbald

... the count could not interpret; one stood before him. He could not comprehend why England had sent so astute a diplomat and politician to a third-rate kingdom. Of that which we can not understand we are suspicious, and the guilty are distrustful. Neither the minister of police nor his subordinates could fathom the purpose of ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... are therefore alike in this, that the dullard is capable of nothing, and the other finds nothing to suit him. The only means of distinguishing them is chance, which may bring to the genius some ideas he can comprehend, while the dull ...
— Emile - or, Concerning Education; Extracts • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... country at large. I believe it holds a promise of great benefit to humanity. I shall resist any attempt to resort to the old methods and the old standards. I am especially solicitous that foreign nations should comprehend the candor and sincerity with which we have adopted this position. While we propose to maintain defensive and supplementary police forces by land and sea, and to train them through inspections and maneuvers upon appropriate occasions in order ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Calvin Coolidge • Calvin Coolidge

... her world of beauty The heavenly links extend, Man feels its presence, Imbibes its essence, But cannot yet comprehend. ...
— Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics • Charles Sangster

... distinctness the difference between the old and new points of view. Here again we think Mr. Motley errs slightly, in calling too much attention to the prevaricating diplomacy of the Spanish court, and too little to its manifest inability to comprehend the demands of the Netherlanders. How should statesmen brought up under Philip II. and kept under the eye of the Inquisition be expected to understand a claim for liberty originating in the rights of the common people and not in the gracious benevolence or intelligent policy of ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... by nature to the Son of God belongs by grace to the Son of Man, as Augustine says (De Trin. i, 13). But to comprehend the Divine Essence belongs by nature to the Son of God. Therefore it belongs by grace to the Son of Man; and thus it seems that the soul of Christ comprehended the Divine Essence ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... He stood for a few minutes holding the candle aloft, and blinking on our travellers with a dismal and mystified expression that was truly ludicrous. It cost some effort of our senator to induce him to comprehend the case fully; and while he is doing his best at that, we shall give him a little ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... Said the prince—This youthful impetuosity told the governor that there was something more in the question than he had apprehended; and though he could be very solemn about nothing, he was ten times more so when there was something he did not comprehend. Yet that unknown something occasioning a conflict between his cunning and his ignorance, and the latter being the greater, always betrayed itself, for nothing looks so silly as a fool acting wisdom. The prince repeated his question; the governor demanded why he asked—the prince had not patience ...
— Hieroglyphic Tales • Horace Walpole

... master his responsibilities, save as his fellow citizens-indeed, the whole people—comprehend the challenge of our times and move, with him, to ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Harry S. Truman • Harry S. Truman

... proceeded homeward at a footpace. The witchery of the summer night took possession of him; everything around him seemed so unexpectedly strange, and, at the same time, so long, so sweetly familiar; far and near,—and things were visible at a long distance, although the eye did not comprehend much of what it beheld,—everything was at rest; young, blossoming life made itself felt in that very repose. Lavretzky's horse walked briskly, swaying regularly to right and left; its huge black shadow kept pace alongside; ...
— A Nobleman's Nest • Ivan Turgenieff

... sword and cloak are, and he is but in querpo[81] without him. His properness[82] qualifies him, and of that a good leg; for his head he has little use but to keep it bare. A good dull wit best suits with him to comprehend common sense and a trencher; for any greater store of brain it makes him but tumultuous, and seldom thrives with him. He follows his master's steps, as well in conditions as the street; if he wench or drink, he comes him in an under kind, and thinks it a part ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... to comprehend these phenomena, without admitting them as the effects of a real and material substance, or very subtile fluid, which, insinuating itself between the particles of bodies, separates them from each other; and, even allowing the existence of this fluid to be hypothetical, we shall see in the ...
— Elements of Chemistry, - In a New Systematic Order, Containing all the Modern Discoveries • Antoine Lavoisier

... have not looked for truth in the right direction. I know what I speak of; those who have laughed at me little know how much reason my ideas are based upon." He waved his hand toward the village below. "In that handful of houses they fancy that they comprehend the universe." ...
— The Country of the Pointed Firs • Sarah Orne Jewett

... exclaim, for in his daughter's face he saw an expression which caused his hope to suddenly become a glad belief. Her lips smiled, though in her eyes there lay a shadow which he could not comprehend, and her answer did not enlighten him as she put her arm about his neck and laid her slip of ...
— Moods • Louisa May Alcott

... aspirations of childhood and early youth, and a certain similarity of character which would not have wedded well, but which worked out into a comradeship, providing a source of strength for both. Of late, Flower had earnestly tried to share, even while failing to comprehend, it. ...
— The Rosary • Florence L. Barclay

... then! But thou canst not comprehend. Canst thou comprehend this, that thou art more beautiful by many times than any other woman I have ever seen? Thou art a heaven of loveliness, and I cannot live without thee. That is true ... Nedjma. I am going to take thee for my wife, because ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... chin on hands, and fixed her eyes in silence on her silent companion. In spite of her work along the acknowledged lines of science, she had pursued her hypnotic studies furtively, half in scorn and half in fear of her scientific brethren. What would she not have given to be enabled to watch, to comprehend the changes passing within that human form so close to her that she could see its every external detail, could touch it by the out-stretching of a hand! But its inner shrine, its secret place, remained barred against those feeble implements of sense with which nature has provided the ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... cannot comprehend, and express surprise that the old soldiers never forget and are so wrought up by the recollections of their war experiences; but to have participated in a scene such as this will readily explain why a soul should thrill at its ...
— The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson • Edward A. Moore

... present knowledge and our present capabilities of analysis. As science today has advanced in accuracy of knowledge and understanding of the facts of nature far beyond the powers of our ancestors to imagine, so in the future psychologists may, and let us hope will, enable us to comprehend the subtleties of metrical rhythm beyond our present power. Yet there will always remain, since the ever-inexplicable element of genius is a necessary part of all art, a portion which no science ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... absorbed to really comprehend this delicate attention, even when Sam rolled out the carriage of state, lovingly dusting off the spokes and with ostentation spreading out the new lap robe. But finally he became conscious of Sam, standing with one foot on the hub of a wheel, chewing a straw, and with a certain ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... with matted hair, and were almost entirely naked: looking very poor and miserable, as if their lives had been spent in the rushes where they were, beyond which they seemed to have very little knowledge of any thing. From the words we could comprehend, their language was that of ...
— The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California • Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont

... drew a step nearer to Maud, as if mutely asking her sympathy and support; but she was looking down upon the oaken floor, utterly unable to comprehend what Harry could ...
— Hayslope Grange - A Tale of the Civil War • Emma Leslie

... would permit; but, unlike my brother, who was at this time at school, and whose rapid progress in every branch of instruction astonished and delighted his preceptors, I took no pleasure in books, whose use, indeed, I could scarcely comprehend, and bade fair to be as arrant a dunce as ever brought the blush of shame into the cheeks of anxious ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... only, to be born a man in another birth. And one thing above all she cannot understand, how or why any man should make a fuss about any woman, as all men do: which, just because she is not a man herself, she cannot comprehend. And like jugglers, that are not taken in by their own tricks, women look upon men as mere fools, for being taken in at all. For a woman's charm, to a woman, is not only not a charm at all, but a trick, and a lure, understood, and utterly despised. So now, ...
— The Substance of a Dream • F. W. Bain

... multiplicity of minutiae conduces to clearness of perception. From the Trafalgar plan a reader, lay or professional, can grasp readily the underlying conceptions upon which the battle was fought, and the manner in which they were executed, as commonly received; but who ever has tried to comprehend the movements of the vessels on June 1st, as I elicited them? Assuming their correctness, it was a mere mental diversion, in result rather confusing than illuminative to a student; whereas ships arranged like beads on a string can give an impression fundamentally correct, ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... never witnessed a like affair can scarcely comprehend the situation of a widow left out there with three or four children in this desolate region, utterly destitute. It was a gloomy situation, indeed, and a sight that would cause the hardest-hearted ...
— Thirty-One Years on the Plains and In the Mountains • William F. Drannan

... did," answered Mrs. Winslow. "But not enough to comprehend thoroughly. Did she convince you that you ...
— Michael O'Halloran • Gene Stratton-Porter

... Reader (for press) preskorektisto. Readily volonte. Reading legado. Ready preta. Ready money kontanto. Real vera, reala. Reality realeco. Reality, in vere, efektive. Really vere, efektive. Realise (finan.) efektivigi. Realise (comprehend) kompreni. Realm regxolando, reglando. Ream (paper) rismo. Re-animate revivigi. Re-arrange rearangxi. Re-ascend resupreniri. Re-assure rekuragxigi. Reap rikolti. Rear (bring up) elnutri. Rear (hinder part) posta parto. Rear-guard postgvardio. Reason (faculty) racio. ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... bend in the tortuous mountain road, both drew up sharply, with a gasp of astonishment. For a long time neither spoke, their bewildered minds struggling to comprehend the vast puzzle that confronted them. Even the fagged horse pricked up his ears and looked ahead with interest. Not three hundred yards beyond the bend stood the ruins ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... does not Mademoiselle comprehend that it is BECAUSE I am a gentleman that there is nothing between it and this? Look!" he continued almost fiercely. "What if I told you it is the lawyer, it is the doctor, it is the banker that brings ...
— By Shore and Sedge • Bret Harte

... artistically doubled and folded into the resemblance of a man, and then the lasso was attached to it. The Apaches experimented with it for several minutes before putting it to the test, but at last everything was satisfactory, and it was launched. The aborigines seemed to comprehend what the trouble was with the other, and they ...
— The Cave in the Mountain • Lieut. R. H. Jayne

... to speak, but as Gary's cold, hard eye fell on the lad, prudence bade him hold his peace. Besides he did not more than half comprehend the ...
— Ralph Granger's Fortunes • William Perry Brown

... the other side, and the Carib turned excitedly to us, talking rapidly, but without our being able to comprehend a word. ...
— Through Forest and Stream - The Quest of the Quetzal • George Manville Fenn

... your committee can without injustice be brief; not because the field considered is narrow, or the work unimportant as a missionary movement, but from the fact that a certain unity pervades both, making it possible to comprehend in one view even the diversities of a population of over two millions, and an area of above one ...
— American Missionary, Volume 43, No. 12, December, 1889 • Various

... savage bosoms There are longings, yearnings, strivings For the good they comprehend not; That the feeble hands and helpless, Groping blindly in the darkness, Touch God's right ...
— The Gospel of the Hereafter • J. Paterson-Smyth

... knew England." She watched the curling smoke from her tobacco as it drifted across the table. "If you knew England you would comprehend so much more readily some parts ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... as much as Baraka, if his profession was to be believed, enjoyed his removal from that office. Though he spoke in this manner, still I knew that there was something rankling in his mind which depressed his spirits as long as he remained with us, though what it was I could not comprehend, nor did I fully understand it till months afterwards. It was ambition, which was fast making a fiend of him; and had I known it, he would, and with great advantage too, have been dismissed upon the spot. The facts were these: He was exceedingly clever, and he knew it. His command over men ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... It was, although I wasn't going to tell Juli this, one reason why, at the end—during that terrible explosion of violence which no normal Terran mind could comprehend—I had done my best to kill him. We had both known that after this, the planet would not hold the two of us. We could both go on living only by dividing it unevenly. I had been given the slow death of the Terran Zone. And ...
— The Door Through Space • Marion Zimmer Bradley

... individuals who view with alarm and shame the decadence of their country. Such, however, is the state of public opinion, that their voices are unheard, or listened to with indifference. There seems to be some radical incapacity in the Latin races to comprehend what we consider true political economy. The will of the majority is not the law of the land, but the will of the strongest in arms. They cannot understand that a republic has no more divine right than a monarchy; that a country having an hereditary sovereign at its head, if it is governed in consonance ...
— The Naturalist in Nicaragua • Thomas Belt

... company, but mostly did not accord with their knowledge. As an example, the Medium informed Dr. Koenig that a tall man named Charley was holding something over his head and encouraging him in some great enterprise. Dr. Koenig did not recognize the man, nor could he be made to comprehend anything of the subjects of which he was informed by the materialized Indian girl. During this second act of the seance, I could detect nothing that could be attributed to other than ordinary human agency. The Indian girl ...
— Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University • The Seybert Commission

... returned home with heavy hearts. The doctor's opinion had only confirmed their fears; for Jane, though but a child, had quickness and affection for her sister enough to make her comprehend the awful nature of poor Nancy's condition. Mrs. Dunster told her husband the doctor's words, for she thought they would awaken some tenderness in him toward the unfortunate child. But he said, "That's just what I expected. Hou'll ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... Phil," said he, noticing my discomfiture, "for, though you are not so much a part of me that you thoroughly comprehend me, I have become so much a part of you that your innermost thoughts are as plain to me as though they were mine. But let me finish. I realized when I lay ill and about to die that I had permitted my theory ...
— The Water Ghost and Others • John Kendrick Bangs

... information, or to introduce this kinsman to her acquaintance. As soon as Mervyn was ushered into her presence, she suspected him to be the person to whom Welbeck had alluded, and this suspicion his conversation had confirmed. She was at a loss to comprehend the reasons of the silence which he so ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... American citizen, came in pride and exultation into the avenue from the central court. He had not been there before. The first thing he did was to stand fully five minutes gazing at the immensity of the enclosure trying to comprehend it, instinctively but vainly seeking adjectives with which to characterize it, and finally giving it all up, as a man gives up trying to measure the ocean or count the stars, conceding it to be too vast and wonderful for the range alike of his vision ...
— The Adventures of Uncle Jeremiah and Family at the Great Fair - Their Observations and Triumphs • Charles McCellan Stevens (AKA 'Quondam')

... my first consideration—namely, that memory in a future state will comprehend the whole of life. Another thing is, that memory in a future state will probably be so rapid as to embrace all the past life at once. We do not know, we have no conception of, the extent to which our thinking, and feeling, and remembrance, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... your highness, as I live but to obey you, all that has occurred in my eventful life shall, if you command it, be submitted to your ear. It will, however, be necessary that I should revert to my early days to enable your highness more fully to comprehend the whole." ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... the same news to tell in the little camp, and though the Doctor could not comprehend the Indian chief's dialect, his motions were significant enough, as he rapidly touched the barrels of his followers' rifles, and then those of the white party, repeating ...
— The Silver Canyon - A Tale of the Western Plains • George Manville Fenn

... comprehend her hesitation and tone. Said he,—"Pierre is wonderfully changed since he and I wore the green sash of the seminary. He is taller than I, wiser and better,—he was always that,—but in heart the same generous, noble Pierre Philibert he was when a boy. Voila la ressemblance!" added ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... unable to comprehend the full extent of what had occurred, the party, which had started out so merrily and under such bright auspices in the morning, returned ...
— Lucile Triumphant • Elizabeth M. Duffield

... know of virtue, whose whole boast is to be vicious? How dare you draw conclusions? Dolt and puppy! you can no more comprehend that angel's excellences than she can stoop to believe in your vices. And you talk morality? Anthony, I'm a man who has been somewhat ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV • Robert Louis Stevenson

... for society, politically regulated, is a state contradistinguished from a state of nature; and any attention to that coalition of interests which makes the happiness of a country, is possible only to those whom inquiry and reflection have enabled to comprehend it. ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... said he, "haply thine ends are as much beyond aught that I can comprehend as though I were a little child; only this I know, that they must be very great. Thou knowest well that in any case I would fight me this battle for my father's sake and for the honor of my house; nevertheless, in return for all that it will so greatly advantage thee, wilt thou not grant ...
— Men of Iron • Ernie Howard Pyle

... his serving wench, her blue whimple over her head, and one hand thrust forth to bear the lanthorn which threw a golden bar of light along her master's path. Behind them a group of swaggering, half-drunken Yorkshire dalesmen, speaking a dialect which their own southland countrymen could scarce comprehend, their jerkins marked with the pelican, which showed that they had come over in the train of the north-country Stapletons. The burgher glanced back at their fierce faces and quickened his step, while the girl pulled her whimple closer round her, for there was a meaning ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... companions recovered consciousness, thanks to the attention lavished upon them, they found themselves in the cabin of a steamer, without being able to comprehend how they ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... of nature could not understand the great need of our constantly growing population for uncomfortable houses in inconvenient suburbs, and in their failure to comprehend they became cavilers. But others—those who admire the genius which enables a man to make unproductive land productive, who hail as benefactor one who supplants a profitless oak of a thousand years' standing with a thriving butcher-shop—these ...
— The Booming of Acre Hill - And Other Reminiscences of Urban and Suburban Life • John Kendrick Bangs

... my walks about this place, which is certainly picturesque enough, and contains extraordinary charms in the shape of old gables, quaint spires, and broad shining canals—I could not at first comprehend why, for all this, the town was especially disagreeable to me, and have only just hit on the reason why. Sweetest Juliana, you will never guess it: it is simply this, that I have not seen a single decent-looking ...
— Little Travels and Roadside Sketches • William Makepeace Thackeray

... see and comprehend That ultimate and lofty aim Will wait in patience for the end, Knowing injustice cannot claim One lasting victory, or control Laws that bar ...
— Hello, Boys! • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... proceedings of republican deliberations, or to bear opposition with patience. Ready to act, the instant the necessity of action was apparent, and inflexible in his resolution, when he had once taken it, he was at a loss to comprehend the inconsistency of most men, who, while they desire the end, are yet averse to the means. Prompt and impetuous by nature, he was so on this occasion from principle; for every thing depended on concealing the weakness of Sweden, under a firm ...
— The History of the Thirty Years' War • Friedrich Schiller, Translated by Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, M.A.

... I beg, intreat, conjure you to speak, your Silence torments me worse than your Reproaches cou'd; am I so much disdain'd, that you will not afford me one Word?' The lamentable Plight of the wretched Lady every one may guess, but no Body can comprehend; she saw the dearest of Mankind prostrate at her Feet, and imploring what she wou'd as readily grant as he desire, yet herself under a Necessity of denying his Prayers, and her own easy Inclinations. The ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume V • Aphra Behn

... which this voyage was principally directed, comprehend, in the western part, the early discoveries of the Dutch, under the name of NEW HOLLAND; and in the east, the coasts explored by British navigators, and named NEW SOUTH WALES. It has not, however, been unusual to apply the first appellation to both regions; but to continue this, ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis • Matthew Flinders

... of the paragraph is to aid the reader to comprehend the thought to be expressed. The paragraph groups in a logical way the different ideas to be communicated. It gives rest to the eye of the reader, and makes clearer the fact that there is a change of topic at ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... Isabel?" asks he. He is as white as she is now. "Do you know what you are saying? This is a moment of excitement; you do not comprehend what your words mean." ...
— April's Lady - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... war, and struggling as it were in very death-throes, to emancipate and organize four millions of men, most of whom, up to this very day, have by deliberate legislation been kept in ignorance and savagery. Thoroughly to comprehend the immensity of such a task, we must also reflect that the men to whom that task is intrusted are anything rather than intellectual giants. Yet the true solution of the problem will be given by the principle of self-government and by the self-governing ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... was like some one made dumb by a thunderbolt. Her garden had become a desert. Ice had fallen in her summer. Death was too large a fact for her to comprehend. She had seen the Medusa's head in its terror, but not in its loveliness, and been stricken to stone. At length in the heart of that stone the inner fountains broke,—broke in rains of tempestuous ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 79, May, 1864 • Various

... not to comprehend what they meant, and turned the conversation to other subjects. He felt very happy when he discovered the character—or rather want of character—of the house, as he now knew the business ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... indeed departed, Eve stole over to the bench beneath the lofty arches of the elm-tree, all checkered with flickering sunlight, and endeavored to read the sentence carved thereon. It was at first undecipherable, and then, the text conquered, not easy for her to comprehend. But when she had made it hers, she rose, bathed with blushes, and stole away home again, feeling only as if Luigi had laid a ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... said Baldwin, "I have done my duty as well as I could, yet nobody will come against me. I have slain right and left, and cannot comprehend what it is that makes the stoutest infidels ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... comprehend a vast variety of plants, exhibiting a wonderful multiplicity of forms, colors, sizes, and degrees of complexity of structure, but algologists consider them to belong to three orders: 1. Red spored Alg, called Rhodospore or floride. 2. ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 384, May 12, 1883 • Various

... the logical belief is infinitely the more hopeful and sustaining of the two; for if the movement of progress is in the hands of God, we are at all events taking our mysterious and wonderful part in a great dream that is being evolved, far more vast and amazing than we can comprehend; whereas if I felt that it was left to ourselves to choose, and that, hampered as we feel ourselves to be by innumerable chains of circumstance, we could yet indeed originate action and impede the underlying Will, I should relapse into despair before a problem full of sickening complexities ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... learn about the Prince Consort," continues Dr. Macleod, "the more I agree with what the Queen said to me about him: 'that he really did not seem to comprehend a selfish character, or what selfishness was.' And on whatever day his public life is revealed to the world, I feel certain this will ...
— Great Britain and Her Queen • Anne E. Keeling

... itself. To be religious, as a personal experience, is, like being philosophical, to take a total attitude toward the universe. But the religious attitude is one of a somewhat specific kind. It is, one may arbitrarily but also somewhat fairly say, to sense or comprehend one's relation to the divine, however the divine be conceived. It is to have this sense and comprehension not only deeply, as one might in a poetic or a philosophical mood, but to have it suffused with reverence. ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... thou shalt finde more musicke in my lookes Then in Amphions Lute or Orpheus Harpe; Mine eye consists of numbers like the soule, And if there be a soule tis in mine ey; For, of the harmony these bright starres make, I comprehend the formes of all the world; The story of the Syrens in my voyce I onely verified, for Millions stand Inchanted when I speake, and catch my words As they were orient pearle to adorn their eares; Circe is but a fable, I transforme The vertuous, valiant, ...
— A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. • Editor: A.H. Bullen

... various authorities; and in time I became so far familiar with the sounds of the different foreign languages (to some of which, indeed, I had been previously accustomed by a residence abroad), that I could comprehend his reading without much difficulty. As the reader proceeded, I dictated copious notes; and, when these had swelled to a considerable amount, they were read to me repeatedly, till I had mastered their contents sufficiently for the purposes of composition. ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... that point, wondering how much longer she ought to remain motionless and mute, and on the point of calling, in a suppressed voice, to her lover, when something whisked by her elbow, too quickly or too dimly seen for her to comprehend at ...
— The Phantom of the River • Edward S. Ellis

... to the investigation of the sun and stars; and this result was reached through the solution of a problem which had been long an enigma to natural philosophers. The scope and conquest of this problem we must now endeavour to comprehend. A spectrum is pure in which the colours do not overlap each other. We purify the spectrum by making our beam narrow, and by augmenting the number of our prisms. When a pure spectrum of the sun ...
— Six Lectures on Light - Delivered In The United States In 1872-1873 • John Tyndall

... was a strange, fall—probably he was heavy and the floor decayed—at all events that fall procured him 120 pounds. A Cardiff agent was bathing his feet—why, we are not told, but imagination is not slow to comprehend the reason, when the severity of our climate is taken into account; he broke the foot-pan—a much less comprehensible thing—and the breaking of that foot-pan did him damage, for which he was compensated with 52 pounds, 16 shillings. Again, a merchant of ...
— The Iron Horse • R.M. Ballantyne

... globe is proposed as a mere speculation, this, at least, is to imagine no slight degree of instability in the animate creation. If we divide the surface of the earth into twenty regions of equal area, one of these might comprehend a space of land and water about equal in dimensions to Europe, and might contain a twentieth part of the million of species which may be assumed to exist in the animal kingdom. In this region one species only could, according ...
— A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... we include under the term "religion" the belief in unseen or spiritual agencies, the case is wholly different; for this belief seems to be universal with the less civilised races. Nor is it difficult to comprehend how it arose. As soon as the important faculties of the imagination, wonder, and curiosity, together with some power of reasoning, had become partially developed, man would naturally crave to understand what was passing around ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... he said, rising numbly to his feet and rubbing his eyes with his fists, while he tried to comprehend an astonishing reversal of custom. Usually he awakened his camp-mate; but this morning his camp-mate had awakened him. A half shadow in the semi-darkness, Jack was already throwing the saddle over ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... Waters, has, I suppose, been amusing you with the absurd story that made him stare so last night. It is exceedingly droll, I must say, although many persons, otherwise acute enough, cannot, except upon reflection, comprehend a jest. There was John Kemble, the tragedian, for ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 434 - Volume 17, New Series, April 24, 1852 • Various

... — say no more. I comprehend it all too well," replied Wendot, not without a natural though only momentary feeling of bitterness at the thought of what this pledge was already costing him, but his native generosity and sweetness ...
— The Lord of Dynevor • Evelyn Everett-Green

... man than I am a courtier, but when he confides to me that he was once upon a time in the Dampshire Yeomanry, and that this uniform has served him for years, and looks uncommonly well at night though it wouldn't bear the light of day, I begin to comprehend the entire scene. ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, July 18, 1891 • Various

... the guides were manifesting more or less impatience. They apparently understood that the enemy would be apt to turn up here again, sooner or later; and could not comprehend why the scouts should always want to compare notes, before doing anything like making a change of base. Francois and the Cree were accustomed to making most of their moves through instinct; while with the scouts those same things did not come naturally, but ...
— Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay - The Disappearing Fleet • G. Harvey Ralphson

... that which is necessary to assure his custody, is against the Law of Nature. But the Later is Punishment, because Evill, and inflicted by publique Authority, for somewhat that has by the same Authority been Judged a Transgression of the Law. Under this word Imprisonment, I comprehend all restraint of motion, caused by an externall obstacle, be it a House, which is called by the generall name of a Prison; or an Iland, as when men are said to be confined to it; or a place where men are set to worke, as in old ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... these moneys great good has been done for the poor Indians—now redeeming captives from those who carry them away to sell them among the Moros and other infidels, where they lose the faith; again, aiding them in their sickness, and famines, and the like. Indeed, I am unable to comprehend the consciences of men who would attempt to take this money from the poor Indians, and put an end to so good works. May God grant His light ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XII, 1601-1604 • Edited by Blair and Robertson

... how unformed a Creature it is. She comes to my Hands just as Nature left her, half-finished, and without any acquired Improvements. When I look on her I often think of the Belle Sauvage mentioned in one of your Papers. Dear Mr. SPECTATOR, help me to make her comprehend the visible Graces of Speech, and the dumb Eloquence of Motion; for she is at present a perfect Stranger to both. She knows no Way to express her self but by her Tongue, and that always to signify her Meaning. Her Eyes serve ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... is Bacon's assertion that "there is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one to the other." But this can hardly be taken as his deliberate opinion, for he elsewhere says, "but we may go farther, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, without ...
— The Pleasures of Life • Sir John Lubbock

... profound military knowledge every rational man would comprehend that, had the King remained quiet during autumn, and formed no new attempts, he would but have delivered himself, tied hand and foot, into the power of the enemy. Let us still further add that the provisions ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... that de Dondi declines to describe the workings of his crown and foliot escapement (though it is well illustrated) saying that this is of the "common" variety and if the reader does not understand such simple things he need not hope to comprehend the complexities of this mighty clock. But this may be bravado to quite ...
— On the Origin of Clockwork, Perpetual Motion Devices, and the Compass • Derek J. de Solla Price

... rapidity, listened with strained attention to the opening of the door of the anteroom. Princess Elizabeth approached her, and laid her hand on the queen's shoulder. The two children, terrified by some cause which they could not comprehend, clung to the hand and the body of their mother, and ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... say that in the invisible and ineffable heights above there exists a certain perfect, pre-existent Eon, and him they call Proarche, Propator, and Bythos; and that he is invisible and that nothing is able to comprehend him. Since he is comprehended by no one, and is invisible, eternal, and unbegotten, he was in silence and profound quiescence in the boundless ages. There existed along with him Ennoea, whom they call Charis and Sige. ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... stood by, and fearing that we did not comprehend the language, she made a remark to that effect, to which he answered impatiently, 'Nonsense! don't you see they are in tears?' This was unanswerable; we were allowed to hear the poem to the end, and I certainly never listened to anything more ...
— Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist • Samuel Smiles

... well.' I would not retract these words. I believe that man has benefited by her work as much as woman. For ages he has been trying to carry the burden of life's responsibilities alone and when he has the efficient help of woman he will be grateful. Just now it is new and strange and men cannot comprehend what it would mean but the change is not far away. The nation is soon to have woman suffrage and it will be a glad and proud day ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... whether you understand much about elections. When I first came here I was joined with a gentleman who was one of the old members;—but now I stand alone, because he does not comprehend or sympathise with the advanced doctrines which it is my mission to preach to the people. Purity and the Rights of Labour;—those are my watchwords. But there are many here who hate the very name of Purity, and who know nothing of the Rights of Labour. ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... trees, are, also, visible and hold invitingly before him the prospect of delightful hours in their fragrant labyrinths; and, finally, out of a semi-tropical garden, the vast extent of which he does not comprehend at first, rises the far-famed hostelry which, itself, covers about four and a half acres of ground, at the extreme southwestern corner of the Union, and on a spot which yesterday was a mere tongue of sand. In the tourist season this palatial place of entertainment ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... situation; but "Kil" (as the general is familiarly styled among us) seemed to comprehend it in a moment. All thought and effort now centralized into a plan of escape from the snares which the enemy had laid for us, and into which we had too easily thrown ourselves. Kilpatrick is supposed by some to have unnecessarily exposed himself, in which he suffered his ...
— Three Years in the Federal Cavalry • Willard Glazier

... Monte-Cristo's grasp, he leaped upon the bulwarks and suddenly sprang far out amid the seething waves. The Count uttered a cry of horror that was echoed by the captain. As for the crew, so utterly stupefied were they that they did not seem to comprehend the suicidal act. For an instant Monte-Cristo and Giacomo saw the steward whirling about amid the tumultuous flood; then he was swept away, and vanished in the impenetrable ...
— Edmond Dantes • Edmund Flagg

... progressively more and more conscious of these 'bleibende Verhaltnisse,' more and more capable of living in the whole; also, that in proportion as we gain a firmer hold upon our own place in the world, we shall come to comprehend with more instinctive certitude what is simple, natural, and honest, welcoming with gladness all artistic products that exhibit these qualities. The perception of the enlightened man will then be the task of a healthy person who has made ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... saw that he was right, that the servants must go, that the horses and carriages and the motors must be sold. When she was convinced and had convinced her mother, she still did not realize what the thing really meant. Not until she no longer had a maid did she comprehend. To a woman who has never had a maid, or who has taken on a maid as a luxury, it will seem an exaggeration to say that Mildred felt as helpless as a baby lying alone in a crib before it has learned to crawl. Yet that is rather an understatement of her ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... but one person thoroughly knew him—that person was Sarah Burns. For it is given to those whose hearts are honestly devoted, in time to learn and fully comprehend the nature of the hearts brought in contact ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... impatience often threatened to abandon their charge. As, on the planet Nazar, I had been ironically named Skabba, or the untimely, for my quick perceptions, so here I was called Kakidoran, which signifies, idle and stupid. Those only are respected here, who can comprehend and express any thing instantaneously. I amused myself during the course of my studies by walking about the city, in which I met on all sides notable signs ...
— Niels Klim's journey under the ground • Baron Ludvig Holberg

... and palaces have been brought to light, making it once more a place of absorbing interest. I wandered around and over and under and through these ruins for a considerable length of time, and wrote in my note book: "There is more here than I can comprehend." ...
— A Trip Abroad • Don Carlos Janes

... preconceived ideas, and adapting their practice to agree with the peculiarities of our climate. When the public shall have learned that the culture of grapes under glass is only a plain and simple pursuit or pastime, which any one of ordinary capacity can comprehend and successfully carry out, then we shall have made ...
— Woodward's Graperies and Horticultural Buildings • George E. Woodward

... bidding him feel deeply and sadly the situation in which he stood. It seemed to him as if he had never thought before, and now that reflection had come upon him, it was fraught with a weight and gloom he could not remove and scarcely comprehend. He felt no power on earth could prevent his taking the only path which was open to the true patriot of Scotland, and in following that path he raised the standard of revolt, and enlisted his own followers against his father. Till the moment of action he ...
— The Days of Bruce Vol 1 - A Story from Scottish History • Grace Aguilar

... mean?" she thought. "How could they have missed us so soon? We are seldom out of our cabin before eight o'clock. I cannot comprehend it!" And then a thought came to her which made her face grow pale. "Is it possible," she said to herself, "that any of the others have come? I must go immediately ...
— The Associate Hermits • Frank R. Stockton

... you now are, my gentle and beloved benefactress, you cannot as yet know what a blessing it will be to me to engrave that Name upon that simple stone. Hereafter, when you yourself are a wife, a mother, you will comprehend the service you have rendered to the living ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton



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