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Incompetent   /ɪnkˈɑmpətənt/   Listen
Incompetent

adjective
1.
Legally not qualified or sufficient.  Synonym: unqualified.  "Incompetent witnesses"
2.
Not qualified or suited for a purpose.  "The filming was hopeless incompetent"
3.
Showing lack of skill or aptitude.  Synonyms: bungling, clumsy, fumbling.  "Did a clumsy job" , "His fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"
4.
Not doing a good job.  Synonym: unskilled.
5.
Not meeting requirements.  Synonyms: incapable, unequal to.



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"Incompetent" Quotes from Famous Books



... is sadly incompetent in the organization of its welfare and community work. As a matter of fact, social supervision is often so lax that obscene moving pictures and cards that are driven out of the large cities are exhibited without protest in the small towns. Usually the village is overchurched, ...
— The Minister and the Boy • Allan Hoben

... Polder's bedroom. Polder behaves as though he had been placed under eternal obligation by Rickett, and yearly sends the little Ricketts a box of presents and toys. It is the same everywhere. The men who do not take the trouble to conceal from you their opinion that you are an incompetent ass, and the women who blacken your character and misunderstand your wife's amusements, will work themselves to the bone in your behalf if you fall sick or ...
— Indian Tales • Rudyard Kipling

... Government in power wait to see if the agitation dies a natural death; and if it is successfully kept up, a sort of pretence at reform takes place. There is a re-shuffle. Fresh names are given to old abuses; incompetent officials exchange posts; and a new building is erected at the public expense. Then ...
— The Curse of Education • Harold E. Gorst

... the horse is stolen; we are continually allowing things to go wrong, and then making superhuman efforts to right them, not remembering that it is far easier to keep out of trouble than to get out of it. If a girl must be trusted to incompetent, or, at the best, doubtful, teachers during half her school life, let that half be the last, and not the first, and incompetency will be shorn of half its power to injure. Not only directly in the interest of ...
— The Education of American Girls • Anna Callender Brackett

... organization of our army was that too many old and incompetent officers of the old regular army commanded it. And the one idea that seemed to haunt the President was that none but those who had passed through the great corridors and halls of West Point could command armies or men—that civilians without ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... were conscious, too, that the North, the sluggish North, which had been so long in putting forth its full strength, was now preparing for an effort far greater than any that had gone before. The incompetent generals, the tricksters and the sluggards were gone, and battle-tried armies led by real generals were coming in numbers ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... her lace parasol had a knot of yellow ribbon at one side, to match the tint of her sash. Her long tan gloves and the Marechal Niel roses at her neck were finishing touches of the picture which Sydney was incompetent to grasp in detail, although he felt its charm on a whole. The sweet, delicate face, with its refined features and great dark eyes, was one which might well cause a man to barter all the world for love; and, in Sydney's case, it happened that to gain its ...
— Name and Fame - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... infecting our parliamentary system have grown still graver; when a democratic House, more and more broken up into small groups, more and more governed by sectional and interested motives, shall have shown itself evidently incompetent to conduct the business of the country with honour, efficiency, and safety; when the public has learned more fully the enormous danger to national prosperity as well as individual happiness of dissociating power from property and giving the many an unlimited right ...
— Proportional Representation Applied To Party Government • T. R. Ashworth and H. P. C. Ashworth

... invasion on the East by throwing the Scots across the Borders on the West. The Warden was warned by his spies, but he had only a few hundreds to meet the thousands of Scots. But, if Norfolk's invasion was an empty parade, the Scots attempt was a fearful rout. Under their incompetent leader, Oliver Sinclair, they got entangled in Solway Moss; enormous numbers were slain or taken prisoners, and among them were some of the greatest men in Scotland. James died broken-hearted at the news, leaving ...
— Henry VIII. • A. F. Pollard

... Another thoroughly incompetent man was one employed to take charge of the negro carpenters, of whom his employer wrote, "I am apprehensive ... that Green never will overcome his propensity to drink; that it is this which occasions his frequent sickness, absences from work and poverty. And I am convinced, ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... the corners of black glazed boxes and swaying pyramids of pasteboard; always lifting his hat to sidling milliners' girls, or effacing himself before slender vendeuses floating by in a mist of opopanax. He felt incompetent to pronounce on the needs to which these visitors ministered; but the reappearance among them of the blond-bearded jeweller gave him ground for fresh fears. Undine had assured him that she had given up the idea of having her ornaments reset, and there had been ample time for their return; ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... not merely the obscure passages in the text, but also the subsequent experience of the United States and other countries where they relate to the views expressed by the authors. The most authentic text has been used; the antiquated and often absurd punctuation—largely due to incompetent early printers—has been rationalized; and an introduction, abundant cross-references, and a full index materially increase the value of this edition for both students and lawyers. Matter of obsolete or minor interest has been put in distinctive type. An appendix of 149 ...
— The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens • Georg Jellinek

... amending by every one indiscriminately according to his own liking, so that the earliest of our hymns are more perverted the more they are printed, I am fearful that it will fare with this little book as it has ever fared with good books, that through tampering by incompetent hands it may get to be so overlaid and spoiled that the good will be lost out of it, and nothing be kept in use ...
— The Hymns of Martin Luther • Martin Luther

... best of schools, they may also be the worst. Between childhood and manhood how incalculable is the mischief which ignorance in the home has the power to cause! Between the drawing of the first breath and the last, how vast is the moral suffering and disease occasioned by incompetent mothers and nurses! Commit a child to the care of a worthless ignorant woman, and no culture in after-life will remedy the evil you have done. Let the mother be idle, vicious, and a slattern; let her home be ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... Rajah's people; or whether, by means of the Rajah's refusal so to do, or from any other circumstance, any of the persons dispossessed of their grain may have had recourse to the Nabob for satisfaction: we are, for these reasons, incompetent to form a proper judgment what disposition ought in justice to be made of the one lac of pagodas deposited by the Rajah. But as our sentiments and intentions are so fully expressed upon the whole subject, we presume you, who are upon the spot, can have no doubt or difficulty ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... palmilla, and the mescal, supplying the principal vegetable food of the Apaches. Never in Texas, Arizona, or even Old Mexico, have I seen such a combination of varieties of such plants growing in such profusion and perfection; but being no botanist, and quite incompetent to give a proper appreciation of these wonders, we will return ...
— Ranching, Sport and Travel • Thomas Carson

... have the function of guiding conduct better than instinct can, in the beginning it would be most incompetent for that office. Only the routine and equilibrium which healthy instinct involves keep thought and will at all within the limits of sanity. The predetermined interests we have as animals fortunately focus our attention ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... thin and thin-blooded persons—is doing its work with constant difficulty. As a result, fatigue comes early, is extreme, and lasts long. The demand for nutritive aid is ahead of the supply, or else the supply is incompetent as to quality, and before the tissues are rebuilded a new demand is made, so that the materials of disintegration accumulate, and do this the more easily because the eliminative organs share in the general defects. And these are some of the reasons why anaemic people are ...
— Fat and Blood - An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria • S. Weir Mitchell

... Majendie's drawing-room, she had no impulse to wound her mortally. Her instinct was rather to patronise and pity, to unfold the long result of a superior experience, to instruct this woman who was so incompetent to deal with men, who had spoiled, stupidly, her husband's life and her own. In that moment Sarah contemplated nothing more outrageous than a little ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... one engaged a detective for his or her shrewdness and efficiency, not for suavity and polish. A detective who hurls speech at you through clenched teeth and yet detects is better value for the money than one who, though an ideal companion for the drawing-room, is incompetent: and Mrs. Pett, like most other people, subconsciously held the view that the ruder a person is the more efficient he must be. It is but rarely that any one is found who is not dazzled by the glamour of incivility. She crushed down her resentment at her visitor's tone, and tried to concentrate ...
— Piccadilly Jim • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... or had not seen, or whether even he had his faculty of hearing in present exercise, a glance at his face was incompetent to discover. ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... matter will be cleared up, and if you ask me what I think, I should say it is most probable that we shall be made into a Ministry. How very strange and incomprehensible it seems; and much as I have had to do with public affairs, I feel now as if I knew nothing about them, and was quite incompetent to so great an office—to rule over such vast concerns, with such parties. With so many great things and so many little things to decide it is ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament. Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world's character, and in his heart considers them incompetent and 'not in it,' in the philosophic business, even tho they may far excel him ...
— Pragmatism - A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking • William James

... were back at school in Constantinople, shuffling their feet and throwing ink pellets at one another; Raisuli, home again in the old mountains, was working up the kidnapping business, which had fallen off sadly in his absence under the charge of an incompetent locum tenens; and the Chinese, the Bollygollans, and the troops of the Mad Mullah were enduring the miseries of ...
— The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved England - A Tale of the Great Invasion • P. G. Wodehouse

... must apply to Tabor, the only insulated and solitary hill in the neighbourhood. We may remark, with the traveller just named, that the conclusion may possibly be true, but that the argument used to prove it seems incompetent; because the term "apart" most likely relates to the withdrawing and retirement of the persons here spoken of, and not to the situation of the mountain. In fact, it means nothing more than that our Lord and his three disciples ...
— Palestine or the Holy Land - From the Earliest Period to the Present Time • Michael Russell

... bad banking situation. Some of our bankers had shown themselves either incompetent or dishonest in their handling of the people's funds. They had used the money entrusted to them in speculations and unwise loans. This was, of course, not true in the vast majority of our banks, but it was true ...
— The Fireside Chats of Franklin Delano Roosevelt • Franklin Delano Roosevelt

... two assays by the assayers of the Bank of England average 9% copper; that the copper can be produced at five cents per pound; that there is thus a profit of $10,000,000 in sight. The evidences are wholly incompetent. It is a gamble on statements of persons who have not the remotest idea of ...
— Principles of Mining - Valuation, Organization and Administration • Herbert C. Hoover

... crossing. He also ordered the Seventeenth Ohio with three pieces of artillery and another company of cavalry, all under the command of Colonel Connell, to support the cavalry under Dillon. The latter proved wholly incompetent, and failed to comply with his orders in any particular. He went into camp two miles in the rear from where he was ordered, and neglected even to post his men to guard the ford, whereby Zollicoffer was enabled to ...
— The Army of the Cumberland • Henry M. Cist

... Earth has been getting heavier and heavier. Jupiter Equilateral won the greatest fight in its history when they limited U.N. jurisdiction to Mars, and kept us out of the Belt. And now they hope to convince the lawmakers that we're incompetent to administer the Martian colonies and keep peace out here. If they succeed, we'll be called home in nothing flat; we've had to fight just ...
— Gold in the Sky • Alan Edward Nourse

... asserted over and over again that in no other civilised country in the world could so great an amount of property have passed through the hands of thieves without leaving some clue by which the police would have made their way to the truth. Major Mackintosh had been declared to be altogether incompetent, and all the Bunfits and Gagers of the force had been spoken of as drones and moles and ostriches. They were idle and blind, and so stupid as to think that, when they saw nothing, others saw less. The major, who was a broad-shouldered, ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... government in the enactment of legislation where the ending of abuses and the steady functioning of our economic system calls for government assistance. The Nation has no obligation to make America safe either for incompetent business men or for business men who fail to note the trend of the times and continue the use of machinery of economics and practices of finance as outworn as the cotton ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt • Franklin D. Roosevelt

... point upon which to fix the attention is this. The Chinese nucleus was very small, and only by rudely thrusting aside incompetent emperors and fussy ritual did it succeed in emancipating itself from Tartar bondage. That this is not an exaggerated view is additionally plain from the fact that Tartars have, even since Confucian times, ruled more and longer than have Chinese over North China; the Mongols (1260-1368) ...
— Ancient China Simplified • Edward Harper Parker

... mention that for the first time in Russia, purposeless rudeness and insolence came to my notice on the part of the ticket officials of the Mercury line. They behaved like stupid children, and were absolutely incompetent to do the work which had been entrusted to them. They were somewhat surprised when I took them to task and made them "sit up." Having found that they had played the fool with the wrong man they instantly became very meek and obliging. It is nevertheless a great pity that the Mercury Company should ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... agitation and disaffection throughout all France by the still more bewildered Lomenie de Brienne, who was trying his hand at the impossible finances of France after the fall of that magnificent spendthrift, Monsieur Colonne. He, in turn, had been swept from his office and replaced by the pompous and incompetent Necker. Lafayette, the deus ex machina of the times, had asked for his States-General, and now in this never-sufficiently-to-be-remembered year of 1789 they were to ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... also carry with me the hope, that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to ...
— Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four. • William H. Elson and Christine Keck

... products of Reason, the mere personifications of our own modes of thinking, and have no objective reality, at least none that can be scientifically demonstrated. But, while "the Speculative Reason" is held to be incompetent to prove the existence of God, "the Practical Reason" is appealed to; and in the conscious liberty of the soul, and its sense of incumbent moral duty,—"the Categorical Imperative,"—Kant finds materials for reconstructing the basis and fabric of a true Theology, ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... is it?" he demanded. "Friends of Little Fuzzy versus The chartered Zarathustra Company; I'm bringing action as friend of incompetent aborigines for recognition of sapience, and Mr. Coombes, on behalf of the Zarathustra Company, is contesting to preserve the Company's charter, and that's all there is or ever was to ...
— Little Fuzzy • Henry Beam Piper

... exclusively a critique of the faculty of pure reason itself. Only when we make this critique our foundation, do we possess a pure touchstone for estimating the philosophical value of ancient and modern writings on this subject; and without this criterion, the incompetent historian or judge decides upon and corrects the groundless assertions of others with his own, which have themselves just as ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... earliest asserted origin of our four Gospels could be established upon the most irrefragable grounds, the testimony of the writers—men of like ignorance with their contemporaries, men of like passions with ourselves—would be utterly incompetent to prove the reality ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... having a Portuguese pass, which he sunk with all her moorish crew sewed up in a sail that they might never be seen. But this wicked action was afterwards discovered, for which Vaz was broke; a very incompetent punishment for so great a crime, owing to which the Portuguese afterwards suffered severe calamities, as will ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI - Early English Voyages Of Discovery To America • Robert Kerr

... never dare admit to them—or to the professor if he asked my opinion on that sort of thing and it had to come out—that I was too lazy and too incompetent to manage my own little fortune. So I went down first thing Monday morning and revoked my power of attorney. I simply couldn't wait. When the estate is settled and turned over to me I shall attend to everything and ...
— The Sisters-In-Law • Gertrude Atherton

... as she had been able to conjure up; and besides all that, notwithstanding the sighs and the reading, her father always noticed and knew what she was doing. Now it is needless to say that Colonel Gainsborough had forgotten what it was to be a child; he was therefore an incompetent critic of a child's doings or judge of a child's wants. He had an impatience for what he called a 'waste of time;' but Esther was hardly old enough to busy herself exclusively with history and geography; and the little innocent amusements to which she had recourse ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... afterward she button-holed people in the street to tell them about Mary, or to read them scraps of her letters. If they had said she was vain and idle, and selfish and incompetent, just like the half of their own daughters, Belle could have forgiven them. It was their determination to shove her into the gutter which made my ...
— The Making of Mary • Jean Forsyth

... Dumanoir's incompetent selfishness left the centre and rear to be crushed by equal numbers and far superior fighting power. But it was no easy victory. Outmatched as they were, Frenchmen and Spaniards fought with desperate courage and heroic determination. ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... more careful thinking ought to convince the most eager of the advance-agents of physical science that the discipline they serve so loyally is altogether unconcerned with the moral life, and wholly incompetent to deal with its problems. Mr. Frederic Harrison once asked, and with extreme pertinence, what the mere dissector of frogs could claim to know of the facts of morality and religion? Positively nothing, as such, and in their more sober moments "the ...
— Morality as a Religion - An exposition of some first principles • W. R. Washington Sullivan

... hotel and sat there most of the day, the mere pulp of a man. His one desire now was to escape from the eyes of his fellow-men. He felt that he bore the marks of his disgrace, obvious at a glance. He had been turned out of the army as a hopeless incompetent; he was worse than a slacker, for the slacker might have latent qualities ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... axiom never to post a small body of troops in a way to hamper the action of the main body was directly responsible for the unnecessary loss of more than two thousand of our soldiers. That was the frightful butchers' bill our army had to pay for a bit of incompetent generalship. ...
— The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee • John K. Shellenberger

... degrees I have been forced to regard as being within the exceptions of the Constitution, and as indispensable to the public safety. Nothing is better known to history than that courts of justice are utterly incompetent to such cases. Civil courts are organized chiefly for trials of individuals—or, at most, a few individuals acting in concert, and this in quiet times, and on charges of crimes well defined in the law. Even in times of peace bands of horse-thieves and robbers ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... explorer has said that having an adventure means that something unexpected or unforeseen has happened; that some one has been incompetent. I had the satisfaction of knowing that the fault of this adventure, if such it could be called, was mine. Here we were, at our goal in Mexico, supposed to be a hostile land, with scant provisions for one day. It was a hundred miles along ...
— Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico • E. L. Kolb

... the party of gay liberality with other people's money. In the matter of directing the destinies of this country towards a higher and better national existence, there is really nothing to choose between Republicanism and Democracy. Both are equally unwilling and incompetent, both, despite the prating of civil service snobs and snivellers are dominated by spoils, and the managers of both regard a campaign not as a battle for the betterment of America but as a battle for boodle. The McKinley ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... significance of tragedies. Thus it was only now, when I found myself involved in the rout, that I began to appreciate how sharp had been the battle. We were a company of the rejected; the drunken, the incompetent, the weak, the prodigal, all who had been unable to prevail against circumstances in the one land, were now fleeing pitifully to another; and though one or two might still succeed, all had already failed. We were a shipful of failures, the broken men ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... bit that way, myself; and I think,' said poor Milly, making an effort, and growing very red; she quite lost her head at that point, and was incompetent to finish the sentiment she ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... don't trust you," Lord Henry replied. "That must be the reason. They have learned not to trust the mature adult. British parents are either too indolent, or too incompetent to do the thing properly. And the consequence is young people have been trained by tradition to believe that, in the matter of choosing their mates, concerning which they know literally nothing, and are taught ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... was not only a good navigator, for on many occasions he showed a remarkable gift for commanding mutinous crews in spite of having many officers on whom he could place little reliance. On leaving Cork in 1708, after an incompetent pilot had almost run his ship on two rocks off Kinsale called "The Sovereigne's Bollacks," Rogers describes his crew thus: "A third were foreigners, while of Her Majestie's subjects many were taylors, tinkers, pedlars, fiddlers, and hay-makers, with ten boys and one negro." It was with crews ...
— The Pirates' Who's Who - Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers • Philip Gosse

... judicious part of the community that some of the objections which have been most strenuously urged against the Constitution, and which were most formidable in their first appearance, are not only destitute of substance, but if they had operated in the formation of the plan, would have rendered it incompetent to the great ends of public happiness and national prosperity. I equally flatter myself that a further and more critical investigation of the system will serve to recommend it still more to every sincere and disinterested advocate for good government and will leave no doubt with men of this ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... a Committee of Public Safety for fun. It will enquire into Custine's conduct. Incompetent or traitor, he will be superseded by a General resolved to ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... opened a school nearer us than the one I had been attending, but the teachers were usually very incompetent and my progress ...
— Tuskegee & Its People: Their Ideals and Achievements • Various

... her lot, because of the error of her incompetent heart, to take charge of this flotsam. That was so evident that she had given ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... doctrine, so much as with the discipline of the Church. The Bishops of Numidia were angered by not having been called to the consecration of Caecilianus Bishop of Carthage, and, assembling together, they elected and consecrated a rival bishop to that see, and declared Caecilianus incompetent for the episcopal office. Donatus, Bishop of Casa Nigra, was the foremost of these Numidian malcontents, and from him the sect of Donatists took its name; they denied the orders of those ordained by Caecilianus, and hence the validity of the Sacraments administered by them. Excommunicated themselves, ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... much more might have been done to augment these comforts. Instead of now being the object of matured and wise regulations, the captive is exposed to the rapacity of our enemies, who will derive great advantages from our abandonment of the trade, and those who are incompetent, from the want of local knowledge, to ease his shackles, and sooth him in his state of bondage. The magnitude and nature of the disease, required a comprehensive system of policy to eradicate it; and although in its nature and tendency of great moral turpitude, alteratives were required calculated ...
— Observations Upon The Windward Coast Of Africa • Joseph Corry

... rude to his employers. Yet he was everywhere discharged. Bringing no interest to his duties, he brought no attention. His day was a tissue of things neglected and things done amiss. And from place to place and from town to town he carried the character of one thoroughly incompetent." ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... well-equipped army of three hundred men and forty horses, just half the force he sailed with from Spain the previous June, and of the three hundred men whom he led into Florida, only four lived to reach civilization - the rest perished. That is but one example of incompetent leadership. When Portola organized his expedition for the march from San Diego Bay to Monterey, many of his soldiers were ill from scurvy, and at one time on the march the sick list numbered nineteen men, including the governor and Rivera, his chief officer. ...
— The March of Portola • Zoeth S. Eldredge

... it is hardly believable that such an incompetent judge as the directress should herself assign the roles for all our plays!" she once remarked to Wladek greatly embittered by the fact that she had been ignored in the selection of the cast for an old melodramatic caricature entitled ...
— The Comedienne • Wladyslaw Reymont

... saw incompetent men advanced to positions of importance, his anger was unrestrainable, "Why," he asked bitterly, "are the Egyptian donkey-boys so favourable to the English?" Answer, "Because we hire more asses ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... seemed to grow in an instant several feet in their estimation: but he shrunk again when he acknowledged that he had merely met Count Altenberg accidentally at Greenwich—that he knew nothing of the count's estate in Yorkshire, or of his foreign possessions, and was utterly incompetent to decide whether he had 10,000l. ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... at the beginning of the tenth year of the war, the truce having now expired, Cleon was sent with a fleet of thirty ships to conduct the siege of this important place. That so weighty a charge should have been entrusted to hands so incompetent argues a degree of infatuation in the Athenians which is very hard to understand. On his voyage Cleon succeeded in retaking Torone by a sudden assault, and then proceeding northwards dropped anchor at Eion, where he remained ...
— Stories From Thucydides • H. L. Havell

... incompetent little beast," she whispered. "Bill ought to thump me, instead of being kind. I can't do anything, and I don't know much, and I'm a scarecrow for looks right now. And I started out to ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... Englishman with his clean clear face, his springy limbs, his faultless habiliments is about as pleasant as anything can be to a discerning man. Moreover, it is by no means true that the dandy is necessarily incompetent when he comes to engage in the severe work of life. Our hero, our Nelson, kept his nautical dandyism until he was middle-aged. Who ever accused him of incompetence? Think of his going at Trafalgar into that pouring Inferno of lead and iron with all his decorations blazing on him! "In honour I ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... the same time a Mesopotamian. chieftain, called Tayer or Thair, made an attack upon Otesiphon, took the city by storm, and captured a sister or aunt of the Persian monarch. The nobles, who, during Sapor's minority, guided the helm of the State, were quite incompetent to make head against these numerous enemies. For sixteen years the marauding bands had the advantage, and Persia found herself continually weaker, more impoverished, and less able to recover herself. The young prince is said to have shown extraordinary discretion and intelligence. He diligently ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire • George Rawlinson

... could never, unaided, have set up their sway in these southern regions. But should they succeed in establishing good government over the entire archipelago, clearly they must be for an indefinite period incompetent to take over the international responsibilities connected with the islands. To have at once conceded their sovereignty could have subserved no end that would have been from any point ...
— History of the United States, Volume 5 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... convince myself sufficiently to openly recommend war to be undertaken against the Moros and pushed with the utmost vigor, and more particularly commencing the work by a formal invasion of Jolo; still, as I feel myself incompetent to trace a precise plan, or to discuss the minute details more immediately connected with the object, I feel it necessary to confine myself to the pointing out, in general terms, of the means I judge most conducive to the happy issue of so arduous but important ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... few weeks, but the decline of his health, which was attributed to his rapid growth, dates from that period. He died prematurely on July 22, 1832, at Schoenbrunn, and the accounts which may be relied upon indicate either wilfully careless or incompetent medical treatment. It is even asserted that this heir to the throne of France, ushered in twenty-one years before as the herald of Peace, was to be regarded as a source of infinite danger, and for that barbaric reason his health was allowed to be slowly ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... luck with two boys that he used to tell of, to whom he had taught the classics, "so that," he said, "they were no incompetent or mean scholars." It was necessary, however, that something more familiar should be known, and he bid them read the History of England. After a few months had elapsed he asked them, "If they could recollect ...
— Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. - during the last twenty years of his life • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... never have done. From Aden to Cochin blood flowed beneath his blows, but peace followed; and though he was termed "the Portuguese Mars," his justice became traditional, and his sagacity was shown in the permanence of the settlements he made, even under the incompetent viceroys who ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... undertaking not to conclude peace until the colonies were free. The success of the revolted colonies made the Revolution in France a certainty. The fall of Neckar and the setting up of the reckless and incompetent Calonne over the destinies of France brought the shout of the Democracy to the gardens of the king. Vigee Le Brun's picture of the dandified man certainly does not show him a leader of great enterprises. His reckless extravagance satisfied the nobles; it brought bankruptcy stalking to the ...
— Vigee Le Brun • Haldane MacFall

... Deft. by Joseph Heathfield his attorney says he is not guilty. 2. And for a further Plea the Deft, says that before and at the time of the alleged imprisonment Plt, was a person of unsound mind and incompetent to take care of himself and a proper person to be taken care of and detained and it was unfit unsafe improper and dangerous that he should be at large thereupon the Deft, being the uncle of the Plt. and a proper person to cause the ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... it, and that the human intellect was no measure of the power of God. Yet the Reformers somehow believed, and Mr. Mansell by his place in the Church of England seems to agree with them, that the human intellect was not so wholly incompetent. It might be a weak guide, but it was better than none; and they declared on grounds of mere reason, that Christ being in heaven and not on earth, 'it was contrary to the truth for a natural body to be in two places at once.' The common sense of the country was ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... For some time the history of the gaekwars was very much the same as that of most territorial houses in India: an occasional able minister, more rarely an able prince; but, on the other hand, a long dreary list of incompetent heads, venal advisers and taskmasters oppressive to the people. At last a fierce family feud came to a climax. In 1873 an English committee of inquiry was appointed to investigate various complaints of oppression against the gaekwar, Malhar Rao, who had recently ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... opinions Akin to his, and thereby helped to scathe As stably based a project as this age Has sunned to ripeness. Ever the French Marine Have you decried, ever contrived to bring Despair into the fleet! Why, this Villeneuve, Your man, this rank incompetent, this traitor— Of whom I asked no more than fight and lose, Provided he detain the enemy— A frigate is too great for his command! what shall be said of one who, at a breath, When a few casual sailors find them sick, When falls a broken boom or slitten ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... and subject to an accounting the property of the indolent, the incompetent, the unthrifty, the envious and the luckless. That is the view that prevails in the underworld, where the Brotherhood of Man finds its most logical development and candid advocacy. To denizens of the midworld the ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... may be—the fault does not, certainly, indicate any thing at all wrong in him. The fault is in his training. In witnessing his disobedience, our reflection should be, not "What a bad boy!" but "What an unfaithful or incompetent mother!" ...
— Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... incompetent," he murmured, brokenly, "and took away my commission. The colonel said I was a disgrace to ...
— Septimus • William J. Locke

... is thine. Unsearchable are thy purposes! mysterious thy movements! inscrutable thy operations! An atom of thy creation, wildered in the mazes of ignorance and woe, would bow to thy decrees. Surrounded with impenetrable gloom, unable to scrutinize the past, incompetent to explore the future——fain would he say, THY WILL BE DONE! And Oh, that it might be consistent with that HIGH WILL to call this atom from a dungeon of wretchedness, to worlds of light and glory, where ...
— Alonzo and Melissa - The Unfeeling Father • Daniel Jackson, Jr.

... hold Newport News on the Peninsula. There are rumors of a fight at Philippi. One Col. Potterfield was surprised. If this be so, there is no excuse for him. I think the President will make short work of incompetent commanders. Now a blunder is ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... mighty soldier was so unwilling to submit to the orders of incompetent people, he never liked to be under the direct command of Washington, and, if it were possible to do so, he managed to be concerned in operations not under the immediate eye of the commander in chief. In fact, he was very jealous indeed of Washington, and did not hesitate to express ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... excitement that some of the ambitious ones had to be compelled to leave the field at night, wishing to sleep at the end of their row. The inefficient were gently tolerated; severe punishment was held to be alike cruel and useless; an incompetent servant was carried as a burden from which there was no escape. Such endurance was the way of all good masters and mistresses at the South,—"and I have known very few who were not good," adds the writer. The plantation ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... firmly maintained in this chapter that men are incompetent to judge themselves, and need a scientific monitor of unquestionable authority, has long been recognized. The Catholic confessional is a recognition and application of the principles of great value. But the confessional of the narrow-minded ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, September 1887 - Volume 1, Number 8 • Various

... not overdrawn, as the writer has reason to know; it existed in London in the days of Dickens, and it exists to-day, with the qualification that many who ought, perforce of their instincts, to be classed therewith do just enough work of an incompetent kind to keep them well out from under the shadow of the law; these are the "Sykeses" of a former day, not the "Fagins", who are possessed of a certain amount of natural wit, if it be of a ...
— Dickens' London • Francis Miltoun

... in possession of London bureau are incompetent to establish guilty connivance of either Lanier in any crime except those assaults on ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... It is rather that which is derived indirectly from the atmosphere, example, and ideals by which the child is surrounded in his home. If I could determine those for a child I should dread very little any malign force in the shape of an incompetent teacher. Schools, in reality, are only for the unfinished work of the homes. They may make the child better than his home, and they may undo the good work which it has done; but, usually, what the home is the child will be ...
— The Ascent of the Soul • Amory H. Bradford

... useless to enumerate instances; people have suffered too severely at the hands of careless and incompetent hosts not to know pretty well what the title of this paper means. So many of us have come away from fruitless evenings, grinding our teeth, and vowing never to enter those doors again while life lasts, that the time ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... Miss Thackeray. She was by no means dressed as a chambermaid should be, nor was she as dumb. On the contrary, she confronted him in the choicest raiment that her wardrobe contained, and she was bright and cheery and exceedingly incompetent. It was her costume that shocked him. Not only was she attired in a low-necked, rose-coloured evening gown, liberally bespangled with tinsel, but she wore a vast top-heavy picture-hat whose crown of black ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... family doctor in turn. Mabel, rouged and befrilled, still made an attractive foil for Wallace as the hero. Martie liked them all; their chatter of the fairyland of the stage, their trunks plastered with labels, their fine voices, their general air of being incompetent children adrift in a puzzling world. Deep laughter stirred within her when they spoke of ...
— Martie the Unconquered • Kathleen Norris

... are carrying on scientific research and the public, in order to explain and justify their work." Probably everyone will agree with the Lord Justice: but what are we to say of those responsible owners of great journals who not only abstain from providing such interpretation but allow anonymous and incompetent writers to mislead the public? Is the literary critic of a prosperous journal employed to write the ...
— More Science From an Easy Chair • Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

... in the extreme south end of the house, if there is any such thing as a south end to a house, whose orientation cannot be determined by me, because I am incompetent in all cases where an object does not point directly north & south. This one slants across between, & is therefore a confusion. This little private parlor is in one of the two corners of what I call the ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... disillusionment caused by the events at Plevna came the more cruelly. One general after another became the scapegoat for the popular indignation. Then the General Staff was freely censured, and whispers went round that the Grand Duke Nicholas, brother of the Czar, was not only incompetent to conduct a great war, but guilty of underhand dealings with the contractors who defrauded the troops and battened on the public funds. Letters from the rank and file showed that the bread was bad, the ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... of the emperor had come into the hands of one man simply because the republic had been found incompetent to handle its empire, whether from a military or a financial point of view. It managed neither so consistently nor so honestly as ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... do it regularly, only when I take a notion to do so at home; but I think it is every woman's duty to learn such things, so that if she gets hold of an incompetent servant ...
— Fred Fearnot's New Ranch - and How He and Terry Managed It • Hal Standish

... nation, an incompetent person, known to loud Trenck during his detention here] was Commandant of Glatz, and had the principal Fortress,—for there are two, one on each side the Neisse River;—his Second was a Colonel Quadt, by birth Prussian, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... open the campaign till the month of June. It consisted of fourteen thousand men; and never was an army so badly conducted. Without money, artillery, provisions, or discipline, it was at any moment ready to break up and abandon its incompetent general; and on the very first encounter with the enemy, and after a loss of a couple of hundred men, it became self-disbanded; and, flying in every direction, not a single man could be rallied ...
— Holland - The History of the Netherlands • Thomas Colley Grattan

... transmission of property. Imprisonment for debt has been abolished. Exemptions from executions have been largely added to, and in most of the states homesteads are rendered incapable of seizure and sale upon forced process. Witnesses are no longer incompetent by reason of interest, even though they be parties to the litigation. Indictments have been simplified, and an indictment for the most serious of crimes is now the simplest of all. in several of the states ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... is thrillingly unpleasant to find yourself an incompetent in the routine of an office when you could with ease recite Hugo's verses in French and write a long treatise on the Punic Wars. Evan inwardly shuddered. Perry stood beside him grinning and muttering imprecations ...
— A Canadian Bankclerk • J. P. Buschlen

... ended in real quarrels, and following in the footsteps of the little Russians was becoming irksome—(especially to Fatima, whose predecessor—Peter—had been of a military turn, and had begun fortifications near the kitchen garden which she was incompetent to carry out) a new idea struck me. I announced that letters properly written and addressed to the little Russians, 'Reka Dom, Russia,' and posted in the old rhubarb-pot by the tool-house, would be duly answered. The replies to be found ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... old regiments by injudicious promotions. He does in some instances, it is true, reward faithful soldiers; but often complaining, unwilling, incompetent fellows are promoted, who get upon the sick list to avoid duty; lay upon their backs when they should be on their feet, and are carousing when they should be asleep. On the march, instead of pushing along resolutely at the head of their command, they fall back and get into ...
— The Citizen-Soldier - or, Memoirs of a Volunteer • John Beatty

... matter, viewed in other ways than as obstructing movement, has the same property of the extended belonging to the empty void. The inference is, that the limitation of our means of knowledge renders altogether incompetent the imagination of an end to either Time or Space. The greatest efforts of our combining faculty cannot exceed the elements presented to it, and these elements contain nothing that would set forth the situation of space ending, ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... had taken proceedings against Abbe Peyramale's heir-at-law, the vestry, and the town, for the last still refused to pay over the amount which it had voted. At first the Prefect's Council declared itself incompetent to deal with the case, and when it was sent back to it by the Council of State, it rendered a judgment by which the town was condemned to pay the hundred thousand francs and the heir-at-law to finish ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... of you as I have found you. [I told him you were a disreputable hound, and that Moore had crossed a fight.] I told him you were a drunken ass, and Moore an incompetent ...
— The Plays of W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson

... same whole-hearted regard for the cause; the same disregard for the individual. He was just as ready as Jackson to place a recalcitrant subordinate, no matter how high his rank, under instant arrest, and towards the incompetent and unsuccessful he was just as pitiless. Jackson, however, had the finer intellect. The Federal Commander-in-Chief was unquestionably a great soldier, greater than those who overlook his difficulties in the '64 campaign are disposed to admit. As a strategist he ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... competent, qualified, capable, talented, clever, gifted, efficient; effective, cogent, telling, potent. Antonyms: unable, incompetent, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... nevertheless pretended that my information and knowledge of mankind, however extensive, and however painfully acquired, by constant domestic enquiry, and by foreign travel, is, natheless, incompetent to the task of recording the pleasant narratives of my Landlord, I will let these critics know, to their own eternal shame and confusion as well as to the abashment and discomfiture of all who shall rashly take up ...
— The Black Dwarf • Sir Walter Scott

... a blind confusion. She did not know how to teach, and she felt she never would know. Mr. Harby came down every now and then to her class, to see what she was doing. She felt so incompetent as he stood by, bullying and threatening, so unreal, that she wavered, became neutral and non-existent. But he stood there watching with the listening-genial smile of the eyes, that was really threatening; he said nothing, he made her go on teaching, ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... good sense and judgment, or perhaps it may have been that some incompetent officers gave senseless orders,—for instance, the people occupying the stores on Polk Street, between Clay and Pacific, and the apartments above, were driven out at 8 A. M. of Thursday, and not permitted to re-enter. As the fire did not reach this ...
— San Francisco During the Eventful Days of April, 1906 • James B. Stetson

... invited by Philip to make ready to take in hand the affairs of Flanders, sadly disorganized under the incompetent rule of Alva. It occurred to him that if he were to issue victoriously from that enterprise—and so far victory had waited upon his every venture—if he were to succeed in restoring peace and Spanish order in rebellious Flanders, he would then ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... the interests of law and order, I suppose," said Patsy; "but the law seems dreadfully inadequate to protect the innocent. I suppose it's because the courts are run by cheap and incompetent people who couldn't earn a salary in any ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West • Edith Van Dyne

... for a moment. He was opposed to the use of force. Force, he believed, was the last resort of incompetence; he had said so frequently enough since this operation had begun. Of course, he was absolutely right, though not in the way he meant. Only the incompetent wait until the last extremity to use force, and by then, it is usually too late to use anything, ...
— A Slave is a Slave • Henry Beam Piper

... degeneracy of these Rois Faineants the kingdom of Clovis was gradually shrinking, and men were already waiting to seize the power as it fell from incompetent hands. When Clovis made gifts of large estates to reward, or to purchase, followers, Roman or Gallic, he laid the foundations of a system which would prove fatal to his successors. With these estates came titles and authority, multiplying and growing with each succeeding reign. A count, who was ...
— A Short History of France • Mary Platt Parmele

... permitted your visiting Oxford last week, so that you might have heard our debate, for certainly there had never been anything like it known here before and will scarcely be again. The discussion on the question that the ministers were incompetent to carry on the government of the country was of a miscellaneous character, and I moved what they called a 'rider' to the effect that the Reform bill threatened to change the form of the British government, ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... his life, suddenly assert her starved abilities, and make him become far greater than anything Trudy had ever been able to do! It would cause such a jolly row and excitement and pep everyone up. Pet and flatter him and show Trudy that after all she had only been an incompetent clerk in ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... of Luciferian Freemasonry himself passed on to the higher life of fire, which is the Palladian notion of beatitude, and in the peace and joy of Lucifer, the sovereign pontificate itself, after resting for a short period upon incompetent shoulders in the person of Albert George Mackey, was transferred to the Italian; the seat of the Dogmatic Directory was removed to Rome; a split in the camp ensued, inspired by a lady initiate, since famous under the name of Diana Vaughan, and to this ...
— Devil-Worship in France - or The Question of Lucifer • Arthur Edward Waite

... of something which to us was merely alluring or dull or revolting? The question whether, having done so, he ought to publish his poem; whether the thing in the poet's work will not be still confused by the incompetent Puritan or the incompetent sensualist with the thing in his mind, does not touch this point; it is a further question, one of ethics, not of art. No doubt the upholders of 'Art for art's sake' will generally be in favour of the courageous course, of refusing ...
— Poetry for Poetry's Sake - An Inaugural Lecture Delivered on June 5, 1901 • A. C. Bradley

... an English butler, and as many strapping indoor men—some of them much better fitted for manual labor—as he liked, and find it a social glory; while a family of moderate means were obliged to pay high wages to crude incompetent women from the darkest backwaters of European life, ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... time they had met. She had a little money of her own. If the old fox would only take it and roll it up into a big snowball! Isabelle, now, with all that wealth! Conny pursed her lips in disgust to think that so much of the ammunition of war had fallen into such incompetent hands. "Yes," she said to herself, "the Senator must show me how to do it." Perhaps it flitted vaguely through her mind that Percy might object to using stock market tips from the Senator. But Percy must accept her judgment on this matter. They could not ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... own coadjutor. There is a temptation to do wrong, but I resist it. What would it not be to me were the whole Fleet to attack as we land at Suvla! But obviously I cannot go out of my own element to urge the Fleet to actions, the perils of which I am professionally incompetent to gauge. ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... dearly loved; but I found it necessary to stifle my own feelings, and exert all my soothing aid and persuasive powers, to calm her agonized mind. At first I was but a poor comforter. I had never thought at all of these weighty matters, and therefore I felt myself very incompetent to reason upon them in such a way as was likely to convince and console her. I had been taught, by my excellent mother, to lisp the Lord's Prayer, the Belief, and the Catechism, before I at all knew the meaning of it, and ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... reliable. Each, however, usually has her favorite method of procedure which it is perhaps as well to allow her to follow. Pity 'tis, 'tis true, that many housekeepers are so ignorant of how the wash-day programme should really be conducted that they are incapable of directing the incompetent laundress. The mistress of the house needs also to be mistress of the laundry, guiding operations there as elsewhere, seeing to it that body and table linens are not washed together, flannels boiled, clothing rotted by overindulgence ...
— The Complete Home • Various

... my Mongol, and my earnest prayer is that I may be able to stand it all, and not get soured in temper and feeling against the Mongols. I must have patience. Some knowledge of camel's flesh also would help me not a little. As it stands, I feel an incompetent "duffer."' ...
— James Gilmour of Mongolia - His diaries, letters, and reports • James Gilmour

... E., a woman who lived years ago in Great Britain and the United States, who believed that noble man was incompetent, incomplete, incompatible, incongruent, inconsistent, and an incubus in his incurious incumbency. She was the daughter of Too Much Time and Too Much Money. Early days spent at home. She married and began her career. S.'s first weakness was a club. Then ...
— Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date - Biographical Dictionary of the Famous and Those Who Wanted to Be • Anonymous

... officers set about their work, they are disagreeably impressed by a general want of sedulousness and close method in our leading. They think we economise brains and waste blood. They are shocked at the way in which obviously incompetent or inefficient men of the old army class are retained in their positions even after serious failures, and they were profoundly moved by the bad staff work and needlessly heavy losses of our opening ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... home. Speaking about this, some said, Well enough—he has become quite incompetent of late. Getting stale, probably. Unable to discover the obvious, losing his keenness. Ten years in the Far East about does for one. But with Lawson, the situation was different. He had become so tired of boundary lines, of perpetual swaying back and forth from one side to the ...
— Civilization - Tales of the Orient • Ellen Newbold La Motte

... of Borrow has ever been published: a few dates, and some more or less intelligent opinions about his character and work, are the sum of what we know of him—outside his own books. Some of the dates are probably guess-work; most of the opinions are incompetent: it is time that some adequate mind assembled all available materials and digested them into a satisfactory book. It is hardly worth while to review the few meagre details. Borrow was born in 1803 and died in 1881; his father, a soldier, failed to make a solicitor of him, and the ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... established, the Empire solidified, the administration purified and the frontiers defended. Everything that had happened in the past five years he blamed on Commodus. It was the indifference of Commodus which had ruined the administration of the army, so that incompetent, dishonest, and tyrannical under-officers drove young patriots like himself into mutiny, outlawry and their consequences. Had Commodus been a capable ruler he and his fellow malcontents would have been listened ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... scheme of optimism on a priori grounds which shall embrace a universe the larger portion of which is virtually beyond the field of observation. We are conscious of possessing some rational data and some mental equipment for the former task, but for the latter we feel utterly incompetent.[261] ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... although I was quite alone, of the nonsense I was uttering.' 'It is not a speech that I want,' said my friend, 'I can talk for three hours without hesitating, but I want an address to circulate through the county, and I find myself utterly incompetent to put one together; do oblige me by writing one for me, I know you can; and, if at any time you want a person to speak for you, you may command me not for three but for six hours. Good morning; to-morrow I will breakfast with you.' In the morning he came again. 'Well,' said he, 'what ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... qualities of mind, such grasp of reason, such continuity of induction, as to entitle him to underrate the intelligence of so large a number of his fellow-citizens by accusing them of being incapable of a generalization and incompetent to apprehend ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various



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