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Obscurity   /əbskjˈʊrəti/   Listen
Obscurity

noun
1.
The quality of being unclear or abstruse and hard to understand.  Synonyms: abstruseness, obscureness, reconditeness.
2.
An obscure and unimportant standing; not well known.
3.
The state of being indistinct or indefinite for lack of adequate illumination.  Synonym: obscureness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Obscurity" Quotes from Famous Books



... the regret that the whole region was in such profound obscurity. Even if the moon had been in full glory but few observations could have been made. At this season of the year an immense curtain of snow, an icy carapace, covers up the polar surface. There was none of that ice "blink" to be seen, that whitish tint of which ...
— Rubur the Conqueror • Jules Verne

... which few but herself knew. Her sufferings did not in any way affect her spirits, and she was quite cheerful the afternoon of her death. Of an evening I used to sit with her for an hour in her room, with no other light—for she was very fond of this semi-obscurity—than that of the gas-lamp in the street. Her lively imagination would then assume free scope, and, as so often happens with old people, the recollections of her early days came back with special force ...
— Recollections of My Youth • Ernest Renan

... but his room still remains unaltered—a large wainscoted upper chamber, thirty feet long, with three windows looking on to the quay, with carved and ornamented chimney-piece and ceiling. A great obscurity, as was to be expected, hangs over the transaction, as even now there are men who shrink from lifting up a finger against the Lord's anointed. Dinner had been ordered at four, but it was not till eleven, that it was served, and that the die had been cast. The members of the ...
— East Anglia - Personal Recollections and Historical Associations • J. Ewing Ritchie

... what next took place in the smoky obscurity above the fire, for the branch seemed to wave about more and more, and to lengthen; and then I made sure that it was the shadow I saw; but directly after, a thrill ran through me as I recalled that these creatures were fond of nestling high up in branches, where they captured ...
— Bunyip Land - A Story of Adventure in New Guinea • George Manville Fenn

... "Sacrifice all, and let us go!" He seemed even to invite her to say it, but she strove with herself. Sacrifice of his career meant sacrifice of the whole man. Not in her eyes, oh no!—but she had studied him so well, and knew that he could no longer be content in obscurity. She choked her very ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... saved if he shuns evils as sins and does not confirm heretical falsities in himself. For by shunning evils as sins the will is reformed and through it the understanding is, which emerges for the first time then out of obscurity into light. There are three essentials of the church: acknowledgment of the divine of the Lord, acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word, and the life which is called charity. Everyone's faith is according to the life which is charity; from the Word he has a rational ...
— Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence • Emanuel Swedenborg

... life of eating, drinking, and money getting. He gave great pains to the study of eloquence, as wings upon which he might aspire to public business; and it was very apparent that he did not intend to pass his days in obscurity. When Vettius, a friend of his, was on his trial, he defended his cause, and the people were in an ecstasy, and transported with joy, finding him master of such eloquence that the other orators seemed like children in comparison, and jealousies and fears on the other hand began to be felt by ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... cellar built beneath the level of the ground. An iron grating at the top of the wall admitted one blanched wink of light, but the place was bathed in obscurity. A wooden ladder led down to the cell from a hole in the ceiling, and this hole also gave a spark of brightness and some little air to the room. The walls were of stone covered with plaster, but the plaster had fallen away in many ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... moment on the threshold. The true artist is never in a hurry. The breadth of the great room immediately before her showed very bright with candle-light and lamplight. But that died away, through gradations of augmenting obscurity, until the extreme end, towards the western bay, melted out into complete darkness. This produced an effect of almost limitless length which moved her to a childish, and at first pleasing, fancy of vague danger—an effect heightened by the ranges of curious and ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... occupied us a great part of the morning, then we prepared our cassava, and baked our cakes on iron plates. Though we had a glazed door to our hut, the gloominess of the weather, and the obscurity caused by the vast boughs of the tree, made night come on early. We then lighted a candle, fixed in a gourd on the table, round which we were all assembled. The good mother laboured with her needle, mending the ...
— The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island • Johann David Wyss

... letrillas in racy Castilian; he was less successful in the graver forms. Nicasio ALVAREZ DE CIENFUEGOS (1764-1809) passes as a disciple of Melendez; he was a passionate, uneven writer whose undisciplined thought and habit of coining words lead to obscurity. Politically he opposed the French with unyielding vigor, barely escaped execution at their hands and died in exile. The verse of Cienfuegos prepared the way for Quintana. Differing from him in clarity and polish are Fr. Sanchez Barbero (1764-1819) and ...
— Modern Spanish Lyrics • Various

... modern lighthouse stands a tall, hexagonal tower, built of chalk in four stories, with a string course between each. The signs of age it bears and the remarkable obscurity surrounding its origin and purpose would suggest great antiquity, and yet there seems little doubt that the tower is at the very earliest Elizabethan. The chalk, being extremely soft, has weathered away to such an extent that the harder ...
— Yorkshire Painted And Described • Gordon Home

... was a humiliating fiasco, unless, as I have stated before, it was a preconceived decoy for some other purpose. But whether it were strategy or decoy, it taxes one's intelligence to conceive why the French fleet did not proceed to bombard the British possessions on arrival, then steal into safe obscurity and make their way back to European waters. The evasion of Nelson's scouts in any case was a matter of adroit cunning. Had a man of Nelson's nimble wits and audacious courage commanded the enemy's fleet, the islands would have been attacked and left in a dilapidated condition. ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... the latter are so flagrantly avowed and known, the poor creature, who suffers herself to be seduced, either by a single or married man, with promises, or without, has only to sequester herself from the world, and devote the rest of her days to penitence and obscurity. As to the gentleman," added I, "he must, I doubt, be left to his conscience, as you say, Lady Towers, which he will one day have enough to do ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... The obscurity was in his favour. Tom made his bow and accepted the chair offered him, less awkwardly than was to be ...
— M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur." • G.J. Whyte-Melville

... nation whose annals are tiresome.'"—Corwin, in Congress, 1847. This figure is much employed in poetry. A judicious use of it confers harmony, variety, strength, and vivacity upon composition. But care should be taken lest it produce ambiguity or obscurity, absurdity or solecism. ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... the day of Messianic dreams. In the century that was over, strange figures had appeared of prophets and martyrs and Hebrew visionaries. From obscurity and the far East came David Reubeni, journeying to Italy by way of Nubia to obtain firearms to rid Palestine of the Moslem—a dark-faced dwarf, made a skeleton by fasts, riding on his white horse up to the Vatican to demand an interview, and graciously received by ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... out of his little narrow town or village circle of acquaintances, has thirsted for something beyond what they could give him; everybody who, with nothing but a dull, daily round of mechanical routine before him, would welcome death, if it were martyrdom for a cause; every humblest creature, in the obscurity of great cities or remote hamlets, who silently does his or her duty without recognition—all these turn to Jesus, and find themselves in Him. He died, faithful to the end, with infinitely higher hopes, purposes, and capacity than mine, and with ...
— The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... disgrace; how they could face their fellow-creatures while their names were bandied about so injuriously and so publicly;—and now this lot was to be his,—he, that shy, retiring man, who had so comforted himself in the hidden obscurity of his lot, who had so enjoyed the unassuming warmth of his own little corner,—he was now dragged forth into the glaring day, and gibbeted before ferocious multitudes. He entered his own house a crestfallen, humiliated ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... progress," contain one of the most important lessons of all spiritual life. The Wise Man says of the knowledge of the works of God: "When a man hath done, then he shall begin," St. Augustine applies this sentence to the obscurity of the sacred writings, when he says that, the deeper they are searched, the more hidden mysteries are found in them; and it is equally applicable to Christian and religious perfection. It is an error condemned by the Church to believe that a man is capable ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... and a personal religion without conversion, no emphasis or reiteration can be extreme. Besides, the clearness as well as the definiteness of the Testimony of Nature to any Spiritual truth is of immense importance. Regeneration has not merely been an outstanding difficulty, but an overwhelming obscurity. Even to earnest minds the difficulty of grasping the truth at all has always proved extreme. Philosophically one scarcely sees either the necessity or the possibility of being born again. Why a virtuous man should not simply ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... childless. Yet, unmindful of the alleviation, a spirit of complaint, at what she impatiently called the bitterness of her lot and the hardness of the world, so preyed upon her, as ere long to hurry her from the obscurity of indigence to the ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... been made in the arrangement of the principal cabin. The light was entirely excluded from the stern, and the crimson curtain had been lowered before the alcove. A small window whose effect was to throw a dim obscurity within, had been opened in the side. The objects on which its light fell strongest, received a soft coloring from the hues ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... refer to a philosopher of this earth as illustrating the work of a philosopher of another planet, the Editor cannot help quoting a passage from a man possessed of wondrous prescience, who, to use his own words, "held up a lamp in the obscurity of philosophy that would be seen ages after he was dead." It will also in a measure convey the difference between the process of grafting and the course pursued by the Tootmanyoso in the creation ...
— Another World - Fragments from the Star City of Montalluyah • Benjamin Lumley (AKA Hermes)

... thus eventually learn whether a blank space in the sky truly represents the end of the stellar universe in that direction, or whether farther and farther worlds roll and shine beyond, veiled in the obscurity of immeasurable distance. ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... himself he would gladly go, for his friends' sake he is drawn to the opposite choice. He has 'fallen into a place where two seas meet,' and for a minute or two his will is buffeted from side to side by the 'violence of the waves.' The obscurity of his language, arising from its broken construction, corresponds to the struggle of his feelings. As the Revised Version has it, 'If to live in the flesh—if this is the fruit of my work, then what I shall choose, I wot not.' By which ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... which have become classical abound. The "purple patch" sewn on to a sober narrative; the wine jar turning to a pitcher as the potter's wheel revolves; the injunction to keep a book ten years before you publish it; the near kinship of terseness to obscurity; the laughable outcome of a mountain's labour; the warning to be chary of bringing gods upon the stage; the occasional nod of Homer;—are commonplace citations so crisp and so exhaustive in their Latin garb, that even the unlettered ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... est mort; vive le roi!"—A Vipont dies; live the Vipont! Despite its high-sounding Norman name, the House of Vipont was no House at all for some generations after the Conquest. The first Vipont who emerged from the obscurity of time was a rude soldier of Gascon origin, in the reign of Henry II.,—one of the thousand fighting-men who sailed from Milford Haven with the stout Earl of Pembroke, on that strange expedition which ended in the ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... we trust that there will not remain any obscurity. There is no higher God than Love. There is no higher love than sexual-love in its highest manifestation. The more we truly love, the more love flows into and through our consciousness, until from a tiny little pearly drop of the "wine ...
— Sex=The Unknown Quantity - The Spiritual Function of Sex • Ali Nomad

... sole guidance; he wanders, wanders, as if that curse of the Prophet had fallen on him, and he were "made like unto a wheel." Doubtless, too, the chaotic nature of these Paper-bags aggravates our obscurity. Quite without note of preparation, for example, we come upon the following slip: "A peculiar feeling it is that will rise in the Traveller, when turning some hill-range in his desert road, he descries lying far below, embosomed among its groves and green natural bulwarks, and ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... is ever veiled in obscurity; the more we believe that we know its meaning, the less do we understand it. Perhaps, after all, you must expect from it nothing but glory and happiness. Suffer us, dear sister, to behold this mortal dread deceived by a worthy issue; or at least let us die with you, if heaven does not show ...
— Psyche • Moliere

... been done, and to get an order from the governor for what was to be done in the future. The island is densely populated, as they will relate to your Majesty. It will be a pity for those peoples to remain in the obscurity of their blindness, without the light of our holy Catholic faith, for lack of ministers. Since the fathers of St Dominic have taken that conquest in charge, it will be very advisable for the present to settle it with religious ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XXII, 1625-29 • Various

... white stocking, wet. At the back was a cabinet de toilette, as dark as the other one, a vile malodorous mess of appliances whose familiar forms loomed vague and extraordinarily sinister in the dense obscurity. Sophia turned away with the righteous disgust of one whose preparations for the gaze of the world are as candid and simple as those of a child. Concealed dirt shocked her as much as it would have shocked her mother; ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... for you, my lord," said Varney—"that is, in the case supposed, if such be her disposition; since you think you cannot aspire to become her husband. Her favourite you are, and may remain, if the lady at Cumnor place continues in her present obscurity." ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... march, the construction of their camp, and the engagement, yet, as Metellus was longer in coming than they expected, advanced to meet him in regular and steady order. The subtlety of the Numidians, indeed, allowed them neither rest nor relaxation. But as the two parties drew together, in the obscurity of the night, each occasioned, by a noise like that of enemies approaching, alarm and trepidation in the other; and, had not parties of horse, sent forward from both sides, ascertained the truth, ...
— Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jurgurthine War • Sallust

... left a distinct gap in the literary world. A life like his could not be extinguished without general sorrow. Although he was unduly modest, and never aspired to the role of a beacon-light in literature, always seeking to remain in obscurity, the works of Emile Souvestre must be placed in the first rank by their morality and by their instructive character. They will always command the entire respect and applause of mankind. And thus it happens that, like many others, he was only ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... their own act, everything is obscured to themselves and to their neighbors. But whilst the cuttle-fish swims out of the zone of opacity created by himself, the theologian remains in his, fighting the obscurity with logic—for that purpose the poorest of all devices. You cannot guide an emotional boat with an intellectual rudder. Something to me much more convincing than reason, tells me that our bodies will not be long in their graves before we shall again ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... of his efforts to please them; but when the day came would they not think (and would not their wives remind them) that Sir Winterton was a neighbour and a friend and that Lady Mildmay was kind and sweet? Then, having shouted for Quisante, would they not in the peaceful obscurity of the ballot put ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... each religious house did not have it formal regulations. The latter however seem to have depended largely upon the abbot's spirit, will or discretion. The existing "Rules" abound in allusions to forgotten practices and customs and, to add to their obscurity, their language is very difficult—sometimes, like the language of the Brehon Laws, unintelligible. The rule ascribed to Mochuda is certainly a document of great antiquity and may well have emanated from the seventh century and from the author whose name it bears. The tradition of Lismore ...
— The Life of St. Mochuda of Lismore • Saint Mochuda

... lonely rings the echo of my feet! Those windows, which I gaze at, frown, Silent and white, unopening down, Repellent as the world;—but see, A break between the housetops shows The moon! and, lost behind her, fading dim Into the dewy dark obscurity Down at the far horizon's rim, Doth a whole tract of ...
— Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... optical illusions were common, especially in the obscurity of night. One could look so long at a motionless object that it seemed to move. That was why the boat, tied securely to low boughs, did that curious trick of apparently gliding over the surface of the river. ...
— The Border Watch - A Story of the Great Chief's Last Stand • Joseph A. Altsheler

... than in the outer division of the building. At the moment when they entered it the place was very dark; the pile of idols intercepted even the little light that could have been admitted through its narrow entrance; but the dense obscurity was soon dissipated. Dragging Numerian after him to the left side of the recess, Ulpius drew back a sort of wooden shutter, and a vivid ray of sunlight immediately streamed in through a small circular opening pierced in this ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... fading light, fool and jestress drew rein, and, moved by the same purpose, looked about them. On the one hand was the deserted, desolate plain over which lay a sullen, gathering mist; on the other, the sombrous obscurity of the wood. Everywhere, an ominous silence, and overhead the crescent growing ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... of bread is involved in the obscurity of distant ages. The Greeks attributed its invention to Pan; but before they, themselves, had an existence, it was, no doubt, in use among the primitive nations of mankind. The Chaldeans and the Egyptians were acquainted with it, and Sarah, ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... they dropped down the river, and soon came into the thick mist that lay beyond the point. It was impossible to see more than a yard or two ahead, but the same dense obscurity would prevent any further range of vision from the other boat, and, if it was still at its work, the sound of its oars or of voices, Michael reflected, might guide him to it. From the lisp of little wavelets lapping on ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... what, boys," Jack said presently, growing weary of trying to discover features in the obscurity below that covered the landscape, "this makes me feel just like I imagine that old guy must have felt when he went out after the Golden Fleece or something ...
— Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal - or Perils of the Black Bear Patrol • G. Harvey Ralphson

... different impulse. M. de Soissons panted for power, and loathed every impediment to the gratification of his ambition; while the young Prince, less firm of purpose, and more greedy of pleasure and ostentation, was wearied by the obscurity of his existence, and the ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... to me. I was anxious to have it all over with. We went out. Once in the street the passing from semi-obscurity to daylight dazed me and I staggered. I began to fear that it would no longer be possible for me to conceal the crime. I kept my eyes steadily fixed upon the ground and took my place in the procession. When all was over, I breathed once more. I was at peace with man. But I was ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... Bourbon. The origin of this family fades away in the remoteness of antiquity. Some bold chieftain, far remote in barbarian ages, emerged from obscurity and laid the foundations of the illustrious house. Generation after generation passed away, as the son succeeded the father in baronial pomp, and pride, and power, till the light of history, with its steadily-increasing brilliancy, illumined Europe. The family had often ...
— Henry IV, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... by no means encouraging. In 1893 Colonel French was actually retired on half-pay! It is an admirable system which allows the middle-aged officer to make way for youth in the British army; but the spectacle of a French despatched into civil obscurity at the ripe age of forty-one, has its tragic as well as its comic side. That it acutely depressed him we know. For a time he was almost in despair ...
— Sir John French - An Authentic Biography • Cecil Chisholm

... thwarted his plans, and he resigned his post and returned to Austria, where his brother, the emperor, refused even to see him, probably fearing assassination. Matthias took up his residence at Lintz, where he lived for some time in obscurity and penury. His imperial brother would neither give him help nor employment. The restless prince fretted like ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... a little distance they came to a grove of ancient trees. Mightily tail and well grown these trees were, and the trunk of each could not have been spanned by ten broad men. As they went among these quiet giants into the dappled obscurity and silence, their thoughts became grave, and all the motions of their minds elevated as though they must equal in greatness and dignity those ancient and glorious trees. When they passed through the grove they saw a lovely house before them, built of mellow wood and with a roof ...
— Irish Fairy Tales • James Stephens

... but she said no, and managed to mount the stairs, though it was evidently an exertion. Mrs. Carleton's dressing-room, as her son had called it, looked very pleasant when they got there. It was well lighted and warmed and something answering to curtains had been summoned from its obscurity in store-room or garret and hung up at the windows,—"them air fussy English folks had made such a pint of it," the landlord said. Truth was, that Mr. Carleton as well as his mother wanted this room as a retreat for the quiet and privacy which travelling ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... shade. The canal was not above thirty feet wide; the walls stretched upward on both sides for many hundred feet. It was as cool as an ice chamber. When Maskull attempted to plumb the chasm with his eyes, he saw nothing but black obscurity. ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... sacred thing Is Beauty curtained from the sight Of the gross world, illumining One only mansion with her light! Unseen by man's disturbing eye,— The flower that blooms beneath the sea, Too deep for sunbeams, doth not lie Hid in more chaste obscurity. So, HINDA. have thy face and mind, Like holy mysteries, lain enshrined. And oh! what transport for a lover To lift the veil that shades them o'er!— Like those who all at once discover In the lone deep some fairy shore Where ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... imagination. In a secret report they pointed out very strongly the dangers likely to arise from this unhealthy stimulus to the imagination. Their verdict does honor to their learning and their common-sense. Mesmer left Paris, and he died in obscurity in 1815. ...
— Moral Principles and Medical Practice - The Basis of Medical Jurisprudence • Charles Coppens

... knowledge. The thing that struck the first observer is proved to be less important than he thought it. Scientific names, for all their air of learned universality, are merely fossilized impressions, stereotyped portraits of a single aspect. The decorous obscurity of the ancient languages is used to conceal an immense diversity of principle. Mammal, amphibian, coleoptera, dicotyledon, cryptogam,—all these terms, which, if they were translated into the language of a peasant, would be seen to record very simple observations, ...
— Romance - Two Lectures • Walter Raleigh

... retired to Monticello, humiliated and overwhelmed by unjust criticism and undeserved censure. His gloom and melancholy were made still more sad at this period, by the death of his wife, whom he had married in 1772. But the privilege of neither obscurity nor rest was reserved for him. The winter session of 1783 found him again in the General Congress abolishing the English system of coinage and providing for the government of the Northwestern territory, which had been ceded ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 • Various

... open, simple, childlike. My interior resembles a drop of water, mingling and lost in the ocean, and no more discerning itself,—the sea not only surrounding, but absorbing it. In this divine immensity, the soul discerns and enjoys all objects in God. All is darkness and obscurity in respect to itself; all is light on the part of God. Thus, God is all to me. This has been my state more than thirty years, although in latter years I have realized greater depths in these experiences. ...
— Letters of Madam Guyon • P. L. Upham

... memorable night in question, there was a good deal of fog driving over the ocean to increase the obscurity. This rendered Daggett doubly cautious, and he actually hauled up close to the wind, heading off well to the westward, in order to avoid running in among the bergs, in greater uncertainty than the circumstances would seem to require. Of course Roswell ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... humble life was quite familiar once, and not only in Hillsborough. Often he was born out of time, loving ideals of history and too severe with realities around him. In Darrel it is sought to portray a force held in fetters and covered with obscurity, yet strong to make its way and widely felt. His troubles granted, one may easily concede his character, and his troubles are, mainly, no fanciful invention. There is good warrant for them in the court record of a certain ...
— Darrel of the Blessed Isles • Irving Bacheller

... Peru yields to the judicious application of these principles of interpretation. Its peculiar obscurity arises from the policy of the Incas to blend the religions of conquered provinces with their own. Thus about 1350 the Inca Pachacutec subdued the country about Lima where the worship of Con and Pachacama prevailed.[176-2] ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... of having married without love," said Fanny, gently. "Oh, I should willingly give up wealth and splendor—I should be quite ready to live in poverty and obscurity with a man ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... around the mouth were branched, feathery arms. The creatures must have been exquisitely beautiful, but they have completely disappeared from the face of the earth, with the exception of a very few, found in the obscurity of the almost fathomless depths of the great ocean. Here they remain as peculiar relics, only preserved by the unvarying conditions in the deep sea from the extinction ...
— The Meaning of Evolution • Samuel Christian Schmucker

... has put upon the letters of my uncle and father, it is plain that I ought to have understood them as marshalling me to the course of my ancestors; and it has been my gross dullness, joined to the obscurity of expression which they adopted for the sake of security, that has confounded my judgement. Had I yielded to the first generous impulse of indignation when I learned that my honour was practised ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... used for storage, and from the open door there floated into the obscurity a mist of yellow radiance, which at first Tess thought to be illuminated smoke. But on drawing nearer she perceived that it was a cloud of dust, lit by candles within the outhouse, whose beams upon the haze carried forward the outline of the ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... you." The Book of Leinster contains a poem attributed to Saint Ciaran relating to the shortness of his life: as it has apparently never been printed it is given here with a translation, so far as the obscurity of the language permits— ...
— The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran - Translations Of Christian Literature. Series V. Lives Of - The Celtic Saints • Anonymous

... the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and ...
— Anecdotes & Incidents of the Deaf and Dumb • W. R. Roe

... the eye got attempered; and then, like an autumnal haze clearing away from the face of the landscape, and revealing the glories of green meadow, golden field, and wooded mountain, the obscurity that wrapped pillar and aisle gradually brightened up, and the temple around me began to develope into the noblest proportions and the most impressive grandeur. Some hundred and fifty feet over head was ...
— Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber - Or The Influence of Romanism on Trade, Justice, and Knowledge • James Aitken Wylie

... three or four dvorniks[3] belonging to the house, but the young man, to his great satisfaction, came across none of them, and, escaping notice as he entered, mounted at once the stairs on the right hand. He had already made acquaintance with this dark and narrow staircase, and its obscurity was grateful to him; it was gloomy enough to hide him from prying eyes. "If I feel so timid now, what will it be when I come to put my plan into execution?" thought he, as he reached the fourth floor. Here he found the passage ...
— The Continental Classics, Volume XVIII., Mystery Tales • Various

... good fortune to obtain the additional comfort of a letter from Minnie, which, although it did not throw much light on the proceedings of Captain Ogilvy (for that sapient seaman's proceedings were usually involved in a species of obscurity which light could not penetrate), nevertheless assured him that something was being done in his behalf, and that, if he only kept quiet for a ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... in these days, is not to be put down, and doubtless he feels in his inner breast that wrong which has been done for years to his talents and his services; doubtless he remembers the silence and obscurity to which he has been condemned, while Mr. Balfour has been figuring largely before the general public, in the very situation which Jimmy held himself in days when Mr. Balfour stumbled and trembled from his place below the ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... and which, from the heads of the animal being carved in relief around them, had become famous as the receptacles of secret accusations under the name of the Lion's Mouths. Something he dropped into the grinning aperture of the marble, though what, the distance and the obscurity of the gallery prevented Gino from perceiving; and then his form was seen gliding like a phantom down the flight of ...
— The Bravo • J. Fenimore Cooper

... commonalty, democracy; obscurity; low condition, low life, low society, low company; bourgeoisie; mass of the people, mass of society; Brown Jones and Robinson; lower classes, humbler classes, humbler orders; vulgar herd, common herd; rank and ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... which form the ground-work of these volumes have long been kept in the obscurity of manuscript: my studies of South America, of Syria and Palestine, of Iceland, and of Istria, left me scant time for the labour of preparation. Leisure and opportunity have now offered themselves, and I avail myself of them in the hope ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... sir," returned Mrs Wyllys, with a cold salute. "I thank you for your good and kind intentions, but you cannot blame us for not consenting to follow advice which is buried in so much obscurity. Although in our own grounds, we shall be pardoned the rudeness of leaving you. The hour appointed for ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... compass of the language, to express the thing meant: these few words being also arranged in the most straightforward and intelligible way; allowing inversion only when the subject can be made primary without obscurity; thus, 'his present, and your pains, we thank you for' is better than 'we thank you for his present and your pains,' because the Dauphin's gift is by courtesy put before the Ambassador's pains; ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... toward the Carolinians. He rode quickly, past the dark shell of a house sunken among pines. There were with him seven or eight persons. The horses' hoofs made a trampling on the Plank road. The woods were deep, the obscurity great. Suddenly out of the brush rang a shot, an accidentally discharged rifle. Some grey soldier among Lane's tensely waiting ranks, dressed in the woods to the right of the road, spoke from the core of a fearful ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... her qualities had not been bought and paid for; they were like some brilliant birthday-present, left at the door by an unknown messenger, to be delightful for ever as an inexhaustible legacy, and amusing for ever from the obscurity of its source. They were superabundantly crude as yet—happily for Olive, who promised herself, as we know, to train and polish them—but they were as genuine as fruit and flowers, as the glow of the fire or the plash of water. For her scrutinising friend Verena had the disposition ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... our pastures. In the course of a month, nearly every acre of the surrounding country was taken, only one or two squaw-men holding out, and these claiming their ranges under Indian rights. The movement was made so aggressive that the usurpers were driven into obscurity, never showing their hand again until after the presidential election ...
— Reed Anthony, Cowman • Andy Adams

... commendable that the name of them in the river became as legion, and the original possessors of the waters were steadily extirpated or took despairingly to small rivulets, and led ever after a life of undeserved ignominy and obscurity. There were bass in the river from the Falls of the Potomac, near Georgetown, to a point as near its source as any self-respecting fish could approach without detriment to the buttons on his vest by reason of the shallowness of the water. They ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... could sweep the pavement, or lie in rich folds at the bottom of a carriage, unadorned by an imposing flounce that almost covered the robe; a little later, the one sober flounce was driven into obscurity by twenty coquettish small ones; and these were displaced by primly puffed bands; which gave way to fanciful "keys" running up the sides of the dress (where they seemed to have no possible right); and those vanished when double ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... had vanished, now that I found my line of conduct traced for me. The chief thing at present was to get something to eat. So we pushed ahead up the hill in the ever-deepening obscurity. We walked on in silence for what seemed an interminable distance. Once I fancied I had mistaken directions and was about to despair when the tramp of feet coming toward us revived hope. A second later a brawny arm turned a lantern into my face and a huge police dog growled close ...
— My Home In The Field of Honor • Frances Wilson Huard

... time thereafter attempt or enterprise the destruction, invasion, detriment, or annoyance to the said plantation or inhabitants." Nothing was said of religious liberty. The government may have relied upon its power to restrain it, and the emigrants on their distance and obscurity ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... tocsin of insurrection tolls its dismal knell in the towers of Paris. Through scenes surpassing fable, the king and his family escape to the hospitable shores of England. Here, in obscurity and exile, he reaches the end of life's journey, and passes away to the unknown of the spirit-land. Such is the wonderful story which we have endeavored to compress within the limits of these brief pages. Every event here narrated is sustained by ...
— Louis Philippe - Makers of History Series • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... the spring of 1916 that Kantara dropped its mantle of obscurity and began to take its place as our principal base of operations. From then onwards the place hummed with ever-increasing activity, for the danger of a further attempt on the Canal was now somewhat remote, and work could be carried on in ...
— With Our Army in Palestine • Antony Bluett

... explanations of the Bible and the ritual laws for Sabbath and festivals; it provides a convenient summary of the six hundred and thirteen precepts into which the duties of the Law were arranged. But over and above all this the genius of Kalir soars to poetic heights. So much has been said of Kalir's obscurity that one quotation must, in fairness be given of Kalir at his simplest and best. The passage is taken from a hymn sung on the seventh day of Tabernacles, the day of the ...
— Chapters on Jewish Literature • Israel Abrahams

... so wise as to make their churches extremely dark. At first you can see nothing. Incense floats heavily about you, filling the air, and the coolness is like a draught of fresh, perfumed water. But gradually the church detaches itself from the obscurity and you see great columns, immensely lofty. The spaces are large and simple, giving an impression of vast room; and the choir, walled up on three sides, in the middle of the nave as in all Spanish cathedrals, by obstructing the view gives an appearance of ...
— The Land of The Blessed Virgin; Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia • William Somerset Maugham

... dashed past him on its way across the glade. No, so far as the ape was concerned, the signs indicated that it had waded into the water far enough to bend down and drink, and then had been suddenly and very badly frightened. Again Phil gazed about him, searching the obscurity on the far side of the cave, and now he noticed that there was another passage over there, a roughly circular hole about five feet in diameter, running still farther into the heart of the rock. He thought he would like to get across and explore that hole; but how was he ...
— Two Gallant Sons of Devon - A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess • Harry Collingwood

... experience in managing public business, and from the great vicissitudes of fortune which I have encountered. And this divination I am the more inclined to trust, from the fact that it never once deceived me in the late troubles, in spite of their obscurity and confusion. I would have told you what events I foretold, were I not afraid to be thought to be making up a story after the event Yet, after all, I have numberless witnesses to the fact that I warned Pompey not to form a union with Caesar, and afterwards not to sever it. By this union ...
— Letters of Cicero • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... made himself master of the art of living was the Real man of the Taoist. At birth he enters the realm of dreams only to awaken to reality at death. He tempers his own brightness in order to merge himself into the obscurity of others. He is "reluctant, as one who crosses a stream in winter; hesitating as one who fears the neighbourhood; respectful, like a guest; trembling, like ice that is about to melt; unassuming, ...
— The Book of Tea • Kakuzo Okakura

... to be paralleled with those which made Cyrus the son of a Persian of moderate rank, and the foster-child of a herdsman. There is always in the East a tendency towards romance and exaggeration; and when a great monarch emerges from a comparatively humble position, the humility and obscurity of his first condition are intensified, to make the contrast more striking between his original low estate and his ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire • George Rawlinson

... woman. Many are the references to the Creator's comforting presence and help. Note these lines from a letter written by Margaret Winthrop to her husband in 1637: "Sure I am, that all shall work to the best to them that love God, or rather are loved of him. I know he will bring light out of obscurity, and make his righteousness shine forth as clear as noonday. Yet I find in myself an adverse spirit, and a trembling heart, not so willing to submit to the will of God as I desire. There is a time to plant, ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... those Jacobite chieftains whose history has sunk into obscurity, partly from the difficulty of obtaining information concerning their career, after the contest was at an end. Amongst those who met Lord Mar in the hunting-field, but who afterwards became neutral,[76] although most of his clan joined in the Rebellion, was ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... time the dishes question was disposed of and everything had been tidied up and the fire once more attended to, the darkness of an October night had fallen. Everything outside the circle of our firelight was veiled in obscurity. There was no moon and it was a little cloudy, at least, the stars did not seem to show much. Very soon as we sat on our benches in front of the girls' cabin, we began to hear various wild notes from the great somber ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... failings as plainly as any one else, nay, fixed his gentle but discerning eye upon them; whereas the idolizers behold certain objects in a bedarkening blaze of light, or rather of light-confounding brightness, the multiplied and heightened reflection of whatever is best in them, to the obscurity or transmutation of all their defects. Whence it necessarily follows that the world presents itself to their eyes divided, like a chess-board, into black and white compartments—a moral and intellectual ...
— Biographia Epistolaris, Volume 1. • Coleridge, ed. Turnbull

... Purchase had strengthened the Administration with all classes of people; Jefferson and George Clinton had received 162 electoral votes to 14 for Pinckney and Rufus King; Burr had gone into retirement and was soon to go into obscurity; the Livingstons, filling high places, were distinguishing themselves at home and abroad as able judges and successful diplomatists; DeWitt Clinton, happy and eminently efficient as the mayor of New York, seemed to have before him a bright and prosperous career as a skilful ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... donkey not much bigger than a cat, and they drive in the Chiaja; Dukes and bankers, in sumptuous carriages and with gorgeous drivers and footmen, turn out, also, and so the furious procession goes. For two hours rank and wealth, and obscurity and poverty clatter along side by side in the wild procession, and then go home ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... black clouds gathered about the giant's middle, and burst into a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning, causing such a pother that Hercules found it impossible to distinguish a word. Only the giant's immeasurable legs were to be seen, standing up into the obscurity of the tempest; and, now and then, a momentary glimpse of his whole figure, mantled in a volume of mist. He seemed to be speaking, most of the time; but his big, deep, rough voice chimed in with the reverberations ...
— Myths That Every Child Should Know - A Selection Of The Classic Myths Of All Times For Young People • Various

... brought relief. But, when she awoke from a prolonged period of unconsciousness, the brightness of her reason was gone. Since then, she has never been clearly conscious of what was passing around her, and well for her, I have sometimes thought it was, for even obscurity of intellect is a blessing in her case. Ah, me! I always get the heart-ache, ...
— Ten Nights in a Bar Room • T. S. Arthur

... the Khedive to send for General Gordon cannot be mistaken; nor is there any obscurity as to those which led General Gordon to accept a task in which he was bound to run counter to the views of every other European authority, and still more to the fixed policy of his and other Governments. In the first place, Gordon being the servant ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume II • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... our philosophers; that is to say, a great many bad things to a very few good ones. I could prove, in short, that if we behold a handful of rich and powerful men seated on the pinnacle of fortune and greatness, while the crowd grovel in obscurity and want, it is merely because the first prize what they enjoy but in the same degree that others want it, and that, without changing their condition, they would cease to be happy the minute the people ...
— A Discourse Upon The Origin And The Foundation Of - The Inequality Among Mankind • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... hydrographical regions—the North Pacific, between Polynesia and the Asiatic and American shores; and doubtless the store of observations upon the currents of this region, which she will accumulate, when compared with what we know of the North Atlantic, will throw a powerful light upon the present obscurity ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... recognize Young's authority, and for this contumacy he was excommunicated and delivered to the Devil "to be buffeted in the flesh for a thousand years." Returning to Pittsburg, Rigdon led a life of utter obscurity, and finally died in Friendship, Allegany county, New York, July 14, 1876. Cowdery, Whitner and Harris either deserted or were cut off. The Legislature of Illinois repealed the charter of Nauvoo in 1845. Most of the Mormons gathered at Council Bluffs, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... conscience. It was her habitual practice to reprove sin, and to warn sinners wherever she found them. At the time of her death, she had under her care a number of pious young men, preparing for the ministry. These she had looked after, and brought out of obscurity. As soon as their piety had been sufficiently tested, she would bring them to the notice of her Christian friends. She persuaded pious teachers to give them gratuitous instruction, and pious booksellers to supply them with books. In the same way, she procured their board, in the families of ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... mentioned already the obscurity surrounding the history of the Mahayanist Canon in India and it may seem to throw doubt on the authenticity of these scriptures. Unauthentic they certainly are in the sense that European criticism is not likely to accept as historical ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... One thought one heard the terrible statue Legion marching onward. This tread drew near; it drew still nearer, and stopped. It seemed as though the breathing of many men could be heard at the end of the street. Nothing was to be seen, however, but at the bottom of that dense obscurity there could be distinguished a multitude of metallic threads, as fine as needles and almost imperceptible, which moved about like those indescribable phosphoric networks which one sees beneath one's closed eyelids, in the first mists of slumber at the moment when one is dropping off ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... to the Cimmerii, or their country; extremely and perpetually dark. The Cimmerii were an ancient people of the land now called the Crimea, and their country being subject to heavy fogs, was fabled to be involved in deep and continual obscurity. Ancient poets also mention a people of this name who dwelt in a valley near Lake Avernus, in Italy, which the sun was ...
— The Pennyles Pilgrimage - Or The Money-lesse Perambulation of John Taylor • John Taylor

... twilight. Then, lights begin to shine in Genoa, and on the country road; and the revolving lanthorn out at sea there, flashing, for an instant, on this palace front and portico, illuminates it as if there were a bright moon bursting from behind a cloud; then, merges it in deep obscurity. And this, so far as I know, is the only reason why the Genoese avoid it after ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... Darkness came down on the face of the waters. Oh, the horrors of that night. The sea roared and hissed, and we knew that those mountain waves were following us as before, though the sight could scarcely distinguish the vast watery masses which, in the obscurity, seemed doubled in height. That a delicate girl should exist through the time appeared indeed surprising; yet, anxious as I was, I could discover no failing of strength or energy ...
— The Cruise of the Mary Rose - Here and There in the Pacific • William H. G. Kingston

... great powers, our kings do not offer the example of a single individual redeeming by brilliant personal qualities the vice of subalternity, to which his position condemned him; not a single one who has ever evinced any grand national aspiration. Around them in the obscurity of their courts, gather idle or retrograde courtiers, men who call themselves noble, but who have never been able to constitute an aristocracy. An aristocracy is a compact independent body, representing in itself an idea, and from one extremity ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... and involved, the greater the pleasure they have. They will carry on a conversation for hours by hints, suggestions, ambiguous terms, allusions, phrases that may mean anything or nothing, and then leave at the end, in obscurity, the whole matter, which could have been explained and made perfectly clear and settled on a satisfactory basis in a few short sentences. It's a petty, abominable ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... to find relief in the cool obscurity of the drawing-room, where, after the brightness of the afternoon light, their faces were almost indistinguishable to each other. She sat down, and he moved a few paces away. Before the writing-table he paused to look at the neatly ...
— Sanctuary • Edith Wharton

... were flying, and I had stood up a moment to let the blood down into half-frozen toes, when a shadow seemed to pass over my head. The next moment there was a splash, followed by loud quacks of alarm from the decoy. All I could make out, in the obscurity under the ridge, was a flutter of wings that rose heavily from the water, taking my duck with them. Only the anchor string prevented the marauder from getting away with his booty. Not wishing to shoot, for the decoy was a valuable one, I shouted vigorously, and sent out the ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... mother ever knew the amount of suffering which he endured thereby. He became plaintive and wrote poetry, and spent his pocket-money in publishing it, which again caused him sorrow, not for the loss of his money, but by the obscurity of his poetry. He had to confess to himself that God had not conferred upon him the gift of writing poetry; and having acknowledged so much, he never again put two lines together. Of all this he said nothing; but the sense of failure made ...
— An Old Man's Love • Anthony Trollope

... sepulchre, becomes jealous of Adeline, the girl they have befriended. It later transpires that La Motte has turned highwayman and stores his booty in this secluded spot. The visits are so closely shrouded in obscurity, and we have so exhausted our imagination in picturing dark possibilities, that the simple solution falls disappointingly short of our expectations. The next thrill is produced by the arrival of two strangers, the wicked marquis and the noble hero, without whom the tale ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... and science, with the solution of our enigma anything but complete, we resort last of all to the argument from analogy. If this can illumine the obscurity, it will all be on the positive side of the inquiry. At present the question resembles a half-moon: analogy may show that the affirmative is waxing towards a full-orbed conviction. We open with Huyghens, a Dutch astronomer of note, who, while he thinks it certain "that the moon has ...
— Moon Lore • Timothy Harley

... The obscurity which involves the question of precedence, and the prevailing doubts as to the extent of the Royal prerogative, proceed, in a great measure, from the intermixture of law and custom, by which the practice is regulated ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... on a scarf over her bare shoulders glittered iridescently in the light streaming from her room. Of Thor she could discern little more than the whiteness of his face and of his evening shirt-front from the obscurity in which he kept himself. A minute or more elapsed before ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... Macnooder about faced and stared at Stover, who all the while had remained in quiet obscurity, dangling ...
— The Varmint • Owen Johnson

... blessed as to be counted worthy to be co-worker with God in the beginnin' of the world's redemption; since He called her from the quiet obscurity of womanly rest and peace into the blessed martyrdom of renunciation and toil and sufferin', all to help a world that cared nothin' for her, that cried out shame ...
— Samantha on the Woman Question • Marietta Holley

... take in, in a happy view, four men playing cards at a square table. One of these men was the boy's father, another was Mein Herr Joseph Haydn, and the other two players are lost in the fog of obscurity. Did they ever know what a wonderful game they played, as little Franz Liszt, sitting on a corner of the table, listened to their talk and admired the buttons on the coat of the Kappellmeister? After the card-game Haydn sat at the piano and played, and the boy, just three years old, thought ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... armchair, and the sallow little man would curl himself up, and, smoking his long clay, discuss the weights of the next big handicap. If Ginger contradicted him he would go to the press and extract from its obscurity a package of Bell's Life or a ...
— Esther Waters • George Moore

... verification of the meteorological theory of causation, more positive and rational ideas will prevail;—obscurity will, in a measure, give place to clearer and more exact perceptions of the character and relations of diseases, and a corresponding efficiency in treatment may ...
— New and Original Theories of the Great Physical Forces • Henry Raymond Rogers

... than the writers of the Augustan age; and the didactic strain, in which he mostly prosecutes his subjects, has a tendency to render him sententious; but the expression of his thoughts is neither enfeebled by decoration, nor involved in obscurity by conciseness. He is not more rich in artificial ornament than in moral admonition. Seneca has been charged with depreciating former writers, to render himself more conspicuous; a charge which, so far as appears from ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... foot by foot, seeking the friendly shelter and obscurity of a grove of firs just above him. Twice he sank to his knees, a numbing pain at the base of his brain, his breath roaring, his lips dry, but each time he rose and struggled on, eager to reach the green and grateful shelter of the forest, ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... atmosphere and customs of an aristocratic past than any other single area in the city—should have been the home of the well-beloved William Dean Howells. One also likes to recall that Jenny Lind was married at number 20. Chestnut Street—which after a period of social obscurity is again coming into its own—possesses Julia Ward Howe's house at number 13, that of Motley the historian at 16, and of Parkman at 50. In this hasty map we have gone up and down the hill, but the cross-street, Charles, although not so attractive, is nevertheless as ...
— The Old Coast Road - From Boston to Plymouth • Agnes Rothery

... difficult to understand, and his cryptic utterances earned for him the doubtful title of the Dark. But his champions have pointed out that his obscurity of diction was not the outcome of pride or intentional assumption of mystery, but of the genuine difficulty he found in giving expression to his novel thoughts. He waxes vehement in his struggles to subdue his language to his purposes, his vague intuitions, his movements in ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... the rear found it impossible to see, and groped blindly, feeling their way after their leader. Had the course to be traversed been a straight line, the difficulty would have been much less; but to make so sharp a turn as awaited them at the bend was no easy feat under the prevailing obscurity. As the Hartford attempted it the downward current caught her on the port bow, swung her head round toward the batteries, and nearly threw her on shore, her stem touching for a moment. The combined powers of her own engine and that of the Albatross, her consort, were then brought ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... obscurity of Mrs. Inchbald's career has not, of course, been the only reason for the neglect of her work. The merits of A Simple Story are of a kind peculiarly calculated to escape the notice of a generation of readers brought up on the fiction of the nineteenth century. That fiction, infinitely ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... a retired spot, inoffensive from its obscurity, safe in its remoteness from the haunts of despots, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which in peaceful conquest—victoria sine clade—they have borne the banners of ...
— The United States in the Light of Prophecy • Uriah Smith

... social institutions of the Hindus. The translation of the Rig-Veda-Sonhita is valuable for the scholar who wishes to study the most ancient belief, opinions, and modes of the Hindus, so far as they can be gathered from hymns addressed to the deities. At the same time, their mystery or obscurity, increased by remoteness of years, is perhaps so considerable, that it will require peculiar learning to profit by the materials this most ancient and important of ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... my Charge, where, among other undiscover'd valuable Authors, I pitch'd upon Tom Thumb and Tom Hickathrift, Authors indeed more proper to adorn the Shelves of Bodley or the Vatican, than to be confin'd to the Retirement and Obscurity of a private Study. I have perus'd the first of these with an infinite Pleasure, and a more than ordinary Application, and have made some Observations on it, which may not, I hope, prove unacceptable to the Publick; and however it may have been ridicul'd, and look'd ...
— Parodies of Ballad Criticism (1711-1787) • William Wagstaffe

... ask for the reasons which call for this new theory of transmutation. The beginning of things must needs lie in obscurity, beyond the bounds of proof, though within those of conjecture or of analogical inference. Why not hold fast to the customary view, that all species were directly, instead of indirectly, created after their respective kinds, as we now behold them—and ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... Pizarro and his enterprise, with his recommendation, to the Council of the Indies. Yet a year passed, and nothing was done. Pizarro was fast sinking into obscurity, and he would likewise have sunk into despair, if he had been less stout of heart. Then, as Queen Isabella had aided Columbus, so the queen of Charles V. came to the assistance of Pizarro, and caused ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... as to this latter point. Some years ago a distinguished scholar, when engaged in translating Goethe's Faust, came to a passage involved in considerable obscurity, and which he found was interpreted very differently by different admirers of the poem. Unable, under these circumstances, to procure any satisfactory solution of the poet's meaning, the translator applied to Goethe himself, and received from him the candid reply which we think it far from improbable ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 203, September 17, 1853 • Various

... is coloured with rhetoric, and occasionally with poetic embellishment, but is otherwise terse and vigorous. The extreme curtness he cultivated often leads him into something bordering on obscurity. His habit of alluding to sources of information instead of being at the pains to describe them at length, while it adds to the neatness of his periods, detracts from its value to ourselves. He rises but rarely into eloquence, and still more rarely shows dramatic power. ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... in a mysterious obscurity, from which she first emerged into the light as an actually existing being, at her present visit to London. Two years ago there appeared a romance, 'Jane Eyre,' by 'Currer Bell,' which threw all England into astonishment. Everybody was tormenting himself to discover ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. I, No. 6 - Of Literature, Art, And Science, New York, August 5, 1850 • Various

... they had reached Rome, where the Duca di Crinola at present lived, and where he was at present a member of the Italian Cabinet, the mother had told her son all that she knew, having throughout the telling of the story unconsciously manifested to him her own desire to remain in obscurity, and to bear the name which had been hers for five-and-twenty years; but at the same time so to manage that he should return to England bearing the title to which by his birth she believed him ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... excluded. I could not but lament, that although the Coast of Africa has now been known and frequented by the Europeans for more than two hundred years, yet the Negroes still remain entire strangers to the doctrines of our holy religion. We are anxious to draw from obscurity the opinions and records of antiquity, the beauties of Arabian and Asiatic literature, &c.; but while our libraries are thus stored with the learning of various countries, we distribute with a parsimonious ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... Venetia; 'you have a duty to perform, and you must perform it. Besides, I do not wish the name of Cadurcis to sink again into obscurity. I shall look forward with interest to Lord Cadurcis taking the oaths and his seat. It will ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... enjoy the powers which were once given to the favorites of royalty; they rise and fall with majorities in legislative assemblies. In such a country as America the President is king, but only for a limited period. He descends from a position of transcendent dignity to the obscurity of private life. His ministers are his secretaries, without influence, comparatively, in the halls of Congress,—neither made nor unmade by the legislature, although dependent on the Senate for confirmation, but once appointed, independent ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IX • John Lord

... Then some day I'll be a sergeant with three stripes upon my arm, Zig zag, like the old rail fences on Dad Posey's Country farm. Call me early, though I'm dreaming, wake me up that I may see How the sun that sinks in grandeur rises in obscurity. I've been a private, bunkie, such as privates seldom are, Borne my share of public censure, let it heal without a scar. Till upon the fair escutcheon of my name and humble rank Captain says he'll add the title and a stripe on ...
— Rhymes of the Rookies • W. E. Christian

... houses on either hand, and Sir Guy deemed it wiser to move at a reasonable pace, for fear of attracting suspicion in a neighborhood already aroused by rumors of the man-hunt which had begun. They could count upon the obscurity ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... at the door side of the room another photograph stood in a glass stand. His back had been to it, and the soft light of the lamp left a great part of the room in obscurity, but he saw it now, and something bitter that lay hidden at the bottom of his heart rose to his throat. It was a portrait of Drake, and at the sight of it he laughed ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... their good looks, instead of lecturing them on the sin of vanity; and promise that they should sing in the chorus, or dance in the ballet if their legs were good, when he should have been discoursing about the dangers of the vain world, and pointing the moral of happy humble obscurity. On these occasions, Lady Fulda, who was always beside him, suffered a good deal. She would pull him up in a whisper which he sometimes made her repeat, until everyone in the place had heard it but himself, and then, at last, when he did understand, ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand



Words linked to "Obscurity" :   lowliness, obscure, prominence, namelessness, unimportance, standing, obscureness, incomprehensibility, semidarkness, nowhere, anonymity, humbleness, clarity, reconditeness, limbo, abstruseness, oblivion



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