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Abstract   /æbstrˈækt/  /ˈæbstrˌækt/   Listen
Abstract

verb
(past & past part. abstracted; pres. part. abstracting)
1.
Consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically.
2.
Make off with belongings of others.  Synonyms: cabbage, filch, hook, lift, nobble, pilfer, pinch, purloin, snarf, sneak, swipe.
3.
Consider apart from a particular case or instance.
4.
Give an abstract (of).



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"Abstract" Quotes from Famous Books



... has been said, some builders worked imaginatively, imitating in the round naves of a few churches the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre. Other instances of devout imitation might be found, if we looked for them. But the imitation of a concrete model is a different thing from translating abstract mysteries into the plan and elevation of a building. And, although the ground plan with nave, transepts, and chancel, certainly forms a cross; and, although, as time went on, the resemblance to the chief symbol of the Christian ...
— The Ground Plan of the English Parish Church • A. Hamilton Thompson

... n't vote for him because he is a warrior, Aminadab," argued the other; "thee votes for him as a tariff man and an encourager of home industry. I don't like his wars and fightings better than thee does; but I'm told he's an honest man, and that he disapproves of war in the abstract, although he has been brought up to the business. If thee feels tender about the matter, I don't like to urge thee; but it really seems to me thee had better vote. Times have been rather hard, thou knows; and if by voting at this election we can make business matters easier, I don't see ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... The deep feelings which stirred the spirits of those who participated in the scenes of the Revolution, on the recurrence of the anniversary, warm not the hearts of their children. With them the Declaration of Independence was a great, and ever-present reality; with us it is only a glorious abstract idea. We are in the midst of the fruition of their faith and earnest aspirations; and, surrounded by the noon-tide radiance of the blessings which have resulted from that act, we can not appreciate the glory of the morning star of our destiny as a nation. Let us henceforth ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... few and evil days (two years, nine weeks) did not run out in that house; the music-master was generally admired and esteemed; and the merry Christmas of concerts and lemonade-parties is simply another sample of the brilliant historian's mode of turning the abstract into the concrete in such a manner as to degrade or elevate at will. An Italian concert is not a merry meeting; and a lemonade-party, I presume, is a party where (instead of eau-sucree as at Paris) the refreshment handed about is ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... things definable, or in modern language abstract ideas, as the only universals, but prior to these he established those principles productive of science which essentially reside in the soul, as is evident from his Phaedrus and Phaedo. In the 10th book of the Republic too, he venerates those ...
— Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato • Thomas Taylor

... left off in suspense of judgment as to what might really lie behind—flammantia moenia mundi: the flaming ramparts of the world. Those strange, bold, sceptical surmises, which had haunted the minds [135] of the first Greek enquirers as merely abstract doubt, which had been present to the mind of Heraclitus as one element only in a system of abstract philosophy, became with Aristippus a very subtly practical worldly-wisdom. The difference between him and those obscure earlier thinkers is almost like that between an ancient thinker generally, ...
— Marius the Epicurean, Volume One • Walter Horatio Pater

... Dr. Gowdy what he thought of him—their first and only meeting. Dr. Gowdy at a distance had impressed him as an abstract moral force, but Dr. Gowdy close at hand was a mere man like himself. Jared pushed aside all deference and spoke ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... 27th of the came reign goes farther, as will appear by the following abstract of it: "Whereas certain outlandish people, who do not profess any crafte or trade whereby to maintain themselves, but go about in great numbers from place to place, using insidious, underhand means to impose on his Majesty's subjects, making them ...
— A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies • John Hoyland

... intellectual bankruptcy is obvious enough: Shakespear tried once too often to make a play out of the cheap pessimism which is thrown into despair by a comparison of actual human nature with theoretical morality, actual law and administration with abstract justice, and so forth. But Shakespear's perception of the fact that all men, judged by the moral standard which they apply to others and by which they justify their punishment of others, are fools and scoundrels, ...
— Dark Lady of the Sonnets • George Bernard Shaw

... careful as heretofore. The oral instruction which accompanied the lessons studied from the book, seemed to Mrs. Phillips as well as to the children, the most interesting part of it, and as the language was simplified for the comprehension of the little pupils, it was not at all too abstract for their mother. She declared herself delighted with the morning at school, and tried to persuade herself that she was only going there to see how her governess did her duty by her children. In this way, by sitting two hours every forenoon with Miss Melville, she contrived to ...
— Mr. Hogarth's Will • Catherine Helen Spence

... believer in war in the abstract; he considered it one of the necessary evils, essential to the very existence of nations. This was nothing more than the logical sequence of his course in embracing those theories of evolution which in those days ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... the Aboriginal, smacking his thigh; 'let them say what they like about their proportions, and mixtures, and metals—abstract nonsense! No one can deny that our Government works well. But ...
— The Voyage of Captain Popanilla • Benjamin Disraeli

... even carried a little higher than usual as she left the room. But outside the door her steps flagged; and she went slowly up the stairs, asking herself if she was bound to mind what her aunt said. She was not clear about it. In the abstract, Matilda was well enough disposed to obey all lawful authority; just now a spirit of opposition had risen. Was this lawful authority? Mrs. Englefield was sick, to be sure; but did that give Mrs. Candy any ...
— What She Could • Susan Warner

... stand in line with those of Lockhart Clarke, Stilling, and Schroder van der Kolk. I have had the privilege of examining and of showing some of you a number of Dr. Dean's skilful preparations. I have no space to give even an abstract of his conclusions. I can only refer to his proof of the fact, that a single cell may send its processes into several different bundles of nerve-roots, and to his demonstration of the curved ascending and descending fibres ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... he, kindly, "pray accept my apologies. Viewing the matter as an abstract problem, I had forgotten how personal and painful a thing it might be to you. I assure you, however, that I never even knew that you had a brother until you ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... him, later on, when she came back from a promised visit of indefinite duration. There was no hurry, Ethel had told him so frankly, no other suitor being in the running. At first, the thought of the past troubled him a little, in the abstract, as a kind of treason to Vera; but, after a while, he put that thought aside. She need never know, and Lalage had gone out of his ...
— People of Position • Stanley Portal Hyatt

... other things, will do it usefully and pleasantly; and if he happen to set his affections upon poetry (which I do not advise him too immoderately) that will overdo it; no wood will be thick enough to hide him from the importunities of company or business, which would abstract him from his beloved. ...
— Cowley's Essays • Abraham Cowley

... excellence; and, as he had no such benefit, his performance is insipid and worthless enough. The drama is in Two Parts, and is written in verse, with alternate rhymes. In his conduct of the story Whetstone varies somewhat from the original; as the following abstract will show: ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... supporters. Still, they acted as if they were confident that in the long run they could ward off the final blow. They were persuaded that the Liberal Government would neither have the courage nor the power to accomplish their purpose. "Why waste time over abstract resolutions?" asked Mr. Balfour. "The Liberal party," he said, "has a perfect passion for abstract resolutions"—and again, "it is quite obvious they do not mean business." Even when the Bill itself was introduced, they still did not believe that its passage through the House of Lords ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... In abstract form and colour—that is, form and colour unconnected with natural appearances—there is an emotional power, such as there is in music, the sounds of which have no direct connection with anything in nature, but only with that mysterious sense we have, the sense of Harmony, Beauty, ...
— The Practice and Science Of Drawing • Harold Speed

... is not any question of shame or conscience, which are abstract things. It is merely one of fact—that is, whether you did or did not help Miss Catherwood, the spy, to escape. I am convinced that you helped her—not that I condemn you for it or that I am sorry you did so. Perhaps ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... phantom. Magician or witch, voluptuous, destroying Venus or cold and ungrasped Helen, what was the antique to the art born of the Middle Ages and developed during the Renaissance? Was the relation between them that of tuition, cool and abstract, or of fruitful lore, or of deluding and ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... not granted by Parliament. This is now held not to have been a statute. See Gardiner's "Documents of the Puritan Revolution," p. 1. It is considered by Stubbs an unauthorized and imperfect abstract of Edward I's Confirmation of the ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... too soon unsettles our youthful creed. If it only led to the knowledge of good and evil, it were well; if it only taught us to despise the illusions and retire from the pleasures of the world, it would be better. But it destroys our belief—it dims our perception of all abstract truth, virtue, and happiness; it turns life into a jest, and a very dull one too. It makes us indifferent to beauty, and incredulous of goodness; it teaches us to consider self as the centre on which all actions turn, and to which all motives are ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... of civil wars. It shakes the foundations of states. Jansenism can excite only theological quarrels and wars of the pen. The Reformation attacked the power of the Church; Jansenism was concerned exclusively with abstract questions. The Jansenist disputes sprang from problems of grace and predestination, fate and free-will—that labyrinth in ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... abstract reflections for a fresh and active resentment. This is the fifth or sixth dog that has passed my Spion, harnessed to a small barrow-like cart, and tugging painfully at a burden so ludicrously disproportionate to his size, that it would seem a burlesque, ...
— The Twins of Table Mountain and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... alike of the capital and of the country-town. The oligarchic reign of terror bore doubtless a different stamp from that of the revolution; while Marius had glutted his personal vengeance in the blood of his enemies, Sulla seemed to account terrorism in the abstract, if we may so speak, a thing necessary to the introduction of the new despotism, and to prosecute and make others prosecute the work of massacre almost with indifference. But the reign of terror presented an appearance all the more horrible, when ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... the majestic singleness of its theme; Faith, from first to last, is its matter and its burthen. Further, it carries one long appeal to the heart by its method; almost from the exordium to the very close it deals with its theme not by abstract reasoning, nor even by a citation of inspired utterances only. It works out its message by a display, in long and living procession, of inspired human experiences. It is to an extraordinary degree ...
— Messages from the Epistle to the Hebrews • Handley C.G. Moule

... Stanley says: "Livingstone followed the dictates of duty. Never was such a willing slave to that abstract virtue. His inclinations impel him home, the fascinations of which it requires the sternest resolution to resist. With every foot of new ground he travelled over he forged a chain of sympathy which should hereafter bind the Christian nations in bonds of love and ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... was endeavouring to show that the assertion of the inherent rights of the Prince of Wales, was one of those exploded ideas of indefeasible right which had fallen into contempt, and Fox had to persuade the house that the primary axioms of government and the abstract rights of the people were things unworthy their notice. The propositions moved by Pitt were warmly supported by the master of the rolls, the lord advocate of Scotland, the attorney and solicitor general, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... also, that Purchas printed an abstract of the Oxford tract in his "Pilgrimage," in 1613, from material furnished him by Smith. The Oxford tract was also republished by Purchas in his "Pilgrimes," extended by new matter in manuscript supplied by Smith. The "Pilgrimes" ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... terror in the mind of a woman pursued. Yet without it one of the first of her abstract attractions would be gone. Undoubtedly it is the joy of the pursuer that the quarry should take to flight. Would there be any chase without? But long years of study amongst the more advanced of us have made the fact of rather common knowledge. The woman has learnt that to be caught ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... participation in the apology; and, a few moments later, the apothecary and both ladies (the one as fond of the abstract as the other two were ignorant of the concrete) were engaged in an animated, running discussion on art, society, climate, education,—all those large, secondary desiderata which seem of first importance to young ambition and secluded ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... faculties developed, the animals have them undeveloped. In the "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," published by his son, is a letter from Mr. Darwin to W. Graham, written in 1881, from which I quote the following: "I have no practice in abstract reasoning, and I may be all astray. Nevertheless, you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done. But then, with me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which ...
— Evolution - An Investigation and a Critique • Theodore Graebner

... of which comes into the man's possession and then leaves him, and helps him to keep the constant stock of goods that at any time is a potential million of dollars. A permanent body of any kind, if it is made up of shifting tissues, is commonly described by the use of an abstract term. A waterfall, made as it is of rapidly changing drops of water, is spoken of as a "water power," since the power is the abiding thing. An endless series of living human beings is described as "humanity," since that remains ...
— Essentials of Economic Theory - As Applied to Modern Problems of Industry and Public Policy • John Bates Clark

... real belief of the people is that they are usually examined by leading questions, and are apt to reply affirmatively to whatever the querist puts to them. Their thoughts on these dark subjects are either extremely vague and misty or extremely material; the world of abstract thought, in which European minds have learned to move with an ease and confidence produced by the possession of a whole arsenal of theological and metaphysical phrases, being to them an ...
— Impressions of South Africa • James Bryce

... deal with them are the obvious resort. There is room among the two hundred judges for some such men, but the juries are little more numerous than is required for the examination of and report on objects. For more abstract inquiries they will need recruits. These should be supplied by the leading philosophical associations of this country and Europe. The governments have all an interest in enlisting their aid, and the Centennial Commission ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... vibrant, keen, alive. It throbbed with consciousness, with mysterious fibres of communication. There was no sense of a presence in the room, nor even the possibility of a presence. It was vague, abstract, yet curiously definite. ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... necessity, the glory, the nobility of war. Long before Nietzsche wrote and Treitschke taught war as a part of the Prussian creed the teachings of these mad philosophers expressed an indigenous feeling in Germany. It is not some abstract belief to be studied. It is a vital, burning, ever-present question which affects deeply, intimately, every man in this world. For until the Prussians are made weary of this belief and converted to a milder life, there is no woman in any corner of the earth, however remote, who may ...
— Face to Face with Kaiserism • James W. Gerard

... called upon to serve one of these very obnoxious persons, would scornfully refuse assistance, and retire to her own chamber in the capacity of an outraged Briton. But Rachel, when she spoke in this way, spoke in the abstract, with a want of realisation. When the objectionable specimen of the obnoxious mass lifted a pair of suffering human eyes to her face, the ice thawed in a surprisingly sudden manner from the surface of her flinty heart, and the set lips relaxed into ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... corporation, and look at things from a business point of view only, you must remember that they are composed of individuals, and that individuals can be influenced if they can be got at. For instance, Cossey and Son are an abstraction and harshly disposed in their abstract capacity, but Mr. Edward Cossey is an individual, and I should say, so far as this particular matter is concerned, a benevolently disposed individual. Now Mr. Edward Cossey is not himself at the present moment actually one of the firm of Cossey and Son, but he ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... imported from the British West Indies and Guiana in a series of years since the emancipation, is shown by the following abstract:— ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... hesitated to speak, my good Galeotti? and didst thou think thy speaking it would offend me?" said the King. "Alack, I know that thou art well sensible that the path of royal policy cannot be always squared (as that of private life ought invariably to be) by the abstract maxims of religion and of morality. Wherefore do we, the Princes of the earth, found churches and monasteries, make pilgrimages, undergo penances, and perform devotions with which others may dispense, unless it be because the benefit ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... don't know exactly; a sort of abstract summing up of either our qualities or God's qualities. The only doctrine I even half understand is that of 'total depravity,' and I ...
— From Jest to Earnest • E. P. Roe

... more than mere abstract help and grace, much more even than the Holy Spirit bringing us strength, and peace, and purity. It is personal ...
— Days of Heaven Upon Earth • Rev. A. B. Simpson

... the cure, by opposing the influence of the moral remedies employed"—but at the same time "a necessary evil," an unhappy alternative in certain cases. Practically, as we have seen, the amount of restraint was small; but no rule of practice was laid down that it should never be resorted to. The abstract principle of non-restraint adopted at Lincoln and Hanwell was not enunciated. "We greatly prefer," observes the author of the "Description," "to lay down no absolute rule of non-restraint, but to refer to our resident officers the exercise of a sound discretion in ...
— Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles • Daniel Hack Tuke

... curriculum, almost as ignorant as a ploughboy. She despised a man whose only delight was in horse and hound, gun and fishing-tackle. Molly would have cared very little for the guns or the fishing-tackle perhaps in the abstract; but she cared for everything that interested Maulevrier, even to the bagful of rats which were let loose in the stable-yard sometimes, for the education of a particularly ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... GENERAL PROPOSITIONS. It is never wise for a writer or a speaker to choose a subject which is so general or so abstract that he cannot handle it with some degree of completeness and facility. Not only will such work be difficult and distasteful to him, but it will be equally distasteful and uninteresting to his audience. No student can write good themes on ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... last word." That argued sense, judgment, tact. Further, she had avoided that vulgar commonplace, instinctive to the crude and unthinking mind, of whatever sex, of importing a personal application into an abstract discussion. This, too, argued tact and mental refinement, both qualities of rarer distribution among her sex than is commonly supposed—qualities, however, which Laurence Stanninghame ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... jump up and plead its defence; but he knew that it would be worse than useless and he held himself in—but they didn't know, they didn't know. It enraged him most when they spoke of it as some lifeless, abstract thing, some old rubbish-heap that offended their sight, and then he thought of its beauties, of the golden sand and the huddling red and grey cottages clustering over the sea as though for protection. You might fancy that the waves ...
— The Wooden Horse • Hugh Walpole

... light hall had a built-in abstract table, and on this was an enormous bronze plaque which held a thin layer of water ...
— Ptomaine Street • Carolyn Wells

... M. Reybaud, "the tendency of political economy is no longer to theory, but to practice. The abstract portions of the science seem henceforth fixed. The controversy over definitions is exhausted, or nearly so. The works of the great economists on value, capital, supply and demand, wages, taxes, machinery, farm-rent, increase of population, over-accumulation of products, ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... the family is the basis of the State cannot be made an abstract question of political philosophy. Indeed the question is unmeaning when put as an abstract one. We might just as well ask, "Is the climate cold in a State?" or, "Is the English language spoken in a State?" It is only as we ask these questions about a particular State that they have any ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... With lingering love, and sighing bid farewell To the dim pictures of his parting spell! 20 No, BURKE! thy heart, by juster feelings led, Mourns for the spirit of high Honour fled; Mourns that Philosophy, abstract and cold, Withering should smite life's fancy-flowered mould; And many a smiling sympathy depart, That graced the sternness of the manly heart. Nor shall the wise and virtuous scan severe These fair illusions, ev'n to nature dear. Though now no ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... whole first part of this book is an abstract discussion and its first chapters have not even any direct relation to disease. I am convinced that both physicians and ministers and all who are in practical contact with these important questions ought to be brought to such painstaking ...
— Psychotherapy • Hugo Muensterberg

... If I might use abstract words, I would say that Christ's death potentially opens the path for every man, which being put into plain English—which is better—is just that by the death of Christ every man can, if he will, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... and biographer must not be driven by such sweeping condemnation into the opposite extreme; nor be deterred by the apprehension of unpopularity from laying open his views both of the moral and religious question in the abstract, and also of the acts, and character, and spirit of ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 2 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... one lives, or whatever his abstract knowledge of foods and sanitation, the health of the individual resolves itself at last into a question of his personal habits; and some of these personal questions must be considered in a book ...
— Rural Hygiene • Henry N. Ogden

... he cannot doubt or disbelieve them. He is certain of his own existence, of the existence of other men, of the facts of his familiar consciousness, of many events long since past which are still clearly remembered, of certain abstract truths which are intuitively discerned or logically demonstrated. These various objects of his thought may differ in other respects, and may occasion a corresponding difference in the kind of Certitude which is conceived to belong to them; but they all possess the same ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... that Lord North opposed a resolution supported by such arguments with all the power of the government, basing his own opposition chiefly on the wisdom "of maintaining the rule long since established by Parliament, never to vote abstract propositions." But he presently saw that he was in a minority, and was forced to be content with adopting and carrying an amendment of Mr. Dundas, one of the members for Edinburgh, who flattered himself that by the insertion of now he converted a general assertion into a temporary ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... produce events: the idea of the 18th century, e.g., Voltaire and Montesquieu. [Voltaire held that human nature is the same under all circumstances and at all times, and hence sought to judge historical events by abstract universal standards. The "natural man" was his ideal man. Montesquieu, in The Spirit of the Laws, sought to show that events in history are but the manifestation of spiritual law, as revealed in conditions of climate, geography, soil, ...
— A Guide to Methods and Observation in History - Studies in High School Observation • Calvin Olin Davis

... "scribblers" are seldom used from European authorities; to Ramsbotham, whose compendious eulogy is all that self-love could ask; to the "Fifth Annual Report" of the Registrar-General of England, in which the second-hand abstract of my Essay figures largely, and not without favorable comment, in an important appended paper. These testimonies, half forgotten until this circumstance recalled them, are dragged into the light, not in a paroxysm of vanity, but to show that there may be food for thought in the ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... sacrifice to the great deity in silence, impercussively, without any vociferous or obstreperous sound. My design is not to enter into a privation of gratitude towards you, but by a vivacious formality, though matter were to abstract itself from me, ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... the powers of the human mind on which we set great store is that of entertaining general ideas. This is where we think we have the advantage of the members of the brute creation. They have particular experiences which at the time are very exciting to them, but they have no abstract notions,—or, at least, no way of expressing them to us. We argue that if they really had these ideas they would have invented language long ago, and by this time would have had Unabridged Dictionaries ...
— By the Christmas Fire • Samuel McChord Crothers

... consists in this—that each of our principal conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different states of theory: the theologic, or fictitious; the metaphysic, or abstract; the scientific, or positive. In other terms, the human mind, by its nature, employs successively, in each of its researches, three methods of philosophizing, the character of which is essentially different, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... burdened with no heavy crime, and therefore I compose myself to tranquillity; endeavour to abstract my thoughts from hopes and cares, which, though reason knows them to be vain, still try to keep their old possession of the heart; expect, with serene humility, that hour which nature cannot long delay; and hope to possess, in a better state, that happiness which here I could not find, ...
— The Glory of English Prose - Letters to My Grandson • Stephen Coleridge

... he knows what happiness is," said Apollo. "Forgive me, but will he not be as happy with his altar candles and his chants without you? Does he not care more for the abstract cause for which he is working than for you? Hasn't he missed the simple meaning of human life, and can anything teach it ...
— Daphne, An Autumn Pastoral • Margaret Pollock Sherwood

... justice, but are ignorant of its nature, and do not reason upon it; they obey their instinct without thought or philosophy. They know not how to unite the social sentiment with the idea of equality, which they do not possess; this idea being an abstract one. We, on the contrary, starting with the principle that society implies equality, can, by our reasoning faculty, understand and agree with each other in settling our rights; we have even used our judgment to a great extent. But in all this our conscience plays a small part, ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... that time, like space, is an a priori form of our sensibility, that is to say, an intuition preceding experience, even as Guyau, among the "empiricists," who consider that this idea is acquired only by experience, does not enlighten us any more by declaring that this same time is the abstract formula of the changes in the universe. Whether space, as Leibnitz maintains, be an order of coexistence and time an order of sequences, whether it be by space that we succeed in representing time or whether time be an essential ...
— The Unknown Guest • Maurice Maeterlinck

... well as we, are free only to do what is right in the fulfilment of inalienable duties. 'Life' and the 'pursuit of happiness' must both yield to the exactions of such duties. I must confess, however, that, let my abstract views be as they may, I have occasionally embraced in their widest extent the generalizations of the Declaration of Independence; and nowhere has the right of 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness' seemed to me so precious and delightful a possession ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... rough and wrinkled visages, blunt and repulsive manners, coarse and unrefined language, were enough to banish gentle Cupid to an iceberg, exhibit the kindest and tenderest feelings when speaking of WOMAN, whom in the abstract they regarded as a being not merely to be protected, cherished, and loved, but ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... take orders from a negro?" Put personally, it came to me now as a new idea came as something which had never entered my mind before, not even as an abstract hypothesis I didn't have to think before reaching the answer though; something within me, which you ma call what you please—convention, prejudice, instinct—something answered most prompt and emphatically ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... frequently detected in both bright rings, and as frequently relapsing into imperceptibility, were due, in his opinion, to the real nobility of their particles, and indicated a fluid formation. Professor Benjamin Peirce of Harvard University immediately followed with a demonstration, on abstract grounds, of their non-solidity.[1098] Streams of some fluid denser than water were, he maintained, the physical reality giving rise to the anomalous appearance first ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... pension of L1,000. On this occasion he was required by official forms to present a memorial of the services in which he had been engaged; and as our brief account can convey no notion of the constant activity of his early life, we quote the abstract of this paper given by Mr. Southey. "It stated that he had been in four actions with the fleets of the enemy, and in three actions with boats employed in cutting out of harbor, in destroying vessels, and in taking ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 2 of 8 • Various

... of its adaptation to the capacities and imitative disposition of children. They judge by the organs of sense, and by their perceptions of truth through externals. Naked abstract truth does not sufficiently interest them. They are pleased with history, narrative, illustration, more than with philosophy. They are awake to the first and receive from them a lasting impression; while the impression made by the second is dreamy ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... Offensive and Defensive with France against Spain: Dispatch of English Auxiliary Army, under Reynolds, for Service in Flanders: Blake's Action in Santa Cruz Bay.—"Killing no Murder": Additional and Explanatory Petition and Advice: Abstract of the Articles of the New Constitution as arranged by the two Documents: Cromwell's completed Assent to the New Constitution, and his Assent to other Bills. June 26, 1657: Inauguration of the ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... seemed to find anything surprising in this pronouncement; it was accepted as seriously as any similar statement of the Prophet Samuel to the Children of Israel, and was evidently meant to imply that abstract justice might ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... sudden emergency, and to contend with a gigantic difficulty. Yet all these qualifications recede before Burke's amazing power of expanding particulars into universals, and of associating the accidents of a transient discussion with the essential properties of some permanent Law in policy, or abstract Truth in morals. His genius looked through the local to the universal; in the temporal perceived the eternal; and while facing the features of the Individual, was enabled to contemplate the attributes of a Race. (Cicero, in many respects a counterpart of Burke, both in statesmanship ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... The picture, as it now exists, is a bitter satire on our love. Venus in this abstract North, in this icy Christian world, has to creep into huge black furs so as not ...
— Venus in Furs • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

... its place, it would be well to use it. But there is not. We must use the word 'spiritual,' despite its associations and its abuse. We shall endeavor, however, to attach a distinct and definite meaning to the word. Mere definition, however, is too abstract and nakedly intellectual. Perhaps a description of some types of character, combined with definition, will be ...
— The Essentials of Spirituality • Felix Adler

... very oppressive for a time, caused very different sensations from those experienced during the almost stifling calms of Port Essington. At Cape York, however, calms seldom lasted above a few hours, as from its peninsular position the land receives the full influence of nearly every breeze. An abstract of the thermometrical observations made on board the Rattlesnake ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... neglect Huckley. As Ollyett said our first care was to create an 'arresting atmosphere' round it. He used to visit the village of week-ends, on a motor-bicycle with a side-car; for which reason I left the actual place alone and dealt with it in the abstract. Yet it was I who drew first blood. Two inhabitants of Huckley wrote to contradict a small, quite solid paragraph in The Bun that a hoopoe had been seen at Huckley and had, 'of course, been shot by ...
— A Diversity of Creatures • Rudyard Kipling

... difficult of dispute is this, that as much perhaps will be admitted; but then it will be added, if the reply is by a critic of the school burlesqued by Mr. Lewes, that after all they are not individual or special men and women so much as general impersonations of men and women, abstract types made up of telling catchwords or surface traits, though with such accumulation upon them of a wonderful wealth of humorous illustration, itself filled with minute and accurate knowledge of life, that the real nakedness of the land of character is hidden. Well, ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... I wish you'd make an abstract of Mr. Holladay's whereabouts during the whole time he was abroad, and send it to our office not later ...
— The Holladay Case - A Tale • Burton E. Stevenson

... quite half of the communications he made, and much we have is damaged, broken, and partly effaced. In the abstract that follows the reader must be prepared therefore for a considerable amount of break, hiatus, and change of topic. Mr. Wendigee and I are collaborating in a complete and annotated edition of the Cavor record, which we hope to publish, together ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... "It is abstract commerce," said Claparon,—"commerce which won't be developed for ten years to come, according to Nucingen, the Napoleon of finance; commerce by which a man can grasp the totality of fractions, and skim the profits before there are any. Gigantic idea! one way of pouring hope into pint ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... them intolerable in the mood in which I was, nothing so exhausting as the abstract! and closed the book desperately to resume my diary, neglected since the awful events of Beauseincourt, but always to me a resource in time of trouble and of solitude. Of pens, ink, paper, there was no lack, and I wrote one day, Penelope-wise, ...
— Sea and Shore - A Sequel to "Miriam's Memoirs" • Mrs. Catharine A. Warfield

... of which the more detailed abstract given above may serve, not merely to make the individual piece known, but to indicate the general course, incidents, language, and so forth of all these poems. It will be remembered that it ends by a declaration that the king was not grateful to the King-maker. ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... seem to hear. What were these abstract reasonings to him? All he cared for were his river ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... Nelson on the spur of the moment, was based simply upon his general ideas, and without specific information yet as to either the character or extent of the enemy's preparations, or of the means of resistance available on his own side. It has, therefore, something of an abstract character, embodying broad views unmodified by special circumstances, and possessing, consequently, a somewhat peculiar value in indicating the tendency of Nelson's military conceptions. He assumes, implicitly, ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... increment of his conditions; there is no doubt that 'the King's name is a tower of strength, which they upon the adverse faction want'—and he continued through all his letters arguing the question on its abstract merits, and repeating the topic that had been over and over again urged, but without reference to the actual state of things and the means of resistance. It seems, however, pretty clear that he will oppose this Bill just as he did the last, ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... said honestly; "I don't. Babe hasn't the make-up for a professional woman in any line. She is too self-centred, too impetuous. She needs something to humanize her womanhood, not make an abstract thing of her. I'd rather see Babe a gentle, loving woman than the ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... process which thereupon took place in Rita's mind would be a barren task, since its result was a foregone conclusion. Daring ambition rather than any merely abstract virtue was the keynote of her character. She had rebuffed the advances of Sir Lucien as she had rebuffed others, primarily because her aim in life was set higher than mere success in light comedy. This she counted ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... cease without concessions upon both sides. We agree to this readily in the abstract, but we seldom do so when any given concession is in question. We are all for concession in the general, but for none in the particular, as people who say that they will retrench when they are living beyond their income, but will not consent to any proposed retrenchment. ...
— The Fair Haven • Samuel Butler

... Intrigue! Yes, of course. You always knew the value of an ugly word. (Restraining himself.) Otherwise you have put the abstract morality of the thing admirably. But I am unprincipled enough not to want to desert my wife and child, merely ...
— The Black Cat - A Play in Three Acts • John Todhunter

... And why shouldn't they? Their old masters understand them better—and treat them generally better. They know our interest in them is only an abstract sentiment, not a real liking. We show it at every turn. But we are nearing Redlands, and Major Reed will, I have no doubt, corroborate my impressions. He insists upon our staying at his house, although the poor old fellow, I imagine, can ill afford to entertain company. But he ...
— Sally Dows and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... from an abstract point of view, for in spite of my Pessimism I am an absurd Idealist, and because I am perfectly well aware of this, I as a rule never laugh at people's Idealism, but his sort of Idealism was really ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume III (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... has the child's natural innocence and ignorance of subtle and elusive things. He has the same interest in things and people as does the child; the child's indifference to books, lectures, schools and everything abstract. ...
— How to Analyze People on Sight - Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types • Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

... How much more unselfish and ennobling a life than that of the feverish money-getter, with all his appliances of forge and factory, and export and import! I had found an answer to my yearnings and my unrest in this untiring devotion to abstract truth. ...
— A Romantic Young Lady • Robert Grant

... in his method of life, which was rather characterized by a large faith and a forward pressure. Whenever there was question of considering life as an abstract, he drew within his shell with a manlike shyness. He had no generalities ready for ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... from the Bresl. Edit. vol. iv. 32: the Calc. Edit gives only an abstract and in the Bul. Edit. the Ogre returned "accompanied by a female, greater than he and more hideous." We cannot accept ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... Birch, the careful collector, had, in 1742, access to what he considered to be the genuine manuscript. This was three years before Swift's death. He made an abstract of this manuscript at the time, and this abstract is now preserved in the British Museum. Comparing the abstract with the edition published in 1758, there is no doubt that the learned doctor had copied from a manuscript which, ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... of persons of a capacity high, if not quite first rate, which enables them, granted fair chances, to rise quickly into positions where they can effectively serve the community. These men, whatever occupation they follow, be it that of abstract thinking, or literary production, or scientific research, or the conduct of affairs, whether commercial or political or administrative, are the dynamic strength of the country when they enter manhood, and its realised wealth when they are in their fullest vigour thirty years ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... Whitehall, to secure apartments, while the Major went on to demand his daughter from Lady Belamour, taking with him Betty, whom he allowed to be a much better match for my Lady than he could be. Very little faith in his cousin Urania remained to him in the abstract, yet even now he could not be sure that she would not talk him over and hoodwink him in any actual encounter. Sir Amyas likewise accompanied him, both to gratify his own anxiety and to secure admission. The young man still looked pale and worn with restless anxiety; but he had, in spite ...
— Love and Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... CONCRETENESS. General statements and abstract principles invariably weary an audience. Theories and generalities are usually too intangible to make much impression. Specific instances and concrete cases, however, are usually interesting. A vivid picture of real persons, things, and events ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... abstract entity produces psychological phenomena by playing upon the brain as a musician upon his instrument be rejected, and these phenomena be held to be the result of cerebral actions, an objection is made ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... Thus reasoning in the abstract, the mind cannot stop short of an extreme, because it has to deal with an extreme, with a conflict of forces left to themselves, and obeying no other but their own inner laws. If we should seek to deduce from the pure conception of War an ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... At the thought, Corbin stared blankly before him as though he had stumbled against a stone wall. What sign had she ever given him that she could care greatly? Was not any form of emotion always distasteful to her? Was not her mind always occupied with abstract questions? Was she not always engaged in her own self-improvement—with schemes, it is true, for bettering the world; but did her heart ever ache once for the individual? What was it, then, he loved? Something he imagined this girl to be, or was he in love ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... each other with weapons that burst in our hands. Ah, my lord, with what mind must blessed Oro look down upon this scene! Think you he discriminates between the deist and atheist? Nay; for the Searcher of the cores of all hearts well knoweth that atheists there are none. For in things abstract, men but differ in the sounds that come from their mouths, and not in the wordless thoughts lying at the bottom of their beings. The universe is all of one mind. Though my twin-brother sware to me, by the blazing sun in heaven at noon-day, that ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II (of 2) • Herman Melville

... a concise abstract of the principles and plans contained in the work that is now prosecuted, and for the suppression of which the proclamation appears to be intended; but as it is impossible that I can, in the compass of a letter, bring into view all the matters ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... of it. Magdalen was quite dismayed to find how entirely her attention had been absent, and how little account she could give of what had passed by her like the wind; but she need not have been at a loss, for Agatha, with sparkling eyes and clasped hands, burst out into a very able and spirited abstract of the speech, and the future it portrayed, showing perhaps more enthusiasm than the practised public speaker ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... and table. They came thither from all the country-side, and endless were the greetings amongst cousins and cousins' cousins. The Tyrolese, like the Scotch, keep up every link of relationship, claiming the fiftieth cousin. Relationship, in fact, never does die out; and though it may become an abstract during busy seasons of ploughing and sowing, it becomes a strong reality at wakes and festivals. Thus, at Kappler's, on this scapulary afternoon, Barthel's brother-in-law's cousin drank with "Cousin Barthel," ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XI, No. 27, June, 1873 • Various

... was that, relieved of the weight of abstract questions, he made two grave discoveries. The first was that the horse bore marks of having been driven in his absence; the next, that the harness was not hanging precisely on those hooks where he had last placed it. And when he drew out the trap he saw that the tires ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... third verse of the first chapter of Genesis is as evidently a different word from the two lights spoken of in the fourteenth verse, as the singular is different from the plural; and the thing signified by it is as distinct from the things spoken of in the fourteenth verse, as the abstract is from the concrete; as, when I say of the first, "light travels 195,000 miles per second," but mean a totally distinct subject when I say, "Extinguish the lights." The Hebrew words are even more palpably different, the word for light, in the third verse, being aur, while the words for ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... assuming as truths the misconceptions or wilful impositions of travellers. The study of their own species is doubtless the most interesting and important that can claim the attention of mankind; and this science, like all others, it is impossible to improve by abstract speculation merely. A regular series of authenticated facts is what alone can enable us to rise towards a perfect knowledge in it. To have added one new and firm step in this arduous ascent is a merit of which I should ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... any abstract mathematical system you'll be able to understand how the changing of one basic axiom can alter the whole structure almost beyond recognition. Suppose that change in a basic axiom were not a clean change, but that for a time both the axiom ...
— Unthinkable • Roger Phillips Graham

... all the propositions of our everyday language, just as they stand, are in perfect logical order.—That utterly simple thing, which we have to formulate here, is not a likeness of the truth, but the truth itself in its entirety. (Our problems are not abstract, but perhaps the most concrete that ...
— Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus • Ludwig Wittgenstein

... cocculus indicus, or any unwholesome ingredients, in their beer, under severe penalties: but few instances of convictions under this act are to be met with in the public records for nearly a century. To shew that they have augmented in our own days, we shall exhibit an abstract from documents ...
— A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons • Fredrick Accum

... and painful interest which this book excites no abstract can give a just notion. So sad and dark a story is scarcely to be found in any work of fiction; and we are little disposed to envy the moralist who can read it ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... not true," he said first. "I should welcome any hint of absence of mind in myself as a sign that the abstract could exclude the concrete, which is unfortunately not the case with me." Then, in a moment, he said, "People have no business to tell such stories. I should not mind their not being true, ...
— Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge • Arthur Christopher Benson

... so strong a desire to exaggerate our faults, that it is not an easy matter at all times to suppress these feelings. I have often told our opponents that they pay us the highest possible compliment, in their constant effort to compare the results of the system with what is purely right in the abstract, instead of comparing its results with those of their own. But the predominance of the hostile interests are so great here, that reason and justice go for nothing in the conflict of opinions. If a member of congress is flogged, it is no answer to say that a deputy or a member of parliament ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... wonderful!" He looked up, and Julia, seeing the rapt and humble admiration of his face, forgot that there was something ludicrous in the sight of a young man kneeling on a garden path reverently worshipping a striped flower. It was no abstract admiration of the beautiful, and no cultivated admiration for the new and strange; it was the love of a man for his work and appreciation of success in it, even if the success were another's; also, perhaps, in part, the expression of a deep-seated ...
— The Good Comrade • Una L. Silberrad

... was that Mr. Rylands did not know. He had known this sort of thing only in the abstract. He had never had the least acquaintance with the class to which his wife had belonged, nor known anything of their methods. It was a revelation to him now, in the woman he loved, and who was his wife. He was not shocked so ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... Civil war threatened: the medical fraternity, upheld by a few doubting Thomases among the more abstract followers of the science, on one side of the field, by far the greater number of those who peer into the human mechanism with mere scientific acumen on the other. Doctors, notoriously as conservative as kings and as jealous as opera singers, found themselves threatened ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... decide which is entitled to the floor. No member must speak more than once till every member wishing to speak shall have spoken. In debating societies (and it is for their benefit that we make this abstract) it is necessary to define not only how many times, but how long at each time a member may speak ...
— How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits • Samuel R Wells

... theology and philosophy. Thought and language, as he understands his teacher to maintain, are identical. Now language is made up of about 120 roots combined in various ways. The words supposed to express more abstract conceptions, some of them highly important in theology, are mere metaphors founded upon previous metaphors, twisted and changed in meaning from century to century. Nothing remains but an almost absolute scepticism, for on such terms no certainty can be obtained. ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... threw off traditional control because he wished to be more imaginative. Yet without the veto power imagination falls into sheer anarchy. Both Baconian and Rousseauist were very impatient of any outer authority that seemed to stand between them and their own perceptions. Yet the veto power is nothing abstract, nothing that one needs to take on hearsay, but is very immediate. The naturalistic leaders may be proved wrong without going beyond their own principles, and their wrongness is of a ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... be absurd to attribute to the Blackfoot of to-day any such abstract conception of the name of the Creator as that expressed in the foregoing quotation. The statement that Old Man was merely light personified would be beyond his comprehension, and if he did understand what was meant, he would laugh ...
— Blackfoot Lodge Tales • George Bird Grinnell

... if they should be discovered. He also reflected that if he could only manage to get his late companions comfortably hanged, and himself set free for having turned King's evidence against them, he could return to the island and abstract the wealth it contained by degrees. The brilliant prospect thus opened up to him was somewhat marred, however, by the consideration that some of the pirates might make a confession and let this secret be known, in which case his golden dreams would vanish. The difficulty of ...
— Gascoyne, the Sandal-Wood Trader • R.M. Ballantyne

... definition, his conclusions, as applied to actually existing objects, are either not true at all or only proximately so. Whether it be possible to bridge over the gulf between existing things and the abstract conception of them, as Spinoza attempts to do, we shall presently see. It is a royal road to certainty if it be a practicable one; but we cannot say that we ever met any one who could say honestly Spinoza's reasonings had convinced him; and power of demonstration, ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... glances between Captain Courcy and the two travellers. Thus far their plans had worked out beautifully; I was, to all appearance, entirely in their power, and it would be easy for them during the night to abstract the note. The one point in my favour was that they believed I knew nothing of the plot, and I took pains not to undeceive them. I laughed at the captain's jokes, and applauded his stories, though half expecting every moment to hear him say, "And now, M. de Lalande, I will ...
— My Sword's My Fortune - A Story of Old France • Herbert Hayens

... train was late, or we should have been here long ago. On reaching the castle it struck me as a good idea to give Lord Littimer a lesson as to his carelessness. My idea was to climb through the window, abstract the Rembrandt, and slip quietly into my usual bedroom here. Then in the morning, after the picture has been missed, I was going to tell the whole story. That is why Mr. Littimer entered this way and why I followed when I found that he had failed to return. It was a foolish thing to ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White



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