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Vagueness   Listen
noun
Vagueness  n.  The quality or state of being vague.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Vagueness" Quotes from Famous Books



... it? Do I dare? What does it mean? There are times when it appals me and there are times when it thrills me with a sweetness and a happiness that I have not known since she died. The vagueness of it! How can I explain it to you, this that happens when I call to her across the night—that faint, far-off, unseen tremble in the darkness, that intangible, scarcely perceptible stir. Something neither heard nor ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... scare; O was the Overdue train on its way; P was the Patience that bore the delay; Q was the Question which struck everyone; R the Reply which could satisfy none; S was the Station where passengers wait; T was the Time that they're bound to be late; U was the Up-train an hour overdue; V was the Vagueness its movements pursue; W stood for time's general Waste; X for Ex-press that could never make haste; Y for the Wherefore and Why of this wrong; And Z for the Zanies who ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 8, 1890 • Various

... beside her dear mother and that we are together in the Better Land. She has been separated considerably from me of late,—I have had to be journeying about on business,—therefore it will not come so hard to her, and though children do not forget, the sorrow softens and has a tender vagueness ...
— A Little Girl in Old Salem • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... intended to represent shadings scarcely seen. A more careful study shewed me that every mark is to be taken as the representative of what Mr. Dawes actually saw. The consistency of the views is perfectly wonderful, when compared with the vagueness and inconsistency observable in nearly all other views. And this consistency is not shown by mere resemblance, which might have been an effect rather of memory (unconsciously exerted) than observation. The same feature changes so much in figure, as it appears on different parts of the disc, ...
— Half-hours with the Telescope - Being a Popular Guide to the Use of the Telescope as a - Means of Amusement and Instruction. • Richard A. Proctor

... Elizabethan age was an extremely faulty one. It allowed, it is true, of great richness, great variety, and the sublimest heights of poetry; but it also allowed of an almost incredible looseness of structure and vagueness of purpose, of dullness, of insipidity, and of bad taste. The genius of the Elizabethans was astonishing, but it was genius struggling with difficulties which were well-nigh insuperable; and, as a matter ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... reason in all things!" returned Jack, with a vagueness which his brothers and sisters had apparently little difficulty in understanding, for they laughed, and sniggered ...
— Betty Trevor • Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey

... expressed when "The Marble Faun" was first published, at the general vagueness of its conclusion. Hawthorne's admirers wished especially for some clearer explanation of Miriam's earlier life, and of her relation to the strange apparition of the catacombs. He answered these interrogatories in a supplementary chapter which practically ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... dance, Fr. danse mauresque, the same adjective is used with something of the vagueness to be noticed in connection with India and Turkey (p. 52). Shakespeare uses the ...
— The Romance of Words (4th ed.) • Ernest Weekley

... Myra, not doubting that this must be some kind of postscript to the burial service for the private consolation of the family, let her mind wander. The word 'testament' in the first sentence seemed to make this certain, and the sentence or two that followed had a polysyllabic vagueness which by habit she connected with the offices of religion. The strained look on Aunt Hannah's face drew her attention away from Mr. Tulse and his recital. Her ear had been caught, too, by a low whining sound in the next room. By and by she heard him speak her own name—hers and Clem's together—and ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... the doctrine lies in the extreme vagueness of the terms, protective and self-regarding. The practical difficulty begins with the definition of these terms. Can any opinion, or any serious part of conduct, be looked upon as truly and exclusively self-regarding? This central ingredient in the discussion seems ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... finally removing the centre of criticism and intellectual activity from Versailles to Paris, had now nearly all come to an end. Madame du Deffand died in 1780, Madame Geoffrin in 1779, and in 1776 Mdlle. Lespinasse, whose letters will long survive her, as giving a burning literary note to the vagueness of suffering and pain of soul. One of Diderot's favourite companions in older days, Galiani, the antiquary, the scholar, the politician, the incomparable mimic, the shrewdest, wittiest, and gayest of men after ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... take this into account, we will not remain within the vagueness of the concept, but will take a particular example to argue upon, viz. that of an external perception. I open my window on a fine day, and I see before me a sunny plain, with, as far as the eye can reach, houses amongst the trees, and again more houses, ...
— The Mind and the Brain - Being the Authorised Translation of L'me et le Corps • Alfred Binet

... It was a queer laugh. There was incredulity, uncertainty, a sense of vagueness in it; it suggested that he ...
— Ravensdene Court • J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

... fairly inferred from his assertion of it in a private letter[84] to his friend the Duke of Rutland. It may, however, be doubted whether the epithet "unconstitutional" could be properly applied to the bill on either ground. There is, indeed, a certain vagueness in the meaning, or at all events in the frequent use of this adjective. Sometimes it is used to imply a violation of the provisions of the Great Charter, or of its later development, the Bill of Rights; sometimes to impute some imagined departure from the principles which guided the ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... scope of the work; the mass and variety of intense experience which it contains; the interpenetration of sublime imagination, piercing pathos, and humour almost as moving as the pathos; the vastness of the convulsion both of nature and of human passion; the vagueness of the scene where the action takes place, and of the movements of the figures which cross this scene; the strange atmosphere, cold and dark, which strikes on us as we enter this scene, enfolding these figures and magnifying their dim ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... the finer manufactures were carried, or made an article of export, is uncertain. The vagueness of. statistical information in these early times has given rise to much crude speculation and to extravagant estimates of their resources, which have been met by a corresponding skepticism in later and more scrutinizing critics. Capmany, the most acute of ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... became the type of the femme incomprise for Balzac, but the present writer is inclined to agree with M. Serval when he calls this judgment astonishing, since she was a woman who adored her husband and sons, was an author of some moral books for children, and nothing in her suggested either vagueness of soul or melancholy. Madame Carraud herself gives a glimpse of her married life in saying to Balzac that she and her husband are not sympathetic in everything, that being of different temperaments things appear differently ...
— Women in the Life of Balzac • Juanita Helm Floyd

... He had been afraid of her from the first time he saw her. He had only seen her two or three times, and had only chanced to say a few words to her. He thought of her as a beautiful, proud, imperious girl. It was not her beauty which troubled him, but something else. And the vagueness of his apprehension increased the apprehension itself. The girl's aims were of the noblest, he knew that. She was trying to save his brother Dmitri simply through generosity, though he had already behaved badly to her. Yet, although Alyosha recognized ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... which her growing passion sometimes urged her to invite. Thus the lovers had instinctively understood the situation without explaining to each other their secret motives. There are times in life when such vagueness pleases youthful minds. Just because each had postponed speaking too long, they seemed to be playing a cruel game of suspense. He was trying to discover whether he was beloved, by the effort any confession would cost his haughty mistress; ...
— The Ball at Sceaux • Honore de Balzac

... another street," I answered, with deliberate vagueness. Nancy had suddenly become demure. I did not dare look at her, but I had a most uncomfortable notion that she suspected the plot. Meanwhile we had begun to walk along, all three of us, Tom, obviously ill at ease and discomfited, lagging a little behind. ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... in the Neapolitan dialect fell upon Artois from the box of a carriage coming up the hill. He jumped back and gained the path. There again he stood still. The sweet and half-melancholy vagueness had quite left him now. The sight of his friend had swept it away. Why was she going to Mergellina at that hour? And why did she look ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... the hateful hypocrisy of persons over fifty, and terribly constrained and alarmed, turned vaguely back up the stairs. Miss Ingate, not quite knowing what she did, with an equal vagueness followed her. ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... be warned, and presents them as the cause of the coming evil. The higher the dam is piled, the deeper the water that is gathered behind it, and the surer and more destructive the flood when it bursts. Long-delayed judgments are severe in proportion as they are slow. Note the awful vagueness of threatening in that emphatic 'thus,' as if the Prophet had the event before his eyes. There is no need to specify, for there can be but one result from such obstinacy. The 'terror of the Lord' is more moving by reason of the dimness which ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... doctrines, including the constitutional limitations on Congress's spending clause power, the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, and subsidiary to these issues, the First Amendment doctrines of prior restraint, vagueness, and overbreadth. There are a number of potential entry points into the analysis, but the most logical is the spending clause jurisprudence in which the seminal case is South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987). Dole outlines four categories ...
— Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Ruling • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

... himself luxuriously to his meditations. An unwonted sense of comfort and well-being filled his body, while his mind was in its happiest vein. His thoughts mingled with the rings of smoke in the subdued light in which all forms and colours assume a pleasing vagueness. ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... the books with her palm, pressed her cheek against them and leaned with closed eyes. Oh, Dick, Dick—a thought began that faded to a vagueness of sorrow and died because she did not ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... more effective because it is so narrowly true. Those to whom it makes its appeal are, for the most part, not capable of analyzing through to their sources its fundamental inveracities, nor would they be inclined to do that if they were able. Its vagueness and its spacious rhetoric really give it power. It does produce results and probably one case of physical betterment has a prevailing power which a chapter of criticisms cannot overcome and, more than that, one ...
— Modern Religious Cults and Movements • Gaius Glenn Atkins

... fascinated by our seventeenth-century singers, and has, here and there, succeeded in catching something of their quaintness and not a little of their charm. There is a pleasant flavour about his verse. It is entirely free from violence and from vagueness, those two besetting sins of so much modern poetry. It is clear in outline and restrained in form, and, at its best, has much that is light and lovely about it. How graceful, for instance, ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... hence, he was paying mentally an equal compliment to circumstance and to the girl herself. Capacity was there, it could be freely trusted; observation would have but to sow its generous seed. "A superior woman"—the idea had harsh associations, but he watched it imaging itself in the vagueness of the future with a ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... of the quarrel, but easily understood by the vagueness of his embarrassed replies that he did not intend to satisfy our curiosity. I surmised at once that Jahel was mixed up with it in some way, when I heard with the gnashing of Mosaide's voice the grating of locks and bolts, and later on the noise, in the lodge, of a violent ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... and a plain face was lightened by a pair of exceedingly pleasant, exceedingly alert brown eyes. As soon as she met those eyes Claire felt assured that the kindness of which she had heard was a real thing, and that this woman could be counted upon as a friend. There was, it is true, a slight vagueness in the manner in which she made her greeting, but a murmur of "Mrs Fanshawe" instantly ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... reasoning wherever his influence extended. He delighted in that fine saying of Hobbes that, 'words are the counters of the wise man, but the money of the fool'; he believed that most controversies might be resolved into verbal ambiguities; and his hatred of vagueness, grandiloquence, affected obscurity, and rhetorical exaggeration exercised a very useful influence over young men. He was also a most attentive and sagacious observer of human nature, and few modern writers have written so wisely on the diversities and the management of character ...
— Historical and Political Essays • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... wondered and rejoiced. In Washington they wondered, but did not rejoice. They had not expected there any blow to be struck in the dead of winter, and Lincoln demanded of his generals why they could not do as well. Distance and the vagueness of the news magnified Jackson's exploits and doubled his numbers. Eyes were turned with intense anxiety toward that desolate white expanse of snow and ice, in the midst of ...
— The Scouts of Stonewall • Joseph A. Altsheler

... mind, my boy, above all things make up your mind! Have some convictions, some real opinions, some worthy hopes; and be loyal to, and in earnest about, whatever you do pin your faith to, I assure you that vagueness of faith affects people's every-day conduct more than they think. The sort of belief which takes a man to church on Sunday who would be ashamed to look as if he were really praying, or confessing real sins when he gets there, is small help to him when the will balances ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... and pagan were pained and exasperated at the venerable simplicity, the lack of prosody, the vagueness and crudity of the wording of the liturgical hymns. In 1531, Wimpheling, a priest of the diocese of Spire, produced a work, Himni de tempore et de sanctis ... secundum legem carminis diligenter emendati. Leo X., yielding ...
— The Divine Office • Rev. E. J. Quigley

... it was drawn directly towards a picture which hung before me,—a face that drove away all recollection of the colossal goddess. The golden hair was parted over a broad brow; from the gentle, dreamy eyes there came a soft, penetrating glance, and a vagueness as of fancy rested over the whole face. I scarcely heard a word that was spoken to me as I looked upon this new charm, and I could hardly find answers for ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860 • Various

... oscillations of the frontiers with every attack from without and every variation of the tribal strength within. Their unstable states rarely last long enough in a given form or size to develop fixed boundaries; hence, the vagueness as to the extent of tribal domains among all savage peoples, and the conflicting land claims which are the abiding source of war. Owing to these overlapping boundaries—border districts claimed but not occupied—the American colonists met with difficulties in their purchase of land ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... conceive that the vagueness and mystery attaching in many minds to the doctrine of the Spirit, are due largely to a failure to recognize his {15} time-ministry, distinct from all that went before and introductory to all that is to come after—a ministry with a definite beginning ...
— The Ministry of the Spirit • A. J. Gordon

... degrees, which would entitle the recipients to the enjoyment of the privileges attached to these titles. The learned council discussed, hesitated, tried to decide the question, but finally left it in a situation which was neither clear nor conclusive. This hesitancy and vagueness are very significant; a few years ago a negative decision would have been given promptly ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... life, some deep, though as yet undiscovered, meaning for him. The first figure in the picture was the Skipper himself. When it was painted the likeness was striking. But the poor mad seaman stared upon it with an ignorant vagueness. It was evident that he looked without seeing, that ...
— Tongues of Conscience • Robert Smythe Hichens

... the "Morte d'Arthur" is a curious illustration of the vagueness of the historical groundwork of the romances of chivalry. The memory of Roman power was still too great to permit a warrior to achieve greatness without having matched his strength against that of Rome, and thus we have the singular spectacle of King ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... morning, at eleven o'clock, she presented herself at the offices of the Imperial and West African Rubber Company. She was glad to go there, for Henry had implied his business rather than described it, and the formlessness and vagueness that one associates with Africa had hitherto brooded over the main sources of his wealth. Not that a visit to the office cleared things up. There was just the ordinary surface scum of ledgers and polished counters and brass bars that began and stopped for no possible reason, ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... cast upward and strewn asunder. It was an awful long winter night. The same sable clouds rioting in the sky, the same cruel wind moaning angrily through the chinks and crevices of many a shattered edifice. Solitude, the chillness of night, and the vagueness, even more than the inevitableness, of the danger, wrought fearfully on my exhausted frame. Stupor and lethargy soon followed these brief moments of speechless excitement. Bewildered imagination peopled the air with vague, unutterable terrors. Legions ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... New York, Boston, and Philadelphia more than half the vote was cast already, so eager were both sides for victory. These bulletins, more or less vague as they came from time to time, were posted on a blackboard, and their vagueness did not keep them from arousing the ...
— The Candidate - A Political Romance • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... because of the comicality, the grotesque surprise, the possibility of quicker victory, which caught hold of the imagination of people who heard for the first time of those new engines of war, so beast-like in appearance and performance. The vagueness of our descriptions was due to the censorship, which forbade, wisely enough, any technical and exact definition, so that we had to compare them to giant toads, mammoths, and prehistoric animals of all kinds. Our accounts did, however, reproduce the psychological effect of the tanks upon the British ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... such names as Vyed'ma, Hexe, or Witch, suggestive as those now homely terms are of merely human, though diabolically intensified malevolence. Far more in keeping with the vastness of her powers, and the vagueness of her outline, are the titles of Baba Yaga, Lamia, Striga, Troll-Wife, Ogress, or Dragoness, under which she figures in various lands. And therefore it is in her capacity of Baba Yaga, rather than in that of Vyed'ma, that we desire to study the behavior ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... and a haughty chivalry. The features, if regular, were small; their expression meek and timid; the form, though tall, was not firm-knit and muscular; the lower limbs were too thin, the body had too much flesh, the delicate hands betrayed the sickly paleness of feeble health; there was a dreamy vagueness in the clear soft blue eyes, and a listless absence of all energy in the habitual bend, the slow, heavy, sauntering tread,—all about that benevolent aspect, that soft voice, that resigned mien, and gentle manner, spoke the exquisite, unresisting goodness, which provoked the lewd to taunt, ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... 31—I do not feel it necessary to specify the year—as to make it almost dubious whether I could claim the honours of April-Fooldom. This seemed enough for him—though he warned me that the absence of the exact time might lead to some vagueness in his communications—and he proceeded forthwith to erect my figure; which, by the way, looked to me very much like making a "figure" in Euclid; and I peered anxiously to see whether mine bore any resemblance to the ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... was filled with troubled ideas, which seemed to float in a kind of obscurity. His old recollections and recent experiences became confused, lost their identity, grew out of proportion, dwindled, then disappeared entirely, all in a distressing vagueness. But one thought persistently 15 returned, to the exclusion of all the others. It was this: the six silver forks and spoons and the handsome silver ladle were in the next room, only a few yards from him. He had seen Madame Magloire put them into ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... should cultivate the large tracts of truth which lie between the extreme vagueness of the first estimate and the pedantic ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 18, 1914 • Various

... the vagueness which this want of any defined object so unsatisfactorily threw round the enterprise before him, he had also a sort of ominous presentiment—natural, perhaps, to one of his temperament under such circumstances—that he was but fulfilling his own doom in this ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... literary lineage running back to the same ancestry. Of course it is always admitted that there WAS an English poetry as old to Chaucer as Chaucer is to us; but it is admitted with a certain inclusive and amateur vagueness removing it out of the rank of facts which involve grave and important duties. We can neither deny the fact nor the strangeness of it, that the English poetry written between the time of Aldhelm and Caedmon in the seventh century and that of Chaucer in the fourteenth century has never ...
— Sidney Lanier • Edwin Mims

... darker and more terrible. I thought of the coffin, the shroud, and the still and narrow grave, into whose dumb and frozen solitude none but the gnawing worm intrudes. And then my thoughts wandered away into the vagueness and mystery of eternity, I was rushing uncalled for into the presence of a just and pure God, with a spirit unrepenting, unannealed! And I tried to pray and could not; for a heaviness, a dull strange torpor crept over me. Consciousness went ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... habit of reckoning by "tens" is deep-seated, and leads to much vagueness. A few people are "ten or twenty," a "few tens," or perhaps "ever so many tens," and a strictly accurate enumeration is one of the rarest of experiences in China.... An acquaintance told the writer that two men ...
— Camps and Trails in China - A Narrative of Exploration, Adventure, and Sport in Little-Known China • Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews

... an extent, however, both of facts and localities, and ideas—philosophic or imaginative, in the text of Ossian, was possible, has scarcely hitherto been believed by any one; it has certainly never been attempted. A sort of vagueness in many of his descriptions ill-understood, and a similarity in poetic figures that might be indiscriminately applied; and an occasional apparent conflict or confusion of details seem to have deterred almost all readers from the study ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, December 1875 • Various

... by maps of ideal stratifications, in rose-pink, brimstone-yellow, and indigo-blue, for your profound and glowing convictions of the irresistible force of experimental science, and of the shadowy vagueness of a religion dependent upon ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... augments her power by venturing into the depths of these reveries, beneath which we deplorable common mortals are buried, and she will be mistaken. In fact she is much superior to this extravagance, this vagueness, this presumptuous balderdash. At the same time that a person endowed with a rare but too flexible faculty, should be guarded against follies of the higher order, he ought also to be warned that fantastic compositions, subjective or intimate, painting (so runs the jargon) ...
— International Weekly Miscellany Vol. I. No. 3, July 15, 1850 • Various

... writing away at the fourth Georgic; Upton staying in a part of the time to help him a little, by dictating the lines to him—an occupation not unfrequently interrupted by storms of furious denunciation against Mr Gordon's injustice and tyranny; Eric vowing, with the usual vagueness of schoolboy intention, "that he would ...
— Eric, or Little by Little • Frederic W. Farrar

... from the sensations produced in you by reading an ordinary, or even a very extraordinary, short story in prose. They may not be so sharp, so clear and piquant, but they will probably be, in their mysteriousness and their vagueness, more impressive. I do not say that they will be diverting. I do not go so far as to say that they will strike you as pleasing sensations. (Be it remembered that I am addressing myself to an imaginary tyro in poetry.) I would qualify them as being "disturbing." Well, ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... itself as truly as it is conformed to them. There is mutual adaptation. Undoubtedly this is implied in the definition, and the petty employment of it which I have been attacking would be rejected also by its wiser defenders. But when its meaning is thus filled out, its vagueness rendered clear, and the mutual influence which is implied becomes clearly announced, the definition turns into the one which I have offered. Goodness is the expression of the largest organization. Its aim is everywhere ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... clouded and muddled that no clear meaning is to be read in them. In such a case the seer should waste no time over them. Either the consultant has not concentrated his or her attention upon the business in hand when turning the cup, or his destiny is so obscured by the indecision of his mind or the vagueness of his ideas that it is unable to manifest itself by symbols. Persons who consult the tea-leaves too frequently often find this muddled state of things to supervene. Probably once a week will be often enough to look into the future, although ...
— Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves • 'A Highland Seer'

... me a more definite idea of its whereabouts I might possibly make the attempt," I answered, with intentional vagueness; for though I no more believed in the objective existence of the Golden Volcano than in Aladdin's lamp, I did not wish to hurt the old man's feelings by an avowal of ...
— Mr. Fortescue • William Westall

... the vagueness wide awake, the hangover cleared magically, evaporating much too quickly to have been ...
— Where I Wasn't Going • Walt Richmond

... Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, and Ceres—perhaps scarcely any one but an encyclopaedist or antiquarian could have named one-half of the total. It is not merely that the deities on the list were so numerous. There were other reasons for ignorance or vagueness. In the first place, the line between the operations of one deity and those of another was often too fine to draw, and deities originally more or less distinct came to be confused or identified. Secondly, it was often hard, if not impossible, to make up one's ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... was one region of heads stretched far in innumerable vagueness, and down the river to Woolwich a continuous dull roar and murmur of bees droned from both banks to ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... said in regard to chapter i. It seemed necessary and important, in view of the general vagueness and uncertainty in regard to the place of sociology among the sciences and its relation to the other social sciences, particularly to history, to state somewhere, clearly and definitely, what, from the point of view of this volume, sociology is. This resulted finally in the imposition of a rather ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... with amazement. This was the prize to which he had been taught to look forward through all his boyish days, and all his early manhood;—but to look forward to it, as a thing that must be very distant, so distant as almost to be lost in the vagueness of the prospect. Probably his youth would have clean passed from him, and he would have entered upon the downhill course of what is called middle life before his inheritance would come to him. He had been unable to wait, and had wasted everything,—nearly everything; had, ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... from dear Miss Mitford this morning, with yours, but I can find nothing in it that you will care to hear again. She complains of the vagueness of 'Coningsby,' and praises the French writers—a sympathy between us, that last, which we wear hidden in our sleeves for the sake of propriety. Not a word of coming to London, though I asked. Neither have I heard ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... court work is unanswerable. Keeping even these mild cases away from our others serves, however, to lessen confusion; we need in this subject to conserve all the clearness possible by holding to fundamental classifications and showing up vagueness of definition where ...
— Pathology of Lying, Etc. • William and Mary Healy

... and stood a moment looking out. Rose did not interrupt her. She knew that the house from which the light was shining sheltered a tragedy; she guessed with the vagueness of nineteen that it was a tragedy of passion and sin; but Catherine had not been communicative on the subject, and Rose had for some time past set up a dumb resistance to her sister's most characteristic ways of life and thought, which ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... seems to have been carefully concealed," I said. "I recollect having detected in her a strange vagueness of manner, but it never occurred to me that she was mentally weak. In the days immediately preceding the tragedy I certainly saw but little of her. She was out ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... analogous to the words in speech, they are by no means as concrete, nor are they separated as distinctly, as the words upon a written or printed sheet. This is in keeping with the intangible quality of music, and the peculiar vagueness of its medium of expression; the quality which veils its intrinsic purport from the mass of music admirers, and lends it such exquisite and inexplicable charm to all ...
— Lessons in Music Form - A Manual of Analysis of All the Structural Factors and - Designs Employed in Musical Composition • Percy Goetschius

... he wrote, "comes back to me with all the vagueness of a dream—you will know what morning I mean, and why it fills so shadowy a page in the book of my memory. And it might as well have been a dream, for aught of present peace or future hope that it has ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... The stumbling-block to most minds is perhaps less the mere existence of the unseen than the want of definition, the apparently hopeless vagueness, and not least, the delight in this vagueness as mere vagueness by some who look upon this as the mark of quality in Spiritual things. It will be at least something to tell earnest seekers that the Spiritual World is not a castle ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... possibly have allowed herself to get into an equivocal position with such a man—"really not a gentleman," as she complained to Justin, and he had answered with the vague remark that you could never tell about a girl; even in its vagueness ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... said Thorndyke; and we accordingly set forth on our quest; and, as we went, I reflected once more on the apparent vagueness of our proceedings. Presently I reopened the ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... discovered. Mr. Gosse succeeded no better than they that went before in plucking out the heart of Congreve's mystery. He was, and he remains, impersonal. At his most substantial he is (as some one said of him) no more than 'vagueness personified': at his most luminous only an appearance like the Scin-Laeca, the shining shadow adapted in a moment of peculiar inspiration by the ...
— Views and Reviews - Essays in appreciation • William Ernest Henley

... the fatal weakness of the Congress as an organ of government, and the Articles merely embodied the vagueness of the American people in regard to any real regime. The Congress has been much derided for its shortcomings and its blunders, although in truth not so much the Congress, as those who made it, was to blame. ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... in such sort as that the streets (be they never so foul) yet with one shower of rain are again cleansed ...,' wrote Izacke, in his Antiquities of Exeter. 'Very beautiful is the same in building;' and he ends with some vagueness, 'for considerable Matters matchable to most Cities in England.' The earliest history can only be guessed at from what is known of the history of other places, and from the inferences to be drawn from a few scanty relics; but there is evidence that Exeter existed as a British ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... an awful sound. They smite my ear with all the power that vagueness imparts, and surely must have caused stout hearts to tremble in their day," ...
— Opening a Chestnut Burr • Edward Payson Roe

... indignation at his injustice, and delight on account of the source from which I conceived it to spring. For a long time they would allow admission to no other thoughts. Surprize is an emotion that enfeebles, not invigorates. All my meditations were accompanied with wonder. I rambled with vagueness, or clung to one image with an obstinacy which sufficiently testified the maddening influence of ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... clothing, saying that it would be summer weather on the sea before she bade good-bye to the water. Still, Virginia announced that she did not wish to be bound down to a definite programme, and Kate Gardiner had to be satisfied with a prospect of vagueness if she intended to ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... courage born of desperation, flung himself on the step, and climbing into the cart, fell in the straw at the bottom of it, sobbing out that he wanted to go back, go back! The situation had a vagueness; but the farmer, a man of action rather than words, swung his horse round smartly, and they were in the town again by the time Harold had recovered himself sufficiently to furnish some details. As they drove up to the shop, the woman was waiting at the door with the ...
— The Golden Age • Kenneth Grahame

... cars ran all the year round; if the living was very dear ... And the answers to her questions would have satisfied but a little of this eager curiosity, would scarcely have disturbed the enchanting vagueness of her illusion. ...
— Maria Chapdelaine - A Tale of the Lake St. John Country • Louis Hemon

... her eyes, and blinded her as she heard. Even in the amaze and the vagueness of this first knowledge of the cause of his exile she felt instinctively, as the Little One also had done, that some great sacrifice, some great fortitude and generosity, lay within this sealed secret of his ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... at the hand; the vagueness of the countenance became condensed, and he recognized Pablo Valls bending over him, moving his lips as if murmuring affectionate phrases which he could not hear. Again? The captain was always appearing ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... sails that had been invisible began to show white against a rising cloud. This cloud had not the definition of sudden conquering storms, proper to the summer, and leaving a blessing behind their fury. The edge of it against the misty and brooding sky had all the vagueness of smoke, and as it rose up out of the sea its growth was so methodical and regular as to disconnect it wholly in one's mind from the little fainting breeze that still blew, from rain, or from any daily thing. It advanced with the fall of the evening ...
— Hills and the Sea • H. Belloc

... The vagueness and looseness of the information one receives in answer to that much abused question, "Is he better?" would be ludicrous, if it were not painful. The only sensible answer (in the present state of knowledge about sickness) would ...
— Notes on Nursing - What It Is, and What It Is Not • Florence Nightingale

... materialise, as was only to be expected in view of the vagueness of the proposals. Colombine did some advertising, and Mr Roebuck expressed himself as unwilling to proceed further in the venture. Henson experimented with models to a certain extent, while Stringfellow ...
— A History of Aeronautics • E. Charles Vivian

... are impalpable and obscure. It is difficult to clothe such shadowy abstractions in clear, simple form. He is occasionally vague because his thoughts seem to have emerged only partially from the cloud lands that gave them birth. At other times, his vagueness resembles Plato's because it is inherent in the subject matter. Like Byron, Shelley is sometimes careless in the construction and revision of his verse. We shall, however, search in vain for these faults in Shelley's greatest lyrics. He is one of the supreme lyrical geniuses in the language. ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... to the continent, whatever its nature, had seemed sufficiently important to authorize from him to her, in due process of time, a short perfunctory message regretting his inability to present himself at the appointed hour at Strathorn House. Whether the young girl found in the letter a vagueness warranting a suspicion that John Steele preferred the heavy duties of the city to the light frivolities of the country matters not; suffice it the weeks passed and no further invitations, in the ponderous ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... would, the Chief Character, did it upon lines very recognisably those of the illustrations of sacred books, very correct as to the hair and beard and pictured garment of the Galilean; with every accent of hollow-eyed pallor and inscrutable remoteness, with all the thin vagueness, too, of a popular engraving, the limitations and the depression. Under it one saw the painful inconsistency of the familiar Hamilton Bradley of other presentations, and realised with irritation, which must have been tenfold in Hilda, how he rebelled against the part. Perhaps ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... circumstances interpose. It is when we consider the real life, the material pursuits, the solid interests, the separate frontiers and frontier-policies of the colonies, that we perceive how deeply the notions of Mr. Seeley are tainted with vagueness and dreaminess. ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 9: The Expansion of England • John Morley

... of a research foundation or industrial empire, I overlooked the vital fact that I had also chosen not to do God's Will, but what I stupidly thought to be my own. It was not. It was faintheartedness, sloth, placation, doubt, vagueness and romantical misconception. In a word, it was the aimlessness and falsity of the nineteenth century coming back in the window after having been booted out the door; my folly was the failure to recognize it. I have deluded myself, I have taken halfmeasures, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... puzzling thing about these prehistoric memories of mine. It is the vagueness of the time element. I lo not always know the order of events;—or can I tell, between some events, whether one, two, or four or five years have elapsed. I can only roughly tell the passage of time ...
— Before Adam • Jack London

... and her singular dreams, Mrs Flintwinch fell that evening into a haunted state of mind, from which it may be long before this present narrative descries any trace of her recovery. In the vagueness and indistinctness of all her new experiences and perceptions, as everything about her was mysterious to herself she began to be mysterious to others: and became as difficult to be made out to anybody's satisfaction as she found the house and everything in it difficult ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... Impression.—Apart from the fact that it satisfies a demand of our being, expression is most important in that it tests the clearness of the applied knowledge. We often think that our impression is clear, only to discover its vagueness when we attempt to express it in some form. People often say that they understand a fact thoroughly, but they cannot exactly express it. Such a statement is usually incorrect. If the impression were clear, the expression under ordinary circumstances ...
— Ontario Normal School Manuals: Science of Education • Ontario Ministry of Education

... means the case: although, at a certain moment, he was ready to participate in the Gallipoli enterprise, circumstances had changed, and his future course would depend on the situation which he would find on returning to {51} power. This vagueness, though not very helpful to the voters, doubtless helped the voting; for there was hardly any pro-war feeling among the masses. The noble ideals emblazoned upon the Entente banners produced little impression ...
— Greece and the Allies 1914-1922 • G. F. Abbott

... and tortures, by intolerance and injustice. She felt for, but not with, the heretics in their errors. "She typifies her age in all that is good and noble, in artistic aspirations, in literary ideals, in pure politics—in short,—in humanity; in her is not found the chaotic vagueness which so often breaks out in license and ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... compromise with the tops of the boots, managed to protect also the lower half. His features were delicate, and would have been called handsome had they belonged to a proportionately delicate body; in his eyes hovered a dreamy vagueness which seemed to come and vanish, and to flit from one feature to another, suggesting the idea of remoteness, and a feeling of hopeless strangeness to the world and ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... of suspense to Algernon, as he beheld the hideous visage of the savage so near, and evidently gazing upon him; and thinking himself discovered, he was on the point of coming forth, when a certain vagueness in the look of the Indian, led him to hope he was not yet perceived; and he lay motionless, with his breath suspended. But, alas! his hope was soon changed to despair; for after gazing a moment longer, the Indian suddenly started, his features expressed satisfaction, he ...
— Ella Barnwell - A Historical Romance of Border Life • Emerson Bennett

... was the usual thing." Twenty-four, of course, knew more than nineteen, and could speak to the point of what was and wasn't usual in matters of this kind. But if Laetitia hoped that vagueness would shake hands with delicacy and that details could be lubricated away, she ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... parallel westward from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.[45] Ever since the negotiators of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 had inserted a geographical impossibility by declaring that the boundary should extend due west from the Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi, there had existed a vagueness as to where the actual line should be drawn.[46] In 1806 the British traders thought it would be run from the lake to the source of the river;[47] and as late as 1818 Benjamin O'Fallon wrote from Prairie du Chien that Robert Dickson "is directed to build a fort on ...
— Old Fort Snelling - 1819-1858 • Marcus L. Hansen

... with his usual vagueness that he supposed in the hut where the late Teacher had died after the mission-house was burnt down. So they trekked on a little way, passing beneath the shelf of rock that has been mentioned as projecting from ...
— Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales • Henry Rider Haggard

... Cartoner's eyes lost all their vagueness. Either Miss Cahere had hit the mark with her second shot, or else he was making a mental note of the fact that Mr. Mangles belonged to that amiable body of amateurs, the ...
— The Vultures • Henry Seton Merriman

... time believed in a waiting life of departed souls before the Judgment. Owing to vagueness and contradictions in the Rabbinical teaching it is impossible to state their notions about it with definiteness. But in the main it may be said that when they speak of that life as a whole without distinguishing ...
— The Gospel of the Hereafter • J. Paterson-Smyth

... and waited for Barlasch, who seemed to be going in the wrong direction with an odd vagueness in his movements. Louis ran towards him with Desiree at ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... greatness of the universe to the finite smallness of man, and draws the inevitable conclusion as to the importance of our joys and sorrows and labours. I am aware that this definition errs on the side of vagueness; but possibly it may be found to include the truth. Obviously, the natures of those who possess this sense will tend to be static rather than dynamic, and it is therefore against the limits imposed by this sense that ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... intense but peculiar sweetness, a man's voice which had much of a woman's, but more even of a chorister's, but a chorister's voice without its limpidity and innocence; its youthfulness was veiled, muffled, as it were, in a sort of downy vagueness, as if a ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... realizing the temper of the poem that we realize the temper of its hero. AEneas is the Arthur of the Vergilian epic, with the same absorption of all individuality in the nobleness of his purpose, the same undertone of melancholy, the same unearthly vagueness of outline and remoteness from the meaner interests and passions of men. As the poet of our own day has embodied his ideal of manhood in the king, so Vergil has embodied it in the hero-founder of his race. The temper of AEneas is the highest conception ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... poems, and is likely to publish them if he meets with encouragement in England, I suppose. They are full of imagery, encompassed with poetical atmosphere, and very melodious. On the other hand, there is vagueness and too much personification. It's the smell of a rose rather than a rose—very sweet, notwithstanding. His poems are far superior to Charles Tennyson's, bear in mind. As for the poet, we quite love him, Robert and I do. What Swedenborg calls 'selfhood,' ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... a few our world has seen; Roman triumphs and ovations, Cabiric cymbal-beatings, Royal progresses, Irish funerals: but this of the French Monarchy marching to its bed remained to be seen. Miles long, and of breadth losing itself in vagueness, for all the neighbouring country crowds to see. Slow; stagnating along, like shoreless Lake, yet with a noise like Niagara, like Babel and Bedlam. A splashing and a tramping; a hurrahing, uproaring, musket-volleying;—the truest segment of Chaos seen in these latter Ages! Till slowly it disembogue ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... found the sight more than I could bear, and returning to the ship bade farewell to Nauplius and resumed the voyage. Very soon we seemed quite close to the Isle of Dreams, though there was a certain dimness and vagueness about its outline; but it had something dreamlike in its very nature; for as we approached it receded, and seemed to get further and further off. At last we reached it and sailed into Slumber, the port, close to the ivory gates where ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... sin is as detrimental to Ethics as it is to Dogmatics; and upon our doctrine of evil depends very largely our interpretation of life in regard to its difficulties and purposes, its trials and triumphs. In the meantime it is enough to remark that considerable vagueness of idea and looseness of expression ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... peculiar characteristic of French democracy, that there is always mixed up with it the principle, more or less distinctly avowed, of the community of goods. Perhaps the vagueness we complain of in M. Louis Blanc, is dictated by mere prudence; perhaps there is no vagueness to the eye of a propagandist. One sentiment of French democracy he certainly expresses with sufficient hardihood. It is not often we meet with the principle of intervention between ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... change. At least she could not formulate it in words, or even enumerate its phases by any system of analysis, but there were moments when her mind surged with feelings which she knew that she had never felt before, and she caught herself framing visions whose very vagueness of outline swelled before her like the shadows of a portent. At times, too, through these mists there flashed illuminations which startled her, and made her innocent heart shrink as if they ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... of the inherent vagueness of the term, on which no settled understanding was ever had, although England held it to be synonymous with Nova Scotia and France denied that it extended more than 10 leagues from ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Tyler - Section 2 (of 3) of Volume 4: John Tyler • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... compelled to the discharge of their duty by the just authority of magistrates, and by the wholesome terrors of the laws. With the same views this law has been styled, and (notwithstanding the objections of some writers to the vagueness of the language) appears to have been styled with great propriety, "the law of nature." It may with sufficient correctness, or at least by an easy metaphor, be called a "law," inasmuch as it is a supreme, invariable, and uncontrollable ...
— A Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations • James Mackintosh

... from the church, father and son walked through the village, the father pointing out the changes for better or worse that had taken place in four years, and not noticing the vagueness of his son's memories of either persons or features in the landscape. The village, like most Welsh villages, was of white-washed cottages, slate-roofed, but it was embowered with that luxuriance of foliage and flowers which makes Glamorganshire—out of sight of the coal-mining—seem ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... paradise is labelled Ashland, Jaalam, North Bend, Marshfield, Kinderhook, or Baton Rouge, as occasion demands. Before the door stands a something with one handle (the other painted in proper perspective), which represents, in happy ideal vagueness, the plough. To this the defeated candidate rushes with delirious joy, welcomed as a father by appropriate groups of happy laborers, or from it the successful one is torn with difficulty, sustained alone by a noble sense of public duty. Only I have observed, that, if the ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... assumes an air of haphazard, but it is not so careless as it seems. I believe it to be—even now that I am through with the book—the best way to a sort of lucid vagueness which has always been my intention in this matter. I tried over several beginnings of a Utopian book before I adopted this. I rejected from the outset the form of the argumentative essay, the form which appeals most readily to what is ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... the final mutiny. Prickett, therefore—in part borne out by the "Note" of poor Widowes—is our authority for the several mutinous outbreaks which occurred during the voyage; and Prickett wrote with a vagueness—using such phrases as "this day" and "this time," without adding a date—that helped him to muddle his narrative in the parts which we want to have, but which he did not want to have, ...
— Henry Hudson - A Brief Statement Of His Aims And His Achievements • Thomas A. Janvier

... the exigencies of the campaign permitted. Instead of these funds, so greatly needed, came the tidings of a Union defeat, with her husband's name down among the missing. Beyond that brief mention, so horrible in its vagueness, she had never heard a word from the one who not only sustained her home, but also her heart. Was he languishing in a Southern prison, or, mortally wounded, had he lingered out some terrible hours on that wild battlefield, a brief description of which had been so dwelt upon by her morbid ...
— Taken Alive • E. P. Roe

... played with any more "because of Lord Coombe" set a spark to a train. After that time she used to ask occasional carefully considered questions of Dowson and Mademoiselle Valle, which puzzled them by their vagueness. The two women were mutually troubled by a moody habit she developed of sitting absorbed in her own thoughts, and with a concentrated little frown drawing her brows together. They did not know that she was silently ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... it would be useful if we could get rid of the terms education, civilization, &c., and substitute that of knowledge. It would obviate much controversy, for the greater part of our disputes arise from the vagueness of the terms we use. All would agree that certain branches of knowledge are useful to certain classes, and that certain modes are the best for imparting them. The subject is deeply interesting and important; but I ...
— A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II • William Sleeman

... unused sense than by either sight or sound; for the pale, short-radius glare of the Pentacle gave but a very poor light for seeing by. Yet, as I stared, something began slowly to grow upon my sight—a moving shadow, a little darker than the surrounding shadows. I lost the thing amid the vagueness, and for a moment or two I glanced swiftly from side to side, with a fresh, new sense of impending danger. Then my attention was directed to the bed. All the covering's were being drawn steadily off, with a hateful, stealthy ...
— Carnacki, The Ghost Finder • William Hope Hodgson

... beach, where the scarcely discernible crabs, with persistency as eternal as the sea, are strewing the way with millions of tell-tale pellets, the track, skirting swamps, following the bends of a river, passing through forest and jungle, is lost in vagueness ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... And now, you see, I had narrowed the field down considerably. The possession of a grey garment was a third point which, granting the son's statement to be correct, was a certainty. We have come now out of mere vagueness to the definite conception of an Australian from Ballarat ...
— The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... a dinner at the shortest notice, and his mayonnaise would have raised the envy of many a professor in England. His English varied like his dishes, and upon certain days there was a considerable vagueness in his language, while at other times he expressed himself clearly. Upon one of these foggy intervals I asked him "Why the people had made so much noise during the night?" and he replied, that "A little hen-horse had made one child in the stable!" ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... told him that he saw nothing, absolutely nothing, upon which the Council could deliberate; that there was vagueness in all he had said. "Explain yourself; reveal the plot which you say you were ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, v3 • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... volley was fired from somewhere, a cloud of white smoke was coiling in front of the window at which Roma stood, and women and children in the vagueness below ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... whole history of the French Parliaments scarcely records any transaction more disgraceful than his acquittal. For some months the affair continued to furnish pretext to obscure libellers to calumniate the Queen with insinuations not less offensive than dangerous from their vagueness; all such writers finding a ready paymaster in the ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... case of reed, so with raffia before constructing with it, pass a piece to each child and give the life history of the plant. Madagascar may be a name only to the small child, but the very vagueness of his knowledge concerning it may cause him to realize the distance of the island from us and appreciate that this simple material with which he is working has traveled thousands of miles to bring him a story ...
— Construction Work for Rural and Elementary Schools • Virginia McGaw

... characters; but there are no engravings which present this perfection, and your style will be best formed, therefore, by alternate study of Rembrandt and Durer. Lean rather to Durer; it is better for amateurs to err on the side of precision than on that of vagueness: and though, as I have just said, you cannot copy a Durer, yet try every now and then a quarter of an inch square or so, and see how much nearer you can come; you cannot possibly try to draw the leafly crown ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... trace the same primitive intuitions in languages exuberant in figurative expressions; and a few of the best chosen symbols engendered by the happy inspiration of the earliest ages, having by degrees lost their vagueness through a better mode of interpretation, are still preserved ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... The vagueness of the ca had a dreadful quality in it that made you see trees and mangled bodies. "We had to hold the crest of Douaumont under a terrible fire, and clear the craters on the slope when the Germans tried to fortify them. Our 'seventy-fives' dropped shells into the big craters as I would drop ...
— A Volunteer Poilu • Henry Sheahan

... realized the night before that he would be immediately dismissed and sent home in disgrace; but her dream, and the glimpse she had caught of her uncle and the observant stranger, who, as she saw, still maintained his position, suggested worse consequences, whose very vagueness made them ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... can be prompted by nature, without going to the length of "vision," still less of ecstasy. But the stress now lies on the words—"a grade between the symbolical type and the mystic type." Kingsley evidently realised the insufficiency of symbolism to meet his demands, while he shrank from the vagueness of what was called Mysticism. Objects for him had a meaning in their own right, and he was casting about for a fitting term to express this fact. He also distinctly states that to him, "Everything seems to be full of God's reflex." Once grant that Nature Mysticism, as denned ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... for vagueness and cloudiness here—no technical skill, no apt dialogue nor concentration, any more than "fine speeches," as Mr Pinero calls them. Now the dramatic demand and the ethical demand here meet and take each other's hands, and ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... that exquisite precision in the choice of words, which never seems to be precise, but has all the aspect of absolute freedom. Through his language his thought bursts upon the mind as a landscape is seen instantly, perfectly, and beautifully from a mountain height. A little vagueness of thought, a slight infelicity in the choice of words would be like a cloud upon the mountain, obscuring the scene with a damp and chilling mist. Let anyone try the experiment with a poem like Gray's "Elegy," or Goldsmith's "Traveller" or "Deserted Village," ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... so often been associated in recent years with vagueness of thought, slovenly construction, and a weak sentimentalism, that it has been discredited, even among those who have recognised the reality behind it and the great place it must hold in all rich and noble living. It is the misfortune of what is called Idealism, ...
— Books and Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... defined, the food, clothing, and other articles set aside for the consumption of the labourer, together with the materials and instruments of production. This definition appears to us peculiarly liable to misapprehension; and much vagueness and some narrow views have, we conceive, occasionally resulted from its being interpreted with too mechanical an adherence to the literal meaning ...
— Essays on some unsettled Questions of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... considered, disreputable, and it is surely no accident that the man of God, whose message and fate are thus strangely told, is anonymous, though, as the opponent of the famous Jeroboam I, the leader of the disruption, he ought to have been well known. The vagueness and improbabilities of the story can only be accounted for by its very late date. Fortunately we are able to show that the story is, at the earliest, post-exilic. As we have already seen, there is an ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... alertness gave way quickly to a habitual vagueness. "You oughtn't to be out alone ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... Botticelli undoubtedly were affected by a similar intuition of the Antique; but they were diverted from its thorough investigation by the manifold other problems of painting as distinguished from sculpture, and by the vagueness, the unconsciousness of great creative activity: the antique became one of the influences in their development, helping very quietly to enlarge ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... pursued by rice and rejoicings—and ridicule from the little boys in the street by the awning—the newly-married couple drove to the station, 'en route,' as the papers said, with delightful vagueness, 'for the Continent.' ...
— Love's Shadow • Ada Leverson

... was gone; and the book lay there between her knees, all its technical vagueness menacing her with unknown terrors; and she felt that she could endure it ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers



Words linked to "Vagueness" :   fuzziness, softness, unclearness, blurriness, indistinctness, fogginess, vague, haziness



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