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Circumscribe   Listen
verb
Circumscribe  v. t.  (past & past part. circumscribed; pres. part. circumscribing)  
1.
To write or engrave around. (R.) "Thereon is circumscribed this epitaph."
2.
To inclose within a certain limit; to hem in; to surround; to bound; to confine; to restrain. "To circumscribe royal power."
3.
(Geom.) To draw a line around so as to touch at certain points without cutting. See Inscribe, 5.
Synonyms: To bound; limit; restrict; confine; abridge; restrain; environ; encircle; inclose; encompass.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Circumscribe" Quotes from Famous Books



... clay may circumscribe my sphere; Yet in confinement I may labor still In work which harmonizes with Thy will, And e'er rejoice ...
— Gleams of Sunshine - Optimistic Poems • Joseph Horatio Chant

... But in the depth of winter, when Nature lies despoiled of every charm, and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn our gratifications to moral sources. The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in also our feelings from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle. Our thoughts are more concentrated; our friendly sympathies more aroused. We feel more sensibly the ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... "I speak, nor what thou wouldst inquire demand; For I have mark'd it, where all time and place Are present. Not for increase to himself Of good, which may not be increas'd, but forth To manifest his glory by its beams, Inhabiting his own eternity, Beyond time's limit or what bound soe'er To circumscribe his being, as he will'd, Into new natures, like unto himself, Eternal Love unfolded. Nor before, As if in dull inaction torpid lay. For not in process of before or aft Upon these waters mov'd the Spirit of God. Simple ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... to which every other should be subordinated; it follows, that the love of human applause must be manifestly injurious, so far as it tends to draw down our regards to earthly concerns, and to bound and circumscribe our desires within the narrow limits of this world. Particularly, that it is impure, so far as it is tinctured with a disposition to estimate too highly, and love too well, the good ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... eve When thou wert crimson with the crimson sky, Lovers have gazed upon thee, and have thought Their mingled lives should flow as peacefully And brightly as thy waters. Here the sage, Gazing into thy self-replenished depth, Has seen eternal order circumscribe And bound the motions of eternal change, And from the gushing of thy simple fount Has reasoned ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... part, I never can, and never will! I admire Wordsworth; as who does not, whatever they may pretend? but for that short sentence I have a lingering ill-will at him which I cannot get rid of. It is surely presumption in any man to circumscribe all human excellence within the narrow sphere of his own capacity. The 'Where are they?' was too bad! I have always some hopes that De Quincey was leeing, for I did not myself ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19, No. 543, Saturday, April 21, 1832. • Various

... capricious when papa's so anxious. Do say what you saw!" Thus urged by his sister, the blind man describes the occurrence from his point of view, carefully and conscientiously. The care and conscience are chiefly needed to limit and circumscribe a sudden image of a lady of irreproachable demeanour besieged by an unexpected dog. So sudden that it merely appeared as a fact in space, without a background or a foothold. It came and went in a flash, Adrian said, ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... rejected for no other reason, but because we have been accustomed to the evils so long. But let public error be tolerated in human society; in the kingdom of God nothing but his eternal truth should he heard and regarded, which no succession of years, no custom, no confederacy, can circumscribe. Thus Isaiah once taught the chosen people of God: "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy:" that is, that they should not unite in the wicked consent of the people; ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... Chagrined with this resistance, Lincoln transferred the militia to Moultrie, and, at the head of about 2000 troops of the regular service, he marched up the country to Augusta, proposing by this course to circumscribe the progress of the enemy in that quarter. Taking advantage of this movement, by which the regular troops were withdrawn from the seaboard, the British General, Prevost, immediately crossed the Savannah with the intention of surprising Moultrie, who, with 1200 militia-men, lay at Black ...
— The Life of Francis Marion • William Gilmore Simms

... Hornibrook's library; he came at three in the afternoon, and sat talking till nearly six. Not a few Polterham matrons would have considered that proceeding highly improper, but such a thought never occurred to Denzil; and Mrs. Wade would have spoken her mind very distinctly to any one who wished to circumscribe female freedom in such respects. They had conversed on a great variety of subjects with unflagging animation. Since then he had not ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... account; none could derive any exclusive benefit from their previous or superior knowledge; and in the common improvement, they stood on the same level of relative power and military science. Nor was it possible to circumscribe the secret within the pale of the church; it was disclosed to the Turks by the treachery of apostates and the selfish policy of rivals; and the sultans had sense to adopt, and wealth to reward, the talents of a Christian engineer. The Genoese, who transported Amurath into Europe, must ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... a cause of many unnecessary Processes. For when I consider how short were the Lawes of antient times; and how they grew by degrees still longer; me thinks I see a contention between the Penners, and Pleaders of the Law; the former seeking to circumscribe the later; and the later to evade their circumscriptions; and that the Pleaders have got the Victory. It belongeth therefore to the Office of a Legislator, (such as is in all Common-wealths the Supreme Representative, be it one Man, ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... returned the naturalist, clearing his throat in some intellectual confusion at the vigorous attack of his companion, "your deductions, if admitted by the world, would sadly circumscribe the efforts of reason, and much ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... Arctic night By X times ox times moose, And build an igloo on the site Of its hypotenuse; If we circumscribe an arc about An Arctic dog and weigh A segment of it, every doubt Is made as clear as day. We also get the price of ice F. ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... substances are not essentially laboratory products. The laboratory combines, it does not create anything. These substances are scattered throughout nature. In their free state, they surround and enter into us, they determine our will, they circumscribe our freedom of device, which is merely the illusion engendered within us by the ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... temple at Jerusalem—the world, it must be remembered, was supposed to have that very oblong form,[66] which has been here symbolized. If, for instance, on a map of the world we should inscribe an oblong figure whose boundary lines would circumscribe and include just that portion which was known to be inhabited in the clays of Solomon, these lines, running a short distance north and south of the Mediterranean Sea, and extending from Spain in the west to Asia Minor in the east, would form an oblong square, including ...
— The Symbolism of Freemasonry • Albert G. Mackey

... Naval Transport, were of the party. Sir J. French with Sir W. Robertson, his Chief of the General Staff, and Sir H. Wilson came up from St. Omer. It was by no means a satisfactory meeting. We from the War Office in London desired to circumscribe British participation in this new side-show to the utmost, and to keep the whole business as far as possible within limits; but we got uncommonly little support from G.H.Q. Sir W. Robertson expressed no opinion, nor was he called ...
— Experiences of a Dug-out, 1914-1918 • Charles Edward Callwell

... Society should purchase the greatest possible amount of territory, at the present moment, and thus enlarge the sphere of influence which the republic exerts over the natives, and put it beyond the power of the nations, adverse to her interests, to circumscribe her in the noble efforts she is making ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... case, in which a high social function is, for important reasons, bestowed on birth instead of being put up to competition, all free nations contrive to adhere in substance to the principle from which they nominally derogate; for they circumscribe this high function by conditions avowedly intended to prevent the person to whom it ostensibly belongs from really performing it; while the person by whom it is performed, the responsible minister, does obtain the post by a competition from which no full-grown citizen ...
— The Subjection of Women • John Stuart Mill

... commenced with regard to them, and it is to be hoped that increasing wisdom and liberality of ideas may clear away some of the remaining obstacles which for so long encumbered, and even yet impede and circumscribe within a very narrow circle, the natural course of their commerce. For the Spanish Government are far from following a similar policy to that of the great Henry the Fourth of France, who, as an encouragement to the manufacturing industry of the country, rewarded ...
— Recollections of Manilla and the Philippines - During 1848, 1849 and 1850 • Robert Mac Micking

... must have partaken of that purity and that elevation—and that it may now be a far holier and more sacred inspiration, than when it was fabled to be the gift of Apollo and the Muses. We may not circumscribe its sphere. To what cerulean heights shall not the wing of Poetry soar? Into what dungeon-gloom shall she not descend? If such be her powers and privileges, shall she not be the servant and minister ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... familiar with the imperative laws and lines which circumscribe the fashionable world will realize just how marked a departure it was. It was a remarkable party. The very highest and most sought after of the fashionable world were there, a few of them, and John Warden was there in his new business suit of grey, looking ...
— The Chautauqua Girls At Home • Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden

... it is difficult to circumscribe the dominion of Attila over the Scythian deserts: yet we may be assured that he reigned on the banks of the Volga; that the King of the Huns was dreaded, not only as a warrior, but as a magician; ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... so low, what shall it say but this? 'Here is the change beginning, here the lines Circumscribe beauty, set to bliss The limit time ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... established the fact not only of a future intention to infringe the rights of the emancipated classes, but of the actual commencement and extensive progress of a Colonial system for that purpose. The object of the laws is to circumscribe the market for free labour—to prohibit the possession or sale of ordinary articles of produce on sale, the obvious intention of which is to confine the emancipated classes to a course of agricultural servitude—to give the employers a monopoly of labour, and ...
— West Indian Fables by James Anthony Froude Explained by J. J. Thomas • J. J. (John Jacob) Thomas

... felt as to the stability of some portions of the south side, and it has been found necessary to underpin some of the buttresses of the Choir and the walls of the Transept with large slabs of Yorkshire stone. It has also been deemed desirable to circumscribe the two round towers of the south west ...
— Ely Cathedral • Anonymous

... said, veering round. "You are quite right to circumscribe me. There is nothing so boring as the gratitude that will out. It is only the absence of it, too plainly expressed, that is unpleasant. But you won't find that in me either." She gave him a smile as she lowered her parasol to turn into the shop of Lahiri Dey, ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... had giv'n: For finding equall happy man, Th' impatient pow'rs snatch it agen. Thus, chaste as th' ayre whither shee's fled, She, making her celestiall bed In her warme alablaster, lay As cold is in this house of clay: Nor were the rooms unfit to feast Or circumscribe this angel-guest; The radiant gemme was brightly set In as divine a carkanet; Of which the clearer was not knowne, Her minde or her complexion. Such an everlasting grace, Such a beatifick face, Incloysters here this narrow floore, That ...
— Lucasta • Richard Lovelace

... one of the most serious obstacles to the furtherance of his enterprise: the stubborn hostility of the Sandstone County mountaineers. To the gentlest of them it meant changes that would make game scarcer and circumscribe and belittle their consciously small and circumscribed lives; to the wilder sort it meant an invasion of aliens who had never come before for other purpose than to break up their stills and drag them to jail. ...
— John March, Southerner • George W. Cable

... Lancs., and ascertained that my property there may be made very valuable, but various circumstances very much circumscribe my exertions at present. I shall be in town on business in the beginning of November, and perhaps at Cambridge before the end of this month; but of my movements you shall be regularly apprised. Your objections I have in part ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... words that have been naturalized: scribe, prescribe, ascribe, proscribe, transcribe, circumscribe, subscriber, indescribable, scribble, script, scripture, postscript, conscript, rescript, manuscript, nondescript, inscription, superscription, description. It is clear that these words are each other's kith and kin in blood, and that the strain or stock common to all is scribe or (as sometimes ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... irrational stubbornness, that may well astound us when we think of the noble genius that he thus wished to confine to paltry personal duties, he persisted that Burke should bind himself to his service for life, and to the exclusion of other interests. "To circumscribe my hopes," cried Burke, "to give up even the possibility of liberty, to annihilate myself for ever!" He threw up the pension, which he had held for two years, and declined all further connection with Hamilton, whom he roundly described ...
— Burke • John Morley

... environment. And so long as he can keep himself clear of the "external relation," to use Mr. Herbert Spencer's phraseology, he has much less difficulty with the "internal relation." The ill-tempered person, on the other hand, can make very little of his environment. However he may attempt to circumscribe it in certain directions, there will always remain a wide and ever-changing area to stimulate his irascibility. His environment, in short, is an inconstant quantity, and his most elaborate calculations and precautions must often ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... has authority to circumscribe the inalienable right of Ireland to the largest measure of national self-government it may be ...
— Ireland Since Parnell • Daniel Desmond Sheehan

... subordination to the voluntary author of his existence; but as the act of generation, in the most spiritual and abstracted sense, must be supposed to transmit the properties of a common nature, they durst not presume to circumscribe the powers or the duration of the Son of an eternal and omnipotent Father. Fourscore years after the death of Christ, the Christians of Bithynia, declared before the tribunal of Pliny, that they invoked him as a god: and his ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... in regard to the territorial bills and the fugitive slave law the South had gained all it could reasonably claim. The effect of these measures, Mr. Clay thought, would be to allay agitation and pacify and harmonize the country. At all events it will greatly circumscribe the field of agitation: for none of these measures can be opened for renewed action except the fugitive slave bill; and when the dispute is narrowed down to that single ground the slaveholding States have ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... wept, By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. Some minds are tempered happily, and mixt With such ingredients of good sense and taste Of what is excellent in man, they thirst With such a zeal to be what they approve, That no restraints can circumscribe them more Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. Nor can example hurt them. What they see Of vice in others but enhancing more The charms of virtue in their just esteem. If such escape contagion, and emerge Pure, ...
— The Task and Other Poems • William Cowper

... colony, but also employed and protected officers ten times more tyrannical than themselves. When the whole legislature complained of Chief Justice Trott, they paid no regard to their complaints, and absolutely refused to circumscribe his jurisdiction, or remove him from the bench. In times of imminent danger, when the colony applied to them for assistance, they were either unable or unwilling to bear the expence of its protection. When ...
— An Historical Account Of The Rise And Progress Of The Colonies Of South Carolina And Georgia, Volume 1 • Alexander Hewatt

... measurement intermediate between a long and moderate human step or pace, between the third of the length of the body of a tall and short man, etc. etc. Professor Smyth has collected several of the estimations thus adduced by Newton as "methods of approach" to circumscribe the length of the Sacred Cubit, and omitted others. Adding to eight of these alleged data, what he mistakingly avers to be Sir Isaac's deduction of the actual length of the Sacred Cubit in British inches—(namely, 24.82 instead ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... of toughs or draw no pay. The Mayor and Council were paralyzed in a double sense: by the wild audacity of this proposal, and by their memory of recent threats of the thug-leaders that they would massacre the Council to a man if any further attempts were made to circumscribe their activities. Some were openly for declining the offer, but in the end a majority gained heart of Stoudenmayer's own hardihood ...
— The Red-Blooded Heroes of the Frontier • Edgar Beecher Bronson

... which it is foreign to the purpose of this treatise to anatomize. The basis of this relation is, undoubtedly, a periodical recurrence of masses of ideas, which our voluntary determinations have, in one peculiar direction, no power to circumscribe or to arrest, and against the recurrence of which they can only imperfectly provide. The irresistible laws of thought constrain us to believe that the precise limits of our actual ideas are not the actual limits of possible ideas; ...
— A Defence of Poetry and Other Essays • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... wish I could give you their lucubrations on ideas and incorporeals, on finite and infinite. Over that point, now, there is fierce battle; some circumscribe the All, others will have it unlimited. At the same time they declare for a plurality of worlds, and speak scornfully of others who make only one. And there is a bellicose person who maintains that war is the father of the universe. [Footnote: ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... constituted the whole apparatus. The knife, which was not very heavily weighted, was of small dimensions and had a curved edge, which gave it the form of a reversed Phrygian cap. No hood was placed to shelter the King's head and at the same time to hide and circumscribe its fall. All that crowd could see the head of Louis XVI. drop, and it was thanks to chance, thanks perhaps to the smallness of the knife which diminished the violence of the shock, that it did not bound beyond the basket to the pavement. Terrible incident, which often ...
— The Memoirs of Victor Hugo • Victor Hugo

... which is as much as to say that it expresses a new attitude of will in the presence of a world better understood and turned to some purpose. The limits of reflection mark those of concerted and rational action; they circumscribe the field of cumulative experience, or, what is the same ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... immediately set to work, and four ship carpenters attached to the battalion, for the purpose of directing and completing this necessary undertaking. In prosecuting it, however, so many difficulties occurred, that we were fain to circumscribe our original intention; and, instead of eight houses, content ourselves with four. And even these, from the badness of the timber, the scarcity of artificers, and other impediments, are, at the day on which I write, so ...
— A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay • Watkin Tench

... The decision to circumscribe the use of economic sanctions against off-base discrimination made sense. Closing a base because of discrimination in nearby communities was practically if not politically impossible and might conceivably become ...
— Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 • Morris J. MacGregor Jr.

... the ethical fulness and symmetry of character, which all should seek; and when science shall be advanced far beyond the barriers that circumscribe it at present, men and women will seek the profound and intuitive anthropologist for consultation, as they now seek the physician ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... for my good. Shall I not then say, It is well? What if it exceeded all the Stretch of my Thoughts, to conceive how it could, in any Instance, be so? What are my narrow Conceptions, that they should pretend to circumscribe infinite Wisdom, Faithfulness, and Mercy? Let me rather, with Abraham, give Glory to God, and ...
— Submission to Divine Providence in the Death of Children • Phillip Doddridge

... curtailed within the inexorable limits of possibility. They have only begun to discover how narrow these limits are to them. Unexpected obstacles have arisen on every side, and the soaring purposes of the rebellion have vainly beaten their bruised and wearied wings against the solid walls which circumscribe them within the humble limits of their present uncertain hopes and expectations. The Federal Government, on the other hand, has not changed its purpose, as avowed in the beginning, to restore the national authority, in its unity and integrity, over the whole country. The prospect of accomplishing ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 1, July, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... himself, are perishable and frail; and in the boundless annals of time his life and his labors must equally be measured as a fleeting moment. Of a simple and solid edifice it is not easy, however, to circumscribe the duration. As the wonder of ancient days, the Pyramids attracted the curiosity of the ancients: a hundred generations, the leaves of autumn, have dropt into the grave; and after the fall of the Pharaohs and Ptolemies, ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IV (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland II • Various

... were not based on traditional doctrine. Where observed fact conflicts with theory, the fact cannot be ignored. Credulity of physicians, he indicated, may do the world "more mischief" than any other profession, but nevertheless he condemned those who would try to "circumscribe, or confine the operations of nature, and not so much as allow themselves or others to try, whether it be possible for nature, excited and managed by art, to perform divers things, which they never yet saw done, or work by divers ways, differing from any, which by the common principles, that are ...
— Medical Investigation in Seventeenth Century England - Papers Read at a Clark Library Seminar, October 14, 1967 • Charles W. Bodemer

... workmen, and he should, as soon as he has collected the necessary facts, form estimates of his own, before he hears the calculation of others: this power of estimating will be of great advantage to gentlemen: it will circumscribe their wishes, and it will protect them against the low frauds ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... area in the middle of the marshes. The body, wrapped up in coarse matting, was placed upon a heap of reeds and rushes saturated with bitumen: a brick wall, coated with moist clay, was built around this to circumscribe the action of the flames, and, the customary prayers having been recited, the pile was set on fire, masses of fresh material, together with the funerary furniture and usual viaticum, being added to the pyre. When the work of cremation was considered to be complete, the fire was extinguished, ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 3 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... put himself in the place of all his puppets in the various situations in which he places them. It is impossible that he should change his organs, which are the sole intermediary between external life and ourselves, which constrain us by their perceptions, circumscribe our sensibilities, and create in each of us a soul essentially dissimilar to all those about us. Our purview and knowledge of the world, and our ideas of life, are acquired by the aid of our senses, and we cannot help transferring ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... flight in convex parabolic curves, wherein resistance is overcome by a minimum of force; and elastic surfaces obey the converse of that law in opposing certain external influences. It is a property of conic sections that a straight line, centred in the apex, and caused to circumscribe the surface of the cone, will apply itself continuously to all consecutive parabolic curves. Hence curves similar to the flight of projectiles, and to those formed by the flection of elastic surfaces, may ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, Vol. II • Thomas Lord Cochrane

... the boundless night. A rod away its poor, futile glimmer against such mighty odds was understood, standing there with no encompassing walls to mark the boundary of its field. It was like the struggle of a man who stands alone in the vastness of life with no definite aim to circumscribe his endeavor, wasting his feeble illumination upon a ...
— Claim Number One • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... however, and it is from these that Hamsun's problems spring. A man may prosper or suffer by being himself, and in neither case is the fault his own. There are factors that more or less fatally influence and circumscribe the supremely important factor that is his own self. Roughly these fall into three groups suggestive of three classes of relationships: (1) between man and his general environment; (2) between man and that ever-present force of life which we call love; and (3) between man ...
— Pan • Knut Hamsun

... nature whereof we speak is made known by its independency of those limitations which circumscribe us on every hand. The soul circumscribes all things. As I have said, it contradicts all experience. In like manner it abolishes time and space. The influence of the senses has in most men overpowered the mind to that degree that the walls of time and space ...
— Essays, First Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... At the time it was given Abraham had, by command, offered his only son Isaac, which offering, to all human appearance, would leave the old patriarch again childless; but his faith staggered not, for human incompetence does not circumscribe the bounds of Divine sufficience. The God who commanded Abraham to offer, recalled the command at a certain stage of the fulfilment, counting the faith of Abraham for righteousness. In Abraham's faith Isaac was really sacrificed; hence the ...
— The Lost Ten Tribes, and 1882 • Joseph Wild

... within four walls of painted canvas; they begin to shock once they describe an attack of asthma or a steak burning below stairs; they never penetrate beneath the flow of social concealments and urbanities to the passions that actually move men and women to their acts, and the great forces that circumscribe and condition personality. So obvious a piece of reporting as Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" or Robert Herrick's "Together" makes a sensation; the appearance of a "Jennie Gerhardt" or a "Hagar Revelly" brings forth a growl of astonishment ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... sciences—I mean the positive sciences—divide different objects thus between them, philosophy cannot, in its turn, come forward as a particular science, having a distinct object, the designation of which would be sufficient to characterise and circumscribe it. Such was always the traditional conception: such will ours continue to be. For, as a matter of fact, every object has a philosophy and all matter can be regarded philosophically. In short, philosophy is chiefly a way ...
— A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson • Edouard le Roy

... fact that she was tall—"regular bean-pole" her brother had taunted her with being—and Grace—well, she had slapped him. But this was some years ago. But now, with the newer styles that seem to forbid the existence of hips, and with skirts that so circumscribe the steps that fast walking is impossible, Grace fitted in perfectly. She was artistically tall and slender, which fact none knew ...
— The Outdoor Girls of Deepdale • Laura Lee Hope

... boundary between the Indian Territory and Texas, to the one hundredth degree of longitude west from Greenwich, and with that meridian south, to the Rio Grande and the Gulf—dividing the western from the eastern half of Texas—we circumscribe very fairly the exact region of country in which the slaveholding epidemic is violent and intense, and throw within the limits of the great Northern Republic all of the region in which freedom is already established, and all that in which, as above stated, there was ...
— The Continental Monthly, Volume V. Issue I • Various

... the solution of the problem seems farther away than ever, we must be candid and seek the cause of failure in the methods that we have been using. In the past, the white man's idea of the solution has been contrary to the Negro's idea. The white man has been trying to circumscribe the Negro's sphere, at the same time, the Negro has been trying to know the truth which would make him free; yet, both claim to be trying to solve the same problem. Before a satisfactory solution of the ...
— Twenty-Five Years in the Black Belt • William James Edwards

... the Cardinal to accede to a reconciliation with his long-estranged benefactress; but he soon silenced these natural impulses to dwell only upon the dangers of her reappearance in France, which could not, as he believed, fail to circumscribe his own absolute power—a power to which he had laboriously attained not more by genius than by crime—which had been cemented by blood, and heralded by groans. Nor was this the only consideration by which Richelieu was swayed when he resolved that ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... grown up from the seed thus planted, that has established our relations among ourselves over our wide heritage, and established our relations with the rest of the world, what is its outlook to-day? What is it in the sense of material prosperity? Who can measure it? Who can circumscribe it? Who can, except by the simple rule of three, which never errs, determine its progress? As the early settlement of Plymouth is to the United States of America, as it now is, so is the United States ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O • Various

... stand alone Had once again to work its brain And made an axe—an axe of stone! The stone-axe tribe would hold first place; And ruled the rest where'er it went. Because then—as to-day—the race Was first that had best armament. But human brain expanding more (Its limits none can circumscribe); The stone-axe crowd went down before The more developed bronze-axe tribe. Then shields came in to quickly show Their party victors in the strife: By warding off the vicious blow And giving warriors longer life. The tribe's wise men would urge at length, ...
— The Sequel - What the Great War will mean to Australia • George A. Taylor

... further to circumscribe the chances of passion interfering with the judgment, not only of the captain, but of the officer who makes the complaint, as well as the witnesses and other parties concerned, I think it should be directed, that all offences whatsoever are to be inquired into between ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... circumscribe the Bed of Death have other emblems carved upon them too; there is a double frieze of oak above the pillars, and on it appears the skull and crossbones, the spade and mattock, the fragments of pitiful ...
— The Story of Rouen • Sir Theodore Andrea Cook

... lost by the unlettered writers of their own wills: and it has often been said, that were the matter to begin again, it should be decided that such a devise should carry a fee simple, as every body is sensible testators intend, by these expressions. The courts, therefore, circumscribe the authority of this chain of decisions, all hanging on the first link, as much as possible; and they avail themselves of every possible circumstance which may render any new case unlike the old one, and authorize them to conform their judgments to common sense, and the will of the testator. ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... enough we find government nearly everywhere in the hands of a King and privileged class. In its earlier stages the constitutional struggle was between monarchy and aristocracy, the King seeking to make his authority supreme and the nobility seeking to limit and circumscribe it. Accordingly, government oscillated between monarchy and aristocracy, a strong and ambitious King getting the reins of government largely in his own hands, while the aristocracy encroached upon ...
— The Spirit of American Government - A Study Of The Constitution: Its Origin, Influence And - Relation To Democracy • J. Allen Smith

... I attempt to lay down on the theological chart the road-place to which my bark has drifted, and to mark the spot and circumscribe the space within which I swing at anchor, let me first thank you for, and then attempt to answer, the objections—or at least the questions—which you have ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... contempt for their religion; of her determination to reduce them to absolute slavery; of the preliminary measures she had already taken by erecting forts upon many of the great rivers of their neighborhood; of the ulterior intentions she thus announced to circumscribe their pastoral lands, until they would all be obliged to renounce their flocks, and to collect in towns like Sarepta, there to pursue mechanical and servile trades of shoemaker, tailor, and weaver, such as the freeborn ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... threatened by foreign invaders, the burghers, occupied only with their immediate interests, bestow no thought upon the advancing foe, and when the king requires their aid, they quarrel among themselves, and thus, as it were, conspire with the enemy. Far better is it to circumscribe their power, to control and guide them for their good, as children are controlled and guided. Trust me, a people grows neither old nor wise, a people remains ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... not like to talk or even to think of the horrors which followed. Daylight had now come on, but all around was gloom, the dark clouds appearing like a pall just above our heads, and hanging round on either side, so as to circumscribe the horizon to the narrowest limits. Here and there I occasionally thought that I saw a few dark spots, which might have been the boats and rafts, or ...
— Tales of the Sea - And of our Jack Tars • W.H.G. Kingston

... which were sealed up and might not be opened, the other two being read by the Bramins only. They say that there are seven orbs, above which is the seat of God; and they hold that God knoweth not of petty things, or, if he doth, regardeth them not. They circumscribe God in place or dimensions, alleging that he may be seen, but far off as in a mist, and not near or clearly. They believe in the existence of devils or evil spirits; but that they are so bound in chains, as to be incapable of doing hurt. They call man Adam, from the first ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume IX. • Robert Kerr

... the royal council ever since the conclusion of the peace. The extreme Roman Catholics, recognizing the instability of Catharine, had long since begun to base their hopes upon Henry of Anjou's influence. Their opponents accepted the issue, and resolved to circumscribe the duke's inordinate powers. Three of the marshals of France—Montmorency, his brother Damville, and Vieilleville—presented themselves at a meeting of the royal council held in the queen mother's sick-chamber (on the second of May, 1568), to remonstrate against Anjou's retaining the office ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... of Action. With respect to the Unity of Time, we find in Aristotle no more than the following passage: "Moreover, the Epos is distinguished from Tragedy by its length: for the latter seeks as far as possible to circumscribe itself within one revolution of the sun, or to exceed it but little; the Epos is unlimited in point of time, and in that respect differs from Tragedy. At first, however, the case was in this respect alike ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... government; for to attempt to render the representative of the State a powerful sovereign, and at the same time elective, is, in my opinion, to entertain two incompatible designs. To reduce hereditary royalty to the condition of an elective authority, the only means that I am acquainted with are to circumscribe its sphere of action beforehand, gradually to diminish its prerogatives, and to accustom the people to live without its protection. Nothing, however, is further from the designs of the republicans of ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... illustrious mistress the lady Elizabeth shines like a star, excelling them more by the splendor of her virtues and her learning, than by the glory of her royal birth. In the variety of her commendable qualities, I am less perplexed to find matter for the highest panegyric than to circumscribe that panegyric within just bounds. Yet I shall mention nothing respecting her but what has come under my ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... emotions, and are indeed the word. There are moments in Debussy's work when each note opens a prospect. There are moments when the music of "Pelleas," the fine fluid line of sound, the melodic moments that merge and pass and vanish into one another, become the gleaming rims that circumscribe vast darkling forms. There are portions of the drama that are like the moments of human intercourse when single syllables unseal deep reservoirs. The tenderness manifest here is scarcely to be duplicated in musical art. And tenderness, after all, ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... Church to whom he ought as a Magistrate (Isaiah XLIS. 23) 'to bow down with his face toward the earth and lick up the dust of her feet,'—her to subject to his political drifts and conceived opinions by mastering her revenue, and so by his examinant Committees to circumscribe her free election of ministers,—is neither just nor pious: no honour done to the Church, ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... World unborn; 220 For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine Follow'd in bright procession to behold Creation, and the wonders of his might. Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe This Universe, and all created things: One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd Round through the vast profunditie obscure, And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds, 230 This be thy just Circumference, O World. Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth, Matter unform'd and void: ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... fit and unwalled temple, there to seek The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak Upreared of human hands. Come, and compare Columns and idol-dwellings—Goth or Greek— With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air— Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... great attention at Thonon, on the other side of the Lake of Geneva; and the bishop was anxious lest these new doctrines should spread, and he himself should get into trouble at Rome on their account. He now wanted to circumscribe Madame Guyon's sphere of influence by getting her to become prioress of a convent at Gex. He evidently thought that by having her here under some restraint, and by keeping her close to the duties of the cloister, he would be able to put a stop to the propagation of her heretical opinions. ...
— Excellent Women • Various

... it is, surely, superfluous to answer the question that has once been asked, whether Pope was a poet? otherwise than by asking in return, if Pope be not a poet, where is poetry to be found? To circumscribe poetry by a definition, will only show the narrowness of the definer, though a definition, which shall exclude Pope, will not easily be made. Let us look round upon the present time, and back upon the past; let us inquire to whom the voice ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... to the hold which the feeling itself has taken of the mind.(1) In new and unknown combinations the impression must act by sympathy, and not by rule, but there can be no sympathy where there is no passion, no original interest. The personal interest may in some cases oppress and circumscribe the imaginative faculty, as in the instance of Rousseau: but in general the strength and consistency of the imagination will be in proportion to the strength and depth of feeling; and it is rarely that a man even of lofty genius will ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... now return to the Vesica Piscis. In the paintings and sculptures of the Middle Ages, we find it constantly used to circumscribe the figure of the Saviour, especially whenever He is represented as judging the world and in His glorified state. Many beautiful examples of this in Anglo-Saxon work of the tenth century may be seen in King Edgar's Book of Grants ...
— Science and the Infinite - or Through a Window in the Blank Wall • Sydney T. Klein

... frequent in the English language, of which the signification is so loose and general, the use so vague and indeterminate, and the senses detorted so widely from the first idea, that it is hard to trace them through the maze of variation, to catch them on the brink of utter inanity, to circumscribe them by any limitations, or interpret them by any words of distinct and settled meaning; such are bear, break, come, cast, fall, get, give, do, put, set, go, run, make, take, turn, throw. If of these the whole power is not accurately delivered, it must be remembered, that while our language is ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... cannot bear, and accordingly he toils and suffers in order that he may gain in stature by transcending his present, in order to become that which he yet is not. In this travail is man's glory, and it is because he knows it, that he has not sought to circumscribe his field of action, but is constantly occupied in extending the bounds. Sometimes he wanders so far that his work tends to lose its meaning, and his rushings to and fro create fearful eddies round different centres—eddies of self-interest, ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... Offer Paradise with that look, and even in the regions of the damned thou wilt find no purchaser. Didst thou know what thou wert to me, Louisa? Impossible! No! thou knewest not that thou wert my all—all! 'Tis a poor insignificant word! but eternity itself can scarcely circumscribe it. Within it systems of worlds can roll their mighty orbs. All! and to sport with it so wickedly. ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... deprecate anticipated public resentment of the liberties that he had taken with Richardson's novel. Yet it is difficult to see why the abundant details of that excellent though protracted narrative should not be curtailed, in order to circumscribe its substance within the limits of a practical drama. Jefferson was blamed for condensing and slightly changing the comedy of The Rivals. Yet the author, who probably knew something about his work, deemed it a wretchedly defective ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... by several minute foramina—from this part of the lateral process there is in many species a prominent ala or keel prolonged to the bottom of the cell—which ala not unfrequently divides into two branches, which, again coalescing at the bottom of the cell, circumscribe a more or less oval space, the bottom of which is also perforated by minute foramina or apparent foramina, and which is often covered over by a transparent convex membrane. This membrane, however, as well ...
— 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

... off the coat and then assisted Nell to circumscribe with the gown, from heels to head, her stunning figure, neatly encased in Adair's habit, which now consisted only of a jaunty shirt of white, gray ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... explain, we can at least discover a reason for temperamental limitation. It is not designed to circumscribe healthful reproduction, but to serve as an effectual hindrance to abnormal deviations. We may state our belief in more positive terms: that the temperamental variations are essential to genesis and fertility, and indispensable to ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... occasion; and, as these laws appeared to him, impolitic, dangerous, and inadequate, he concluded, that it was indispensable for the chambers, immediately to set about framing new laws, which were necessary to check the licentiousness of the press, and circumscribe personal liberty, till internal peace ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. II • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... theories. Thus, prompted by certain analogies, we ascribe electrical phenomena to the action of a peculiar fluid, sometimes flowing, sometimes at rest. Such conceptions have their advantages and their disadvantages; they afford peaceful lodging to the intellect for a time, but they also circumscribe it, and by-and-by, when the mind has grown too large for its lodging, it often finds difficulty in breaking down the walls of what has become its prison ...
— Faraday As A Discoverer • John Tyndall

... task of every Ard-Righ of this and the previous century had been to circumscribe the ambition of the kings of Cashel within Provincial bounds. Whoever ascended the southern throne—whether the warlike Felim or the learned Cormac—we have seen the same policy adopted by them all. The descendants of Heber had tired of the long ascendancy of the race of Heremon, ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... Johnson, whose discriminative criticism reaches perhaps its highest level in his Life of Pope, in reply to the question which had been asked, even in his day, whether Pope was a poet? asks in return, 'If Pope be not a poet, where is poetry to be found?' and adds that 'to circumscribe poetry by a definition will only show the narrowness of the definer, though a definition which shall exclude Pope will not readily be made.' Joseph Warton, too, Johnson's contemporary and friend, while preferring the Romantic School to the Classical, allows that in that species of poetry ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... readily put my neck under the yoke of a national church as under the yoke of a sect. It does not mend the matter that the multitude are willing slaves, and it certainly mars the matter that the sects themselves do what they can, in too many instances, to circumscribe each the other's liberty. Sects are religiously and socially proscribed by sects. Take any town in America that contains half a dozen churches, representing the same number of religious denominations, and it will be found that, with one, and that probably the ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... before I was born, and had continued to do so ever since; and I could not find in my heart to go to another. She commended the book I gave her, Dr. Preston, the Church Marriage; quoted him saying 'twas inconvenient keeping out of a Fashion commonly used. I said the Time and Tide did circumscribe my Visit. She gave me a Dram of Black-Cherry Brandy, and gave me a lump of the Sugar that was in it. She wish'd me a good Journy. I pray'd God to keep her, and came away. Had a very pleasant ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various



Words linked to "Circumscribe" :   lessen, delimitate, trace, delineate, draw, content, geometry, hold down, restrict, describe, keep down, number, delimit



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