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Comprehend   /kˌɑmprihˈɛnd/   Listen
Comprehend

verb
(past & past part. comprehended; pres. part. comprehending)
1.
Get the meaning of something.  Synonyms: apprehend, compass, dig, get the picture, grasp, grok, savvy.
2.
To become aware of through the senses.  Synonym: perceive.
3.
Include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory.  Synonyms: cover, embrace, encompass.  "This should cover everyone in the group"



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"Comprehend" Quotes from Famous Books



... much astonished to comprehend the meaning of what she heard, but she understood it at last, and then with many tears thanked the eccentric woman for what she had done, and asked the reason ...
— Cousin Maude • Mary J. Holmes

... intelligent cause and a natural cause. Chrysippus adds, "If there are no Gods, there is nothing better than man; but we cannot, without the highest arrogance, have this idea of ourselves." Let us grant that it is arrogance in man to think himself better than the world; but to comprehend that he has understanding and reason, and that in Orion and Canicula there is neither, is no arrogance, but an indication of good sense. "Since we suppose," continues he, "when we see a beautiful house, that it was built for ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... that a pure man is a living lie. A more wholesale impeachment of human veracity and a more brutal indignity offered to human nature could scarcely be imagined. Reason never argued thus; the heart has reasons which the reason cannot comprehend. Truth to be loved needs only to be seen. Adversely, it is ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... pardon. I speak the English ver' well; but mordieu if I can comprehend a word as you speak it! Tenez donc—You are ...
— The Blue Pavilions • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... think of the terrific things which the central figure who commanded, and the crews of the fleet of rickety, worn-out, leaky baskets—proudly spoken of as the "wooden walls of Old England"—had to contend with and actually did, that we comprehend the vast strain and task of it all. It was because Nelson was ever being reminded by some clumsy act of the Admiralty or thoughtless, ignorant criticism on the part of the politicians and civilian public generally ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... Doctor," laughed Frank, "now you are beginning to fairly comprehend how we are punishing you for taking advantage of Mamma this afternoon, only it's pleasure instead of pain, old boy. But we thought anyone with such a glorious prick as yours ought not to be too ...
— The Power of Mesmerism - A Highly Erotic Narrative of Voluptuous Facts and Fancies • Anonymous

... claim to comprehend What Nature has in view In giving us the very friend To trust we oughtn't to.— But so it is: The trusty gun Disastrously exploded Is always sure to be the one We didn't ...
— Riley Songs of Home • James Whitcomb Riley

... how this person, who is, I regret to say, but a common, vulgar ignoramus, could have the barefaced effrontery to address an intelligent audience either in his own or an assumed character, I can not comprehend. Needless to say I shall at once take steps to learn the truth, and the impostor shall be made to suffer the extreme penalties of the law providing for the punishment of such flagrant acts against the public ...
— Mixed Faces • Roy Norton

... sea, and there was a low, languid plash of the tide, which could not be seen. Twilight began to deepen the mist. The guide was evidently uneasy; he sidled up to Philip, and began to ask what he—hitherto obstinately deaf and contemptuous to French—was very slow to comprehend. At last he found it was a question how near it was to All Soul's day; and then came an equally amazing query whether the gentlemen's babe had been baptized; for it appeared that on All Soul's day the ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... of this pamphlet had been dispersed, when Lord North stopped the sale, and caused some alterations to be made, for reasons which the author did not himself distinctly comprehend. Johnson's own opinion of these two political essays was, that there was a subtlety of disquisition in the first, that was worth all the fire of the second. When questioned by Boswell as to the truth of a report that they had obtained for him ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... success though in the long run it is destructive in its bearings. But a certain physical efficiency is what Japan surely has and she has made that go a little further than it really can go. It is just one more evidence of the failure of the Peace Conference to comprehend the excuses that Wilson is making for the concessions he has granted to the practical needs, as he calls them. We are now getting the first echoes ...
— Letters from China and Japan • John Dewey

... in his error; but Marcella and I, although we could not comprehend it, were conscious that our mother-in-law was in some way connected ...
— The Phantom Ship • Captain Frederick Marryat

... without troubling yourself in the least about abstractions. And see that your herd is fed and sheltered and stabled as quickly as possible, and that it find gratification of its instincts in the course once marked out. And on the way - heed it well, on the way, not beforehand - teach them to comprehend the object of the fight and what they shall gain. Teach them first to follow and to find gratification in following, and then they will gradually go of their own accord, if it agrees with them, and be less and less in need of guidance. Promise ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... who is ever with me, especially those two mighty ones, His Wisdom and Eternity; with the one I recreate, with the other I confound, my understanding; for who can speak of Eternity without a soloecism, or think thereof without an Extasie? Time we may comprehend; 'tis but five days elder than ourselves, and hath the same Horoscope with the World; but to retire so far back as to apprehend a beginning, to give such an infinite start forwards as to conceive an end in an essence that we affirm hath neither the one nor the ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... development. They will be able also to understand how naturally the phrase, "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights," grew out of these various transactions, as the expression of the demands and grievances which finally drove the United States into hostilities; and will comprehend in what sense these terms were used, and what the wrongs against which they severally protested. "Free Trade" had no relation of opposition to a system of protection to home industries, an idea hardly as yet formulated to consciousness, except by a few advanced ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 1 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... generally understood which is only intelligible to a few. For example, on many of his readers in Spain, and most of his readers out of it, the significance of his choice of a country for his hero is completely lost. It would be going too far to say that no one can thoroughly comprehend "Don Quixote" without having seen La Mancha, but undoubtedly even a glimpse of La Mancha will give an insight into the meaning of Cervantes such as no commentator can give. Of all the regions of Spain it is the last that would suggest the idea ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... celebrated anew, under the direction of the pontiffs; and that the great games, vowed together with it, should be exhibited at the same expense which was customary; that the sacred spring should be deemed to comprehend all the cattle born between the calends of March and the day preceding the calends of May, in the year of the consulate of Publius Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. Then followed the election of censors. Sextus Aelius Paetus, and Caius Cornelius Cethegus, being created censors, ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... intuition, to limit themselves to the mechanism of analytical observation, and substitute their narrow, undirected physiology for biology and psychology,—if then, finding themselves unable by that imperfect method to comprehend the primary laws and origin of things, they childishly deny the existence of such laws, and declare all humanity before their time to have been deluded and incapable,—so be it. Nor should I, had Italy ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... Chapter 5 of dip and strike, of the folding and inversion of strata, of anticlinal and synclinal flexures, and in Chapter 6 of denudation at different periods, whether subaerial or submarine, must be understood before the student can comprehend what may at first seem to him an anomaly, but which it is his business particularly to understand. I allude to the small height above the level of the sea attained by strata often many miles in thickness, ...
— The Student's Elements of Geology • Sir Charles Lyell

... absolutely wild and have no manners at all. Lucky old ogre, to possess twelve such princesses, I thought; but as I looked at the gleam of their limbs as they mocked, and heard their hard laughter, I found him to be but a pitiable old greybeard, for he looked at beauty that he could scarce comprehend and never possess. The beauty of life has power greater than ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... scraps you chance to leave. The beautiful palaces which my father left me as an heirloom, the parks (11) full of trees and beasts of the chase in which my heart rejoiced, lie before my eyes hacked to pieces, burnt to ashes. Maybe I do not comprehend the first principles of justice and holiness; do you then explain to me how all this resembles the conduct of men who know how to repay a simple debt of gratitude." He ceased, and the Thirty were ashamed before ...
— Hellenica • Xenophon

... to be with her dearest brother, all was well with her. She had a noble aim, and her heart was more than full. Later on, this very singleness of character brought her other years of wretchedness. It is necessary to understand the almost spaniel-like allegiance she gave, in order to comprehend the value which her services were to HERSCHEL. She supplied him with an aid which was utterly loyal, entire, and devoted. Her obedience was unquestioning, her reverence amounted almost to adoration. In their relation, he gave everything in the way of incentive and initiative, and she returned ...
— Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works • Edward Singleton Holden

... for he was beginning to comprehend that young Mr. Pike had stepped in and saved him, and that, instead of rebuking Mr. Pike, he should be weeping on his breast ...
— The Slim Princess • George Ade

... this herself, I know. She shocked me the other day, beyond expression, by telling me that she had asked him if he thought she was really fast, and that she was sure he did. Poor child! she evidently did not comprehend the dreadful significance of ...
— A Fair Barbarian • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... moments Mrs. Nichol was too greatly overcome to comprehend anything clearly; her husband, on the other hand, was simply wrought up to his highest capacity for action. His old instinct of authority returned, and he seized his son's hand and began, "Now, see here, Albert, you were wounded ...
— Taken Alive • E. P. Roe

... delighted his hearers. His speech was characterized throughout by great ability, and displayed such a power of oratory, particularly of invective, as to excite the wonder of all present, who could understand his language, and comprehend the force of his allusions. His effort was entirely successful. No attempt was made at reply. The first rank after this, without further hesitation, was given to ...
— An account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha - Red Jacket and his people, 1750-1830 • John Niles Hubbard

... our meal, we thanked Dame Illora for it, and tried to explain that we were in search of a canoe in which to return down the igarape. For some time we could not make her comprehend what we wanted. Suddenly Duppo started up, and leading us to the water, by signs explained that all their canoes had been taken away. "Then, no doubt, the same people who took theirs, carried off ours," ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... creed and faith in my own fashion; in some degree I could lull his prejudices. He was not satisfied when he went away, hardly was he appeased; but he was made thoroughly to feel that Protestants were not necessarily the irreverent Pagans his director had insinuated; he was made to comprehend something of their mode of honouring the Light, the Life, the Word; he was enabled partly to perceive that, while their veneration for things venerable was not quite like that cultivated in ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... steed shall know why man restrains His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains: When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god: Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend His actions', passions', being's, use and end; Why doing, suffering, checked, impelled; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity. Then say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say rather man's as perfect as he ought: His knowledge measured ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... few men can grasp or comprehend in what relation a plumb line stands to the sciences, or to the nations of this earth, at the present time, by giving the correct interpretation of Christian, Hebrew, & Mohammedian prophesy, this work ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... doth sometimes comprehend all the promises which God made to our fathers, from the first promise to the last, and so the Holy Ghost doth call them—'The promise made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children' (Acts 13:32,33). But the word 'promise' here doth in special ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... years she was still as slender as a girl—tall and too slender, but the small shapely head was set gracefully on the neck as a flower upon its stalk. Her hair, which was wholly silvered, was still abundant and glossily brushed. Her mind was not judicial. She was more quick to decide than to comprehend, full of intense ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... to you when I don't understand," she answered gravely. "Either you lie—which I should be sorry to accuse you of doing—or you tell me a very terrible thing, if, that is, I at all comprehend what you say.—Are you not the son of Mrs. Faircloth, who lives at the inn out by ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... In order to comprehend fully the principles of this subject, and their application to practical operations, it will be necessary to take a general view of the generative organs of the vegetable kingdom, and the manner in which they act in the production ...
— The $100 Prize Essay on the Cultivation of the Potato; and How to Cook the Potato • D. H. Compton and Pierre Blot

... love you," he said grimly. He was breathing rather fast, but in some curious way he seemed to have regained his self-control. It was as though he had only slipped the leash of passion so that she might, as he said, comprehend his love for her. "Do you think I'll give you up? I tell you I'd rather kill you than ...
— The Lamp of Fate • Margaret Pedler

... the county-town for the counties of Northumberland and Durham, which comprehend the following townships: Darlington, Clarke, Hope, Hamilton, Haldimand, Cramache, Murray, Seymour, Percy, Alnwick, South Monaghan, Cavan, Manvers, and Cartwright. The soil of most of these townships is of excellent quality, particularly the fronts of Hamilton, Haldimand, ...
— Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West - The Experience of an Early Settler (Volume I) • Samuel Strickland

... enough to take a passing view of these objected instances, without marking narrowly all the impertinencies and falsehoods which here we find in the reasoning of our opposites. One word more, and so an end. Dr Burges would comprehend the significancy of sacred ecclesiastical ceremonies, for stirring men up to the remembrance of some mystery of piety or duty to God, under that edification which is required in things that concern order and ...
— The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Gillespie

... said I, feeling very foolish to comprehend not a word of his fine talk, "if you have anything to tell me, pray, say so; but, for the life of me, I cannot discover what ...
— Sir Ludar - A Story of the Days of the Great Queen Bess • Talbot Baines Reed

... brass-and-copper founder, haughtily, 'with that impertinence which is natural to you, and which I therefore do not condescend to notice further, that the young lady, my eldest daughter, has been educated by any one but Miss Pinch, you—I needn't proceed. You comprehend me fully. I have no doubt ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... himself, wife, and two sisters—his own. The state-rooms were sufficiently roomy, and each had two berths, one above the other. These berths, to be sure, were so exceedingly narrow as to be insufficient for more than one person; still, I could not comprehend why there were THREE staterooms for these four persons. I was, just at that epoch, in one of those moody frames of mind which make a man abnormally inquisitive about trifles: and I confess, with shame, that I busied myself in ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... but I did not comprehend it. I had been working along the lines of a fixed idea. Now that idea had been knocked into a cocked hat, and my intellect ...
— Kent Knowles: Quahaug • Joseph C. Lincoln

... What we clearly comprehend we can clearly express. That, I think, is Boileau, though I cannot remember where I read it. The baffling thing about this fiction is that it expresses nothing, and therefore is not really a part of literature. The features of my colleagues when absorbing a first-rate ...
— An Ocean Tramp • William McFee

... failure, and when Browning understood that the public could not comprehend him—and we must remember that he desired to be comprehended, for he loved mankind—he thought he would use his powers in a simpler fashion, and please the honest folk. So, in the joy of having got rid in Sordello of so many of his thoughts by expression ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... 9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which ...
— The Book Of Mormon - An Account Written By The Hand Of Mormon Upon Plates Taken - From The Plates Of Nephi • Anonymous

... his offer he had known nothing of Mr Maguire's offer, nor had Margaret then told him of it. Such reticence on her part of course released him from his bond. So Lady Ball argued, and against this argument her son made no demur. Indeed it was hardly possible that he should comprehend exactly what had taken place between his cousin and Mr Maguire. His mother did not scruple to assure him that she must undoubtedly at one time have accepted the man's proposal. In answer to this John Ball would always assert his entire ...
— Miss Mackenzie • Anthony Trollope

... do!" I was a boy of twelve years old, but so strong was the feeling of exultation at the verdicts that boys at school were not prohibited from seeing the parodies, which would have been held at any other time quite unfit to meet their eyes. I was not able to comprehend all about the Lord Chief Justice until I read and heard again in after years. In the meantime, Joe Miller had given me the story of the leopard which was sent home on board a ship of war, and was in two days ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... her; that you had a manie pour l'Angleterre; and so saying, she shrugged up her shoulders. I was about to inquire more particularly, but she cut the conversation short by asking to see a new pelisse, and I perceived at once that there was something wrong, but what I could not comprehend. I did not see her till four or five weeks afterwards, when she called, accompanied by a Monsieur de G—, a person well known in Paris, where he bears a very indifferent character, as a desperate gambler, and a man of very bad disposition concealed under ...
— Valerie • Frederick Marryat

... have bled yourself a little too much. When I look at the figure here I comprehend several things which I merely guessed before. You have loved ...
— Plays by August Strindberg, Second series • August Strindberg

... seemed to comprehend what was wanted of him. He poled his clumsy craft toward the Gem and peered down into the water to see what manner of creature was at the other end of the anchor rope. Then he waved his pole at the girls, as though to reassure them, and edged ...
— The Outdoor Girls in Florida - Or, Wintering in the Sunny South • Laura Lee Hope

... hand as he answered, with some embarrassment, "Yet, Monsieur De Vlierbeck, I cannot comprehend what all this has to do with the loan of a ...
— The Poor Gentleman • Hendrik Conscience

... one pronounces the name of one's mother. Add to this that the Square was the centre of Bursley's retail trade (which scorned the staple as something wholesale, vulgar, and assuredly filthy), and you will comprehend the importance and the self-isolation of the Square in the scheme of the created universe. There you have it, embedded in the district, and the district embedded in the county, and the county lost and dreaming in the ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... lifelong hatred, my cherished purpose. Blank amazement was in the gaze that he turned upon me. I feared that impending death had blunted his senses, and that he did not fully comprehend. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... do you know of virtue, whose whole boast is to be vicious? How dare you draw conclusions? Dolt and puppy! you can no more comprehend that angel's excellences than she can stoop to believe in your vices. And you talk morality? Anthony, I'm a man who has been somewhat ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV • Robert Louis Stevenson

... them. But that a man driving an ambulance full of wounded should think he had the right to disturb a conversation that was blocking the traffic of only the entire water-front was a discourtesy no Salonikan could comprehend. ...
— With the French in France and Salonika • Richard Harding Davis

... was in this moment that the Great Spirit of things meant Baree to understand—that at last it was given him to comprehend that his day had dawned, that the rising and the setting of his sun no longer existed in the sky but in this girl whose hand rested on his head. He whined softly, and inch by inch he dragged himself nearer to her until ...
— Baree, Son of Kazan • James Oliver Curwood

... peasant. Gabriel Andersen saw his strange, imploring, hopeless look. His lips moved, but no sound was heard, and his eyes wandered. There was a bright gleam in them as in the eyes of a madman. His mind, it was evident, was no longer able to comprehend what ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... each to a horrible scene of gesticulation and outraged English. H accused their brother of conduct which they were obliged to throw (by a process of their own) into the region of Fine Shades, before they dared venture to comprehend him. Gross facts in relationship with the voice, this grievous "machine, not man,"—as they said—stated to them, harshly, impetuously. The ladies felt that he had bored their ears with hot iron pins. Adela tried laughter as a defence from his suggestion ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... cannot originate in the Divine will; it must, therefore, be referred to the will of man. And this evil ground we call original sin. It is a mystery—that is, a fact which we see, but cannot explain; and the doctrine a truth which we apprehend, but can neither comprehend nor communicate. ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... band worked at the nipple until he extracted a splinter of wood. Then he drew the charge, blew down the barrel to see that it was clear and reloaded the musket. Doctor Tom took some smoked salmon from his pouch, made a cup of coffee and silently ate his supper, and Boston began to comprehend that there was a reason for his refusal to eat while the stranger was in camp. But it was useless to try to make Doctor Tom talk until he had ...
— Bears I Have Met—and Others • Allen Kelly

... "I cannot comprehend where you learned your trade as cavalier, or what sort of company you kept in Mackay's, if you did not pick up and practise the art of forcing a quarrel with a man on any issue you cared to choose. In ten minutes I could make this young fellow put down his gage in a ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... yet come in contact with teaching of this character can scarcely comprehend the effect of such thoughts on a young and ardent soul. This Jesus, who gave up Heaven and all that was bright and pleasant to devote Himself to the world's Salvation, was presented to him as coming to ask ...
— The Authoritative Life of General William Booth • George Scott Railton

... receive below!' I cried, with affected gaiety. 'I am going down with you to the door.' And resolutely ignoring his frown I tripped down before them. On the last stair I felt her steps lagging. Instantly I seemed to comprehend what was required of me, and, rushing forward, I entered the front parlor. He followed close behind me, for how could he know I was not in collusion with her to regain the bond? This gave her one minute by herself in the rear, and in that minute she secured the key which would give her future ...
— The Gray Madam - 1899 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... for the nation; whereas, the man who has achieved, who is at the head of a great body of capital, has passed the period of struggle. He may sympathize with the struggling men, but he is not one of them, and only those who struggle can comprehend what the struggle is. I would rather take the interpretation of our national life from the general body of the people than from those who have made conspicuous successes ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... matters is the realisation by teachers that opportunities matter more than results; opportunities to discover, to learn, to comprehend all sides of life, to be an individual, to appreciate beauty, to go at one's own rate; some are material in their nature, such as the actual surroundings of the child in school; others are rather in the atmosphere, ...
— The Child Under Eight • E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

... my first consideration—namely, that memory in a future state will comprehend the whole of life. Another thing is, that memory in a future state will probably be so rapid as to embrace all the past life at once. We do not know, we have no conception of, the extent to which our thinking, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Indeed, if any fault can be found with the book, it is that it is too painstakingly complete; nothing is left to the imagination—or, rather, the imagination is forced by the essence of eternal truth that seems to form each phrase and sentence, to comprehend all, down to the least detail; and a thorough reading of the book leaves one with the sense of physical fatigue, as if the reader himself had experienced the violent and terrible ordeals of the soul that were ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... and condemned for his acts done in eternity? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, 'or who hath been his counsellor?' (Rom 11:34). Do you not know that he is far more above us, than we are above our horse or mule that is without understanding? 'Great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend' (Job 37:5). 'Great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... understand, in my walks about this place, which is certainly picturesque enough, and contains extraordinary charms in the shape of old gables, quaint spires, and broad shining canals—I could not at first comprehend why, for all this, the town was especially disagreeable to me, and have only just hit on the reason why. Sweetest Juliana, you will never guess it: it is simply this, that I have not seen a single decent-looking ...
— Little Travels and Roadside Sketches • William Makepeace Thackeray

... now the middle of November; and yet, as Matilda passed along, never to her, did the sun shine so bright as upon this morning—never did her imagination comprehend, that the human heart could feel happiness true and genuine ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... advancing to join Napoleon was compelled to order his men to return towards Smolensk. At these words they were struck motionless with astonishment. Even his aid-de-camp could not believe his ears: he remained silent, like one who does not comprehend what he hears, and looked at his general in amazement. But the marshal briefly repeating the same order in a still more imperative tone, they were no longer at any loss, but all recognized in it resolution taken, a resource discovered, that self-confidence which ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... not comprehend what he was saying at the moment; when she did understand, her first thought was ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... less said the better.... I don't know, little daughter. I don't understand it—comprehend it. If it's so, it's so.... I see you sometimes looking at things I cannot see; I know sometimes you hear sounds which I cannot hear.... Things happen which perplex the rest of us; and, somehow I seem to know that they do not perplex you. What to us seems unnatural to ...
— Athalie • Robert W. Chambers

... alone canst comprehend my joys and my deliriums. But, more fortunate than I, thou wilt some day, when earth shall be no more, recline and sleep within ...
— Three short works - The Dance of Death, The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller, A Simple Soul. • Gustave Flaubert

... goddess of his mother while yet alive, that he might feel the more secure of being made a god himself after his death.[10] In all religions there are points at which the professors declare that reason must stop, and cease to be a guide to faith. The pious man thinks that all which he cannot comprehend or reconcile to reason in his own religion must be above it. The superstitions of the people of India will diminish before the spread of science, art, and literature; and good works of history and fiction would, I think, make far greater havoc ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... in a moral sense a lover of his country, for society politically regulated is a state contradistinguished from a state of nature, and any attention to that coalition of interests which makes the happiness of a country is possible only to those whom inquiry and reflection have enabled to comprehend it. This doctrine is in itself pernicious as well as false; its tendency is to produce the belief of a kind of moral predestination or over-ruling principle which cannot be resisted. He that admits it is prepared to comply with every desire that caprice or opportunity shall excite, and to flatter ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... it is neither for its interest, nor for its beauty, that we recommend the study of meteorology. It involves questions of the highest practical importance, and the solution of which will be productive of most substantial benefit to those classes who can least comprehend the speculations from which these advantages are derived. Times and seasons and climates, calms and tempests, clouds and winds, whose alternations appear to the inexperienced mind the confused consequences ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... JULIA. I comprehend you. You think I am too worldly; that my head Swims with the giddying whirl of life about me. Is that ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... discarded his Indian wife and married an English girl. On his death the Indian wife and children sued for his estate. It was awarded to them by the courts and established a precedent that guaranteed social status to the children of such unions. This is one of the things that easterners can not comprehend. I have never heard the opprobrious phrase "squaw man" used on the Canadian frontier; and descendants of the MacKenzies, the Isbisters, the Hardistys, the Strathconas, the Macleans, the MacLeods—blush, not with shame but pride, in acknowledging the ...
— The Canadian Commonwealth • Agnes C. Laut

... given him permission to do so. But he knew nothing about the management of a vessel. How should a professor of Greek and Latin be expected to understand a matter which even the most ignorant could comprehend, and of which even a boy of sixteen had made himself master? Boys could play base-ball, but he did not know how; and it seemed just as much beneath his dignity to be familiar ...
— Dikes and Ditches - Young America in Holland and Belguim • Oliver Optic

... to comprehend the attitude of early man toward sex and womanhood, and to understand the system of taboo control which grew out of this attitude, it is only reasonable to suppose that the prehistoric races, like the uncivilized peoples of the present time, were inclined to explain ...
— Taboo and Genetics • Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard

... the scientific spirit shall make men progressively more and more conscious of these 'bleibende Verhaltnisse,' more and more capable of living in the whole; also, that in proportion as we gain a firmer hold upon our own place in the world, we shall come to comprehend with more instinctive certitude what is simple, natural, and honest, welcoming with gladness all artistic products that exhibit these qualities. The perception of the enlightened man will then be the task of a healthy ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... honorable; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... "I am beginning to comprehend," she said, slowly. "An ambition that confessedly overleaps all bounds is at least not an ...
— The Doomsman • Van Tassel Sutphen

... Schubert, and the artist Teltscher, went to Beethoven's house during his last illness and stood for a long time around his bed. The dying man was told the names of his visitors and made signs to them with his hand which they could not comprehend. Schubert was deeply touched, for his veneration for Beethoven amounted ...
— Among the Great Masters of Music - Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians • Walter Rowlands

... was about to rise when I saw Dario get up and reel. He wouldn't sit down again, but came in here, staggering like a somnambulist, and fumbling at the doors to open them. We followed him without understanding. And I confess that I don't yet comprehend it." ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... and his tastes, habits, and feelings are different from those of other people. How little is he understood—how imperfectly is he appreciated, by a cold, unsympathising world! his eccentricities are ridiculed—his excesses are condemned by unthinking persons, who cannot comprehend the fact that a writer, whose mind is weary, naturally longs for physical excitement of some kind of other, and too often seeks for a temporary mental oblivion in the intoxicating bowl. Under any and every circumstance, the author is certainly deserving of some degree of charitable consideration, ...
— My Life: or the Adventures of Geo. Thompson - Being the Auto-Biography of an Author. Written by Himself. • George Thompson

... is all intellect," Milliken says, looking at her with admiration), and talked with us freely and gayly. She was kind enough to say that it was a great pleasure to meet with a literary and well-informed person—that one often lived with people that did not comprehend one. She asked if my companion, that tall gentleman—Mr. Serjeant Lankin, was he?—was literary. And when I said that Lankin knew more Greek, and more Latin, and more law, and more history, and more everything, than all ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... lament the want of liberty, to which I question whether they have any pretensions; and without ever knowing whether it is the tyranny or the tyrant they complain of. Tedious however and most uninteresting are their accounts of grievances, which a subject of Great Britain has much ado to comprehend, and more to pity; as they are now all heart-broken, because they must say their prayers in their own language and not in Latin, which, how it can be construed into misfortune, a ...
— Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... Of what available value reputation, unless wedded to power, dentals, or place? To those who render him applause, a poet's may seem a thing tangible; but to the recipient, 'tis a fantasy; the poet never so stretches his imagination, as when striving to comprehend what it is; often, he ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II (of 2) • Herman Melville

... his tediousness, and his tactlessness nearly confirmed Serenissimus in his frantic decision. Then arrived Osiander. He was a man of great strength of character and intellect, and he succeeded in demonstrating to the Duke the dishonourable nature of his intentions. Also he induced his Highness to comprehend that the Pope, though ready to gather all men, and especially princes, into the maw of Rome, could not make a double marriage legal where there was no feasible plea for annulment of the first union. To be politically hostile to Austria was one thing, to enter into open combat ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... and jokes he enjoyed so much; after that a nice quiet chat with Abner, who asked for all the news, and was deeply interested in his success in catching the sly denizens of the marsh; although he frequently sighed while Darry was speaking, and the boy could easily comprehend that at such times the poor man was picturing in his mind how Joe used to go through with the ...
— Darry the Life Saver - The Heroes of the Coast • Frank V. Webster

... rather curious to see that as she grew in strength Clement lost in assertiveness—in his feeling of command. He began to comprehend that with returning health the girl was not altogether pitiable. She had culture, social position ...
— The Spirit of Sweetwater • Hamlin Garland

... seems happy—is happy; goes about as cheerful as the day; laughs and jokes, and enjoys his life. I cannot comprehend it!" ...
— The French Prisoners of Norman Cross - A Tale • Arthur Brown

... according to its historical strata: Colonial, Provincial, Revolutionary, economic, and literary. All of these periods have piled up their associations one upon the other, and all of them must be somewhat understood if one would sincerely comprehend what has aptly been called not a city, ...
— The Old Coast Road - From Boston to Plymouth • Agnes Rothery

... "estanciero," my horse, being tired, lagged behind. The man often shouted to me to spur him. When I remonstrated that it was a pity, for the horse was quite exhausted, he cried out, "Why not? — never mind — spur him — it is my horse." I had then some difficulty in making him comprehend that it was for the horse's sake, and not on his account, that I did not choose to use my spurs. He exclaimed, with a look of great surprise, "Ah, Don Carlos, que cosa!" It was clear that such an idea had never ...
— The Voyage of the Beagle • Charles Darwin

... by the peace that passeth all understanding? It does not mean a peace no one can comprehend. It means a peace that no amount of reasoning will bring. You cannot get it by thinking. There may be perfect bewilderment and perplexity all round the horizon, but yet your heart can rest in perfect security because He knows, ...
— Days of Heaven Upon Earth • Rev. A. B. Simpson

... whose title of nobility dated back to the fourteenth century. He is described by his English biographer as a learned, thoughtful, and studious Roman Catholic; as public-spirited and humane; as a mechanic, patient, skillful, full of resources, and quick to comprehend. He inherited a great estate, not perhaps so very productive in money, but of enormous intrinsic value. There is reason to believe that he began to experiment with steam soon after he came of age. He describes one of his ...
— Captains of Industry - or, Men of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money • James Parton

... The girl could not comprehend what they said, and even thought them a little silly. But she advanced towards them; at which they stopped short, staring at her. With feminine instinct she addressed the more ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... they rendered. Many poor boys trusted these natives to their sorrow. They accepted hospitality and their death was planned right before their eyes, they, of course, not understanding the language sufficiently to comprehend what was intended. They paid the penalty of their trust with ...
— An Ohio Woman in the Philippines • Emily Bronson Conger

... any we do understand, Ella?" rejoined Algernon. "When I say understand, I mean the word to be used in its minutest and broadest sense. You say there are many things we may not understand concerning ourselves—what ones, I pray you, do we fully comprehend? We are here upon the earth—so much we know. We shall die and pass away—so much we know also. But how came we here, and why? How do we exist? How do we think, reason, speak, feel, move, see, hear, smell, taste? All these we do, we know; but yet not one—not ...
— Ella Barnwell - A Historical Romance of Border Life • Emerson Bennett

... and oppressed populace; and if we take into consideration that among their numerous bands many wandered about whose consciences were tormented with the recollection of the crimes which they had committed during the prevalence of the black plague, we shall comprehend how their despair sought relief in the intoxication of an artificial delirium. There is hence good ground for supposing that the frantic celebration of the festival of St. John, A.D. 1374, only served to bring to a crisis a malady which had been long impending; ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... these on your poor old feet first," said May, kneeling down, and drawing off the tattered shoes from her feet, while she chafed them briskly with her hands; then slipped the soft warm stockings and slippers on them, ere the old creature could fully comprehend her object; then opening the shawl, she folded it about the bowed and shivering form. With a blended expression of gratitude and amazement, old Mabel looked at her feet, then at the shawl, then at May, who stood off enjoying it, and ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... rock near the beach. The mind, when confronted with a huge shock, somehow concentrates itself on a small detail. Perhaps it tries to absorb itself in a small thing because the whole thing is too great to comprehend all at once. So with Bill's mind. He saw the yellow and black fur grow toward the rock. It seemed to ooze around it and then up and over the top of it. Bill saw, when it reached the top of the rock, that it dropped a spiny tendril to the ground. Like a root, ...
— The Day of the Dog • Anderson Horne

... came in dressed in crimson velvet; the damask dresses being likewise given to the domestics, and the same was done at the end of the feast with their velvet robes, when they appeared in the Venetian dress of the day. The guests were lost in astonishment, and could not comprehend the meaning of this masquerade. Having dismissed all the attendants, Marco Polo brought forth the coarse Tartar dresses in which they had arrived. Slashing them in several places with a knife, and ripping open the seams and lining, ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... mention, dear, so that you may, in a measure, comprehend how very ill she has been; and that she is not yet well by any means, and perhaps will not be for ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... refuted, my good girl. Can't you comprehend that? First you say that Mrs. John has no child. Next you say—kindly attend to me—that you had taken your child, which has been passing for Mrs. John's, out of the latter's room. However; all of us here ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... Tapkan, Siberia, seem to be the only vegetable food they have. The large quantities of eggs easily procurable, but in most cases doubtful, also constitute a standard article of diet among these people, who have no scruples about eating them partly hatched. They seemed never to comprehend our fastidiousness in the matter and why our tastes differed so much from theirs in this respect. They will break an egg containing an embryonic duck or goose, extract the bird by one leg and devour it with all the ...
— The First Landing on Wrangel Island - With Some Remarks on the Northern Inhabitants • Irving C. Rosse

... nerves as with a nutmeg-grater, no doubt. You will serenade her next with tin pans and fish-horns, and think that a delicate attention. Brother, Clarice does not share your peculiar view of humor, nor do I. Mabel tries to comprehend it and to catch your tone, as is her melancholy duty; but it is hard work for her. Well, what does Mr. Hartman say?—Don't tell me anything that is private, ...
— A Pessimist - In Theory and Practice • Robert Timsol

... of millions of suns can bring neither light nor warmth. But to the intellect of Herbert Spencer the idea of Space must have presented itself after a manner incomparably more mysterious and stupendous. The mathematician alone will comprehend the full significance of the paragraph dealing with the Geometry of Position and the mystery of space-relations,—or the startling declaration that "even could we penetrate the mysteries of existence, there ...
— The Romance of the Milky Way - And Other Studies & Stories • Lafcadio Hearn

... A man never can comprehend why a woman can't understand how he can be dead in love with one girl and acutely alive to the charms of a lot of ...
— A Guide to Men - Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl • Helen Rowland

... tap zere fronts, an' spek of ze strait-jackets. Never fear,—I am toujours harmless! Mais, Monsieur, it is true, vat I tell you: I am ze original inventeur of ze Atlantic Telegraph! You mus' not comprehend me, Sare, to intend somesing vat persons call ze Telegraph,—such like ze Electric Telegraph of Monsieur Morse,—a vulgaire sing of ze vire and ze acid. Mon Dieu, non! far more perfect,—far more grrand,—far more original! Ze acid may burn ze finger,—ze vire ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... his house desirable. My young friend Hornet says that if the only way to drink Midas's gold-seal Johannisberger is to take Mrs. Plutus down to dinner, he will not hesitate to pay the price, as he is willing to pay the price of sea-sickness if he wishes to see the Vatican. Does my dear Mrs. Grundy comprehend?" ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... more. He was conscious of her calm tread, her admirable self-control. The sad, passive face with its broad, white brow was the face of a woman who was just waking to terrible facts, who was struggling to comprehend a world that had caught her unawares. She had removed her hat and was carrying it loosely in her hand that had fallen to her side. Her hair swept back in two waves above the temples with a simplicity that made the head distinguished. Even the nurses' caps ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... respect throughout the Kwanto. Men competed to place their sons and younger brothers as kenin (retainers) in his service and the name of Hachiman-ko was on all lips. But Yoshiiye died (1108) in a comparatively low rank. It is easy to comprehend that in the Kwanto it became a common saying, "Better serve ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... teach The difference which the fish Glociscus[124] shows In winter and in summer: how to learn Which fish to choose, when set the Pleiades, And at the solstice. 'Tis change of seasons Which threats mankind, and shakes their changeful frame. This dost thou comprehend? Know, what we use In ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... forth a clear peculiar whistle. Almost immediately wild yells from a score of rangers rent the air, followed by ringing cheers of defiance. Dazed and startled, a number of rebels threw aside their blankets, scrambled to their knees, and looked around. Flazeet and Rauchad were the first to comprehend the situation. Yelling to their still sleeping comrades, they leaped to their feet, and were about to seize their muskets, when Davidson sternly ordered them ...
— The King's Arrow - A Tale of the United Empire Loyalists • H. A. Cody

... plan of action, she slept late. At breakfast, excitement took away her appetite. And throughout the study-hour that followed, her eyes read, and her lips repeated aloud, several pages of standard literature for juveniles that her busy brain did not comprehend. Yet now as she waited behind the rose hangings for the supreme moment, she felt, strangely enough, no impatience. With three to attend her, privacy was not a common privilege, and, therefore, prized. She fell to inspecting the row of houses across the way—in search for other ...
— The Poor Little Rich Girl • Eleanor Gates

... N. styles it "a not altogether undull work." May I ask him to elucidate this phrase, as I am totally at a loss to comprehend its meaning. "Not undull" must surely mean dull, if anything. The work, however, is the reverse ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 238, May 20, 1854 • Various

... of paper in a dazed fashion. She could not comprehend the good fortune that had suddenly come to her. Then she handed the check back to Mr. Bartlett. "I can't take your money," she said. "I really didn't ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping • Hildegard G. Frey

... for a minute did not comprehend. Then he saw Courtland sitting gravely in a pulpit chair by ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz



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