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Illegible   /ɪlˈɛdʒəbəl/   Listen
Illegible

adjective
1.
(of handwriting, print, etc.) not legible.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Illegible" Quotes from Famous Books



... through nearly two years—by the Chief Archivist, M. van den Berg, and the gentlemen connected with that institution, especially M. de Jonghe and M. Hingman, without whose aid it would have been difficult for me to decipher and to procure copies of the almost illegible holographs of Barneveld. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... resting on the supports of the staircase, between high walls on which were dimly visible the remains of huge frescoes, cracked, decayed, and blackened with soot, the hind legs of a horse, a woman's torso undraped, with inscriptions almost illegible on panels that had lost their gilding, 'Meditation,' 'Silence,' 'Trade uniting the nations of ...
— The Immortal - Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... himself who wrote—two broken lines, very unlike the letters he used to take so much pains to make perfect. But the irregular, almost illegible, characters were eloquent to his friend; and in a few days there came an answer, saying that in a day or two business would bring him within fifty miles of their home, and it would go hard with him if he could not get a day for his friend. ...
— Shenac's Work at Home • Margaret Murray Robertson

... the light of his electric lamp upon a note attached by means of a drawing-pin to the inside of the room door. I immediately divined that my friend must have pinned the note in its place earlier in the day; even at that distance I recognized Smith's neat, illegible writing. ...
— The Hand Of Fu-Manchu - Being a New Phase in the Activities of Fu-Manchu, the Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... right, Captain Bowels," said Miss Peppy; "some write all angles and some all rounds. One never knows how one is to expect one's correspondents to write. Not that I have many, but one of them writes square, a most extraordinary hand, and quite illegible. Most people seem to be proud of not being able to write, except schoolboys and girls. There is no accounting for the surprising things that are scratched on paper with a pen and called writing. But in a world of things of that sort what is one to expect? It is just like all the rest, ...
— Shifting Winds - A Tough Yarn • R.M. Ballantyne

... horizontal monuments. The unseen seeds of mosses find their way into the lettered furrows, and are made to germinate by the watery sunshine of the English sky; and by-and-bye, behold, the complete inscription beautifully embossed in velvet moss on the marble slab! I found an almost illegible stone very close to the church, and made ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... cramps; or had dropped down into corners, as if they were no more. I had seen all this on my first visit, and I had remarked to Trottle, that the lower part of the black board about terms was split away; that the rest had become illegible, and that the very stone of the door-steps was broken across. Notwithstanding, I sat at my breakfast table on that Please to Remember the fifth of November morning, staring at the House through my glasses, as if I had ...
— A House to Let • Charles Dickens

... Atque mero fervens, cavet hunc, quem coccina lae [Transcriber's note: remainder of word illegible] Vitari jubet, et comitum longissimus ordo, Multum praeterca flammarum, atque ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... He seemed to be looking afar, beyond the Temple and its terraces, beyond the horizon itself. But the accusers were impatient. He bent forward and with a finger wrote on the ground. The letters were illegible, perhaps, yet the symbol of obliteration was in that dust which the morrow would disperse. Again he wrote, but the charge was repeated, ...
— Mary Magdalen • Edgar Saltus

... Bombast Primrose Diamond Benedict Walnut Abominate Piazza Holiday Barbarous Disgust Heavy Kind Virtu Nightmare Devil Gospel Comfort Whist Mermaid Pearl Onion Enthusiasm Domino Book Fanatic Grotesque Cheat Auction Economy Illegible Quell Cheap Illegitimate Sheriff Excelsior Emasculate Danger Dunce Champion Shibboleth Calico Adieu Essay Pontiff Macadamize Wages Copy Stentorian Quarantine Puny Saturnine Buxom Caper Derrick Indifferent Boycott Mercurial Gaudy Countenance Poniard ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... some paintings, which without being good are very tolerable. The subject is Telemachus being knighted by Minerva in some gardens, the name of which escapes me. In short, where the Roman ladies repaired on one single night. What shall I say to you? I have Romans, and Roman ladies [here occurs an illegible word], and the whole train. Madam Magloire has cleaned it all off; this summer she is going to have some small injuries repaired, and the whole revarnished, and my chamber will be a regular museum. She has also found in ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... not appear in print' ("Examination of the Shelley manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, by C.D. Locock". Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1903, page 3). This draft, the writing of which is 'extraordinarily confused and illegible,' has been carefully deciphered and printed by Mr. Locock in the volume named above. Our text follows that ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... frowned slightly, as with mental effort; then a flash of comprehension lightened her blue eyes. Immediately her brows mutely circumflexed a question. A look of profound but illegible significance passed between the two. Mr. Savage nodded. Mrs. Standish pursed speculatively her thin, well-made-up lips and visibly took thought, according to the habit of her sex, by means of a series of intuitive explosions. ...
— Nobody • Louis Joseph Vance

... its calumnious author. The seventeen learned societies unanimously voted the presumptuous Blotton an ignorant meddler, and forthwith set to work upon more treatises than ever. And to this day the stone remains, an illegible monument of Mr. Pickwick's greatness, and a lasting trophy to the littleness ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... scribble which none can read—"a hopeless puzzle of intemperate scratches." How is a stranger, getting a letter signed in this way, to know to whom to send a reply, unless, as is sometimes done, he cuts out the signature, pastes it on the envelope, and adds the address? But illegible signatures, it must be confessed, are more often a man's folly than ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII: No. 353, October 2, 1886. • Various

... postage stamps amount to about forty-four thousand dollars per week. About two hundred unstamped letters are deposited in the office daily, and about one hundred letters on which the name of the town or State is written improperly, or on which the address is illegible. These are all sent to the ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... of many other vessels; some of them I copied in my journal, others were illegible. Many of the crosses had decayed and fallen, and many a hand that put them there I had known, many a hand now still. The air of depression was about the place, and I hurried back to the sloop to forget myself ...
— Sailing Alone Around The World • Joshua Slocum

... there, whenever possible, in some little sheet of advanced literary and anarchistic views, in which violent attacks on persons took the place of a reasoned-out campaign against the order of things. They were nearly illegible, defaced as they were by the censor. Besides, when an article was reprinted in another paper, he would let pass with a capricious forgetfulness what he had cut out the day before, and cut what he had passed then. It took close ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... destiny," few are those who pass the venerable site of the first colony in Virginia, Jamestown, without paying a tribute of a sigh, and perchance a tear, to that solitary tower which is still standing a mute watcher amid the few almost illegible tombs,—all that are left of a busy population long departed;—the germ, however, of a great nation, whose name is even now "a watchword to ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... moment, Nails Andersen was present, black cigar clamped firmly between his teeth; hamlike Norwegian hands maneuvering a pencil, he was making illegible notes on a scrap of paper—illegible to others because they were in his own form of shorthand that he had worked out over the years as he tried to make penciled notes as fast as his racing mind worked out ...
— Where I Wasn't Going • Walt Richmond

... from Buffalo hunt No. 2, and pending arrangements for hunt No. 3, 1 saw more of Fort Smith than I wished for, but endeavoured to turn the time to account by copying out interesting chapters from the rough semi-illegible, perishable manuscript accounts of northern life called "old-timers." The results of this library research work appear under the chapter heads ...
— The Arctic Prairies • Ernest Thompson Seton

... hastily written when, after waiting in vain for Paula as she sat with little Mary, he had at last been obliged to depart and take leave of Amru. This wax-tablet, on which the writing was much defaced and partly illegible, could not fail to convince the judges of Orion's guilt, and the production of this piece of evidence enabled the old man to extort Obada's consent to his proposal as to the mode of Paula's death. When they finally left ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... only my "Awful Disclosures," but a continuation of my Narrative, giving an account of events after my escape from the Nunnery, and of my return to Montreal to procure a legal investigation of my charges. It also [illegible] all the testimony that has been published against me, or every description, as well as that which has been given in confirmation of my story. At the close, will be found a Review of the whole Subject, furnished by a gentleman well ...
— Awful Disclosures - Containing, Also, Many Incidents Never before Published • Maria Monk

... conscience!—nothing is so conciliating to young people as severity.—Well, Sir Anthony, I shall give Mr. Acres his discharge, and prepare Lydia to receive your son's invocations;—and I hope you will represent her to the captain as an object not altogether illegible. ...
— The Rivals - A Comedy • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... the inscriptions were quite illegible, and, in others, the plates that had borne them had fallen on to the floor of the vault, so that it was impossible to say ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... of the Withers family had counted a martyr to their faith before they were known as Puritans. The record was obscure in some points; but the portrait, marked "Ann Holyoake, burned by ye bloudy Papists, ano 15.." (figures illegible), was still hanging against the panel over the fireplace in the west parlor at The Poplars. The following words were yet legible on the canvas: "Thou hast made a covenant O Lord with mee and ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... attempt to reduce to blank verse one of many minute descriptions of natural objects and scenic effects. The concluding lines are illegible. ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... thought of. Here are two forms of will. They are written so small as to be almost illegible. This one we must get signed if we can; but, failing that, the other will do. You see the difference. In this one the pin is from left to right; in that, from right to left. I will wait here while you change your clothes. As emergencies arise we ...
— The Velvet Glove • Henry Seton Merriman

... of her brother-in-law's outlines, which she had picked up and preserved—sketches of the children, in the oddest attitudes of children—of Dr Levitt, resting his book on the end of his nose, as he read in his study-chair—of Mrs Plumstead, exasperated by the arrival of an illegible letter—of almost every oddity in the place. Then out came the pencils, and the girls supplied omissions. They sketched Mr Hope himself; listening to an old woman's theory of her own case; they sketched each other. Mr Enderby was ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... side behind, just as if they had been mere blanks, the sermons of Ephraem being the only matter regarded in the book." Stowe, Hist. of the Books of the Bible, p. 75. In the latter part of the seventeenth century, Allix first observed the older writing under the works of Ephraem. It was very illegible, but a chemical preparation applied in 1834-5 revivified it to a certain extent. It has been diligently collated by eminent scholars, and in 1842 Tischendorf printed an edition of it page for page and line for line. Of the two hundred and nine leaves ...
— Companion to the Bible • E. P. Barrows

... of this experiment is when we use a coin from which the inscription has been either wholly obliterated, or obliterated in such a degree as to be illegible. When such a coin is laid upon the red hot iron, the letters and figures become oxidated, and the film of oxide radiating more powerfully than the rest of the coin will be more luminous than the rest of the coin, and the illegible inscription may be now distinctly read to the great ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 20, No. 567, Saturday, September 22, 1832. • Various

... Pools, the names of which are illegible. The scene as given in the Papyrus of Ani [Footnote: Brit. Mus., No. 10,470, Plate 35] gives some interesting variants and may ...
— Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life • E. A. Wallis Budge

... direct appeal for money, suggested that, through her hospital connections, she should help him to establish a New York practice. His tone was half-whining, half-peremptory, his once precise writing smeared and illegible; and these indications, combined with her former suspicions, convinced her that, for the moment, he was unfit for medical work. At any rate, she could not assume the responsibility of recommending him; and in answering she advised him to apply ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... was achieved. The truth was that Franklin's duty was to get from France just as much aid, direct and indirect, as could be either begged or filched from her. Such orders could not be written down in plain words in his instructions, but none the less they lurked there not illegible to him among the lines. He obeyed them diligently. France was willing to go fully as far as she could with safety; his function was to push, to pull, to entice, even to mislead, in order to make her go farther. Perhaps it was a fair game; ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... country, and gave to the kings of Ascalon, Ekron, and Gaza, so as to make his country small. In addition to the former tribute imposed upon their countries, I added a tribute, the nature of which I fixed.' The next passage is somewhat illegible, but the substance of it appears to be, that he took from Hezekiah the treasure he had collected in Jerusalem, thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, the treasures of his palace, besides his sons and his ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... St. Martin's Church, said to be the oldest church in England, and wandered around the churchyard, filled with glorious roses creeping everywhere over tombs so old that the lettering is illegible. When the sun set, we had the most beautiful view of Canterbury to be had anywhere, and one of the most beautiful in ...
— At Home with the Jardines • Lilian Bell

... strange jumble of prince and pauper, friend and foe, patriot and adventurer. And the face that drew my gaze oftenest was one as still and illegible now as it was on the morning of January 11, four years later, when I bowed before it ...
— Dross • Henry Seton Merriman

... steadiness of veterans conscious of their strength, deftly, almost delicately, in fact, silenced the minority. Only once, when the reader of the resolutions hesitated over an illegible word, did the dramatic happen. At that moment a thin voice in the gallery exclaimed, "Hurrah for Blaine!" Instantly the audience was on fire. The burst of applause brought out by Smith's opening reference to the "never vanquished hero of Appomattox" ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... of James Stuart for the thirty-five years since it was received. It was written with a lead pencil on both sides of a sheet of paper, and I insert here a photograph of a half-tone reproduction of it. It has become somewhat illegible and obscure from repeated ...
— The Discovery of Yellowstone Park • Nathaniel Pitt Langford

... cushion of a dark, purplish, dirty hue, with here and there some of its hair stuffing showing. The stained-glass windows, which were all bought ready-made and depict scenes from the New Testament, commemorate the virtues of departed worthies of the neighborhood, whose names appear, in illegible black letters, in the lower panels. The floor is covered with a carpet of some tough, fibrous material, apparently a sort of grass, and along the center aisle it is much worn. The normal smell of the place is rather less unpleasant ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... began to deepen towards evening, the track became quite illegible, and when I found myself at this romantically situated cabin, I was thankful to find that they could give me shelter. The scene was a solemn one, and reminded me of a description in Whittier's Snow-Bound. All the stock came round the cabin with mute appeals for ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... of Atogi and Wani, nor does it appear to have attracted much attention outside Court circles even subsequently to that date, for the records show that, in the reign of the Emperor Bidatsu (A.D. 572-585), a memorial sent by Korea to the Yamato Court was illegible to all the officials except one man, by name Wang-sin-i, who seems to have been a descendant ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... name you have left illegible (is it Sea-gull?) never sent me any book on Christ's Hospit. by which I could dream that I was indebted to him for a dedication. Did G.D. send his penny tract to me to convert me to Unitarianism? Dear blundering soul! why I ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... entered it—except the bit of paper torn from the pad. But what a difference to me, to the thousands, the hundreds of thousands directly and indirectly interested in the Coal combine and its strike and its products, was represented by those few, almost illegible scrawlings on ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... ungrudgingly; but his constant writing told on his script. Ten years ago it was a very distinctive, artistic, finely formed hand, very much like my father's, but latterly it grew cramped and even illegible, though it always had a peculiar character, and, as is often the case with very marked hand-writings, it tended to be unconsciously ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... Their capitals, of chaste and correct Corinthian style, with portions of ornamental entablature, are lying near. Perhaps belonging to this, but at some distance, lies a ponderous piece of architrave, on which, between lines of moulding, is an inscription in Greek—illegible except the three letters—[Greek text]. These letters were nine ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... small way to be known as a writer—I would lay down my pen, and watch my child-wife trying to be good. First of all, she would bring out the immense account-book, and lay it down upon the table, with a deep sigh. Then she would open it at the place where Jip had made it illegible last night, and call Jip up, to look at his misdeeds. This would occasion a diversion in Jip's favour, and some inking of his nose, perhaps, as a penalty. Then she would tell Jip to lie down on the table instantly, ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... rose had fallen from her head. The lace had fallen from her ear and the bagstring had come undone from her waist. Her newspapers were crumpled beyond recognition. But dishevelled and illegible as she was, she was still mistress ...
— Nonsense Novels • Stephen Leacock

... came to the bank, and on the stack of firewood found a flat piece of board with some faded pencil-writing on it. When deciphered it said: 'Wood for you. Hurry up. Approach cautiously.' There was a signature, but it was illegible—not Kurtz—a much longer word. 'Hurry up.' Where? Up the river? 'Approach cautiously.' We had not done so. But the warning could not have been meant for the place where it could be only found after approach. Something was wrong above. But what—and how much? That was the question. ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... entrance to an olden bridge that spanned a moat. Long ago had the feudal gates been overthrown by Francis; yet above the keystone appeared, not the salamander, the king's heraldic emblem, but the almost illegible device of the old constable. Beyond the great ditch outstretched a rolling country on which the jester gazed with eager eyes, while his companion swiftly led the way to a clump of willow and aspen on the other side of the moat. Beneath the spreading branches ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... 1842 is written on bad paper with a soft pencil, and is in many parts extremely difficult to read, many of the words ending in mere scrawls and being illegible without context. It is evidently written rapidly, and is in his most elliptical style, the articles being frequently omitted, and the sentences being loosely composed and often illogical in structure. There is much erasure and correction, apparently made at the moment of writing, and the MS. does ...
— The Foundations of the Origin of Species - Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844 • Charles Darwin

... On Hadrian's Wall no excavations have been carried out. But at Chesterholm two inscribed altars were found in the summer. One was dedicated to Juppiter Optimus Maximus; the rest of the lettering was illegible. The other, dedicated to Vulcan on behalf of the Divinity of the Imperial House by the people of the locality, possesses much interest. The dedicators describe themselves as vicani Vindolandenses, ...
— Roman Britain in 1914 • F. Haverfield

... Original in office of Clerk of the Courts at Salem, Massachusetts. Said to be the only one extant in American archives.] [Footnote B: Some of the words in the warrant are illegible.] ...
— The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut (1647-1697) • John M. Taylor

... as a map, though in reality it was more of a crude diagram of straight and crooked lines, with here and there a partly obliterated word to give it meaning. In several places there were mere evidences of words, now entirely illegible. But what first held the attention of Rod and his companions were several lines in writing under the rough sketch on the bark, still quite plain, which formed the names of three ...
— The Wolf Hunters - A Tale of Adventure in the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... back and let all be as it used to be, I will make any apology you may require. If I go, she will be so very friendless; and I have looked to you to care for her ever since you first—" Then came some illegible and incoherent writing, ending with, "From my deathbed I adjure you to stand her friend; I will beg pardon on ...
— A Dark Night's Work • Elizabeth Gaskell

... voters were led by like influence to refrain from voting, can such a function be valid under the Constitution of the United States? There is no question were of throwing out particular votes for vices inherent in themselves, such as that they were illegible, or were cast by disqualified persons, and the like; but the question is of rejecting the votes of a certain number—say a thousand voters—either because they were unduly influenced, or because another thousand, who might have voted, were, by undue influences, prevented ...
— The Electoral Votes of 1876 - Who Should Count Them, What Should Be Counted, and the Remedy for a Wrong Count • David Dudley Field

... Eustace so confused, that he was quite helpless without Harold's explanations, and rather rough directions what he was to do. How like themselves their writing was! Eustace's neat and clerkly, but weak and illegible; and Harold's as distinct, and almost as large, as a schoolboy's copy, but with square-turned joints and strength of limb unlike any ...
— My Young Alcides - A Faded Photograph • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Herrick's use of it, and others, it must have formerly been prevalent in the West of England also. It has nothing to do with Hock-tide, which is the Hoch-zeit of the Germans, and is merely [Transcriber's note: illegible] feast or highday of which a very satisfactory account will be found in Mr. Hampson's "Glossary" annexed to his Medii Aevi Kalendarium. An interesting account of the Hoch-zeit of the Germans of Lower Saxony occurs where we should little ...
— Notes & Queries,No. 31., Saturday, June 1, 1850 • Various

... the words stood out bold and clear; here and there, again, there was only one decipherable letter amongst a few broken hieroglyphics. Mr. Sheldon was accustomed to the examination of very illegible documents, and he was able to master the substance of that random impression. If he could not decipher the whole, he made out sufficient for his purpose. Money was to be offered to a man called Goodge for certain letters. He knew his brother's affairs well enough to know that these ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... paper was put back into the bottle, and then both were put away in a large cupboard of one of the great houses of the town. Whenever any strangers arrived, the paper was taken out and turned over and over, so that the address, which was only written in pencil, became almost illegible, and at last no one could distinguish any letters on it at all. For a whole year the bottle remained standing in the cupboard, and then it was taken up to the loft, where it soon became covered ...
— Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... of walls of the castle, with well-preserved battlemented towers, is the principal factor in the effect. The gateways are pointed: outside the walls, towards Castel Parentino, is the pedestal for the municipal standard; on the other side is an illegible inscription in which the date 1475 may be deciphered. The more important church, S. Sofia, still has its outside walls, the three apses, with traces of frescoes in the central one, and the walls of the sacristy. At the beginning of the fourteenth century it appears to have belonged ...
— The Shores of the Adriatic - The Austrian Side, The Kuestenlande, Istria, and Dalmatia • F. Hamilton Jackson

... and pence are his figures, denoting the amount of the treasure, and this, at the bottom, is doubtless a reference to the place of concealment. But the ink has either faded or peeled off, so that it is absolutely illegible. ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... impart a precise regularity to the characters, but to indicate by the writing the matter and style. Proverbs or utterances of wisdom were indited by him in a firm, bold hand with unadorned simplicity; love-songs with delicate, clear-cut lines, attractive capricious curves, enigmatical, almost illegible minuteness, designed to set forth the type of female character. The chirography of the songs to wine and earthly pleasure is full of fire and flourish—that of the songs of lamentation neat, legible and unadorned. To impart this skill to his ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... he catch this expression of sorrow from one whose presence he as yet had given no token of recognizing? He did not seem to. His eye was on the captain, who was slowly reading, by the light of a lantern held in a detective's hand, the almost illegible words which Mr. Jeffrey had just said ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... of a genuine antiquary. Yet, no doubt many ballads did escape, and still remain scattered up and down the country side, existing probably in the recollection of many a sun-browned shepherd, or the weather-beaten brains of ancient hinds, or 'eldern' women: or in the well-thumbed and nearly illegible leaves of some old book or pamphlet of songs, snugly resting on the 'pot-head,' or sharing their rest with the 'Great Ha' Bible,' Scott's Worthies, or Blind Harry's lines. The parish dominie or pastor of ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 65, January 25, 1851 • Various

... of a soldier in full chain mail, with his six-foot lance and its fringed pennon, his long prick-spurs, and his great two-handed sword, it has lain in an English church for nearly six centuries and a-half. The Lombardic lettering which runs round the brass is half illegible, but the form of the old inscription, perfect in its simple ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... are also two other mural monuments, with small painted alabaster effigies of women in the ancient dress of their times. The first of which we give a sketch, appears particularly "en bon point," and is represented kneeling on a cushion, in the act of prayer. The following inscription, now almost illegible, appears beneath. ...
— The History and Antiquities of Horsham • Howard Dudley

... the old man up, and the admiral put the writing materials before him, substituting a large quarto bible for a desk. Sir Wycherly, after several abortive attempts, finally got the pen in his hand, and with great difficulty traced six or seven nearly illegible words, running the line diagonally across the paper. By this time his powers failed him altogether, and he sunk back, dropping the pen, and closing his eyes in a partial insensibility. At this critical instant, the surgeon entered, and at once put an end ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... dated November 30, giving, it is presumed, an account of the military operations on that day, suffered so much in transitu, that it is illegible.] ...
— Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris • Henry Labouchere

... much worn, and in places is almost illegible, as might be expected," said Alf. "Let me see. 'Coast of Labrador, (something illegible here), 1611. This day the mutineers took possess ... (can't make out what follows), and put Captain Hudson, with his son, myself, the carpenter, and five sick men into the dinghy, ...
— The Giant of the North - Pokings Round the Pole • R.M. Ballantyne

... for our law is more than a republication of the law written on men's hearts. Though the one agrees with the other, yet the area which they cover is not the same. The precepts of the one, like some rock-hewn inscriptions by forgotten kings, are weathered and indistinct, often illegible, often misread, often neglected. The other is written in living characters in a perfect life. It includes all that the former attempts to enjoin, and much more besides. It alters the perspective, so to speak, of heathen morals, and brings into prominence ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... the letter, except four or five lines which (with his name) were so much blotted, apparently with tears, that they were illegible. ...
— Nature and Art • Mrs. Inchbald

... first of a series on the structure of the vertebrate skull; that the second will be "On the development of the osseous cranium of the Common Fowl" (and here (if you are good), I will permit you to introduce the episode on cartilage and membrane [illegible]); the third will be "On the chief modifications of the cranium ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... this day, Mr. Lacy received the following note. It seemed written at once with difficulty and with rapidity, and in parts was somewhat illegible. ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... gravel and shells, one mile and a half from the land, and two or three cables length from a shoal to the southward, which became dry at low water. Our latitude here was 10 deg. 30' from bearings, and longitude by time-keeper 142(? illegible in book) 181/2' east; but I was altogether at a loss to know what islands these were, under which we had anchored. Supposing the flat-topped island to have been the easternmost York Isle, the land we had ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 • Matthew Flinders

... to the use of a quill pen and the neglect of blotting-paper, was hopelessly illegible. Every one tried, and every one failed to decipher an important word on which the interest of one whole clause (and the letter ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in deciphering King Joseph's portfolio, and the immense mass of correspondence taken at Vittoria, he at first would hardly believe it, adding—"I would have given 20,000L. to any person who could have done this for me in the Peninsula." Sir William Napier's handwriting being almost illegible, Lady Napier made out his rough interlined manuscript, which he himself could scarcely read, and wrote out a full fair copy for the printer; and all this vast labour she undertook and accomplished, according to the testimony of her husband, without ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... Devil, to ruin the fruit of this work, employed two very malicious frauds: the first before it was printed, by drenching the MS. in a kennel, and having reduced it to a most pitiable state, rendered several parts illegible: the second, in obliging the printers to commit such numerous blunders, never yet equalled in so small a work. To combat this double machination of Satan he was obliged carefully to re-peruse the work, and ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... And the loneliness, the despair of this feeling, weighing upon his heart, robbed him of all courage to face the difficulties of work, so that in school as well as out of it, he was always in trouble. He was for ever clumsily scrawling in his now illegible hand the crooked and blotted lines of punishment which his seeming ignorance or sluggishness brought upon him; and although he was always to be seen at detention, he almost hailed this disgrace as affording him at least some miserable shadow of occupation, ...
— St. Winifred's - The World of School • Frederic W. Farrar

... is fictitious. The Atherington register has been vainly searched for the burial of Philippa Basset, and the Heanton register is marked in the return "illegible." ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... intelligibly to him, nor delighted by art which does not touch him; and for the writer to imply that he furnishes arguments, but does not pretend to furnish brains to understand the arguments, is arrogance. What Goethe says about the most legible handwriting being illegible in the twilight, is doubtless true; and should be oftener borne in mind by frivolous objectors, who declare they do not understand this or do not admire that, as if their want of taste and understanding were rather creditable than otherwise, and were decisive proofs of an author's insignificance. ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... Bryda read the rather illegible writing of the old Squire. When she had finished she looked up, and, with a deep sigh, ...
— Bristol Bells - A Story of the Eighteenth Century • Emma Marshall

... from which I extract is cropped, so that the last line is illegible. Can the noble editor of Pepys' Diary, or any of your readers, inform me who and what was this ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 36. Saturday, July 6, 1850 • Various

... meagre and duskily yellow visage, which was crossed and criss-crossed with a record of his long life in wrinkles, faithfully written, no doubt, but with such cramped chirography of Father Time that the purport was illegible. It seemed hardly worth while for the patriarch to get out of bed any more, and bring his forlorn shadow into the summer day that was made for younger folks. The Doctor, however, was by no means of that opinion, being considerably ...
— The Dolliver Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... for he found himself quite alone in the lofty room which was only lighted by the window in the ceiling. The rays of the sun fell opposite to him upon a tomb of the purest, whitest, marble quite covered with illegible hieroglyphics. Whilst he was still engaged in looking at the apparently ancient memorial tablet, he heard suddenly behind him the light rustling of a woman's dress, and when he turned round he gazed with pleasurable surprise into Edith Irwin's pale, ...
— The Coming Conquest of England • August Niemann

... find the inclosed letter frown Dr. Parr. It is written upon a half-sheet of paper, and in a very cramp and illegible hand. To whom it is addressed, or when written, I am unable to say. As it relates to the opinions held by Milton, perhaps you may think it worth insertion in your work, particularly as Milton has been the subject of some papers in "N. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 210, November 5, 1853 • Various

... memory, often retaining through life trivial and transient incidents, in all the freshness of minute details, while of far more important events, where laborious effort has been expended to leave a fair and lasting record, but faint and illegible ...
— Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters - Volume 3 • Various

... displays at night three red balls on a blue ground, once bore also, inscribed in graceful waves, the words 'Money advanced on plate, jewels, wearing apparel, and every description of property,' but a few illegible hieroglyphics are all that now remain to attest the fact. The plate and jewels would seem to have disappeared, together with the announcement, for the articles of stock, which are displayed in some profusion in the window, do not include any very valuable luxuries of either kind. A ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... that all words describing moral excellence tend to deteriorate and to contract their meaning, just as bright metal rusts by exposure, or coins become light and illegible by use. So it comes to pass that any decently respectable man, especially if he has an easy temper and a dash of frankness and good humour, is christened with this title 'good.' The Bible, which is the verdict of the Judge, is a great deal more chary in its use of the ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... doubt not for Torizi, in accordance with the G. Text ("le peuple de la cite que sunt apeles Tauriz"), with the Latin, and with Ramusio. All that he means to say is that the people are called Tabrizis. Not recondite information, but 'tis his way. Just so he tells us in ch[*illegible*]u that the people of Hermenia are called Hermins, and elsewhere that the people of Tebet are called Tebet. So Hayton thinks it not inappropriate to say that the people of Catay are called Cataini, that the people of Corasmia are called Corasmins, and that ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... the days of the mighty Puritan divines. Autographs of famous names were to be seen in faded ink on some of their fly-leaves; and there were marginal observations or interpolated pages closely covered with manuscript in illegible shorthand, perhaps concealing matter of profound truth and wisdom. The world will never be the better for it. A few of the books were Latin folios, written by Catholic authors; others demolished Papistry, as with a sledge-hammer, in plain English. A dissertation ...
— The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... made to do this. The greatest difficulty will be found in making titles of books that consist of a single word, look well. Thus if you have "CORIOLANUS" to place on a back which is not more than 5/8-inch wide, if it is put across as one word, as at fig. 95 (1), it will be illegible from the smallness of the type, and will tell merely as a gold line at a little distance. If a reasonably large type is used, the word must be broken up somewhat, as at (2), which is perhaps better, but still not ...
— Bookbinding, and the Care of Books - A handbook for Amateurs, Bookbinders & Librarians • Douglas Cockerell

... flattened, nanocephalous head, normal urine (phosphates 3.1), but anomalous reflex action and senses. Rigid, unequal pupils, tongue and lips inclined towards the right, shaky hand, astasia, aphasia, strong rotular reflex action, absence of cutaneous and cremasteric reflexes, illegible handwriting—a defect of long standing, since it was also found in writing dating back nine months before his arrest, uncertainty and errors of pronunciation (bradyphasia and dysarthria), complete insensibility to touch and the electric current, which gave him no sensation of pain. On the other ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

... the sight, after ordering the corpse to be removed, when the position of one of the dead man's hands struck him. On examination, he found the fore-finger extended, as if in the act of writing in the sand, with the following incomplete sentence, nearly illegible, but yet in a state to be deciphered: "Captain, it is true, as I am a gentle—" He had either died, or fallen into a sleep, the forerunner of his death, before ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... its walls rise to the region of the clouds. In a few minutes we had traversed it, and stood looking back on the enormous gap. There were several Greek tablets cut in the rock above the old road, but so defaced as to be illegible. This is undoubtedly the principal gate of the Taurus, and the pass through which the armies of ...
— The Lands of the Saracen - Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain • Bayard Taylor

... precipice, is still shown, together with his kitchen and the altar at which he once ministered. In the graveyard of one of the churches is a curious stone cross, of considerable size, evidently monumental, though the inscription has been so defaced as to be illegible. On the front of the cross there is a deep indentation much resembling that made by the hoof of a cow in soft earth, the bottom of the indentation being deepest at the sides and somewhat ridged in the middle. Concerning this ...
— Irish Wonders • D. R. McAnally, Jr.

... would fail in literature cannot begin too early to neglect his education, and to adopt every opportunity of not observing life and character. None of us is so young but that he may make himself perfect in writing an illegible hand. This method, I am bound to say, is too frequently overlooked. Most manuscripts by ardent literary volunteers are fairly legible. On the other hand there are novelists, especially ladies, who not only write a hand wholly declining ...
— How to Fail in Literature • Andrew Lang

... months and four days after—my uncle, Edward Prendick, a private gentleman, who certainly went aboard the Lady Vain at Callao, and who had been considered drowned, was picked up in latitude 5 degrees 3' S. and longitude 101 degrees W. in a small open boat of which the name was illegible, but which is supposed to have belonged to the missing schooner Ipecacuanha. He gave such a strange account of himself that he was supposed demented. Subsequently he alleged that his mind was a blank from the moment of his escape from the Lady Vain. ...
— The Island of Doctor Moreau • H. G. Wells

... recovered. A great degree of weakness and languor still depressed him; the air of Paris weighed on him like lead. He sighed for his native breeze at Andelys, and still more for his mother's embrace—his good and tender mother, whose letters to him were so often rendered almost illegible by her tears, and whose memory had been his sweetest comfort during the weary nights ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 462 - Volume 18, New Series, November 6, 1852 • Various

... obscurities in the text, and he has also read the proofs. I am indebted also to Mr. E. Gwynn, who has collated at Trinity College, Dublin, a number of passages in the Yellow Book of Lecan, which are illegible or incorrect in the facsimile; and to Dr. Whitley Stokes for notes and suggestions on many ...
— The Cattle-Raid of Cualnge (Tain Bo Cualnge) • Unknown

... human life these graves made real. Read the names of those buried a couple of centuries ago—captains, elders, ministers, governors, wives well beloved, children a span long, maidens in the blush of womanhood—half the tender inscriptions are illegible; the stones are broken, sunk, slanting to fall. What a pitiful attempt to keep the world mindful of ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... defaced that one could not tell the time of day; and when it struck, it was with noticeably disproportionate deliberation, as if it wished to correct any mistake into which the family might have fallen by reason of its illegible dial. ...
— Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... Copy of the agreement betwixt Mr. [illegible] overton and myself Where I Red the warrants. I ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume One - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776 • Theodore Roosevelt

... the file. In 1949 all of the original material on the incident had been microfilmed, but something had been spilled on the film. Many sections were so badly faded they were illegible. As I had to do with many of the older sightings that were now history, I collected what I could from the file, filling in the blanks by talking to people who had been at ATIC during the early UFO era. Many of these people ...
— The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects • Edward Ruppelt

... extreme importance of such men as Cohn [illegible] and Carter having observed apparent cases of heterogenesis. At present I should prefer any mad hypothesis, such as that every disintegrated molecule of the lowest forms can reproduce the parent-form, and that the molecules are universally distributed, and that they do not lose their vital power ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... all alike must learn but this amount will prove, when scrutinized, to be very small. I suppose we must all learn to read and write, and it is useful to be able to do a sum in simple addition; though very eminent people have often written very illegible hands, and Dean Stanley—one of the most accomplished men of his day—could never be persuaded that eighteen pence was not the equivalent of 1s. 8d. Zealots for various "knowledges" (to use the curious plural sanctioned ...
— Prime Ministers and Some Others - A Book of Reminiscences • George W. E. Russell

... and sparkling eyes. First he showed her the letter Francois had brought him. Unmarked by postal indications, the missive had evidently been intrusted to a private messenger of the governor whose seal it bore. Dated about three years previously, it was written in a somewhat illegible, but not unintelligible, scrawl, the duke's ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... asked Hamilton, handing the letter across to his sister and indicating an illegible line. "It looks like 'a ...
— Bones in London • Edgar Wallace

... latterly more often seen in taverns, it was over the teacups, even more than over the wine glasses, that Boswell made his notes. I have seen Boswell's signature after wine—on the minutes of a meeting of The Club—and he was in no condition then for the taking of notes. Even the signature is almost illegible.) But it is fitting that Gilbert, who loved all sorts of men so much, should be kept alive for the future by all sorts of men. From the focussing of many views from many angles this picture has been composed, but they are all views of one man, and the picture will show, I think, a singular ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... Fortitude. A long-bearded man [Samson?] tearing open a lion's jaw. The inscription is illegible, and the somewhat vulgar personification appears to belong rather to Courage than Fortitude. On the Renaissance copy it is inscribed "FORTITUDO SUM VIRILIS." The Latin word has, perhaps, been received by the sculptor as merely signifying ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... of a mistress, and receive your tailor's bill! How provokingly slow are most domestic chieftains in this anxious operation! They turn the letters over and over, and upside and down; arrange, confuse, mistake, assort; pretend, like Champollion, to decipher illegible franks, and deliver with a slight remark, which is intended as a friendly admonition, the documents of the unlucky wight ...
— The Young Duke • Benjamin Disraeli

... railroad English, had to help him find the pieces in the baggage-room, curiously estranged in a mountain of alien boxes. One official weighed them; another obliged him to pay as much in freight as for a third passenger, and gave him an illegible scrap of paper which recorded their number and destination. The interpreter and the porters took their fees with a professional effect of dissatisfaction, and he went to wait with his wife amidst the smoking and eating and drinking in the restaurant. They ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... and impatient temper, the writer seemed gently to complain. The ink of these manuscripts had faded by time, and, notwithstanding the great care which had obviously been taken for their preservation, they were in one or two places chafed so as to be illegible. ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... of the border, blossoming in fretted splendor all about the page. His cousin, Miss Deacon, called it all a great waste of time, and his father thought he would have done much better in trying to improve his ordinary handwriting, which was both ugly and illegible. Indeed, there seemed but a poor demand for the limner's art. He sent some specimens of his skill to an "artistic firm" in London; a verse of the "Maud," curiously emblazoned, and a Latin hymn with the notes priced on a red stave. The firm wrote civilly, telling him that his work, though ...
— The Hill of Dreams • Arthur Machen

... At this point the manuscript becomes absolutely illegible. I have conjectured Percy for the first name. It may be Richard, but I'll plunge on Percy. It's the surname that stumps me. Personally, I think it's MacCow, though I trust it isn't, for the kid's sake. I showed the letter to my brother, the one who's at Oxford. He swore it was Watson, but, on ...
— A Prefect's Uncle • P. G. Wodehouse

... by a stone cross, on the pedestal of which was an inscription commemorating a horrible murder of a native of Lisbon, which had occurred on that spot; it looked ancient, and was covered with moss, and the greater part of the inscription was illegible, at least it was to me, who could not bestow much time on its deciphering. Having arrived at Vendas Novas, and bespoken supper, my new friend and myself strolled forth to view the palace; it was built by the late king of ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... He had not seen Cornish since the evening when he had offered to make malgamite before him, and the experiment had taken such a deadly turn. He looked at him now and found his glance returned by an illegible smile. The question flashed through his mind and showed itself on his face as to why Roden had made such a mistake as to introduce a man like this into the Malgamite scheme. Von Holzen invited the gentlemen into the office. "It is small, ...
— Roden's Corner • Henry Seton Merriman

... proposition "It is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be," it knows that sweet is not bitter, and that black is not white. The ideas first known are not general axioms and abstract concepts, but particular impressions of the senses. Would nature write so illegible a hand that the mind must wait a long time before becoming able to read what had been inscribed upon it? It is often said, however, that innate ideas and principles may be obscured and, finally, completely extinguished by habit, ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... which date from 1695, is the following note: "March 23, 1779, a marriage was attempted to be solemnized; but the intended bridegroom, to the great surprise of the congregation assembled, remaining away, the ceremony, &c. . . ." The rest is illegible. ...
— A History of Horncastle - from the earliest period to the present time • James Conway Walter

... indentura continentur omnes libri existentes in libraria ecclesie beate Marie Lincoln de novo sub seruris cathenati, cuius quidem indenture una pars consuitur in fine nigri libri dicte ecclesie et altera pars remanet in.... The rest of the line is illegible. I have to thank the Rev. A. R. Maddison for kindly lending me his transcript of ...
— The Care of Books • John Willis Clark

... prime, to afford most striking and irresistible proof how completely he must have submitted himself for some very considerable period to the mechanical discipline of his father's office. It spoke to months after months of this humble toil, as distinctly as the illegible scrawl of Lord Byron did to his self-mastership from the hour that he left Harrow. There are some little technical tricks, such as no gentleman who has not been subjected to a similar regimen ever can fall into, which he practised invariably while composing his poetry, which ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... an opportunity of using some of this elaborately monogrammed paper which poor darling papa got for me, because I wanted to see how they could work my unpromising 'Z' into a respectable cipher. They have made it utterly illegible, and I believe that is the great point to ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... inspection, enough remained of silken slashes and a coarse embroidery, to identify the relics as having once formed part of a pair of trunk hose; while a few papers which fell from them, altogether illegible from damp and age, were by the unlearned rustics conveyed to the then owner ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... investigating magistrate. He jumped in his chair. Feeling that his face was turning crimson, he took up a large bundle of papers from his table, and, to hide his emotion, he raised them to his face, as though trying to decipher an illegible word. He began to understand the difficult duty with which he was charged. He knew that he was troubled like a child, having neither his usual calmness nor foresight. He felt that he might commit the most serious blunders. Why had he undertaken this investigation? Could he preserve himself ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

... Datchery, 'the old tavern way of keeping scores. Illegible except to the scorer. The scorer not committed, the scored debited with what is against him. Hum; ha! A very small score this; a very ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... in search of that of the Faliero family, and particularly of the Doge Marino's. "Oh," said he, "I will show it you;" and, conducting me to the outside, pointed out a sarcophagus in the wall with an illegible inscription[373]. He said that it had been in a convent adjoining, but was removed after the French came, and placed in its present situation; that he had seen the tomb opened at its removal; there were still some bones remaining, but no positive vestige of the decapitation. The equestrian ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... stood there in the bleak field exposed to the suns of summer and the storms of winter for more than one hundred and thirty years. The day of August on which she died and the number of years she had lived have become illegible by exposure,—impossible to be deciphered. The stone has lately been removed to Williams College, and with its companion relic, a stick of one of the timbers of Fort Shirley, and a few other memorials of the well and fort, are ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 5 • Various

... shillings. A wooden image after the similitude of the Lord King Edward, deceased, 40 shillings. A crown of copper, gilt, 7 shillings, 4 pence. Vestments for the body, in which he was buried, a German coverchief, and three-quarters [here a word is illegible, probably linen]; item, one pillow to put under his head, 4 shillings [? the amount is nearly obliterated]. Gilt paint for the hearse, 1 shilling. Wages of the painter [a few words illegible] grey colour, 2 shillings, (Wardrobe ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... difficulty for a primitive engraver is to make his scratch deep enough to be visible. Visibility is quite as essential to your fame as permanence; and if you have only your furrow to depend on, the engraved tablet, at certain times of day, will be illegible, ...
— Ariadne Florentina - Six Lectures on Wood and Metal Engraving • John Ruskin



Words linked to "Illegible" :   unreadable, indecipherable, illegibility, dirty, foul, marked-up, undecipherable, legible, unclear



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