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Illusive   /ɪlˈusɪv/   Listen
Illusive

adjective
1.
Based on or having the nature of an illusion.  Synonym: illusory.  "Secret activities offer presidents the alluring but often illusory promise that they can achieve foreign policy goals without the bothersome debate and open decision that are staples of democracy"






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"Illusive" Quotes from Famous Books



... illusive and destructive, be banished henceforward from your thoughts for ever. Resolve, and keep your resolution; choose, and pursue your choice. If you spend this day in study, you will find yourself still more able to study to-morrow; not that you are to expect that ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... them there, from the sunrise to its setting, the spectral illusive shapes of the mirage floated like restless spirit betwixt heaven and earth ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... Now soft eyes invited burning glances, and graceful heads swayed alluringly toward the handsome cavaliers who momentarily had found lodgment in hearts which, like palaces, had many ante-chambers. From hidden recesses, strains of music filled the room with tinkling passages of sensuous, but illusive, harmony; a dream of ardor, masked in the ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... author of 'Wuthering Heights.' Through these years we discern the brilliant heiress to be a person of infinitely inferior importance to the ill-dressed and overworked Vicar's daughter. Imperial Shirley, no need to wave your majestic wand, we have bowed to it long ago unblinded; and all its illusive splendours are not so potent as that worn-down goose-quill which you used to wield in the busy kitchen of your ...
— Emily Bront • A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

... face— My faith and love Shall henceforth fixed be, And nothing here have power to move My soul's serenity. My life shall seem a trance, a dream, And all I feel and see Illusive, visionary—thou The one reality. ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... illusive and specious, Till chance had there voiced me That one I loved vainly in nonage Had ceased ...
— Wessex Poems and Other Verses • Thomas Hardy

... illusive light and these ever-changing vistas— what lies? I am weary of their vanishing glories. I would not wish to mount up through dreams to behold the true and fall away powerlessly, but would rather return to earth, though in pain, ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... true. His little physiognomy had no more expression than a withered nut. But there was something about it more disturbing than its vanishing intelligence, something unexpected, and out of harmony with the rest of him, yet so illusive that, flit over him as her eye would, she failed to ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... whose friendship he had not concealed that he would prefer. The Protestant princes had shrunk therefore, and wisely, from allowing themselves to be made the instruments of worldly policy; and the efforts at a combination had hitherto been illusive and ineffectual. Danger now compelled the king to change his hesitation into more honest advances. If Germany accepted the mediation of Francis, and returned to communion with Rome; and if, under the circumstances of a reunion, a general council were assembled; there could be little doubt ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... this chapter implies the behavior of human beings, as a matter of course, and the study of this subject is, at once, both alluring and illusive. No sooner has the student arrived at deductions that seem conclusive than exceptions begin to loom up on his speculative horizon that disintegrate his theories and cause him to retrace the steps of ...
— The Vitalized School • Francis B. Pearson

... person of Woking, Whose mind was perverse and provoking; He sate on a rail, with his head in a pail, That illusive old person ...
— Nonsense Books • Edward Lear

... a battery in the army engaged in the conquest of New Mexico. His command encamped near the base of the mountain which now bears his name. Deceived by the illusive effect of the atmosphere, he started out for a morning stroll to the supposed near-by elevation, announcing that he would return in time for breakfast. The day passed with no sign of Captain Fisher, and night lengthened into a new day. When the second day passed without his return, his ...
— Last of the Great Scouts - The Life Story of William F. Cody ["Buffalo Bill"] • Helen Cody Wetmore

... commerce, or manufactures. The operation of the tariff has not proved so injurious to the two former or as beneficial to the latter as was anticipated. Importations of foreign goods have not been sensibly diminished, while domestic competition, under an illusive excitement, has increased the production much beyond the demand for home consumption. The consequences have been low prices, temporary embarrassment, and partial loss. That such of our manufacturing establishments as are based upon capital and are prudently managed ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, - Vol. 2, Part 3, Andrew Jackson, 1st term • Edited by James D. Richardson

... was more difficult than sketching from nature. She could not follow the drawing, it seemed to escape her. It did not exist in lines which she could measure, which she could follow. It seemed to have grown out of the canvas rather than to have been placed there. The faces were leaned over—illusive foreshortenings which she could not hope to catch. The girl in front of her was making, it seemed to Mildred, a perfect copy. There seemed to be no difference, or very little, between her work and Reynolds's. Mildred felt that she could copy the copy easier ...
— Celibates • George Moore

... there—she saw him there waiting for Reddy. Dry-eyed this sorrowful woman had heard the sentence pronounced, dry eyed she had followed the little coffin to its grave; tears had not come even when waking from illusive dreams she put out her hand in bed to a child who was not there; but when she saw Tommy waiting at the door for Reddy, who had been dead for a month, her bosom moved and she could ...
— Sentimental Tommy - The Story of His Boyhood • J. M. Barrie

... for corn. And then, to crown all, he sends us bushels of gold rings as a specimen of the riches he has obtained by plunder, and accompanies the offering with a demand for new supplies of money. In my opinion, his success is all illusive and hollow. There seems to be nothing substantial in his situation except his necessities, and the heavy burdens upon the ...
— Hannibal - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... have I been tempted to fulfill my father's last wish! But at such a time it has always come to my mind that I too might have such a son, who would cast into his father's teeth that he was a coward and a selfish man; that he sacrificed a life for his illusive hopes. ...
— The Continental Classics, Volume XVIII., Mystery Tales • Various

... felt for her good-looking, helpless patient a profound and honest pity. I do not know whether she had ever heard that "pity was akin to love." She would probably have resented that utterly untenable and atrocious commonplace. There was no suggestion, real or illusive, of any previous masterful quality in the man which might have made his present dependent condition picturesque by contrast. He had come to her handicapped by an unromantic accident and a practical want of energy and intellect. He would have to touch her ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... an enigma, and like children pursuing an Ignis Fatuus, so do we all pursue the illusive beacon light of a brighter and happier to-morrow—always hoping, never attaining, though striving ever until, wearied of the vain pursuit, at last we fall by the wayside and ...
— Pocket Island - A Story of Country Life in New England • Charles Clark Munn

... enjoy the later ones. With these new opinions of the fly, began a crusade against him; and now the boys can't have any more fun with him—that is, only good boys can—the kind that catch him with illusive traps, for a cent a hundred. The other kind of boys may occasionally be sports enough to hunt him with the swatter; but it's pretty poor hunting: for the game is so shy that generally before you get within reach of him, he is off: so swatting him is difficult, ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... mentions made of this effusion I gathered that it was like a moonlit expanse, quiet, somnolent, cool, and flat as a month of prairies. Rapture, conviction, tenderness, often glowed upon Alcott's features and trembled in his voice. I believe he was never once startled from the dream of illusive joy which pictured to him all high aims as possible of realization through talk. Often he was so happy that he could have danced like a child; and he laughed merrily like one; and the quick, upward lift of his head, which his great height induced him ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... such vanities, and as little expects to meet with artistic wonders outside his ideal world of sound as with great writers bred on our effete and discoloured language. Rather than lend an ear to illusive consolations, he prefers to turn his unsatisfied gaze stoically upon our modern world, and if his heart be not warm enough to feel pity, let it at least feel bitterness and hate! It were better for him to show anger and scorn than to take cover in spurious contentment or steadily to drug himself, ...
— Thoughts out of Season (Part One) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... love words with the red-cheeked maids, and something had happened to the dashing spirit of the youth. All through those long days in the forest, those short blue nights under the velvet sky, one image had stood before him, calm, smiling, quivering with that illusive light which held men's hearts. Never a day that he could win forgetfulness of the face of Maren Le Moyne, and now he glanced toward her doorway. It lay in the sunlight without a foot upon its sill, and Marc sighed unconsciously. He was not ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... intensity, in the over-emotion of his self-centered passion, so terribly driven to prove to himself something vague yet all-powerful, illusive yet imperious, divined what these Blue Devil soldiers had been through. His mind was more than telepathic. Almost it seemed that souls were bared to him. These soldiers, quiet, intent, made up a grim group of men. They ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... partial and broken truth, and they exhibit cross-sections of the evolution of thought in some of its most charming moments. Besides all this, they are exceedingly valuable as providing us with that general sense of religion, vague and illusive, which is deeper than ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... cycle of incarnation is made up of two alternating states: a short one called life on earth, during which the Pilgrim-God is plunged into gross matter, and a comparatively long one, called life in Devachan, during which he is encircled by subtle matter, illusive still, but far less illusive than that of earth. The second state may fairly be called his normal one, as it is of enormous extent as compared with the breaks in it that he spends upon earth; it ...
— Death—and After? • Annie Besant

... the trifling carelessness of one giving himself up to the plaything of the hour. Not having, from the very first, been chary of the sidelong glance and the winning smile, and whatever grace of style or manner could tempt him to pursuit, as an illusive appearance of success seemed to beckon her onward, her heart at times grew desperate with the apprehension that all had been in vain. For Sergius, content that the wife whom he neglected did not disturb his repose with idle complaints, had ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... himself for the bar, or for any other professional pursuit. No,—there was only one pursuit left open to him, the pursuit of pleasure, and he had not sufficiently recovered from his late shock to start off in chase of that illusive phantom. Bertha's letter roused him out of this miserable, mind-paralyzing apathy. In the very next train which left for Rennes he was on his ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... and particularly as touches the springs of action among that common run that do not habitually formulate their aspirations and convictions in extended and grammatically defensible documentary form, and the drift of whose impulses therefore is not masked or deflected by the illusive consistencies of set speech,—as touches the common run, particularly, it will hold true with quite an unacknowledged generality that the material means of life are, after all, means only; and that when the question of what things are worth while is brought to the final test, it is not these means, ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... boy, now fairly excited, and his cheeks glowing with animation; "and more than a fortune. Fame and honors shall be heaped upon us. Do you imagine that I have been wasting the last three years of my life? do you believe that the ambition which was the subject of your illusive aim at college is dead? No! look here, Carl and Krantz, this day week will see me famous, and ennoble my family till it vies even ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 8, 1850 • Various

... of the younger generation. Mere age, he saw, reduces the complexity of desire, but renders it single and intense. Whether his father was right or not in his gloomy analysis, he was deeply convinced and foiled. His last method of success had turned out illusive, yet he had not reproached, nor domineered, nor dictated, nor appealed. He had expressed a little of his keen sorrow, but insidiously this attitude had ...
— The Man Who Wins • Robert Herrick

... spiritualistic type and is radically opposed to the materialism of the Sankya school. In one school the Divine Being is nothing and materialism has full sway; while in the other Brahm is everything, and all that appears to men—the phenomenal—is false and illusive. ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... to let her dance with other men," he said under his breath. He balanced carefully, stretched out one arm to encircle an imaginary waist and started heavily to tread the illusive measure. Suddenly he realized that he was not alone. Farther down a couple were swaying in the shadows. Then Dolly's voice ...
— Skippy Bedelle - His Sentimental Progress From the Urchin to the Complete - Man of the World • Owen Johnson

... as in nearly all the other dialogues of Plato, we are made aware that formal logic has as yet no existence. The old difficulty of framing a definition recurs. The illusive analogy of the arts and the virtues also continues. The ambiguity of several words, such as nature, custom, the honourable, the good, is not cleared up. The Sophists are still floundering about the distinction of the real and seeming. Figures of speech are made ...
— Gorgias • Plato

... not Hope's illusive ray, Trust not Joy's deceitful smiles; Oft they reckless youth betray With their ...
— Heart Utterances at Various Periods of a Chequered Life. • Eliza Paul Kirkbride Gurney

... occurred in which I had to defend the rights of the diplomatic and commercial agents against the pretensions of military power. Marshal Brune during his government at Hamburg, went to Bremman. to watch the strict execution of the illusive blockade against England. The Marshal acting no doubt, in conformity with the instructions of Clarke, then Minister of War and Governor of Berlin, wished to arrogate the right of deciding on the captures made by ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... sagacious huntsmen less regard His inward habits: the vain babbler shun, Ever loquacious, ever in the wrong. His foolish offspring shall offend thy ears With false alarms, and loud impertinence. Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks 70 Illusive from the pack; to the next hedge Devious he strays, there every mews he tries: If haply then he cross the steaming scent, Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults As of the pack supreme, and in his speed And strength unrivalled. Lo! cast far behind His vexed associates pant, ...
— The Poetical Works of Addison; Gay's Fables; and Somerville's Chase • Joseph Addison, John Gay, William Sommerville

... trac'd by memory, seem "Like yon' illusive meteor's glancing light; "That o'er the darkness threw its instant gleam, "Then sunk, and vanish'd in the depth ...
— Poems (1786), Volume I. • Helen Maria Williams

... the sideboard. The doctor poured some spirit into a glass. "Drink this," he said. Theophil drank it raw, as though it had been water; and presently a certain illusive hope began to stir like an opening rose in his brain, and when the doctor had gone he turned to that decanter again. Perhaps if he drank enough he would find that Jenny was not to die, after all. At all events, the spirit gave him ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... dead crowding, hurrying, threatening. She seemed to see them, a dense and awful concourse, closing round her, to hear them whispering, muttering, jibing—at her, a thing apart, an alien soul whose presence they resented. The clamorous voices rang in her ears; vague shapes, illusive and shadowy, appeared to float before her eyes. She shrank from what seemed the contact of actual bodily forms. Unnerved and overwrought she yielded to the horror of her own imagination. With a stifled cry she turned and fled, her arms outstretched ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... pari passu with the requisite exercises for the development of the powers of the voice and with the study of the principles of vocal interpretation, has resulted in a meretricious accomplishment of very illusive value. ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... but a fancy? Clancy could not be there, either in the trees, or on the earth. She knows it is but a deception of her senses—an illusive vision—such as occur to clairvoyantes, ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... kindly nurses as they pass on their way to a new world. Their small stature, as I said, does not prove them infants, but only new-born into that other life, and contrasts their helplessness with the powers, the great presences, now around them. A cow, far enough from Myron's famous illusive animal, suckles her calf. She is [275] one of almost any number of artistic symbols of new-birth, of the renewal of life, drawn from a world which is, after all, so full of it. On one side sits enthroned, as some have thought, the Goddess ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... the verge of the grave. Eva's step was again in the garden,—in the balconies; she played and laughed again,—and her father, in a transport, declared that they should soon have her as hearty as anybody. Miss Ophelia and the physician alone felt no encouragement from this illusive truce. There was one other heart, too, that felt the same certainty, and that was the little heart of Eva. What is it that sometimes speaks in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that its earthly time is short? Is it the secret instinct of decaying nature, or the soul's impulsive ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... tint in the stuff, to give a transparent effect. I should like Irene's opinion. I'm ordering the purple leather curtains for the doorway of this court; and if you distemper the drawing-room ivory cream over paper, you'll get an illusive look. You want to aim all through the decorations at what I ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... happy tears as I lifted them to him, standing at his side. "If you could only trust God, believe in Him as Mr. Bowen does, you would find every other delight in life illusive, compared with the joy He would ...
— Medoline Selwyn's Work • Mrs. J. J. Colter

... and the old man bears it in his trembling hands to the carefully prepared furnace where fire must add to its beauty of form the illusive, decisive ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... based on sand. In true science the question of race as represented by the Southern school partisans of slavery, with Agassiz, the so-called professor of Charleston by European savans, at their head,—that question is at the best an illusive element, and endangers the accuracy of induction. As it presents itself to the unprejudiced investigator, race is nothing more than the single manifestation of anterior stages of existence, the aggregate ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... Side of Nature"—such efforts have proved deplorable failures. The young people of to-day make light of ghosts. The spectres in the incantation scene of "Der Freyschutz" are received with roars of laughter, and even the statue in Don Giovanni seems "jolly," notwithstanding the illusive music of Mozart. We were about to remark that the age had outgrown superstition, but we remembered the Rochester knockings, and concluded to ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... the streams. The rest of the mountain was thickly wooded. Here were great oaks and splendid evergreens with trunks like mossy pillars, from the branches of which hung garlands of ivy and mistletoe, and persimmon trees, the odour of which pervaded every nook and corner of the wood—an illusive, fragrant something that made the heart glad. In places the wild muscadine and scuppernong vines stretched from tree to tree, making arbours which were always full of butterflies and buzzing insects. It was delightful to lose ourselves in the green hollows of that tangled wood ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... lace-work. But after all, in his secret soul of souls, he had longed to eat of the omelette. Dieu! how often during those slow, quiet years in the little hamlet yonder on the plain, had its sweetness and lightness mocked his tongue with illusive tasting! Little wonder, therefore, that the good cure's praises were sweet in madame's ear, for they had the ring of truth—and of envy! And madame herself was only mortal, for what woman lives ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... crimson colour faded And wanton Autumn's lips and cheeks were pale; And when the sorrowing year had slowly waded, With failing footsteps, through the snow-filled vale. I woke and knew the glamour of a season Had lent illusive lustre to a dream, And looking in the clear calm eyes of Reason, I smiled and said, "Farewell to things that seem." 'Twas but a red leaf from a lush September The wind of dreams across my pathway blew, But oh! my love! the whole round year remember, With all its seasons I bestow on you. The red ...
— The Kingdom of Love - and Other Poems • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... kept a moment after Madame La Tour's name, between Antonia and her illusive visitor. The dwarf seemed clad in sumptuous garments. A cap of rich velvet could be discerned on her flaring hair instead of the gull-breast covering ...
— The Lady of Fort St. John • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... literary skill, and have drawn fanciful pictures of a pious frugal household, of a gallant frontiersman endowed with a long catalogue of noble qualities, and of a mother like a Madonna in the wilderness.[17] Yet all the evidence that there is goes to show that this romantic coloring is purely illusive. Rough, coarse, low, ignorant, and poverty-stricken surroundings were about the child; and though we may gladly avail ourselves of the possibility of believing his mother to have been superior to all the rest of it, yet she could by no means ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. I. • John T. Morse

... room was so high and large that its stiff gilt and brocade furnishing appeared insignificant. Three long windows faced the Lungarno, but two were screened with green slatted blinds and heavily draped, and the light within was silvery and illusive. A small man in correct English clothes, with a pointed bald head and ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... "Even your clumsy description has strangely stirred my youthful blood, and 'I longs fer ter see this hyar wonderful child dryad of ther primeval forest.' If you ever go back there, you had better wear magic armor as protection against that illusive smile which seems to have cast a spell of enchantment ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... patience than would be needed, and the spirit of his people reassured him. If the lukewarm, compromising temper of the past winter had caused him to feel any lurking anxious doubts as to how the crisis would be met, such illusive mists were now cleared away in a moment before ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. I. • John T. Morse

... read the ground, the streams, the sagebrush, and the horizon as a primer set in fat black type. Leader of them, and official guide, was a man named Grover, who could tell by the hither side of a bluff what was on the farther side. But for five days the trails were illusive, finally vanishing in a spread of faint footprints radiating from a centre telling us that the Indians had broken up and scattered over separate ways. And so again we seemed to have been deceived in this ...
— The Price of the Prairie - A Story of Kansas • Margaret Hill McCarter

... alternative but to fight. All other schemes were illusive. The supreme crisis of the Nation had come, and there was no other way than for the loyalty of the country to assert itself. The courage of the people had to be put to the proof, to see whether they were worthy of the heritage of freedom that had ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... finest painter's hand. Then the spaces of water between the floes, if not too large, appeared uniformly in deep wine-color,—an effect for which one must have more science than I to account. It is attributed to contrast; but if thus illusive, it is at least an illusion not to be looked out of countenance. No local color could assert itself more firmly. One marvellous morning, too, a dense, but translucent, mist hovered closely, beneath strong sunshine, over the ice, lending to its innumerable fantastic ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... not the conscious states, are sublated by the waking consciousness. Nobody thinks 'the cognitions of which I was conscious in my dream are unreal'; what men actually think is 'the cognitions are real, but the things are not real.' In the same way the illusive state of consciousness which the magician produces in the minds of other men by means of mantras, drugs, &c., is true, and hence the cause of love and fear; for such states of consciousness also are not sublated. The cognition which, owing to some ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... personal care; and Marius, relieved a little by his preparations for travelling from a certain over-tension [159] of spirit in which he had lived of late, was presently on his way, to await introduction to Aurelius, on his expected return home, after a first success, illusive enough as it was soon to appear, against the ...
— Marius the Epicurean, Volume One • Walter Horatio Pater

... or civilized, was with me. It was better to be alone to listen to the monkeys that chattered without offending; to watch them occupied with the unserious business of their lives. With that luxuriant tropical nature, its green clouds and illusive aerial spaces, full of mystery, they harmonized well in language, appearance, and motions—mountebank angels, living their fantastic lives far above earth in a ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... felt, vaguely, from time to time, the strength with which Stephen held to him. It was never expressed in word nor in action but it came leaping sometimes, like fire, into the midst of their conversation—it was never tangible—always illusive. ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... of happiness is deemed a tragedy. But far greater is the tragedy when the illusive charm of romance departs, and love and marriage are reduced to the commonplace. Unless you find the man who carries your whole nature by storm, and who makes you feel that life without him will be insupportable, do not be led again to the altar ...
— A Woman of the World - Her Counsel to Other People's Sons and Daughters • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... him—about Withers' peculiar behaviour; the whole case against Perry; the illusive personage with the chestnut beard and gold tooth; Morley's suspicious story and actions; and, lastly, Maria Fulton's highly puzzling narrative of what she had seen and not seen in ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... intellect. Her knowledge that, by the charms of sense, she had mastered even him transformed her into a strange and wonderful creature. She learned to study the weaknesses of men, to play on their emotions, to appeal to every subtle taste and fancy. In her were blended mental power and that illusive, indefinable gift which is ...
— Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete - The Romance of Devotion • Lyndon Orr

... one can copy Corot. The work that he did after he attained freedom and swung away from Claude and Constable has an illusive, intangible, subtle and spiritual quality that no imitator can ever catch on his canvas. Corot could not even copy his own pictures—his work is born of the spirit. His effects are something beyond skill of hand, something beyond mere knowledge of technique. You ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... will undergo at almost every page they read an intense and singular experience. The curtain drawn between ourselves and reality, enveloping everything including ourselves in its illusive folds, seems of a sudden to fall, dissipated by enchantment, and display to the mind depths of light till then undreamt, in which reality itself, contemplated face to face for the first time, stands fully revealed. ...
— A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson • Edouard le Roy

... suddenly a dim, pure light was shining in front of him, on his own level, it seemed. He stared at it with starting eyeballs. It cleft the vapors,—they were falling away on either side,—and they reflected it with an illusive, pearly shimmer. ...
— The Young Mountaineers - Short Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... understand how difficult it is to maintain in the same course men prone to every form of credulity. For, as the mass of mankind remains always at about the same pitch of misery, it never assents long to any one remedy, but is always best pleased by a novelty which has yet proved illusive. ...
— The Philosophy of Spinoza • Baruch de Spinoza

... head; and after he had skimmed the cream of the day's events he read more leisurely, stopping to watch the spirals with a certain lazy enjoyment. They seemed to grow increasingly larger. They spun themselves about into all kinds of shapes, wavering and illusive, that defied the somewhat atrophied imagination ...
— The Primrose Ring • Ruth Sawyer

... over his cup of muddy coffee he had a curious sense that his mind was intent on keeping at bay some half-formulated fear. He felt pursued, as by an indistinct dream. Yet he was cunning enough to pretend that this something was too illusive to capture outright, so he turned his thoughts to all manner of remote things. But there are times when it is almost as difficult to deceive oneself as to cheat others. In the midst of his thoughts he suddenly realized that under ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... consistent with the impression she was making on him. As yet he had hardly regarded her as a young girl; she had been part of this beautiful desert-land. But he began to see in her a responsive being, influenced by his presence. If the situation was wonderful to him what must it be for her? Like a shy, illusive creature, unused to men, she was troubled by questions, fearful of the sound of her own voice. Yet in repose, as she watched the lights and shadows, she was serene, unconscious; her dark, quiet glance was dreamy and sad, and in it was the sombre, ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... wrong, that swept her at last along the road that led to the scaffold. At twenty-six the vocation of the religieuse had lost its fascination; the pious fervor of her childhood had vanished before the skepticism of her intellect, its ardent friendships had grown dim, its fleeting loves had proved illusive, and her romantic dreams ended in a ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... to their illusive Devachan, an ideal, a mere mystical sentiment to gush over, but a something they do not in reality comprehend. Therefore, we shall do our utmost to explain this universal law, and to point out wherein its first principles ...
— The Light of Egypt, Volume II • Henry O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne

... bridge. The island and its shadow were one black mass rising from the park up to the level of the moon, which, a little to the right, between the town and the island, lay reflected in a narrow strip of water. Farther away some reeds were visible in the illusive light, and the meditative chatter of dozing ducks stirred the silence which wrapped ...
— Vain Fortune • George Moore

... affair which started the whole thing. Auber must have taken the suggestion it contained much more seriously than any of us for several years imagined; nor did we connect the long contemplativeness of the man with any definite purpose. The thing was too vague and illusive to become ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... whether she was awake or asleep. Twice a week John Henry's horse carried Oliver for a ride with Abby and Susan, and on these evenings he stayed so late that Virginia ceased presently even to make a pretence of waiting supper. Several times, on September afternoons, when the country burned with an illusive radiance as if it were seen through a mirage, she put on her old riding-habit, which she had hunted up in the attic at the rectory, and mounting one of Abby's horses, started to accompany them; but her conscience ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... friends consider me one of the luckiest of men. But all I have oppresses me and makes me more lonely. When I was sharing your sorrows and poverty, I was tenfold happier than I am now. I live in a place haunted by ghosts, and everything in life appears illusive. I feel to-night as if I were losing you. Your professional duties will take you here and there, where I cannot see ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... they, The tender souls, who love the melting mood, Suck from your work their melancholy food; Now this one, and now that, you deeply stir, Each sees the working of his heart laid bare. Their tears, their laughter, you command with ease, The lofty still they honour, the illusive love. Your finish'd gentlemen you ne'er can please; A growing mind alone will ...
— Faust Part 1 • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... dreamed—and an epoch-making art project was born. Madame du Barry admired and made her own the since famous du Barry rose colour, and the Sevres porcelain factories reproduced it for her. But how to produce this particular illusive shade of deep, purplish-pink became a forgotten art, when the seductive person of the king's mistress was ...
— The Art of Interior Decoration • Grace Wood

... and extended nostrils, the horse gazes intently at the rippling blue waters of the mirage, that most tantalizingly deceptive phenomenon of nature. May it never be the lot of my reader to be misled by the illusive mirage as I have been. How could I mistake vapor for clear, gurgling water? Yet, how many times was I here deceived! Visions of great lakes and broad rivers rose up before me, lapping emerald green shores, where I could cool my parched tongue and lave ...
— Through Five Republics on Horseback • G. Whitfield Ray

... blackness on the vessel's lee, or breaking and boiling to windward. It was sheer blind chaos to the sight, and you might have supposed that the brig was in the midst of some enormous vaporous turmoil, so illusive and indefinable were the shadows of the storm-tormented night—one block of blackness melting into another, with sometimes an extraordinary faintness of light speeding along the dark sky like to the dim reflection of a lanthorn flinging its radiance from ...
— The Frozen Pirate • W. Clark Russell

... heaps of scoria that have accumulated in the vicinity of the iron works give the place an illusive air of antiquity; bit it is neither ancient nor picturesque. The oldest and most pictorial thing in Stillwater is probably the marble yard, around three sides of which the village may be said to have sprouted up ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... the illusive shade of the fig and magnolia trees, and lunch was soon spread. As we ate, conversation turned upon the annoying persistency of Eastern guides, and reference was made to the exciting circumstances attending the engagement ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... appeared, when he won her early affection, she experienced emotions of only tenderness and joy. This, alas! was but the sunshine of a few short moments; recollections rose, like clouds, upon her mind, and, darkening the illusive image, that possessed it, she again beheld Valancourt, degraded—Valancourt unworthy of the esteem and tenderness she had once bestowed upon him; her spirits faltered, and, withdrawing her hand, she turned from him to conceal ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... feeding only on dreams. When he returns from the theatre to the world of realities, he is again compressed within its narrow bounds; he is its denizen as before—for it remains what it was, and in him nothing has been changed. What, then, has he gained beyond a momentary illusive pleasure which vanished ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. III • Kuno Francke (Editor-in-Chief)

... creature when she came out of her room an hour or two later to show herself to her mother before she stepped into the hated jampan. Her dress was a delicate creation of white lace and chiffon, with illusive shimmerings of silver in its folds that came and went with every one of her graceful movements. She was a tall and slender girl, with a beautiful long white throat, smooth and round, that took on entrancing curves of pride and gentleness, of humility and nobleness. ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... Lady of Sorrows" stands upon the crescent moon behind a row of lighted candles raised in relief of white, gold and silver. Her little face with wide-set eyes looks down upon you from an elaborate silver crown set against a radiant halo of fine and illusive design, and her two beautiful hands clasp to her heart the shining swords that typify the Seven Sorrows. The dignity of her pose, the submission and pathos of her haunting eyes waken you to a new sense of the majesty of pain. I felt, as I looked up, that I was sharing a common gratitude ...
— My Impresssions of America • Margot Asquith

... quitted the office and walked together toward the corrals the latter's brow was corrugated by thought and his facial expression that of one who labors to fasten upon a baffling and illusive recollection. ...
— The Mucker • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... benefits from fantastic beings, whom he supposed to be above Nature; whom he mistakingly imagined to be the authors of his pleasures, and the cause of his misfortunes. From hence it appears that to his ignorance of Nature, man owes the creation of those illusive powers; under which he has so long trembled with fear; that superstitious worship, which has been the source of all his misery, and the ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... of the Legislature was at hand; another year, and perhaps years unforeseen in number, were to be occupied in the same slow, illusive quest. ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... beauty would buy wealth and worldly position, and so she cast him off. Yet partly to gratify her own lingering feeling, and partly because she could not wholly renounce what had once been hers, she kept up for years with him just that illusive simulacrum which such women call friendship; which, while constantly denying, constantly takes pains to attract, and drains the heart of ...
— Pink and White Tyranny - A Society Novel • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... oracle; while they, The tender souls, who love the melting mood, Suck from your work their melancholy food; Now this one, and now that, you deeply stir, Each sees the working of his heart laid bare. Their tears, their laughter, you command with ease, The lofty still they honor, the illusive love. Your finish'd gentlemen you ne'er can please; A growing mind alone ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... of the situation, in which in spite of Shakespeare and the rest poor modern sceptics still find themselves, is an indication of how hopelessly illusive all talk of "progress" is. Between Calvin on the one hand and the Sorbonne on the other, Montaigne might well shuffle home from his municipal duties and read Horace in his tower. And we, after three hundred odd years, have ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... the balance of the year. Wayne occupied the time in urging active operations and trying to infuse a more aggressive spirit into the management of affairs. At this time public affairs were very much hampered by a feeling of indifference as well as an illusive notion that peace would soon follow. This affected the nation and the army. Wayne baffled these false ideas with all his powers. He urged the Government to forward needed supplies of clothing and food. He could not be inactive; fervid, earnest, ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 2 of 8 • Various

... grass slopes before him—from exactly the opposite side. Then, they had seemed to him the only realities, these tangible physical things, and all else illusion: now it was the physical things that were illusive, and something else that was real. Once again the two elements of life lay detached—matter and spirit; but it was as obviously now spirit that was the reality as it had been matter a day or two before. It was obviously absurd to regard these outward things on which he looked ...
— None Other Gods • Robert Hugh Benson

... rushing Aeolus on viewless wing, The flower-crowned Queen of every cultured lea, And he who walked, with monarch-tread, the sea, The awful Thunderer, threatening them aloud, God! were their vain imaginings of Thee, Who saw Thee only through the illusive cloud That sin had flung around their ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... the thing-in-itself is, after all, that which lays aside all the subordinate forms of phenomena, and has retained the first and most universal form, that of the idea in general, the form of being object for a subject. Plato attributes actual being only to the Ideas, and concedes only an illusive, dream-like existence to things in space and time, the real ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... of the sort; but I was glad to learn it. I drew Minnie out a little more about the Athletics and my visit to Berry Pomeroy. She wouldn't tell me much: she was too illusive and indefinite: she never could get the notion out of her head, somehow, that I remembered all about it, and was only pretending to forgetfulness. But I gathered from what she said, that Dr. Ivor and I must have flirted a great deal; or, at least, that he must have paid me a good ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... helped me to restrain and conceal all my own feelings; but if this were dispelled; if she came to greet me with the bright conscious flush of passion; if I saw reflected in her eyes the fire that burnt in me; if I were permitted to take her into my arms and cheat myself for a single illusive instant with the thought that she was mine—what would it all mean? Only giving a sharper, more cutting edge to the bit in my mouth and rousing in her a hunger I could not satisfy. She was at present devoted to her art with a devotion that left her ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... greatest charm. The plant is social, and in some places where scarcely any other kind exists it covers large areas with a sea of fleecy-white plumes; in late summer, and in autumn, the tints are seen, varying from the most delicate rose, tender and illusive as the blush on the white under-plumage of some gulls, to purple and violaceous. At no time does it look so perfect as in the evening, before and after sunset, when the softened light imparts a mistiness to ...
— The Naturalist in La Plata • W. H. Hudson

... was bowed out, to perambulate the streets in rather bitter humour. Was he to return to the poor, scantily supplied home, and continue a drag on its resources, lingering out his days in illusive hopes? Oh that his strong hands and strong heart had some scope for their energies! He paused in one mighty torrent of busy faces and eager footsteps, and despised himself for his inaction. All ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... our sense of what is illusive in the illusion of the puppets, let us sit not too far from the stage. Choosing our place carefully, we shall have the satisfaction of always seeing the wires at their work, while I think we shall lose nothing of what is most savoury in the feast of the illusion. There is ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... and bought my potatoes and turnips like any other man; for, between all the various systems of gardening pursued, I was obliged to confess that my first horticultural effort was a decided failure. But though all my rural visions had proved illusive, there were some very substantial realities. My bill at the seed store, for seeds, roots, and tools, for example, had run up to an amount that was perfectly unaccountable; then there were various smaller items, such as horse shoeing, carriage mending—for he who lives in the country and does ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... some bereaved mother of the tribe, by offering a substitute for the dead in the person of a captive. There was relief, to picture the face of the laughing cherub in the clouds, or to listen to its light footstep in the empty halls of the dwelling; for in these illusive images of the brain, suffering was confined to her own bosom. But when stern reality usurped the place of fancy, and she saw her living daughter shivering in the wintry blasts or sinking beneath the fierce heats of the climate, cheerless in the desolation ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... new land. Her sentiment had never been narrowly British, but now she realized her nationality over-keenly; she felt herself almost grotesquely English, and had a sense of insular clumsiness amidst a uprightly, dexterous people. Conscious of a thousand illusive, but very real differences in point of view, and in nature, between the two nations, she had a baffled impression of walking among mysteries and novelties that she could not grasp. She began to be painfully conscious of the effects of the narrow life that she had led, and ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... an illusive dream that bantered us, only a fata morgana formed by the moonbeams? Or does the serpent of evil really lurk about this paradise? Will destruction find its way into this charmed garden? Ah, no solitude and no wall can afford ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... evening made all things visible. He scanned the plantation, viewing it as if in some travesty of morning; he looked down upon the city, sleeping uneasily in preparation for the inevitable night of pleasure, and a sudden loathing of Paris shook him. It seemed as if some gauzy illusive garment had been lifted from a fair body and that his eyes, made free of the white ...
— Max • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... after this a series of contests and truces, during which treacherous wars alternated with still more treacherous and illusive periods of peace, neither party, on the whole, gaining any decided victory. The Danes, at one time, after agreeing upon a cessation of hostilities, suddenly fell upon a large squadron of Alfred's horse, who, relying on the truce, were moving across the country too much off their guard. ...
— King Alfred of England - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... all that. But I see in it the greater reason why men like yourself should take up the investigation of these illusive and disturbing problems. These phenomena, as Flammarion says, introduce us into uncharted seas, and we need the most cautious and clearest-sighted scientists in this world as pilots. Will you be ...
— The Shadow World • Hamlin Garland

... air is languid with pleasure and love, Lulling the sense to dreams Elysian, Making life seem a glorious trance, Full of bright visions of heaven, Safe from the touch of reality, Toil none—woe none—pain, Wild and illusive as sleep-revelations. Time to be poured like wine from a chalice Sparkling and joyous for aye, Drained amid mirth and music, The brows circled with ivy, And the goblet at last like a gift Thrust in the ...
— Eidolon - The Course of a Soul and Other Poems • Walter R. Cassels

... strange that it took nearly two thousand years for this principle to be discovered and applied. Many times the inventors appeared to be almost upon it. They worked all around it, but the idea seemed illusive ...
— How the Piano Came to Be • Ellye Howell Glover

... generous. His good humor was regarded as an echo of his prosperity, and a lucky negro, winning at dice, would strive to imitate his manner. At planting, at plowing and at gathering, no detail was too small or too illusive to escape his eye. His interests were under a microscopic view and all plans that were drawn in the little brick office at the corner of the yard, were rigorously carried out in the fields. In the ...
— An Arkansas Planter • Opie Percival Read

... The illusive drinks, with their dangerous admixture of belladonna, did they already appear at that board? Certainly not. There were children there. Besides, an excess of commotion would ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... that. Oratory is as stealthy and as illusive as a weazel at night. You never know ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... Like so many other men of great gifts, Burke in his youth was desultory and excursive. He roamed at large over the varied heights that tempt our curiosity, as the dawn of intelligence first lights them up one after another with bewitching visions and illusive magic. "All my studies," Burke wrote in 1746, when he was in the midst of them, "have rather proceeded from sallies of passion, than from the preference of sound reason; and, like all other natural appetites, have been very violent for a season, and very soon cooled, and quite absorbed in the succeeding. ...
— Burke • John Morley

... his wings for Heaven; O Madeline! as unaware Thou hast been followed everywhere, And girt and guarded by a love, As warm, as tender in its care, As pure, ay, powerful in prayer, As any saint above! Like the bright inmate of the skies, It only looked with friendly eyes, And still had worn the illusive guise, And thus at least been half concealed; But at this parting, painful hour, It spreads its wings, unfolds its power, And ...
— Poems of Henry Timrod • Henry Timrod

... the sound fitted the hour, with its like touch of mysterious suggestion. As the twilight indefinite, it pervaded everything, yet was never anywhere. Deafening at a distance, it hushed at our approach only to begin again behind us. Will-o'-the-wisp of the ear, infatuating because forever illusive! And the distance and the numbers blended what had perhaps been harsh into a mellow whole that filled the gloaming with a sort of voice. I began to understand why the Japanese are so fond of it that they deem it not unworthy a place in nature's vocal pantheon ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... sense is admittedly difficult to define. It connotes a vast group of special experiences and speculations which deal with material supposed to be beyond the reach of sense and reason. It carries us back to the strangely illusive "mysteries" of the Greeks, but is more definitely used in connection with the most characteristic subtleties of the wizard East, and with certain developments of the Platonic philosophy. Extended exposition ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... usually so thin and sallow that one had to look at them twice to see them clearly. At best, they looked vague and illusive. ...
— Two Little Confederates • Thomas Nelson Page

... little time to pass in sweet oblivion, fancy, still waking, wafts me home to you: I see your beloved forms, I kneel and hear the blessed words of peace and pardon. Extatic joy pervades my soul; I reach my arms to catch your dear embraces; the motion chases the illusive dream; I wake to real misery. At other times I see my father angry and frowning, point to horrid caves, where, on the cold damp ground, in the agonies of death, I see my dear mother and my revered grand-father. I strive to raise you; you push me from you, and ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... gathering in the garden outside. The room was reflected on the window-pane from the solid darkness behind it—the candles, the green table, the players—a fantastic, illusive scene, shimmering on the ground of night as on some sinister reality. Mrs. Fazakerly was dashing down her cards at random, and even the Colonel shuffled uneasily in his seat. At twelve he observed that none of them "seemed very happy in whist"; he proposed loo, a game in which, each person ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... the frequent scenes and rehearsals in her family. After many trials, she at last engages a seamstress who promises to prove a perfect treasure,—neat, dapper, nimble, skilful, and spirited. The very soul of Mrs. Simmons rejoices in heaven. Illusive bliss! The new-comer proves to be no favorite with Madam Cook, and the domestic fates evolve the catastrophe, as follows. First, low murmur of distant thunder in the kitchen; then a day or two of sulky silence, in which the atmosphere ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... Edens of wedded bliss. There is, it is clear, an element of unsolved contradiction in Ibsen's thought;—Love is at once so precious and so deadly, a possession so glorious that all other things in life are of less worth, and yet capable of producing only disastrously illusive effects upon those who have entered into the relations to which it prompts. But with Ibsen—and it is a grave intellectual defect—there is an absolute antagonism between spirit and form. An institution is always with him, a shackle for the free life of souls, not an organ through which they ...
— Love's Comedy • Henrik Ibsen



Words linked to "Illusive" :   unreal



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