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On the face of it   /ɑn ðə feɪs əv ɪt/   Listen
On the face of it

adverb
1.
From appearances alone.  Synonyms: apparently, ostensibly, seemingly.  "The child is seemingly healthy but the doctor is concerned" , "Had been ostensibly frank as to his purpose while really concealing it" , "On the face of it the problem seems minor"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"On the face of it" Quotes from Famous Books



... the handwriting," he remarked, thoughtfully, "I should say that the writer is laboring under keen excitement—though there is no evidence of insanity on the face of it. Yes; I think I'll ...
— The Treasure-Train • Arthur B. Reeve

... amongst us I remember asking myself at the time with a certain uneasiness. This fateful visit, which was the first step leading to so many consequences, I never fully explained to myself. It seemed strange on the face of it that a young man so learned, so proud, and apparently so cautious, should suddenly visit such an infamous house and a father who had ignored him all his life, hardly knew him, never thought of him, and would not under any circumstances have given him money, though he was always afraid that ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... was entered "De Balzac" on the register of his birth is on the face of it untrue, as he was born on the 2nd Prairial of the year VII., a time when all titles were proscribed; so that the omission of the "de" means nothing, while his contention that he dropped the "de" in 1826, because he would not soil his noble name ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... On the face of it, then, it would seem that we, as compared with men of Glacial times, have decidedly 'progressed'. But it is not so easy to say off-hand in what ...
— Progress and History • Various

... be what, on the face of it, it claims to be, then the question of authenticity is for ever settled. As we have no doubt on this point, the corrections and variations between this manuscript, as collated by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald and the Lucas version, have been noted in the ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... Romano. "Royalty," he said, "has only, on the face of it, advanced beyond the pirate and robber-baron period. Au fond all princes and kings would be criminals if they happened not to ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... righteous indignation you rend such a one limb from limb, you will almost certainly be subjected to the utmost rigour of the law, and you will be lucky if you escape a heavy fine of five or ten shillings, exclusive of the costs of the case. Now, this is not right on the face of it. It is even wrong. The law should take into account the extreme provocation which led to the action. Punish if you will the man who travels second-class with a third-class ticket, or who borrows a pencil and forgets to return it; but there are occasions when justice should ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... go to anybody's printing-office to correct the proofs, and thus wantonly risk the consequences?—in fact, go there and betray himself, as we are expected to believe he did? The story is absurd, on the face of it. But what authority has AEGROTUS for asserting that Junius corrected proofs at all? Strong presumptive evidence leads me to believe that he did not: in some instances he could not. In one instance he specially desired to have a proof; ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 82, May 24, 1851 • Various

... of it, it was simple. On the face of it, the answer was right in front of him, printed in black and white on the front ...
— The Penal Cluster • Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)

... Genzano that I had a difference of opinion with a friend who maintained that there was nothing in the same line so pretty in Europe as a pretty New England village. The proposition seemed to a cherisher of quaintness on the face of it inacceptable; but calmly considered it has a measure of truth. I am not fond of chalk- white painted planks, certainly; I vastly prefer the dusky tones of ancient stucco and peperino; but I succumb on occasion to the charms of a vine-shaded porch, of tulips ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... than the reality of seeing and hearing—the other, how vague, shadowy, problematical! Could its so limited probabilities be worth taking into account in any practical question as to the rejecting or receiving [49] of what was indeed so real, and, on the face of it, so desirable? ...
— Marius the Epicurean, Volume One • Walter Horatio Pater

... On the face of it there was not much cause for congratulation in a war in which the United States trebled its national debt and lost 30,000 men and 1,500 merchant ships, without gaining any territory and without securing any promise at the end of the war that the disturbance of neutral trade and the impressment ...
— The Mentor: The War of 1812 - Volume 4, Number 3, Serial Number 103; 15 March, 1916. • Albert Bushnell Hart

... successive growth has risen in obedience to the will of one supreme authority; and that it should have ever come to be believed that twenty aldermen, whose lives are mainly spent in considering bank-rates, bimetallism, and sewage, could collect pictures of permanent value is on the face of it as wild a folly as ever tried the strength of the strait waistcoats of Hanwell or Bedlam. But as Manchester and Liverpool enjoy as fair a measure of sanity as the rest of the kingdom, we perforce must admit the theory of unconscious acceptation of ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... say a word like that to him. I couldn't. The nearest I got to it was I said, 'Well, but time's getting on, you know, old man. It's a—a funny position on the face of it. What do you suppose your wife's ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... class legislation; but, as a matter of fact, it is so framed that the greatest inequality prevails, and was intended to prevail, in the administration of it by the several States chiefly concerned. As long as such legislation by the States specifies, on the face of it, that it shall operate upon all citizens equally, however unequally and unjustly the legislation may be interpreted and administered by the local courts, the Federal Supreme Court has held, time and again, that no hardship was worked, ...
— The Negro Problem • Booker T. Washington, et al.

... of sale, that on the face of it was harsh and barbarous, some slight mitigation of the cruelty of the system had come; for the practice had grown up of permitting parents to buy back their own children—nominally thereafter holding them as slaves—and so to ...
— The Aztec Treasure-House • Thomas Allibone Janvier

... from us the bog. It was promised to us that we should have it back, in these words: 'If there is a turf there you will get it.' After the election we petitioned for the bog, and were refused. We were told our petition had a lie on the face of it. It is the present agent, Mr. Smith, that has done all this. He is the cause of all the ill- feeling between the Earl of Enniskillen and his tenants. He has raised the rents L3,000 on the estate, I am told. He gets one shilling in the pound off the rent; that is the way in which he ...
— The Letters of "Norah" on her Tour Through Ireland • Margaret Dixon McDougall

... On the face of it his effort seemed Quixotic, for he confessed at the outset that in science he was "utterly destitute of that kind of knowledge which carries authority," and his argument soon showed that this ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... to explore fresh fields for themselves, that drove Hugo to writing his Hernani, and Gautier to wearing his red waistcoat, and all the other Romanticists to their favourite pastime of shocking the bourgeois. Versailles was so wonderful on the face of it that we resented the presence of people who needed a book to tell them so and to explain why; and we made our protest against the bourgeois in our own fashion or, to be exact, in Furse's fashion. He was then blessedly young, fresh from the schools and not yet sobered by Academic ...
— Nights - Rome, Venice, in the Aesthetic Eighties; London, Paris, in the Fighting Nineties • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... country, flanked by friendly war-ships and backed by unassailable credit; to meet and overcome a much smaller and far less rich army, intrenched behind earthworks of doubtful formidableness, and finally to besiege and capture an isolated city of more historic than strategic advantages, seemed on the face of it as easy as rolling a barrel downhill or eating when hungry. But the level, fertile country was discovered to be very muddy, its supply of rain from heaven unparalleled in nature, its streams as deadly as arsenic, and its topography utterly different ...
— Aladdin O'Brien • Gouverneur Morris

... would be successful when a very similar one conducted by such experienced adventurers as Hawkins and Drake had just disastrously failed. He frankly admitted that the young man's scheme was promising enough, on the face of it, and he also intimated that, as a merchant, he was always ready to take a certain amount of risk where the prospects of success seemed promising enough to justify it, but he no less frankly declared that, while ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... avidity with which their agents exchange their trade secrets, sell ships and guns, often by means of diplomatic blackmail, to friend or foe alike, and follow those pioneers of civilisation the missionary, the gin merchant and the procurer,[12] into the wildest part of the earth; so absurd on the face of it is the practice of allowing the manufacture of armaments to remain in the hands of private companies; that it is very tempting to see in the great Armament Firms the principal if not the only cause of modern war. Examiners of German ...
— The World in Chains - Some Aspects of War and Trade • John Mavrogordato

... the Irish members at Westminster is on the face of it a gross and patent injustice to Great Britain. It is absurd, it is monstrous, that while the Irish Parliament and the Irish Parliament alone settle whether Mr. Healy, Mr. M'Carthy, Mr. Redmond, or Mr. Davitt is to be head of the Irish government, and England, though ...
— A Leap in the Dark - A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the - Bill of 1893 • A.V. Dicey

... within sight should the fog lift—indeed, the guardship in Harwich harbour would be almost visible across the spit of land where Landguard Fort lies hidden—Barebone had no intention of asking help so compromising. He had but a queer story to tell to any in authority, and on the face of it he must perforce appear to have run away with the dinghy of ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... But on the face of it, what an appalling story! It brought him violently to earth. He could not move, but sat staring at the woman, wanting to tell her that she lied, but knowing that she had spoken according to the truth of the letter. Of the truth of the spirit she could most patently know nothing. Her world was ...
— Mummery - A Tale of Three Idealists • Gilbert Cannan

... assure you I scoured England for William Arbuthnot Blain—'identified with the movement for improving the dwellings of the labouring classes'—or is that Richard Farrant, Esq.? In any case, what more likely, on the face of it? 'Frederick Wills, Esq., of the well-known tobacco firm of Bristol'—the public swallows that readily: and yet it never buys a packet of their Westward Ho! Mixture (which I smoke myself) without reading that the Wills's of Bristol are W. D. and ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Betty's name was on the face of it. The triumph in his eyes was succeeded by embarrassment. He looked up to see Betty's amused ...
— The Boss of the Lazy Y • Charles Alden Seltzer

... and that is that she will spoil Clementina; but there's a reasonable hope that she won't know how." He found the Claxons struggling with a fresh misgiving, which Claxon expressed. "The way I look at it is like this. I don't want that woman should eva think Clem was after her money. On the face of it there a'n't very much to her that would make anybody think but what we was after it; and I should want it pootty well undastood that we wa'n't that kind. But I don't seem to see any ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... know—never, in this life shall I discover—how rumour operates in Troy, how it arrives or is spread. Early in August a rumour, incredible on the face of it, reached me that Kirris-vean intended a Regatta! . . . For a week I disbelieved it; for almost another week I forgot it; and then lo! Sir Felix himself called ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... beautiful, is as ineffective as the hero, who is French and heroic, both of them displaying the same unfortunate tendency to be carried off captive by the other side and to indulge in small talk when they should be most splendid. And the majority of the other figures follow suit. On the face of it the volume is stuffed with all the material of melodrama; but somehow the authoress seems to strive after effects that don't come naturally to her. What does come naturally to her is seen in a background sketch of the unhappy countries of Asia Minor in the hands of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, May 7, 1919. • Various

... disputations of the prosecutors and the counsel, but in the evidence, and that to refuse evidence is to refuse to hear the cause: nothing, therefore, but the most clear and weighty reasons ought to preclude its production. Your Committee conceives, that, when evidence on the face of it relevant, that is, connected with the party and the charge, was denied to be competent, the burden lay upon those who opposed it to set forth the authorities, whether of positive statute, known recognized maxims and principles ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... into two classes, true and false, is unsatisfactory. On the face of it, an aneurysm which is false is not an aneurysm, any more than a false bank-note is legal tender. A better classification is into spontaneous and traumatic. The man who has chronic inflammation of a large artery, the result, for instance, of gout, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Part 1, Slice 1 • Various

... did not think the thing too boorish to be pardoned. On the face of it it was rude ...
— An Unpardonable Liar • Gilbert Parker

... long way, till they came to a great steep hill. There, on the face of it, the White Bear gave a knock, and a door opened, and they came into a castle where there were many rooms all lit up; rooms gleaming with silver and gold; and there, too, was a table ready laid, and it was all as grand as ...
— East of the Sun and West of the Moon - Old Tales from the North • Peter Christen Asbjornsen

... pretended to be Kentuckians who had become disgusted with the Lincoln government and were making their way South, where they might find more congenial company than that of the ardent Union men who were their neighbors at home. This story was plausible on the face of it, for many Southern sympathizers had fled from Tennessee and Kentucky when the Federals began to take possession ...
— Stories Of Georgia - 1896 • Joel Chandler Harris

... "It looks to me, on the face of it, like a dishonest trick. It seems that Shuffles lied to us when he made us believe that we were playing a game. I like a joke well enough, but I don't believe in a fellow's lying for ...
— Outward Bound - Or, Young America Afloat • Oliver Optic

... would counsel those who own the old aristocrats produced by skilled makers to hold on to them, even if they venerate neither their history nor their age. They may discard a treasure they cannot equal or replace. On the face of it, it stands to reason that any mechanism which will run two centuries or more was turned out by a workman who knew ...
— Christopher and the Clockmakers • Sara Ware Bassett

... the other hand, that the Germans should imitate Frederick the Great, which is not so preposterous as appears on the face of it, because of comparatively easy means of transportation, and should be able to make successive victorious dashes, first in the east and then in the west, backward and forward; leadership would be hers, and France would be a minor ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... finances independent; but when he left for the last time the American Province was placed under the direct control of the General Directing Board in Germany, the American and German finances were mixed, the accounts became hopelessly confused, and American affairs were mismanaged. It is obvious, on the face of it, that a Directing Board with its seat in Germany was incapable of managing efficiently a difficult work four thousand miles away; and yet that was the system pursued for ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... sausage-shop supplied me with a partially cut ham of pantomime tonnage. These things I, sweating, bore out to the edge of the wharf and set down in the shadow of a crane. It was a clear, dark summer night, and from time to time I laughed happily to myself. The adventure was preordained on the face of it. Pyecroft alone, spurred or barefoot, would have drawn me very far from the paths of circumspection. His advice to buy a ham and see life clinched it. Presently Mr. Pyecroft—I heard spurs clink—passed me. Then the jersey voice said: "What the ...
— Traffics and Discoveries • Rudyard Kipling

... soul!" exclaimed Mr. Bucknor, "I didn't dream that old tale had a word of truth in it. I've heard old Dick Buck, when he was drunk, insisting that he belonged to my family, but it sounded ridiculous on the face of it." ...
— The Comings of Cousin Ann • Emma Speed Sampson

... most of 'em in Wall Street—I have never known it done, and I challenge those who write of South European highway-robbers to produce any evidence to prove that the habit is prevalent. The idea is, on the face of it, invalid. The ears of mankind, despite certain differences which are acknowledged, are, after all, very much alike. The point that differentiates one ear from another is the angle at which it is set from the head. The angle, according to the most ...
— Olympian Nights • John Kendrick Bangs

... disputing it," Sir Henry assured her. "On the face of it, it seems perfectly reasonable that you should be civil to him. On the other hand, there are one or two rather curious points about his ...
— The Zeppelin's Passenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... his power over the Spanish court as to procure that the royal sisters of Spain should be married on one day—Isabella, the Queen, to the most unfit and uncongenial of all the possible candidates for her hand; Louisa to King Louis Philippe's son, the Duke of Montpensier. The transaction on the face of it was far from respectable, since the credit and happiness of the young Spanish Queen seemed to have hardly entered into the consideration of those who arranged for her the mariage de convenance into which she was led blindfold; but when regarded as a violation of good faith ...
— Great Britain and Her Queen • Anne E. Keeling

... not to prove your cousin innocent of the murder, but to find out who is guilty. The most logical method would be to study the scene of the crime first, but as that does not appear feasible until morning, we will examine such data as we have. On the face of it the only two who appear to be implicated are Radnor and this Cat-Eye Mose—who is a most picturesque character," Terry added, the reporter for the moment getting ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... formulae, or perhaps falling in love with some particular proficiency of his own, many artists forget the end of all art: to please. It is doubtless tempting to exclaim against the ignorant bourgeois; yet it should not be forgotten, it is he who is to pay us, and that (surely on the face of it) for services that he shall desire to have performed. Here also, if properly considered, there is a question of transcendental honesty. To give the public what they do not want, and yet expect to be supported: we have there a strange pretension, and yet not uncommon, above all with painters. ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... his watch pocket, and in a moment she was holding the timepiece between them, so that the light of the lantern fell on the face of it. ...
— The Hunted Woman • James Oliver Curwood

... man, forget it, you didn't say anything. But I am wondering about this request to go to New York. I can't help thinking there is something in this request that doesn't appear on the face of it." He turned to Professor Brierly: "What are you going to do, sir?" Professor Brierly looked mutely at Norah. She shook her ...
— Death Points a Finger • Will Levinrew

... from the effect of our subsequent victories under Marlborough. And the inference from the Militarist theory that the States which at present count for nothing as military Powers necessarily count for nothing at all is absurd on the face of it. Monaco seems to be, on the whole, the most prosperous and comfortable ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... never cease, with an Environment which should never pass away. And yet what would Science demand of a perfect correspondence that is not met by this, THE KNOWING OF GOD? There is no other correspondence which could satisfy one at least of the conditions. Not one could be named which would not bear on the face of it the mark and pledge of its mortality. But this, to know God, stands ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... man the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is something of a puzzle—on the face of it an arithmetical paradox; suggestive, moreover, of the abstract subtleties of speculation rather than of the concrete realities of religious life. But the doctrine did not have its origin, as a matter of historical fact, in any perverse love of subtlety ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... "On the face of it, this letter does not seem suspicious. But if you gentlemen will recall the times of Prince Charles' insurrections, periods whenever intrigues were going on, you will remember that in communications of this sort a government was always referred to as a 'firm.' ...
— The Secrets of the German War Office • Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves

... elsewhere we know not, except that such was the will of God in the mysterious education of the world. How mysterious that education has been is best known to all who have studied the political and social results of Totemism. On the face of it a perfectly crazy and degrading belief—on the face of it meant for nothing but to make the family a hell of internecine hatred—Totemism rendered possible—nay, inevitable—the union of hostile groups into large and relatively peaceful tribal societies. Given the materials as we ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... this," remonstrated the other. "Your adversary's people are very influential, you know, and it looks bad enough on the face of it. The general had to take notice of their complaint at once. I don't think he means to be over-severe with you. It's the best thing for you to be kept out of sight ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... on the face of it. . . . You may be accused of suppressing the will," Fraisier made ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... suspects, of murder, and who so loathes Rattar that, as far as I can judge, he will probably take his business away from him. To suspect Rattar of actually conniving at, or taking any part in the actual crime itself is, on the face of it, to convict either ...
— Simon • J. Storer Clouston

... dyes, on the bloom that age alone can give, should not be imitated. We may introduce a reproduction of a fine bust into our rooms, but an imitation of a Persian tile or a Venetian vase is absurd on the face of it. ...
— The House in Good Taste • Elsie de Wolfe

... completely realize it. But here came a further and very curious change in the method of building the vault, for as the ribs were made more numerous, for richness of effect, in this form of vaulting, it was discovered that it was much easier to build the whole as a solid face of masonry, working the ribs on the face of it. Thus the ribs, which in the intermediate period were the constructive framework of the vault, in the final form of fan vaulting came back to their original use as merely a form of architectural expression, meant to carry on the architectural lines of the design; and they perform, on a larger scale ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 647, May 26, 1888 • Various

... right after I located this feller, Sternford, coming into Sachigo, I got word of some stuff reported from one of your own camps way out north-west of Lake St. Anac. Guess it's about the farthest north in that direction, and it's cut off from any other camp by a hundred miles. On the face of it the stuff didn't seem to need more than a single thought. It was to say my man was quitting the camp. He'd sifted it right through, but there wasn't a 'jack' in the camp with any sort of story worth wasting paper on. There wasn't a trace of our ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... the left end of the bar, noting the hard usage shown by the ornate mahogany, and spreading his hands wide open, palms down, on the face of it, glanced at the low window on his left, opening on the gravelled patio. He peered, in the semidarkness, at the battered door behind ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... so—he could not do that—but he might declare that she had spoken falsely, and might even say that it was an attempt to put another's sin on his shoulders. Moreover, as I told you, I have other reasons for disliking the man, and, on the face of it, it would seem that I had raked up this old story against him, not only from jealousy, but from ...
— The Queen's Cup • G. A. Henty

... all. If Mr. Sam had a legal right to stop him, why hadn't he sent the police, or at least a 'summons'? As for going to prison, that only happened to thieves and criminals. No man could be locked up for pulling a boat to and fro; the notion was absurd on the face of it. ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... every place where there is a Court of Justice, higher or lower, there exists a Consultation Bureau where people without means may obtain gratuitous advice in legal matters. Unless a charge laid before this Consultation Bureau appears on the face of it to be unsustainable, the Bureau appoints one of its members to act as legal adviser and counsellor to the applicant free of cost. In criminal cases the President of the Court concerned appoints a legal adviser for the accused, though the latter ...
— Dutch Life in Town and Country • P. M. Hough

... order to win Becky seemed absurd on the face of it. But he would at least be doing something towards solving the problem of self-support, and towards increasing the ...
— The Trumpeter Swan • Temple Bailey

... rare book left in old Multenius's parlour inclined Purdie to be somewhat suspicious that Levendale was concealing something which he knew about that affair—and now here was Miss Bennett writing what, on the face of it, looked like an appealing letter to him, as if something ...
— The Orange-Yellow Diamond • J. S. Fletcher

... developed. This can only be done in one or the other of three ways. Taking the simplest way first, it will be to develop this leading idea into a song form according to the pattern given above, in the beginning of this discussion. This, being sufficiently obvious on the face of it, requires no further attention here. Forms of this kind belong essentially to popular music, although they are not uncommon by way of relief in the more ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... away up in the big hills. What made him light out there no one knows. That looked bad on the face of it. Then this Indian scout of ours, when he happened in on Jim's camp, found that McFann was riding a horse ...
— Mystery Ranch • Arthur Chapman

... beginning, was, on the face of it, disconcerting. Peter looked about at the rows of books, at the thick, soft carpet and the leather-covered furniture, and at the rings on Mrs. Dassonville's hand. If Mr. Dassonville were not rich, ...
— The Lovely Lady • Mary Austin

... exempting Literature from Censorship, put forward by unreflecting persons: That it would require too many Censors—besides being unworthy, is, on the face of it, erroneous. Special tests have never been thought necessary in appointing Examiners of Plays. They would, indeed, not only be unnecessary, but positively dangerous, seeing that the essential function of Censorship is protection of the ordinary ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... intimidating. He had run up, in the course of time, against a good number of "teasers;" and the function of teasing them back—of, as it were, giving them, every now and then, "what for"—was in him so much a habit that he would have been at a loss had there been, on the face of it, nothing to lose. Oh, he always had offered rewards, of course—had ever so liberally pasted the windows of his soul with staring appeals, minute descriptions, promises that knew no bounds. But the actual recovery of the article—the business of drawing and crossing ...
— A Christmas Garland • Max Beerbohm

... had done so, it had been in the case of bills involving taxes of small amount, or connected with questions of commercial protection. No case had ever occurred precisely like this, where a bill providing for the repeal of a tax of large amount, and on the face of it unmixed with any other question, had ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... about the best thing we have struck," said George; "we had better make the most of this." Which was good advice, on the face of it. ...
— Three Men on the Bummel • Jerome K. Jerome

... on the face of it, come into the reckoning. Thus I might have asked the reader to assist at the digging out of a cave, say, one of the famous caves at Mentone, on the Italian Riviera, just beyond the south-eastern corner of France. These caves ...
— Anthropology • Robert Marett

... prodigality which sometimes have excited our wonder, sometimes roused our indignation, that, after all, India was four millions still in debt to them? India in debt to them! For what? Every debt, for which an equivalent of some kind or other is not given, is, on the face of it, a fraud. What is the equivalent they have given? What equivalent had they to give? What are the articles of commerce, or the branches of manufacture, which those gentlemen have carried hence to enrich India? What are the sciences they beamed out to enlighten it? What are the arts ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... has been attributed to Hecatseus of Miletus. It has often been observed that this phrase seems Egyptian on the face of it, and it certainly recalls such forms of expression as the following, taken from a formula frequently found on funerary "All things created by heaven, given by earth, brought by the Nile—from its mysterious sources." Nevertheless, up to the present ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... On the face of it, his father's death was exceedingly suspicious. He had left his home in the country and gone to town upon pretence. Why? That a woman was connected with his journey was now apparent. Hugh had ascertained certain facts which he had resolved to ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... dealings with the savages and not returning ships freighted with the products of the country. Misrepresented in London, and unsupported and conspired against in Virginia, Smith felt his fall near at hand. On the face of it he was the victim of envy and the rascality of incompetent and bad men; but whatever his capacity for dealing with savages, it must be confessed that he lacked something which conciliates success ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... half erroneous or defective, in virtue of omitting to deal with the various classes of evidence which had been brought to light since his time. Moreover his one suggestion as to the cause of the gradual modification of species—effort excited by change of conditions—was, on the face of it, inapplicable to the whole vegetable world. I do not think that any impartial judge who reads the Philosophie Zoologique now, and who afterwards takes up Lyell's trenchant and effective criticism (published as far back as 1830) will be disposed ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... so, unconsciously, love sometimes works out the work of a lifetime, touches the key-note of an anthem of everlasting praise,—does it with as little ostentation as the son of science draws yellow gold from the quartz rock which tells no tale on the face of it concerning its "hid treasure." So, wisely and without ostentation, work the true agents, the apostles ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... assignment may appear well enough on the face of it, and many patentees have been misled, supposing that under the assignment the proceeds from the patent should be divided pro rata, according to the several interests. This, however, is not the case in such assignments, and joint-ownership of a patent, or interest ...
— Practical Pointers for Patentees • Franklin Cresee

... powers, for what he said amounted to nothing less, was, on the face of it, preposterous, but, then, I was in no condition to even hint ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... chased each other through his brain. He might dump the body by the roadside and run back to town. That was absurd on the face of it, for he would be convicting himself when the body was found. It would be traced to him in some way—he knew that. He was already determined to keep away from No. 981 East End Avenue. There was something sinister ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... 1st.—That Hebrew should be one of the official languages of Palestine seems, on the face of it, not unreasonable. But, according to Lord TREOWEN, to compel the average Palestinian Jew, who speaks either Spanish or Yiddish, to use classical Hebrew, will be like obliging a user of pidgin English to adopt the language of ADDISON. He failed, however, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, December 8, 1920 • Various

... maintains it as a conviction, that Mr. Browning's grandmother was more than a Creole in the strict sense of the term, that of a person born of white parents in the West Indies, and that an unmistakable dash of dark blood passed from her to her son and grandson. Such an occurrence was, on the face of it, not impossible, and would be absolutely unimportant to my mind, and, I think I may add, to that of Mr. Browning's sister and son. The poet and his father were what we know them, and if negro blood had any part in their composition, it was no worse for them, and so much ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... But, besides that this might have been done with a better grace if he had never applied for any such absolution, the whole tenor of his conduct proves him to be little susceptible of such refinements in patriotism; and this very deed itself, in which he anew confirmed the charters, carries on the face of it a very opposite presumption. Though he ratified the charters in general, he still took advantage of the papal bull so far as to invalidate the late perambulations of the forests, which had been made with such care and attention, and to reserve to himself the power, in case of favorable incidents, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part B. - From Henry III. to Richard III. • David Hume

... tend to lose all traces of their origin, and to simulate the aspect of intuitions. Thus the proposition that logicians are in the habit of pressing on our attention, that "Men are mortal," seems, on the face of it, to common sense to be something very like a self-evident truth, not depending on ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... respect is right; that the judgment, if there be any part of the record to support it, proceeded upon that part. In writs of error, you are not allowed to conjecture, to decide on probabilities, you must look to the record; and unless the record itself, on the face of it, shows, not that there may have been, but that there HAS been manifest error in the apportioning of the punishment, you cannot reverse the judgment. You upon conjecture reverse the judgment; and if afterwards you were to consult the very judge by whom it had been pronounced, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... "her story was a ridiculous one, absurd on the face of it. She said that the American girl wants to set up as a monarch and that Konrad Karl had sold her the right to call herself Queen ...
— The Island Mystery • George A. Birmingham

... attempt to continue the conversation. She retired into the fastness of the green cloak, leaving the professor to ponder the situation. It seemed on the face of it an absurd situation enough, yet there should certainly be nothing absurd in it. Spence felt a somewhat bulky package of letters even now in the pocket of his coat. These letters were real and sensible enough. They comprised his correspondence with one Dr. Herbert ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... put it plainly as well. The evidence of Lady Glyde's death is, on the face of it, clear and satisfactory. There is her aunt's testimony to prove that she came to Count Fosco's house, that she fell ill, and that she died. There is the testimony of the medical certificate to prove the death, and to show that it took place under natural circumstances. There is the fact ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... but yearn with delight in it yet, And the day we forget not, and never may live and may think to forget. And the years that were kindlier and fairer, and kindled with pleasures as keen, Have eclipsed not with lights or with shadows the light on the face of it seen. For softly and surely, as nearer the boat that we gazed from drew, The face of the precipice opened and bade us as birds pass through, And the bark shot sheer to the sea through the strait of the sharp steep cleft, ...
— Astrophel and Other Poems - Taken from The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles - Swinburne, Vol. VI • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... mean that Nature has to be discarded or condemned before the potencies of his own being can develop. Nature is not a mere blind machine; it has produced all—including man and his potencies—that is to be found on the face of it. It is therefore not entirely meaningless, and the meaning it possesses is a necessary element in the evolution of personal spiritual life. Man must enter into some relation with Nature. But such a relation produces even more than all this. When viewed in a friendly mood, [p.123] ...
— An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy • W. Tudor Jones

... convinced that if anyone could get to a Misfit planet, they would be welcomed. There were no Classes among the Misfits, she said. (The Guesser dismissed that completely; a Classless society was ridiculous on the face of it.) ...
— But, I Don't Think • Gordon Randall Garrett

... curious student of such matters may find conspicuous examples of what I mean in Herbart's Analytical Elucidation of Morality and Natural Right, and in the same author's Letters on Freedom. Surprise may be felt that a man of the kind should put himself to so much trouble; for, on the face of it, if he would only examine the matter for himself, he would speedily attain his object by the exercise of a little thought. But there is a small difficulty in the way. It does not depend upon his own will. A man can always sit down and read, but not—think. It is with thoughts as with men; they cannot ...
— The Art of Literature • Arthur Schopenhauer

... this looks all straight, on the face of it," he said, when the two were alone together, "but one can never tell. We've got to be pretty careful, for we are in a strange country, and are here for a purpose which may be resented by the mountaineers. We can't ...
— The Boy Scout Camera Club - The Confession of a Photograph • G. Harvey Ralphson

... and when I had got about half-way to the fort I saw the white shoulder-blade of a buffalo setting up on end about fifty yards from the road. I rode out and picked it up; it was standing on end with a little wisp of grass wrapped around it; on the face of it were three men painted red. The broad end of the blade in the ground was marked out like a fort, with little black spots, meaning tracks of soldiers, and a man in black was there with his rifle drawn, ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... child as "EMBODYING the results of a great mass of HEREDITARY EXPERIENCE" (p. 77), so that what he is driving at can be collected by those who take trouble, but is not seen until we call up from our own knowledge matter whose relevancy does not appear on the face of it, and until we connect passages many pages asunder, the first of which may easily be forgotten before we reach the second. There can be no doubt, however, that Mr. Romanes does in reality, like Professor Hering and ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... as long as I stayed in the crevice, and he made up his mind to keep me there. And he was dead right, only he hadn't figured on the commissary. There was neither grub nor water around that spot, so on the face of it he couldn't keep up the siege. He'd stand before the opening for hours, keeping an eye on me and flapping mosquitoes away with his big blanket ears. Then the thirst would come on him and he'd ramp round and roar till the ...
— The Faith of Men • Jack London

... says, that it bears on the face of it, the evidence of the Trinity; that it is descended from the Father of Light, that it was taught to the apostles by the example, and by the doctrine of His Son, and that the Holy Ghost inspired it to the blessed Francis and to those who had followed him. He also declares, as Gregory ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... There is no time, in the rush of a dramatic action, for a mathematical calculation of the chances for and against a given event, or for experimental proof that such and such a thing can or cannot be done. If a thing seem plausible, an audience will accept it without cavil; if it, seem incredible on the face of it, no evidence of its credibility will be of much avail. This is merely a corollary from the fundamental principle that the stage is the realm of appearances; not of realities, where paste jewels are at least as effective as real ones, and a painted forest is far more sylvan than a few wilted ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... on the face of it, given a daughter and a son, should a form of service be expected of the one, which would be considered ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... in claiming that he ought to be made acquainted with the young man's reason for conduct which looks quite unwarrantable on the face of it," said he. ...
— The Wharf by the Docks - A Novel • Florence Warden

... to understand the relevance of this extremely improbable narrative. It did not appear, on the face of it, complimentary to connect me with a declared thief and gaol-bird. Still it was my duty to be courteous to one who was for the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, June 9, 1920 • Various

... money was offered!" cried Jim. "It won't do, Loudon; it's nonsense on the face of it! I don't say but what you and Nares did your best; I'm sure, of course, you did; but I do say you got fooled. I say the stuff is in that ship to-day, and I say I mean ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Mr. Cobbett, said to have been addressed to a person of the name of Wright. In this letter, written, I believe, ten years previous to this epoch, Mr. Cobbett grossly abused me, and represented me as a sad fellow, and recommended to the Westminster committee to have nothing to do with me. As on the face of it this epistle appeared to have been written some years before I knew Mr. Cobbett, I felt no anger or resentment against him; although it certainly showed that he possessed a bad heart, to be capable of writing such ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 3 • Henry Hunt

... to a tolerant condescension. "That wasn't so bad, if it hadn't shown on the face of it that it was just dragged in to make a rhyme. Do you know what ...
— Skyrider • B. M. Bower

... certainly, be some way of getting redress for what on the face of it appears to be an act of cruel injustice, done at the behest of the ...
— The Story of a Dark Plot - or Tyranny on the Frontier • A.L.O. C. and W.W. Smith

... regions, like any other part of the globe, may be said to be paved with facts, the essence of which it is necessary to acquire before knowledge of this special zone can be brought to even a provisional exactitude. On the face of it, polar research may seem to be specific and discriminating, but it must be remembered that an advance in any one of the departments into which, for convenience, science is artificially divided, conduces to the advantage of all. Science is a homogeneous ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... should I?" Josephine demanded. "I know nothing whatever about business. On the face of it, I should ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... "Plummer is below, and we are going next door, to Denson's office. I've an idea that we may get at something at last. The police are after Samuel hot-foot. They think he should be made sure of in any case without delay; and I must say they have some reason, on the face of it." ...
— The Red Triangle - Being Some Further Chronicles of Martin Hewitt, Investigator • Arthur Morrison

... on the face of it," said the expert, turning red. "I was called simply and solely to prove Penfold did not write the forged note; I proved it to the judge's satisfaction, and he directed the prisoner to be acquitted on that count. Miss Rolleston, ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... unhesitatingly in favour of its being an original by Giorgione. Dr. Harck has written enthusiastically of its beauty. "Once seen," he says, "it can never be forgotten; the same mystic charm, so characteristic of the other great works of Giorgione, pervades it; ... it bears on the face of it the stamp of a great master."[44] Even more decisive is the verdict of Mr. Claude Phillips.[45] "All doubts," he says, "vanish like sun-drawn mist in the presence of the work itself; the first glance carries with it conviction, swift and permanent. In no extant Giorgione is the golden glow ...
— Giorgione • Herbert Cook

... authorised the issue of the new capital. On the day after that, April 19, the shares were put on the market at L3.5.0. That same day they rose to L4. In the course of the day Rufus Isaacs sold 700 shares at an average price of L3.6.6, which on the face of it looks like clearing L3000 more than he had paid for all his shares and still having 3000 shares left. But he explained later that there had been pooling arrangements between himself and his brother, and himself and his two friends: so that the upshot of ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... explicit and definite guarantees from the powers that solicit their assistance. Without such guarantees not one of the Balkan States would be willing to enter the war, because there is not a statesman who in like circumstances would plunge his country into an action which, on the face of it, ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... straight, wriggled round before the glass to see that belt and bodice were immaculately connected, put a clean handkerchief in her pocket, nicked the clothes-brush over her skirt, and, what could one do more? It seemed on the face of it that one could do nothing, but the other girls had accomplished a great deal more than this. Rhoda never forgot the shock of dismay which she experienced on first stepping forth, and beholding them. It was surely a room full of boys, not girls, for skirts had disappeared, ...
— Tom and Some Other Girls - A Public School Story • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... authority counsels were much divided, and, in view of such division, it was difficult, if not impossible, to take any decided action against Simone and his friends. Moreover, there was, or so at least it seemed to many who were not necessarily on Messer Simone's side, on the face of it, not a little to be said for Bull-face of the Bardi. The daughter of Folco Portinari was indeed his wife, and it seemed to those that were sticklers for the solemnity of the married state, however ...
— The God of Love • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... failing, and for two very good reasons: the unsuitable foods and the impossibility of getting any exercise. There was no such thing as getting any healthy actions of the body. Nothing had any weight, and such a thing as physical labour was impossible on the face of it. I attempted to go through regular courses of gymnastics at frequent intervals; but as my body and its members weighed nothing, my muscles found nothing whatever to expend their force upon. I thought myself worse than Prometheus bound upon his rock, for he could at least struggle with the ...
— Pharaoh's Broker - Being the Very Remarkable Experiences in Another World of Isidor Werner • Ellsworth Douglass

... he had finished speaking. What he had said was disappointingly little, but uttered in that strange high voice of his, it contained an infinite deal more than appeared on the face of it. A whole discreditable past seemed to emerge from that one word "raddled." Ian Stewart, to whose imagination the woman in the picture made a strange appeal, now broke a lance with the Master ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... unengaging rather than handsome—a snub nose, grey eyes, rather large ears, a square, stocky body and short, stout legs. He was certainly the most independent small boy in England, and very obstinate; when any proposal that seemed on the face of it absurd was made to him, he shut up like a box. His mouth would close, his eyes disappear, all light and colour would die from his face, and it was as though he said: "Well, if you are stupid enough to persist in this ...
— The Golden Scarecrow • Hugh Walpole

... be resorted to, as I understand it,' he replied. 'The resolution will remain in the book; black lines will be drawn around it, and across it from right angles, and the word "expunged," will be written on the face of it. It will, to all intents and purposes, still stand on the face of the book. There are precedents in parliamentary journalism for the guidance of the Senate, and I suppose they will ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... permitting reinstatement to communicant status following remarriage after divorce: "If one commits so grave a sin as to demand excommunication, how can one be reinstated while continuing to live in that sin? It is absurd on the face of it."[19] ...
— Frank H. Nelson of Cincinnati • Warren C. Herrick

... and there, sure enough, was a finger print on the face of it and two on the back. It looked as if someone with greasy hands had taken the card up as ...
— Roy Blakeley in the Haunted Camp • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... exempt from the evil than is our France. Your admirable Italy has all miseries on the face of it. Does not banditism, that raging form of pauperism, inhabit your mountains? Few nations are more deeply eaten by that ulcer of convents which I have endeavored to fathom. In spite of your possessing Rome, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin, Florence, Sienna, Pisa, Mantua, ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... that a bet of that sort has been made. I was in Wellsburg yesterday and gave the Herald certain information to be used in advertising this game, but I assure you I gave them no information concerning a wager of that sort. On the face of it the yarn appears decidedly preposterous. I think Bloomfield citizens are generally aware of the fact that I am opposed ...
— Frank Merriwell's Son - A Chip Off the Old Block • Burt L. Standish

... On the face of it, his father's death was exceedingly suspicious. He had left his home in the country and gone to town upon pretence. Why? That a woman was connected with his journey was now apparent. Hugh had ascertained certain facts which he had resolved to ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... after death, remained the same; that all his good sides, minus his evil sides, remained forever. Logically stated, this means that man's goal is the world; this world meaning earth carried to a state higher and with elimination of its evils is the state they call heaven. This theory, on the face of it, is absurd and puerile because it cannot be. There cannot be good without evil, or evil without good. To live in a world where there is all good and no evil, is what Sanskrit logicians call a 'dream ...
— Cosmic Consciousness • Ali Nomad

... an Inspector of Schools—a Mr. Jellinger Symonds—opening, perhaps for the first time, an elementary book on astronomy, came on something which he conceived to be a difficulty in the theory of lunar motion. His objection was on the face of it plausible. The true motions of the heavenly bodies are universally the opposite of the apparent motions. Mr. Symonds conceived that the moon could not revolve on its axis, because the same side of it was continually turned towards ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... asserted the Major, shrewdly scrutinizing the letter, which he had taken from Patsy's hands. "It surely looks genuine enough, on the face of it. I've seen the bank letter-head before, and this is no forgery, you can take my word. Get your things on, Patsy. Instead of walking in the park we'll hunt up Willing Square, and we'll take the ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces • Edith Van Dyne

... On the face of it this was something of a feat. But I heard no details, and having no particular interest in crime qua crime I was not likely to keep that one in my mind. And I forgot it till twenty-six or seven years afterwards I came upon the very thing in ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad



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