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Problematical   Listen
adjective
Problematical, Problematic  adj.  
1.
Having the nature of a problem; not shown in fact; questionable; uncertain; unsettled; doubtful; as, his theory is problematic because it fails to explain several facts. "Diligent inquiries into remote and problematical guilt leave a gate wide open to... informers."
2.
Having characteristics which will create difficulties or undesirable consequences; of a proposed action; as, the proposed law is problematic because it will cause many people to lose their jobs.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Problematical" Quotes from Famous Books



... newly-created states with the established economic relations of agricultural areas and manufacturing centers, and an unwillingness of the farmer to do business with a currency so debased that its value is highly problematical. So we see the great city of Vienna,[26] once one of the gayest and most brilliant capitals of Europe, now reduced to destitution, and the cities not only of Russia but of Germany being forced to revert to the ancient system of barter in ...
— The Farmer and His Community • Dwight Sanderson

... relate that of the nuns of Loudun, on which such various opinions have been given, the reality of which was doubted at the very time, and is very problematical to this day. Those who are curious to know the history of that affair will find it very well detailed in a book I have already cited, entitled, "Examen et Discussion Critique de l'Histoire des Diables ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... will neglect the application of the most important remedies, and necessarily give an unfaithful report of symptoms; hours the most valuable to the child's well-doing are thus lost, and the chances of saving its life worse than problematical. ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... produce a perfectly clean but mild flavor, and a delicate but not pronounced aroma. The "high, quick" flavor and aroma that is so much desired in the American market is not readily obtained by the use of cultures. It is quite problematical whether the use of any single species will give any more marked aroma than normally occurs ...
— Outlines of Dairy Bacteriology, 8th edition - A Concise Manual for the Use of Students in Dairying • H. L. Russell

... philosophy that borrows its concepts from practice has thus laid a great emphasis on association by contiguity. Hobbes and Locke made knowledge of this kind the only knowledge of reality, while recognising it to be quite empirical, tentative, and problematical. It was a kind of acquaintance with fact that increased with years and brought the mind into harmony with something initially alien to it. Besides this practical knowledge or prudence there was a sort of verbal and merely ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... it, and wait till, through at least a century of tossing and tumult, another, and that of less value, is grown? A faith, a crystallizing principle for many millions of people is not grown in a day; if it can be grown in a century is problematical. The fact, and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... The only problematical element in this matter is the measure of our faith in God and man and all-prevailing truth. Wherever the ground has been broken by faithful men there is a crop to show as returns for invested toil. More than a thousand children are now ...
— American Missionary, Volume 43, No. 12, December, 1889 • Various

... being arranged, the hopes of life began to revive; but a further difficulty presented itself, which seemed to render their safety more problematical than ever. This was, who was to lead the way. The pause had well nigh been fatal to them all. At length a junior lieutenant, long known on board, and celebrated for his courage, agreed to lead the way, the rest solemnly promising to follow. One after another they descended from the ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... be very unhappy if I at all interfere with you. The success of mine is yet problematical; though the public will probably purchase a certain quantity, on the presumption of their own propensity for 'The Giaour' and such "horrid mysteries." The only advantage I have is being on the spot; ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... stronger nor more unscrupulous ones—as the greatest strategist of the war, is permanently fixed in history. What it might have been had he not been hampered, annoyed, and insulted as no other commanding general was at any time by both the Secretary of War and the General-in-Chief, is merely problematical. Personally, he regarded all this as mere "incidents of the service," and strove to the best of his ability to do his whole duty to his country. His combination with Thomas—Rosecrans to plan brilliant campaigns, with Thomas's great abilities to aid him in carrying them out—made ...
— The Army of the Cumberland • Henry M. Cist

... discourse which I do not now approve; my judgment being not a little altered since the writing of it; but whether for the better or the worse, I know not: neither indeed is it much material, in an essay, where all I have said is problematical. For the way of writing plays in verse, which I have seemed to favour, I have, since that time, laid the practice of it aside, till I have more leisure, because I find it troublesome and slow: but I am ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... was the more recent. Again it was asserted, and almost with violence, that the Priestly Code could not be later than Deuteronomy, and that the Deuteronomist actually had it before him. But the evidences of this proved extremely problematical, while, on the other hand, the dependence of Deuteronomy, as a whole, on the Jehovist came out with the utmost clearness. Appeal was made to the latest redaction of the entire Hexateuch, a redaction which was assumed to be Deuteronomistic; but this ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... full of a keen and bluff common sense, cannily expressed in the words of an old sea-captain whom Mark Twain had known intimately. It is only another link in the chain of evidence which goes to prove that Mark Twain had thought long and deeply upon the problematical nature of a future life. It is, in essence, a reductio ad absurdum of those professors of religion who still preach a heaven of golden streets and pearly gates, of idleness and everlasting psalm-singing, of restful and innocuous ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... intentionally, makes the best justification of it by saying that while Charles lived the projected republic could never be secure. But to justify taking away the life of an individual upon the principle of self- defence, the danger must be not problematical and remote, but evident and immediate. The danger in this instance was not of such a nature, and the imprisonment or even banishment of Charles might have given to the republic such a degree of security as ...
— A History of the Early Part of the Reign of James the Second • Charles James Fox

... from verifying, that a former inmate of our house had hung himself in it, but I do not know to this day whether it was true or not. The doubt did not prevent him from dangling at the door-post, in my consciousness, and many a time I shunned the sight of this problematical suicide by keeping my eyes fastened on the book before me. It was a very simple device, but perfectly effective, as I think any one will find who employs it in like circumstances; and I would really like to commend it to growing boys troubled as ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... the country. Accordingly forty men turned out under Captain Robert Patterson. They were given ammunition, as well as two pack-horses, by the Commissary Department. Every man was entitled to pay for the time he was out. Whether he would ever get it was problematical; at the best it was certain to be given him in worthless paper-money. Their hunters kept them supplied with game, and each man carried a small quantity of ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Two - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1777-1783 • Theodore Roosevelt

... recognized as it should be. The doubt has been already expressed whether the Mongols would ever have risen to higher rank than that of a nomad tribe but for the appearance of Genghis. Leaving that supposition in the category of other interesting but problematical conjectures, it may be asserted that Genghis represented in their highest forms all the qualities which entitled his race to exercise governing authority. He was, moreover, a military genius of the very first order, and it may be questioned whether either Caesar or Napoleon ...
— China • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... was impossible. It was like a case of possession. His protest, however, was essentially quite sound. As a matter of fact, my notion of heading out west on the chance of sighting a problematical steamer could not bear calm examination. On the side where we were we had enough wind, at least from time to time, to struggle on toward the south. Enough, at least, to keep hope alive. But suppose that I had used those capricious ...
— The Shadow-Line - A Confession • Joseph Conrad

... fail to attain success in the cultivation of plants in boxes at the window-sill, and their failures have given rise to the impression in the minds of those who have watched their undertaking, that success with them is very problematical. "It looks easy," said a woman to me last season, "when you see somebody else's box just running over with vines, but when you come to make the attempt for yourself you wake up to the fact that there's a knack to it that most of us fail to discover. I've tried my best, for the last ...
— Amateur Gardencraft - A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover • Eben E. Rexford

... How far we ought to believe the strange story about the Prince visiting his father in a mountebank's disguise, and praying the King to stab him with a dagger which he presented to him, is very problematical. There is much about it, and its circumstances, which gives it the air of great incredibility. Stowe here assumes, without good ground, that the suspicions of the King were excited ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... higher range. It made part of a net-work of glaciers running back into a large massif of mountains, and fed by many a neve on their upper slopes. The depth as well as the length of this glacier remains somewhat problematical, and indeed all the estimates in so cursory a survey must be considered as approximations rather than positive results. The glazed surface of the ice is an impediment to any examination from the upper side. It would be impossible to spring from brink to brink of a crevasse, as is ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... she believes also in M. de Voltaire, so that her devotion is, to say the least, problematical. However, she is on good terms with the curate of her parish, and is very particular about the arrangement of her dinner on the days she honours him with an invitation to her table. She seems to consider him a subaltern, very useful ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

... conscious willing of the means towards an unconsciously willed purpose. This conception explains clearly and without violence all the problems which instinct presents to us; or more truly, all that was problematical about instinct disappears when its true nature has been thus declared. If this work were confined to the consideration of instinct alone, the conception of an unconscious activity of mind might excite opposition, ...
— Unconscious Memory • Samuel Butler

... vain. There were two ways of proceeding. Silence and safety might be purchased: or the law might be let loose on a knave, who set it at defiance. The one was secure: the other problematical; and replete with the danger which ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... that the condition of the slaves in the United States, would be in no respect bettered by emancipation in their present condition, under existing circumstances; supposing that they continue residents of the United States. It is in my view, no longer problematical; for I consider it a settled question, that their condition would in no respect be improved by emancipation; but on the contrary, I contend, that the condition of the free negroes in both the slave and free States, ...
— A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin - or, An Essay on Slavery • A. Woodward

... here to solve the riddle," said Becker; "the storm seems disposed to abate; and the more that it was unreasonable to face certain destruction in a vain endeavor to assist a problematical shipwreck, the more it is incumbent upon us now to go in ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... nature. Dr. Wallich verified my observation, and added the interesting discovery that, not unfrequently, bodies similar to these "coccoliths" were aggregated together into spheroids, which lie termed "coccospheres." So far as we knew, these bodies, the nature of which is extremely puzzling and problematical, were peculiar to the Atlantic soundings. But, a few years ago, Mr. Sorby, in making a careful examination of the chalk by means of thin sections and otherwise, observed, as Ehrenberg had done before ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... furnishes much more food. The advantage of growing it northward in the Western mountain valleys when sown in spring, as intimated by the writer of the bulletin already referred to, would seem to be at least problematical, since it could not be sown early enough in the spring to produce a crop as early as alfalfa already established. It would then be grown also as the crop of the season, rather than as a catch crop. The place for Egyptian clover in the rotation ...
— Clovers and How to Grow Them • Thomas Shaw

... the long slope in front of us. It was steep and bad going. Anscombe might get up it on the horse before the Kaffirs overtook us, but it was extremely problematical if we could do so. I might perhaps if I mounted behind him and the horse could bear us both, which was doubtful, but how about our poor servants? He saw the doubt upon my face and said ...
— Finished • H. Rider Haggard

... escapes at a tangent. If I try to interfere and to bring him back to the path of my choosing, he persists in his refusal, shrivels up, does not budge, and soon the whole procession is in confusion. We will not insist: the method is a poor one, very wasteful of effort for at best a problematical success. ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... Discourses." No one was satisfied with his arguments, no one could answer them, but every one wanted to try what he could make of them, as we try to find out a riddle. "By his so potent art," the art of laying down problematical premises, and drawing from them still more doubtful, but not impossible, conclusions, "he could bedim the noonday sun, betwixt the green sea and the azure vault set roaring war," and almost compel the stars in their courses to testify to his opinions. The mode in which he undertook to make the ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... mocked thousands like himself. If he could have gone to an asylum and surrounded his infirm will by every possible safeguard, he might have been carried through the inevitable period of horrible depression; but even then the habit had become so confirmed that his chances would have been problematical, for experience sadly proves that confirmed opium-consumers are ever in ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... my problematical follower reassured me not a little; still, I was resolved to get to the bottom of the situation, and therefore, after dinner I drew him into one of those tete-a-tetes which the mistress of a house can always ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... secondary matter. A more serious question was where to get them. No assistance could be expected from France. Holland declined to lend troops to conquer men who were standing out for their rights on their own soil. In Prussia, Frederick the Great expressed the opinion that it was at least problematical whether America could be conquered, it being difficult to govern men by force at such a distance. "If you intend conciliation," he said in conversation to a party of Englishmen, "some of your measures ...
— The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn • Henry P. Johnston

... them. For a time he stood transfixed with horror, unable to remove his eyes from the awful scene, or his feet from the spot where he had first beheld it; then, with the cry of sudden madness, he threw himself beside the bleeding corpses and lost all consciousness. How long he remained there was problematical, but on awaking Guir was still in the dark, and where he had fallen. At that moment a strange and overpowering desire seized him. He must paint the portraits of his murdered family before it became too late. Had he been sane, such a ...
— The Ghost of Guir House • Charles Willing Beale

... was the richer merely by the knowledge that it was there. But the chief profit of those wild days, to him and me, lay not in any definite idea, not in any angular or rounded truth, which we dug out of the shapeless mass of problematical stuff, but in the freedom which we thereby won from all custom and conventionalism and fettering influences of man on man. We were so free to-day that it was impossible to be slaves again to-morrow. When we crossed the threshold of the house ...
— The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... from a small town, the inhabitants of which were in very bad odour at the Hall,—they had immemorially furnished the most daring poachers to the preserves, the most troublesome trespassers on the park, the most unprincipled orchard robbers, and the most disputatious asserters of various problematical rights of way, which, according to the Town, were public, and, according to the Hall, had been private since the Conquest. It was true that the same path led also directly from the squire's house, but it was not probable that the wearer of attire so equivocal had been visiting there. All things considered, ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... in general, or the operations of that power in its extreme degrees, be for us a subject involved in much obscurity, this is not the case with regard to the more common effects of heat; and, tho' the actual existence of subterraneous fire, as the cause of light and heat, might be a thing altogether problematical in our opinion; yet, as to other effects, there are some of these from which the action of that liquefying power may be certainly concluded as having taken place within the mineral region, although ...
— Theory of the Earth, Volume 1 (of 4) • James Hutton

... hidden from us, the ailments too numerous, the remedies problematical. No reasonable definitions are to be found in the authors of health, ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... preserved in the British Museum, representing two figures, a man (with horns) and perhaps a woman, both clothed, on either side of a fruit-tree, towards which they stretch out their hands.23 For the meaning of this is extremely problematical. Some better monumental illustration may some day be found, for it is clear that the Babylonian sacred literature had much to tell of offences against the gods in the ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... stand up for this poor lady, whose usefulness in the world is apparently problematical. She seems to me like a picture which has fallen from its gilded frame and lies, face downward, on the dusty floor. The picture never was as needful as a window or a door, but it was pleasant to see ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... review our state and history in life. From time to time, however, and specially, I think, in talking art, talk becomes effective, conquering like war, widening the boundaries of knowledge like an exploration. A point arises; the question takes a problematical, a baffling, yet a likely air; the talkers begin to feel lively presentiments of some conclusion near at hand; towards this they strive with emulous ardour, each by his own path, and struggling for first utterance; and then one leaps upon the summit of that ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... Both Russia and England rejected France's proposal. The motive usually assigned to the Emperor Alexander is his hatred of everything associated with slavery. His own most famous action was the liberation of the Russian serfs. The motives of the British ministry, however, appear more problematical. ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... travelling inland to visit the leviathan wonder—the would-be rival to Niagara,—yclept "The Mammoth Cave." Its distance from Louisville is ninety-five miles. There is no such thing as a relay of horses to be met with—at all events, it is problematical; therefore, as the roads were execrable, we were informed it would take us two long days, and our informant strongly advised us to go by the mail, which only employs twenty-one hours to make the ninety-five miles' journey. There was no help for it; so, with a sigh of sad ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... work, as had been forecast, was the work of the I.W.W. Behind it was Glidden and perhaps behind him was the grasping, black lust of German might. Kurt's loss was no longer abstract or problematical. It was a loss so real and terrible that it confounded him. He shook and gasped and reeled. He wrung his hands and beat his breast while the tumult swayed him, the physical hate at last yielding up its significance. What then, was his great loss? He could ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... he afterwards had introduced not very effectively into his work. But where exactly had he stood? That was the question which Mr. Eager hoped to solve now. And Miss Lavish, whose nature was attracted by anything problematical, had become equally enthusiastic. ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... he will. But what sort of a prospect is it for you to bind up your fortunes with my father's? The future is so very problematical, ...
— Three Dramas - The Editor—The Bankrupt—The King • Bjornstjerne M. Bjornson

... footman. And you will very often think wistfully of Lord Brudenel's fine house when your only title is—well, Princess of Grub Street, and your realm is a garret. And for a while even to-morrow's breakfast will be a problematical affair. It is true Lord Lansdowne has promised me a registrarship in the Admiralty Court, and I do not think he will fail me. But that will give us barely enough to live on—with strict economy, which is a virtue that neither of us knows ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... the existence of such a society as that of the Rose-cross was problematical, it was quite evident that somebody or other was concerned in the promulgation of these placards, which were stuck up on every wall in Paris. The police endeavoured in vain to find out the offenders, and their want of success only served to increase the perplexity ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... Douglas. It was soon found that the Legislature on joint ballot would probably give a majority for Senator against Shields, the incumbent, or any other Democrat who had supported the Nebraska bill. Who might become his successor was more problematical. The opposition majority was made up of anti-Nebraska Democrats, of what were then called "abolitionists" (Lovejoy had been elected among these), and finally of Whigs, who numbered by far the largest portion. But these elements, except on one single issue, were somewhat ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... infernal detective. Bechamel had told his wife he was going to Davos to see Carter. To that he had fancied she was reconciled, but how she would take this exploit was entirely problematical. She was a woman of peculiar moral views, and she measured marital infidelity largely by its proximity to herself. Out of her sight, and more particularly out of the sight of the other women of her set, vice of the recognised description was, perhaps, permissible ...
— The Wheels of Chance - A Bicycling Idyll • H. G. Wells

... less problematical to extend the ideas of practical geometry to spaces of cosmic order of magnitude. It might, of course, be objected that a construction composed of solid rods departs more and more from ideal rigidity in proportion as its spatial extent becomes ...
— Sidelights on Relativity • Albert Einstein

... desert a man in peril of his life in a tropical jungle. So, in spite of Lady Meadowcroft, I was soon winding my way up a steep mountain track, overgrown with creeping Indian weeds, on my road to the still problematical village graced by the residence of ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... an immediate effect on the spirits of my children, who at once regarded our problematical chance of escaping as a happy certainty, and began to enjoy the relief from the violent pitching and rolling of the vessel. My wife, however, perceived my distress and anxiety, in spite of my forced ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... the same partner for several dances, or even for the greater part of the evening, he will, unless he is a Bayard absolutely sans peur et sans reproche, naturally think twice of engaging a lady from whom his release is problematical. Hence the tendency is to increase the triumphs of the belle, and decrease the chances of the less popular maiden. It is also extremely uncomfortable for a girl to feel that a man has (to use the ugly slang of the occasion) "got stuck" with her; and it takes more adroitness and self-possession ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... so well and so lovingly understood. There was no art in the telling, only a sweet naturalness and an apparent honesty—the honesty of purpose that comes to people in lonely places. Her stories were all of the class that magazine editors call "homely, heart-interest stuff," not deep or clever or problematical— the commonplace doings of common people—but it found an entrance into the hearts ...
— The Black Creek Stopping-House • Nellie McClung

... O Hara San," he said awkwardly, and as she sought to go this time he did not keep her. She walked to the edge of the verandah and stared down into the garden. Problematical ghosts and demons paled to insignificance before this real trouble. She fought with herself gallantly, crushing down her sorrow and disappointment and striving to regain the control she had let slip. Her feminine code Was simple—complete abnegation and self-restraint. And she had broken ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... observer ship hovering out in space, but its occupants had no doubt seen them, seen what had happened. It, no doubt, was telling Earth what it had seen—the attorney general's office, at any rate. Doubtful that it was including E.H.Q. in its report. Problematical that the attorney general would tell E.H.Q. what ...
— Eight Keys to Eden • Mark Irvin Clifton

... had rolled off the slightly sloping roof after accomplishing their duty. If only he could lay hands on them they might be made to serve again but the darkness would make this problematical. There was that log he had mentioned to Jack—with it he fancied he might do something to keep up the feverish interest in the game and hold ...
— Eagles of the Sky - With Jack Ralston Along the Air Lanes • Ambrose Newcomb

... limited to an old creature almost doting and totally deaf, the advantages of whose presence might have been considered problematical; but, then, as Miss ...
— The Uninhabited House • Mrs. J. H. Riddell

... the duke's), "that it is hard to pronounce on either side without the suspicion of flattery or detraction. I shall say nothing of his military accomplishments, which the opposite reports of his friends and enemies among the soldiers have rendered problematical. Those maligners who deny him personal valor, seem not to consider that this accusation is charged at a venture, since the person of a general is too seldom exposed, and that fear which is said sometimes ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... not known, was not liked. He wore the air of one self-centered, and cold to all judgments except his own. This last makes no friends, but only enemies for him whose position is problematical. Richard's pose of insolent indifference would have been beautiful in a gentleman who counted his fortune by millions; in a dollarless beggar who lived off alms it was detestable. Wherefore, the town, so far as Richard encountered it, left our ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... a chapter of disappointments, and I have now to state, that as Martin Chuzzlewit's success was to seem to him at first only distant and problematical, so even the prodigious immediate success of the Christmas Carol itself was not to be an unmitigated pleasure. Never had a little book an outset so full of brilliancy of promise. Published but a few days before Christmas, it was hailed on every side with ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... with Michelozzo,[90] who began as assistant and finally entered into a partnership which lasted until 1433. The whole subject is obscure, and until we have a critical biography of Michelozzo his relation with various men and monuments of the fifteenth century must remain problematical. Michelozzo has not hitherto received his due meed of appreciation. As a sculptor and architect he frequently held a subordinate position, and it has been assumed that he therefore lacked independence and originality. But the man who was ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... the unbusinesslike Nott would take—which the girl herself might be tempted to listen to. Clearly he could do nothing but abandon the Pontiac and her owner to the fate he could not in honor avert. And even that fate was problematical. It did not follow that the treasure was still concealed in the Pontiac, nor that Nott would be willing to sell her. He would make some excuse to Nott—he smiled to think he would probably be classed in the long line of absconding tenants—he would say good-by to Rosey, and leave ...
— Frontier Stories • Bret Harte

... to think Elgin about the most problematical public man in high position I had ever met, but I now know him one of the ablest. Deeds, not ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... ground towards the pair. If it was written upon their foreheads that they should marry, the inscription was none of mine; and, of course, it was true, as John had indignantly stated, that Dacres might do very much worse. One's interest in Dacres Tottenham's problematical future had in no way diminished; but the young man was so positive, so full of intention, so disinclined to discussion—he had not reopened the subject since that morning in the saloon of the Caledonia—that one's ...
— The Pool in the Desert • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... from our ports, I should inflict great evil on my fellow-subjects and constituents. But the good which, by taking such a course, I should do to the negroes in the United States seems to me very problematical. That by admitting slave grown cotton and slave grown sugar we do, in some sense, encourage slavery and the Slave Trade, may be true. But I doubt whether, by turning our fiscal code into a penal code for restraining the cruelty of the American planters, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the face of Columbus there is not that violent and excessive triumph which is exhibited by little characters on little occasions; he is too elevated to be overbearing; and, pointing to the conical solution of his problematical conundrum, displays a calm superiority, ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... and found corpuscles in the water. He demonstrated the spread of infection by the simple association of healthy and diseased worms. By their claws and their dejections, the diseased worms spread infection. It was no hypothetical infected medium—no problematical pythogenic gas—that killed the worms, but a definite organism. The question of infection at a distance was also examined, and its existence demonstrated. As might be expected from Pasteur's antecedents, the investigation ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... which seemed to us problematical in its outcome, we did not dare to borrow money or to induce friends to invest; and of course Mission funds were not available. For the day has not yet arrived when all those who seek by their gifts to hasten the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth recognize ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... then proceeded to the large dining hall and took their places with the gorgeously caparisoned and bemedalled chieftains of the German Army. The whole proceeding has an historic interest, in that it was the last Schrippenfest held. Whether another will ever be held is problematical, for the occasion was an inevitable part of the trappings of Hohenzollernism. Despite the gravity of the occasion, Colonel House's chief memory of this function is slightly tinged with the ludicrous. He had spent the better part of a lifetime ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... important Sunday of the christening, nothing was discussed with such eager zest and such sustained interest as the name he should get—there was a fascinating list at the back of the dictionary—and to the last minute it was problematical. In Stella's case, Mrs Murchison actually changed her mind on the way to church; and Abby, who had sat through the sermon expecting Dorothy Maud, which she thought lovely, publicly cried with disappointment. Stella was the ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... reflected in the costumes of the inmates of the house; all were alike threadbare. The color of the men's coats were problematical; such shoes, in more fashionable quarters, are only to be seen lying in the gutter; the cuffs and collars were worn and frayed at the edges; every limp article of clothing looked like the ghost of its former self. The women's dresses were faded, old-fashioned, ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... we think so, but it's problematical. Whether it did or not, we're safe in resuming the run without any ...
— We're Friends, Now • Henry Hasse

... capital of the Gallic tribe mentioned in Caesar's Commentaries, under the name of the Essui; but a conjecture of this description, founded altogether upon the similarity of the name, and unsupported by any collateral testimony, must be allowed to be at best only problematical; and ancient geography presents so wide a field for the display of ingenuity and learning, that it is in no department of science more necessary to be upon the guard against plausible theories.—There are others who contend for the ...
— Architectural Antiquities of Normandy • John Sell Cotman

... place. The house where she had taken service as a maid of all work was what servants call "a barrack." A spendthrift and glutton, devoid of order as of money, as is often the case with women engaged in the occupations that depend upon chance, and in the problematical methods of gaining a livelihood in vogue in Paris, the depilator, who was almost always involved in a lawsuit of some sort, paid but little heed to her small servant's nourishment. She often went away for the whole day without leaving her ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... proposals for countermeasures. On the top of Mount Whitney Miss Francis still labored. New assistants were flown to her as the old ones wandered down the great rockslide from the old stone weatherhouse off into the Grass during fits of despondency, went mad from the realization that, except for problematical survivors on the polar caps, they were alone in an abandoned hemisphere, or died of simple homesickness. In the researchlaboratories of Consolidated Pemmican formulas for utilizing the Grass were still tinkered with, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... glittering fiend comes up from below, snaps his lump out of the whale's side, and is shouldered out of the way by his fellows. We were unlucky indeed, in the matter of sharks; for, with the exception of a problematical back-fin or two, we saw none in the West Indies, though they were ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... position west of the Mississippi, in which the Indian tribes have been placed, will tend to promote their civilization, arrest their deterioration in morals, or their decline in numbers, we think extremely problematical. Should such, however, be the happy result, it may be anticipated that the tribe which has produced a Logan, a Cornstalk and a Tecumseh, will be among the first to rise above the moral degradation in which it is shrouded, and foremost to exhibit the ...
— Life of Tecumseh, and of His Brother the Prophet - With a Historical Sketch of the Shawanoe Indians • Benjamin Drake

... Times are bad and money scarce; men are even more reluctant than before to 'domesticate the recording angel' by marrying, and a type of woman has sprung up amongst us who is shy of matrimony and honestly reluctant to risk its many perils for the sake of its problematical joys. Most noticeable of all is the growing dissatisfaction of the sexes with each other. Men do not shun marriage only because of unfavourable financial conditions, or because the restrictions of ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... more likely that Wu will find it prudent to adhere to his declaration. There is certainly a better chance than there was before the defeat of Chang for the unification of China and the ending of the Tuchuns' tyranny. But it is as yet no more than a chance, and the future is still problematical. ...
— The Problem of China • Bertrand Russell

... psychic world of consciousness and the manifestation of intelligence in ways and under conditions previously unknown. The identification of these intelligences, always difficult, and generally problematical, need not here be discussed at all. The facts and the phenomena are all that we are here ...
— The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul - The Findings of Natural Science Reduced to Practical Studies - in Psychology • Jirah D. Buck

... Government; that without it, I suppose he thinks, we might have done as well, or perhaps better, than we have done in spite of it. * * * Whether we of the South would have been better off without the Government, is, to say the least, problematical. On the one side we can only put the fact, against speculation and conjecture on the other. * * * The influence of the Government on us is like that of the atmosphere around us. Its benefits are so silent and unseen that they are seldom ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... over whom he reigns. Could but justice and humanity be added to his other qualities, but, unfortunately for my nation, I fear that the answer of General Mortier to a remark of a friend of mine on this subject is not problematical: "Had," said this Imperial favourite, "Napoleon Bonaparte been just and humane, he would ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... stood mute and impassive, waiting for further orders, whilst two soldiers were kneeling beside the prostrate form of Marguerite. Chauvelin gave his secretary a vicious look. His well-laid plan had failed, its sequel was problematical; there was still a great chance now that the Scarlet Pimpernel might yet escape, and Chauvelin, with that unreasoning fury, which sometimes assails a strong nature, was longing to vent his rage ...
— The Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... play booty; and who else have they? Nobody but C——-, who has only good sense, but not the necessary talents nor experience, 'AEre ciere viros martemque accendere cantu'. I never remember, in all my time, to have seen so problematical a state of affairs, and a man would be much puzzled which side to ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... some gentle anticipations of pleasure, but none that were exaggerated or excessive. All that was likely to happen, as far as she knew, was that dinner party at Mrs. Benson's, and a play or two, and a problematical hall. This was all that the "vortex" meant about which her mother had laughed; she had not any idea at that time that the vortex would mean Dick Cavendish. But now that she fully understood what it meant, and now that it was all over, and her agitated little bark had come out of it, and ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... some of the circumstances, geographical and economical, which would make the success of a violent revolution in England problematical in the extreme, and put to him the same suggestion that I put to Bucharin (see page 81), namely, that a suppressed movement in England would be worse for Russia than our traditional method of compromise. He agreed at once, but said, "That is quite true, but you cannot stop a revolution ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... remaining yellow, but its persistent yellowness depends on the continuance of some of those changes. Similarly, a man's hair may remain black for some years; though, no doubt, at a certain age its colour may begin to be problematical, and the applicability to it of 'black' or 'not-black' may become a matter of genuine anxiety. Whilst being on our guard, then, against fallacies of contradiction arising from the imperfect correspondence of fact with thought and language, we shall often have to put up ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... influences; and, had Robert Maclean been cognizant of half the ghostly associations attached to the residence which he had selected in compliance with general instructions from his mistress, it is scarcely problematical whether the house would not have remained in the hands of the real-estate broker; but, fortunately for their peace of mind, Elsie and her son were as yet in blissful ignorance of the dismal celebrity of ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... they made, but she was sometimes pricked to the reflection that the freemasonry between them was all hers, and the things she said to him had still the flavour of adventure. She found herself inclined—and the experience was new—to make an effort for a reward which was problematical and had to be considered in averages, a reward put out in a thin and hesitating hand under a sacerdotal robe, with a curious, concentrated quality and a strange flavour of incense and the air of cold churches. There was also the impression—was it too fantastic—of words carried over a ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... of these circumstances, if the relation of the plate and atmosphere be such as to invite upon the plate a precipitation of humidity from the atmosphere, the prospect of producing a clear impression is quite problematical. ...
— American Handbook of the Daguerrotype • Samuel D. Humphrey

... European countries. Whether that system works well in the West, where it has been in existence for centuries and is not always taken over-seriously by party politicians themselves, is a question upon which I shall express no opinion. But I think it is problematical whether such a system is well adapted for an Oriental people, possessed of and permeated by an ancient civilisation—a people whose feelings, sentiments, modes of thought, prejudices and passions are so essentially different from those of Western nations. Be that ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... must be made on this passage; first, that it only refers to making a stipulation in advance for compensation for profit lost, and does not condemn the actual payment of compensation;[2] second, that the point is made that the probability of gaining a profit on money is so problematical as to make it unsaleable. As Ashley points out, the latter consideration was peculiarly important at the time when the Summa was composed; and, when in the course of the following two centuries the opportunities for reasonably safe and profitable business investments increased, ...
— An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching • George O'Brien

... Paganel's proposal. He advised its adoption, as it was hopeless to await the problematical arrival of a vessel in Twofold Bay. But before coming to any decision, he thought it best to visit the ship mentioned by the geographer. Glenarvan, the Major, Paganel, Robert, and Mangles himself, took a boat, and a ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... the sad story of its inscription a sufficient warning on the subject of marsh malaria. Once or twice I have come in its way, but never willingly, and happily always without calamitous result. Once only I have slept within its problematical range, and that was off that pestiferous bit of coast near Epidaurus, and I fancy at a season when the marshes had ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847 • Various

... willing to help them. The French sent a Polar expedition under Captain Gaimard in the years 1838 and 1839; and the United States of North America took an active part in Arctic exploration. Whether Dr. Kane's discovery of an open polar ocean will ever be verified is problematical; at all events, the deplorable fate of Sir John Franklin has put a stop to the chance of it for the present; yet it is a great geographical question which we should all like ...
— Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville • Mary Somerville

... those now existing. It is quite out of the question, however, to build a new economic structure and new economic units at the same time. Habit and convention are too strong. Innovation is too terrifying and too problematical. The life of local economic units will be carried on to-morrow very much as it is carried on to-day by the masses of the people. The most workable economic superstructure, for a new society, will be built upon an answer to the question: "How ...
— The Next Step - A Plan for Economic World Federation • Scott Nearing

... Queens Eleanor and Mary, accustomed to look upon proper men in Flanders and Germany, that he was fain to win their favor by making certain attempts in the tournament, in which his success was sufficiently problematical. "His body," says his professed panegyrist, "was but a human cage, in which, however brief and narrow, dwelt a soul to whose flight the immeasurable expanse of heaven was too contracted." [Cabrera] The same wholesale admirer adds, that "his aspect was so reverend, that ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... that M. Violette had formed as to his son's inheriting from M. Gaufre were very problematical; for the father, whom M. Gaufre had not been able to avoid receiving at his table occasionally, had been struck, even shocked, by the familiar and despotic tone of the old merchant's servant, a superb Normandy woman of about twenty-five years, answering to the royal name of Berenice. ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... engine of destruction ever accomplished that result? No—the enemy always finds a way of combating the new weapon and of devising another still more terrible. You've discovered a marvelous thing, but its value is quite problematical." ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... latter conjecture; the fall of fish during showers, even were it not so problematical in theory, is too rare an event to account for the punctual appearance of those found in the rice-fields, at stated periods of the year. Both at Galle and Colombo in the south-west monsoon, fish are popularly thought to have fallen from the clouds during violent showers, but ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... another blank. They had been three years out and heeded only the big football games. Whether, after the failure of this sally, Mr. Bloeckman would have perceived himself to be in a cynical atmosphere is problematical, for— ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... dissertation as ever was engendered in the womb of speculation;—it was some months before my father could get an opportunity to be safely delivered of it:—And, at this hour, it is a thing full as problematical as the subject of the dissertation itself,—(considering the confusion and distresses of our domestick misadventures, which are now coming thick one upon the back of another) whether I shall be able to find a place for it in the third volume ...
— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman • Laurence Sterne

... the better of problematical risk, I went in. The room allotted me lay on the ground floor just off the garden, and I had not been there many minutes before I became aware, as one does, that I was being stared at. The culprit instantly pretended, with a very sheepish air, to be only taking a walk. He was ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... as vampyrs?" tantamne rem tam negligenter? I turn to the learned pages of Horst for a luminous and precise definition of the destructive and mysterious beings, whose existence you have ventured to consider problematical. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... extraction, she is sure to be a maritime nation. I formerly imagined that Australia would rise to be as grand and powerful a country as North America, but now it appears to me that such future grandeur is rather problematical. ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... of civil war, sown by a few of the still discontented nobles, began to germinate; and Henry constantly received intelligence of seditious movements in the provinces. On the banks of the Loire and the Garonne the symptoms of disaffection had already ceased to be problematical; while at La Rochelle and Limoges the inhabitants had assaulted the government officers who sought to ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... and it was characteristic of him that he could not wait until he had the actual cash in hand, but, even while his own future was uncertain, he made donations of large blocks of stocks, which, while of problematical value while the litigation was proceeding, eventually ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... credible that a person of Elizabeth's sagacity, with her means of gaining intelligence and after all that had passed, could have been surprised by this notification of the intentions of the queen of Scots, and it is even problematical how far she was really displeased at the occurrence. Except by imitating her perpetual celibacy,—a compliment to her envy and her example which could not in reason be expected,—it might seem impossible for the queen of Scots better to consult the views and wishes of her kinswoman ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... performed quite so easily as a rule of three sum; while, in the hour of temptation, the question will crop up, whether, as something has to be sacrificed, a bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush; whether it may not be as well to give up the problematical greater happiness in the future, for a certain great happiness ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... nearly three-quarters of an hour taking a bearing based upon the problematical position of the lights, the height and density of the box screen and then boldly and rapidly opened the door, stepped through and closed it behind him. His calculations had been accurate. He found himself in a room, the extent of which he could only conjecture. ...
— The Green Rust • Edgar Wallace

... problematical for a few moments, and then the meaning came with a flash to Burton, who had suddenly caught sight ...
— Glyn Severn's Schooldays • George Manville Fenn

... him in seventy-one days to the port Kailuka, capital of a country somewhat problematical, of which the brave and handsome inhabitants excelled in making arms. From Kailuka, Ibn passed into the Chinese provinces, and went first to the splendid town of Zaitem, probably the present Tsieun-tcheou of the Chinese, a little to the north of Nankin. He passed through various cities ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... intensified it. His sister herself excited his suspicions, though she was perhaps more miserly, more rapacious than her brother whom she actually surpassed in penurious inventions. Their daily existence had something mysterious and problematical about it. The old woman rarely took bread from the baker; she appeared so seldom in the market, that the least credulous of the townspeople ended by attributing to these strange beings the knowledge of some ...
— Maitre Cornelius • Honore de Balzac

... to prove to man, that every thing in this world is nothing more than a chimerical illusion; that the universe exists nowhere but in himself; that it has no identity but in his imagination; who has rendered the existence of all things problematical by the aid of sophisms, insolvable even to those who maintain the doctrine of the spirituality of ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... effective exercise, there must have sprung up at once the hope of what is called by the world success. But from these low beginnings, it was a far look upward to Miss Austin: the favour of the loved one seems always more than problematical to any lover; the consent of parents must be always more than doubtful to a young man with a small salary and no capital except capacity and hope. But Fleeming was not the lad to lose any good thing for the lack of trial; and at length, ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... he said, addressing some problematical individual. "You oughtn't to be doing anything like that. These girls," and he waved an inclusion of all shop and factory girls, "don't get anything. Why, you can't live ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... final triumph of idiocy. If bad women could be shut up and made to say prayers most of the time, no harm at least would be done,—the good, problematical; but to immure a woman of sweet, natural, God-bestowed impulses is the devil's worst practical joke in this world. Come, little girl, it's late. Think over the scheme; try it as you have a chance; use your power to incite men to make the most and best of themselves. This is better than levying ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... insisted, however, that he made the best bargain for Mr. Astor that circumstances would permit; the frigate being hourly expected, in which case the whole property of that gentleman would be liable to capture. That the return of Mr. Hunt was problematical; the frigate intending to cruise along the coast for two years, and clear it of all American vessels. He moreover averred, and M'Tavish corroborated his averment by certificate, that he proposed an arrangement to that gentleman, by which the furs were to be sent to Canton, and sold there at Mr. ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... least; so yesterday I resolved to give them a holiday, though sorely against my will, by not opening a book the whole day. Whether I should have succeeded in observing such a desperate resolution without the aid of circumstances is quite problematical, but Mr. Gray opportunely came with a request that I should take a ride with him to Cambridge, and visit the libraries there. This occupied four or five hours, and a lyceum lecture provided for the evening. ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... problematical," we answered, with the embarrassment men of our age might feel at being instigated to talk politics with a prime minister. "What we do know, for certain, is that Russia is now, with her Transcaspian railroad, within about forty miles of Meshed, the capital of Persia's richest province ...
— Across Asia on a Bicycle • Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben

... prospects, to gather evidences of a different destiny, although such evidences might not be wanting. Yes, we might find the evidences which, duly weighed, would make us shudder in view of our possible or probable future. We might come to think it very problematical whether our country has sufficient vital force to work into good American citizens the hordes of infidels, paupers, criminals, cast upon our shores from the nations of the old world;—whether our country has sufficient wisdom to guide its own vexed domestic questions to a proper ...
— National Character - A Thanksgiving Discourse Delivered November 15th, 1855, - in the Franklin Street Presbyterian Church • N. C. Burt

... problematical nature into the following sixteen classes: the sad, the extremely good or bad, star-gazers, scatter-brains, apathetic, misanthropic, doubters and investigators, reverent, critical, executive, stupid and ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... were men in the fullest meaning of the word was revealed at the first glance. They proved it when, to stand by their convictions, they put themselves and their families at the mercy of a problematical future; and when, in advanced years, they undertook the gigantic work of compiling so large and profound a German dictionary. Jakob looked as if nothing could ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... seemed a little problematical. The left and right we satisfied ourselves about at once, but the centre was in a class by itself. We demanded an investigator, somebody with wide mine-sweeping ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 15, 1916 • Various

... deposits extended to the north of the Laurentian Hills, as well as the outline of that portion of the continent in those times, remains still very problematical; but the investigations thus far undertaken in those regions would lead to the supposition that the same granite upheaval which raised Canada stretched northward in a broad, low ridge of land, widening in its upper part and extending ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... to Governor Caswell to explain the part he is said to have taken in the affair, and to examine the Ship-Captain and the two passengers. Should the Governor confirm Folger's narrative, so as to make his veracity less problematical than at present, his confinement may be rendered easier to him, but he must not be quite discharged till we hear from you. There ought to be the greatest caution used with regard to the characters of all those persons, who are confidentially employed by you. The connexion ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... soon evident that the removal of the burden of debt without Government assistance would be an arduous task uncertain of accomplishment, and that a problematical period doubtless lay ahead. Many of the debts were of ten years' standing. Some of them had been incurred with mechanics and tradesmen in connection with the construction of the College buildings. Professors had long been unpaid. ...
— McGill and its Story, 1821-1921 • Cyrus Macmillan

... for a moment to the problematical function of the antennae. The male Oak Eggar has a sumptuous pair, as has the Great Peacock or Emperor Moth. Are we to regard these silky "feelers" as a kind of directing compass?—I resumed, but without attaching much importance to the matter, my previous experiment of amputation. ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... anomalies of the Revolution? Again, to whose interest was it to do away with the customs and excise duties of France? To establish the absolute and unfettered liberty of the press and religious opinions? The benefits these measures might be expected to confer on the French people were certainly problematical, but there could be no doubt of their utility to men who, like Frederick the Great, wished to ruin France and to break the Franco-Austrian alliance by the unrestricted circulation of libels against Marie Antoinette, who, like Mirabeau, hoped to bring about a revolution, ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... his own existence was in danger is problematical. Like the human brain, his own had no pain or sensory circuits within it; in addition, his knowledge of robotics was small—he didn't even know that his brain was in Cargo Hold One. He thought it was in his head, if he thought ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... into the storms of political life. A face that might be called insignificantly pretty and caressing manners thinly disguised the man's deeply-rooted egoism and habit of continually calculating the chances of a career which at that time looked problematical enough; though his choice of Mme. de Chaulieu (a woman past forty) made interest for him at Court, and brought him the applause of the Faubourg Saint-Germain and the gibes of the Liberal party, who dubbed him "the poet ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... it is hoped, quite plainly "how it works." But electricity is elusive, invisible; and the greatest authorities cannot say what goes on at the poles of a magnet or on the surface of an electrified body. Even the existence of "negative" and "positive" electricity is problematical. However, we see the effects, and we know that if one thing is done another thing happens; so that we are at least able to use terms which, while convenient, are not at present controverted by ...
— How it Works • Archibald Williams

... investment, business, and sabotage, should have an appreciably better chance of survival in the long run if the present conditions of warlike preparation and national insecurity were maintained, or if the projected peace were left in a somewhat problematical state, sufficiently precarious to keep national animosities alert, and thereby to the neglect of domestic interests, particularly of such interests as touch the popular well-being. On the other hand, it has also appeared that the cause of peace and its perpetuation ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... and reserved, but he didn't disguise his feeling that I should be wise to take a certainty in lieu of a very problematical fortune. He would certainly like me to agree, for he naturally wishes to get the affair settled and ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

... successfully in any month of the year. But practically I think that grafting will be limited to that part of the year during which the cambium layer of the stock is active. At other times of the year preservation of the vitality of the scion will be too problematical, it seems to me, even if it is very carefully waxed. However, I may be mistaken. At any rate grafting is not very pleasant work out of doors in very cold weather. The success of bench grafting would be an argument for the success of dormant season ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting • Various

... but she had made several mistakes which she was determined not to repeat, and meant to be careful as to the first impressions which she produced upon her new schoolfellows. Marjorie, at fifteen and a half, was a somewhat problematical character. In her childhood she had been aptly described as "a little madam", and it was owing to the very turbulent effect of her presence in the family that she had been packed off early to school, "to find her level ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... whole range of our complex human nature with a view to its harmonious organisation under the control of a lucid reason—whether it will ever be possible again to realise this ideal, and that not only in the members of a privileged class, but in the whole body of the State, is a question too problematical to be raised with advantage in this place. But it is impossible not to perceive that with the decline of the Greek city-state something passed from the world which it can never cease to regret, and ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... in them before they embarked, died afloat in great numbers. It has been thought, that many lives might have been saved at West Point Barracks, had that building been raised off the ground so as to admit a free circulation of air under the rooms. This, however, is but problematical, as the deaths at the other end of the town ...
— Trade and Travel in the Far East - or Recollections of twenty-one years passed in Java, - Singapore, Australia and China. • G. F. Davidson

... war in Asia, heavy failures in Liverpool, London, or Paris, might easily spoil all. Reducing Mr. Allen's vast complicated operation to its final analysis, he had simply bet several millions—all he had—that nothing would happen throughout the world that could interfere with a scheme so problematical that the chances could scarcely be ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... translated copy of the writing in his notebook (the missing words inserted) and the legends of the negroes who, generation after generation since forgotten times, had told the story of the "Mountain of the Golden Pyramid." Nobody, within the memory of man, had ever searched for the problematical tomb: and as tales of more or less the same character are common in Egypt, I did not place much faith in the enthusiastic jottings of Ferlini. However, my love of the unknown, the mysterious and romantic, made me feel that the possession of the ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... German reinforcements arrived at the critical moment and all the British objectives had been captured and held. Whether or not the only night-bombing squadron engaged in that action was responsible for the tie-up of the Hun transportation system is problematical, but all the members of the squadron remember that night and hope that their efforts were ...
— Night Bombing with the Bedouins • Robert Henry Reece

... over in the way of Germany's ability to pay, aside from the Kiel Canal, Alsace and Lorraine, and German Poland, is problematical. ...
— The Audacious War • Clarence W. Barron

... mounted and unmounted drill, and spent much time in getting the accoutrements into condition for inspection. During part of the march up rations had been short, and for a number of days were very problematical. Sufficient boots and clothing were also lacking and we had had to get along as best we could without. Now that we were stationary our wants were supplied, and the worst hardship for the men was the lack of recreation. A reading-room was opened and a piano was procured, but ...
— War in the Garden of Eden • Kermit Roosevelt

... deserve it," said Sara. "The means to this are always, in a manner, certainties, the end is always problematical. But those who want love could never be satisfied with ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... East Cliff." It is, in fact, strange how undemocratic the poor man is. (Not so strange when one realises that far from having everything to gain and nothing to lose by a levelling process, he has a deal to lose and his gains are problematical.) I am not sure that he doesn't prefer to regard the gen'leman as another species of animal. Jimmy and Tommy have a name of their own for the little rock-cakes their mother cooks. They call them gentry-cakes because such morsels are fitted for ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... this graceless statement. Quite lately in these columns have I confessed—pulvere cineribusque— that our side had twice failed at the inconsiderable distance of two yards, even after discarding the small thirty-two. But that further confession will be forthcoming is now wildly and preposterously problematical. For I have discovered the true exorcism for demoniac influence in putting. It is this: First catch your putter. Put the whole length of the shaft up your sleeve. Then—but I must retain something for next Saturday's ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, March 10th, 1920 • Various

... purpose to defeat me for both. He had, to use a military term, made a reconnoissance in force; and I had tried to meet him in kind and to prevent him uncovering my exact position. How well I had succeeded, however, was very problematical; for I could not know what particular information he sought. I was satisfied, however, his main purpose was to discover whether I had any knowledge or suspicion of him being back of Madeline Spencer. And I was not so sure I had bluffed him. I began to fancy he had seen ...
— The Colonel of the Red Huzzars • John Reed Scott

... That the mother threatened corporal punishment, whereat the father tremblingly intervened. That David continuing to rejoice exceedingly in his word, the father spoke darkly of a cane, but the mother rushed between the combatants. That the problematical chastisement became to David an object of romantic interest. That this darkened the happy home. That casting from his path a weeping mother, the goaded father at last dashed from the house yelling that he was away ...
— The Little White Bird - or Adventures In Kensington Gardens • J. M. Barrie

... counter-attack and pursue. Not the spirit but the flesh failed them. With a fresh Division on the ground nothing would have prevented us from making several thousand prisoners; whether they would have been able to rush the machine guns and so gain a great victory was more problematical. Anyway, our advance at dawn was half heroic, half lamentable. The men were so beat that if they tripped and fell, they lay like dead things. The enemy were almost in worse plight and so we took prisoners, but as soon as we came up against nerveless, ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton



Words linked to "Problematical" :   problematic, questionable, tough, problem, hard, difficult



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