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Enigma   /ɪnˈɪgmə/   Listen
Enigma

noun
(pl. enigmas)
1.
Something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained.  Synonyms: closed book, mystery, secret.  "It remains one of nature's secrets"
2.
A difficult problem.  Synonyms: brain-teaser, conundrum, riddle.



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"Enigma" Quotes from Famous Books



... left the prison, considering one day with myself the different kinds of liberty and confinement, freedom and bondage, I took my pen, and wrote the following enigma ...
— The History of Thomas Ellwood Written by Himself • Thomas Ellwood

... fell over the little party. After the first few moments of dismay, conjecture, and exclamation, there did not seem to be much that any one could say. Each girl was busy with her own thoughts and private interpretation of a most sorrowful enigma. What were they to do? How were they to live without separation, and without taking a solitary plunge into an unknown and most ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... notion of the primitive family group unless we suppose that its members brought their earnings of all kinds into the common stock while they were unable to bind it by improvident individual engagements. The true enigma of the Patria Potestas does not reside here, but in the slowness with which these proprietary privileges of the parent were curtailed, and in the circumstance that, before they were seriously diminished, the whole civilised world was brought within their sphere. No innovation of ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... a piece of paper the solution of the enigma, as interpreted by his father, though not the symbol words of the cablegram. He continued to write for a little longer time, amplifying and filling in the wanting parts of the message. Then he read what he had written, as follows: ...
— On The Blockade - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray Afloat • Oliver Optic

... presented an enigma almost impossible to solve. Perhaps it is not the part of a wise man ever to try to understand a woman. Her motives must always be mysterious, even to herself. It is sufficient if one can learn to forecast her actions, and even that ...
— The International Spy - Being the Secret History of the Russo-Japanese War • Allen Upward

... invitation was either a rondeau or an enigma, which served as a subject to open conversation. The lady received her visitors reposing on that throne of beauty, a bed placed in an alcove; the toilet was magnificently arranged. The space between the bed and the wall was called the Ruelle[A], the diminutive ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... was thinking of—him? As long as he dared, the young man, his heart in his own eyes, watched her greedily, taking a miser's joy of her youthful beauty, striving with all his soul to analyze the enigma ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... in our native Thebe, fix on Oedipus your eyes. Who resolved the dark enigma, noblest champion and most wise. Like a star his envied fortune mounted beaming[6] far and wide: Now he sinks in seas of anguish, whelmed beneath a raging tide. Therefore, with the old-world sages, waiting for that final day, I will call ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... Charles Gordon (great psalm-singer though he was) an occasion like to-night's holds the same intoxicating mixture of danger and desire as fills the glass of the boy bridegroom when he raises it to the health of his enigma in a veil. But I don't know how it is; I used to feel like that; now I too am terribly anxious. Disappointed not to see Stopford nor Reed. They were to have been there. Besides the men on the beetles there are men packed like herrings upon ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... an Isis whose final veil none has raised. There is a sphinx in this gloomy odalisk of the frightful Sultan Everybody. None has solved its enigma. It is Nakedness ...
— The Memoirs of Victor Hugo • Victor Hugo

... is its name? If that God punishes us for not having blindly followed a faith that does not force itself irresistibly upon the intelligence which He gave us; if He chastises us for not having made, in the presence of the great enigma with which He confronts us, a choice which condemns the best and most divine part of that which He has placed in us, we have nothing left to reply: we are the dupes of a cruel and incomprehensible sport, we are ...
— Death • Maurice Maeterlinck

... politician, or an actor charged with a part, have but one pre- occupation; they must search all round and upon every side, and grope for some central conception which is to explain and justify the most extreme details; until that is found, the politician is an enigma, or perhaps a quack, and the part a tissue of fustian sentiment and big words; but once that is found, all enters into a plan, a human nature appears, the politician or the stage-king is understood from point to point, from ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... you can serve up your Horace; if in fine, jingles and alliterations, wise and otherwise, have stayed with you, while solid and serviceable information has faded away, you may be certain that here is the key to the enigma of memory. ...
— One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed • C. A. Bogardus

... worried him. The hook-nosed tall old King had been by Jurgen dismissed from thought, as an enigma not important enough to be worth the trouble of solving. Gogyrvan at once seemed to be schooling himself to patience under some private annoyance and to be revolving in his mind some private jest; he was queer, and probably ...
— Jurgen - A Comedy of Justice • James Branch Cabell

... fallen there? By what decree has salt been sown on this dwelling? Has God been mocked here? Or was France betrayed? These are the questions we ask ourselves. Reptiles crawl over it, but give no reply. This empty and deserted house is a vast enigma of which the ...
— La Grande Breteche • Honore de Balzac

... the lawn and up the steps. Halsey was talking quietly, and Mrs. Watson was looking down and listening. She was a woman of a certain amount of dignity, most efficient, so far as I could see, although Liddy would have found fault if she dared. But just now Mrs. Watson's face was an enigma. She was defiant, I think, under her mask of submission, and she still showed the effect of ...
— The Circular Staircase • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... and I wish you would answer it. I've been driving myself wild over it for the past few days, but I don't seem to get to the solution. Can't your Familiar," pointing downward, "help you guess the enigma, Miriam?" ...
— The Unseen Bridgegroom - or, Wedded For a Week • May Agnes Fleming

... to La Salle, only to find ourselves involved in mist and obscurity. What did he do after he left the two priests? Unfortunately, a definite answer is not possible; and the next two years of his life remain in some measure an enigma. That he was busied in active exploration, and that he made important discoveries, is certain; but the extent and character of these discoveries remain wrapped in doubt. He is known to have kept journals and made maps; and these were in existence, ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... little household soberly settled there. Never were princesses and women more unlike than Caroline of Brunswick and Victoria of Coburg; But poor Queen Caroline was not destined to remain long an awkward enigma—a queen and yet no queen, an aunt and yet no aunt, a scandal and ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... enigmas," he said somewhat vexedly. "However, the whole thing is an enigma and would puzzle the most sagacious head. That the physicial workings of the brain, in a site of trance, should arouse in me a passion of love for an imaginary being, and, at the same time, enable to write a poem such as must make the fame of ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... Further, the vision of God in His Essence is whereby God is seen without a medium or enigma. But man in the state of innocence "saw God immediately," as the Master of the Sentences asserts (Sent. iv, D, i). He also saw without an enigma, for an enigma implies obscurity, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv, ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I (Prima Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... beards and skimpy rags of clothing, were setting upon an unclassifiable creature that snarled and fought back. It was erect and coarsely hairy—Parr saw that much before the enigma gave up the unequal fight and ran clumsily away into a mass of bright-flowered scrub. Execrations and a volley of sticks and stones speeded ...
— The Devil's Asteroid • Manly Wade Wellman

... and cacti waving silently in the wind, stretched unbroken to the distant cliffs, the still dark sky was empty overhead, and the hot sun hung and burned. And through it all, a warning, a threat, throbbed this enigma of sound. ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... him so well,' said Cecilia, conjuring up that innocent enthusiasm of hers for Mr. Austin as an antidote to her sharp suffering. The next minute she looked on her father as the key of an enigma concerning Seymour Austin, whom, she imagined, possibly she had not hitherto known at all. Her curiosity to pierce it faded. She and her maid were packing through the night. At dawn she requested her maid to lift the window-blind ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... the might of reason, and given new grounds for the faith, which in all ages has inspired the effort to know,—the faith that the world is an intelligible structure, meant to be penetrated by the thought of man. Can it be that nature is an "open secret," but that man, and he alone, must remain an enigma? Or does he not rather bear within himself the key to every problem which he solves, and is it not his thought which penetrates the secrets of nature? The success of science, in reducing to law the most varied and apparently unconnected facts, should dispel any suspicion which ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... was, Fledra was an enigma to him. There was but one way to make her his woman,—his wife,—that was to force her confidence, and, once obtained, keep it. But his longing to caress her was stronger than his desire to conquer her,—the warmth and softness of her lips he would ...
— From the Valley of the Missing • Grace Miller White

... new clues! Boni—Lanciani—the whole learned world in commotion. A fragment of what might very possibly turn out to be a bi-lingual inscription was the last find. Were we at last on the brink of solving the old, the eternal enigma? ...
— Lady Merton, Colonist • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... interested in the airman than in the astonishing enterprise on which he was engaged. I could not bring myself to gape at scientific marvels. As I have said before, let Science do her worst: humanity remains the same fascinating enigma. ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... of shallowness to ignore those extrahuman relations and account for the unforeseen by attributing to fate the more than inexplicable. Did not a chance encounter often decide the entire life of a man? What was love, what the other incomprehensible shaping influences? And, knottiest enigma of ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... vainly sought some solution of the enigma—why she had been brought thither. She could not solve it; but she determined, if her capture had been made by any lawful authorities, to confess her guilt and submit to ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... the spirit of admiration or of condemnation will, in all cases which admit of doubt, be largely a question of the personal sympathies of the observer. But Lincoln stands apart in striking solitude,—an enigma to all men. The world eagerly asks of each person who endeavors to write or speak of him: What illumination have you for us? Have you solved the mystery? Can you explain this man? The task has been essayed many times; it will be essayed many times more; it never has been, and ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II • John T. Morse

... Anagram Enigma, rather difficult, and meant for experienced puzzle-workers. The answer is the first line of a well-known couplet relating ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... bird. I see no ground for such a suspicion. The two places were at least a mile apart, as I have already mentioned, and woods and hills, to say nothing of the village, lay between. If he was our bird's mate, his choice of a picket station was indeed an enigma. He might almost as well have been on Mount Washington. Nor can I believe that he had any connection with a nest found two months afterward in a pitch-pine grove within a quarter of a mile, more or less, of his clearing. It ...
— The Foot-path Way • Bradford Torrey

... inherit a stigma, And some find a spur in their past, But Ireland's ancestral enigma Has now been unravelled at last; For the Celt, the original Gaidel, Apart from his proud pedigree, Is always tattooed in his ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, May 14, 1919 • Various

... said:—From one point of view the existence of an unemployment problem is an enigma and a paradox. In a world, where even before the war the standard of living that prevailed among the mass of the people was only what it was, even in those countries which we termed wealthy, it seems at first sight an utterly astonishing anomaly that at frequent ...
— Essays in Liberalism - Being the Lectures and Papers Which Were Delivered at the - Liberal Summer School at Oxford, 1922 • Various

... painful concluding poem. Faded, coarse-haired, coarse-skinned . . . is all said? But he had married her. In what, do we find the word of that enigma? In the beauties of her heart and mind—the passionate, devoted heart, the subtle, brooding mind. These had done the first work; and alas! they have done the second also. The heart was passionate and devoted, but ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... fact explains apparently inconsistent admiration of Peel, who though a Parliamentary statesman, had accomplished a solid achievement for the benefit of the people. Carlyle in his own writings is an almost insoluble enigma. To have given the true solution is ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... haste to break the silence. A puzzling factor had come into her life, and she was impatient of the enigma. The solution was not a question of curiosity but of safety, and a safety not her own. On one side was Commines, Louis' devoted adherent, devoted not alone in service, but in blindness, the blindness which questions neither means nor purpose; on the other side ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... faculty of obtaining favours of all sorts, was of a most extraordinary character; and he certainly never lost any chance of preferment for want of asking. In this respect, Jason was always a moral enigma, to me; there being an absolute absence, in his mind, of everything like a perception of the fitness of things, so far as the claims and rights of persons were connected with rank, education, birth, and ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... though I cannot get a chance to find out whether it can swim or not. It merely lies around, and mostly on its back, with its feet up. I have not seen any other animal do that before. I said I believed it was an enigma, but she only admired the word without understanding it. In my judgment it is either an enigma or some kind of a bug. If it dies, I will take it apart and see what its arrangements are. I never had a thing perplex ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... inscription raised a storm over his ashes, which Browne would have enjoyed partaking in, the word spagyricus being an enigma to scholars. Mr Firth of Norwich (whose translation seems the ...
— Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend • Sir Thomas Browne

... but he is by no means infallible; and what he says of bismuth, in his report to the Academy, must be taken cum grano salis. The simple truth is, that up to this period all analysis has failed; and until Von Kempelen chooses to let us have the key to his own published enigma, it is more than probable that the matter will remain, for years, in statu quo. All that as yet can fairly be said to be known is, that 'Pure gold can be made at will, and very readily from lead in connection with certain other substances, in ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... woe-begone faces of California Street during the month of October. The outside world and the newspapers spoke most learnedly of a money panic—a pressure in business, and the disturbances in the New York gold-room. But to the initiated, there was an easier solution of the enigma. The pale spectre of Death looked down upon them all, and pointed with its bony finger to the fiery tomb of the whole race, already looming up in the distance before them. Day after day, I could see the dreadful ravages of this secret horror; doubly terrible, since they dared not divulge ...
— The Case of Summerfield • William Henry Rhodes

... Cressida" has always been regarded as a sort of enigma. Professor Dowden asks: "With what intention and in what spirit did Shakespeare write this strange comedy? All the Greek heroes who fought against Troy are pitilessly exposed to ridicule?" And from this ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... metaphor of Socrates, we are dazzled by the insupportable radiance of the eternal and infinite, and seek to rest our eyes by turning them toward shadows, reflexions, images: we accept the beautiful image—the enigma (as St. Paul calls it) or allegory—of a heaven in some far interspace ...
— The Faust-Legend and Goethe's 'Faust' • H. B. Cotterill

... was, Madam, you have been a brilliant woman, a power in affairs. Yes, and an enigma, and to none more than to yourself. You show that now. You only loved what Elisabeth loved. As woman, then, you were born for the first time, touched by that throb of her heart, not your own. 'Twas mere accident I was there ...
— 54-40 or Fight • Emerson Hough

... the enigma I had set myself to solve. And now the old life—the protected girl's life—was receding from me; the old guards, the old landmarks were to be removed by my own hands. Should I live to repent my rash act, as Aunt Agatha predicted, or should I at some future time, when I looked back upon ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII: No. 356, October 23, 1886. • Various

... share of their privileges, threw her back on herself and deepened the reserve which made envious mothers cite her as a model of ladylike repression. Love, she told herself, would one day release her from this spell of unreality. She was persuaded that the sublime passion was the key to the enigma; but it was difficult to relate her conception of love to the forms it wore in her experience. Two or three of the girls she had envied for their superior acquaintance with the arts of life had contracted, in the course of time, what were variously ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... compress—we have the suggestion of Pascal’s philosophy both of human nature and of Divine revelation. He recurs over and over again to the same idea, that man is great and yet weak, full of capacity and yet miserable, and that the Gospel alone holds the key to this enigma of human nature. This, more than any other, is the pervading thought round which all the ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... attributed to her. Her character united kind-heartedness with inconsideration, imprudence with austerity, ardent feeling with great practical common-sense. Probably the emperor understood her very little at the time of his marriage, and that she long remained to him an enigma may have been one of her charms. With the impetuosity of her disposition and the intrepidity that had characterized her girlhood, she found it hard to submit to the restraints of her position, and the emperor had occasion frequently to remonstrate with her on her indifference ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... meeting, and then sank into a seat. He looked curiously at the Persian, struck by the picturesque appearance of the long snow-white beard, fine as silk, which flowed down over the rich robe of the seer. The face was to Philip an enigma. To understand a foreign face it is necessary to have learned the physiognomy of the people to which it belongs, as to comprehend their speech it is necessary to have mastered their language. As ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... belongs to Mesopotamia in a peculiar sense, in that it seems to express in visible and concentrated form the silent hostility of the country which was noticed by the ancients. For Mesopotamia welcomes no man. It is a profound enigma. What do those two gigantic rivers mean that rush through those vast stretches of barren land? For what ultimate destiny were they designed? It is like looking on two enormous electric cables, carrying a current of incalculable amperage, lying beside a vast but motionless machinery, because no contact ...
— In Mesopotamia • Martin Swayne

... the younger men who found themselves in the Parliament of 1900 Dilke was an enigma. We could all appreciate his immense store of knowledge, his untiring industry, his courtesy to younger men, and his striking personality. But what the real purpose was to which he was devoting these talents, what was the end in view—put shortly, 'what he was ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... was puzzled. A woman whose perfect happiness could not be secured by a gold chain was an enigma to him. ...
— A Forgotten Hero - Not for Him • Emily Sarah Holt

... house of Gold had married a daughter of the house of Fuller. It was not outside the reasonable that Ruth should have had possession of this old document, in which a Ruth of that far-distant day had accepted a member of his own household. She might have chosen to answer him by this clear enigma, but a sense of solemnity in the phrasing of the letter made him hope his guess untrue. Desperate mysteries ask naturally for desperate guesses, and Reuben guessed right and left, but the mystery remained as desperate as ever. His thoughts so harried him that at last, though it was ...
— Aunt Rachel • David Christie Murray

... give you the key to the enigma?" said he, leaning back. "That was the young lady whom Goguelat insulted and whom you avenged. I do not blame you. She is ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... The "German Enigma" of Monsieur Bourdon is mainly an objective, impartial, and impersonal study, and the author has been careful not to obtrude his own private views. It is only in the last chapter that he attempts to draw the lesson and point out the conclusion of his ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... Evans, Cherry-Garrard, and I went to Hut Point. Found a great enigma. The hut was cleared and habitable—but no one was there. A pencil line on the wall said that a bag containing a mail was inside, but no bag could be found. We puzzled much, then finally decided on the true solution, viz. that Atkinson and Crean had gone towards Safety Camp as we went to Hut Point—later ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... had suspected her of being the author of any foul play he most certainly would not have begged her to come to him in his last moments. No. The enigma grew more ...
— The Doctor of Pimlico - Being the Disclosure of a Great Crime • William Le Queux

... measures which have been adopted for the independence and elevation of Ireland have failed, and the country is still in as lamentable a state as ever. It presents a grand enigma and mystery to the politician. All the skill of statesmen is baffled in devising means for the tranquillity and improvement of that unhappy and unfortunate country. The more privileges the people gain, and the greater assistance they receive, the more unreasonable ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... a gigantic fork accidentally twisted. Accordingly its illustrious sponsor offered it to the world as an irregular quadrumane. I believe so, indeed! This quadrumane without hands—this edentate whose molars are preceded by magnificent canines—this enigma of nature, created for the confusion and despair of all classification—does, I must in all humility confess, completely upset the rule I laid down so stringently when speaking of the horse, as to the ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... Here an enigma confronted our hero. If this man was a fraud, as had been represented, he would have accepted money from any source. The question arose, Was he refusing the money fairly or was he ...
— A Successful Shadow - A Detective's Successful Quest • Harlan Page Halsey

... ladyship would dole out. The very thought of it restrained her, and so she passed on to her own room and a sleepless night in which to piece together the puzzle which the situation offered her, the amazing enigma of Sir Terence's seeming ...
— The Snare • Rafael Sabatini

... the jargon and slang of Ghibelline freemasonry. When Italians write thus, they degrade the greatest name of their country to a depth of laborious imbecility, to which the trifling of schoolmen and academicians is as nothing. It is to solve the enigma of Dante's works by imagining for him a character in which it is hard to say which predominates, the pedant, mountebank, or infidel. After that we may read Voltaire's sneers with patience, and even enter with gravity on the examination of Father Hardouin's ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... sitting in the shade, (with big white umbrellas over them to keep the freckles off,) were puzzling their heads over charades and enigmas, instead of running around and making little Frou-Frous of themselves. Mr. P. composed an enigma for a group of these ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 19, August 6, 1870 • Various

... is the noblest accomplishment— even for a woman? Does the fair Marian think so? Or has she another motive for absenting herself so frequently from her home? Let us follow her into the forest. There, perhaps, we may find an answer to the enigma. ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... thoroughly sensible remark. But somehow the professor did not like it. After all, thirty-five is not so terribly old. He decided to change the subject. But there was no immediate hurry. It was pleasant to lie there in the firelight watching this enigma of girl-hood dry her hair. Perhaps she would notice his silence and ask him what ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... what now seemed blind and unwise submission to the major, Helen devoted herself to calming Amy, and when at last the poor, broken-hearted little soul fell asleep in her arms, she pondered half the night upon the still unsolved enigma of the ...
— Kitty's Class Day And Other Stories • Louisa M. Alcott

... the tortured dialect of the Eastenders of the Isle of Wight. The longer I talked with her the more hopeful I became of finding here, among her people, some records, or traditions, which might assist in clearing up the historic enigma of the past two centuries. I asked her if we were far from the city of London, but she did not know what I meant. When I tried to explain, describing mighty buildings of stone and brick, broad ...
— The Lost Continent • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... from the standpoint of Japan, the Chinese was a kindred race. The baffling enigma of the Chinese character to the West was no baffling enigma to the Japanese. The Japanese understood as we could never school ourselves or hope to understand. Their mental processes were the same. The ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... the good of her husband, home and family, was as willing and honorable as the man's self-surrender to the good of his lord and country. Self-renunciation, without which no life-enigma can be solved, was the keynote of the Loyalty of man as well as of the Domesticity of woman. She was no more the slave of man than was her husband of his liege-lord, and the part she played was recognized as Naijo, "the inner help." In the ascending scale ...
— Bushido, the Soul of Japan • Inazo Nitobe

... their meaning, others, who came to peruse these lines, would not be able to fathom them, and he also went on consequently to indite another stanza, in imitation of the "Parasitic Plant," which he inscribed at the close of the enigma; and when he had read it over a second time, he felt his heart so free of all concern that forthwith he got into his bed, and went ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... Edie, is an absolute enigma, and would require a second OEdipus to solve itwho OEdipus was, I will tell you some other time if you remind meHowever, whether it be owing to the wisdom or to the maggots with which you compliment me, I am strongly disposed to believe that you have spoken the truth, the rather ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... manifested throughout the whole nation; and such a mass of respectable talent was brought to light; that the long interval of a dull and deathlike silence, which preceded this period, presents indeed an enigma difficult to be solved. No small influence may be ascribed to Germany. The principles of the government were changed; the country, physically as well as morally exhausted, could recover but gradually; ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... be lived while we wait for the word that shall solve the enigma, and the happier, the nobler our life, the more vigorous shall it become, and we shall have the more courage, clear-sightedness, boldness to seek and desire the truth.... We should live as though we were always on the eve of the great revelation, and we should be ready with welcome, with, warmest ...
— The Life Radiant • Lilian Whiting

... wondered. Why should a repulsion of the marriage bond seize her so suddenly, and cause her to tear off the golden fetter under which she had so long chafed? There was some reason, without a doubt; but at present all was an enigma—all save one ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... and heard his words, but they were as much of an enigma to him as to the rest. How was it that Bridoul was with Robespierre's clerks, and how was it that he wore the dress of the Committee of Public Safety? Coursegol, however, realized one thing—that Bridoul had in some ...
— Which? - or, Between Two Women • Ernest Daudet

... on the King's arrival in England, with whom, being united with an opposition party, he was no favourite, the Scottish monarch gave him this broad reception: "Rawly! Rawly! true enough, for I think of thee very Rawly, mon!" There is also an enigma contained in a distich written by a lady of the times, which preserves the real pronunciation of the name of this ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... in perplexity doubting whether, in some mystic way which he cannot understand, he may not, perhaps, after all, really have sinned, and praying to be shown his fault; and then staggering further into the darkness, and breaking out into upbraidings of the Power which has become so dreadful an enigma to him. 'Thou enquirest after my iniquity, thou searchest after my sin, and thou knowest that I am not wicked. Why didst thou bring me forth out of the womb? Oh, that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me. Cease, ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... instincts of particular races of men. These innate or continuous ideas or habits seem proportionally greater in the insect tribes, and in those especially of shorter revolution; and forming an abiding memory, may resolve much of the enigma of instinct, and the foreknowledge which these tribes have of what is necessary to completing their round of life, reducing this to knowledge or impressions and habits acquired by a ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... Old-World belief that land, in itself, is desirable. But this land was an enigma. It was like a horse that no one knows how to break to harness, that runs wild and kicks things to pieces. He had an idea that no one understood how to farm it properly, and this he often discussed with Alexandra. Their neighbors, certainly, knew even ...
— O Pioneers! • Willa Cather

... had only returned an hour since. He was charming. Whether he kept a watch over himself, or whether by accident he did not sound the acrimonious chords that in other circumstances had been touched, he was to-night like everybody else. The man was an enigma to Franz. The count must feel sure that Franz recognized him; and yet he had not let fall a single word indicating any previous acquaintance between them. On his side, however great Franz's desire was ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... the king kindly replied, "to find you guilty. Explain to me this enigma. Account for all those maneuvers with Boehmer. Where did you obtain these securities and these promissory notes, signed in the queen's name, which have ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... her, musing remotely, when the quality of her voice roused me. She stood as if she could not go near him. He had always puzzled her so, he and his ways, and this seemed only another enigma. Then the truth dawned on her, she shrieked as if afraid of him, ran a dozen steps back towards the trellis door and stopped and clasped her ineffectual gloved hands, leaving me staring blankly, too astonished for feeling, at ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... the rare attraction of that girl, inheritress of her father's genius, whose new-born celebrity had reached as far as his province, with the halo of a reputation for great beauty. While he was gazing at her, admiring her slightest movement, a little puzzled by the enigma presented by that beautiful face, he heard a ...
— The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alphonse Daudet

... explanation, our faculties are not sufficiently enlarged to comprehend that explanation. This mode of getting rid of the difficulty, again, will apply quite as well to the evils of over-population as to any other evils. We are sure that those who humbly confess their inability to expound the great enigma act more rationally and more decorously than Mr Sadler, who tells us, with the utmost confidence, which are the means and which the ends,—which the exceptions and which the rules, in the government of the universe;—who consents to bear a little evil without denying the divine ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... moreover, between us an endless theme for those conversations which exercise the intelligence without engrossing the mind, and suffer us to feel, even while conversing, the presence of the one secret and continuous thought concealed in the inmost recesses of our hearts. It was an enigma of which we sought the answer without any great desire to find it. After having read, examined, and noted all that constituted the science at that time, I fancied I could discern a few theoretical principles true in their generality, doubtful in their application, ...
— Raphael - Pages Of The Book Of Life At Twenty • Alphonse de Lamartine

... could not understand—the relation between the spark of eternity in your soul and the Power above, and the whole of endless space—has all of a sudden become so clear that you lie here trembling with joy at seeing to the very bottom of the infinite enigma. ...
— The Great Hunger • Johan Bojer

... disperses, leaving the sky bluer, the atmosphere purer, and Nature more smiling than before. What use is there in reflecting on this storm that passes swift as a caprice, ephemeral as a fancy? Before we have discovered the secret of the meteorological enigma, the ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas

... the cardinal de Fleury informed him of it." The marechal told me afterwards that he thought the opinion adopted by Voltaire the most probable, viz: that this unknown person was the son of the queen Anne of Austria, mother of Louis XIV. These last words helped, in a measure, to resolve the enigma which comte de la Marche had left me to unravel; and, with a view to satisfy myself more positively on the subject, I availed myself of the first time I was alone with the king, to lead the conversation to this story. At the mention of the "Iron Mask," Louis XV started. ...
— "Written by Herself" • Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon

... the last twenty-four hours—to the smirking self-conscious little house on the verge of Barnes Common. Unpromising though it had appeared outwardly, yet within it he believed he had found a friend—a friend who was also an enigma. Perhaps, as he now reflected, all women are enigmas. Certainly they are amazingly different. He thought of Poppy. He looked at Serena. Yes, doubtless they all are enigmas; only—might Heaven forgive him the discourtesy—all are not enigmas equally ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... questions, they answer that there is nothing to be done, that no human power could avert or thwart the issue. Are they mad, bored, irritable, or accessory to a hideous pleasantry? Does our fate depend on the happy solution of some petty enigma or childish conundrum, even as our salvation, in most of the so-called revealed religious, is settled by a blind and stupid cast of the die? Is all the liberty that we are granted reduced to the reading of a more or less ingenious ...
— The Unknown Guest • Maurice Maeterlinck

... transpiring in the rest of the world as if they had been in Novaia Zemlia. I have stayed with a mayor who did not know that England was an island; I have been the guest of a citizen who had never heard of Scotland, and to whom, therefore, my nationality was an enigma; but I never met any one—I mean of this same class—who had not heard of Palmerston. He was a mysterious personage, execrated by the "blacks" and adored by the "reds." And I shone with a reflected lustre as the citizen of a country of which he was the Prime Minister. As a consequence, ...
— Stories By English Authors: Italy • Various

... suggested by Miller's appearance in these parts. For the first few minutes of his drive he was back again in the turmoil which he had left. Then with a little shrug of the shoulders he abandoned this new enigma. Its solution ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... knowledge of human nature by being buried amongst books as I have been. But seriously, Lady Laura, what is the answer to the enigma—what ought I to ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... sat weary beyond expression, exulting like a conqueror, sleepless and entranced as if before a profound, a fateful enigma. ...
— Youth • Joseph Conrad

... they were capable only of their one fixed stare? Why is it then that their motionless regard surprises and chills us, even while we are obsessed by the smile of the sealed lips that seem to hold back the answer to the supreme enigma? . ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... any enigma proves when you have the key," she remarked, with an air of relief. "The mystery is solved, my dear! It's all as easy as ...
— Mary Louise Solves a Mystery • L. Frank Baum

... humano 5 En vano lucha, en vano Su ley oculta y misteriosa infringe. En la lumbre del sol sus alas quema, Y no aclara el problema, No penetra el enigma ...
— Modern Spanish Lyrics • Various

... sensible that many a stranger who casually drifted in and would otherwise just as casually have drifted out again remained a permanent fixture in the firm's clientele. Scraggs and William adored her in spite of her being an utter enigma to them. She was quiet but businesslike, of few words but with a latent sense of humor that not infrequently broke through the surface of her gravity, and she proceeded upon the excellent postulate that everyone with whom she came ...
— Tutt and Mr. Tutt • Arthur Train

... in a mirror: she runs to the back of it, she leaps over it, she turns and twists, and jumps and frisks, in all directions, in the vain attempt to reach the fair illusion; and, at length, turns away in weariness from that incomprehensible enigma—the image of herself. ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... quasi-introduction, awkwardly done. Sanchia gravely bowed, and all might have been well had not her gentle smile persisted. The baffling quality of this, the archaic enigma of it, made Mrs. Wilmot stare at her helpless with brimming blue eyes. It made Mrs. Devereux shiver. It was she, however, who accepted the inclination of the head. "Good evening to you," she said. The housekeeper! This—person! ...
— Rest Harrow - A Comedy of Resolution • Maurice Hewlett

... convinced that it was this unfortunate attachment, in which for a moment she had felt herself so supremely blest, that was the source of her misfortunes. But then, how had Nisida discovered the secret? This was an enigma defying conjecture; for Francisco was too honorable to reveal his love to his sister, after having so earnestly enjoined Flora herself not to ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... The enigma pressed upon her days, she lived in the heaviness of it, waiting. His silence added itself up, brought her a kind of shame for the exertions she had made. She turned with obstinacy from the further schemes her ingenuity presented. Out of the sum of her unsuccessful efforts ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... N—— examines me, and I also mistrust my outspoken nature and the ease with which I am carried away, characteristics which Serge and Aunt Vera have so often tried to repress. On the table is the parcel of books found at my home at the time of my arrest. Where they come from remains an enigma which I fear to touch, because its solution may compromise some of my relatives and friends. Therefore, after I have replied to sundry questions concerning my social status, I refuse to answer any other. My refusal provokes much ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... with some degree of awe that I touch upon the enigma of my impressions at the commencement of my life. I am almost doubtful whether they had reality within my own experience, or whether they are not, rather, recollections mysteriously transmitted—I feel an almost sacred hesitation when I would fathom ...
— The Story of a Child • Pierre Loti

... and at precisely the appointed time Kennedy and I met. With suppressed excitement, at least on my part, we walked over to Vincenzo's. At night this section of the city was indeed a black enigma. The lights in the shops where olive oil, fruit, and other things were sold, were winking out one by one; here and there strains of music floated out of wine-shops, and little groups lingered on corners conversing in animated sentences. We passed Albano's ...
— The Silent Bullet • Arthur B. Reeve

... Seasons go, With store of good and ill; Do all men find you cold as snow, And unresponsive still? O beautiful enigma, say, Will love's sublime persistence Solve for you, in the usual way, The ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., August 23, 1890. • Various

... I. "He is a year old," rejoined the voice. "A year! How can that be?" "If you will not allow that he is only a year old, then you must admit that he is sixty-five, for he is certainly either one or the other." This enigma so perplexed me, that I begged my invisible informant for a solution of the difficulty, which was at once vouchsafed in the following terms:— "Here is the history of your patient. The youth who was the proficient ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... within the lines of parliamentary privilege or of readiness to set all law at defiance. At the time and long after Bradshaw's death, that hat caused an abundance of discussion; it was a problem which men tried in vain to solve, an enigma that puzzled clever heads, a riddle that was interpreted as an insult, a caution, a protest, a menace, a doubt. Oxford honored it with a Latin inscription, and a place amongst the curiosities of the university, and its memory is preserved to Englishmen of ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... had been unaware that both in our capitals and in our provincial towns there exists a class of men whose lives are an enigma—men who, though they will seem to have exhausted their substance, and to have become enmeshed in debt, will suddenly be reported as in funds, and on the point of giving a dinner! And though, at this dinner, the guests will declare that the festival is bound to be their host's last fling, and that ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... however, after disappointment has followed. Discovery upon discovery, invention after invention, have neither lessened the toil of those who most need respite nor brought plenty to the poor. The association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our time. ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... reserve was like a barrier about her. She was sweet and gentle to all around her, but a little aloof and very silent. To the other girls she had been a heroine of romance, puzzling mystery surrounded her; to the Nuns an enigma. The Mother Superior, alone, had arrived at a partial understanding, more than that even she could not accomplish. Gillian loved her, but her reserve was stronger than her love. Sitting now in the dainty ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... immensity is a desert of alternate fire and darkness, with no spark of finite intellect except in our tiny earth, some of us, at least, cannot help feeling that the notion of a personal divine worker calling this huge enigma out of blank eternal nothing, is enormously and utterly incongruous both ...
— Pantheism, Its Story and Significance - Religions Ancient And Modern • J. Allanson Picton

... Epiphanes. It is best to begin with ch. xi, for there the allusions are, in the main, unmistakable and undeniable. Antiochus is the last of the kings of the north, i.e. Syria, regarded as one of the divisions of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great. Without enigma or symbolism of any kind, the Persian empire is mentioned in xi. 2 as preceding the Greek, and in v. 1 as being preceded by the Median, which in its turn had been preceded by the Babylonian. Here, then, in the plainest possible terms, is a succession of four empires—Babylonian, ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... the solution of this enigma. Fabian armed himself with a pride which equalled that of ...
— Wood Rangers - The Trappers of Sonora • Mayne Reid

... potatoes. The lawyer said it must be an incantation, but that it was not Tahitian, for that language had no "d" in its alphabet. M. Lontane and all his squad were given peremptory orders to unriddle the enigma. ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... we said" (argued he) "that God is three in the same sense as that in which He is one, that would be self-refuting; but we hold Him to be three in one sense, and one in another." It crossed my mind very forcibly, that, if that was all, the Athanasian Creed had gratuitously invented an enigma. I exchanged thoughts on this with an undergraduate friend, and got no fresh light: in fact, I feared to be profane, if I attempted to understand the subject. Yet it came distinctly home to me, that, whatever the depth of the mystery, if we lay down anything ...
— Phases of Faith - Passages from the History of My Creed • Francis William Newman

... over the plains on which he bestowed a happier futurity!" This writer also drew a comparison between Napoleon and Charlemagne, in which he designated the latter a barbarous despot and the former the new savior of the world. He says, "Napoleon first solved the enigma of equality and liberty—his chief aim was the prevention of despotism—his chief desire, to eternalize the dominion of virtue." In the course of 1808, it was said in the essay, "On the Regeneration of Germany," that the Germans were still children whom it was solely possible for ...
— Germany from the Earliest Period Vol. 4 • Wolfgang Menzel, Trans. Mrs. George Horrocks

... dozen times without gathering any additional light upon the obscure and mysterious hints which it contained, and I then turned to the remaining letters, thinking I might possibly find in them a solution to the enigma. And at the first reading I imagined I did find it; the conclusion at which I arrived being that my poor unfortunate father must have gone mad! I patiently went through the whole packet a second ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... already over. Katerina Ivanovna was greatly excited, though she looked resolute. At the moment Alyosha and Madame Hohlakov entered, Ivan Fyodorovitch stood up to take leave. His face was rather pale, and Alyosha looked at him anxiously. For this moment was to solve a doubt, a harassing enigma which had for some time haunted Alyosha. During the preceding month it had been several times suggested to him that his brother Ivan was in love with Katerina Ivanovna, and, what was more, that he meant "to carry her off" from Dmitri. Until quite lately the idea seemed to Alyosha monstrous, ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... brother at Venice as a banker, eat macaroni which was dressed by the Venetian Consul, sang canzonettas, and notwithstanding a wife who never pardoned him for his name, and a son who disappointed all his plans, and who to the last hour of his life was an enigma to him, lived till he was nearly ninety, and then died in 1817, in the full enjoyment of ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... insert it in the urchin's mouth. The boy was the pet of the court, for the father was one of the valientes of the prison, and those who feared his prowess, and wished to pay their court to him, were always fondling the child. What an enigma is this world of ours! How dark and mysterious are the sources of what is called crime and virtue! If that infant wretch become eventually a murderer like his father, is he to blame? Fondled by robbers, already dressed as a robber, born of a robber, whose own history ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... his gaze and began fingering the paper cutter. The Colonel's real purpose was still an enigma to him. "Come, you have the confidence of the king, the friendship of her Royal Highness. What do you gain in ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... This enigma is composed of twenty-one letters, and is the name of one who is dear to thousands of ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, July 1878, No. 9 • Various

... than ever that his guest was an enigma. But he was too busy to stop just then to ...
— A Court of Inquiry • Grace S. Richmond

... not a snake, for it doesn't crawl; I feel sure it is not a fish, though I cannot get a chance to find out whether it can swim or not. It merely lies around, and mostly on its back, with its feet up. I have not seen any other animal do that before. I said I believed it was an enigma; but she only admired the word without understanding it. In my judgment it is either an enigma or some kind of a bug. If it dies, I will take it apart and see what its arrangements are. I never had ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... had sacrificed himself, on his lips, as if it had been an ecstatic prayer, and he entrusted his will to the priest who administered extreme unction to him, and requested him to give it to me. In it, without mentioning anybody, and without in the least lifting the veil, he at last explained the enigma, and cleared himself of those accusations, the terrible burden of which he had borne ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume III (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... invention begins, shows him to have had something of the trifler and a great deal of the egotist. His love of condensation is natural, for a fabulist should be short, trenchant, and almost proverbial in his style; but Phaedrus carries these to the point of obscurity and enigma. It seems as if at times he did not see his drift himself. To this fault is akin the constant moralising tone which reflects rather than paints, enforces rather than elicits its lesson. He is himself a small sage, and all his animals are small sages too. They have ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... ardour of Somerset: she did not satisfy curiosity as Somerset satisfied it; she piqued it. Poor Somerset had reached a perfectly intelligible depth—one which had a single blissful way out of it, and nine calamitous ones; but Paula remained an enigma ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... stories, of which The Goldbug is one, in which an impenetrable enigma is first presented, to be solved afterwards as by a talisman; but, then, a lesson in cryptography ensues, wherein the talisman is explained away, and the miraculous gives place to the reasoning faculties of a ...
— Youth and Egolatry • Pio Baroja

... not understand, but in turning to care for her brother she ceased to puzzle over the enigma. Shortly afterwards the patient closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep. Immediately the girl led the way on tiptoe from the room. She locked the door behind her and ...
— The Seventh Noon • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... of logs and branches, behind which simple redoubts the Maroons lay concealed. A fight ensued, lasting forty minutes, during which nearly every soldier and ranger was wounded, but, to their great amazement, not one was killed. This was an enigma to them until after the skirmish, when the surgeon found that most of them had been struck, not by bullets, but by various substitutes, such as pebbles, coat-buttons, and bits of silver coin, which had penetrated ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 31, May, 1860 • Various

... A third enigma—-why no "fountain of life''? The references to such a fountain in Proverbs (xiii. 14, &c.) prove that the idea was familiar,12 and in Rev. xxii. 1 we are told that the river of Paradise was a "river of water of life'' (see PARADISE). The serpent, too, in mythology is a regular ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... they are in fact expressions of the whole character. It is necessary to take them into account in order really to understand either the merits or the shortcomings. When they are softened or omitted, the whole story becomes an enigma, and we are often tempted to substitute some less creditable explanation of errors for the true one. We should not do justice to Johnson's intense tenderness, if we did not see how often it was masked ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... is not seldom concealed in crude observation by the existence of the second constitutional factor of hysteria, namely, the enormous development of the sexual craving. But the psychological analysis will always reveal it and solves the very contradictory enigma of hysteria by proving the existence of the contrasting pair, an immense sexual desire and a very ...
— Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex • Sigmund Freud

... demented brain, a beautiful, sublime being; to Juana, Captain Diard, whose history at Bordeaux I have told you; to Madame de Beauseant, an Ajuda; to Madame d'Aiglemont, her husband; to the Marquis d'Espard, his wife! Long have I sought the meaning of this enigma. I have ransacked many mysteries, I have discovered the reason of many natural laws, the purport of some divine hieroglyphics; of the meaning of this dark secret I know nothing. I study it as I would the form of an Indian weapon, the symbolic ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... at Riverside had been an enigma he could not solve. Eileen was gay to a degree that was almost boisterous. She had attracted attention and comment which no ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... powerful emotional reaction, Hagen forced himself onto an intellectual level, and asked himself what had brought about the change in the creature. Why had it—Hagen now had to regard the strange, walking enigma as neuter—after functioning to some extent as a human, reverted suddenly to what seemed to ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... existence. The tangible and the intangible, the visible and the invisible, the material and the immaterial, have been at deadly strife in my conjectures. The present has been to me an evasion, the future an enigma; the earth a delusion, the heavens a doubt. Even the pomp of those inexplicable stars is a new agony of indecision to my recoiling fancy[6]—so impassive in their unchangeableness, so awful in the quiescence of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... social order of the modern world exhibits a strange enigma, which only a prosperous thoughtlessness can regard with indifference or, indeed, without a shudder. We have made such splendid advances in art and science that the unlimited forces of nature have been brought into subjection, ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... After binding his wife, daughter, and son-in-law to the deepest secrecy,—for, however petty the gossip, their places, as he thought, depended on their discretion,—he related the incomprehensible enigma of the resignation of a deputy, the very legitimate desire of the general-secretary to get elected to the place, and the secret opposition of the minister to this wish of a man who was one of his firmest supporters and most zealous workers. This, of course, ...
— Bureaucracy • Honore de Balzac

... visit stood clearly revealed to Leslie's mind. That one word "caves," spoken as it was in tones of mingled excitement and anxiety, ill-suppressed, had furnished him with the key to the entire enigma. Caves! Yes, of course; that was it; that explained everything—or very nearly everything—that had thus far been puzzling Leslie, and gave him practically all the information that he had been so anxious to acquire. ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... world is before him will arise from the circumstance that the means by which such extraordinary experience was acquired are not included in the sphere of his knowledge, and that any attempt to explain them at present would only increase his incredulity. He would only see one enigma solved by another apparently more insoluble than itself. The Editor, therefore, would call especial attention to the practical value of the revelations here communicated, convinced as he is that they are so replete with instruction to terrestial mankind, that the difficulty of giving ...
— Another World - Fragments from the Star City of Montalluyah • Benjamin Lumley (AKA Hermes)

... was not in a maze of doubt; and the knowledge did not seem to have given the Clausin boy any great pleasure either; which made the enigma all the more like a ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts on a Tour - The Mystery of Rattlesnake Mountain • George A. Warren

... the doctors never venturing to put any name to it. It was "mental shock," and perhaps aberration, though he was sane enough to calm down after that incomprehensible scene. Mr. Simpson of the Bank had a good guess at the secret of the enigma, but even Tozer got hazy about it after a while, and though he knew that he had done Mr. May a wonderful service, could scarcely have told what it was—and neither, when it was all over, could the culprit have told. He got better and worse for about a year, and then he died, his strength failing ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... picturesque appearance tempt all ranks at all hours of the day; part of it remains unspoiled by the walls and forts constructing for the defence of Paris, but it was much to be regretted that any portion should have been destroyed for an object, the utility of which still seems an enigma. ...
— How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 • F. Herve

... was the sympathetic action of her nerves that any change in her physical condition affected her whole nature, making her an enigma to herself as well as to others. Even as she sat there rebellious and defiant, her eyes fell upon the small morocco box on her pillow, and she picked ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... strenuously. They looked closer, when, behold, there was—what think you?—the cat, pawing away, first with her fore feet, and then with her hind; now touching one note gently, and then dancing with all fours across the keys. There was a solution of the enigma—a bringing to light of the ...
— Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match • Francis C. Woodworth

... By all the powers of earth and heaven, there's no madness like dealing with an animated enigma! What is it you ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... eighth is in dream. My ninth is in acorn, my tenth is in seed. My eleventh is in hunger, my twelfth is in need. My thirteenth is in silence, my fourteenth in death. My fifteenth is in living, my sixteenth in breath. You may spell out my name, you may have me in view, But I'm still an enigma to ...
— Harper's Young People, August 24, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... of all parts of the world and of all times had suffered and still suffer hunger because there are too many of them; and there are too many of them because it is only hunger that prevents them from becoming still more numerous. That the world, perplexed by the enigma of misery, should believe this becomes intelligible when one reflects that misery must have a cause, and erroneous explanations must obtain credence when right ones are wanting. But it is remarkable, my friends, ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... and the same faults that he always had, young and vigorous in his seventy-fifth year, and having succeeded in his policy, is now considered the head of a clique, the man of intrigue, past his work, etc., etc.—in fact hated! and this throughout the country. I cannot explain the enigma except by supposing that people had before joined in a cry which they thought was popular without themselves believing what they said and wrote, and that they now do the same; that the Radicals used his name to destroy other statesmen and politicians, and are ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861 • Queen of Great Britain Victoria

... it was that he judged to be the chiefest actor in the murder of the king, he answered in this short enigma ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... The woman accepted the enigma of this interview as she had accepted the wonder of the girl's sudden appearance and the other, incidents of this extraordinary night. She did not undertake to imagine what the drawing on the menu meant, the words about the one-armed man, ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... had simply desired to traverse, at once seemed altogether delightful to him. And all this was due to his meeting a divine creature in the midst of this crowd. He was eager to find Marianne, to see her again. She aroused his curiosity as some enigma might. ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... Margaret distractedly, caressing her and soothing her. "What a world it is! Why, why cannot you and Maurice see how delightful you both are? It is an enigma. No one can solve it. Tita darling, take heart. Why—why, if Marian were so bad as you think her—which I pray God she isn't—still, think how far you can surpass her in ...
— The Hoyden • Mrs. Hungerford

... where she was. Elinor Doyle was a perpetual enigma to her; now and then she thought she had penetrated behind the gentle mask that was Elinor's face, only to find beyond it something inscrutable. There was a dead line in Elinor's life across which Lily never stepped. Whatever Elinor's battles were, ...
— A Poor Wise Man • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... The Japanese is prepared and fit to undertake this management. Not only has he proved himself an apt imitator of Western material progress, a sturdy worker, and a capable organizer, but he is far more fit to manage the Chinese than are we. The baffling enigma of the Chinese character is no baffling enigma to him. He understands as we could never school ourselves nor hope to understand. Their mental processes are largely the same. He thinks with the same thought-symbols as does the Chinese, and he thinks in the same peculiar grooves. He goes on ...
— Revolution and Other Essays • Jack London

... complete enigma to him; beyond the conviction that the man was, in some minor way, ...
— Wild Oranges • Joseph Hergesheimer

... it was, no horse could have got there to have dropped a tooth,—a foal of a week old could not have pressed itself through the opening; and how the single grinder, evidently no recent introduction into the cave, could have got mixed up in the straw with the human bones, seemed an enigma somewhat of the class to which the reel in the bottle belongs. I found in Edinburgh an unexpected commentator on the mystery, in the person of my little boy,—an experimental philosopher in his second year. ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller



Words linked to "Enigma" :   problem, perplexity



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