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Fathom   Listen
verb
Fathom  v. t.  (past & past part. fathomed; pres. part. fathoming)  
1.
To encompass with the arms extended or encircling; to measure by throwing the arms about; to span. (Obs.)
2.
To measure by a sounding line; especially, to sound the depth of; to penetrate, measure, and comprehend; to get to the bottom of. "The page of life that was spread out before me seemed dull and commonplace, only because I had not fathomed its deeper import."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fathom" Quotes from Famous Books



... thou dost light the skyes. O Phoebus, hadst thou but thus long from thine, Restrained the beams of thy beloved shine, At thy return, if so thou could'st or durst Behold a Chaos blacker than the first. Tell him here's worse than a confused matter, His little world's a fathom under water, Nought but the fervor of his ardent beams Hath power to dry the torrent of these streams Tell him I would say more but cannot well, Oppressed minds, abruptest tales do tell. Now post with double speed, mark what I says By ...
— Anne Bradstreet and Her Time • Helen Campbell

... "Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange, Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Hark, ...
— Types of Children's Literature • Edited by Walter Barnes

... "it is better for both you and him that you were not the bride of Death. There are deeper things hidden in the events of life than our reason can fathom. We die when it is best for ourselves and best for others that we should die—never before. And the fact that we live is in itself conclusive that we are yet needed in the world by all who can be affected ...
— After the Storm • T. S. Arthur

... the boat lost considerable way, I was unwilling to discourage the men, and reluctantly gave up my intention of ascertaining the depth and the character of the bed. There was a general shout in the boat when we found ourselves in one fathom, and we soon after landed on a low point of mud, immediately under the butte of the peninsula, where we unloaded the boat, and carried the baggage about a quarter of a mile to firmer ground. We arrived just in time for meridian observation, and carried the barometer to the summit ...
— The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California • Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont

... jolly enough, and she is brave enough. Why, she let me strike her on the cheek as hard as ever I could, and didn't utter a word. I wanted her to lock the door, and she had some queer notions about it that I couldn't fathom; and when I struck her on her cheek, she only just offered me the other, and said, 'You may do what you like, but I will ...
— A Modern Tomboy - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... "you have got hold of a thought which no man has ever yet been able to fathom. Free will is a great mystery, nevertheless every child knows that it is a ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... express agent. Another had climbed over the tender and ordered the runner to hold up. All this was regular programme, as I had explained to Miss Cullen, but here had been a variation which I had never heard of being done, and of which I couldn't fathom the object. When the train had been stopped, the man on the tender had ordered the fireman to dump his fire, and now it was lying in the road-bed and threatening to burn through the ties; so my first order was to extinguish it, ...
— The Great K. & A. Robbery • Paul Liechester Ford

... well enough that the presence of the loyal Imperialist with the baleful eye meant a reversal in his own case too. But the recent and very definite animus of Lopez against him he could in no way fathom. The blackmailer testified again. The prisoner, this Americano, had waylaid him in the wood two days before, and had robbed him ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... accurately, horribly, true. I know what the Swiss lakes were; no pool of Alpine fountain at its source was clearer. This morning, on the Lake of Geneva, at half a mile from the beach, I could scarcely see my oar-blade a fathom deep. ...
— The Queen of the Air • John Ruskin

... he puzzled them. Even The Sky Pilot, the most astute and intelligent of them all, was at a loss to fathom The Oskaloosa Kid. Innocence and unsophistication flaunted their banners in almost every act and speech of The Oskaloosa Kid. The youth reminded him in some ways of members of a Sunday school which had flourished in the dim vistas of his past when, as an ordained minister of the Gospel, he ...
— The Oakdale Affair • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... is extremely various, and in many places wholly beyond the power of man to fathom. The greatest depth that has ever been reached, was effected by Captain Scoresby in the sea near Greenland, in the year 1817, and was 7,200 feet. Many parts of the Atlantic are thought to be three times this depth. How much is ...
— The World of Waters - A Peaceful Progress o'er the Unpathed Sea • Mrs. David Osborne

... satisfactory reply to this argument: he therefore changed the subject by saying, "I wish I could fathom this last business. 'Tis a good deal out o' the course o' plain sailing. So far as I know by, there wasn't a living soul but Jonathan who could have said what ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... and half the dingles have little grey circles in them where the camping fires have been lit. I did not mind that evidence of life, but I did not like the cast-off clothing, draggled hats, coats, skirts, and boots that lay about. I never can fathom the mystery of tramps' wardrobes. They are never well-dressed exactly, but wherever they encamp they appear to discard clothing enough for two or three persons, clothing which, though I should not personally like to make use of it, still appears ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... outraged Heaven, How could'st thou, since, have smiled? A fathom deep the frozen snow Lay horrid on the wild, Where fled to perish youth and age, And wife and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... "Three fathom o' water here, my lad," whispered Josh, as with his companion he leaned over the side and gazed down at ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... was called to suffer on account of sex. The vote by which this injustice was perpetrated, was due to the overwhelming majority of the clergy, who, with Bible in hand, swept all before them. No man can fathom the depths of rebellion in woman's soul when insult is heaped upon her sex, and this is intensified when done under the hypocritical assumption of divine authority. This fresh baptism into woman's degradation impelled the current of her ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... with charming and sympathetic studies of child life and character.... A striking revelation of power to observe and fathom the proceedings of children, and is written with genuine ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... untroubled. For I cannot fathom you, and that troubles me. I am very fond of you—and yet I do ...
— The Jewel Merchants - A Comedy In One Act • James Branch Cabell

... went on and John had come to a better insight of the character of the eccentric person whom Dick had failed to fathom, his half-formed prejudices had fallen away, it must be admitted that he ofttimes found him a good deal of a puzzle. The domains of the serious and the facetious in David's mind seemed to have no ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; A meadow I found, on my back I lay, And sang what my spirit told me; Then snakes came crawling, a fathom long, To bask in the ...
— Poems and Songs • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... necessary for the perfection of his lower human sympathy, prevented him from ever rendering with any force the feelings of the mountain anchorite, or indicating in any of his monks the deep spirit of monasticism. Worldly cardinals or nuncios he can fathom to the uttermost; but where, in all his thoughts, do we find St. Francis, or Abbot Samson? The "Friar" of Shakespere's plays is almost the only stage conventionalism which he admitted; generally nothing ...
— Modern Painters, Volume IV (of V) • John Ruskin

... sleeping: now she could not ask them from that bowed head, nor yet from those clasped hands. And yet, somehow, it seemed that something of the man's soul was revealed to her at this moment, though she could not as yet fathom the meaning of this ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... the King,—"And it is more than he will himself explain. Nevertheless, he is there nearly every day,—some attraction draws him, but what, I cannot discover. If Humphry were of the soul of me, as he is of the body of me, I should not even try to fathom his secret,—but he is the nation's child—heir to its throne—and as such, it is necessary that we, for the nation's sake, should guard him in the nation's interests. If you chance to learn anything of the object of ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... too. And love covers a multitude of sins. He had often had occasion to discourse upon various sorts of love—fatherly love and brotherly love and maternal affection and so on. But this flare of passionate tenderness focussing upon one slender bit of a girl was something he could not quite fathom. He would have contradicted with swift anger any suggestion that perhaps it was merely wise old Nature's ancient method efficiently at work for an appointed end. He had been so thoroughly grounded in the convention of decrying ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... of bob-wood there is a line of ten or twelve fathoms wound neatly about, the end of the line made fast to it. The other end of the line is made fast to the harpoon, and the Mosquito man keeps about a fathom of it ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... feet, caused it—confined as it was only at the extremities—to dip, with an alarming inclination towards the centre; while the motion given it by the passenger created an oscillation frightful to one whose eye glanced down into the dark abyss of waters, that foamed and tumbled many a fathom beneath. ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... Pierre Fatio. Mrs. Blair was paying a very long call, and I could not understand it. All the time I was haunted with a vague and ever present idea that she meant to sell me. The more I tortured my brain to consider how, the less I was able to fathom ...
— The Passenger from Calais • Arthur Griffiths

... of England were cold. She, Hollyhock, could not understand them, could not attempt to fathom them. She crept softly downstairs, gathering her habit ...
— Hollyhock - A Spirit of Mischief • L. T. Meade

... quixotic notion in your head that it is for you to heal a wound for which one of your family was responsible? Oh, surely not! And yet, you women are so fond of anything like self-sacrifice that it is impossible to fathom the motives that drive you into folly: generous, well-meant folly, but folly all the same. You have no one here to advise you, and I beg you to be guided by me. You are not really called upon to do this thing. It is ...
— East of the Shadows • Mrs. Hubert Barclay

... sent Margaret to a ball with a long tear in her skirt; she let her go out, open in the back, both in blouse and in placket; she upset a cup of hot cafe au lait on her arm; finally she tore a strap off a shoe as she was fastening it on Margaret's foot. Though no one has been able to fathom it, there must be a reason for the perversity whereby our outbursts of anger against any seriously-offending fellow-being always break on some trivial offense, never on one of the real and deep causes of wrath. Margaret, though ignorant of her maid's ...
— The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig • David Graham Phillips

... seating himself on the only two deal chairs, laughed immoderately at my doleful complaints. The gaunt Norwegian, the owner of this humble dwelling, made such comical grimaces, and winked his little eyes so frequently and eruditely, in endeavouring to fathom their mirth, that I could not restrain myself, and took a conspicuous part in the joke. After arranging, through King, who had come with us, as forming one of the boat's crew, where and how we should sleep, we went into the open air, and R—— and P——, lighting ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... certain that his silent unknown foe held the clue to the mystery he was trying to fathom. He fought on, silently, grimly. The cold creatoid fabric was slippery, but a sudden jerk of an arm, a certain quick twist that Grant was familiar with, and his enemy went limp. Grant's breath was coming in quick, labored ...
— Pirates of the Gorm • Nat Schachner

... to both doors I stood shuddering over the blue fire. Whatever logicians may say, we do not reason life's conclusions out. Clouds blacken the heavens till there comes the lightning-flash. So do our intuitions leap unwarned from the dark. 'Twas thus I seemed to fathom the mystery of those interlopers. Ben Gillam had been chosen to bring the pirate ship north because his father, of the Hudson's Bay Company, could screen him from English spies. Mr. Stocking, of Boston, was another partner to the venture, who could shield Ben from punishment ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... along the shore, and see for a harbour to put into, which they did, and soon brought us an account that there was a deep bay, with a very good road, and several little islands, under which they found good riding, in ten to seventeen fathom water, and accordingly there we ...
— The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton • Daniel Defoe

... hostile mercenaries; his captains in the field were watched and thwarted by commissioners appointed to check them at the point of successful ambition or magnificent victory. The historian has a hard task when he tries to fathom the Visconti's schemes, or to understand his motives. Half the duke's time seems to have been spent in unravelling the webs that he had woven, in undoing his own work, and weakening the hands of his chosen ministers. Conscious that his power was artificial, ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... now taken the helm, headed the sloop cautiously for this opening. One of the men constantly heaved the lead and cried the soundings as the ship progressed. The pirate chief kept to the left of the channel and finally passed through into a wide lagoon, with a scant fathom to spare at the shallowest place. The Fortune entered without difficulty, but the deeply-laden Francis grounded midway in and had to wait several hours for the tide ...
— The Black Buccaneer • Stephen W. Meader

... nothing but your proverbial courtesy can conceal the fact that they must really think they are appealing to a natural enemy. I have the misfortune to be a critic [laughter], but in this assembly I must say I am not an art critic. Friends have made a presumptuous attempt to fathom the depth of my ignorance upon artistic subjects, and they have thought that in some respects I must be admirably qualified ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... Eyes. His Generosity was boundless, as his Love, for no Man ever truly loved, that was not generous. He thought his Estate, like his Passion, was a sort of a Pontick Ocean, it could never know an Ebb; But now he found it could be fathom'd, and that the Tide was turning, therefore he sollicits with more impatience the consummation of their Joys, that both might go like Martyrs from their Flames immediately to Heaven; and now at last it was agreed between them, that they should both be one, but not without some ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume V • Aphra Behn

... life of him Herrick could not fathom her tone. "But since Toni is a free agent and not a slave, I expect she's gone out on business of ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... was caught up in a palace intrigue I could not fathom. I could catch the drift of it, no more, against Chong Mong- ju, the princely cousin of the Lady Om. Beyond my guessing there were cliques and cliques within cliques that made a labyrinth of the palace and extended to all the Seven Coasts. But I did not worry. I left that to ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... been received into the Lodge, Pierre was sitting at home reading a book and trying to fathom the significance of the Square, one side of which symbolized God, another moral things, a third physical things, and the fourth a combination of these. Now and then his attention wandered from the ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... evening Max Schurz found Ernest alone in a quiet corner. 'One moment, my dear Le Breton,' he said; 'you know I always like to find out all about people's political antecedents; it helps one to fathom the potentialities of their characters. From what social stratum, now, do we get your clever friend, ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... length when Julie flashed out before her aunt's astonished eyes into a complete forgetfulness of her marriage; she recovered the wild spirits of careless girlhood. Mme. de Listomere then and there made up her mind to fathom the depths of this soul, for its exceeding simplicity was ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... England, raise For the tidings of thy might, By the festal cities' blaze, Whilst the wine-cup shines in light; And yet amidst that joy and uproar, Let us think of them that sleep Full many a fathom deep By thy wild and ...
— Lyra Heroica - A Book of Verse for Boys • Various

... those apparently insane remarks of the doctor's which no sane nor sober man could fathom or see a reason ...
— Joe Wilson and His Mates • Henry Lawson

... the story is, it is before you. If in its perusal you fathom my intentions, my hopes, my desires, I shall have been repaid for the pain its writing has brought me. At least you will find the history of a colossal business affair involving millions of dollars and manned by the financial leaders of the moment. It is a fair representation of financial methods ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... writes] we always found more shallow water, and the sea thick, black, and very muddy, and came at length into five fathom water; and seeing this we determined to pass over to the land which we had seen on the other side, and here likewise we found as little depth or less, whereupon we rode all night in five fathom water, and we perceived the sea to run with so great a rage into the land that ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... with an entire change of tone that startled me into renewed interest, "I haven't any doubt that you have always regarded me as a queer sort of chap, more or less shrouded by a mystery you could not fathom. ...
— Princess Zara • Ross Beeckman

... upon her: she was not perhaps so sure now that it was all "nonsense." She wanted, it might be, a closer alliance with him, which she could not have because she had once rejected the chance of it. Martin did not know; he was aware that there was a great deal going on in the house that he did not fathom. Amy, his sister, knew. There was an alliance between his mother and his sister deep and strong, as he could see—he did not yet know that it was founded very largely on dislike and ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... on which I was did not draw much water, being built specially for river navigation, careful soundings had to be taken continually. I well recollect the cries of the man at the lead. When the man cried out "Una braca!" (one fathom), there was great excitement on board, and we had to slow down to half speed or dead slow. In the distance on the left bank in the haze could be distinguished high hills, at the foot of which white ribbon-like streaks were ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... had once more surprised her, and she had supposed herself altogether beyond surprise. A license! Her quick glance could fathom no deceit, no ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... causes which give rise to all that we see of outward phenomenal manifestation. There are continual allusions in his works to the life behind the veil, and it is to this suggestion of some mystery underlying his words that we owe the many attempts to fathom his meaning expressed through Browning Societies and the like—attempts which fail or succeed according as they are made from "the without" or from "the within." No one was better qualified than the ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... on behalf of my team after the game was over. To this she turned a deaf ear and a stony glance was her only answer. After the game we returned to the Pyramids and the Sphinx, looking them over more at our leisure and trying to fathom the mystery of how they were built that has been a puzzle for so ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... her chair so that her clothes covered the charmed stone, underneath which lay the secret treasures of the peddler, unable to refrain from speaking of what she would have been very unwilling to reveal; "but a rough outside often holds a smooth inside." Caesar stared around the building, unable to fathom the hidden meaning of his companion, when his roving eyes suddenly became fixed, and his teeth chattered with affright. The change in the countenance of the black was instantly perceived by Katy, and turning her face, she saw the peddler himself, standing ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... highways of several tribes, but is impassable from December to April from the snow and the storms which rage among the cliffs. We are still four thousand feet above the plain, whose depth the swimming eye tries in vain to fathom, yet the snowy peaks above us are inaccessible. Descending chains of rocks mingled with flint and lime, we attain a more clement landscape. Kabyle girls crowd around a well called the Mosquitoes' Fountain, a naked boy plays melancholy tunes on a reed, and the signs of a lower ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XI, No. 27, June, 1873 • Various

... no mortal can fathom, To rejoice in the smile of God! To be first in the light Of His Holy sight, And freed from His chastening rod. Faithful, indeed, that soul, to ...
— Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics • Charles Sangster

... pledge of secrecy, and so induced his principal to let the matter drop. But the matter did not rest solely between him and the doctor. Mr Bickers and Felgate, by some means which he was unable to fathom, appeared to have learned the secret, and were not likely to let it drop. Indeed, it was evident that, so far from that, they would like if possible to fix a charge of actual complicity in ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... child that ever gave a kiss for the asking (you could kiss her as soon as look at her), but she was also the very devil to deal with if she saw fit to take a distaste of you. I saw her once smack a fathom of able- bodied youth on both sides of the head with a lusty vigor that constrained the sufferer to howl. And I have seen her come to meet a man—well, me, with the readiest lips and the friendliest hand in the world. Oh, Katje was like a blotch of ...
— Vrouw Grobelaar and Her Leading Cases - Seventeen Short Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... smiling. For some reason she could not fathom, Evelyn never seemed willing to claim the full relationship; always assumed it to be but a hazy and distant connection. It was as if in her success the modiste wished to recognize no element but her own worth; no wealthy or influential ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... descended an irregular stair composed of several ledges, shipping much water. Up to this point the Loquilocun flowed in a rocky bed, with (for the most part) steep banks, and sometimes for a long distance under a thick canopy of boughs, from which powerful tendrils and ferns, more than a fathom in length, were suspended. Here the country was to some extent open; flat hillocks, with low underwood, came to view, and, on the north-west, loftier wooded mountains. The last two hours were notable for a heavy fall of rain, and, about half past five, we reached a solitary ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... they took together Steve asked Miss Grace how she happened to come from her home way up in New York down to Kentucky to teach mountain boys and girls, and she was silent a moment, a look which he could not fathom coming over her bright face. At last she said, "I was very foolish; I threw away happiness. Then I heard of this work and came here that I might redeem my life by ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... something about these things that presented to his understanding a wall of insurmountable height. Then, he recalled his last interview with Jean and the suspicions that had been cast upon himself, suspicions he had vainly endeavored to fathom. What was in the wind, anyhow? he asked himself. There seemed to be forces at work over which he had no control, forces big with portent, heavy with menace. Like a towering thunder-cloud that casts its sickly green over all about, so these ...
— The Wilderness Trail • Frank Williams

... ever, and her eyes seemed larger, darker, and brighter. Nicholas shuddered slightly as she approached, and even Potts felt a thrill of apprehension pass through his frame. He scarcely, indeed, ventured a look at her, for he dreaded her mysterious power, and feared she could fathom the designs he secretly entertained against her. But she took no notice whatever of him. Acknowledging Sir Ralph's salutation, she motioned Richard to follow her to the further end of ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... opinion went with the decree, and was in a great measure satisfied by it. But this fight had really only just begun; it would go on in the higher courts, with new resources and infinite devices, which the public would be unable to fathom or follow, until by-and-by it would come out that a compromise had been made, and the easy public would not understand that this compromise gave the looters of the railway substantially all they ever expected to get. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... be difficult to fathom the motives which induced John Wilford to tell his wife and son that the money had been restored to the owner. Perhaps he had some plan by which he hoped to escape detection and punishment for his crime; or it may be that he told the falsehood to satisfy Lawry for the present moment. ...
— Haste and Waste • Oliver Optic

... compelled all my life to center my thought upon books and music, friends, travel, and devotion to Uncle Tom. I have developed this power of concentration and self-denial; but would you bring me to live over again what I lived with Uncle Tom? Oh, my friend, no man can understand and fathom the maternal desire in a woman. It is a mystery which ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... with a kind of stone knife, and a war-club of hard wood, fastened to a girth of deer-skin. In addition to this, some carried the ancient sheemaugun or Indian lance, consisting of a smooth pole above one fathom in length, with a spear of flint firmly tied on with splints of hard wood, bound down with deer's sinews. Thus equipped, and each warrior painted in a manner to suit his fancy, and ornamented with appropriate feathers, they repaired to the spot ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... enjoyment would not bring her nature peace, and that such was not the love she needed. Keith alone could give her true love. And she was in Keith's arms, puzzled and lethargic with something that was only not despair because she could not fathom her own feelings. ...
— Nocturne • Frank Swinnerton

... the departure of the Guarda Costa without firing a shot, and the exultation of the officers who boarded us, and which they tried in vain to conceal, all convinced me there was some mystery which it was not in my power to fathom. ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... here and there the gardens cannot be seen at all, for the great elder trees that spread themselves out by the bank, and hang far out over the streaming waters, which are deeper here and there than an oar can fathom. Opposite the old nunnery is the deepest place, which is called the "bell-deep," and there dwells the old water spirit, the "Au-mann." This spirit sleeps through the day while the sun shines down upon the water; but in starry and moonlit nights he shows himself. He is ...
— What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales • Hans Christian Andersen

... complimentary name for Germany. Hans Wurst - Merry Andrew; Zani; Jack Pudding - the latter word being a literal translation of the German Hans Wurst; the pudding in either case referring to the sausages, or the pretended sausage, which the Merry Andrew always appeared to be swallowing by the yard or fathom. See Blackley's "Word Gossip." Harmlos,(Ger.) - Harmless. Haul de pot - Take the stakes. Hause - House. Hegel - Name of the German philosopher. Heine, Heinrich - German poet. Heini von Steier - Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Heldenbuch - Is the title of a collection of epic poems, belonging to the cycle ...
— The Breitmann Ballads • Charles G. Leland

... become conscious of "that something" which transcends thought and which uses thought as a medium for expression. Many have glimpses of "that something," but few ever reach the state where the mind is steady enough to fathom these depths. Silent, concentrated thought is more potent than spoken words, for speech distracts from the focusing power of the mind by drawing more and more attention to ...
— The Power of Concentration • Theron Q. Dumont

... say will not, and excuse me when I add, that you greatly mistake your duty to give way to this apathy, and thus retard your recovery," he said kindly. "I do not seek to fathom your trouble, but I do know that it was excessive mental anguish that caused you to break a blood-vessel, and I would remind you that this is not the right way to brood over and nurse your grief, refusing to make any ...
— Isabel Leicester - A Romance • Clotilda Jennings

... your humble writer. For the western country, as a hardy and profitable stock of thrifty hogs, the Berkshire mixed or crossed with the Poland China, would be my choice, but every man has his own notions concerning the breed of his stock. The main point is to keep them healthy. Please fathom these instructions, which will cost ...
— One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed • C. A. Bogardus

... amazed at what had passed,—at the flight of Maltravers, the success of Lumley,—unable to account for it, to extort explanation from Vargrave or from Evelyn, was distracted by the fear of some villanous deceit which she could not fathom. To escape herself she plunged yet more eagerly into the gay vortex. Vargrave, suspicious, and fearful of trusting to what she might say in her nervous and excited temper if removed from his watchful eye, ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book X • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... came about that Dick and Nort, by the exercise of their wits, with which our American youth are so richly endowed, had outwitted their enemies. Though why they should have been detained as prisoners they could not fathom. ...
— The Boy Ranchers - or Solving the Mystery at Diamond X • Willard F. Baker

... eminent sort, and illustrious Antecessors, to explain in self- consistency the differing functions of the Roman Csar, and in what sense he was legibus solutus. The origin of this difficulty we shall soon understand.] wit could as little fathom as the fleets of Csar could traverse the Polar basin, or unlock the gates of the Pacific, are best symbolized, and find their most appropriate exponent, in the illimitable city itself—that Rome, whose centre, the Capitol, ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... thus solely with surfaces. It can name the thickness of reality, but it cannot fathom it, and its insufficiency here is essential and permanent, ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a "bear-stack," and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time you will catch in your arms the appearance of ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... on the trial, or that the accused was in a state of mind, when committing the offense, that rendered him irresponsible for the crime alleged, which plea Pike would ever make to me, sometimes alluding to the great injustice of his being hung. But as Mr. Holman had undertaken to fathom that, I never pressed him with any particular ...
— The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences • Hosea Quinby

... long wrapt by such ideas; but the soul wearies of a pauseless flight; and, stooping from its wheeling circuits round and round this spot, suddenly it fell ten thousand fathom deep, into the abyss of the present— into self-knowledge—into tenfold sadness. I roused myself—I cast off my waking dreams; and I, who just now could almost hear the shouts of the Roman throng, and ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... with that young lady,' I observe; 'and I have never yet been able to fathom it. Can you ...
— The Pearl of the Antilles, or An Artist in Cuba • Walter Goodman

... death a real want of mankind was met, in whose death a real sacrifice was offered, in whose death an angry God was not indeed propitiated, but in whose death the loving Father of our souls Himself provided the Lamb for the offering, without which, for reasons deeper than we can wholly fathom, it was impossible ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Jones Minor and the First Book of Euclid. Some men find the modern English boy stimulating, and the old Egyptian humorous. Such are the born schoolmasters, and schoolmasters, like poets, nascuntur non fiunt. What I was born passes my ingenuity to fathom. Certainly not a schoolmaster—and my many years of apprenticeship did not make me one. They only turned me into an automaton, feared by myself, bantered by my colleagues, and sometimes good-humouredly tolerated ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... is a habit of mine," responded Dr. Dean, calmly. "But in the present case, it doesn't need much perspicuity to fathom your mystery. The dullest clod-hopper will tell you he can see through a millstone when there's a hole in it. And I was always a good hand at putting two and two together and making four out of them. You ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... breast a broad shield, and he grasped in his hand a spear that was most strong, and spurred his horse with all his main, and hit the admiral with a smart blow under the breast, that the burny gan to burst, so that the spear pierced through there behind him full a fathom; the wretch fell to the ground! That saw soon the admiral's son, who is named Gecron; and grasped his spear anon, and smote Leir the earl sore on the left side, throughout the heart,—the earl down fell. ...
— Brut • Layamon

... ourselves to be led without anxiety, because we feel confusedly that we can always get out of them if we like: all that we have to do, in fact, is to give up the cinematographical habits of our intellect. When we say "The child becomes a man," let us take care not to fathom too deeply the literal meaning of the expression, or we shall find that, when we posit the subject "child," the attribute "man" does not yet apply to it, and that, when we express the attribute "man," it applies no more to the subject "child." The reality, which ...
— Creative Evolution • Henri Bergson

... Mackay and those of his men who could handle an oar rowed unceasingly. Again and again he threw out his twenty-fathom line, but in vain. He made out a dim line of precipitous cliffs, yet the water seemed fathomless—the only map in existence was a rough one that Stanley had made. At last the lead touched bottom at fourteen fathoms. In the dim light of dawn they rowed and sailed toward a shady ...
— The Book of Missionary Heroes • Basil Mathews

... in the big woods you may be on the lookout for Mooween; you may be eager and even anxious to meet him; but when you double the point or push into the blueberry patch and, suddenly, there he is, blocking the path ahead, looking intently into your eyes to fathom at a glance your intentions, then, I fancy, the experience is like that of people who have the inquisitive habit of looking under their beds nightly for a burglar, and at last find him there, stowed away snugly, just where they ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... of the Invisible is! We cannot fathom it with our miserable senses, with our eyes which are unable to perceive what is either too small or too great, too near to, or too far from us; neither the inhabitants of a star nor of a drop of water ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... he had fallen under the influence of drink. Jim had never cared for liquor, which virtue was about the only one he possessed. Remembering his kisses, she knew he had not been drinking. There was a strangeness about him, though, that she could not fathom. Had he guessed his kisses would have that power? If he dared again—! She trembled, and it was not only rage. But she would teach ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... thought that the odds were in favour of his falling. And to be perfectly frank (my object in writing this book is to tell the truth), nobody regretted the probability! If we had really known what kind of a man he was, if we had been able then to fathom beneath the forbidding externals, we might have felt very differently about it. But it is not given to man to know the future or even to discern the heart of his most intimate acquaintance! We only saw in him a man ...
— At Ypres with Best-Dunkley • Thomas Hope Floyd

... Malwood came; His heart with wine was all aflame, His eyne were shotten, red as blood, He rated and swore, wherever he rode. They roused a hart, that grimly brace, A hart of ten, a hart of grease, Fled over against the kinges place. The sun it blinded the kinges ee, A fathom behind his hocks shot he: 'Shoot thou,' quod he, 'in the fiendes name, To lose such a quarry were seven years' shame.' And he hove up his hand to mark the game. Tyrrel he shot full light, God wot; For whether the saints ...
— Andromeda and Other Poems • Charles Kingsley

... In my opinion, she is the subject of an insane delusion. In your opinion, she is in possession of her senses, and has some mysterious motive which neither you nor I can fathom. Either way, there can be no harm in putting Mrs. Lecount's description to the test, not only as a matter of curiosity, but for our own private satisfaction on both sides. It is of course impossible ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... overtake the earth and strike it, the velocity of impact would be about eight miles per second; but if it should meet the earth in a head-on collision, the speed, when it struck, would be forty-five miles per second, a momentum beyond the power of the brain to fathom—indeed, man can not think of sixty miles per minute. Let a solid nucleous collide with the earth and imagination would reel ...
— Betelguese - A Trip Through Hell • Jean Louis de Esque

... below. Let us try to conform to them and follow them, and let us be persuaded that the less we let our feeble human minds roam, the better we shall please God, who rejects all knowledge that does not come from Him; and the less we seek to fathom what He has been pleased to conceal from us, the sooner will He vouchsafe its revelation to us ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... that his twenty-foot telescope was of power sufficient to fathom the Milky Way, that is, to see through it and beyond it, and to reduce all its nebulosities ...
— Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works • Edward Singleton Holden

... shoulder, he chuckled: "Why, my town is just across the lake from Fort Consolation. A mere five-mile paddle, old chap, and remember, I extend to you the freedom of Spearhead in the name of its future mayor. And, man alive, I'm leaving for there to-morrow morning in a big four-fathom birch bark, with four Indian canoe-men. Be my guest. It won't cost you a farthing, and ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... shortly to describe or define the ultimate relations between these two sets of fact and conviction. It is plain that Religion is the deeper and richer of the two terms; and that we have here, above all, to attempt to fathom the chief elements and forces of Religion as such, and then to see whether Progress is really traceable in Religion at all. And again it is clear that strongly religious souls will, as such, hold that Religion answers to, and ...
— Progress and History • Various

... other faculties, shows us how little we can know; and it is the very function of reason to perceive how finite, vague, and feeble all our conceptions of the Almighty must be; how utterly futile all our attempts to fathom His purposes, whose ways are assuredly not our ways, ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... approached the side of the younger fish, and the harpooner buried his tremendous weapon deep in the ribs. The moment it felt the wound, the poor animal darted from us, taking out a hundred fathom of line; but a young fish is soon conquered when once well struck: such was the case in this instance; it was no sooner checked with the line than it turned on its back, and, displaying its white belly on the surface of the water, floated a lifeless corpse. The unhappy parent, with ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... crusades, was well known to the Portuguese Prince. A mysterious voyage of a certain wandering saint, called St. Brendan, was not without its influence upon an enthusiastic mind. Moreover, there were many sound motives urging the Prince to maritime discovery; among which, a desire to fathom the power of the Moors, a wish to find a new outlet for traffic, and a longing to spread the blessings of the faith may be enumerated. The especial reason which impelled Prince Henry to take the burden of discovery on himself was ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... been looking for her everywhere, he declared with some asperity. Her mother could not sleep, and wished to see her; otherwise it was time they were all in bed, and what there was to talk about till all hours was more than he could fathom. So he saw the pair before him through the lighted rooms, a heavy man with a flaming neck and a smouldering eye. Horace would be heavy, too, when his bowling days were over. The girl was on finer lines; but she looked like a ...
— The Camera Fiend • E.W. Hornung

... light came into his eyes. Turning, he went away to the barn where, still holding Phebe with one hand, with the other he rolled an empty barrel into the middle of the floor and brought out a bushel basket. Then, before his astonished sister could fathom his intention or rebel, he had popped her into the barrel, covered her with the basket which made a firm, close lid, and walked ...
— Teddy: Her Book - A Story of Sweet Sixteen • Anna Chapin Ray

... and plan? Does what he says of this plan correspond with the effects, which we see? No. He informs them solely, that he is what he is; that he is a hidden God; that his ways are unspeakable; that he is exasperated against all who have the temerity to fathom his decrees, or to consult reason in judging ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... too grand For our short sight to understand; We catch but broken strokes, and try To fathom all the mystery Of withered hopes, of death, of life, The endless war, the useless strife,— But there, with larger, clearer sight, We shall ...
— 'All's Well!' • John Oxenham

... of finding the philosophy of religion, not, as Leibnitz attempted, objectively in a theodicee, but subjectively, by the analysis of the religious faculties; learning the length of the sounding-line before attempting to fathom the ocean. ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... childhood up to the time of his Illumination Tolstoi indulged in seriousness of thought. Like Mohammed, great and overpowering desire to fathom the mystery of death took possession of him. He was ever haunted by an excessive dread of the "darkness of the grave," and in his essay, "Childhood," he describes with that wonderful realism, which characterizes all his works, the effect on a child's ...
— Cosmic Consciousness • Ali Nomad

... Peter, "I understand the condition better, and can see what I could not fathom before, why the city delegates want Catlin. But my own ward has come out strong for Porter. We've come to the conclusion that his views on the license question are those which are best for us, and besides, he's said that ...
— The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him • Paul Leicester Ford

... looking; that he may or may not have the habit of biting his nails; that he is crafty, and that if he were to do murder it is almost certain his methods would be novel and surprising, as well as extremely difficult to fathom—in short, that suspicion points unmistakably to Rama Ragobah. That is easily said, but to bring the deed home to him is quite another thing. I shall analyse the poison of the wound and microscopically examine the nature of the abrasion this afternoon. To-night I take the midnight ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... salutes. He shows the back of his hand." Secretly, they were proud of him. Standish came of a long chain of soldiers, and that the weakest link in the chain had proved to be himself was a sorrow no one else but himself could fathom. Since he was three years old he had been trained to be a soldier, as carefully, with the same singleness of purpose, as the crown prince is trained to be a king. And when, after three happy, glorious years at West Point, he was found ...
— The Lost Road • Richard Harding Davis

... 'Full fathom five thy father lies. Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Hark! now I hear them, ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... flounders and sculpins, was tied into each trap. About 50 traps were used by each fisherman, and they were hauled once a day. The warps or buoy lines, by which the traps were lowered and hauled, were cut in 12-fathom lengths. Lobsters were so abundant at the Muscle Ridges, at this period, that four men could fully supply Captain Oakes with lobsters every trip. In the course of ten days each man would obtain between 1,200 and 1,500 marketable lobsters. In Captain Oakes' opinion, ...
— The Lobster Fishery of Maine - Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, Vol. 19, Pages 241-265, 1899 • John N. Cobb

... many a fathom deep Below earth's smiling face; By night, high through the troubled air, They speed ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... gives the stars at noon-day clear — Up the pass that packs the scud beneath our wheel — Round the bluff that sinks her thousand fathom sheer — Down the valley with our guttering brakes asqueal: Where the trestle groans and quivers in the snow, Where the many-shedded levels loop and twine, So I lead my reckless children from below ...
— Verses 1889-1896 • Rudyard Kipling

... did not appear as an active figure; yet the dreamer seemed somehow to be aware of her, to know faintly that she was involved in unhappy circumstances, that she was the victim of distresses he could not fathom. And these distresses weighed upon him like a burden, as things weigh upon us in dreams, softly and heavily, and with a sort of cloudy awfulness. He wanted to strive against them for his mother, but he was held back from action, and Dion seemed ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... rather a piquant, amusing young girl, in manner, and perhaps in disposition. She is an enigma of which I should be sorry to have to undertake the solution. As she seems, I like her immensely, but when I try to fathom what she ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... about the end of the seventeenth century in Russia, the "dumb silent centuries" gradually became articulate in expressing their opposition to all things western. This is the heart of Slavophilism, and no one can truly fathom the Russian soul before understanding its philosophy. It is the Muscovite theory of the simple life, still crying out against the Great Peter's work and recalling the devotees of western culture to its idealization of medieval, ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... whispers "Peace, be still;" Cradling to rest the mountain wave at will; Who for our souls his Son a ransom gave, And guards "his fold" from childhood to the grave. Confess, proud man, all his known ways are just, And what thou canst not fathom "learn to trust." ...
— Heart Utterances at Various Periods of a Chequered Life. • Eliza Paul Kirkbride Gurney

... is very true; and just there is represented to us a mystery, not ours to fathom! We are the Manitous of the Great Spirit, and what he bids be done, he bids uncounseled, and would have done unquestioned. They, who reared this boy to be the false young self we find him, should and shall be made to suffer, also; and even more than he, though the fond love ...
— The Red Moccasins - A Story • Morrison Heady

... the island for and against me. The man who had made so much fuss over the matter gave it up when he found that I wished to be quarantined, and sent for an all-important half-white, who soon came alongside, starched from clue to earing. He stood in the boat as straight up and down as a fathom of pump-water—a marvel of importance. "Charts!" cried I, as soon as his shirt-collar appeared over the sloop's rail; "have you any charts?" "No, sah," he replied with much-stiffened dignity; "no, ...
— Sailing Alone Around The World • Joshua Slocum

... tall; as he sat in the low-backed, office chair he looked to be less than five feet, over all. What became of that lank expanse of bone and cuticle when he sat down was one of the mysteries that not even James Bansemer could fathom. ...
— Jane Cable • George Barr McCutcheon

... taste and care, took a seat, although not invited to do so. He looked cold and calm, but there was an excited gleam in his large eyes which showed that his calmness masked some emotion, the cause of which Cuthbert could not fathom. "I have come to see you about young ...
— The Secret Passage • Fergus Hume

... FATHOM, a measure of 6 ft. used in taking marine soundings, originally an Anglo-Saxon term for the distance stretched by a man's extended arms; is ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... look very well now, sur," replied the miner, "but wan can never tell. I did work for weeks in the level under the say without success, so I guv it up an went to Wheal Hazard, and on the back o' the fifty-fathom level I did strike 'pon a small lode of tin 'bout so thick as my finger. It may get better, or it may take the bit in its teeth and ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... wore, instead of coat and waistcoat, over his ragged shirt. He was long unshaved; but what most distressed and even daunted me, he would neither take his eyes away from me nor look me fairly in the face. What he was, whether by trade or birth, was more than I could fathom; but he seemed most like an old, unprofitable serving-man, who should have been left in charge of that big ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... mouth, they came to a certain peninsula, an island at high water. Two or three miles long, less than a mile and a half in breadth, at its widest place composed of marsh and woodland, it ran into the river, into six fathom water, where the ships might be moored to the trees. It was this convenient deep water that determined matters. Here came to anchor the Susan Constant, the Goodspeed, and the Discovery. Here the colonists went ashore. Here the members of the Council were sworn, ...
— Pioneers of the Old South - A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings, Volume 5 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Mary Johnston

... too deep for Mr. Smithers, who could not fathom the idea of a midnight malefactor becoming jubilant over his arrest. So he gave no ear to the torrent of excited explanations that burst upon him, but silently took the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... entirely given over to sculpture, with one exception which is notable so far as the dear public is concerned - a painting, "The Arch of Septimius Severus," by Luigi Bazzani. I cannot fathom why Luigi Bazzani should go to all this trouble in trying to imitate a photograph when the result over which he so painfully laboured could be done by any good photographer for less than five dollars. ...
— The Galleries of the Exposition • Eugen Neuhaus

... low that the water reaches up to our knees as the ship settles down again, only to rise for a plunge heavier than before. We have just got the jib half-stowed, 'after a fashion,' when our messmate sings out: 'Hold hard, Jack!' and we cling for dear life. The next instant, a wave rolls a fathom high over our head, and we emerge, spluttering and gasping from a genuine cold salt-water bath, such as the hydropathists have no idea of. Before our nice little job is completed, we get two or three ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 431 - Volume 17, New Series, April 3, 1852 • Various

... joke," answered Hedin bitterly. "That's a thing I've never been able to fathom, why you always joke in the face of a serious situation, and then turn around and raise hell over some trivial matter that don't amount to ...
— The Challenge of the North • James Hendryx

... to—secrets of dark places down, fur down, where the sun doesn't shine; secrets of joy and happiness, and hope that had gone down, and wuz carried under the depths—under the depths that we hadn't no lines to fathom. ...
— Samantha at the World's Fair • Marietta Holley

... furious with him. He had said, "I know that I was," and she, "If that is all your memory brings you—" and off she went. He smoked hard—lifted his hand and dropped it smartly to his mantelpiece. No; that was a thing no man could fathom. A Lucyism—quite clear to herself, no doubt. Well, he'd leave that alone. The more one tried to bottom those waters, the less one fished up. But he would make peace ...
— Love and Lucy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... had nothing, and was just as poor as his wife. He was clerk in a store, and received not more than 150 rubles in notes yearly, which were worth in current money scarcely one-third their face value. Yes, they were both poor, but God's mercy is great and no one can fathom his purposes! In the same year the merchant whom he served suddenly died after making over to Sarkis the whole store and all that was in it, on condition that a certain sum should be paid every year to ...
— Armenian Literature • Anonymous

... Northward there lies a land, A wonderful land that the winds blow over, And none may fathom nor understand The charm it holds for the restless rover; A great grey chaos — a land half made, Where endless space is and no life stirreth; And the soul of a man will recoil afraid From the sphinx-like visage that Nature weareth. But old Dame Nature, though scornful, ...
— An Anthology of Australian Verse • Bertram Stevens

... of June, when in latitude 42 deg. and longitude 201 deg., and consequently opposite the coast of Japan, we descried a red stripe in the water, about a mile long and a fathom broad. In passing over it we drew up a pail-full, and found that its colour was occasioned by an infinite number of crabs, so small as to be scarcely distinguishable by ...
— A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2 • Otto von Kotzebue

... of the swamps in the great Nor'-west; on the bold flights of its maturer years over the northern wilderness into those mysterious regions round the pole, which man, with all his vaunted power and wisdom, has failed to fathom, and on the sad—I may even say inglorious—termination of its course in a hunter's pot, to say nothing of a ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... child for her breath is dangerous, or urinate on plants for she will kill them.[206] The mystery has somewhat changed its form; it still remains. The future of the race is bound up with our efforts to fathom the mystery of pregnancy. "The early days of human life," it has been truly said, "are entirely one with the mother. On her manner of life—eating, drinking, sleeping, and thinking—what greatness ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... Philip did not fathom Annie's mind: Scarce could the woman when he came upon her, Out of full heart and boundless gratitude Light on a broken word to thank him with. But Philip was her children's all-in-all; From distant corners of the street they ran To greet his hearty welcome heartily; ...
— Enoch Arden, &c. • Alfred Tennyson

... south shore, where both ships had nearly been wrecked. The Unity lay with her side to the cliffs, yet still kept afloat, and gradually slid down towards the deep water as the tide fell. But the Horn stuck fast aground, so that at last her keel was above a fathom out of the water, and a man might have walked under it at low water. For some time, the N.W. wind blowing hard on one side, kept her from falling over; but, that dying away, she at length fell over on her bends, when she ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X • Robert Kerr

... were abysses in Bigot's mind which Angelique could not fathom, as little did Bigot suspect that, when Angelique seemed to flatter him by yielding to his suggestions, she was following out a course she had already decided upon in her own mind from the moment she had learned that Cecile Tourangeau was to be at the festival of Belmont, with unlimited ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... flat. Some journalist, probably Claude Vignon, remarked in the foyer: 'It is hard to lose fame and mistress at the same moment,' and the speech cut him in all his vanities. Love based on petty sentiments is always pitiless. I have questioned him; but who can fathom a nature so false and deceiving? He appeared to be weary of his troubles and his love,—in short, disgusted with life. He regrets having allied himself so publicly with the marquise, and made me, in speaking of his past happiness, a melancholy ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... since his identity had been revealed, she had seemed more puzzling to him than ever. When he had sought her glance, her look had told him nothing. It was as though with the doffing of the motley she had discarded its recollections. In a tentative mood, he had striven to fathom her, but found himself at a loss. She had been neither reserved, nor had she avoided him; to her the past seemed a page, lightly read and turned. Had Caillette truly said "now she ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... I pray that I may not neglect my soul in trying to fathom immortal life. If I may be hesitating between comfort and work, remind me of the greatness of the place which I started to reach. May I not grow weary of climbing and falter on the stair. Breathe upon me thy inspiration and ...
— Leaves of Life - For Daily Inspiration • Margaret Bird Steinmetz

... pleased and proud of their sea terms, and would not give them up for anything—not even if the soldiers of the King do not fathom their meaning. ...
— Some Naval Yarns • Mordaunt Hall

... logic generally. I grappled at once with the problem of Induction, postponing that of Reasoning, on the ground that it is necessary to obtain premises before we can reason from them. Now, Induction is mainly a process for finding the causes of effects: and in attempting to fathom the mode of tracing causes and effects in physical science, I soon saw that in the more perfect of the sciences, we ascend, by generalization from particulars, to the tendencies of causes considered singly, and then reason ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... so that I have no greater wish than to be able always to live with you; and that is the truth. Even supposing there was a hidden meaning in it, the most holy friendship can often have secrets, but on that account to misinterpret the secret of a friend because one cannot at once fathom it—that you ought not to do. Dear Bigot, dear Marie, never, never will you find me ignoble. From childhood onwards I learnt to love virtue—and all that is beautiful and good. You have deeply pained me; but it shall ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... that we had got upon the edge of a reef of coral rocks, which lay to the N.W. of us, having in some places round the ship 3 or 4 fathoms, and in others about as many feet; but about 100 feet from her starboard side, she laying with her head to the N.E., were 7, 8, and 10 fathom. Carried out the stream anchor and two hawsers on the starboard bow and the coasting anchor and cable upon the starboard quarters, got down yards and topmasts, and hove taught upon the hawser and cable; but as we had gone ...
— The Naval Pioneers of Australia • Louis Becke and Walter Jeffery

... polite; she really was grateful for what I had done for her. She gave me no chance to work on her feelings. But beyond all this there was something strange about Rosa, something I have never been able to fathom. She isn't a child like most of 'em. She's as strong-headed as ...
— The Ghost - A Modern Fantasy • Arnold Bennett

... inside an hour. Even though some of the essentials of his plan were written in a code of his own devising, Flint paled before the possible results should the book fall into the hands of anybody intelligent enough to fathom its meaning. ...
— The Air Trust • George Allan England

... scarcely an intermission of open country, for a full thousand miles from the beginning of its entombment, the entrance of Flaming Gorge, at the foot of the historical Green River Valley. Some few attempts had been made to fathom the mystery of this long series of chasms, but with such small success that the exploration of the river was given up as too difficult and too dangerous. Ashley had gone through Red Canyon in 1825 and in one of the succeeding winters ...
— A Canyon Voyage • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... set forth in the local and London and provincial journals. Widely as it was discussed, and many as were the theories offered, no one could fathom the mystery. But all agreed that the failure of the police to find a clue was inexplicable. It was difficult enough to understand how the assassin could have murdered Bolton and opened the packing case, and removed the mummy to replace it by the body of ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... till I conclude. I should not ask so much of others. You, Svanhild, I've learnt to fathom thro' and thro'; You are too sensible to play the prude. I watched expand, unfold, your little life; A perfect woman I divined within you, But long I only saw a daughter in you;— Now I ask of you—will you be my wife? [SVANHILD ...
— Love's Comedy • Henrik Ibsen

... wound through fields of branching coral trees of luxuriant growth, among which, numbers of large fish were moving sluggishly about, as if they had got up too early, and were more than half inclined to indulge in another nap. As we passed over a sort of bar, where there was not more than a fathom and a half of water, we espied an immense green turtle at the bottom, quietly pursuing his way across our track, and though by no means a beautiful creature, looking infinitely happier and more lively than the dull-eyed wretches of his race, which I have seen lying on their ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... tell her. "Could you bear Miss Margaret's death as well," she said, "if Maggie, instead of being bright and playful as she is, were weak and sick like Hester?" and her eyes fastened themselves upon Madam Conway with an agonizing intensity which that lady could not fathom. "Say, would you bear it as well—could you love her as much—would you change with me, take Hester for your own, and give me little Maggie?" she persisted, and Madam Conway, surprised at her excited manner, which she attributed in ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... essential to the harmony of a glorious system, a perfect plan, and that seeming sorrow was at last the occasion of unspeakable joy. Let no man say that this or that law, or operation of nature, were better changed, until he can fathom the designs of God; till he can create a planet, and send it on its everlasting round; till he can place a star in the firmament; till he can breathe upon a statue, the workmanship of his own hands, and be obeyed when he commands it to walk forth a thing of life; till he can dip his hand into chaos ...
— Wild Northern Scenes - Sporting Adventures with the Rifle and the Rod • S. H. Hammond

... um navio a monte," to beach or ground a vessel. The translator went entirely astray in this passage. See Thacher's Columbus, II. 388. The figure here given and the use of word pasos, normally, a land measure of length, instead of braza, "fathom," would seem to indicate that the 65 paces refers to the extent of shore laid bare, and not to the height of the tide. The corresponding passage in the Historie reads: "so that it seemed a rapid river both day and night and at all hours, ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... "Full fathom deep thy father lies; Of his bones are corals made; Those are pearls which were his eyes; Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange; Fairies hourly ring his knell, Hark! I hear them. ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... our first letter from the count about the third of June. The writing was all over the plate like a biled dinner, and the English looked like it had been shook up in a bag, but it was signed with a nine fathom, toggle-jinted name that would give a pollparrot the lockjaw, and had the word "Count" on the bow ...
— Cape Cod Stories - The Old Home House • Joseph C. Lincoln

... where religion rose to the level of the highest thought, had from the earliest times to endure all the blessing and curse of an aristocracy of intellect. The Latin religion like every other had its origin in the effort of faith to fathom the infinite; it is only to a superficial view, which is deceived as to the depth of the stream because it is clear, that its transparent spirit-world can appear to be shallow. This fervid faith disappeared with the progress ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... contemplated railroad line came down from the north to his property, he knew the Chokohatchee River must be his means of communication with the outer world. The four men on the boat were natives of the section. He had not yet been able to fathom just what nature of men they were or what their business was, but he suspected the latter to be something illegal, and despite the poor showing they had made in the fight on the boat it was apparent that there was in them at least ...
— The Plunderer • Henry Oyen



Words linked to "Fathom" :   volume unit, cubage unit, pace, capacity unit, measure, excavation, capacity measure, cubic content unit, cubature unit, linear unit, displacement unit, cubic measure, fthm, sound, bottom, understand, quantify, linear measure



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