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Illusion   /ɪlˈuʒən/   Listen
Illusion

noun
1.
An erroneous mental representation.  Synonym: semblance.
2.
Something many people believe that is false.  Synonyms: fancy, fantasy, phantasy.
3.
The act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas.  Synonyms: delusion, head game.
4.
An illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers.  Synonyms: conjuration, conjuring trick, deception, legerdemain, magic, magic trick, thaumaturgy, trick.



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"Illusion" Quotes from Famous Books



... intervals, a chorus of frogs in the neighboring swamp croak the refrain in unison. Sax, the great brass-founder, who made the Last Trumpets for the 'Wandering Jew,' and the instruments for the Band of the Guides, is engaged upon the frogpipes required. The illusion will be heightened by characteristic scenery and mephitic exhalations. M. Sax visited the pool in the Bois de Boulogne, known as the Maree d'Auteuil, and brought back many useful ideas in reference to the quadruped with whose vocal powers he desired ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... certainly. But ... I am sure it would be so good for them to have a ritual to follow. We should not absolutely assert to them that you still exist as an immortal, but I do not see why we should insist on tearing every illusion away from them. Suppose I could persuade them that you were no longer displeased with them, and that you were quite willing to let them wear pink and white robes again, and plenty of flowers in their hair; and suppose I encouraged them to sacrifice turtle-doves on your ...
— Hypolympia - Or, The Gods in the Island, an Ironic Fantasy • Edmund Gosse

... Modern Philosophy. From the 4th to the 8th of September of that year he was at Geneva attending the Second International Congress of Philosophy, when he lectured on Le Paralogisme psycho-physiologique, or, to quote its new title, Le Cerveau et la Pensee: une illusion philosophique. An illness prevented his visiting Germany to attend the Third ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... are illusions. I am an illusion; those savages who died upon the rock will tell you so. This fair woman before you is an illusion; Humphrey, I am sure, knows it as you will also before you have done with her. These halls are illusions. Live ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... inhabited by Christians; but no person can tell what sect or denomination they are of, nor what language they speak. The Spanish inhabitants of the Canaries have often attempted to go there, but could never find the way; whence some believe that it is only an illusion or enchanted island, seen only at certain times. Others allege a better reason, saying that it is small and almost always concealed by clouds, and that ships are prevented from coming near it by the strength of the currents. It is certain however, that ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X • Robert Kerr

... conduct did not apparently occur to the authorities, nor that the true way to repress Popery was by cultivating Puritanism. Believing the true principles of the Church of England to be the golden mean between the two, they acted under the pleasing illusion that when both halves were cut off, the middle would be left intact, and all the better for ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... felt that the charm of the great question and answer had been lost in considering it. Spontaneity—that subtle element of all that is lovely and enchanting—had flown away at the first suspicion of constraint. Some sweet illusion that had always hung like a halo over this grand decision evaded her consciousness; the glorious ideal had become a reality and lost all its enchantments ...
— A Singer from the Sea • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... no other hope had got, Than what the chance of traffick might allot; Illusion vain, or doubtful at the best:— Though some grow rich, yet all are not so blessed. 'Twas said our husband never would succeed; And truly, such it seemed to be decreed. His agents (similar to those we see In modern days) were with his treasure free; His ships were wrecked; his commerce came ...
— The Tales and Novels, Complete • Jean de La Fontaine

... is that what you call 'things', actually something real, something which has existence? Isn't it just a deception of the Maja, just an image and illusion? Your stone, your tree, your river— are they actually ...
— Siddhartha • Herman Hesse

... of my heart, which made me feel ill, I realised that probably I would have to stay away from school because of the infection. My feet tapped on the floor with joy, though I tried to appear unconcerned. Then, as I nursed my sudden hope of freedom, a little fearfully lest it should prove an illusion, a new and enchanting idea came to me. I slipped from the room, ran upstairs to my bedroom and, standing by the side of my bed, tore open my waistcoat and shirt with clumsy, trembling fingers. One, two, three, four, five! I counted the spots in a triumphant voice, and then ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... needs pry closely into the matter, it may be doubted whether there was any real change, after all, in the sordid, worn-out, worthless and ill-jointed substance of the scarecrow, but merely a spectral illusion and a cunning effect of light and shade, so colored and contrived as to delude the eyes of most men. The miracles of witchcraft seem always to have had a very shallow subtlety and at least, if the above explanations do not hit the truth of ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... the room appeared to darken, as it used to do when he was about to perform some singular experiment, and in the darkness the peacocks upon the doors seemed to glow with a more intense colour. I cast off the illusion, which was, I believe, merely caused by memory, and by the twilight of incense, for I would not acknowledge that he could overcome my now mature intellect; and I said: 'Even if I grant that I need a spiritual belief and some form of worship, why should ...
— Rosa Alchemica • W. B. Yeats

... illusion for us; no splendid armies, banner—laden, passing through unbroken triumphs across the sunset's glory; no winged victory, with smooth brow laurelled to teach us to forget the holocaust. Neither ...
— The Maid-At-Arms • Robert W. Chambers

... practised—were represented as ancient institutions; a whole new way of thinking and acting was set in motion on the assumption that it was old. Yet, so far as is known, no one in or out of Palestine ever saw through the illusion for over two thousand years. It was reserved for nineteenth-century scholars to draw aside the veil hiding the ...
— The Invention of a New Religion • Basil Hall Chamberlain

... original formulae allow. Matter is described as Maya and is potentially contained in the Lord who manifests it in the creative process which begins each kalpa. The Lord is also said to be one with our souls and yet other. The soul is by nature ignorant, in bondage to the illusion of Maya and of Karma, but by the grace of the Lord it attains to union (not identity) with him, in which it sees that its actions ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... for all the deeper, stronger love of Madam Conway's nature had gone forth to the merry, gleeful girl whose graceful, independent bearing she had so often likened to herself and the haughty race with which she claimed relationship. How was this illusion dispelled! Margaret was not a Conway, nor yet a Davenport. A servant-girl had been her mother, and of her father there was nothing known. Madam Conway was one who seldom wept for grief. She had stood calmly at the bedside of her dying husband, had buried ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... affecting or partly feeling a sudden sickness, he abruptly left the theater. The king being departed, the play was given over. Now Hamlet had seen enough to be satisfied that the words of the ghost were true and no illusion; and in a fit of gaiety, like that which comes over a man who suddenly has some great doubt or scruple resolved, he swore to Horatio that he would take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds. But before he could make up his resolution ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... Rowland coveted; not her heart, indeed, but her ample fortune. Wilding had been a stumbling-block to him since he had come to Bridgwater; but for Wilding he might have run a smooth course; he was still fool enough to hug that dear illusion to his soul. Somewhere in England—if not dead already—this Wilding lurked, an outlaw, whom any might shoot down at sight. Sir Rowland swore he would not rest until he knew that Anthony Wilding cumbered the earth no more—leastways, ...
— Mistress Wilding • Rafael Sabatini

... editing for two years a monthly review, The New East (Shin Toyo),[7] with for motto a sentence of my own which expresses what wisdom I have gained about the Orient, The real barrier between East and West is a distrust of each other's morality and the illusion that the distrust is on one ...
— The Foundations of Japan • J.W. Robertson Scott

... yet still it is plebeian. Why should he feel so shocked at mine?" Of course, she knew him only as "Mr. Wheeler." "Perhaps he has imagined that I had some grand name, and, learning my true one, has lost his illusion. He formerly esteemed me. He ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... for adulation. The smoothness of flattery cannot now avail; cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must dispel the illusion and the darkness which envelop it, and display, in its full danger and true colors, the ruin that is brought to ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... conscience and might ruin his, but it existed firmly like a fortress. She could not surrender it. Her love was not great enough for that; or was it, she asked herself, too great? She could not comfort herself with that illusion, and there came creeping the thought that for some one else, some one too strong to need such a capitulation, she would have given it gladly, but against Francis, who was intrinsically weak, she ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... over the city; say, I want to tell you that place was—well, gigantic! It was colossal; at first I thought the size was due to that illusion I spoke of—you know, the nearness of the horizon—but it wasn't that. We sailed right over it, and you've never ...
— Valley of Dreams • Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

... Cumberland a continual stream of nervous strength—an electric thing. Nonsense, of course. And it was nonsense, also, to think that the huge dog which lay staring up into the face of the master understood all this affair much better than the practiced mind of the physician. Yet the illusion held with Randall Byrne in ...
— The Night Horseman • Max Brand

... home in splendour, pretending that he and Duke were a long procession; and he made enough noise to render the auricular part of the illusion perfect. His own family were already at the lunch-table when he arrived, and the parade halted only at ...
— Penrod • Booth Tarkington

... of hypocrites, ways and means are never of a very exalted order—roads and stairs and so forth are always to be trodden under our feet. The advantage of utilising men like you in our plans is that we have to make use of no mask or illusion. But if I were to consult my prime minister, it would be absurd for me to call theft by any name less dignified than public benefit. I will go now, and move the princes about like pawns on the chessboard; the ...
— The King of the Dark Chamber • Rabindranath Tagore (trans.)

... repeating the curious experiments of Mr. Dutrochet day after day, and scrupulously following his directions, we have, in the presence of our results, that were exactly identical with his, almost been tempted to believe ourself to be the victim of some occult power, or at least of some optical illusion, the true cause of which remained a mystery to us. Finally, after many fruitless attempts to find a key to the enigma that engaged our attention, the light finally dawned upon us, and then ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 401, September 8, 1883 • Various

... his 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'? Art, and art only, can make archaeology beautiful; and the theatric art can use it most directly and most vividly, for it can combine in one exquisite presentation the illusion of actual life with the wonder of the unreal world. But the sixteenth century was not merely the age of Vitruvius; it was the age of Vecellio also. Every nation seems suddenly to have become interested in the dress of its ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... this a gipsy encampment. Miss Hamilton and myself are quite dark enough to favor the illusion, and Ellen and Mr. Carlton would pass as of gipsy descent; but what would they think of Miss Mary? She is ...
— Inez - A Tale of the Alamo • Augusta J. Evans

... figures, each dangling and gyrating on its cord in a most suggestive fashion, you notice, pinned to the lapel of a coat here and there, a strip of paper announcing the very low price at which you may become the happy possessor. That dissipates the illusion. ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... crawling, and a deer for flight, A hawk for rending, and a dog for sight To judge the strength of men that wake or sleep, A snake, when 't is advisable to creep, Illusion's self, to seem a saint or rogue, Goddess of Speech in understanding brogue; A light in blackest night, in holes a lizard I can be, A horse on terra firma, and a ship upon the ...
— The Little Clay Cart - Mrcchakatika • (Attributed To) King Shudraka

... Cardiff, because you—disapproved. Then why didn't you remonstrate with me? I've often wondered." Elfrida spoke softly, dreamily. Her happiness seemed very near. Her self-surrender was so perfect and his understanding, as it always had been, so sweet, that the illusion of the moment was cruelly perfect She raised her eyes to Kendal's with an abandonment of tenderness in them that quickened his heart-beats, man ...
— A Daughter of To-Day • Sara Jeannette Duncan (aka Mrs. Everard Cotes)

... feeling or thought nothing could have turned me, neither general despair nor personal fear. For I believed that the deep secrets of nature were being revealed to me; I felt that everything was immortal and that death was only a pleasant illusion. But I really did not think very much about it, since I was not particularly in a mood for mental synthesis and analysis. But I gladly lost myself in all those blendings and intertwinings of joy and pain from ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... side first. The motion of a top gives it bands of color to our eyes that it does not have at rest. They are temporary and not permanent, a result of motion merely; illusion and ...
— Ancient and Modern Physics • Thomas E. Willson

... again, and snoring as if they thoroughly enjoyed it. There was Lord Nelson on one wall, in flaming watercolors; and there, on the other, was a portrait of Admiral Bartram's last flagship, in full sail on a sea of slate, with a salmon-colored sky to complete the illusion. ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... quietly again into the smooth channel of a new routine. Not that the story of the succeeding months was really uneventful. If our readers suppose that from this point onward we led a prosperous untroubled existence, it will be due to the illusion, which, in fiction, makes us cheerful over the woes of the struggling hero, because we have glanced at the end of the book, and view the present trouble in the light of the successful issue: what the end would be we did not know, nor ...
— Uppingham by the Sea - a Narrative of the Year at Borth • John Henry Skrine

... of man. Wild horses, in the proper sense of the term, are in Europe at the present day only met with in Bessarabia; whereas the so-called wild herds in Hungary may rather be compared to the animals ranging in our large parks, which are attended to and watched. The deer are left to the illusion that they enjoy the most unbounded freedom; and the deer-stalker, when in pursuit of his game, readily gives in to the same illusion. Or, to take another simile, the reader has only to picture to himself a well-constituted ...
— The International Weekly Miscellany, Volume I. No. 9. - Of Literature, Art, and Science, August 26, 1850 • Various

... made up. He was silent; but he laboured: laboured for three long years without intermission at the making of a military machine that should cut out of the world for ever such romantic accident or random adventure; a machine that should cure the human pigs for ever of any illusion that they had wings. That he did so plot and prepare for an attack that should come from him, anticipating and overwhelming any resistance, is now, even in the documents he has himself published, a fact of common sense. Suppose a man sells all his lands except a small yard containing a well; ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... a dream of beauty and peace. There is not much difference between the height of high and low water on this coast, and the lake-like illusion would have been perfect had it not been that the rocks were tinged with gold for a foot or so above the sea by a delicate species of fucus. In the exquisite inlet where I spent the night, trees and trailers drooped into the water and were mirrored in it, their green, heavy shadows lying ...
— Unbeaten Tracks in Japan • Isabella L. Bird

... practice of the one does not at all train a man for practising the other. "Money might be of great service to me," writes Thoreau; "but the difficulty now is that I do not improve my opportunities, and therefore I am not prepared to have my opportunities increased." It is a mere illusion that, above a certain income, the personal desires will be satisfied and leave a wider margin for the generous impulse. It is as difficult to be generous, or anything else except perhaps a member of Parliament, on thirty thousand as on ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of the inner man; but, one could well fancy them bursting off madly into some boyish game, with all the ardour that their previous application may have generated—the shouts of the Westminster scholars in the adjacent yard bearing out the illusion. ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... honeymoons seems born of wisdom as much as of expediency. It may sound brutal, but undisturbed possession soon palls, and man was made {95} for something more virile than perpetual billing and cooing. The long honeymoon makes a very heavy demand upon the emotions. It is fatal to try and keep up a lost illusion. The moment a man or woman sees that the sweetness is beginning to cloy, and the inaction to bore, it is time to return to ...
— The Etiquette of Engagement and Marriage • G. R. M. Devereux

... "because a first, fresh love, like yours, deserves better recompense than it could receive from a bruised and worn-out heart like mine. I can never experience the illusion of love again. I have suffered ...
— A Romance of the Republic • Lydia Maria Francis Child

... strange illusion experienced by all who climb isolated mountains. The higher one climbs, the more of the earth's surface becomes visible, and the effect of this is that the horizon seems up-hill from the observer. This illusion is especially notable on Haleakala, for the old ...
— The Cruise of the Snark • Jack London

... stout old quartos you were reading. To tell you the truth, I inferred, from the dimensions of the books and your white cravat, that you were a clergyman." Marcus might have added, that the old gentleman's flowing white locks and benevolent features had contributed to the illusion; but he had already discovered that Mr. Van Quintem, like himself, ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... can I, without vocal strain, attain the rumbling bass tones so favoured by many elocutionists. But I have been led to believe that a sonorousness of delivery and a nice use of gesticulation and modulation compensate in me for a lack of bulk, creating as it were an illusion of physical impressiveness, of brawn, of thew and sinew. I bowed to the chairman, and to the assemblage, cleared my throat ...
— Fibble, D. D. • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... its pang, for him The torturing ghost of days that are no more, For him no more illusion, but remorse And memory's serpent gnawing ...
— Rudin • Ivan Turgenev

... peat-moss, upon which the mist was producing a singular mirage. We seemed to be upon a causeway traversing an immense lake whose waves crept up gently, dying in transparent folds along the edge of the embankment. Here and there a group of trees or a cottage, emerging like an island, completed the illusion, for such it was. A sheet of bluish mist, floating a little above the ground and curling up along its upper surface under the rays of the sun, caused this aqueous phantasmagoria, resembling the Fata Morgana of Sicily. In vain did my geographical knowledge protest, disconcerted, against ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume V (of X) • Various

... Johnson, the learned world were accustomed to insist upon the observance of the unities, on the ground that they were necessary to uphold the illusion of the theatre. The doctor, in his preface to Shakspeare, demolished this argument, by showing that the illusion they were declared so necessary to support, does not, in fact, exist. No man really believes that the stage before him is Rome, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Vol. 56, No. 346, August, 1844 • Various

... literary construction of the plot was of no consequence to the reader who tasted a novel for the first time in his life. The naivete of the plot was in keeping with the naive, artificially reproduced language of the prophet Isaiah and the biblical annals, which intensified the illusion of antiquity. ...
— History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II • S.M. Dubnow

... is true, and I now feel that it is a sin for Christians to stay here; and it seems to me as if our Lord said to us in that cry of the cocks, 'Come up, ye Christian children, out of those abodes of illusion and magic; come to the light of the stars, and act as children of light.' I now feel that it was a great sin for me to come down here, but I trust I shall be forgiven on account of my youth; for I was a child and knew not what ...
— The Fairy Book - The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew • Dinah Maria Mulock (AKA Miss Mulock)

... declared on grounds of mere reason, that Christ being in heaven and not on earth, 'it was contrary to the truth for a natural body to be in two places at once.' The common sense of the country was of the same opinion, and the illusion was at ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... remained closed to him, whom I loved and respected, but between whose mind and my own the point of contact was wanting. Of Henry, for many reasons, I had rather not talk to you. You know that I have never hesitated to tell myself the truth, or to destroy an illusion, which in the secrecy of my heart I have felt to be such; but it requires a courage and a strength which, to-day especially, I do not find in myself, to trace the progress of estrangement in an affection ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... really are affected by altitude, but weariness, lack of muscular as well as mental control, often creates altitudinous illusion. Of this condition I had an example while guiding a party of three women and one man to the top of Long's Peak. We climbed above timberline, headed through Storm Pass, and finally reached Keyhole without a single incident to mar the perfect day. The ladies were new, but ...
— A Mountain Boyhood • Joe Mills

... General and fight like men." Having thus given due warning, he led his "army" forward, marching and counter-marching his meager forces among the trees and hills to give an appearance of great numbers, while he and his captains helped keep up the illusion by galloping wildly here and there on horses they had confiscated, as if ordering a vast array. At nightfall the men advanced upon the stockade and opened fire from ...
— The Old Northwest - A Chronicle of the Ohio Valley and Beyond, Volume 19 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Frederic Austin Ogg

... is nevertheless too commonly believed that the docks of France are crowded and her navy-list swollen with hulks which are but the mouldering mementos of the vast armaments hastily created during the Consulate and the Empire; an illusion most hazardous to our interests abroad and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... smile. "I admit I do not exactly answer to the average description, and my heart is not broken—there is only a blank in it—something dead that can never live again. Once I loved a man with all my heart"—Jo sighed—"with all the illusion of youth, and he loved me. The difference between his love and mine was, that mine was forever, and ...
— Wired Love - A Romance of Dots and Dashes • Ella Cheever Thayer

... fog and rain something which seemed like a great pale shadow loomed before the schooner. For a moment we gazed, uncertain whether it were real, or an illusion ...
— Left on Labrador - or, The cruise of the Schooner-yacht 'Curlew.' as Recorded by 'Wash.' • Charles Asbury Stephens

... hinder. She had forgotten the insistent declaration of Gladys that she had seen a light flicker from these blank windows the preceding night. Indeed, even at the time she had accounted it but the hysteric adjunct of their panic in the illusion of a stealthy step on the veranda of the bungalow. She was animated only by the simplest impulse of idle curiosity when she laid her hand on the bolt. The big door swung open at once on well-oiled hinges, and she found herself in the spacious hotel office, on ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... there. The faintest of winds had blown for a moment or two, and when Dick looked up, he saw that the sky was covered with black clouds. The saddest of woods had moved far away, but by some sort of optical illusion he ...
— The Sword of Antietam • Joseph A. Altsheler

... which awaits you in Langona Church is its chancel, which stands high above the level of the nave, and, rising suddenly beneath a fine Early English arch, carries the eye upward to the altar with a strange illusion of distance. Even in those days the first impression was one of rare, almost singular, beauty—an impression lost in a series of small pangs as your eye rested on the ruinous details one by one. For of the great ...
— The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... make a shore-goer feel, not as if he were in a ship under water, but rather in a subway section under construction, or some overdriven corner of some sort of night-working machine-shop, or some other homelike place ashore. The bright electric lights helped out the machine-shop illusion. ...
— The U-boat hunters • James B. Connolly

... seen nothing that he had seen. Then it was all an illusion? a fragment of his drunken dreams? But no drunken dream was ever ...
— The Drummer Boy • John Trowbridge

... architecture, the outgrowth of the solid rock. They were vast ranges, apparently of enormous height, their color indescribable, deepest and reddest near the pine-draped bases, then gradually softening into wonderful tenderness, till the highest summits rose all flushed, and with an illusion of transparency, so that one might believe that they were taking on the hue of sunset. Below them lay broken ravines of fantastic rocks, cleft and canyoned by the river, with a tender unearthly light over all, the apparent ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... Another illusion which had been dispelled was Lesbia's comfortable idea of her own expectations. Her grandmother had told her that she might take rank among heiresses; and she had held herself accordingly, deeming that her place was ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... rained once that spring—the morning after we had gone up Mount Lowe to see the sun rise, to be sure, but it would be a carping creature who would complain when only one expedition had been dampened. For twenty years I cherished the illusion that this was a land of endless sunshine. I don't know where I thought the moisture came from that produces the almost tropical luxuriance of the gardens and the groves. I know better now and, strange to say, I have come to love a rain in its proper time and place, if it isn't too boisterous. We ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... works a quite contrary effect to what is intended. That which in comedy, or plays of familiar life, adds so much to the life of the imitation, in plays which appeal to the higher faculties, positively destroys the illusion which ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... Point Of Biography Cloud Winds of the World The Honours of Mortality At Monastery Gates Rushes and Reeds Eleonora Duse Donkey Races Grass A Woman in Grey Symmetry and Incident The Illusion ...
— The Colour of Life • Alice Meynell

... of Knowledge Immortality The Hermit The Great Breath The Divine Vision The Burning Glass A Vision of Beauty Rest The Earth Breath Divine Visitation The Master Singer Aphrodite Illusion Babylon Alter Ego Krishna Symbolism Sung on a By-Way The Hunter The Vision of Love A Call of the Sidhe Janus The Grey Eros The Memory of Earth By the Margin of the Great Deep Three Counsellors, Desire The Place of ...
— The Nuts of Knowledge - Lyrical Poems New and Old • George William Russell

... attempt to explain this illusion, or whatever it was. I do not know how long it lasted; but presently, as I may testify, I saw Orme rise and kick at the wetted, bloodstained blanket. He lifted it, heavy with dripping blood. I saw the blood fall from its corners ...
— The Way of a Man • Emerson Hough

... contorted cloud. Far to the right I saw the delicate outlines of the little wood which I had come to think of as the Grove of Ashtaroth. I listened. There was not a sound in the air. The land seemed to sleep peacefully beneath the moon, and yet I had a sense that the peace was an illusion. The place was ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... see if Mr. Jaffrey's illusion would stand the test of daylight. It did. Elkanah Elkins Andrew Jackson Jaffrey was, so to speak, alive and kicking the next morning. On taking his seat at the breakfast-table, Mr. Jaffrey whispered to me that Andy had had a ...
— Miss Mehetabel's Son • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... on their age. The difference between one man and another is by no means so great as the superstitious crowd supposes. But the same feelings which in ancient Rome produced the apotheosis of a popular emperor, and in modern Rome the canonisation of a devout prelate, lead men to cherish an illusion which furnishes them with something to adore. By a law of association, from the operation of which even minds the most strictly regulated by reason are not wholly exempt, misery disposes us to hatred, and happiness to love, although there ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... to the illusion, as the canoe came to the quay the sun sank, a gun boomed out from the tallest of the four towers, and the flag ran down its staff; all as if by clockwork. As if by clockwork, too, the taller of the two old gentlemen on the quay—the one in a gold-laced ...
— Fort Amity • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... world: for Nunnely Wood in June she saw her narrow chamber; for the songs of birds in alleys she heard the rain on her casement; for the sigh of the south wind came the sob of the mournful east; and for Moore's manly companionship she had the thin illusion of her own dim shadow on the wall. Turning from the pale phantom which reflected herself in its outline, and her reverie in the drooped attitude of its dim head and colourless tresses, she sat down—inaction would suit the frame of mind into which she was now declining—she ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... which they supposed entirely incapable of such boldness as isolated action. They never believed for a moment but that the refusal by Italy of a double intervention would have for effect a treble occupation. You know how this illusion of a treble occupation died a wretched death in the ridiculous appearance of Italian and French ships in the neighbourhood of the Canal just at the moment when Wolseley seized it ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... trying to speak with ease, but she did not succeed well. Her "good nights," had in them a tone as if she was annoyed, as in fact she was; though not at all in the way Clara supposed. She did not care for the notice of her tears, but she said to herself, "This is what Edmund calls destroying the illusion. If they would but have let me go to bed with the spell of that ...
— The Two Guardians • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... by tallness and well-proportioned limbs, by patience, by sincerity, by affluence, by compassion, by excellence of form, and by might. He shines, endued with all celestial weapons of wonderful form and make. He has Yoga for his illusion. He is possessed of a thousand eyes. He is free from every stain or fault. He is high-minded. He is endued with heroism. He is an object of pride with all his friends. He is dear to all his kinsmen and relatives and they are dear to him. He ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... Winthrop was Mrs. Conklin's maiden name; in the second place, it links her with the Colonial Puritan stock of which she is so justly proud—being scornful of mere Daughters of the Revolution—and finally, though Mrs. Conklin is a grandmother, her maiden name seems to preserve the sweet, vague illusion of girlhood which Mrs. Conklin always carries about her like the shadow of a dream. And Miss Larrabee punctuated this with a wink which we took to be a quotation mark, and she went on with her work. So we knew we had been listening to the ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... deceive himself when he believes in the existence of a moral power upon which he depends and from which he holds the larger portion of himself. That power exists; it is society. When the Australian feels within himself the surging of a life whose intensity surprises him, he is the dupe of no illusion; that exaltation is real, and it is really the product of forces that are external and superior to the individual."[10] Yes, but identical in kind and genesis with himself and his own race. To Leuba, in his Psychological Study of Religion, ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... caught a glimpse of a figure on the south face of the wall. But it was so fleeting he was not sure. If he had only brought his glasses with him he might have decided, but he was without them, and he concluded finally that it was merely an optical illusion. He and the Indian had the mountain walls to themselves, and the warrior could not have moved around ...
— The Great Sioux Trail - A Story of Mountain and Plain • Joseph Altsheler

... turning flight gives the illusion of great speed. The small, compact flocks commonly fly low over the marshes, and often ...
— Ducks at a Distance - A Waterfowl Identification Guide • Robert W. Hines

... certain one always suffered thus on those feast-days on which he had to receive Communion, his superiors, discovering that there was no fault on his part, ruled that he was not to refrain from communicating on that account, and the demoniacal illusion ceased. ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... and Blount entered the bar together—the Broadway Room, decorated in gleaming plastics and chromium in enthusiastic if slightly inaccurate imitation of a First Century New York nightclub. There were no native servants to spoil the illusion, such as it was: the service was fully automatic. Going to a bartending machine, von Schlichten dialed the cocktail they had decided upon and inserted his key to charge the drinks to his account, ...
— Uller Uprising • Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

... certain rainy afternoon when this illusion seemed phenomenally strong, and when, in addition, I had fancied I glimpsed a kind of thin, yellowish, shimmering exhalation rising from the nitrous pattern toward the yawning fireplace, I spoke to my uncle about the matter. ...
— The Shunned House • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... never spoken to Miss Vivian." Gordon Wright stood looking at Bernard and urging his point as he pronounced these words. Bernard felt peculiarly conscious of his gaze. The words represented an illusion, and Longueville asked himself quickly whether it were not his duty to dispel it. The answer came more slowly than the question, but still it came, in the shape of a negative. The illusion was but a trifling one, and it was not for him, after ...
— Confidence • Henry James

... hidden sense, which sees certain immaterial objects, as the external sense sees the physical objects. No one else sees those forms, but they are none the less real, for the whole species of prophetic persons testify to their existence. In ordinary perception we tell a real object from an illusion by appealing to the testimony of others. What appears to a single individual only may be an illusion. If all persons agree that the object is there, we conclude it is real. The same test holds of the prophetic visions. All prophets see them. Then the intellect of the prophet ...
— A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy • Isaac Husik

... his race, he had found out everything. That he, from this time forth, would share the lot of his adored sahib appeared to him a matter of course. And Heideck had not the heart, in this hour of their meeting again, to destroy his illusion. ...
— The Coming Conquest of England • August Niemann

... the standing trees and leaves, green or yellow, the rain-drops, the air they breathed, the sunshine in their eyes and hearts, was part of them, not a garment, but of their very substance and spirit. Feeling this, death becomes an illusion; and the illusion that the continuous life of the species (its immortality) and the individual life are one and the same is the reality and truth. An illusion, but, as Mill says, deprive us of ...
— Afoot in England • W.H. Hudson

... dim inversion, and then totally disappeared; leaving behind it a clear open area of ice of the same dimensions. We now perceived that this bed of ice, which was thinly suffused with water, had produced the illusion, by reflecting and refracting (as persons skilled in optics would no doubt easily explain) a rocky and woody section of the ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... voir se renouveler des excutions qui soulvent contre elle l'indignation de toute la Chrtient. C'est dans son propre intrt que nous lui adressons cette demande. La Porte ne doit pas se faire illusion sur les lmens qui fermentent en Turquie. Au lieu de s'aliner les sentimens des populations Chrtiennes, le Gouvernement Ottoman doit travailler plus que jamais, se les concilier. Qu'il comprenne enfin la ncessit de laisser tomber en dsutude des dispositions surannes de la loi Mahomtane, ...
— Correspondence Relating to Executions in Turkey for Apostacy from Islamism • Various

... often taken for a wild bull, and with us a brace of carrion crows, seated upon the crest of a ridge, were actually thought to be buffaloes, until they suddenly took wing and rose into the air, thus dispelling the illusion! ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... the maiden occasionally turned a leaf, in order to keep up the illusion that she was reading, she might have been a statue, so motionless was her form, and so pallid her face. But she felt that she was perplexing and troubling those who had wounded her, and the consciousness gave secret satisfaction. Her ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... before me. I recognized it as one of those we saw from the Capitol, but it appeared so much smaller when viewed from a greater distance, that I was quite deceived. On considering we were still three-fourths of a mile from it, and that we could see its minutest parts distinctly, the illusion ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... huts, almost within a stone's throw of Tarbet, many of them oval in shape, are like exhalations of rounded stones and heather. We felt, as we gravely looked at them, that we were back again in the Stone Age. In the island of North Ouist we were visited by the same illusion. The landing stage was, indeed, a scene of crowded life; but the life was the life of sea birds, which were hardly disturbed by our approach. Leaving North Ouist, we passed the mounded shores of Benbecula, the island ...
— Memoirs of Life and Literature • W. H. Mallock

... more delightful was it to hear Mrs. Aubyn waken the echoes of academic drawing-rooms with audacities surpassing those of her printed page. Her intellectual independence gave a touch of comradeship to their intimacy, prolonging the illusion of college friendships based on a joyous interchange of heresies. Mrs. Aubyn and Glennard represented to each other the augur's wink behind the Hillbridge idol: they walked together in that light of young omniscience from which fate ...
— The Touchstone • Edith Wharton

... machines, lay Venerians. Dead they seemed, the illusion intensified by their strangely blue complexions. The two Terrestrians knew, however, that they could readily be restored to life. The great machines they had been operating were humming softly, almost ...
— The Black Star Passes • John W Campbell

... example, in an appeal to the eye, rectangular shape in proportion of three to five, that is to say, three units of measurement wide by five units of measurement long is more likely to attract favorable attention than a square. Similarly, any object in motion or having the illusion of motion, is more likely to attract favorable attention than an object at rest. Black letters upon a white background attract more favorable attention than white letters upon a black background. Many such psychological problems have been worked out. They ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... a single new melody, but substituted instead, sadly mauled and pinched thematic fragments of Liszt, Berlioz, and Beethoven, combined with exaggerated fairy-tales, clothed in showy tinsel and theatrical gauds, the illusion being aided by panoramic scenery; scenery that acted in company with toads, dragons, horses, snakes, crazy valkyrs, mermaids, half-mad humans, gods, demons, dwarfs, and giants. What else is all this ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... which issued from these thousands of crevasses, opening up in every direction, the melting snow mixed with earth and sand, those little mounds whence numerous streamlets were issuing,—all these combined to make the illusion perfect." ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... at Harlowe House. To Grace it seemed as though she had been wafted back once more to the dear dead days when the Sempers had held forth. The presence of Arline and Elfreda was the last touch needed to complete the illusion, and she went about her work feeling happier than she had for a long time. Even the shadow cast upon her heart by Tom's absence seemed ...
— Grace Harlowe's Problem • Jessie Graham Flower

... Pericles felt of Athens—unique value in her, nothing else mattering; but his theory of politics was Bismarck's. He had one illusion—France; and one disillusion—mankind, including Frenchmen, and his colleagues not least. His principles for the peace can be expressed simply. In the first place, he was a foremost believer in the view of German psychology ...
— The Economic Consequences of the Peace • John Maynard Keynes

... mind corrupted doth present to you this false illusion; But turn awhile unto the spirit of truth in your distress, And it shall cast out from your eyes all horror and confusion, And of this your affliction it ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI • Robert Dodsley

... He has seen the rouge on the cheeks that seem to blush with the bloom of youth and beauty and innocence, and has caught the cold glint in the eyes that, from the distance, seem to languish with tenderness and love. Why, he asks, should we create an illusion that must thus be rudely dispelled? Why revamp and refurbish the old platitudes and dole them out each succeeding year? Why not tell these young people the truth and let them be prepared for the fate that must come ...
— Craftsmanship in Teaching • William Chandler Bagley

... being unpleasant to his gentle listener, whose inclinations, for a few minutes, blinded her to the resolutions already made on principle. So urgent was her suitor, indeed, that she should solemnly plight her faith to him, ere he sailed, that a soft illusion came over the mind of one as affectionate as Mary, and she was half-inclined to believe her previous determination was unjustifiable and obdurate. But the head of one of her high principles, and clear views of ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... Illusion! Nothing is gained without some sacrifice; you cannot hold the past and the present in the same hand, the concealed elevator spoke in all the rooms once its presence was betrayed, the telephone talked—everywhere was evident the use of yesterday ...
— The Ghost Girl • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... larynx, together with difficulty in deglutition and speech. After a fruitless search, with instrumental and laryngoscopic aid, the missing teeth were found—in a chest of drawers; the symptoms immediately subsided when the mental illusion was relieved. ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... and the presence of a prowler on the premises caused his heart to gallop wildly. He seized the pistol, crept to the window and peered cautiously out. Between the crash of the breakers he listened intently and had decided that the steps had been the illusion of a dream when a sound in the room below renewed his alarm. He gained the door in two jumps. He could hear the opening and closing of drawers and see the flash of an electric lamp as the thief moved swiftly about, apparently taking it for granted that he had the house ...
— Blacksheep! Blacksheep! • Meredith Nicholson

... dignity of the youth, assisted by the illusion that prevailed concerning a revolver in his pocket, had kept his foes at bay, and gained him a hearing. He now attempted to pass on, when the man Gad, stepping behind him, raised the broom-handle, and dealt him a stunning blow on ...
— Cudjo's Cave • J. T. Trowbridge

... insisted on A natural. They argued together over three Steins of beer; the waiter, referred to, decided for A flat. It was a serious matter to have one's teeth set, as one may say, for a natural and then to be shocked with an unexpected half-tone up or down! It destroyed the illusion; it disappointed; it hurt. ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... of M. Alexandre Ribot, the veteran minister of finance, who, having Verdun before his eyes, told the Chamber of Deputies: "We have reached the decisive hour. We can say without exaggeration, without illusion, and without vain optimism, that we now see the end of this ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... have been an hallucination. He may have accidentally placed the screen so as to favour such an illusion. But what he saw was a bony hand coming round the corner of the screen, and, with a cry, he fell to the ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... fear that, instead of listening to his sermon, I have been roaming amid that Alpine scenery and basking again in the soft moonlight of Venice. I heard you singing, though," she said, when Anna was presented to her, "and it helped to keep up the illusion—it was so like the music heard from a gondola that night, when Mr. Leighton and myself made a voyage through the streets of Venice. Oh, it was so beautiful," and the blue eyes turned to Mr. Leighton for confirmation of what the lips ...
— The Rector of St. Mark's • Mary J. Holmes

... rose and, approaching his offspring, inspected them with the same interest that he would have bestowed upon a wax-works. A certain stiffness of pose combined with the glassy stare which met his gaze helped to favour the illusion. ...
— Dialstone Lane, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... it had accidentally become unclean, and our father Abraham was accustomed to eat his daily bread only in a clean state.[142] Abraham himself served his guests, and it appeared to him that the three men ate. But this was an illusion. In reality the angels did not eat,[143] only Abraham, his three friends, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, and his son Ishmael partook of the banquet, and the portions set before the angels were devoured ...
— The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 • Louis Ginzberg

... drop, or ligament, is entirely an illusion, and, broadly speaking, of an optical origin. Something very similar will be noticed if one brings one's thumb and forefinger slowly together against a very ...
— Astronomy of To-day - A Popular Introduction in Non-Technical Language • Cecil G. Dolmage

... horror, began to see that this must be the very hallucination of which he had read, a sweet illusion of green fields and crystal water, which often precedes actual death by thirst and starvation. He trembled, he prayed secretly to God to spare her, and not to kill his new-found child, his darling, in ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... betraying his surprise; but as he cherished a belief that the souls of all pretty women went to school to the devil before entering upon earthly enterprise, he wondered that he had been open to the illusion of complete ingenuousness in a descendant of one of the oldest and subtlest civilizations of earth. Within that luminous shell of youth there were, no doubt, whispering memories of men and women steeped in court intrigue from birth, of triumphant beauties that ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... prejudice, the result of education and of habit? It has little power, it seems, for it is braved with impunity. Many say that it is a factitious power from which one comes at last to deliver one's self by resisting it. Am I not the dupe of an illusion? I am losing joys which others allow themselves. Barriers encompass me on every hand, for there are for me prohibited actions, unwholesome beauties, culpable feelings. Others are free, and make a larger use of life in all directions. What if I too ...
— The Heavenly Father - Lectures on Modern Atheism • Ernest Naville

... assured me he had observed five Arab horsemen within a mile of our column: we rode forward, and soon the five shadowy horsemen gave place to five black crows hopping about by the edge of the Suwaicha marsh. But the most curious illusion I have seen in this way was looking towards the Pusht-i-Kuh hills across the marsh from San-i-yat. The foothills, some thirty miles distant, had sometimes the appearance of ending in abrupt white cliffs such as one sees at Dover. The cause of ...
— With a Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia - 1916—1917 • Anonymous

... mortgage. The two men came to Paris with the peace. Louvier determined both to seize the Breton lands and to complete the ruin of Duplessis, when he learned from De Mauleon that he had spent half his life in a baseless illusion; that Alain's father was innocent of the crime for which his son was to suffer;—and Victor, with that strange power over men's minds which was so peculiar to him, talked Louvier into mercy if not into repentance. In short, the mortgage is to be paid off by ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the monstrous thought came to her in bed: Supposing I published those poems—I always meant to do it some day. Why haven't I? Because I don't care? Or because I care too much? Because I'm afraid? Afraid that if somebody reads them the illusion they've created ...
— Mary Olivier: A Life • May Sinclair

... Can the illusion be due to the colouring, which is light in the cork and not unlike the tint of the silk globe when soiled with a little earth, while it is white in the paper and the cotton, when it is identical with that of the original pill? I give the Lycosa, in exchange for her work, a ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... layer of the new line—little mounds of earth, stringy with grass. The ease and speed with which the work begins—like all entrenching work in free soil—foster the illusion that it will soon be finished, that we shall be able to sleep in the cavities we have scooped: and ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... mist lifted, and everybody's gaze was directed on Talana Hill, where numbers of men in black mackintoshes could be seen. The general impression was that they were members of the town guard, but the arrival of the first shell soon dispelled this illusion. ...
— The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War - With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland • Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward Mainwaring

... arrival. I divined that the kind-hearted composer had a motive in this invitation. He thought that in witnessing the applauses bestowed on actors, and sharing in the fascination in which theatrical illusion holds an audience, my old passion for the stage, and with it the longing for an artiste's ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... shores was a solid mountain of green on each side, the trees growing down to the water. Here the reflections were so brilliant that the dividing line between shore and water was difficult for the untrained eye to make out. The boys seemed to be gazing upon an optical illusion. From the water's edge the mountains rose sheer to a great height, their distant peaks capped with snow glistening in the morning sunlight, while glacial streams flashed over the open spaces ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Alaska - The Gold Diggers of Taku Pass • Frank Gee Patchin

... to some temporary defect in Peter's vision, or to some illusion attendant upon mist and moonlight, or perhaps to some other cause, that the whole procession had a certain waving and vapoury character which perplexed and tasked his eyes not a little. It was like the pictured pageant ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 4 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu



Words linked to "Illusion" :   phantom limb, apparition, bubble, phantasma, will-o'-the-wisp, illusory, misconception, wishful thinking, prestidigitation, ignis fatuus, sleight of hand, dissimulation, appearance, phantom, card trick, irradiation, performance, magic trick, phantasm, deceit, dissembling, fantasm, shadow



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