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Perplexity   /pərplˈɛksəti/   Listen
Perplexity

noun
(pl. perplexities)
1.
Trouble or confusion resulting from complexity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Perplexity" Quotes from Famous Books



... cannon-balls. "They might shower upon the buildings as they pleased, but," said the Beguine, "if they kill, their business is done. It is your cold, your damp, your night air, that carries off, without letting any one know how," the perplexity of science on the subject plainly forming the chief evil in ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... it no more; then the belief in my election, the animating thought that I was chosen, and must still go forward or stand condemned, hated by myself, rejected by my God;—this gained the mastery next, and I was torn by sore perplexity. I appealed to my benefactor. As usual, balm was on his lips, and I found encouragement ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... perplexity. As chief of the expedition, I couldn't very well offer to remain with Evelyn Grey, but I didn't propose ...
— Police!!! • Robert W. Chambers

... he took hold of his lower lip with thumb and forefinger and twirled it back and forth turning it over and under. Clarence's little sister appeared whilst he was thus engaged, and seeing the sadness of his eyes and the perplexity of his mouth and fingers, she ventured to say, "It is too bad, and Clarence said it was, and that he did not mean to upset the type, but that you got him so provoked he could not help it, and that you could come and pick it out if ...
— The Little Gold Miners of the Sierras and Other Stories • Various

... March to Finchley; and surely nothing can be covered more thick and deep with English nature than that piece of canvas. The face of the tall grenadier in the centre, between two women, both of whom have claims on him, wonderfully expresses trouble and perplexity; and every touch in the picture meant something and expresses ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... one of the party, rubbed his nose for some time in great perplexity, until he drew from Davie Summers the remark that his proboscis was red enough by nature and didn't need rubbing. "It's odd," he remarked; "they seems to ha' bin here for some time, and yit they've niver ...
— The World of Ice • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... flag. I did not for a moment take in that it was he, for he was not in the gray jacket which I had expected to see. He was busy looking down at the throng on the sidewalk, apparently searching for some one whom he expected to find there. He was in some perplexity, and pulled in his horse, which began to rear. Suddenly the applause from the portico above arrested his attention, and he looked toward it and bowed. As he did so his eye caught that of the old lady seated there. ...
— The Burial of the Guns • Thomas Nelson Page

... to more or less learned individuals distinguished for their piety, and credited with supernatural powers of healing, divination, etc. Pilgrimages to some renowned "Good Jew" were often undertaken by the very pious, on occasions of perplexity or trouble, for the purpose of obtaining ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... interest in the burn any longer, but paced slowly on, his eyes sometimes on the path and sometimes staring upwards at the Heavens. So far as his face revealed his sensations, they seemed to be compounded of surprise and perplexity. Several times he shook his head as though some very baffling point had cropped up in his thoughts, and ...
— Simon • J. Storer Clouston

... days till now, I should still have remembered them with gratitude. When I enumerate the long list of my American teachers, I must begin with those who came to us on Wall Street and taught us our first steps. To my mother, in her perplexity over the cookstove, the woman who showed her how to make the fire was an angel of deliverance. A fairy godmother to us children was she who led us to a wonderful country called "uptown," where, in a dazzlingly beautiful palace called a "department store," we exchanged ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... those ten years nothing had changed, as if in the meantime there had not been funerals, births, sorrows, illnesses, cares and—for him, at least—so much good fortune and fame. Involuntarily she shook her head. A kind of perplexity in the face of so much that was incomprehensible came over her. Even the roaring of the train, which was carrying her along to unknown adventures, seemed to her as a chant of remarkable sadness. Her thoughts went back to the time, by no means remote, in fact no more ...
— Bertha Garlan • Arthur Schnitzler

... in perplexity. On his face was written curiosity, but he had agreed to ask no questions. He unhesitatingly put his finger ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... often repeated, on the one hand, and Sir Charles's melancholy on the other, drove Lady Bassett almost wild with distress and perplexity. ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... perplexity appeared above Jane Ryder's eyes, and if it had never gone away until she solved the mystery of this passport it would have been there yet, for neither one of us ever knew where General ...
— A Little Union Scout • Joel Chandler Harris

... interest her, and that she did not care to understand them. No matter how long these conversations lasted, they gave both of them the sensation of discomfort and dissatisfaction. As if an invisible wall of perplexity had suddenly arisen and stood between them. They did not venture to touch this wall, or to tell each other that they felt it was there—they resumed their conversations, dimly conscious that there was something in each of them that might bind ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... and social customs of the time, the binding force of betrothals, the oppression of Catholics. In Robert Arden's settlement of July 17, 1550, he speaks of his daughter Agnes as the wife of Thomas Stringer, though she did not marry him until October 15, 1550.[136] The perplexity is increased by the entry of the marriage license of a William Shakespeare and Anne Whately of Templegrafton, the day previous to that of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway of Stratford, November 28, 1582.[137] ...
— Shakespeare's Family • Mrs. C. C. Stopes

... out of nothing;—who can thread their way through a crowd where a tapeworm would be squeezed to death;—whose writing desk is usually another man's back; and who sketch out a much better speech between an orator's shoulder blades than he is making in front;—whose written language is a perplexity compared with which Greek is a relaxation and Sanscrit a positive amusement;—who deal in adjectives, and know their precise value, and how to administer them, as an apothecary knows the drugs that are boxed and bottled on his shelves;—who are less men than parts of an ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... wide awake listening to the kitchen clock, and starting at each trifling sound, and wondering what the dog was doing. Could it be possible that he had really killed the widow's sheep? Then the recollection of his gentleness to their own sheep came, and completed her perplexity. ...
— Wild Animals I Have Known • Ernest Thompson Seton

... perplexity. The old paradox came back—the contrasting sexual characteristics in her person. Her bold, masterful, masculine egotism of manner seemed quite incongruous with the fascinating and disturbing femininity of her voice. A startling idea flashed ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... sign language, but I cannot make out what it means," said Charley in perplexity. "I wonder why he wanted me to have it and what he wanted me to ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... a point determined upon beforehand is good. To lose oneself in the labyrinth of lanes and alleys and come suddenly upon something quite as desirable, is even better; and this losing is as inevitable as the finding also becomes. The first perplexity arises from the fact that a London street is "everything by turns and nothing long," and that a solitary block of buildings owns often a name as long as itself. The line of street which, on the map, appears continuous, gives a dozen changes to the mile, and the ...
— Prisoners of Poverty Abroad • Helen Campbell

... sun, slanting in through a small window, found Major Studholme seated at his table lost in deep thought. The letter Dane had brought was lying open before him. Occasionally he glanced toward it, and each time his brow knitted in perplexity. At length he rose and paced rapidly up and down the room. With the exception of the table and a few stools this office was destitute of any furniture. It was as bleak as the hill upon which Fort Howe was situated. Here the men of the garrison received ...
— The King's Arrow - A Tale of the United Empire Loyalists • H. A. Cody

... the outer part of a bay, the southern head of which bore South 22 degrees East, and which, from the loss and perplexity we met with in it, was afterwards called Disaster Bay, and its south extreme, off which is a small rocky island, ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2] • Phillip Parker King

... scepticism or his humility to stimulate to vain repining against the fetters with which our minds are bound, or an angry denunciation, like that of Bolingbroke, of the solutions in which other souls have found a sufficient refuge. The perplexity in which he finds himself generates a spirit ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... taken the occasion, as she and her nephew walked along, to give him some kind and friendly instruction or counsel about the duty of being kind to every body in any difficulty, trouble, or perplexity, whether they are young or old; showing him how we increase the general sum of happiness in so doing, and how we feel happier ourselves when we have done good to any one, than when we have increased in any way, or even slighted ...
— Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... with complete unanimity, and so quickly that there was no time left to excite any opposition to it out of doors. In the West India business, reasoning on what had lately passed in the Parliament of Ireland, and on the mode in which it was opened here, I thought I saw much matter of perplexity. But I have now better reason than ever to be pleased with my silence. If I had spoken, one of the most honest and able men[16] in the Irish Parliament would probably have thought my observation an endeavor to sow dissension, which he was ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... gravely that Ellen could not tell whether he was joking or serious. Her face of extreme perplexity was too much for his command of countenance. "Whom do you want to ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... left it so," said Harry, twisting his features, and scratching his head in great perplexity. "What can it have been? 30—30—not blankets, eh?" (Harry was becoming banteringly bitter.) "He couldn't have got thirty guns, could he? or thirty ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... she had heard of Montbarry's melancholy death and burial in a foreign land; all that she knew of the mystery of Ferrari's disappearance, rushed into her mind, when the black-robed figure confronted her, standing just inside the door. The strange conduct of Lady Montbarry added a new perplexity to the doubts and misgivings that troubled her. There stood the adventuress whose character had left its mark on society all over Europe—the Fury who had terrified Mrs. Ferrari at the hotel—inconceivably transformed into a timid, shrinking woman! Lady Montbarry had not once ventured to look ...
— The Haunted Hotel - A Mystery of Modern Venice • Wilkie Collins

... of servants may seem at first strange to an American traveller in England, and may occasion him some perplexity and even annoyance, he will soon become accustomed to it; and in making up the balance-sheet of the additional cost on one side and the additional comfort on the other which the system produces, he will come even to the mathematical conclusion, ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... temporary. But I cannot always feel so. Meantime she is dead to me, and I miss a prop. All my strength Is gone, and I am like a fool, bereft of her co-operation. I dare not think, iest I should think wrong; so used am I to look up to her in the least and the biggest perplexity. To say all that I know of her, would be more than I think anybody could believe or ever understand; and when I hope to have her well again with me, it would be sinning against her feelings to go about to praise her; for I can conceal nothing that I do from her. ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... week of perplexity, Fandor had come to a decision the previous night. Wishing to let his "dear master" know of his audacious project, he had telephoned to Juve on the Sunday evening to ask him to come to the flat. Then Vagualame had appeared ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... to be led to the house, where he was fed like a child. It was in vain that Enid plied him with all kinds of questions. He had lost something—he would have no peace till he had found it. This was the one burden of his cry. Enid crossed to the window in some perplexity. The next moment she had something else to occupy her mind. Reginald Henson was coming up the drive. Just for an instant ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... saying? What order is it?" Scuda waited in perplexity while Mardonius, after hunting in a drawer, pulled out a roll of parchment, and presented it to the tribune. Scuda saw the name of the emperor, and read the first lines, without remarking the date of the document. At the sight of the great imperial ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol VI. • Various

... a glimpse of Plank's shocked and altered face. It relapsed instantly into the usual inert expression; and a queer, uncomfortable perplexity began to invade her. What had happened to stir up these three men? Of what importance was an indiscretion of an old gentleman whose fatuous vanity and consequent blunders everybody was familiar with? And, after all, Howard had not bought anything ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... taken because he did not see, while Thorne was working with his eyes open and a full sense of values. This vague glimpse Bob gained only partially and at length. It rather opened to him new vistas of spiritual perplexity than offered to him ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... appearance since we last saw him, but still wearing an air of dashing pretension. He stood at the door, shaking his head, winking to himself, and fumbling in his pocket, evidently in a state of great mental perplexity, probably from his entertaining doubts as to what would be the character of his reception; or from his being equally uncertain as to the best mode of opening the conversation. Nor was he at all relieved by Rust, who without ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, May 1844 - Volume 23, Number 5 • Various

... involved. May he not modify a certain ministerial action so as to save his life, provide for his family, and continue to shepherd his flock? Who would not pause in presence of such a serious consideration? His wife, observing his perplexity, came into his presence with a cheery countenance and an assuring voice, saying, "My heart, what the Lord gives you light and clearness to do, that do." The light carried him into the service; the conscience was set free from the temporary disturbance; yet the decision brought ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... and Benjamin continued to draw and paint pictures until he had now reached the age when it was proper that he should choose a business for life. His father and mother were in considerable perplexity about him. According to the ideas of the Quakers, it is not right for people to spend their lives in occupations that are of no real and sensible advantage to the world. Now, what advantage could the world expect from Benjamin's ...
— Biographical Stories - (From: "True Stories of History and Biography") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... of a still night, heard her husband's feet pacing up and down the terrace, and the mischief was done. She was thrown into painful agitation and wholly lost her sleep in consequence. When Mrs. Lorimer arrived about noon on the following day, she found her alarmingly weak, and the nurse in evident perplexity. ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... him, thinking surely that either his griefs and the anxieties he had suffered had so strangely altered him that his son did not know him, or else that he was ashamed to acknowledge his father in his misery; in the midst of this perplexity, the lady abbess and the other Antipholus and Dromio came out, and the wondering Adriana saw two husbands and two ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... father says. He wired me, directing me to apologize, for him, for Mr. Corrigan's actions of yesterday. Perhaps Mr. Corrigan over-stepped his authority—I have no means of knowing." She passed the morocco bag over to him, and he took it, looking at it in some perplexity. "You will find cash in there to the amount named by the check that Mr. Corrigan destroyed. I hope," she added, smiling at him, "that there will be ...
— 'Firebrand' Trevison • Charles Alden Seltzer

... him in perplexity. Tad sank down at her feet and explained the terms on which he had procured ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Rockies • Frank Gee Patchin

... to be a midnight service at the parish church in honor of the New Year, and Anne determined to go. She wanted all the spiritual help possible in her present state of perplexity. The unhappy love that existed between her and Giles, the enmity of Daisy, the anxiety of the anonymous letter—these things worried her not a little. She received permission from Mrs. Morley to go ...
— A Coin of Edward VII - A Detective Story • Fergus Hume

... considerable quantity of Wisconsin currency is liable not only to the occasional loss consequent upon the absquatulation of a tricksy wild-cat, but also to great perplexity as to the name of the gentleman who countersigns the bills. These inscrutable counter-signatures are accomplished by ROBERT MENZIES, our excellent Deputy Bank Comptroller. His cabalistic 'R. Menzies' does not greatly resemble a well-executed specimen ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... be dreaming," he murmured to himself lazily. He felt so utterly free from pain and at ease that he did not experience the slightest anxiety or perplexity to know where he was. He was perfectly satisfied to take what came. "I must be dreaming, or else I am dead, and this is one of the angels come to take ...
— Fritz and Eric - The Brother Crusoes • John Conroy Hutcheson

... suggested to him the first doubts. If that really was Fayum, would they gaze upon it so indifferently? They, of course, saw the phenomenon and pointed it out to each other with their fingers, but on their faces could not be seen the least perplexity or emotion. Stas gazed yet once more and perhaps this indifference of the Arabs caused the picture to seem fainter to him. He also thought that, if in truth they were returning, the caravan would be grouped together, and the men, though only from fear, would ride ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... trifle. Midas now took his spectacles from his pocket, and put them on his nose, in order that he might see more distinctly what he was about. In those days, spectacles for common people had not been invented, but were already worn by kings: else, how could Midas have had any? To his great perplexity, however, excellent as the glasses were, he discovered that he could not possibly see through them. But this was the most natural thing in the world; for, on taking them off, the transparent crystals turned out to be plates of ...
— Myths That Every Child Should Know - A Selection Of The Classic Myths Of All Times For Young People • Various

... father". Anastasius was declared a Manichean and unfit to rule. The emperor was frightened; he shut the doors of his palace and prepared for flight. He had sworn never again to admit the patriarch to his presence, but in his perplexity sent for him. On his way Macedonius was received with loud acclaim, "Our father is with us," in which the life-guards joined. He boldly reproved the emperor as enemy of the Church; but the emperor's hypocritical excuses pacified the ...
— The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI - The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I • Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

... office designated in those terms had been named to them, as a part of their duty, by some unearthly voice of imperious accent, their thoughts might have traversed hither and thither, in various conjectures and protracted perplexity, before the objects of that office had been presented explicitly to their apprehension as no other than the reason, principles, consciences, and the whole moral condition of the vulgar mass. They would understand that its condition was, in some way ...
— An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance • John Foster

... resolute little democrat; she had loaded the carbines behind the barricade in Paris before she was ten years old, and was not seldom in the perplexity of conflicting creeds when her loyalty to the tricolor smote with a violent clash on her love for the populace and ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... Manella's large dark eyes filled with a strangely wistful perplexity. "He is a stranger—and he's not ill at all. He is big and strong and healthy. But he has chosen to live in the 'house of the dying,' as it is sometimes called—where people from the Plaza go when there's no more hope for them. He likes to be quite alone—he thinks and writes all day. ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... good as she had fancied them, at least all were good to her. With all her honest loyal heart she loved them, and saw virtues in them which others, maybe, would not have seen. With a gesture of perplexity, she tossed her head ...
— A Sunny Little Lass • Evelyn Raymond

... moving more by instinct than sight, and seeming to feel which was the way to the spot where they had left the injured man; but it was a long and arduous task, and not till after he had gone astray three times did he pause in perplexity. ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... o'clock we stopped at Hammond, which was our place to disembark. Mother sent out to hire a negro to carry me off the platform; and while waiting in great perplexity, a young officer who had just seated himself before me, got up and asked if he could assist her, seizing an arm full of cloaks as he spoke. I got up and walked to the door to appear independent and make believe I was not the one, when mother begged him not to trouble himself; she wanted ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... entrance, and applied also more familiarly to the cork of a bottle, or a plug of any kind. And thus were reconciled all the apparent inconsistencies respecting this hitherto mysterious and incomprehensible word, which had occasioned us so much perplexity. ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... clerical manner and the clerical voice. For my part, I set up no claim to be more sacred and more reverend than any other Christian man who does what good he can." He glanced brightly at Mercy, looking at him in helpless perplexity. The spirit of fun took possession of him again. "Are you a Radical?" he asked, with a humorous twinkle in his ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... led to enquire what reason can be assigned for certain butterflies and moths so often assuming the dress of another and quite distinct form; why, to the perplexity of naturalists, has nature condescended to the tricks of the stage? Mr. Bates has, no doubt, hit on the true explanation. The mocked forms, which always abound in numbers, must habitually escape destruction ...
— On the Origin of Species - 6th Edition • Charles Darwin

... putting her hand to her brow in perplexity, "for me! at this late hour! Here! This evening! ...
— Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels • Stephen Leacock

... of keeping with the solemnity, but might have at least this help to passing unquestioned. She looked up, half-amused and half-bewildered, as if doubting whether I was in earnest or not. But in her perplexity, she permitted me to unfasten it, and slip it down from ...
— Phantastes - A Faerie Romance for Men and Women • George MacDonald

... Torn looked up in unfeigned surprise, and then there came back to him the scene in the Queen's apartment the night before. It was all a sore perplexity to him; he could not fathom it, ...
— The Outlaw of Torn • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... number of the Nineteenth Century, and your quotation from Walter Scott, I was struck with the great similarity between some of the Scotch words and my native tongue (Norwegian). Whigmaleerie, as to the derivation of which you seem to be in some perplexity, is in Norwegian Vaegmaleri. Vaeg, pronounced "Vegg," signifying wall, and Maleri "picture," pronounced almost the same as in Scotch, and derived from at male, to paint. Siccan is in Danish sikken, used more about something comical ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... possibly by my permitting his attendance down the bank, found seat near me, and endeavored to converse; but, although I tried to prove cordial, realizing now that to anger the man would only add to my perplexity, his inane remarks tried me so that I ceased reply, and we finally lapsed into silence. Chevet, who held the steering oar, asked him some questions, which led to a brisk argument, and I turned away my head, glad enough to escape, and be permitted ...
— Beyond the Frontier • Randall Parrish

... the siding which was the northern end of the new tote-road, the first man they saw was Orcutt, resplendent in striped mackinaw, Stetson hat, and high-laced boots. As the banker came toward them, McNabb stared about him in evident perplexity, his glance shifting from the piles of tarpaulin-covered material, to the loaded trucks that with a clash and grind of gears were just pulling out upon the new tote-road that stretched away between the tall ...
— The Challenge of the North • James Hendryx

... dishwashing sympathetically, for there was perplexity in the kindly tone and on the ...
— The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys • Gulielma Zollinger

... said Gladys sweetly, with such a beautiful smile that her mother dropped back in perplexity. Gladys advanced straight to Emily Meeks and greeted her first of all, with a friendly cordiality that put her at her ease at once. Emily, who had been dismayed when she found herself so conspicuous among ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at School • Hildegard G. Frey

... he left New Utrecht in a mood of perplexity, for to-day his even routine was in danger of interruption. Halfway across the bridge Stockton paused in some confusion of spirit to look down on the shining river ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... what a Toast is in the country, gives as much perplexity as she herself does in town: and, indeed, the learned differ very much upon the original of this word, and the acceptation of it among the moderns. However, it is by all agreed to have a joyous and cheerful ...
— The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 • George A. Aitken

... had lived in good Fashion and Credit, was by a Train of Accidents, and by an unavoidable Perplexity in his Affairs, reduced to a low Condition. There is a Modesty usually attending faultless Poverty, which made him rather chuse to reduce his Manner of Living to his present Circumstances, than sollicit his Friends in order to support ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... (1827), another Indian problem of even greater perplexity arose. The Cherokees of northwestern Georgia, who were ruled by a group of intelligent half-breeds, declared themselves one of the sovereign and independent nations of the earth, and drafted a constitution which completely excluded the authority of the State of Georgia. ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... to apologize again and became such a model of perplexity and embarrassment that Hannah's gravity broke down at last and her merry peal of laughter mingled with the clatter of plates ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... Guilford. And it had been mainly through the influence of this sister and her husband, that she had been induced, the preceding fall, to take the step which was destined to cause her years of sorrow and perplexity—that of engaging herself in marriage to Peters. She had found few or no opportunities of studying this man's character, having known him only as a parlor acquaintance, of easy manners and considerable intelligence. ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... till I know how they will be received; and as I know no reason why the difference of sex should make our language to each other differ from the ordinary rules of right reason, I shall affect plainness and sincerity in my discourse to you, as much as other lovers do perplexity and rapture. Instead of saying 'I shall die for you', I profess I should be glad to lead my life with you. You are as beautiful, as witty, as prudent, and as good-humoured as any woman breathing; but, I ...
— Selected English Letters (XV - XIX Centuries) • Various

... feet became swelled, and their gums became so sore and putrid that they could not eat, and the smell of their breath was quite intolerable[24]. With this pestilent infection our people were much discouraged, and many of them died, the survivors being in great trouble and perplexity. But De Gama took much care, and used much diligence for their recovery, and to comfort their affliction; continually visiting the sick, and giving them such wholesome and medicinal things as he had provided for his own use; through all which many recovered who would have died, and the ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... that," groaned Miss Cornelia, sitting down and wrinkling up her forehead in dire perplexity. "It would never do in the world. For pity's sake, let ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... laughing, "I used to leave him at a street corner, and dodge into a doorway. It was amusing to see his perplexity when he looked about, and couldn't ...
— Risen from the Ranks - Harry Walton's Success • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... you know what he meant, or did not mean?" said the Seigneur in perplexity. "Did he take ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... considering all those factors which are considered to form the ground of "reasonableness" in the matter of differentials. Thus Justice Brown of the Industrial Court of South Australia has expressed himself on this very subject. "In the matter of such perplexity some guidance is afforded to the court by custom. It seems to me I cannot do better than proceed on this basis. I shall state the preexisting wage, consider whether it is prima facie unreasonable applied to preexisting conditions, and then ...
— The Settlement of Wage Disputes • Herbert Feis

... country and saw on every side proofs of the same extensive degradation—so extensive, indeed, that I found it very difficult to account for; but the gurgling of water, which I heard beneath me, soon put an end to the state of perplexity in which I was involved, for I ascertained that streams were running in the earth beneath my feet; and, on descending and creeping into a fissure in the rocks, I found beneath the surface a cavern precisely resembling the remains that existed above ground, only that this was roofed, ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2) • George Grey

... try to detain the child, but, after closing the door behind her, remained looking at it as if he still saw the object of his thoughts, while an expression of perplexity and doubt clouded the careless good-humor of his face. Presently, however, it cleared; and, with a significant gesture of the ...
— Outpost • J.G. Austin

... emphasize under a second head the gain in clearness. The Spiritual World as it stands is full of perplexity. One can escape doubt only by escaping thought. With regard to many important articles of religion perhaps the best and the worst course at present open to a doubter is simple credulity. Who is to answer for this state of things? It comes as a ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... as she noted the look of perplexity that gradually came into Skinner's eyes as he regarded himself ...
— Skinner's Dress Suit • Henry Irving Dodge

... brother, let us talk about it," said Alice, who had come up and overheard the latter portion of the conversation. "What is your perplexity?" ...
— The Children of the New Forest • Captain Marryat

... Thine image and Thy truth, once he would find himself laden with such a terrible burden as freedom of choice? That a time would surely come when men would exclaim that Truth and Light cannot be in Thee, for no one could have left them in a greater perplexity and mental suffering than Thou has done, lading them with so many cares and insoluble problems. Thus, it is Thyself who hast laid the foundation for the destruction of Thine own kingdom and no one but Thou is to be ...
— "The Grand Inquisitor" by Feodor Dostoevsky • Feodor Dostoevsky

... has been thus inoculated are employed to communicate the same distemper to others. There is an almost perpetual circulation of it in Circassia; and when unhappily the small-pox has quite left the country, the inhabitants of it are in as great trouble and perplexity as other nations when their harvest has ...
— Letters on England • Voltaire

... with an air of comic perplexity, "do you want me to send Darrell adrift, or shall I pack Puss ...
— At the Time Appointed • A. Maynard Barbour

... to one thing, the mental rehearsal of the speech, in which he would lay before the family of Clara Militch the real cause of his visit. And now at last he reached the goal of his efforts, and sent up his name. He was admitted ... with perplexity and ...
— Dream Tales and Prose Poems • Ivan Turgenev

... constantly slipped from their hold and broke. During the night the work which the masons had accomplished in the day fell down, and was discovered every morning as a heap of ruin; the building could not proceed. In this perplexity the Church was relieved by a supernatural interposition. Early one morning a jar of pure water was discovered in the sharp angle of the hollow between the hills, exactly below the rachkooba, where I ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... in perplexity. The war had now reached its sixteenth year; and they seemed to be farther from their object in the sixteenth than in the first. In this war four large fleets had perished, three of them with Roman armies on board; a fourth select ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... his doubts at rest, has gone upon the platform, and placed himself entirely at the Mesmerist's disposition. On rejoining ANGELINA, she has insisted upon being taken home immediately, and has cried all the way back in the hansom—much to EDWIN's perplexity. They are alone together, in a Morning-room; ANGELINA is still sobbing in an arm-chair, and EDWIN is rubbing his ear as he ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., December 13, 1890 • Various

... was discovered and taken off by a passing vessel. Coming back to his native town, he found his wife married to an old playmate, a good man, rich and honored, and with whom she was living happily. The poor man, unwilling to cause her pain and perplexity, resolved not to make himself known to her, and lived and died alone. The poem has reminded me of a very similar story of my own New England neighborhood, which I have often heard, and which I will try to tell, not in ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... Glazier is reputed to have been a man of fine countenance, wise in homely counsel, honest in all his dealings. Rachel Leah, his wife, had a reputation for practical wisdom even greater than his. She was the advice giver of the village in every perplexity of life. My father remembers his grandmother as a tall, trim, handsome old woman, active and independent. Satin headbands and lace-trimmed bonnets not having been invented in her day, Rachel Leah wore the stately knupf or turban ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... knight a little bag containing this sum, and when Heinz asked in perplexity where he obtained it, the ex-schoolmaster answered gaily: "They came just in the nick of time. I received them from Suss, the jockey, while you were ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... long time Adele has not written to Reuben, and it occurs to her, as she strolls away toward the village post, that to mail it herself may possibly provoke new town gossip. In this perplexity she presently encounters her boy friend, Arthur, who for a handful of pennies, and under injunction of secrecy, cheerfully undertakes the duty. To the house of the lad's mother, far away as it was, Adele had wandered frequently of late, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... perhaps, a violent death." Friends, with few exceptions, advised her to decline, and public opinion was strongly opposed to such a "wild, romantic undertaking" as a woman going out to the heathen. "O Jesus," she prayed in her perplexity, "direct me, and I am safe; use me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work or place of service; only let me know Thy will, ...
— Excellent Women • Various

... these days I fly to those That in the landlocked Past repose, Where no rude wind of doctrine shakes From bloom-flushed boughs untimely flakes; Where morning's eyes see nothing strange, No crude perplexity of change, And morrows trip along their ways Secure as happy yesterdays. 40 Then there were rulers who could trace Through heroes up to gods their race, Pledged to fair fame and noble use By veins from Odin filled or Zeus, And under ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... circumstances, that they might well be supposed to have been raised up for a warning. How far are such to be held accountable? Let us refrain from this subject, remembering how grave and learned theologians, earnest opponents of Predestinarianism, have been reduced to the extreme of perplexity when confronted with the ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... the Midland system is often a source of no little perplexity to strangers. Sir Edward Beckett thus humorously describes it:—"You arrive at Trent. Where that is I cannot tell. I suppose it is somewhere near the river Trent, but then the Trent is a very long river. You get out of your train ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... programme, such as the old methods of the stage require, causes the present generation of London playgoers, to whom it is unfamiliar, a good deal of perplexity. Londoners have grown accustomed to estimate the merits of a play by the number of performances which are given of it in uninterrupted succession. They have forgotten how mechanical an exercise of the lungs and limbs acting easily becomes; how frequent ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... is well you did not either of you interrupt me to tell me his name, for if you had, I would not have told you a word more. Well, Mr. Baldwin, evidently wishing me at the devil, came forward to receive me, and, in great perplexity, said he would be at my command; he would settle my business immediately; but must beg my pardon for five minutes, while he settled with this gentleman, Mr. Montenero. On hearing the name, I am sure my look would have said plain enough to any ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... perspicacity was short-lived; he walked up and down the room in his perplexity. "I can't get over it," he murmured. "I thought it a mad love-match, all done in a few weeks; and to have it turn out ...
— Quaint Courtships • Howells & Alden, Editors

... Submission of Crainquebille to the Laws of the Republic—Of his Attitude before the Public Opinion, and so on to the chapter of the Last Consequences. We see, created for us in his outward form and innermost perplexity, the old man degraded from his high estate of a law-abiding street-hawker and driven to insult, really this time, the majesty of the social order in the person of another police- constable. It is not an act of revolt, and still less ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... and found the young widow in the midst of a half-dozen of card-tables, and a crowd of wits and admirers. I made the best bow I could, and advanced towards her; and saw by a peculiar puzzled look in her face, though she tried to hide her perplexity, that she had ...
— A Letter Book - Selected with an Introduction on the History and Art of Letter-Writing • George Saintsbury

... the woman could not reply, but gazed for some time in perplexity at the lamp-smoke. And really there was much inspiration to be derived from the lamp-smoke, for the wick being a mass of moss steeped in an open cup of seal-oil, the smoke of it rose in varied convolutions that afforded ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... unprofessional soldiers obtruded itself as unpleasantly in Mexico as it had in the wars with England. Amongst the regular officers, accustomed to the absolute subordination of the army, the question provoked perplexity and discussion. ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... chest, a heap of straw and a huge barrel. The fun consisted in the clown, armed with a bladder on a string, hiding in the barrel, from which he would spring up and deliver a sounding drub upon the head of whatever other character—husband or policeman—might be passing, to their complete perplexity. They were, of course, incapable of learning anything from experience. At other times he hid himself or others in the straw, in the chest, or under the table. When, in a country district such as this, one hears ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... vanity!" She saw Aunt Pen regarded her with an anxious face, and longed to say, "Forgive me, for I have not been sincere!" At last, as her trouble grew, she resolved to go away and have a quiet "think,"—a remedy which had served her in many a lesser perplexity; so, stealing out, she went to a grove of cedars usually deserted at that hour. But in ten minutes Joe Leavenworth appeared at the door of the summer house, and, looking in, said, with a well-acted start of ...
— A Modern Cinderella - or The Little Old Show and Other Stories • Louisa May Alcott

... best as well as the first of our satirical poets. His style—imitated from Persius and Juvenal—is too elliptical, and it becomes true of him as well as of Persius that his points are often sheathed through the remoteness of his allusions and the perplexity of his diction. He is very recondite in his images, and you are sometimes reminded of one storming in English at a Hindoo—it is pointless fury, boltless thunder. At other times the stream of his satiric vein flows on with a blended clearness and energy, which has commanded ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... my spirit's depths there comes a change; Relieved from dark perplexity I feel, Free as a god, and ...
— The Evolution of Love • Emil Lucka

... presence of Ingeborg opened the letter and again saw the long-lost epistle of his early days, he trembled like a man before whom the spirit-world apparently passes. But as he perceived the added words, he exclaimed in utter perplexity: "Am I awake? Do I dream? How is ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors • Various

... two heads, or infants who had some feature resembling those of the brute creation. These were all dreadful prodigies, which filled the people with inexpressible astonishment, and the Roman Empire with an extreme perplexity; and whatever unhappy circumstance followed upon these, was sure to be either caused ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... are only too simple for us to understand. So you see I have read the book in spite of prophecies. After all I should like to cut it in two—it would be better for being shorter—and it might be clearer also. There is, in fact, some dullness and perplexity—a few passages which are, to my impression, contradictory of the general purpose—something which is not generous, about nonconformity—and what I cannot help considering a superfluous tenderness for Puseyism. Moreover she is certainly ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... as before. The combat lasted a whole day, and the slaughter of the enemy was terrible. Another day of combat followed, with like results, and the confidence of the Persian monarch was changed into despondence and perplexity. ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... say nothing for some time. Not a word. He was lost in perplexity and amazement—a state of mental difficulty and embarrassment, which he made manifest by scratching his head, and looking, with a bewildered sort of smile, alternately at the gold and its late owner—first at the one, then at the ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17 • Alexander Leighton

... teaching, the exact bearing of which they did not catch, but a literal fact! And then while they still hesitated and doubted, while they still hid behind the closed doors, Jesus Himself came and stood in the midst with His message of peace. It is often so, is it not? While we are in perplexity and fear, while we think the next sound will be the knock of armed hands on the door, it is not the Jews that come, but Jesus with a message of peace. Our fears are so pathetic, so pitiful; we meet life and death with so little of the understanding and the courage that our Lord's ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... his brow had grown perceptibly less since his last deep slumber, and a grateful warmth diffused itself in his veins with a growing assurance of physical relief. "But may I ask how you came here?" he continued, perplexity mingling with the sense of temporary languor that stole ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... for yourself. Thus you need not be at the mercy of any soothsayers who might have a mind to deceive you, speaking contrary to the omens vouchsafed from heaven, nor yet, should you chance to be without a seer, drift in perplexity and know not how to profit by the heavenly signs: you yourself through your own learning can understand the warnings of the gods ...
— Cyropaedia - The Education Of Cyrus • Xenophon

... words and looks the liveliest disappointment, while two of them, after considerable private conversation with the proprietress of the house, and after displaying some papers, in the presence of a local justice of the peace, to whom the good old lady sent in her perplexity, took possession of the major's room and made quite free with the ex-warrior's cigars, liquors, and ...
— Romance of California Life • John Habberton



Words linked to "Perplexity" :   secret, closed book, maze, muddiness, tangle, enigma, disarray, perplexed, mental confusion, confusion, quandary, mystery, dilemma, confusedness, snarl



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