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Ascertain   Listen
verb
Ascertain  v. t.  (past & past part. ascertained; pres. part. ascertaining)  
1.
To render (a person) certain; to cause to feel certain; to make confident; to assure; to apprise. (Obs.) "When the blessed Virgin was so ascertained." "Muncer assured them that the design was approved of by Heaven, and that the Almighty had in a dream ascertained him of its effects."
2.
To make (a thing) certain to the mind; to free from obscurity, doubt, or change; to make sure of; to fix; to determine. (Archaic) "The divine law... ascertaineth the truth." "The very deferring (of his execution) shall increase and ascertain the condemnation." "The ministry, in order to ascertain a majority... persuaded the queen to create twelve new peers." "The mildness and precision of their laws ascertained the rule and measure of taxation."
3.
To find out or learn for a certainty, by trial, examination, or experiment; to get to know; as, to ascertain the weight of a commodity, or the purity of a metal. "He was there only for the purpose of ascertaining whether a descent on England was practicable."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Ascertain" Quotes from Famous Books



... of Community opened and presented to the Sons of Men, which bears date April 26th, 1649, and to which we shall presently refer, it does not appear in any of the later publications of the Diggers. Whether he died about this time or merely dropped out of the movement, we have not been able to ascertain. ...
— The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth • Lewis H. Berens

... fortune constantly seeking and aiding the poor. Persons who refused to accept her charity found little favor with her; Rousseau was one of these. It was her habit to go frequently to see friends, merely to ascertain their wants and to satisfy them. The Abbe Morellet, Thomas, D'Alembert, and Mlle. de Lespinasse (the only lady admitted to her Wednesdays) were given liberal pensions. Upon each New Year's Day, in commemoration of Mme. de Tencin, she sent each Wednesday ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... would ascertain all the good or ill you have derived from all those hours devoted to historians, poets, novelists, or philosophers, put to yourself these questions: Since acquiring this knowledge, am I wiser? am I ...
— Gold Dust - A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life • E. L. E. B.

... during which time Andrea Barrofaldi, having first satisfied himself that the wine might be swallowed with impunity, was occupied in surveying the party of silent and humble mariners, who were seated at the other table. His object was to ascertain how far he might have committed himself, by appearing in such a place, when his visit could not well be attributed to more than one motive. 'Maso he knew, as the oldest pilot of the place, and he had ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... years' experience. There was the "sponge" put to rise the previous night. She must see if that had risen, and with her own hands mold the snowy breakfast rolls which Ethelyn liked so much. There were the chambers to be inspected a second time, to ascertain if everything was in its place, and dinner to be prepared for the "Van Buren set" expected up from Boston, while last, though far from least, there was Ethelyn herself to waken when the clock should chime the hour of six, and this was a pleasure ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... how thoroughly indifferent he felt to the other's irritation, Walpole went on to say: 'You will then make it your business, Mr. Atlee, to ascertain in what way most acceptable to those people at Kilgobbin his Excellency may be able to show them some mark of royal favour—bearing in mind not to commit yourself to anything that may raise great expectations. In fact, a recognition is what ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... impossible to ascertain, with any degree of precision, the year of Mr. Hodgkinson's birth. At the time of his death, which happened in 1805, he was stated to be thirty-six years of age; but there are many reasons for believing that he was older. ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810 • Various

... not only as an imaginative builder, but also as a practical engineer in architecture, depends in a very large measure upon the cupola of S. Peter's. It is, therefore, of great importance to ascertain exactly how far the dome in its present form belongs to his conception. Fortunately for his reputation, we still possess the wooden model constructed under his inspection by a man called Giovanni Franzese. It shows that subsequent architects, especially Giacomo della Porta, upon whom the ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... my journey far to the southward in order to ascertain what water was nearest in that direction, as it was probable, were any found, that Mr. Cunningham, if alive, must have reached it, and I had in vain sought his track on the other side of the country. I soon came to undulating ground ...
— Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 1 (of 2) • Thomas Mitchell

... Graham stated that the Lieutenant had ordered him to take some soldiers and go to the home of Colonel Boone, and if he found things as Haynes had represented, to confiscate all his property, and to burn all his buildings, but that the Lieutenant had cautioned them to be careful and to ascertain if the story Haynes had told was true before they ...
— The Second William Penn - A true account of incidents that happened along the - old Santa Fe Trail • William H. Ryus

... a manuscript returned from the Daily Herald. Jimmy tossed the package on to the side table, with an exclamation of disgust, not even troubling to ascertain if there were any enclosure beyond the ordinary printed slip. Then, suddenly, he decided to go up to town to see if ...
— People of Position • Stanley Portal Hyatt

... "the first of travellers," but not The last, if late accounts be accurate, Invented, by some name I have forgot, As well as the sublime discovery's date, An airy instrument, with which he sought To ascertain the atmospheric state, By measuring "the intensity of blue:"[268] Oh, Lady ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... had the same idea as himself before him and taken out his patents before the publication in Engineering. Jimmy showed a prompt decision, a feverish activity. First of all, he must put the law in motion, bring an action against Trampy, telegraph to the patent office at Washington to ascertain the date. Meanwhile, he made his first appearance on the day fixed for it. His success was even greater than Trampy's; his leaps were twice as wide, more in accordance with his courage. The way in which ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... would Dr Newman come to the rescue, and accept the editorship? This time he hesitated rather longer than usual; he had burned his fingers so often— he must be specially careful now. 'I did all I could to ascertain God's Will,' he said, and he came to the conclusion that it was his duty to undertake the work. He did so, and after two numbers had appeared, Dr. Ullathorne, the Bishop of Birmingham, called upon him, and gently hinted that he had better leave the paper alone. Its tone was not liked at Rome; ...
— Eminent Victorians • Lytton Strachey

... his organs of sense, and appeal to an inner power of which the senses are the mere instruments and excitants. No fact is to him either original or final. He cannot limit himself to the contemplation of it alone, but endeavours to ascertain its position in a series to which uniform experience assures him it must belong. He regards all that he witnesses in the present as the efflux and sequence of something that has gone before, and as the source of a system of events which is to follow. The notion of spontaneity, by which in ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... universal knowledge and sympathy, in Shakspeare above all other poets?" It may be my shame to have to confess it; but though I find it now, I did not then. I do not think, however, my case is singular: from what I can ascertain, there is, even with regularly educated minds, a period of life at which that great writer is not appreciated, just on account of his very greatness; on account of the deep and large experience which the true understanding of his plays requires—experience ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... considered. That there will be more raids is fairly certain, but there cannot be many nights when the Germans can hope to have a repetition of the conditions of weather and darkness which prevailed this week. It should be possible, more or less, to ascertain the nights in every month in which, given other suitable circumstances, raids are likely to be made. In view of the probability that the attacks made by British aviators on the Zeppelin bases at Duesseldorf and Friedrichshafen caused ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... it certainly was uncomfortably warm where she was, and, besides, she was impelled by a certain curiosity to ascertain just how they stood. He passed through one supper-room into another, and then drew back a heavy ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... 'I hope they will hurry.' Then he sat down and wrote a card. 'Take this yourself to Miss Racksole. If she is out of the hotel, ascertain where she is and follow her. Understand, it is ...
— The Grand Babylon Hotel • Arnold Bennett

... to ascertain what was going on, hurried forward to the house, and there their curiosity was quickly gratified; the doors and windows of the rez-de-chaussee had been smashed in with musket-butts and the yawning apertures ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... under the convention with Texas to ascertain the true boundary between the two countries has concluded its labors, but the final report of the commissioner of the United States has not been received. It is understood, however, that the meridian line as traced by the commission lies ...
— State of the Union Addresses of John Tyler • John Tyler

... seized the imagination of the spinster. She thought it not improbable that the prize had been forsaken in the confusion of the retreat; and after deliberating and reasoning for some time with Caesar, they determined to venture back, and ascertain this important fact, and, if possible, learn what had been the fate of the peddler. Much time was spent in cautiously approaching the dreaded spot; and as the spinster had sagaciously placed herself in the line of the retreat of ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... Zoroastrian faith, as it is now held by the Parsees, is drawn, is the Desatir and the Bundehesh. The former work is the unique vestige of an extinct dialect called the Mahabadian, accompanied by a Persian translation and commentary. It is impossible to ascertain the century when the Mahabadian text was written; but the translation into Persian was, most probably, made in the seventh century of the Christian era.4 Spiegel, in 1847, says there can be no doubt of the spuriousness of the Desatir; but he gives no ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... attainment of their life-long ambition, the riding out on the fire-engine. Servants bustled about, exclaiming, tramping, or whisking on the stairs; and Raymond presently appeared to ask whether his mother were ill, and, when reassured on that score, hurrying to ascertain whether she were alarmed, before he started for ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... martial and personal qualities had won a way into the affections of his subordinates. With an activity for which he had been remarkable in middle life, and retained even now when in his sixties, the admiral jumped into the chains to ascertain the extent of the injury; then, finding that the ship was in no present danger, he ordered her again to be headed for ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... his own fraternity that the Gospel is entitled to no more credit than Caesar's Commentaries. "From the hour I heard him," she adds, "I have refused to believe the words of any preacher unless I find them in agreement with God's Word, which is the true touchstone to ascertain what words are true and what false" (Ed. ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... how impracticable and impossible it would be for the Chief Inspector, with all his other duties, to examine each individual child in the hundreds of schools in the Province of Ontario to ascertain if such child understands the English language well enough to receive instruction ...
— Bilingualism - Address delivered before the Quebec Canadian Club, at - Quebec, Tuesday, March 28th, 1916 • N. A. Belcourt

... ascertain to what point their baggage was checked," I remarked, again essaying to maintain a role ...
— Our Next-Door Neighbors • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... was one of the least enthusiastic of her admirers, but this did not trouble her at all. She had been a spoilt child all her life, and she was accustomed to make use of others without stopping to ascertain their inclinations. ...
— The Safety Curtain, and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... however reluctantly, take a step into metaphysic, although into a domain of it which is distinct from speculative philosophy, namely, the metaphysic of morals. In a practical philosophy, where it is not the reasons of what happens that we have to ascertain, but the laws of what ought to happen, even although it never does, i. e., objective practical laws, there it is not necessary to inquire into the reasons why anything pleases or displeases, how the pleasure ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... amount of damage, not even the roughest estimate can be made. The official returns are clearly, and no doubt purposely, deficient, and obstacles were placed in Mallet's way when he endeavoured to ascertain the numbers of persons killed and wounded. Taking only the towns into account, he calculated that, out of a total population of 207,000, the number of persons killed was 9,589, and of wounded 1,343.[8] A few towns were marked by an excessively high death-rate. ...
— A Study of Recent Earthquakes • Charles Davison

... through the windows, so that his fingers projected slightly beyond. This was done to ascertain the direction ...
— The Story of Red Feather - A Tale of the American Frontier • Edward S. (Edward Sylvester) Ellis

... being called upon to make an after-dinner speech, when he hadn't had any dinner. The Actor's lot is evidently, not always a happy one. He wanted a "feeding-part" and didn't get it. The dinner was excellent, and the waiting of the waiters was, as far as I could ascertain, exceptionally good. Certainly the Metropole, or the New "Holland" House,—as it might be termed, after its manager,—holds first rank for this sort of business. We present Mr. HOLLAND, the Metropole Caterer, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 22nd, 1890 • Various

... themselves here to my view are truly astonishing; but as the dazzling brightness of glittering stars may easily mislead us so far as to estimate their number greater than it really is, I endeavored to ascertain this point by counting many fields, and computing from a mean of them, what a certain given portion of the Milky Way might contain." By this means, applied not only to the Milky Way but to all parts of the ...
— The New Heavens • George Ellery Hale

... Mr. Haynes carefully, both in and out of the store, to ascertain whether he has any unexplained expenses, or any questionable companions. I want to know how he spends his time out of the office. It may be that the result of my investigation will be to his credit. It may be that ...
— The Telegraph Boy • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... Samuel Johnson [he had been dead ten weeks], remarked in my hearing, that if Newton had flourished in ancient Greece, he would have been worshipped as a Divinity.' MALONE. Johnson, in An Account of an Attempt to ascertain the Longitude (Works, v, 299), makes the supposed author say:—'I have lived till I am able to produce in my favour the testimony of time, the inflexible enemy of false hypotheses; the only ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... hearty Churchwomen. They loved God, and were truly pious, and were hardly aware of it; for those were not days of much inquiry. People did their duty and were happy, and did not reason as to "why" they did it, nor try to ascertain if there were a legitimate cause for ...
— The Squire of Sandal-Side - A Pastoral Romance • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... expecting to obtain that information every day. I have taken measures to ascertain ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... reflection of the imagined sensations of cultivated men and women in similar circumstances; and that the amount of actual suffering caused by the struggle for existence among animals is altogether insignificant. Let us, therefore, endeavour to ascertain what are the real facts on which these ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... called several times, to make quite sure of everything concerning his friend's comfort. He was very particular about the linen being aired one morning. Another morning ho looked in to ascertain whether the chimneys smoked, as the learned Professor often liked a fire in his rooms even in summer. A third time he called to enquire if the water in the bath-room was warm enough at an early hour in the morning, as the learned Professor often rose early to ...
— The Dictator • Justin McCarthy

... the best, to begin is with an analysis of your own vocabulary. You are of course aware that of the enormous number of words contained in the dictionary relatively few are at your beck and bidding. But probably you have made no attempt to ascertain the nature and extent of your actual linguistic resources. You should make an inventory of the stock on hand before sending in your order for ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... town, was agitated by Mr. Mathews and Mr. Bunn, the King (George IV.) took a lively interest in the matter, and, considering that the leading people of both the patent theatres should be consulted, directed Sir Charles Long, Sir George Beaumont, and Sir Francis Freeling to ascertain Mr. Elliston's sentiments on the subject. As soon as these distinguished individuals (who had come direct from, and were going direct back to, the Palace) had delivered themselves of their mission, Elliston replied, "Very well, gentlemen, leave the papers with ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... managements, that the foreman will sacrifice quality to speed, if he gets a bonus for quantity of output,—"The best safeguard against this serious danger would be found in the appointment of a distinct staff of inspectors whose duty it should be to ascertain, as the work proceeds, that the stipulated standards of excellence are at all times scrupulously maintained." This position of inspector requires an observant man who naturally is inclined to give constructive rather than destructive-criticism. He should ...
— The Psychology of Management - The Function of the Mind in Determining, Teaching and - Installing Methods of Least Waste • L. M. Gilbreth

... pluck us as we passed. We exchanged compliments and clubs in a sham-battle that was immensely diverting; we returned the missiles they threw at us as long as the ammunition held out, but captured none of the enemy, nor did the slightest damage—as far as we could ascertain. ...
— In the Footprints of the Padres • Charles Warren Stoddard

... was excellent. It has been claimed in Southern reports, that his staff had deciphered our signal code by watching a station at Stafford. And Butterfield admits this in one of his despatches of May 3. He would speedily ascertain any such movement, and could create formidable intrenchments on one side the river, as fast as we could build or repair roads on which to move down, upon the other. Moreover, there was a thousand feet of stream to bridge at the first available place ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... who has made a new discovery or invention can ascertain, free of charge, whether a patent can probably be obtained, by writing to ...
— Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XV., No. 388, June 9, 1883 • Various

... by the persons whom they are intended to reach—a fact that has been demonstrated conclusively wherever they have been put in force. Furthermore, the nature of the examination demanded is usually wholly inadequate to ascertain whether the applicant really is or is not afflicted with a venereal disease. Finally, it is to be borne in mind that the denial of a marriage license will by no means prevent reproduction, among the anti-social classes ...
— Applied Eugenics • Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

... their hands, the Archduke John would not dare to bring upon himself the indignation of Europe by such treatment of his royal captive. Cuthbert at once determined to return to England to see Sir Baldwin, and to ascertain what steps were being taken for the discovery of the prison in which King Richard was confined, and for his release therefrom; and also to establish himself in his new dignity as Earl of Evesham. Therefore, bidding adieu to the duke and duchess, he started ...
— The Boy Knight • G.A. Henty

... the men who were then endeavouring to learn for themselves something about the facts of nature. It was a century or more before these men, finding themselves in the presence of a master—finding that all their lives were occupied in attempting to ascertain for themselves that which was familiar to him—I say it took the best part of a hundred years before they could fairly see that their business was not to follow him, but to follow his example—namely, to look into the facts of nature for themselves, and to carry on, in his ...
— William Harvey And The Discovery Of The Circulation Of The Blood • Thomas H. Huxley

... combined.[318:1] The German immigration has contributed its share, and probably more than its share, to our non-religious and churchless population. Withal, in a proportion which it is not easy to ascertain with precision, it added multitudinous thousands to the sudden and enormous growth of the Roman Catholic Church. But there is an instructive contrast between the German immigrations, whether Catholic or Protestant, and the Irish immigration. The Catholicism of the Irish, held from ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... questionable how far the French connection was acceptable to the family, that when Berenger requested Mr. Adderley to make mention of the mercy vouch-safed to him in the morning devotions, the chaplain bowed, indeed, but took care to ascertain that his so doing would be agreeable to my ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... primal story Of Eden's happy pair, A woman's greatest glory Is her glossy flowing hair; It is a safe criterion By which to judge her life, To ascertain, if duly won, She'd prove a ...
— Our Profession and Other Poems • Jared Barhite

... degrees 23 minutes, and longitude 148 degrees 51 minutes 40 seconds, is the south-east extremity of a small island that is separated from the main by a passage of about a mile wide, but we did not ascertain whether it is navigable. The head is a high, bluff point, clothed with pine-trees: near it the tide runs in strong eddies, and for that reason it ought not to be approached nearer than half a mile; it appeared to be bold to. There is a sandy bay on its south ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2] • Phillip Parker King

... as those who art meant to be its victims. When Jacopo parted from Don Camillo, it was with an understanding that he should adopt all the means that his native sagacity or his experience might suggest, to ascertain in what manner the council intended to dispose of the person of Donna Yioletta. They had separated on the Lido, and as none knew of their interview but him, and none would probably suspect their recent alliance, ...
— The Bravo • J. Fenimore Cooper

... East-India, navigation, the title has clung to the name; so much so, that the story is told, that, half a century ago, when American ships arrived at Sumatra or Java, the natives, on approaching or entering the vessels to ascertain the name of the captain, were accustomed to inquire, "Who is the Endicott?" The public station, rank, and influence of Governor Endicott required that he should first be mentioned, in describing the elements that went to form the ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... bamboo slats were a great convenience to the punghulo's wives, as they could sweep all the refuse of the house through them; they might also be a great accommodation to the punghulo's enemies, if he had any, for they could easily ascertain the exact mat on which he slept, and stab him with their keen ...
— Tales of the Malayan Coast - From Penang to the Philippines • Rounsevelle Wildman

... perplexity, Kenyon could not satisfy himself that she had been visible since the afternoon of the third preceding day, when a fruit seller remembered her coming out of the arched passage, with a sealed packet in her hand. As nearly as he could ascertain, this was within an hour after Hilda had taken leave of the sculptor at his own studio, with the understanding that they were to meet at the Vatican the next day. Two nights, therefore, had intervened, during which the lost maiden was ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... position assumed differing somewhat from that in the so-called sleep. Would you be so kind as to observe whether any [other] plants place their leaves during rain so as to shoot off the water; and if there are any such I should be very glad of a leaf or two to ascertain whether they are coated with a waxy secretion. (685/1. ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... at least, not in that way. Two nights ago I was called up by somebody from London who held the line for fully half an hour or so. I've—I've forgotten the address of my correspondent, but if you can ascertain the number ... yes, I shall be here if you will ring me up when you have ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... but I have a work to do, and the 'day is far spent.' Could you ascertain, in any way, so that you could swear to it, that I am in my sane ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... him away, if he thought he could find some bugs," answered Jerry. "And if he wants to ascertain the effect of noises on crickets all he has to do is to bring the crickets here. We can supply ...
— Ned, Bob and Jerry on the Firing Line - The Motor Boys Fighting for Uncle Sam • Clarence Young

... to White Hall, where I spoke with Sir John Nicholas, who tells me that Mr. Coventry is come from Bredah, as was expected; but, contrary to expectation, brings with him two or three articles which do not please the King: as, to retrench the Act of Navigation, and then to ascertain what are contraband goods; and then that those exiled persons, who are or shall take refuge in their country, may be secure from any further prosecution. Whether these will be enough to break the peace upon, or no, he cannot tell; but I perceive ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... beyond question the principle that the lives of non combatants cannot lawfully or rightfully be put in jeopardy by the capture or destruction of an unresisting merchantman, and to recognize the obligation to take sufficient precaution to ascertain whether a suspected merchantman is in fact of belligerent nationality or is in fact carrying contraband of war under a neutral flag. The Government of the United States therefore deems it reasonable to ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... innumerable greedy politicians, he had all but forgotten? A thousand suggestions flashed through his mind, any one of which might account for the presence of the Cossack in Cartagena's harbor that day. But extreme caution must be observed until he might ascertain its errand. He therefore despatched a message to the yacht, expressing his great surprise and pleasure, and bidding its master meet him at a convenient hour in his study in the Cathedral. This done, he bent anew to the work before him, ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... indistinctly discern a line of armed figures in a crouching attitude stretching along the verandah into the garden beyond. It turned out to be a patrol of the mounted police, who had received information that a large number of Boers had seized the place and had come to ascertain the truth of the report. As we gathered from them that the Boers were certainly near, we did not pass a ...
— Cetywayo and his White Neighbours - Remarks on Recent Events in Zululand, Natal, and the Transvaal • H. Rider Haggard

... importance to my statement, suggesting that if anything it was doubtless some of the Frenchmen amusing themselves. I was by no means satisfied with this, and, my uneasiness increasing every moment, I went forward to ascertain whether any of the hands on the forecastle had heard the mysterious sounds. I found them all listening open-mouthed to some weird and marvellous yarn which one of the topmen was spinning for their edification; ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... taken place in his absence. Captain Alden and Master Philip English and his wife, had all escaped from prison, and were nowhere to be found. How Captain Alden had managed things with the jailer the young man was not able to ascertain—probably however, by a liberal use of money. As for Master English and his wife, they were, as I have already said, at liberty in the day time, under heavy bonds; and had nothing to do but walk off sometime between sunrise and sundown. As Master English's ship, "The Porcupine," had been lying ...
— Dulcibel - A Tale of Old Salem • Henry Peterson

... true and apparent course being relative to the way on the vessel, the hooker seemed to lie closer to the wind than she did in reality. The breeze was not a-beam, nor was the hooker close-hauled; but one cannot ascertain the true course made, except when the wind is abaft. When you perceive long streaks of clouds meeting in a point on the horizon, you may be sure that the wind is in that quarter; but this evening the wind ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... at once, and then very coldly: "You will pardon me for suggesting it, but it will be necessary to ascertain if this is the cask which Durgin hoped, and also if the head ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... officer in the Order of the Crown of Italy. In 1868, Signer Salvini visited Madrid, where his acting of the death of Conrad in La Morte Civile produced such an impression that the easily-excited Madrilese rushed upon the stage to ascertain whether the death was actual or fictitious. The queen, Isabella II., conferred upon the great actor many marks of favor, and so shortly afterward did King Louis of Portugal, who frequently entertained him at ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Vol. XV., No. 85. January, 1875. • Various

... sine qua non of present negotiation; and then it proceeds to say, that it is possible we may hereafter treat with some other form of government, after it shall be tried by experience and the evidence of facts. What length of time this trial may require is impossible to ascertain; yet we have, I acknowledge, some thing of experience here by which we may form a ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... were a great relief to the mind of Mr Campbell, as he was now able to ascertain what his future means might be, and was grateful for the handsome behaviour of the new proprietor in not making any claim for the back rents, which would have reduced him at once to penury. He wrote immediately to Mr Harvey, requesting him ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... power, and were applied, the last exclusively, to those engaged in war, and the others to those possessing judicial and administrative functions. The duty of dispensing justice was specially assigned to the counts, who had to ascertain the cause of quarrels between parties and to inflict penalties. There was a count in each district and in each important town; there were, besides, several counts attached to the sovereign, under the title of counts of the palace (comites palatii), ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... errand upon which he was intent, and gathered his thoughts together, resolving that having so great a matter on his mind he would think about nothing else and speak about nothing at all. He was going down to Allington to ask Lily Dale for the last time whether she would be his wife; to ascertain whether he was to be successful or unsuccessful in the one great wish of his life; and, as such was the case with him,—as he had in hand a thing so vital, it could be nothing to him whether the chance companion of his voyage was an agreeable or a disagreeable person. He himself, in any ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... to the order, all hands were piped to muster. The two professors had come on deck to ascertain the cause of this movement. They had had a long talk together about the second drenching of the senior, and Mr. Stoute was obliged to conclude that the deed had been wilfully done. He acknowledged ...
— Dikes and Ditches - Young America in Holland and Belguim • Oliver Optic

... his lady were much surprised at Alonzo's account of Melissa's sudden disappearance, and they wished to ascertain whether her father's family knew any thing of the circumstance. Social intercourse had become suspended between the families of Vincent and Melissa's father, as the latter had taxed the former of improperly endeavouring to promote the views of Alonzo. They therefore procured ...
— Alonzo and Melissa - The Unfeeling Father • Daniel Jackson, Jr.

... loose horses, Badger and Darkie; they were making too southerly ever to reach the Rawlinson. Where these two unfortunate brutes wandered to and died can never be known, for it would cost the lives of men simply to ascertain. ...
— Australia Twice Traversed, The Romance of Exploration • Ernest Giles

... was the first paper that published a daily money article and stock list, and as soon as possible Bennett set up a Ship News establishment consisting of a row-boat manned by three men to intercept all incoming vessels and ascertain their list of passengers and the ...
— Hidden Treasures - Why Some Succeed While Others Fail • Harry A. Lewis

... thought of the youth was that the party at the camp had ridden out to their help, but he instantly saw that such could not be the case, since there were so many of them, and it did not require a second glance to ascertain that each one was a ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... effect at the finale when we tried; all at once a thundering knock quite shook the table and startled us, on which Dr. Connell, our (unprofessional) medium for the nonce, as he had seen more of spiritualistics than we had, called for the alphabetical test to ascertain who it could be that knocked so furiously, for the blows were often repeated. So then, by the slow method of letter by letter, he made out the name "Jamblic," and then gave it up in despair, as he said it was a mischievous ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... conjunction, one of the two following phrases,—(1.) as is the case; (2.) as may or may not be the case. By ascertaining which of these two supplements expresses the meaning of the speaker, we ascertain the mood of ...
— A Handbook of the English Language • Robert Gordon Latham

... before, the stone of Greenhow-hill has been submitted to analysis, to prove a corresponding property with that of Middleton-Tyas; this inquiry was extended to ascertain if they produced similar lime, and we have great satisfaction to inform the public this was ...
— Report of the Knaresbrough Rail-way Committee • Knaresbrough Rail-way Committee

... far thence in habit marvellous; "Yon is," thought I, "some spirit or some elf, His subtile image is so curious: How is," quoth I, "that he is shaded thus With yonder cloth, I n'ot* of what color?" *know not And near I went and gan *to lear and pore,* *to ascertain and gaze curiously* And frained* him a question full hard. *asked "What is," quoth I, "the thing thou lovest best? Or what is boot* unto thy paines hard? *remedy Me thinks thou livest here in great unrest, Thou wand'rest aye from south to east and west, ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... the blue sky all studded with wisps of cloud, and at the distant shore of the Crimea, stretching out in a lilac-coloured streak and ending in a cliff, on the summit of which the white tower of the lighthouse was gleaming. Then I betook myself to the fortress, Phanagoriya, in order to ascertain from the Commandant at what hour ...
— A Hero of Our Time • M. Y. Lermontov

... the ordinary tribunals. Some acts which in the citizen are innocent must in the soldier be crimes. Some acts which in the citizen are punished with fine or imprisonment must in the soldier be punished with death. The machinery by which courts of law ascertain the guilt or innocence of an accused citizen is too slow and too intricate to be applied to an accused soldier. For, of all the maladies incident to the body politic, military insubordination is that which requires the most prompt and drastic remedies. If the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the shadow was only a tempting of Providence. He lost his health, spirits, and everything but his courage. His countenance became pale and peaceful-looking; the bluster departed from him; his body shrank up like a withered parsnip. Thrice was he compelled to take in his clothes, and thrice did he ascertain that much of his time would be necessarily spent in pursuing his retreating person through the solitude ...
— Stories by English Authors: Ireland • Various

... connection with a second subterranean chamber, reached from the kiva through an ordinary doorway. The depression used for the kiva site must have been either larger than was needed or of such form that it could not be thrown into one rectangular chamber. It was impossible to ascertain the form of this second room, as the writer was not permitted to approach the connecting doorway, which was closed with a slab of cottonwood. This chamber, used as a receptacle for religious paraphernalia, was said to connect ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... to hold the crown of Russia as tributary to the German empire. The emperor was excited by the alluring offer, and sent embassadors to Sviatoslaf, now enthroned at Kief, ostensibly to propose reconciliation, but in reality to ascertain what the probability was of success in a warlike expedition to so remote a kingdom. The embassadors returned with a very ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... of his son, king Drupada became exceedingly glad, and he sent unto them his priest directing him to ascertain who they were and whether they were the sons of the illustrious Pandu. Thus directed, the king's priest went unto them and applauding them all, delivered the king's message duly, saying, 'Ye who are worthy of preference in everything, the ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa - Translated into English Prose - Adi Parva (First Parva, or First Book) • Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Translator)

... not to have been adhered to in the case of Mr. Cowperwood. The accident of the Chicago fire, the consequent depression of stock values, and the subsequent failure of Mr. Frank A. Cowperwood have so involved matters temporarily that the committee has not been able to ascertain with accuracy that regular accounts have been rendered; but from the manner in which Mr. Cowperwood has had possession of bonds (city loan) for hypothecation, etc., it would appear that he has been held to no responsibility in these matters, and ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... fruitless attempts to ascertain the detective's address, the baron visited the office of the 'Reveil,' situated on the quai. There he found the writer of the article who, ...
— The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar • Maurice Leblanc

... can ascertain, the Gauls had a dislike to the flesh of rabbits, and they did not even hunt them, for according to Strabo, Southern Gaul was infested with these mischievous animals, which destroyed the growing crops, and even the barks of the trees. There was considerable change in this respect a few ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... had himself been among the crowd that pushed into the house along with the magistrates; that, from his previous acquaintance with the rooms and their ordinary condition, a glance of the eye had been sufficient for him to ascertain the undisturbed condition of all the valuable property most obvious to the grasp of a robber that, in fact, he had seen enough for his argument before he and the rest of the mob had been ejected by the magistrates; but, finally, that independently ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... rock, of some luckless digit, my uncle showed me how that, after the first tremendous squeeze, he began always to experiment upon what he had got, by alternately slackening and straitening his grasp, as if to ascertain whether it had life in it, or was merely a piece of dead matter; and that the only way to escape him, on these trying occasions, was to let the finger lie passively between his nippers, as if it were a bit of stick or tangle; when, apparently ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... compiled it in his own name in order, when, after the ascension of Christ, Paul had taken him to be with him like a student of law. Yet neither did he see the Lord in the flesh; and he, too, as he was able to ascertain events, so set them down. So he began his story from the ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... before, by an attachment he had formed to the portionless daughter of an earl; and the Grange being too far encumbered to allow him the proper settlements which the lady's family required, it became a matter of importance to ascertain Sir Miles's intentions. Too delicate himself to sound them, he had prevailed upon the earl, who was well acquainted with Sir Miles, to take Laughton in his way to his own seat in Dorsetshire, and, without betraying the grounds of his interest in the question, ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... then with a nod to the boy, he started to follow her in. But Steve paused at the threshold, and when the man stopped and looked back to ascertain the cause of his delay he found that the boy was depositing the bear trap upon the porch floor—found him tugging to free the rusty ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... kind of divination, with the same object, used to be practised: the girl who was anxious to ascertain her lot in the married state, went into the garden and plucked twelve sage leaves, under the firm conviction that she would be favoured with a glimpse of the shadowy form of her future husband as he approached ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... traveller is warned any breach of terms will entail prosecution with imprisonment for a term up to six months, or fine up to Rs. 1000, "or both!" And the passport officer, amongst a hundred and one other things, has to ascertain whether there is any sickness or death in your house, or if you exhibit any symptoms of plague or deadly sickness—this for us, the poor cold-weather tourists, with never a house or home but our portmanteaux! Your father's name and your caste and your occupation are also demanded, ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... awry, and did not even tie the ribbons. The worst of it, however, was that they lost quite a minute in hunting for her veil, which had fallen on the floor. Her words came with a gasp; her trembling hands moved about in bewilderment, fumbling over her person to ascertain whether she might be leaving anything behind ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... difficult matter, for although the first of the two elements which together constitute aggression, namely, the violation of an engagement, is easy to verify, the second, namely, resort to force, is not an easy matter to ascertain. When one country attacks another, the latter necessarily defends itself, and when hostilities are in progress on both sides, the question ...
— The Geneva Protocol • David Hunter Miller

... immeasurable relief. He had not been murdered. Robbery was nothing. And though roughly handled, he had not been hurt. He associated the assault with the three strange visitors of the preceding day. Still, he had no proof of that. Not the slightest clue remained to help him ascertain who had attacked him. ...
— The Rainbow Trail • Zane Grey

... am in receipt of contents of your letter of this date concerning the advertisement of the Brown Shoe Company of their awards. It surprised me as much as it did you. I have instituted inquiries, and as soon as I ascertain by whose authority the announcement was put in the papers, I shall advise you. Of course you know that the exposition authorities had no knowledge of such an advertisement until it was given to the public. These ribbons are sold by a concessionaire, ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... sure, sir,' the landlord answered comfortably. 'Will you step this way, and I think we shall be able to ascertain something ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... Count knew how tough a morsel the castle was like to prove, and Wildschloss was serving at a distance, for nothing was heard of either during the short interval while the roads were still open. During this time an attempt had been made through Father Norbert to ascertain what had become of the corpses of the two Barons and their followers, and it had appeared that the Count had carried them all off from the inn, no doubt to adorn his castle with their limbs, or to present them to the Emperor in evidence of his zeal for order. The old Baron could not ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Chia Fu, who lived while the Eastern Han dynasty occupied the Throne, the branches of our family have been numerous and flourishing; they are now to be found in every single province, and who could, with any accuracy, ascertain their whereabouts? As regards the Jung-kuo branch in particular, their names are in fact inscribed on the same register as our own, but rich and exalted as they are, we have never presumed to claim them as our relatives, so that we have become ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... storm came nearer. She heard some one say it was time for the New York Express, which was to pass them at Crompton, and it soon came thundering on, but stopped suddenly when it found its progress impeded. She saw the passengers alight to ascertain the cause of the hindrance, and heard their impatient exclamations at the delay, which would seriously inconvenience some ...
— The Cromptons • Mary J. Holmes

... "To ascertain whether the images are on the glass, as I believe, and if they can be seen without the background. Stand just here—and watch. When I pull back the curtain, tell me ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson



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