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Justifiable   /dʒˈəstəfˌaɪəbəl/   Listen
Justifiable

adjective
1.
Capable of being justified.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Justifiable" Quotes from Famous Books



... by chance to interfere with their happiness, or to bring trouble on Miss Cavendish? I think, perhaps, he expects even that much from my devotion to him. Or ought I not to make way with myself altogether, for her sake? Would not a courageous suicide be justifiable, and even meritorious, ...
— Victor's Triumph - Sequel to A Beautiful Fiend • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... did. There was nothing else to be done, unless, indeed, I had throttled the old gentleman; in which case I am confident that one of our modern model juries would have brought in the popular verdict of justifiable insanity. But, being a peaceable man, I was averse to extreme measures. So I did the next best thing,—consulted my wife, and retired ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... school that morning as usual, but he did not sit on the settle against the lean-to, and when Patsy Lenders undertook to hoist himself up on it, the boy got his ears boxed. Patsy stated afterwards, in maintenance of the justifiable pride of "ten years goin' on eleven," that he "wouldn't ha' took it from anybody but the perfessor," and he "wouldn't ha' took it from him, if 't hadn't a ben for ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

... conscience, had the contrary effect. It added to the ferment which the Pro-Slavery Oligarchists of the South—and especially those of South Carolina—were intent upon increasing, until so grave and serious a crisis should arrive as would, in their opinion, furnish a justifiable pretext in the eyes of the World for the contemplated Secession of the ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... under an idea of doing good—'acting,' as he expressed it, 'deceitfully for God, and breaking religion to preserve religion,' were things he would never in the smallest degree condescend to. In no case would he allow that a jocose or conventional departure from accuracy was justifiable, and even if a nonjuring friend, under the displeasure, as might often be, of Government, assumed a disguise, he was uneasy and annoyed, and declined to call him by his fictitious name.[22] Happily, perhaps, for his peace of mind, his steady purpose 'to follow truth wherever he might find it,'[23] ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... attendance" on his betrothed—a thing which he, even more than most men, found silly. In the chivalrous days of tournaments, troubadours and crusades this romantic exercise of seeming enslaved was, he held, justifiable, even interesting. But in modern life it ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... (as will hereafter be more fully explained) differences of structure in certain definite directions. Hence I believe a well-marked variety may be called an incipient species; but whether this belief be justifiable must be judged of by the general weight of the several facts and ...
— On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection • Charles Darwin

... after the Restoration, was proved against them by Dean Boyle, since primate, who produced the very original instrument at the board. The Catholics freely acknowledge the fact to be true; and, at the same time appeal to all the world, whether a wiser, a better, a more honourable, or a more justifiable project could have been thought of. They were then reduced to slavery and beggary by the English rebels, many thousands of them murdered, the rest deprived of their estates, and driven to live on a small pittance in the wilds of Connaught; at a time when either the Rump or Cromwell ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Volume II • Jonathan Swift

... impossible, in consequence of these unwise repetitions of it, to contemplate the buttress without some degree of prejudice; and I look upon it as one of the most justifiable causes of the unfortunate aversion with which many of our best architects regard the whole Gothic school. It may, however, always be regarded with respect when its form is simple and its service clear; but no treason to ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... grievance, the attraction of her personal lines, the reason of the hundred fetiches her body claimed of her and found her willing to perform, the fact that it meant more to her, for all her theories, that she should be looking her best when she got up in the morning than was justifiable from any point of view except the biological. She had no heroic quarrel with these conditions—her experience had not been upon that plane—but she bemoaned them with sincerity as too fundamental, too all ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... their race since the beginning of the world. But reflection and enquiry should satisfy us that to our predecessors we are indebted for much of what we thought most our own, and that their errors were not wilful extravagances or the ravings of insanity, but simply hypotheses, justifiable as such at the time when they were propounded, but which a fuller experience has proved to be inadequate. It is only by the successive testing of hypotheses and rejection of the false that truth is at last elicited. After all, what we call ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... said Reginald, rising and coming forward to the fire. "I don't say anything against the old College. For an old man it might be quite a justifiable arrangement—one who had already spent his strength in work—but for me—of course there is nothing in ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... smuggling firearms into the Legation. He has offered armed resistance to authority and seriously wounded two officials in the discharge of their duty, and he is now a standing menace to the peace and order of the town. Surely, in such a case, a court-martial is justifiable." ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... of unusualness. We have, first of all, the awkward, zigzag course of the motor-car, which would give one the impression that the car was driven by a novice. People have spoken of a drunkard or a madman, a justifiable supposition in itself. But neither madness nor drunkenness would account for the incredible strength required to transport, especially in so short a space of time, the stone with which the unfortunate woman's head was crushed. ...
— The Confessions of Arsene Lupin • Maurice Leblanc

... enemies you may unfortunately have (and few are without them) by a gentleness of manner, but make them feel the steadiness of your just resentment; for there is a wide difference between bearing malice and a determined self-defence; the one is imperious, but the other is prudent and justifiable. ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... through my hands. General Halleck ordered me, verbally, to send in my report, but I positively declined on the ground that he had received the reports of a part of the army engaged at Shiloh without their coming through me. He admitted that my refusal was justifiable under the circumstances, but explained that he had wanted to get the reports off before moving the command, and as fast as a report had come to him he had forwarded ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... the garment. Eveline noticed this, and in a moment her plan of action was formed. She did not like the thought of killing a human being, but as Duffel had proceeded to such extremes, she felt that if it was not her duty to slay him under the circumstances, she would, at least, be justifiable in so doing. She, therefore, settled it in her mind to go to this extreme length, much as she shrank from a deed of blood, in case the monster fired at her. She took in the idea at once that a puff of smoke would conceal her movements for a moment, and, under its friendly cover, ...
— Eveline Mandeville - The Horse Thief Rival • Alvin Addison

... passing of the public resolutions, after the battle of Dunbar if not before that time, by a conviction of the dissimulation of the king. He probably thought, with the framers of the western remonstrance,(28) in which he seems to have concurred, that they would not be justifiable in fighting for Charles, without some additional security being provided for the maintenance of their religious privileges, and unless some adequate restraint were imposed upon the exercise of the royal authority. His dread of ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... population. Such specialized vocational training should be taken care of by the Cleveland schools, but it should not be forced upon all simply because the few need it. The attempt to bring all to the high level needed by the few, and the failure to reach this level, is responsible for the justifiable criticism of the schools that those few who need to spell unusually ...
— What the Schools Teach and Might Teach • John Franklin Bobbitt

... If the punishment is excessive, or the cause not sufficient to justify it, he is answerable; and the jury are to determine, by their verdict in each case, whether, under all the circumstances, the punishment was moderate, and for a justifiable cause. ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... your highness, tell the whole truth to Cerise; for I have always considered it perfectly justifiable to retain facts which cannot add to people's happiness. I declared that I left her because my life would have been forfeited if I had remained, and I valued it only for her sake. That I always intended to return; and when ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... wash their feet and give them food and I say to them only what is agreeable, leaving out what is unpleasant. I consider it to be my highest duty to do what is agreeable to them even though it be not strictly justifiable. And, O Brahmana, I am always diligent in attending on them. The two parents, the sacred fire, the soul and the spiritual preceptor, these five, O good Brahmana, are worthy of the highest reverence from a person ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... we go up those stairs there and see what we find," said Mr. Stevens. "It's trespassing, I suppose, but all in a justifiable cause." ...
— The Mark of the Knife • Clayton H. Ernst

... again thrown into prison. He appealed vehemently against this arrest to the English Consul, and also to the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, Lord Levison Gower; but they both declined interfering, as they considered his arrest legal and justifiable. On his release he came to Liverpool, whence he went to Dublin, where he met his future wife, Miss Neville, a native of Newry. Having become possessed of a legacy of 400 pounds, left him by his aunt, Mrs. Daw, he returned to Liverpool, ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... Attendants of Virtue, and values not those Acclamations which are not seconded by the impartial Testimony of his own Mind; who repines not at the low Station which Providence has at present allotted him, but yet would willingly advance himself by justifiable Means to a more rising and advantageous Ground; such a Man is warmed with a generous Emulation; it is a virtuous Movement in him to wish and to endeavour that his Power of doing Good may be ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... impatient modern as somewhat long, and the movement as very slow, just as people complain of the same things in Goethe's Wahlverwandtschaften. Such complaint only proves inability, which is or is not justifiable, to seize the spirit of the writer. The expatiation was long and the movement slow, because Rousseau was full of his thoughts; they were a deep and glowing part of himself, and did not merely skim swiftly and lightly through his mind. Anybody who takes the trouble may find out the difference ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... simple square abacus, which joins it to the architrave. Thus treated, it bears a certain family likeness to the Doric column; and one understands how Jomard and Champollion, in the first ardour of discovery, were tempted to give it the scarcely justifiable name of "proto-Doric." ...
— Manual Of Egyptian Archaeology And Guide To The Study Of Antiquities In Egypt • Gaston Camille Charles Maspero

... would have been killed by another hand in either case; but the attitude of the public would not have been the same in either case. The public would have considered the killing of Mazarine before the eyes of the world as justifiable homicide; its dislike of the man would have induced it to ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... wanted. This reckless indifference to the preservation of their health can only be accounted for on the principle, that on an expedition attended by so many difficulties and privations, it was deemed justifiable to attempt to inure the constitution to the noxious influences of the climate, and to look down with contempt upon any act which had the least tendency to effeminacy, or a scrupulous attention to personal comfort. The constitution of Clapperton was well known to have ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... of his forces in the presence of an enemy of twice his strength, Lee is not entitled to commendation. It is justifiable only—if at all—by the danger of the situation, which required a desperate remedy, and peculiarly by the success which attended it. Had it resulted disastrously, as it ought to have done, it would have been a serious blow to Lee's ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... Cubist emotions were splashed upon paper, and the Poets read with justifiable pride ...
— The Re-echo Club • Carolyn Wells

... spears, their shields, their canoes, and their persons, were equally exposed to the violence of the new settlers. It was easy to foresee the consequences of such conduct: the natives at first discovered symptoms of justifiable reserve, and subsequently adopted steps of an hostile complexion, several unfortunate convicts being found murdered in the woods. In vain did the governor issue order after order, and proclamation after proclamation; insults still continued to ...
— The Present Picture of New South Wales (1811) • David Dickinson Mann

... discussion in the temples of the Sons of Liberty. The assault was made without provocation, and the thirst for the blood of Union men was the motive for the deed. We have never advocated or countenanced mob law, but if there was ever a time in the history of our government in which it was justifiable, it was in the cases of the Coles county murderers. The times seemed, perhaps, to have demanded a vigilance committee of citizens, who would administer justice fast enough to suit the emergency of the cases upon which they might be called to adjudicate, and having ...
— The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details • I. Windslow Ayer

... the proposition struck us. Mr. Seward said the subject involved consequences so vast and momentous that he should wish to bestow on it mature reflection before giving a decisive answer; but his present opinion inclined to the measure as justifiable, and perhaps he might say expedient and necessary. These were also my views. Two or three times on that ride the subject, which was of course an absorbing one for each and all, was adverted to; and before separating, the President ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... floors of the public office; they are not expected to join the patient file of room-seekers before the hotel clerk's desk, but wait comfortably in the reception-room while an employee secures their number and key. There is no recorded instance of the justifiable homicide of an American girl in her theatre hat. Man meekly submits to be the hewer of wood, the drawer of water, and the beast of burden for the superior sex. But even this gorgeous medal has its reverse side. Few things ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... waited for the burst of feeling she felt to be justifiable in the circumstances. None came; neither anger, nor indignation, nor contempt, not even surprise. In fact the Old Lady was smiling placidly, as she was wont to smile under the ...
— Superseded • May Sinclair

... surprise all the party were willing to agree that a few years ago most educated men in the south regarded slavery as a misfortune and not justifiable, though necessary under the circumstances. But the meddling, coercive conduct of the detested and despised abolitionists had caused the bonds to be drawn ...
— Three Months in the Southern States, April-June 1863 • Arthur J. L. (Lieut.-Col.) Fremantle

... there was manifest a disposition greatly to over-accentuate organization, to make too much of the disciplinary side of the Rule and to forget the entire subordination of such things to active thought and constructive effort. They are valuable and indeed only justifiable as a means to an end. These attempts of a number of people of very miscellaneous origins and social traditions to come together and work like one machine made the essential wastefulness of any terrestrial realization of ...
— First and Last Things • H. G. Wells

... propositions and evidence. One is, "I will not believe unless I see the prints of the nails and lay my finger in the marks of the wounds." The other is, "Lord, I believe: help thou mine unbelief." In abstract logic or rigid science the former may be appropriate and right. The latter alone can be justifiable in moral and religious things. If a man sorrowfully and humbly doubts, because he cannot help it, he shall not be condemned. When he is proud of his doubts, complacently swells with fancied superiority, plays the fanfaron with his pretentious arguments, and ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... acknowledge that to be the gun which was wrested from my hands by the sailor; and I acknowledge that I attempted with that gun to defend my family and my house from immediate violence; I am, however," continued he, "happy to have escaped having injured any person, even in the most justifiable cause, for the piece did not go off, it only ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... daughters' undergarments; but twelve little tucks laboriously done by hand, elaborate inch-wide edging, crocheted from white spool cotton, and days of bleaching on the grass in the sun, will make a petticoat that can be shown in church with some justifiable pride. ...
— The Story Of Waitstill Baxter • By Kate Douglas Wiggin

... threat of a prosecution for an infringement of copy-right. 'On all difficult occasions,' writes the Editor in 1787, 'Johnson was Cave's oracle; and the paper now before us was certainly written on that occasion.' Johnson argues that abridgments are not only legal but also justifiable. 'The design of an abridgment is to benefit mankind by facilitating the attainment of knowledge ... for as an incorrect book is lawfully criticised, and false assertions justly confuted ... so a tedious volume may no less lawfully be abridged, because it is better that the proprietors ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... decided to take the fleet to that island—a plan I carried out, with the intention of requesting peace and friendship from the natives, and of buying provisions from them at a reasonable cost. Should they refuse all this I decided to make war upon them—a step which I considered justifiable in the case of these people; for it was in that same port and town that Magallanes and his fleet were well received. King Sarriparra and nearly all the natives were baptized, and admitted to our holy faith and evangelical teaching, voluntarily offering themselves as his ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, Volume II, 1521-1569 • Emma Helen Blair

... not always or wholly evil. Sometimes it is justifiable and necessary. Sometimes it is professedly and in part really due to some strong wave of philanthropic feeling produced by great acts of wrong, though of all forms of philanthropy it is that which most naturally defeats itself. Even when unjustifiable, it calls into action splendid qualities ...
— The Map of Life - Conduct and Character • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... "what did I tell you? Didn't I tell you you ought to take this case?" Mr Winter, with his chest thrust out, plumed and strutted in justifiable pride of prophecy. "Now, I'll tell you another thing: today's event will do more for you than it has for ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... regret did reflect a monstrous and distorted image of his conduct. He had really acted the part of a prudent and conscientious man; he was perfectly justifiable at every step: but in the retrospect those steps which we can perfectly justify sometimes seem to have cost so terribly that we look back even upon our sinful stumblings with better heart. Heaven knows how such things ...
— A Fearful Responsibility and Other Stories • William D. Howells

... me to commit justifiable homicide—you see I am in the act of shaving.—At last the landlady, who is a most respectable person, and who felt deeply interested at the desolate situation of the poor young lady, ventured to solicit an interview. She was admitted. There are moments ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... for research would lead her. It led her a good way: every article did she inspect. I divined her motive for this proceeding; viz., the wish to form from the garments a judgment respecting the wearer, her station, means, neatness, etc. The end was not bad, but the means were hardly fair or justifiable. In my dress was a pocket; she fairly turned it inside out; she counted the money in my purse; she opened a little memorandum-book, coolly perused its contents, and took from between the leaves a small plaited lock of Miss Marchmont's gray hair. To a bunch of three keys, being those ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... effects of my indiscretion were but too apparent, and rendered, as I thought, deception justifiable. I put on widow's weeds, and gave out that my husband was a young officer, who had fallen a victim to the fatal Walcheren fever; that our marriage had been clandestine, and unknown to any of his friends: such was ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... evidence which could have existed, and yet the resurrection not to be true. But we must suppose this, I think, in order to raise a reasonable doubt of the truth of the resurrection. For, if the disciples did not believe it, they could have had no interest or motive, (or certainly no justifiable motive) in making others believe it; and without this, it is difficult to account even for the existence of such a report. I should not think it so strange, however, that others, after the report was once in circulation, and that even St. Paul himself should ...
— A Series of Letters In Defence of Divine Revelation • Hosea Ballou

... new regime, architecture became more simple; broken scrolls are replaced by straight lines, curves and arches only occur when justifiable, and columns and pilasters reappear in the ornamental facades of public buildings. Interior decoration necessarily followed suit; instead of the curled endive scrolls enclosing the irregular panel, and ...
— Illustrated History of Furniture - From the Earliest to the Present Time • Frederick Litchfield

... have a great disinclination to any interference with what should properly be submitted to the wisdom and discretion of the Legislature, in which I place great reliance; but I hope I shall be pardoned for suggesting that it may be justifiable and proper, by any honorable means, to avert the lasting disgrace which will attach to a free people who, by the peaceful exercise of the ballot, have just released themselves from the tyranny of slavery, if they should now succumb to treasonable threats, and again submit to a degrading thraldom. ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... is not an apology for murder. It is an honest effort to unravel the tangled mesh of circumstances that led up to the Armistice Day tragedy in Centralia, Washington. The writer is one of those who believe that the taking of human life is justifiable only in self-defense. Even then the act is a horrible reversion to the brute—to the low plane of savagery. Civilization, to be worthy of the name, must afford other methods of settling human differences than those of ...
— The Centralia Conspiracy • Ralph Chaplin

... flood of criticism. It was very plain that a mistake had been made. A commission was appointed to inquire into the whole business. This committee reported to Parliament on June 26, 1917, and the report created a great sensation. The substance of the report was, that while the expedition was justifiable from a political point of view, it was undertaken with insufficient forces and inadequate preparation, and it sharply criticized those ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... with "the blazing audacity of invective, the curious delicacy of persiflage, the strong caustic satire" (expressions, by the way, which suit Lockhart himself much better than Hook, though Lockhart had not Hook's broad humour), in fact, admits that the application of these things was not justifiable, nor to be justified. Yet with all this, the impression left by the sketch is distinctly favourable on the whole, which, in the circumstances, must be admitted to be a triumph of advocacy obtained not at the expense of truth, ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... whatever rung of the social ladder they are perched, when any interest, no matter what, draws them from their own line of obedience and induces them to grasp at power. In their eyes, as in those of politicians, all means to an end are justifiable. Between Flore Brazier and a duchess, between a duchess and the richest bourgeoise, between a bourgeoise and the most luxuriously kept mistress, there are no differences except those of the education they have ...
— The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... in their power, said Leonora; they may make pretences for confining you here, which, as they are under no jurisdiction but the church, the church will allow justifiable:—indeed, Louisa, continued she, I should be loth to see you have recourse to force to get out of their hands which would only occasion you ill treatment:—to whom, alas, can you complain!—you are a stranger in this country, without any one friend ...
— The Fortunate Foundlings • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... to our glorious Cause" and his "Courage of which I have had very great proofs." Inclosing a copy of the letter to the governor, Washington said, "the letter savors a little of flattery &c., &c., but this, I hope is justifiable ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... in fact, was Maria Theresa's inarticulate inborn notion; and gradually, as her successes on the field rose higher, it became ever more articulate: till this of "the SEYN-SOLLENDE Kaiser" put a crown on it. Justifiable, if the Reich with its Laws were a chattel, or rebellious vassal, of Austria; not justifiable otherwise. "Hear ye?" answered almost all the Reich (eight Kurfursts, with the one exception of Kur-Hanover: as we observed): "Our solemnly elected Kaiser, Karl ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... summary of them given in the warrants sent with them. Although many of them did not deny having committed what the law looked upon as a crime, they, under the circumstances, either considered that the act was justifiable, or perhaps that it was the result of accident. Here is the case of a convict who was sentenced to transportation for life for murder, given ...
— Prisoners Their Own Warders - A Record of the Convict Prison at Singapore in the Straits - Settlements Established 1825 • J. F. A. McNair

... amazed that the idea remained an instant before her consciousness. But something had told her this was another kind of life than she had known, and all that was precious to her hung in the balance. Any falsity was justifiable, even righteous, under the circumstances. Could she formulate a plan that this keen bandit would not see through? The remotest possibility of her even caring for Kells—that was as much as she dared hint. But that, together with all the charm and seductiveness she could summon, ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... little or no pedagogical justification. Only in cases where the summary introduces a new point of view or unifying principles, or when it sets forth basic principles in particularly forceful language—only then is the statement by teacher or textbook justifiable. ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... afraid that a free use of all the liberties permitted by the new rubrics of the daily offices would so revolutionize Morning and Evening Prayer as practically to obliterate the line of their descent from the old monastic forms. If there were valid ground for such an expectation the alarm might be justifiable; but is there? The practical effect of the rubrics that make for abbreviation will be to give us back, on weekdays almost exactly, and with measurable precision on Sundays also, the Matins and Evensong of the First Book of Edward VI. Surely this is not the destruction of continuity ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... resources upon a war footing, in readiness in all material and personal respects for hostile operations. A complete mobilization for purposes of practice in peace time would dislocate seafaring life in a manner which would be justifiable only by actual war. Thus no country in peace manoeuvres calls out all its naval reserves, or makes use of the auxiliary cruisers—merchant ships for which a subvention is paid, and which are constructed with a view to use in warfare. Experience has shown that when vessels are commissioned ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... silence, reasons which we thought quite justifiable. But they don't hold good if we are to be brought into conflict with the police. Mr. Duclos told me this morning that if we were driven to speak we must do so with complete honesty and without quibble. What ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... obligation to impose its will upon the Colonists, in the matter, for instance, of a Church Establishment, can it not attain the same end by declaring that, as respects such local questions, the Colonists are free to judge for themselves? How can it be justifiable to adopt the former of these expedients, and sacrilegious ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... seem to be entirely justifiable as ownership of the land is the first requisite for the proper interest in, and love for the work being done, to entitle a man to the ...
— Twentieth Century Negro Literature - Or, A Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating - to the American Negro • Various

... the only humbug in the case was in their own disbelief. It is for the benefit of these unbelievers we are now writing. Our object is to present such an array of facts guaranteed by such respectable names, they shall have no hook to hang a doubt upon—no reason—no justifiable excuse for any sane man longer to neglect to apply an article of such positive, certain benefit to his ...
— Guano - A Treatise of Practical Information for Farmers • Solon Robinson

... Minister, did not think that the conquest of the Transvaal, supposing it to be justifiable, would pay for its cost, and he accordingly made a treaty with the people of that country (1881). Lord Beaconsfield thought this policy a serious mistake, and that it would lead to trouble later on. He said, "We have failed to whip the boy, and we shall have to fight the man." The Gladstone ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... herself," he said, "if they had only let her alone;" for indeed it was evident to all on board the morning of her capture, that she had been close in to the shore within a few miles of the New Inlet Bar. She had not reached the bar, however, so that the pilot's course in refusing to take charge was justifiable; but the fatal error was committed by not making a good offing before daylight. At the time of her capture, she was not more than twenty miles from the land, and in the deep bay formed by the coast between Masonborough Inlet ...
— The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner • John Wilkinson

... best, an emulous desire of high offices and glory, in consequence of which the most bitter enmities have often arisen between the dearest friends. For great dissensions, and those in most instances justifiable, arise when some request is made of friends which is improper, as, for instance, that they should become either the ministers of their lust or their supporters in the perpetration of wrong; and they who refuse to do so, it matters not however virtuously, yet are accused of discarding ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume II (of X) - Rome • Various

... his manhood and autonomy, as the ultima thule of possible evil. San Domingo and hell were twin horrors in their minds, with the odds, however, in favor of San Domingo. To prevent negro domination anything was justifiable. It was a choice of evils, where on one side was placed an evil which they had been taught to believe, and did believe, infinitely outweighed and overmatched all other evils in enormity. Anything, said these men in their hearts; anything, they said to each other; anything, they cried aloud ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... philosophies of Hume, Kant and Hegel!—I regarded tragic knowledge as the most beautiful luxury of our culture, as its most precious, most noble, most dangerous kind of prodigality; but, nevertheless, in view of its overflowing wealth, as a justifiable luxury. In the same way, I began by interpreting Wagner's music as the expression of a Dionysian powerfulness of soul. In it I thought I heard the earthquake by means of which a primeval life-force, which had been constrained for ages, was seeking at last to burst its bonds, quite indifferent ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... of God, And justifiable to men; Unless there be who think not God at all. If any be, they walk obscure; For of such doctrine never was there school, But the heart of the fool, And no man therein ...
— Milton • John Bailey

... chain of causes and effects; and the whole edifice of practical life is built upon our faith in its continuity; the belief that that chain has never been broken and will never be broken, becomes one of the strongest and most justifiable of human convictions. And it must be admitted to be a reasonable request, if we ask those who would have us put faith in the actual occurrence of interruptions of that order, to produce evidence in favour of their view, not only equal, but superior, in ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... know the insecurity of peace with Jacobins. This, Sir, would be a ground of consolation and confident hope; and though we should go farther than the Emperor of Germany, and stop short of Russia, still, however, we should all travel in the same road. Yet even were less justifiable objects to animate our ally, were ambition her inspiring motive, yet even on that ground I contend that her arms and victories would conduce to our security. If it tend to strip France of territory and influence, the aggrandisement ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... was not a mere agent of divine punishment he was calling to action; but a fellow human being, an equal, with whose affairs he was arbitrarily meddling. Whatever the motive that had inspired his coming, however justifiable in itself, his interference, as a mere spectator, was under the circumstances unjustified and an impertinence. This he realised with startling suddenness; and swift in its wake came a new point of view, a readjustment absolute in his attitude. Under its influence ...
— Where the Trail Divides • Will Lillibridge

... whole, he thought it would be justifiable to tell her exactly what he felt, and she might do as she pleased ...
— The Heart of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... atmosphere that did it all. But Sussex was not singular in this mode of illustrating English honour. A greater than he, the chivalrous Sir Walter Raleigh, wrote to a friend in Munster, recommending the treacherous assassination of the Earl of Desmond, as perfectly justifiable. And this crime, for which an ignorant Irishman would be hanged, was deliberately suggested by the illustrious knight whilst sitting quietly in his English study.[1] But what perplexes the historian most of all is that the Queen of England showed no resentment at the ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... utterly without information as to how Alfonso of Aragon died. If we accept all, then we find that it was as a measure of retaliation that Cesare compassed the death of his brother-in-law, which made it not a murder, but a private execution—justifiable under the circumstances of the provocation received and as the adjustment of these affairs was understood ...
— The Life of Cesare Borgia • Raphael Sabatini

... the considerations which would lead him to adopt the one or the other line of conduct. Some of these situations suggest excellent dramatic possibilities, conditions of life, for instance, where suicide seemed justifiable, misadventures with pirates, or a turn of affairs which threatened a woman's virtue. Before the student reached the point of arguing the case, the story must be told, and out of these narratives of adventure, told at the outset to ...
— The Common People of Ancient Rome - Studies of Roman Life and Literature • Frank Frost Abbott

... working man questions a thousand things his father accepted as in the very nature of the world, and among others he begins to ask with the utmost alertness and persistence why it is that he in particular is expected to toil. The answer, the only justifiable answer, should be that that is the work for which he is fitted by his inferior capacity and culture, that these others are a special and select sort, very specially trained and prepared for their responsibilities, ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... the Deity is "the sole Operant" (Religious Musings) is indeed far too bold: may easily be misconstrued into Spinosism; and, therefore, though it is susceptible of a pious and justifiable interpretation, I should by no means now use such a phrase. I was very young when I wrote that poem, and my religious feelings were more settled than my ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... is something terrifying in the very word. And this justifiable terror is a national tradition. To thousands of honest folk a Perquisition was an ever present fear through the old Regime, and this fear became acute terror in the Revolution. Then a search warrant meant almost certainly ...
— The End of Her Honeymoon • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... frankness, which is, in him, almost a fault, for if he couched his utterances in courtly or diplomatic phrases, they would pass unchallenged, instead of being cited to ridicule him. His mistakes have largely resulted from his impulsive nature coupled with chauvinism, which is, perhaps, justifiable, or, at least, excusable, in ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1157, March 5, 1898 • Various

... important evidence properly invoked from the cases of the Stephen Hart and Gertrude (which her majesty's government have now seen for the first time) in which the same parties were concerned," had convinced his Government that the decision was justifiable under the circumstances.[26] The fact was pointed out that the evidence had gone "so far to establish that the cargo of the Springbok, containing a considerable portion of contraband, was never really and bona fide destined for Nassau, but was either destined merely to call there or ...
— Neutral Rights and Obligations in the Anglo-Boer War • Robert Granville Campbell

... lost or not lost. Once stranded, you have to do your best by her. She may be saved by your efforts, by your resource and fortitude bearing up against the heavy weight of guilt and failure. And there are justifiable strandings in fogs, on uncharted seas, on dangerous shores, through treacherous tides. But, saved or not saved, there remains with her commander a distinct sense of loss, a flavour in the mouth of the real, abiding danger ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... in abstraction, did not deign to look at us. Mrs. Dalrymple, however, did the honors with much politeness, and having by a few adroit and well-put queries ascertained everything concerning our rank and position, seemed perfectly satisfied that our intrusion was justifiable. ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... war are transmitted to us by a worthy clergyman of the time, who dwells with horror and indignation on every hostile act of the Indians, however justifiable, whilst he mentions with applause the most sanguinary atrocities of the whites. Philip is reviled as a murderer and a traitor, without considering that he was a true-born prince gallantly fighting at the head of his subjects to avenge the wrongs of his family, to retrieve the ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... woman. She represents, indeed, the claim of modern women for a distinctive interest and employment not less urgent and necessary than the interests and employments of men. And when she failed, as she plainly must have failed, to find any such occupation, her sense of beauty and her justifiable demand for life found an outlet largely in shopping, in entertaining, in all such ephemeral attractions and amusements as women in her class may seek and reject. That way of escape, however, soon raised financial obstructions ...
— H. G. Wells • J. D. Beresford

... with ribbons, built it up and twisted it at the back so gracefully with a comb, that it fell in a thick mass of artfully-curled locks down her neck and back. When Keraunus came back, he gazed with justifiable pride at his beautiful child; he was immensely pleased, and even chuckled softly to himself as he laid out the gold pieces which were brought to him by the curiosity-dealer's servant, and set them in a ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... sake is a justifiable project for primary children and one which may be repeated several times without exhausting its possibilities. Each time it is repeated the emphasis will fall on some new feature, and the children will wish to do ...
— Primary Handwork • Ella Victoria Dobbs

... the Senate. The President, therefore, does not feel himself at liberty to entertain a proposition which would require the conclusion of a new treaty in Constitutional form before the proposition could be assented to by the United States." Mr. Fish added, with a justifiable brusqueness not often found in his diplomatic correspondence, that "it is deeply to be regretted that her Majesty's Government has made no effort to comply with that provision of the Twenty-third ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... with the force of her conviction, and Mrs. Peyton, for a strange instant, felt her own resistance wavering. She herself had never considered the question in that light—the light of Darrow's viewing his gift as a justifiable compensation. But the glimpse she caught of it drove ...
— Sanctuary • Edith Wharton

... be quieted and given an explanation," Frederick declared. "To me a certain amount of fear seems justifiable in the landlubber, who doesn't know anything of nautical matters and hasn't the least ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... acknowledges a higher law than even the human conscience, in the will of a person whom it professes to believe a vicegerent of Divinity, and in obedience to whom perjury, robbery, incest, and even murder, may be justifiable,—for his commands are those of Heaven. It is obvious that it is fruitless to anticipate fair dealing from a people professing such doctrines; and the result has shown, that, in transactions with Mormons, even under oath, no one who does not acknowledge a standard of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... very little more compunction than one is accustomed to feel in England when "borrowing" an umbrella on a rainy day. To all people in all parts of the world, a time comes when to appropriate their neighbour's goods is held not only justifiable, but even meritorious; to Israelites in Egypt, Englishmen under a cloud in their own moist island, and to Orientals running away after a fight. By keeping the dun over thirty hours in my possession I had acquired a kind of prescriptive right to it, and now began to look on it as my ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... for argument's sake, the worst result, let us suppose that the exercise of individual inquiry and judgment (such as the best teachers in the Anglican Church are wont to inculcate) may lead in some cases even to professed infidelity; is it right and wise and justifiable to be driven by an abuse of God's gifts to denounce the legitimate and faithful employment of them? What human faculty—which among the most precious of the Almighty's blessings is not liable to perversion? ...
— Primitive Christian Worship • James Endell Tyler

... on an excursion with the ladies, and thinking he would be back about mid-day, I advised him, sir, to delay his return to the station, until he had seen his master. Hence, you see, sir, his presence on the station was perfectly justifiable. With regard to his peccancy I will not attempt, sir, to offer any palliation beyond the expression of my belief, that the tobacco was taken without any notion of the offence he was committing; in proof of which, I may mention, sir, the absence of any concealment ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... in the clear perception, not unaccompanied with disgust or contempt, of the gaudy affectations of a style which passed current with too many for poetic diction, (though in truth it had as little pretensions to poetry, as to logic or common sense,) he narrowed his view for the time; and feeling a justifiable preference for the language of nature and of good sense, even in its humblest and least ornamented forms, he suffered himself to express, in terms at once too large and too exclusive, his predilection for a style the most remote possible from the false and ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... a picture of himself as was presented by a Romfrey mildly accounting for events and smoothing them under the infliction of an offence, he could not but feel that Nevil had challenged him: such was the reading of it; and he waited for some justifiable excitement to fetch him out of the magnanimous mood, rather in the image of an angler, it ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... Shepherd now were such as rendered him abundantly justifiable in entering into the married state. On the 28th April 1820, he espoused Miss Margaret Phillips, the youngest daughter of Mr Phillips, late of Longbridgemoor, in Annandale. By this union he became brother-in-law of his ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... should entitle the king of Spain to that country as the sailing of an Indian or English ship upon the coast of Spain should entitle either the Indians or the English to the dominion thereof. The Spaniards have contravented the Treaty of 1630. War must needs be justifiable when ...
— Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume III • Charles Morris

... Odd-Fellowship while traveling the rugged journey of life in search of reward and rest." Truth is above all things else, and every Odd-Fellow knows full well that his obligation binds him to speak the truth. Remember a lie is never justifiable. It does the person more harm than that he seeks to avoid by telling a falsehood would do. "What is truth?" This question of Pilate is in the air today. It is repeated on every side and in every department of intellectual ...
— The Jericho Road • W. Bion Adkins

... of the tales of their misbehaviors are exaggeration and some of the stringent precautions they have taken to guard themselves against the inhabitants of the areas traversed are possibly justifiable measures of war. But, at the same time, it has been definitely established that they have committed atrocities on many occasions and they have been guilty of ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol 1, Issue 4, January 23, 1915 • Various

... be treated as an emissary from his home world—wherever that may be. He has killed a man, yes. But that has to be allowed as justifiable homicide in self-defense, since the forester had drawn a gun and was ready to fire. Nobody can blame the late Wang Kulichenko for that, but nobody can blame ...
— Anything You Can Do ... • Gordon Randall Garrett

... treachery—at the same time he learned of Danusia's misfortunes and tortures. To those very iniquities which Macko had thrown in his teeth he had no reply. He was obliged to acknowledge that the revenge was justifiable, and that the Polish knights were right in ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... property of the Hawkins heirs in the Knobs, some seventy-five thousand acres Mr. Buckstone said. But Mr. Washington Hawkins (one of the heirs) objected. He was, indeed, very reluctant to sell any part of the land at any price; and indeed—this reluctance was justifiable when one considers how constantly and how greatly the property is rising ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 5. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. But, my Lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity but also on those of morality; "for it is perfectly justifiable," says Lord Suffolk, "to use all the means which God and nature have put into our hands." I am astonished!—I am shocked! to hear such principles confessed;—to hear them avowed in this House, or in this country. My Lords, I did not intend to encroach so ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... be said, to deliver himself into my hands. M. d'Herblay left to me the happiness of saving my king and my country. I could not condemn M. d'Herblay to death; nor could I, on the other hand, expose him to your majesty's most justifiable wrath; it would have been just the same as if I had killed ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... drawing up his chair opposite, he sat down to listen. No premonition came to him at that moment that the story his visitor had to tell in any way concerned himself, or would deepen the even melancholy of his present days. He settled himself comfortably, with a sense of justifiable relaxation from toil. The troubles of another might arouse his intellectual sympathy, but they could add no burden to his heart. He even experienced a pleasurable curiosity. Emmet was to some degree a mysterious character to him, though he no longer thought of him in ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... Her strictures were justifiable; as long as the two below were in sight, and as often as they came round, they did not exchange word or look with each other. Schilsky frowned sulkily, and his loose-knitted body seemed to hang together more loosely than usual, while as for Louise—Maurice staring hard from ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson



Words linked to "Justifiable" :   excusable, justify



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