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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 some sentimental fancies you have found in books. My child, there was never a book yet that held a sensible view of love, and I hope you will pay no attention to what they say. As for waiting until you can't live without a man before you marry him—tut-tut! the only necessary question is to ascertain if you can possibly live with him. There is a great deal of sentiment talked in life, my dear, and very little lived—and my experience of the world has shown me that one man is likely to make quite as good a husband as another—provided he remains a gentleman and you don't expect him to become ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... as we may ascertain the vague and obscure geography of Priscus, this capital appears to have been seated between the Danube, the Teyss, and the Carpathian hills, in the plains of Upper Hungary, and most probably in the neighborhood of Jezberin, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... not doubting, Jacqueline determined that she would go to Meaux that evening, and so ascertain the truth. She said nothing to Elsie of her purpose. She was careful in all things to avoid that which might involve her companion in peril in an unknown future; but at nightfall she had made herself ready to set ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... Fifth there was a crowd of questioners, eager to ascertain how their champions had fared; and great was their delight to learn that neither was utterly cast down at ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... endeavours to assume an air of easy nonchalance—was evidently labouring under suspicion and constraint. From the fact of Stebbins having sent a message to forewarn him, of this visit, he knew that the schoolmaster had some business with him of more than usual importance; and it was a view to ascertain the nature of this business, and relieve himself from suspense, that the interrogatory was put. He would have been right glad to have received an answer in the affirmative—since it would have cost him little concern to turn Mormon, or profess ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... FEEBLE-MINDED. Thus far intelligence tests have found their chief application in the identification and grading of the feeble-minded. Their value for this purpose is twofold. In the first place, it is necessary to ascertain the degree of defect before it is possible to decide intelligently upon either the content or the method of instruction suited to the training of the backward child. In the second place, intelligence tests are rapidly extending our conception of "feeble-mindedness" ...
— The Measurement of Intelligence • Lewis Madison Terman

... fashionable coat, and was evidently pleasantly conscious of its flop around his ankles. His handsome face wore an expression of pert triumph as he passed on into the inner office.... Carroll, who had lingered with an idle curiosity to ascertain who was the successful applicant, heard a voice so near his ear that it whistled. The voice was exceedingly ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... to ascertain whether that fierce man managed to swim ashore—but certain it is that no one answering to his description has attempted to hurl a witch from those cliffs from that day ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... They started to ascertain which was the east and which was the west. They recalled that the head of their Department had once said to them, "If you want to know where the east is, then turn your face to the north, and the east will be on your right." ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... chattering, and scuffling, and clamour. A troop of green monkeys had been aroused by his unusual occupation, and had taken the opportunity of his slumber to become acquainted with some of the first principles of science. What progress they had made it is difficult to ascertain; because, each one throwing a tract at Popanilla's head, they immediately disappeared. It is said, however, that some monkeys have been since seen skipping about the island, with their tails cut off; and that they have ...
— The Voyage of Captain Popanilla • Benjamin Disraeli

... present position. Her antiquarian lore was perhaps a little tinged, as such antiquarianism is apt to be, by the colouring of a warm imagination; but still it was a remarkable exemplification of the power of an ardent mind to ascertain and combine facts upon a favourite subject under apparently insuperable difficulties. Unless in pursuing her historical inquiries, she did not often speak upon the subject. Her enthusiasm was too deep and too concentrated for words. But she was Irish to the heart's core, and had ...
— Honor O'callaghan • Mary Russell Mitford

... will insensibly encroach upon the pretensions of the crown. But if in the time of a minority, the power of the government should be divided among different competitors for the regency, the parliaments and people will find it still more easy to acquire and ascertain the liberty at which they aspire, because they will have the balance of power in their hands, and be able to make either scale preponderate. I could say a great deal more upon this subject; and I have some remarks to make relating to the ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... 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 of his ...
— Stories by English Authors: Ireland • Various

... Mercure de France, Journal Encyclopedique, and Weiland's Journal. G. Mason alone dissents from the general opinion, enlarging on the very few faults or peculiarities which are to be found in the book. Wheatley, or Whately (for so little is known of this eminent man, that we have never been able to ascertain satisfactorily the orthography of his name,) was proprietor of Nonsuch Park, in Surrey; and was secretary to the Earl of Suffolk. He published only this work, soon after which he died. After his death, some remarks on Shakspeare, from his pen, were published ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... in their daily reports, Miss Fiske dared not ask any question the answer to which she could not ascertain for herself. The earliest she ventured to put was, whether they had combed their hair that day. The pupils all stood up, and those who had attended to this duty were asked to sit down. The faithful ones were delighted to comply. The ...
— Woman And Her Saviour In Persia • A Returned Missionary

... furrowed with the smallest rivulet. On the road to Down from Keston a mound has been thrown across a considerable valley, but even against this mound there is no appearance of even a small pool of water having collected after the heaviest rains. The water all percolates straight downwards. Ascertain average depth of wells, inclination of strata, and springs. Does the water from this country crop out in springs in Holmsdale or in the valley of the Thames? Examine the ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... ascertain the price, is it not necessary, at the same time, to ascertain the species and quantity of provisions to be allowed for it? Is a soldier to fatten on delicacies, and to revel in superfluities, for fourpence a-day? ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 10. - Parlimentary Debates I. • Samuel Johnson

... to attend to agriculture: agriculture, to be carried on with success, requires the observation and knowledge of the heavens. It was necessary to know the periodical return of the same operations of nature, and the same phenomena in the skies; indeed to go so far as to ascertain the duration and succession of the seasons and the months of the year. It was indispensable to know, in the first place, the course of the sun, who, in his zodiacal revolution, shows himself the supreme agent of the whole creation; then, of the moon, ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... valley they found a running stream and good pasture, beyond this point they proceeded about six or eight miles in order to ascertain the extent of their discoveries, and then returned, having been ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... my feet, running his hands over my body to ascertain if any bones were broken; but with the exception of several severe bruises, and a feeling of general soreness all over my body, I was unhurt. We looked round for the lioness and her cub; they were nowhere to be seen, and must have decamped ...
— Harper's Young People, March 2, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... was found of Bower, and an effort Tom made to ascertain if the man was a spy in the employ of Gale and Ware came to naught. The machinist had come well recommended, and the firm where he was last employed had nothing but good to say ...
— Tom Swift and his Air Scout - or, Uncle Sam's Mastery of the Sky • Victor Appleton

... the formula somewhere, just what it was I never have been able to ascertain, but—well, there was something the matter with it. It wouldn't stay corked, that was its worst feature, but would go off at all times of the day and night and in the most unexpected fashion. If the cork would ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... their guns and decided to have another shot at the Monarch if they could find him. They knew better than to go into the brush after a bear, but they hunted cautiously about the edges for some time. They were sure that the Monarch was still in there, but they could not ascertain at what point. Jeff went around to windward of the brush patch and set fire to it, and then joined Jess on the leeward side to watch for the reappearance of the Monarch. The wind was blowing fresh up the canyon and the fire ran rapidly through ...
— Bears I Have Met—and Others • Allen Kelly

... by the arrival of Mrs. Trafton, who had not been apprised of the tragedy from considerations for her feelings, but hearing the stir and excitement, had followed her neighbors to the spot and just ascertain ...
— Robert Coverdale's Struggle - Or, On The Wave Of Success • Horatio, Jr. Alger

... of this travel was to ascertain the depth from west to east of the quartz-formations, which had been worked by the Ancients. I had also hoped to find a virgin region lying beyond El-Harrah, the volcanic tract subtending the east of the Hism, or plateau of New Red Sandstone. We ascertained, by inquiry, that the former has ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 2 • Richard Burton

... provisions to be more than indicated here. The act transferred to the Board of Agriculture the duties generally of the Local Government Board, and transferred to parish councils or parish meetings the powers and duties of rural district councils; it required county councils to ascertain the demand for land without previous representation to them, and gave power for its compulsary acquisition; and the maximum holding of an allotment was raised from one acre to five. Both compulsary purchase and ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... ascertain," said Mr. Worthington, reaching again toward the button on his desk. A few minutes later the report came that there was a private account in the name of Miss Eileen Strong. Again ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... tale, how he had conceived suspicions that the Danes intended a winter descent; how he had risked his life (in the exuberance of youthful daring) to ascertain the truth; how, trusting to his knowledge of Carisbrooke, wherein he had spent many pleasant days in his boyhood, he had ventured amongst the Danes as a gleeman, in imitation of Alfred of old; how there he had assisted, unsuspected, at ...
— Alfgar the Dane or the Second Chronicle of Aescendune • A. D. Crake

... it, but this appeared to be little more than a large rock above water. As I had here strong currents, and for several days had not been able to get an observation of the sun, I cannot so exactly ascertain the situation of these islands as I might otherwise have done. As we proceeded to the westward, we discovered more land, consisting of many islands lying to the southward of the large one which we had ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... would be judged, in company with those he destroyed, by a Lord who is no respector of persons? the embassador replied, "We do not go up to God, as you do; we are put into the ground." I could not ascertain that even those who have such a distinct perception of the continued existence of departed spirits had any notion of heaven; they appear to imagine the souls to be always ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... quadrille. During this one I want to find out what will come of this little intrigue, and to ascertain who the little blue lady may be; she ...
— Domestic Peace • Honore de Balzac

... a third performance of Rienzi, and there still remained a remote possibility of receiving a sudden command to Sans-Souci, I accordingly fixed on a date which would be the very latest I could wait to ascertain the fate of the projects I had nearest to heart. This period passed by, and I was forced to realise that my hopes ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... arrived here that General Angioletti has been able to push his outposts as far as Rivolta on his left, and still farther forward on his front towards Curtalone. Although the distance from Rivolta to Goito is only five miles, Angioletti, I have been told, could not ascertain whether the Austrians had crossed the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... characteristics, and he expressed the anxious hope that his whilom friend, van Heerden, had done the same. Van Heerden, of course, did nothing of the sort. He has been assiduously cultivating the germs in his laboratory. So far as I can ascertain from Professor Heyler, an old German who was in van Heerden's service and who seems a fairly honest man, the doctor nearly lost the culture, and it was only by sending out small quantities to various seedy scientists ...
— The Green Rust • Edgar Wallace

... arms, whose business it is to declare war, proclaim peace, marshal all the solemnities at the coronation; baptisms, marriages, and funerals of the sovereign and nobility; and to ascertain and blazon coats ...
— The Manual of Heraldry; Fifth Edition • Anonymous

... is more respectful to write the word "Esquire" in full. The ——substituted for initials is vulgar, and pardonable only in extreme cases; if the Christian name or initials of your correspondent do not occur to you at the moment, endeavour to ascertain them by inquiry. ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... a later day in this proceeding we will ascertain the specific program to which they pledged themselves, the program of Mr. Lenine and Mr. Trotzky, not to reform Russia—that is a misconception and a misdirection; it is not that Lenine and Trotzky are trying ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto

... Remember that the teacher will ask constantly what was done, when was it done, and, most important of all, why it was done. Make a list of the questions which you think most likely to be asked on the lesson and ascertain whether you can answer them without the use of your ...
— The Teaching of History • Ernest C. Hartwell

... where were many beehives. Intoxication with vomiting was the result. Some were so overcome, he states, as to be incapable of standing. Not a soldier died, but very many were greatly weakened for several days. Tournefort endeavored to ascertain whether this account was corroborated by anything ascertainable in the locality, and had good reason to be satisfied respecting it. He concluded that the honey had been gathered from a shrub growing in the neighborhood of Trebizonde, which is well known there as producing the before-mentioned ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... inconvenience to ourselves. Should it, however, prove that the condition of the poor negro has been impaired and not improved, it will then become proper to enquire what have been in past times the circumstances under which men have become more free, with a view to ascertain wherein lies the deficiency, and why it is that freedom now so obviously declines in various and important portions of the earth. These things ascertained, it may be that there will be little difficulty in determining what are the measures now needed for ...
— The trade, domestic and foreign • Henry Charles Carey

... was to go immediately to Mr. W—— and apprize him of the condition of his nephew. But a little reflection convinced me that it would be much better to make some previous inquiries in regard to his family, and endeavour to ascertain the reason of his estrangement from his sister. I would then be able to act with more certainty of success. I soon obtained all the information I desired. The history was an impressive one. I will give it ...
— Finger Posts on the Way of Life • T. S. Arthur

... 1559. A letter of recommendation from Mary Queen of Scots, addressed to the Duke of Chatelherault, dated at Paris (16th) July, is contained in Prince A. Labanoff's collection of "Lettres de Marie Stuart," vol. i. p. 67. He was sent to this country, in the view to ascertain and use all means that were necessary, for restoring matters to the good estate in which they had previously been. After thanking the Duke for his good offices rendered to the Queen Regent her mother, in circumstances of great difficulty, her words are,—"S'estant pour ceste ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

... many furnished already, of the inadequacy of mineralogical testimony, when taken in evidence regarding the eras of the geologist. The hard red beds of Ru-Stoir belong, as I was fortunate enough this evening to ascertain, not to the ages of the Coccosteus and Pterichthys, but to the far later ages of the Plesiosaurus and the fossil crocodile. I found them associated with more reptilian remains, of a character more unequivocal than have been yet exhibited by ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... Commons the action was prompt and decided. A committee was immediately appointed to search for precedents, and ascertain if such a proceeding was justified by Parliamentary history. The result of this investigation was anxiously awaited both by the Commons and the nation. To the disappointment of everybody, the committee, after patient and protracted research, submitted a report, giving no opinion whatever ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... Tank are talking about," sighed Mrs. McCormick. "They use so many words which are not in the dictionary. Now when people confine themselves to words which are in the dictionary, I am always able to ascertain their meaning." ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... the integrity of Israelites indeed, in all respects whatever! If so, it may be really useful to us. And I would have Mr. Clark, if he will allow me to look upon him as my man of business in this affair, take reasonable pains, be at any reasonable expense, &c. (by himself or by deputy) to ascertain that it is so in very fact! In that case, if something come of it, we shall get the something and be thankful; if nothing come of it, we shall have the pleasure of caring nothing about it.—I have given Putnam two Books (Heroes and Sartor) ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... admonitions, it is to entreat that the discontented would exercise their understandings, rather than consult their passions; first separating real from mistaken grievances, and then endeavouring to ascertain (which cannot be done with a glance of the mind) how much is fairly attributable to the Government; how much to ourselves; and how large a portion of what we have to endure has been forced upon ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... of augury by means of birds, for he adds, "nam ut nunc extis sic tunc avibus magnae res impetrari solebant." As we have already seen, the object of the examination of a victim's entrails was simply to ascertain its fitness to be offered; but by Cicero's time the Etruscan art of divination by this method must have penetrated into private life. I think we may conjecture that in the life of the family on the land the ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... discovered a fortnight before. In the rich leaf-mold the plants grew lustily, covering the forest floor for some distance with their spreading green umbrellas. With delighted eyes the Hermit stood gazing upon his rich find, but when he stooped to ascertain whether or not the roots were ready for drying, his outstretched hand was quickly arrested by Pal's frenzied barking. He quickly withdrew his hand and moved slightly until he could follow the dog's gaze. ...
— Followers of the Trail • Zoe Meyer

... study several people to ascertain how well those people have their experience organized. Is their experience available? Can they come to the point immediately, or, are ...
— The Science of Human Nature - A Psychology for Beginners • William Henry Pyle

... "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 ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... also a peculiar kind of advisory jurisdiction. Congress, or any committee of either house, can refer to it any questions of fact which may have come before them. The judges must then ascertain the facts and report them back. The head of any of the great executive departments may, in like manner, in dealing with any claim against the government, if the claimant consents, refer any uncontroverted questions, either of fact or law, to the court, which must then report back to him its findings ...
— The American Judiciary • Simeon E. Baldwin, LLD

... causarumque quibus hae res continentur; but in reality these causes are, for us, ends. And what is the Supreme Cause, God, but the Supreme End? The "why" interests us only in view of the "wherefore." We wish to know whence we came only in order the better to be able to ascertain whither ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... able to ascertain from the concierge of the Leare house that madame was hysterical, and could ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880. • Various

... suspected, and he knew that he deserved it, but he did not want Henry to ascertain definitely that such was the fact, He wanted to return the book as soon as he could without observation, but for this he ...
— Sam's Chance - And How He Improved It • Horatio Alger

... Gilbert could ascertain, several timbers, thrown over each other, had lodged, probably upon a rocky islet in the stream, the uppermost one projecting slantingly out of the flood. It required all his strength to resist the current which sucked, and whirled, and tugged ...
— The Story Of Kennett • Bayard Taylor

... strength gave out. In her delirium, too, she might have wandered in a wrong direction, imagining any road to lead to Patesville. It would be a good plan to drive back home, continuing his inquiries meantime, and ascertain whether or not she had been found by those who were seeking her, including many whom Tryon's inquiries had placed upon the alert. If she should prove still missing, he would resume the journey to Patesville and continue the search in that direction. She had probably not wandered far ...
— The House Behind the Cedars • Charles W. Chesnutt

... individual attains a position of eminence which commands the admiration of the world, we naturally seek to learn his early history, to ascertain what indications were given in childhood of qualities destined to shine with such resplendent lustre, and to discover the kind of discipline which has developed powers so extraordinary. But in no researches are we more apt to ...
— Lives of the Three Mrs. Judsons • Arabella W. Stuart

... for the employment of a competent mineralogist and chemist, who should be required, under the direction of the head of the bureau, to collect specimens of the various minerals of our country and to ascertain by careful analysis their respective elements and properties and their adaptation to useful purposes. He should also be required to examine and report upon the qualities of different soils and the manures best calculated to improve their productiveness. By publishing ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume - V, Part 1; Presidents Taylor and Fillmore • James D. Richardson

... withdraws from consideration the part of the observer in the verification of physical phenomena, our role is to renounce this abstraction, to re-establish things in their original complexity, and to ascertain in what the conception of matter consists when it is borne in mind that all material phenomena are known only in their relation to ourselves, to our bodies, our nerves, ...
— The Mind and the Brain - Being the Authorised Translation of L'me et le Corps • Alfred Binet

... the clear result of settled rule, founded upon principles demonstratively just. It only remains for the liberality of princes and states, and the persevering industry of navigators and travellers, to effect the application of these means to their proper end, by continuing to ascertain the unknown and uncertain positions of all the parts of the world, which the barriers of nature will allow the skill and industry ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... these ten points are not only found always at decreasing distances on the same stick, but also that the distances are perceptibly the same, and that the situations of the points are identical on different bows compared together, M. Vuillaume sought to ascertain whether the positions of the ten points could not be obtained by a geometrical construction, by which they might be found with certainty; and by which, consequently, bows might be made whose good condition should be always settled a priori. This he attained in the following manner. At the ...
— The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use - 'The Strad' Library, No. III. • Henry Saint-George

... longer. He personally did not care to think of the time he must spend in eliminating the traces of their evil influences. How far Beetle had pandered to the baser side of youthful imagination he would ascertain later; and Beetle might be sure that if Mr. Prout came ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... must be to ascertain whether the marriage described in the duplicate certificate had really taken place; his next, to repossess himself of the papers left ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... around there, after a while, Edward," said Jasper, as soon as the undertaker had retired. "When you go, I wish you would ascertain, particularly, what has been done with the child. If a neighbour has taken her home, make inquiry as to whether she will be retained in the family; or, better still, adopted. You can hint, in a ...
— True Riches - Or, Wealth Without Wings • T.S. Arthur

... of the Fair Play tribunal is rather difficult to ascertain due to its failure to keep minutes of its proceedings and the absence of any recorded code. However, as indicated earlier,[18] the existence of the tribunal between the years 1773 and 1778, and its actual composition in 1775 ...
— The Fair Play Settlers of the West Branch Valley, 1769-1784 - A Study of Frontier Ethnography • George D. Wolf

... took rise," says Pennant, "in 1592; in which year began a great pestilence; which continued till the 18th of December, 1595. During this period they were kept, in order to ascertain the number of persons who died; but, when the plague ceased, the bills were discontinued. They were resumed again in 1603. At their original institution there were only 109 in parishes; others were gradually ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XIX. No. 532. Saturday, February 4, 1832 • Various

... roused me at daybreak, and I awoke my wife, that in the quiet interval while yet our children slept, we might take counsel together on our situation and prospects. It was plain to both of us that we should ascertain if possible the fate of our late companions, and then examine into the nature and resources of the country on ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... reprehensible desire to anticipate the prescience of the Almighty in thus seeking to ascertain the future while we are still in the present tense, similar to the people who go to call on fortune-tellers, and the girls who always read the last page of a novel first, to see how it comes out! But suffice it to say that I found both Pampango cigar ashes ...
— The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons • James Francis Thierry

... before the Earl of Chatham introduced his famous "Provincial Bill for Settling Troubles in America," and supported it by his masterly speeches in the Lords, he sent for Dr. Franklin, the principal representative of the colonists, to consult him and ascertain from him distinctly whether there was any tendency or danger of the American colonies separating from England, and was assured by Dr. Franklin that there was not the least feeling in that direction; that the American colonies were universally loyal to connection with the ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... size. Lythrum and the trimorphic Oxalis are the most wonderful cases. The pollen of the closed imperfect cleistogamic flowers differ in the transparency of the integument, and I think in size. The latter point I could ascertain from my notes. The pollen or female organs must differ in almost every individual in some manner; otherwise the pollen of varieties and even distinct individuals of same varieties would not be so prepotent over the individual plant's own pollen. Here follows ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... involved is altogether different from that of the speculative ages, and also of the age of faith. Yet, though under the ostensible guidance of reason, the human mind ever seeks to burst through such self-imposed restraints, attempting to ascertain things for which it possesses no suitable data. Even in the age of Aristotle, the age of Reason in Greece, philosophy resumed such questions as those of the creation of the world, the emanation of matter from God, the existence and nature of evil, the immortality, ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... execute him. On the 11th of April he was brought out of his cell, and on his way to the scaffold he was confronted with Courtenay, to whom he said something, but how much or what it is impossible to ascertain.[306] Finding that his death was inevitable, he determined to make the only reparation which was any longer in his power to Elizabeth. When placed on the platform, after desiring the people to pray ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... to the office next morning, it suddenly dawned on me what Fawcett meant. How, in truth, was I to ascertain whether the singular provision of Mrs. Drainger's will had or had not been met? Fawcett had not, he said, been present at the death; and even if he had been, there must elapse a considerable time in which Emily would necessarily be alone ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... competitors, which it well maintains. It 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

... influenced by that class of cases which happens to fit in best with their prepossessions.[164] In order to reach any conclusions on a reasonable basis it is necessary to take a series of unselected individuals and to ascertain carefully the condition of the sexual ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... his mind, the railroad station was as interesting a place as any he could find in which to loiter. The evening was not particularly agreeable; Smith, however, did not mind a little thing like that. He could stand it; besides, he was most anxious to meet his manager immediately and ascertain what the future promised from actual and personal observation. He was pleased when the train rolled in and the two advance men alighted. Few words were exchanged between Smith and his principal, but few as they were, he was convinced that the visit to Gotown was satisfactory. The trio ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... intelligible theory of the world and life into which it was destined soon to emerge. But it would surely be bad logic to infer, because the embryo could not, from want of materials within its experience, ascertain the how, the when, the where, and the what, of the life awaiting it, that there was no other life reserved for it. An acorn buried and sprouting in the dark mould, if endowed with intelligent consciousness, could not know any definite particulars of its maturer life yet to be in the upper light ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... only a pocket-handkerchief or a napkin; but it was held aloft as a flag unmistakably. A hundred conjectures were indulged in. Was it a summons to surrender? A request for an armistice for some purpose? Or was it a trick to ascertain their number and position? Some held one view, some another. Some extreme ones thought a shot ought to be fired over them to warn them not to come on; no flags of truce were wanted. The old Colonel, who had walked to the edge of the plateau outside the redoubt and taken his position ...
— The Burial of the Guns • Thomas Nelson Page

... stands at the head of the zoological division of the animal kingdom. The Anthropoid Ape is the animal that most nearly resembles man. It might be said to stand next to man in the procession of species. So far as our knowledge can ascertain, it appears that man was developed in the same manner as the higher types in the animal and vegetable world, namely, by the process of evolution, and by evolution we mean continuous progressive change according to law, ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... preliminary examination into the accuracy of the circumstances related by her, I went along with her to Mr. George Stephen, solicitor, and requested him to investigate and draw up a statement of her case, and have it submitted to counsel, in order to ascertain whether or not, under the circumstances, her freedom could be legally established on her return to Antigua. On this occasion, in Mr. Stephen's presence and mine, she expressed, in very strong terms, ...
— The History of Mary Prince - A West Indian Slave • Mary Prince

... "You had better ascertain first, Mr. President, that my information is authentic," she said, rising and drawing about her comely shoulders the folds of her cloak, as though to silence the conflicting forces of love and ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... examining candidates in the prior degrees, before admission to the higher, in order to ascertain their proficiency, is gaining the favorable notice of Masters of lodges, and cannot be too highly valued, nor too strongly recommended to all lodges in this jurisdiction. It necessarily requires the novitiate to reflect upon the bearing ...
— The Principles of Masonic Law - A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages And Landmarks of - Freemasonry • Albert G. Mackey

... extraordinary and alarming about the entire French nation. The Neutrals were easily influenced by the reports. Daillon's life was in danger on more than one occasion. The rumor reached Brebeuf and De Noue, that he had been killed. They at once despatched Grenolle to ascertain the truth, with instructions to bring Daillon back if alive. He acquiesced, and returned to the ...
— The Country of the Neutrals - (As Far As Comprised in the County of Elgin), From Champlain to Talbot • James H. Coyne

... Miss Stratton. After a while, as they sat, pleasantly chatting, Mr. Landler spoke of a ship that had been overdue for almost two weeks. A neighbor's son was on board, and this fact caused Mr. and Mrs. Landler to look at the papers, morning and night, as soon as possible, to ascertain if anything had been heard of the ...
— Out of the Triangle • Mary E. Bamford

... that my heart sank. It was as if my ball had fallen into the pit which my niblick had digged. I wished heartily that I had thought of waiting to ascertain the names of the two rivals before offering my scheme. I was extremely fond of Mitchell Holmes and of the girl to whom he was engaged to be married. Indeed, it was I who had sketched out a few rough notes for the lad to use when proposing; ...
— The Clicking of Cuthbert • P. G. Wodehouse

... masterpieces, but never being permitted to see any, an analogy may be found in the exclusion of Beethoven from all participation in the rendering of his works, which was the case in his later years, being unable even to conduct them. He wanted to test his work, to ascertain how it would sound in the concert hall, and even at this time the high tones of the violins, which he put to such exquisite uses in later years, and which were such an inspiration to Wagner, were lost to him. By the aid of his ...
— Beethoven • George Alexander Fischer

... so, Roger. I was to ascertain the earl's real intentions regarding certain matters, and I think that he means honestly to adhere to an offer he made. The very fear that he has shown, lest his intentions should be betrayed, seems to prove that he is most anxious that naught should occur ...
— Both Sides the Border - A Tale of Hotspur and Glendower • G. A. Henty

... If you can distinctly ascertain that a horse shies and turns round from mere skittishness, correct him when he turns, not as long as he faces the object: he will soon learn that it is for turning that he is visited with whip and spurs. A few days' practice and patience ...
— A New Illustrated Edition of J. S. Rarey's Art of Taming Horses • J. S. Rarey

... Lady Kew came to know this fact, whether her maid corresponded with Lady Anne's maid, what her ladyship's means of information were, avowed or occult, this biographer has never been able to ascertain. Very likely Ethel, who in these last three weeks had been made aware of that interesting circumstance, had announced it to Lady Kew in the course of a cross-examination, and there may have been a battle between the granddaughter and the grandmother, of which the family chronicler ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... four, but Sarmiento gives three as the number of these servants of Uiracocha. The meaning of paca is anything secret or mysterious, from pacani to hide. The names represent an ancient myth of some kind, but it is not possible, at this distance of time, to ascertain more than the names. Tonapa looks like a slip of the pen, and is probably Tarapa for Tarapaca. Don Samuel A. Lapone Quevedo published a mythological essay entitled El Culto de Tonapa with reference to the notice in the work of Yamqui ...
— History of the Incas • Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa

... herself threw some little light upon what it might be that, semi- consciously, was then passing through her mind; she said, that, notwithstanding the darkness, which would not permit her to trace the man's features, or to ascertain the exact direction of his eyes, it yet struck her, that from his carriage when in motion, and from the apparent inclination of his person, he must ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... little building shook beneath the peals of loud thunder, the lightning flashed in broad sheets upon the rapid river, which, swollen and foaming, dashed impetuously beside my window. By the uncertain but vivid glare of the flashes, I endeavored to ascertain where our force was posted, but in vain. Never did I witness such a night of storm,—the deep booming of the thunder seeming never for a moment to cease, while the rush of the torrent grew gradually louder, till at length ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... me," I said; and we really began to consider the question. We could hardly exaggerate the difficulty and delicacy of the duty before me. We recognised that before I made any explicit demand of him I must first ascertain the nature of the whole ground and then be governed by the facts. It would be simple enough if I had merely to say that we thought the girl's affections were becoming engaged, and then appeal to his eager generosity, his delicate magnanimity; ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... He knew, too, that the elder man would ask him nothing save in the way of kindness, for he had had a hundred proofs of that; and now, so far from feeling reluctant to take his companion into his confidence, he rather welcomed the idea. He was, withal, a bit curious to ascertain the drift of the inquiry, knowing that David, though sometimes working in devious ways, rarely started without an intention. And so he answered the question and what followed as he might have told his ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... try out a theory," Cappy replied. "I have a great curiosity, Skinner, to ascertain if there is any truth in the old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And if it does, Skinner—why, the sooner I start the sooner I can ...
— Cappy Ricks • Peter B. Kyne

... which I was anxious to escape. Although there was a light in the house and I could hear the sound of feet going and coming through the house, no one responded to my knock, and I walked around to one of the windows to ascertain if there was any ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... in the experiment with this apparatus to ascertain how great the difference in the illumination of the two electric-boxes must be in order that the mouse should be able to choose the brighter of them. This I attempted to do by fixing an incandescent lamp of a certain ...
— The Dancing Mouse - A Study in Animal Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... Wilson, understanding previously the intention of Martha, and sympathizing with the case of poor Kate, left the apartment, as if on some ordinary household affair. Martha now set about gaining the information she sought; but with all her art, could only ascertain from her suitor, that Kate was in the power of an individual who, for some reason unknown to him, had betrayed her into Canada, and consigned her, for a time at least, to the place where she was ...
— Ridgeway - An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada • Scian Dubh

... Von Bloom went out to ascertain whether there was any change in the wind. Up to a late hour he could perceive none. A gentle breeze still blew from the north—from the great Kalihari desert— whence, no doubt, the locusts had come. ...
— The Bush Boys - History and Adventures of a Cape Farmer and his Family • Captain Mayne Reid

... was the friend to whom she would turn in this emergency. He had lost nothing, apparently, by the unwarranted use of his name. The notes on which his endorsement had been forged were all paid. When she met Hannibal she would ascertain his price and then the rest would be easy. Her father need not even know the danger to which he had ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... age becomes a very unimportant matter when, instead of being limited to sixty or seventy years, it extends over hundreds of years, I can readily ascertain my age, from the fact that I was twenty years old at the time these wonderful rays were discovered. I have lived, then, about six hundred of Earth's years, or three ...
— Zarlah the Martian • R. Norman Grisewood

... vigorously attacked by a body of infantry that appeared in that direction and by a body of dismounted cavalry that had deployed in his front, and apprehensive of being flanked, Devens retired his regiment to an open space in the woods, in front of the bluff, and prepared to receive an attack. To ascertain about reinforcements Devens went back to the bluff about 2 p.m., where he found Colonel Baker, who directed him to form his regiment on the right of the position that he proposed to occupy, while Baker placed 300 of the Twentieth Massachusetts on the ...
— History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia • James W. Head

... doctrine, the importance of which no man in his senses will have the hardihood to deny. Let us say, for instance, the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist. Can we conceive anything that a devout Christian would be more anxious to ascertain than whether Our Divine Lord and Saviour be really and personally and substantially present under the appearance of bread, or no! Picture to yourselves, then, a fervent worshipper entering an Anglican church, where they are ...
— The Purpose of the Papacy • John S. Vaughan

... big department store on his way to the bank; or rather, having a little time to spare he went out of his way a few paces in order to ascertain what the crowd that he ...
— Dick the Bank Boy - Or, A Missing Fortune • Frank V. Webster

... separation, the protection, and the sustenance of men, women, and children, horses, flocks, and cattle. To march without straggling, to halt without confusion, to make good their ground, to reconnoitre neighbourhoods, to ascertain the character and capabilities of places in the distance, and to determine their future route, is to be versed in some of the most important duties of the military art. Such pastoral tribes are already an army in the field, if not as yet against any human foe, at least ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... bearer of this note is a young Norwegian, I forgot to ascertain his name, a friend of Olson's. He wishes to teach music. If you can help the poor devil and give him something to do, you will oblige, Yours, ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... Major Arkell, who had been led by curiosity to take the trip. He was curious to know what had become of the young man whom he had sent into that region to pick up wrecked logs, and he was also curious to ascertain what had become of a large number of those same logs that still remained unaccounted for. At the same time he would like to investigate certain reports that had reached him of the reopening of ...
— The Copper Princess - A Story of Lake Superior Mines • Kirk Munroe

... the proposition; anxious, as he felt himself, to ascertain the real circumstances connected with his brother's indisposition. They strolled through the garden, which was almost deserted—for none but dogs and Englishmen, to use the expression of the natives, court the Maltese noon-day sun,—and the surgeon at once entered ...
— A Love Story • A Bushman

... Grierson, to question was to ascertain; and the Pullman conductor, once more checking his diagrams in Section Eleven, offered the readiest means of enlightenment. A few minutes later Margery rejoined her father in the ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... painfully legible and blameless hand,' and gave the closest care to these particular letters, their appearance was tolerably business-like when finished. Carrying these letters, and those they answered, I now began to reconnoitre passages and doorways to ascertain the whereabouts and occupation of Mr. John. Presently I saw him come hurrying in from the street, wiping ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... that, after calming down an understandably irate customer sufficiently to ascertain the facts of the matter, a DEC troubleshooter called up the {field circus} manager responsible and asked ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... these conventions, delegations from the National Association called on the nominees of the two great parties to ascertain their opinions and proposed action, if any, on the question of woman suffrage. Mrs. Blake, and other ladies representing the New York city society, called on General Hancock at his residence and were most courteously ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... always welcome wherever he went. He had no fear of being betrayed. He knew his friends, and trusted them. Were he invited to share the couch of his host, he would first ascertain whether all was safe, ...
— The Hunted Outlaw - Donald Morrison, The Canadian Rob Roy • Anonymous

... name; this lady had been a friend of her aunt's and she felt she would not be intruding. After playing the nurse, by which means she could ascertain whether she would be remembered generously in the patient's will, she could continue her flight or retrace ...
— The Son of Clemenceau • Alexandre (fils) Dumas

... will have now received all the Acts, corrected, of the Marino Faliero. What you say of the 'bet of 100 guineas' made by some one who says that he saw me last week, reminds me of what happened in 1810: you can easily ascertain the fact, and ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore



Words linked to "Ascertain" :   rectify, enumerate, insure, get a line, translate, hear, number, assure, numerate, control, see, redetermine, get wind, sequence, double-check, learn, gauge, discover, tick, locate, ascertainable, find out, test, proofread, admeasure, check, tick off, card



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