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Untenable   /əntˈɛnəbəl/   Listen
Untenable

adjective
1.
(of theories etc) incapable of being defended or justified.  Synonym: indefensible.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Untenable" Quotes from Famous Books



... once more into an agricultural country. Minster, untenable by its nuns, had been made over after the Danish invasions to the monks of St. Augustine at Canterbury, and it was they who built the great barn and manor house which were the outer symbol of its new agricultural importance. Monkton, close ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... a few selected characteristics, such as the above, summarize the entire tendency of a century of teeming human life, and stand alone among the signs that are chiefly to be considered in looking to the future, would be to take an untenable position. It may be said safely, however, that these factors, because the future to which they point is more remote, are less regarded than others which are less important; and further, that those among them which mark our own day are also the factors whose ...
— The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future • A. T. Mahan

... The Constitution of 1848 was a first step towards the destruction of Federalism. Another and almost a final step in the direction of centralisation was taken in 1874. The railways, and the vast interests they created, made the position of the cantonal governments untenable. The conflict with the Ultramontanes increased the demand for vigorous action; and the destruction of State Rights in the American war strengthened the hands of the Centralists. The Constitution of 1874 is one of the most significant works of modern democracy. ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... coincidence! Summa. You accuse them of trespass. Through some absurd chain of circumstances—they may or may not be at the other end of it—you and Prout are made to appear as trespassers. You evict them. For a time your study is made untenable. I have drawn the parallel in ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... unchristian and unscientific, as is the prejudice against a dark skin. The opinion that a nation which is increasing in population has a right to expel the inhabitants of another country to make room for its own emigrants is surely untenable. If it justifies war at all, it sanctions a war of extermination, which would attain its objects most completely by massacring girls and young women. The pressure of population is a real cause of war; but the moral is, not that war is right, but that a nation must cut its coat according ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... did they then realize that their great effort was to be barren, their gallant charge in vain. Unsupported, their position grew fast untenable. ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... idiotic jest had indeed driven him away; and again I asked myself, Why? and whirled for a moment in a vortex of untenable hypotheses. ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... comfortable time to lunch and adorn himself before the permissible hour of calling in Pont Street. Rapid movement excited his imagination; he clung now to the hypothesis which at first seemed untenable; he built hopes upon it. Could he win a confession from May Tomalin, why should it be hopeless to sway the mind of Lady Ogram? If that were deemed impossible, they had but to wait. Lady Ogram would not live till the autumn. ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... contains many valuable thoughts not previously published, he declares that his critics have obviously confounded the origin of a thing and that which originates from it. "Here we have a striking example of the way in which an hypothesis is made to appear untenable by representing it as being something which it does not profess to be," he says. "I gave an account of the origin of music, and now I am blamed because my conception of the origin of music does not ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore

... For example, the geographical universality of the Deluge was at one time, and that not so very long ago, believed to be asserted by the Bible; while, on the other hand, geologists seemed to be able to show, and in the event did show, that such a view was scientifically untenable. The attention of theologians having been called to this matter, and a further study made of passages which until then had probably attracted but little notice, and quite certainly had never been considered from the new point of view, it became obvious that the ...
— Science and Morals and Other Essays • Bertram Coghill Alan Windle

... therefore take it for granted, my good M. Ratichon, that your man of all work is—of his own free will—keeping out of the way. The murder theory is untenable; we have had to abandon it. The total disappearance of the body is an unanswerable argument against it. Would you care to offer a reward for information leading to the recovery of ...
— Castles in the Air • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... limits of space to discuss this proposal further than to indicate that: (1) It assumes an untenable theory of property.[4] (2) It overlooks the difficulty of distinguishing the value of the land "irrespective of improvements," from that of the land as it actually is, a difficulty especially great in the case of agricultural land.[5] ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... retrieved three shillings and sevenpence-halfpenny he peered out. Paul was far away. Barney Bill put the money on the shelf and looked at it in a puzzled way. Was it an earnest of the boy's return, or was it a bribe to let him go? The former hypothesis seemed untenable, for if he got nabbed his penniless condition would be such an aggravation of his offence as to call down upon him a more ferocious punishment than he need have risked. And why in the name of sanity did he want to go home? To kiss his sainted mother in her sleep? To pack his blankety portmanteau? ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... poets, whose reputation was a part of their nations' glory, and to whose sublimity it was impossible to be altogether blind, were at best but tolerated as rude and wild natural geniuses. But the unqualified separation of genius and taste on which such a judgment proceeds, is altogether untenable. Genius is the almost unconscious choice of the highest degree of excellence, and, consequently, it is ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... herself. Besides, it would be neither courteous nor reasonable to break with Mrs. Falchion abruptly. The error was mine, not hers. She had not my knowledge of the immediate circumstances, which made my position morally untenable. She showed unembarrassed ignorance of the change. At the same time I caught a tone of voice and a manner which showed she was not actually oblivious, but was touched in that nerve called vanity; and from ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... which I would have purchased at any cost or sacrifice. I blushed and grew ashamed, and for a moment forgot that the bereaved creature was unable to behold the confusion with which defeat and exposure had covered me. At length I spoke imperfectly, loosely, and at random. The woman detected me in an untenable position—checked me—and in her artless manner, laid bare the fallacy of an inconsiderate assertion. In an instant I was aware of my conviction, I retracted my expression, and involved myself immediately ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... sharply northward, and here the left flank of the Boer position is on the south sides of the river, on a solitary hill called Hlangwane. This is doubtless the weakest spot in the Boer position, for if an enemy could take it by storm or otherwise, he could render the kopjes north of Colenso untenable."[27] {p.224} This shows that the Boers preferred to have their lines divided by a river fordable only in places, and at times impassable through floods, rather than leave their flank uncovered to artillery, a decision probably correct. As shown by the plans, Hlangwane, ...
— Story of the War in South Africa - 1899-1900 • Alfred T. Mahan

... prepared to resent Occidental control of Asia. Do not dismiss this theory lightly. It is spreading more and more widely throughout Asia, and some day it will be a force to be reckoned with. Also, these Pan-Asians will tell you the contention that the Orientals cannot manage their own affairs is untenable. Japan is an example to the contrary. If the smallest and least of the countries of Asia has been able to do this, it is because she has been let ...
— Peking Dust • Ellen N. La Motte

... points and support trenches. The church militant must make the furthest line her objective. If her advance stays at an intermediate point, she is exposed to cross-fire from the support trenches of the subsidiary heresies. The ground gained by the first assault proves untenable. The position won can only be secured by pushing home the attack to the final objective and consolidating her line there in the ...
— Monophysitism Past and Present - A Study in Christology • A. A. Luce

... either fight the Vicomte de Marn to-night, or clear out of Paris to-morrow. Your position in our set would become untenable," retorted the Colonel, not unkindly, for in spite of Droulde's extraordinary attitude, there was nothing in his bearing or his appearance ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... satisfaction at the gallantry and good discipline they had displayed. "We have still some work to do, my lads, however, and the more quickly we set about it the sooner we shall get out of this broiling spot, and have our wounded men properly cared for on board ship," he said. "We have to make the place untenable for some time to come by the rascals ...
— The Three Lieutenants • W.H.G. Kingston

... under the heat of the body, give off such effluvia, but the theory on the whole is manifestly absurd. The Doctrine of Signatures, which we have already encountered in our excursions,(1) may also be mentioned in this connection as a complementary and equally untenable hypothesis. ...
— Bygone Beliefs • H. Stanley Redgrove

... fought attack amounted to five. The 2nd Sherwood Foresters, under that magnificent Officer Col. Hobbs, who in pre-war days had at one time been Adjutant of our Battalion, eventually endeavoured to hold the crater on our left, but this was soon found to be untenable, and remained ...
— The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War 1914 - 1919 - History of the 1/8th Battalion • W.C.C. Weetman

... therefore considered the Stamp Act as a nullity, as a document of no more validity than Charles's writ of ship-money, or James's proclamation dispensing with the penal laws. This doctrine seems to us, we must own, to be altogether untenable. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... unity of human taste within the range of conventional history helps the pretension. But in principle it is untenable. Nothing has less to do with the real merit of a work of imagination than the capacity of all men to appreciate it; the true test is the degree and kind of satisfaction it can give to him who appreciates it most. The symphony would lose nothing if half mankind had always been deaf, ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... We now beg further to inform you that the rebels are now practically in an embarrassing predicament on account of internal differences, the warning of the friendly Powers, and the protest of the South-western provinces. Their position is becoming daily more and more untenable. If Your Excellency strongly holds out for another ten days or so, their ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... dozen years, or else Lord North was the guiltiest political instrument since Strafford. Burke attempted to defend the alliance on the ground of the substantial agreement between Fox and North in public aims. The defence is wholly untenable. The Rockingham Whigs were as substantially in agreement on public affairs with the Shelburne Whigs as they were with Lord North. The movement was one of the worst in the history of English party. It served ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... alleged difficulties of the conduct of such masses are therefore untenable. On the contrary, the demand must be made on the Chief Command that, always in accordance with the strategical situation, it must clearly determine what it requires of the Cavalry, and group them in a suitable manner ...
— Cavalry in Future Wars • Frederick von Bernhardi

... the morning there came a new alarm—more furious than before. The danger was imminent, the position in the interior of Will Tree was becoming untenable. New growlings resounded round the foot of the sequoia. Neither Godfrey nor Carefinotu, on account of the situation of the windows, which were cut straight through, could see the assailants, nor, in consequence, could they fire with ...
— Godfrey Morgan - A Californian Mystery • Jules Verne

... latest theory is altogether untenable and only entitled to consideration on account of the authority under which it ...
— Base-Ball - How to Become a Player • John M. Ward

... brilliant success. With only one-third of his command, or less than five hundred men, he had stormed a redoubt of twenty guns, defended by seventeen hundred men. The defeat of the main body, however, rendered the position untenable. Lambert successfully retreated to his ships, bringing off all his stores, ammunition, and field artillery. On the 27th the army re-embarked, and found a partial consolation for its defeat in the capture of Fort Boyer, a strong fortification at the ...
— Neville Trueman the Pioneer Preacher • William Henry Withrow

... unscriptural and untenable ground on the unity of the races of mankind, the enemies of the Negro, falling back in confusion, intrench themselves in the curse of Canaan. "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... If we should apply to our author the rule which he remorselessly enforces against Dr. Parr, that the production of a complete, first-class work is the only absolute test of first-class literary ability, our position would be untenable, for it is notorious that De Quincey's writings are entirely fragmentary. But it will never do to lay down a canon of that sort as the basis of calculation in estimating the intellectual altitude of literary men. The wider the field the greater the scope for grandeur of design and the pomp ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... surface of the film. My first thought was that someone had entered the room without my knowledge, and his figure had been reflected on the surface of the film, which was highly glazed, but a glance around the room assured me that this explanation was untenable. Moreover, I found, upon further investigation, that the film was lying in such a position that it would be impossible to reflect any person in the room. I then examined the skylight, only to find that, owing to the sharp inclination ...
— Zarlah the Martian • R. Norman Grisewood

... "Chickamauga room," being chiefly occupied by Chickamauga prisoners. The sentinel who had formerly been placed at this stairway at night, to prevent the prisoners from entering the kitchen, had been withdrawn when, in the fall of 1863, the horrible condition of the floor made it untenable for ...
— Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War • Various

... enemy, who it turned out was only making a strong demonstration to learn the object of our movement on Dandridge, seemed satisfied with the results of his reconnoissance, and began falling back toward Bull's Gap. Meanwhile Parke and Granger concluded that Dandridge was an untenable point, and hence decided to withdraw a part of the army to Strawberry Plains; and the question of supplies again coming up, it was determined to send the Fourth Corps to the south side of the French Broad to obtain subsistence, provided we could bridge the river ...
— The Memoirs of General Philip H. Sheridan, Vol. I., Part 3 • P. H. Sheridan

... unless Captain White had received some intelligence which would, in his opinion, justify his undertaking an expedition into the Indian country with so small a force as he could command, he was at once to evacuate the place and fall back with his force on the settlement, as the position was quite untenable, and every man was needed for the ...
— Captain Bayley's Heir: - A Tale of the Gold Fields of California • G. A. Henty

... The first consequence attending a depreciated currency is, that the good precious metal money is withdrawn from circulation and even from the country; for the reason that it cannot maintain its true value side by side with the paper money; the usual effect in all untenable mixed standards or currencies.(923) A second, and worse consequence is the unrightful revolution produced in so many income and property relations, based on old contracts, to the advantage of the debtor, to the disadvantage of the ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... therefore became cautious. As a human creature, I did not relish the being held up to others' or to myself, as rash, inconsiderate and headlong, unaware of difficulties the most obvious, embracing propositions the most untenable, and "against hope believing in hope." And, as an apostle of truth, I distinctly perceived that a reputation for perspicacity and sound judgment was essential to my mission. I therefore often became less a speaker, than a listener, and by no means made it a law with myself to defend principles and ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... the views of the younger school, who seek to banish the Exodus of the Jews from the province of history and represent it as a later production of the myth-making popular mind; a theory we both believed untenable. One of his remarks on this subject has lingered in my memory and ran nearly ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... hear a student deliver I feel a certain lowering of my regard. He who studies, he who is yet employed in groping for his premises, should keep his mind fluent and sensitive, keen to mark flaws, and willing to surrender untenable positions. He should keep himself teachable, or cease the expensive farce of being taught. It is to further this docile spirit that we desire to press the claims of debating societies. It is as a means of melting down this museum of premature petrifactions into living and impressionable ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... according to our author, are hardly to be wasted any more, will not satisfy a philosopher, who requires to see no degree of wasting in a body which is to remain for ever, or continue without change. But, however untenable this supposition of a fixed state in the surface of this earth, the accuracy of the natural philosopher may still be observed in the absurdity of the proposition. "L'etat des montagnes sera fixe, partout ou les rivieres seront arrivees ...
— Theory of the Earth, Volume 2 (of 4) • James Hutton

... arguments in detail, and while doing full justice to the profound learning displayed by M. Halevy, I feel forced to declare with Tiele that his criticisms "oblige scholars to carefully reconsider all that has been taken as proved in these matters, but that they do not warrant us in rejecting as untenable the hypothesis, still a very probable one, according to which the difference in the graphic systems corresponds to a real difference ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 3 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... human will free? Is the power of contrary choice a necessary element in the freedom of the will? Does Edwards's "Inquiry respecting the freedom of the will" lead to conclusions false and untenable? Matson, p. 453: ...
— Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Debate Index - Second Edition • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

... (He comes nearer, but remains standing) I have decided to take this step—which has not come easy to me, I can assure you—because I find the situation in which we ... in which all of us have been placed, untenable and, in a certain sense, ridiculous ... and because I think that, in one way or another, it should be brought to an end. The sole object of my visit is to put before you ...
— The Lonely Way—Intermezzo—Countess Mizzie - Three Plays • Arthur Schnitzler

... manner had been absolutely that of a woman surprised by insinuations she was too innocent to rate at their real importance. And yet, if she did not take away that letter, who did? Mrs. Couldock? Impossible. Miss Dawes? The thought was untenable, even for an instant. I waited in great depression of spirits for the call I knew Taylor would not ...
— The Old Stone House and Other Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... as a terrestrial event in Denmark or elsewhere. Torfaeus, learned and cautious, some centuries later, assigns by calculation a date for it: Odin, he says, came into Europe about the Year 70 before Christ. Of all which, as grounded on mere uncertainties, found to be untenable now, I need say nothing. Far, very far beyond the Year 70! Odin's date, adventures, whole terrestrial history, figure and environment are sunk from us forever into unknown ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... me to discover this; and very dreadful—but I saw it to be quite an undeniable fact. The common notion that peace and the virtues of civil life flourished together, I found, to be wholly untenable. Peace and the vices of civil life only flourish together. We talk of peace and learning, and of peace and plenty, and of peace and civilisation; but I found that those were not the words which the Muse of History coupled together: ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... development, where formerly we could only grope in the dark. The claim that "the Chinese race" produced the high Chinese civilization entirely by its own efforts, thanks to its special gifts, has become just as untenable as the other theory that immigrants from the West, some conceivably from Europe, carried civilization to the Far East. We know now that in early times there was no "Chinese race", there were not even "Chinese", just as there were no "French" and no "Swiss" two thousand ...
— A history of China., [3d ed. rev. and enl.] • Wolfram Eberhard

... range, having been transported hither by ice at some former period; especially as the Mont Blanc granite, in crossing the lake of Geneva to the Jura, must have performed a hardly less wonderful ice journey: but this hypothesis is clearly untenable; and unparalleled in our experience as the results appear, if attributed to denudation and weathering alone, we are yet compelled to refer them to these causes. The further we travel, and the longer we study, the more positive becomes the conviction that the part played by these great ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... awkwardly to his feet, his usually florid face mottled in grey and lilac. "I—I should like you to know that, after talking things quietly over with your friend Mr. Ventimore and his partner here, I am thoroughly convinced that my objections were quite untenable. I retract all I said. The house is—ah—admirably planned: most convenient, roomy, and—ah—unconventional. The—the entire freedom from all sanitary appliances is a particular recommendation. In ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction "in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and those in which a State shall be party." These words, urged the Chief Justice, must be given an exclusive sense "or they have no operation at all." This position is quite untenable, for even when given only their affirmative value these words still place the cases enumerated beyond the reach of Congress, and this may have been their only purpose. However, granting the Chief Justice his view ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... consisting of mucous flakes, mixed with a large proportion of altered blood. That such is the true nature of this substance, on which so much has been said and written, I have had sufficient reason to be convinced. The opinion that it consists of altered bile, I deem totally untenable, for the following reasons: The matter is occasionally voided in large quantities, in cases in which the liver is not at all affected, and in which, after death, the gall bladder is discovered to be more or less filled with natural bile. Independently, of this, ...
— North American Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1826 • Various

... to be a much more reasonable explanation of mother-kin and mother-right than that of Bachofen. Yet many have argued powerfully against it. Westermarck especially, has shown that belief in an early stage of promiscuous relationship is altogether untenable.[26] It is needless here to enter into proof of this.[27] What matters now is that with the giving up of promiscuity the whole structure of McLennan's theory falls to pieces. He takes it for granted that at one period paternity was unrecognised; ...
— The Position of Woman in Primitive Society - A Study of the Matriarchy • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... would have done; that is to say, conclude that Reuben was expressing his own desires independently of those which Cecily might have formed. Her probing questions, in which she had seemed to take Cecily's side, were in reality put with a perverse hope of finding that such a view was untenable, and she came away convinced that this was the case. The state of things at home considered, Cecily would not have left for so long an absence but on her ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... not get better workers, but gets a better manager or better machinery, keeping his workers. This fact proves that labour is the least important factor in modern production. The doctrine "Labour is the only source of wealth" is untenable and absurd. ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... This was news which the colonel must learn at once. Snipers were bad enough, but if the two German 77-millimetre field-pieces were got into position, the trench would be untenable. He waited only long enough to get the lie of the land around the rifle pit, then crept ...
— On Land And Sea At The Dardanelles • Thomas Charles Bridges

... and somnambulism, there are many theories, all of which are more or less untenable. My own idea, given, of course, in a plain, crude way, is that thoughts originate on the inside of the brain and then go at once to the surface, where they have their photographs taken, with the understanding that the negatives are to be preserved. In this way the thought may afterward ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... as in the great finale of a pyrotechnic display, my two hours on a hillside clearing. I can neither enliven it with a startling escape, nor add a thrill of danger, without using as many "ifs" as would be needed to make a Jersey meadow untenable. For example, if I had fallen over backwards and been powerless to rise or move, I should have been killed within half an hour, for a stray column of army ants was passing within a yard of me, and death would await any helpless being falling ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... remains in a manner strictly analogous to that of the formation of ordinary coal from wood and other vegetable debris. For geological as well as chemical reasons, the author holds that Mendeleeff's theory of their igneous origin is untenable, pointing out that the hydrocarbons could not have been formed by the action of water percolating through clefts in the gradually solidifying crust until it reached the molten metallic carbides, as these clefts could only occur where complete solidification had taken ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891 • Various

... experience alone, should be the chief fountain from whence we draw all our data to form the bases of any hypothesis or theory. If the hypothesis formed is contradicted by the result of any present or future observation or experiment, then such hypothesis will either become untenable, or must be so modified as to take in the new fact furnished by ...
— Aether and Gravitation • William George Hooper

... the Somme certainly lost at least 600,000 men. Attrition, to be sure, works both ways, but if the Germans are out-gunned this year in the West to the extent expected their position must become untenable. The deadly work of reducing German man-power continues even though the Allied line does not advance. I know of a section of the German front opposite the French last winter which for five months did not have an action of sufficient ...
— The Land of Deepening Shadow - Germany-at-War • D. Thomas Curtin

... affirms, against all experience, that whatever is good for the goose is good for the gander. Viewing the goose as the type of woman, and the gander as the type of man, no adage could be more preposterous or untenable. Such a maxim flies dead in the very face of society, and is calculated to introduce disturbance into the orderly sequence and subordination of the sexes. Who first invented it, it is difficult to conceive, unless it was some rustic Mrs. Poyser, full of the consciousness ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... the canary creeper, which had been quietly active all the morning, began to clamber over the window and darken it very greatly, and the darker it got the more and more clearly Mrs. Skinner perceived that her position would speedily become untenable. And also that she had lived many ages since Skinner went. She peered out of the darkling window, through the stirring tendrils, for some time, and then went very cautiously and opened the ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... the week, Mr. King ploughed them on Sunday, after having kept the Sabbath the day before. He was arrested under the Sunday law, and in order to make it effective against him it was alleged that his work on his own farm on Sunday created a public nuisance. On this entirely untenable ground he has been harassed from court to court. He was a poor man, but he has been supported by the friends of religious liberty. Mr. King has been greatly wronged, but his only remedy at law is under the law and Constitution of Tennessee. It appears that for the present ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... Unless indeed it be true, as I have heard it maintained, that in the Middle Ages every one did go mad—every one was mad. The theory that this was a period of general dementia is not altogether untenable. ...
— A Little Tour in France • Henry James

... Paris, "ligamenta coifae suae solvere, ut, palam monstraret se tonsuram habere clericalem; sed non est permissus. Satelles vero eum arripiens, non per coifae ligamina sed per guttur eum apprehendens, traxit ad carcerem." From which occurrence Spelman drew the untenable, and indeed, ridiculous inference, that the coif was introduced as a veil, beneath which ecclesiastics who wished to practice as judges or counsel in the secular courts, might conceal the personal mark ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... those men who fudge a theory of mankind, thinking that everyone is forged upon their anvil, or run out of their own mould, after the fashion of a tallow dip (a theory which, indeed, the sameness of mankind renders at times not quite untenable), it seems absurd because the progress of the world has gone on other lines — lines which prolonged indefinitely would never meet those which the Jesuits drew. All that I know is I myself, in the deserted missions, five-and-twenty years ago often have met old men who spoke regretfully ...
— A Vanished Arcadia, • R. B. Cunninghame Graham

... manage. These writers perceived the difference between the leading principle of the twelve and that of Paul, they had some far-seeing glimpses of the origin and differences of the New Testament writings,(384) but they propounded them in an unsystematic way along with untenable conjectures. It was reserved for the Tuebingen professor to elaborate the hypothesis of an Ebionite or primitive christianity in contra-distinction from a Pauline, applying it to the origin and constitution ...
— The Canon of the Bible • Samuel Davidson

... equally culpable. The sincerity of his anguish, the depth of his despair, I remembered with some tendencies to gratitude. Yet was he not precipitate? Was the conjecture that my part was played by some mimic so utterly untenable? Instances of this faculty are common. The wickedness of Carwin must, in his opinion, have been adequate to such contrivances, and yet the supposition of my guilt was adopted in ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... the bottom of which the Jihun brawled and boiled. I did not envy any army faced with the task of crossing it, even supposing the bridge should not be destroyed. But they would not need to cross in order to make the town untenable. ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... Majesty had no sooner made that resolution, when the wind, as conducted by an invisible power from above, presently changed about, and blew the smoke and cinders directly on his new lodging, making them in a moment as untenable as the other. Upon this, his Majesty being put to a new shift, and not finding the like conveniency elsewhere, immediately declared, he would speedily return to Whitehall, as he did; which happening to be several days ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... unpopular, because they have been manifestly mischievous and destructive. No one knows better how conservative and tolerant is public opinion in England towards traditional institutions, than Mr. Bright does; or how indifferent the nation is to attacks on an untenable practice and a bad law, until it awakens to the fact that the law ...
— Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, Volume 1 • John Bright

... his enthronement was a benefactor to the monastery of Tarrant, in Dorsetshire, his native village. Later we find he gave a large estate at Laverstock to his new cathedral. Hence the old theory that his name was derived from Poor or Pauper, as it appears in several old chronicles, is untenable. Possibly like the Irish Poer or Power, it may be traced to the word puer, used in a restricted sense to denote the sons of royal or noble families not yet in possession of their heritage. A Prince of Wales in past times has been known as Puer Anglicanus, the Spanish "Infanta," the prefix "Childe," ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the See of Sarum • Gleeson White

... wilfully unmindful, the leaders of the Rumanian state buried their noses in their ledgers, oblivious of the fact that in these times of internationalism a will in common, with aspirations in common, is the very life-blood of nationality. That sentiment ought not to enter into politics is an argument untenable in a country which has yet to see its national aspirations fulfilled, and which makes of these aspirations definite claims. No Rumanian statesman can contend that possession of Transylvania is necessary to the existence ...
— The Balkans - A History Of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey • Nevill Forbes, Arnold J. Toynbee, D. Mitrany, D.G. Hogarth

... and this was what Hastings desired; but Scotland was pronounced indivisible, and he retired from the field. Bruce contended that, as son of one sister, he was nearer the throne than the grandson of the other, although the elder; but this was completely untenable, and Balliol, having been adjudged the rightful heir, was declared King of Scotland, was crowned, and paid ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... that I escaped capture, although my position in regard to the chairs was twice reversed. We performed a series of nimble manoeuvres which were characterized on my part by a high degree of strategy. But I found the rampart of chairs an untenable place. I was again obliged hurriedly to retreat, this time taking up a position ...
— The O'Ruddy - A Romance • Stephen Crane

... received the signal from Fort Wood to charge the lower line of works at the foot of Missionary Ridge. This we did easily, but the cross-fire from the second line midway up the Ridge was so galling that the position was untenable. One of two things must be done: retreat or carry the Ridge. The first alternative I do not think occurred to anyone, for they leaped the breastworks, and in spite of the enemy's utmost endeavors and natural obstructions, the second ...
— Doctor Jones' Picnic • S. E. Chapman

... unable, incapable, incompetent; inefficient, ineffective; inept; unfit, unfitted; unqualified, disqualified; unendowed; inapt, unapt; crippled, disabled &c. v.; armless[obs3]. harmless, unarmed, weaponless, defenseless, sine ictu[Lat], unfortified, indefensible, vincible, pregnable, untenable. paralytic, paralyzed; palsied, imbecile; nerveless, sinewless[obs3], marrowless[obs3], pithless[obs3], lustless[obs3]; emasculate, disjointed; out of joint, out of gear; unnerved, unhinged; water-logged, on one's beam ends, rudderless; laid on one's ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... he corrected, "by figuring out that they couldn't well be elsewhere—unless on the untenable hypothesis that our friend, Mr. ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... our breakfast hour, and when I reached the great cabin and told my story, Evans laughed hilariously, and Edwards contorted his face dismally. They told me that there was a skunk's lair under my cabin, and that they dare not make any attempt to dislodge him for fear of rendering the cabin untenable. They have tried to trap him since, but without success, and each night the noisy performance is repeated. I think he is sharpening his claws on the under side of my floor, as the grizzlies sharpen theirs upon the trees. The odor with which this creature, ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... street absolutely untenable, for each time they made a rush to storm our position they were compelled to fall back, and few indeed reached a place of safety amid our deadly fire. When we had held the barricade for nearly an hour, Kona, Omar and myself being close together bearing our part in repulsing our opponents, ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... which Scherer's exegesis presents to us? Faith in it rests on two bases; first, the inspiration and canon of Scripture; and second, the subjects or organs of inspiration. The first is untenable and false, for the stand-point of authority has already spoiled everything in our theology. Authority determines beforehand what we must believe, whereas reason alone should perform that office. There is a communicated revelation to our own minds which should claim ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... short distance it was placed from St. Elmo. The walls of the fortress soon began to crumble under the continuous bombardment, and the garrison, which had been increased to 120 Knights and two companies of Spanish infantry, soon felt the position untenable without reinforcements. As an attack had not yet been delivered La Valette was incensed at the appeal for help and offered to go himself to hold the fort; his council dissuaded him from doing so, and he permitted 50 Knights and 200 Spanish troops to cross to St. Elmo. It was of ...
— Knights of Malta, 1523-1798 • R. Cohen

... those is which direct perception is regarded as more authoritative. In 5, the speaker refers to the atomic and other theories of the creation derived from Reason. Bhishma declares it as his opinion that all such theories are untenable or groundless. In the first line of 6, the word Ekam implies Brahma. The sense is, if thou thinkest that Brahma alone is the cause of the universe and in thinking so becomest landed on doubt. The reply to this is that Yoga for a long course of years will enable thee to comprehend the sufficiency ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... dated Pretoria, 31st of August, from which I understand that your Excellency essays to justify the use of the white flag for the dissemination of proclamations through our lines, in connection with which your Excellency offers arguments which I do not hesitate to say are utterly untenable. ...
— My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War • Ben Viljoen

... first established the orbit of Mars and then of other planets; among them was a Newton, called by Justus Liebig "the most sublime genius in a thousand years," who asserted that his entire system of mechanics was untenable without the supposition of divine Power; a Davy, prince of chemists, who "saw in all the forces of matter the tools of Divinity;" a Linne, called by Prof. Fraas the "greatest naturalist of all times," who commences his "System of Nature" ...
— Evolution - An Investigation and a Critique • Theodore Graebner

... heavy-hearted and lost in perplexed thought. What was best to be done for Innocent? This was the chief question that presented itself to his mind. He could no longer deny the fact that her position was difficult—almost untenable. Nameless, and seemingly deserted by her kindred, if any such kindred still existed, she was absolutely alone in life, now that Hugo Jocelyn was no more. As he realised this to its fullest intensity, the deeper and more passionate grew his love ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... should be condemned. Hence the teachings of science and of human and divine law all coincide to protect the sacred rights and the precious interests at stake against an unjust suspicion, which even the doctrine of chances would render untenable. ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... will consider necessary for its objects and interests. In harmony with this it should, besides, be agreed upon that, if also new negotiations should prove fruitless one must not return to status quo so as to adhere to the present untenable state of Union affairs. There should be a binding presumption that the present state of things must not prevent either country from exercising its right of self-determination, but that instead each country can freely ...
— The Swedish-Norwegian Union Crisis - A History with Documents • Karl Nordlund

... old and experienced people, whose minds are stocked with a multitude of facts all regarded during a long course of years from the old point of view. This is nearly our case. So, owning no call to a larger faith than is expected of us, but not prepared to pronounce the whole hypothesis untenable, under such construction as we should put upon it, we naturally sought to attain a settled conviction through a perusal of several proffered refutations of the theory. At least, this course seemed to offer the readiest way of bringing to a head the various objections to which the theory ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... 10th Division on Tahta Ridge, to bring away his wounded who were very numerous. About 3 P.M. the last of them came out, having had a terrible day, only four or five officers remaining unwounded. They stuck to it well, but it was an untenable position. The Turk contented himself with driving them off the Foka Heights, and did not attempt to advance farther—if he had, it might have proved just as bad for him as ...
— The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry - and 14th (F. & F. Yeo.) Battn. R.H. 1914-1919 • D. D. Ogilvie

... Spey, Lord John Drummond had prepared to defend the fords, and some works had been thrown up to protect them; but the English cannon were brought up in such numbers that Lord John, considering the position untenable, retired to Inverness, while the English army forded the Spey, and on the 14th entered Nairn, where some skirmishing took place between their advance ...
— Bonnie Prince Charlie - A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden • G. A. Henty

... paper were to be considered, I might be thought to have erred by giving undue prominence to the favourable side, as I had done in the case of Bentham to the unfavourable. In both cases, the impetus with which I had detached myself from what was untenable in the doctrines of Bentham and of the eighteenth century, may have carried me, though in appearance rather than in reality, too far on the contrary side. But as far as relates to the article on Coleridge, my defence is, ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... be told that this is an untenable position, that a foundation must be laid upon which to build our action and our works, that it is impossible to live by contradictions, that unity and clarity are essential conditions of life and thought, and that it is necessary to unify thought. And this leaves us as ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... is as untenable as all the others, still I am very glad that I did not then lose any fact of the majesty, and beauty, and pathos of the great certain measures for the sake of that fourth dimension of the poem which is not yet made palpable or visible. I took my sad heart's fill of the ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... province, but reserve his judgment on the question itself of spiritual survival to be settled on the only appropriate evidence. Although the habit thus formed by the critical scholar, and by those who follow his authority, of sweeping away as wholly untenable so many varieties of speculation, and so many groups of images connected with the belief in a future life, has unquestionably contributed powerfully to foster complete disbelief in the doctrine itself, yet it is equally unquestionable that this process of negation is illogical. Many a true doctrine ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... machine which de Medici had invented for cleaning out the harbour of Leghorn. He said it was as useless as it in fact turned out to be. Through the influence of the mortified inventor he lost favour at Court; and his enemies took advantage of the fact to render his chair untenable. He resigned before his three years were ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... of view as untenable and anti-republican, and taking the opposite, that suffrage is a natural right—as necessary to man under government, for the protection of person and property, as are air and motion to life—we hold the talisman by which to show the right of all classes to the ballot, ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... larger and more systematic, they are also easier and more economical. These two fundamental tendencies of modern medicine—greater complexity of its methods and the predominantly preventive character of its aims—alone suffice to render the position of the private practitioner untenable. He cannot cope with the complexity of modern medicine; he has no ...
— Essays in War-Time - Further Studies In The Task Of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... loyalty, and Cavour hesitated no longer to come to an agreement which every day proved to be more imperative. After the Coup d'etat, the Extreme Right, led by the Count de Revel and General Menabrea, adopted the tactics of professing to believe untenable the position of a free State wedged in between the old despotism of Austria and the new one of France. The argument was ingenious and was likely to make converts. It was urgently necessary to form a new political combination ...
— Cavour • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... contribute to leave him thus without an ally, was, that if there was any one post more untenable than the rest, he would be sure to throw himself into it; and to do him justice, when he was once there, he would defend it so gallantly, that 'twould have been a concern, either to a brave man or a good-natured one, to ...
— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman • Laurence Sterne

... Armentieres. A small epidemic of suspected dysentery in that division took us through that town frequently, and we found it almost completely deserted. The Huns shelled it almost daily and had made the place almost untenable for civilians, though, as usual, a number of them hung on and did a ...
— On the Fringe of the Great Fight • George G. Nasmith

... of the forest, each to deliver a heavy blow at our house, making the roof crack, but never yield, and with the last came so great an influx of water that our position rapidly began to grow untenable. ...
— Mass' George - A Boy's Adventures in the Old Savannah • George Manville Fenn

... the exaltation gone. For the moment I hated the two down-stairs. I felt the situation equivocal and untenable, and it had amused me so much an ...
— Red Hair • Elinor Glyn

... national interest. In the succeeding works (Mariucha to Amor y ciencia), he strove to unite Spanish color with philosophic breadth, and to lay aside even the appearance of polemic. Such a classification is ingenious, but, we feel, untenable. Aside from the fact that M. Martinenche was not acquainted with Galds' third play, Gerona, which does not fit into his scheme, it seems apparent that there is no essential difference in localization between La de San Quintn of the first period and Mariucha of the third; and that the former ...
— Heath's Modern Language Series: Mariucha • Benito Perez Galdos

... remonstrances and prayers; he called me a secret friend and admirer of Napoleon; he demanded that I should at least speak out, freely and openly in your majesty's presence, and refute him if I could, or yield to him if my arguments should prove untenable. Your majesty, I have therefore complied with the wishes of my brother, the Archduke John; I have come to you, but only to say to my lord and emperor: Your majesty, I implore you, in the name of your people and your throne, do not yet unsheath the sword! Wait until our army is ready for the ...
— Andreas Hofer • Lousia Muhlbach

... yet been sounded by the most searching scientists. And what is Material Force but the visible manifestation of the Spiritual behind it? ... He who accepts the Material and denies the Spiritual, is in the untenable position of one who admits an Effect and denies a Cause! And if both Spiritual and Material BE accepted, then how can we reasonably dare to set a limit to the manifestations of either the one or ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... startling, the almost offensive publicity of the traditional spot, in the full view of the whole city of Jerusalem, is wholly inappropriate, and (in the absence, as it now appears, of even traditional support) wholly untenable." ...
— Memories of Bethany • John Ross Macduff

... necessity. A knowledge of medicine was destined to correct that defect, and we shall mark the growth of its most precious fruits in the increased power of observation and the counterpoise it offered to hasty generalizations, as well as in the confidence which learnt to reject untenable fictions, whether produced by luxuriant imagination or by a priori speculations, on the ...
— The Evolution of Modern Medicine • William Osler

... hand, the summons of a Parliament, the ecclesiastical reforms which it at once sanctioned, were measures which promised a more legal and constitutional system of government. The question of the divorce presented to More no serious difficulty. Untenable as Henry's claim seemed to the now Chancellor, his faith in the omnipotence of Parliament would have enabled him to submit to any statute which named a new spouse as queen and her children as heirs to the ...
— History of the English People, Volume III (of 8) - The Parliament, 1399-1461; The Monarchy 1461-1540 • John Richard Green

... time or in consequence of cooking or through admixture. Their only properties are said to appertain to Goodness. Tiryagbhavagatam is explained by Nilakantha as adhikyam gatam. Telang thinks this is unwarrantable. His own version, however, of the first line is untenable. What can be the tiryagbhava or 'form of lower species' of immobile objects? Telang frequently forgets that Nilakantha represents a school of interpretation not founded by him but which existed from a time ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... intellectual battle had been set on foot, in the course of which conflicting opinions which had never yet been advanced in express terms should be made manifest and wrestle with one another, until it became clear which standpoints were untenable and which could be maintained. Although he cherished warm feelings of affection for both R. Nielsen and Broechner the two professors of Philosophy, he could not help hoping for a discussion between ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... on the long ladder, Marsh, Eugene Madrillon, and Will Cummings, found their position untenable; for the flames, reaching all along the wall, were licking at the ladder itself, between Marsh and Eugene. "I can't stand this any longer," gasped Tappingham, "but I can't leave ...
— The Two Vanrevels • Booth Tarkington

... is, "And a wind of God (i.e. a great wind) moved," &c. Here there is nothing in the context to assist us in determining the sense to be chosen; but, as will be seen in the sequel, modern science indicates that the Jewish interpretation is untenable, and that our translation is, consequently, the correct one. As an instance of confusion of time, we may refer to ii. 19. In our translation this verse seems to place the creation of animals after that of man; but in xii. 1, the very same form is translated by the ...
— The Story of Creation as told by Theology and by Science • T. S. Ackland

... In his first edition (1848, vol. i. p. 163) Dr. Davidson pronounced it "manifestly untenable" that S. Mark's Gospel was the last written; and assigned A.D. 64 as "its most probable" date. In his second (1868, vol. ii. p. 117), he says:—"When we consider that the Gospel was not written till the second century, internal evidence loses much of ...
— The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark • John Burgon

... polemarch, and Themistocles, the great Athenian, had proceeded to Tempe, in order to cooperate with the Thessalians in guarding the pass. But the discovery that the Olympic range could be crossed in the,place where the army of Xerxes afterwards passed it had shown that the position was untenable; and it had been then resolved that the stand should be made at the next defensible position, Thermopylae. [PLATE LXII.] Here, accordingly, a force was found—small, indeed, if it be compared with the number ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... Dangerfield was in custody of the gaoler, and that his old theory of a certain double plot carried on by that intriguing personage, with the object of possessing the hand and thousands of Aunt Rebecca, was now and for ever untenable, than he wrote to London forthwith to countermand the pelican. The answer, which in those days was rather long about coming, was not pleasant, being simply a refusal to rescind ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... and approved by the scholastics; but all that is necessary here is to draw the attention of the reader to the passages on value to which we have referred. One of the most prominent exponents of the untenable view that the mediaevals traced all value to labour is the Abbe Hohoff, whose argument that there was a divorce between value and just price in the scholastic writings, is ably controverted by Rambaud, who ...
— An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching • George O'Brien

... either used those Gospels themselves or else a later work, of the nature of a harmony based upon them [Endnote 136:1]. The theory (if it is really held) that he was ignorant of our Gospels in any shape, seems to me, in view of the facts, wholly untenable. ...
— The Gospels in the Second Century - An Examination of the Critical Part of a Work - Entitled 'Supernatural Religion' • William Sanday

... itself, filled with all these flaming masses, became so heated that it could no longer be breathed. The atmosphere itself was burning, the glass of the windows cracked,' and apartments became untenable. The Emperor stood for a moment immovable, his face crimson, and great drops of perspiration rolling from his brow, while the King of Naples, Prince Eugene, and the Prince de Neuchatel begged him to quit the ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... remind you of this pretty country, and of an old Englishwoman who loves you well. Mrs. Browning was delighted with your visit. She is a Bonapartiste; so am I. I always adored the Emperor, and I think his nephew is a great man, full of ability, energy, and courage, who put an end to an untenable situation and got quit of a set of unrepresenting representatives. The Times newspaper, right as it seems to me about Kossuth, is dangerously wrong about Louis Napoleon, since it is trying to stimulate the nation to a war ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... Furious counterattacks were delivered by the Russians at Halicz and Jezupol, the bridgeheads of the southern bank of the Dniester. If the Austrians could not force a victory at these points, their position in Stanislawow would be untenable, since the Russians still had a clear road to pour reenforcements into the fighting area between the Dniester and the Carpathians. On March 1, 1915, the Austrians were defeated at Halicz in a pitched battle, ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 12) - Neuve Chapelle, Battle of Ypres, Przemysl, Mazurian Lakes • Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan

... terrestrial ones at least, had a natural tendency to deflect downward; and there is no shadow of any thing objectionable in the supposition, except that it is not true. The pretended proof of the law of motion is even more manifestly untenable than that of the law of inertia, for it is flagrantly inconsistent; it assumes that the continuance of motion in the direction first taken is more natural than deviation either to the right or to the left, but denies that one of these can possibly be more natural than the other. ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... fronted with brave effort. The fugitive's cave was a good preparation for the king's palace. The throne to which he was called was no soft seat for repose. The Philistine invasion had torn away all the northern territory. He took the helm in a tempest. What was he to do? Ziklag was untenable; where was he to take his men? He could not stop in the Philistine territory, and ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... declined, and returned the compliment by making the same demand on Smith, who also declined. After an engagement lasting some six hours, Morgan's artillery rendered the building Smith's command was fighting in untenable, and he then surrendered. The next day Morgan, moving along the railroad, destroyed it thoroughly. The principal object of the expedition was the great trestleworks at Muldraugh's Hills, only a short distance apart. The garrison defending the lower trestle, 600 strong, was ...
— The Army of the Cumberland • Henry M. Cist

... worth while," rejoined Charley musingly. Charley wondered bitterly if he had made an irreparable error in saying those ill-chosen words. This might mean a breach between them, and so make his position in the parish untenable. He had no wish to go elsewhere—where could he go? It mattered little what he was, tinker or tailor. He had now only to work his way back to the mind of the peasant; to be an animal with intelligence; to get close to mother earth, and move down the declivity of life ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... as a system of transparent activities is, I think, also untenable because of its failure to account for the very possibility of dreams and hallucinations. It seems impossible to realise how a bare, transparent activity can be directed to what is not there, to apprehend what ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... day, after an extra heavy nocturnal bombardment, we went out in search of a melon. A shell had shattered her impromptu showcase, dislocated a wall on one side of the archway, which menaced immediate collapse. In fact, the place had become untenable. ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... she sped down the street. At first they thought she was in distress, but a glance at her shining face, its nobility accentuated by her elation, made that idea untenable. She was obviously the ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... along that Riverboro people would not make a story; and Lancelot or The Parted Lovers was intended to refute that assertion at once and forever; an assertion which Rebecca regarded (quite truly) as untenable, though why she certainly never could have explained. Unfortunately Lancelot was a poor missionary, quite unfitted for the high achievements to which he was destined by the youthful novelist, and Uncle Jerry, though a stage-driver and no reading man, at once perceived the ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... seem as if Hume were boldly pressing his principles to the very uttermost—that is, were challenging a miracle as untenable, though attested by a multitude. But, in fact, he is not. He only seems to do so; for, if no number of witnesses could avail anything in proof of a miracle, why does he timidly confine himself to the ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... selected the leeward side of the deck-house for his seat, and Miss Cahere had brought Cartoner round to the weather side, where a cold Atlantic breeze made the position untenable. Without explanation, and for her own good, he led the way to a warmer quarter. But at the corner of the deck-house a gust caught Miss Cahere, and held her there in a pretty attitude, with her two hands upraised to her hat, looking at him with frank and laughing eyes, and waiting ...
— The Vultures • Henry Seton Merriman

... elsewhere, the first hypothesis formed in the field as to the purpose of these chimney-like structures was that they were abortive chimneys, but this was found untenable. The next hypothesis, formed also in the field, was that they were ceremonial in origin and use, but why they should connect with the open air is not clear. If we could assume that they were ventilators, the problem would be solved, but it is a far cry from ...
— The Cliff Ruins of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona • Cosmos Mindeleff

... arising from chivalry was the idea of the spiritual chivalry which was to unite the cloister and the town, abstract self-denial and military life, separation from the world and the sovereignty of the world—an undeniable advance, but an untenable synthesis which could not prevent the dissolution of chivalry—this chivalry, which, as the rule of the stronger, induced for a long time the destruction of all regular culture founded on principles, and brought a period of absence of all education. In ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... while those left on the south side intrenched themselves. Thomas was to move out from his lines facing the ridge, leaving enough of Palmer's corps to guard against an attack down the valley. Lookout Valley being of no present value to us, and being untenable by the enemy if we should secure Missionary Ridge, Hooker's orders were changed. His revised orders brought him to Chattanooga by the established route north of the Tennessee. He was then to move out to ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... also given first place in Rafn's Antiquitates Americanae (Copenhagen, 1837). This ponderous volume contained all the original sources, but it has given rise to much needless controversy on the Norse voyages, for many of the author's conclusions were soon found to be untenable. He failed to winnow the sound historical material from that which was unsubstantiated or improbable. And so far as the original sources are concerned, it was particularly unfortunate that he followed ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... learned, but that will not bear much rigid scrutiny or candid comparison with the exact statements of the Word of God. There is nothing in the Bible more inspired than the tabernacle, and if the Destructive Critics would study it more, they would give up their ingenious but untenable theories as to the composite structure of ...
— The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit • R. A. Torrey

... happy with the situation. He preferred the site of his choice and the settlers returned again "to the open aire of West Fort," abandoning "Nonsuch." Indian attack followed and the settlement became untenable. In the fall West returned with his men to Jamestown having lost a goodly number at the "Falles" as well as eleven men and a boat at "Arsetocke" a few miles downstream. One more settlement ...
— The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624 • Charles E. Hatch

... course, the theory of divine right has long appeared untenable, obsolete, and, as Macaulay says, absurd. Many people to-day would go farther and argue that there is no such thing as a divine right at all, since "rights" are a purely human idea, possibly a purely legal one. But it is at least doubtful that the Emperor uses the ...
— William of Germany • Stanley Shaw

... If you point with pride to that wild flight of fancy which identified 'Molly Lessing' with Marian Blessington, George, your position is (as you yourself would say) untenable. It ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... elaborate description of this fact in his New Pathways in Science. The above statement, like others of Eddington's, has been Contested from the side of professional philosophy as logically untenable. Our own further discussion will show that it accords ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... that a fresh outlet had been opened in some other part of the surface, and that the eruptive matter had been diverted into the new channel. But at present his business was to prosecute his labors so that a retreat might be immediately effected from their now untenable position. ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... revolutionary theory and such an important discovery were, of course, not to be accepted without controversy, but the feeble arguments of the opponents showed how untenable the old theory had become. In 1648 Pascal suggested that if the theory of the pressure of air upon the mercury was correct, it could be demonstrated by ascending a mountain with the mercury tube. As the ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... the very conditions of high temperature and viscosity, which render untenable the hypothesis of a rigid obstacle, suffice to afford a full explanation of the retardation of the roots of the folds. For directed translatory movements cannot be transmitted through a fluid, pressure in which is necessarily hydrostatic, and must be exerted equally in every direction. And this ...
— The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays • J. (John) Joly

... says Mr. Mill, "what it is that, in our author's opinion, we are bound to believe concerning the unknowable." Why, this was the very thing he ought to have considered, before pronouncing the position to be untenable, or to be irreconcilable with something else. Meanwhile, it is instructive to observe that Mr. Mill himself believes, or requires his readers to believe, something concerning the unknown. He does not know, or at any rate he does not tell his readers, what ...
— The Philosophy of the Conditioned • H. L. Mansel

... dogmas of the Church, and the demand of an unconditional submission to them. Beza had only reiterated the offer, made a thousand times by his fellow-reformers, to surrender at once his religious position should it be rendered untenable by means of proofs drawn from the Scriptures. Cardinal Tournon had again made the trite rejoinder of the clergy; but sensible persons were tired of the unsatisfactory repetition. Catharine had given expression to the peremptory requisition of all enlightened France ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... grasping the bulwarks, which on the poop were only about a foot above the deck. On reaching the wake of the mizen-mast he was compelled to pause in order to help Rex Fortescue and Violet out of their dangerous position, a position of course altogether untenable now that the order had been given to cut away the mast. This, with Brook's assistance, he with some difficulty accomplished, landing them safely alongside Blanche and Bob upon the companion. The slight delay thus incurred threatened to have the most disastrous consequences; for when ...
— The Pirate Island - A Story of the South Pacific • Harry Collingwood

... Zappa. "We have no prospect of release from hence, unless we can construct a raft by which we may escape, while the calm which has now returned continues. I tell you, one hour's moderate gale would render the spot on which we stand untenable, and we must all perish; but do not despair, we may, if we employ our time to advantage, form out of the wreck a raft, which will, with perfect security, convey us to yonder island, where we may find shelter and protection among friends who ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston



Words linked to "Untenable" :   unreasonable



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