Subtle


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Subtle

charlatan, posing as alchemist, bilks hapless victims. [Br. Lit.: The Alchemist]
References in classic literature ?
This return to the subject of Natalie caused Prince Andrew to knit his brows with discomfort: he was about to rise, but Vera continued with a still more subtle smile:
Everything was similar: the ladies' subtle talk, the cards, the general raising his voice at the card table, and the samovar and the tea cakes; only one thing was lacking that he had always seen at the evening parties he wished to imitate.
Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual--at present, me thinketh, it is called SCIENCE.
THIS courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual, this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's wisdom: THIS, it seemeth to me, is called at present--"
They are both specimens of the emancipated young American girl--practical, positive, passionless, subtle, and knowing, as you please, either too much or too little.
Then she has a sage-green robe, "mystic, wonderful," all embroidered with subtle devices and flowers, and birds of tender tint; very straight and tight in front, and adorned behind, along the spine, with large, strange, iridescent buttons.
For, while he was but too ready to accept the position that was almost immediately offered to him on his coming of age, and found, indeed, a subtle pleasure in the thought that he might really become to the London of his own day what to imperial Neronian Rome the author of the Satyricon once had been, yet in his inmost heart he desired to be something more than a mere arbiter elegantiarum, to be consulted on the wearing of a jewel, or the knotting of a necktie, or the conduct of a cane.
It was the creation of such worlds as these that seemed to Dorian Gray to be the true object, or amongst the true objects, of life; and in his search for sensations that would be at once new and delightful, and possess that element of strangeness that is so essential to romance, he would often adopt certain modes of thought that he knew to be really alien to his nature, abandon himself to their subtle influences, and then, having, as it were, caught their colour and satisfied his intellectual curiosity, leave them with that curious indifference that is not incompatible with a real ardour of temperament, and that, indeed, according to certain modern psychologists, is often a condition of it.
The fuming censers that the grave boys, in their lace and scarlet, tossed into the air like great gilt flowers had their subtle fascination for him.
It mattered not whether my impressions were derived through organs called ears, and were communicated by others called those of speech, or whether each function was performed by means of sensations and agencies too subtle to be detected by ordinary means.
This distinction, though by no means a subtle one, was yet too subtle for Mr Clare the elder, and he went on with the story he had been about to relate; which was that after the death of the senior so-called d'Urberville the young man developed the most culpable passions, though he had a blind mother, whose condition should have made him know better.
He has no right to ruin my life and the happiness of my wife by subtle threats, to hold those foolish letters over our heads, like a thunderbolt held ever in suspense.