Phrases with "difficult"

Olaf Stapledon It is difficult to say how I knew this, for they were not at all demonstrative toward each other. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Now, I must look into more difficult things. The Three Hostages by John Buchan [1924]

Charles Dickens When it is on the level surface, it is often extremely difficult of approach. Reprinted Pieces by Charles Dickens [1850]

Richard Burton It is generally supposed that Al-Hakim’s object was to transfer the Visitation to his own capital; but in one so manifestly insane it is difficult to discover the spring of action. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

Olaf Stapledon Unfortunately such discipline is the most difficult to inculcate, especially amongst rebellious young animals who have been brought up on something different. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

Isabella Bird The fever still continuing, I found it difficult to bear the movement of the horse, and dismounted two or three times and lay under an umbrella by the roadside. Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan by Isabella Bird [1891]

George Gissing Her position is difficult beyond that of most girls. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

H. G. Wells Many of the schools are understaffed, and it is difficult to secure the attendance of unwilling pupils. Russia in the Shadows by H. G. Wells

Arthur Conan Doyle Besides, I think it will not be difficult to carry a romantic girl of that sort by a kind of coup de main. The Heiress of Glenmahowley by Arthur Conan Doyle

George Gissing You see how difficult it is for me to speak decidedly, but I assure you that I could not possibly act in opposition to your expressed desire. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Edmund Burke But, of all things, this representation, to be measured by contribution, is the most difficult to settle upon principles of equity in a country which considers its districts as members of a whole. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke [1790]

Anthony Trollope Hate is difficult and expensive, and between individuals soon gives place to love. The American Senator by Anthony Trollope

He was a man with whom anyone would find it difficult to pick a quarrel, and yet that evening I had been quite prepared to do so, indeed I had been almost anxious to do so. The Race of Life by Guy Boothby [1906]

But there is no stumbling-block difficult to be got over. Reality or Delusion? by Ellen Wood [1868]

H. G. Wells She would, he knew, be difficult to break with. The Research Magnificent by H. G. Wells [1915]

Chivalry had not quite come to an end with the Crusades; but it was a difficult task to maintain all its laws, written and unwritten, in these degenerate days. Chaucer by Adolphus William Ward [1879]

Under these circumstances you will perceive that if you desire to do something for them it will not be difficult to find something which should be done. A Second Coming by Richard Marsh [1900]

Thomas Paine It is difficult to account for the origin of charter and corporation towns, unless we suppose them to have arisen out of, or been connected with, some species of garrison service. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine [1791]

Moreover, not only did they know nothing, but they were so unused to being questioned that it was often difficult to get answers out of them at all. A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

Jules Verne The sea had furnished us with food once, and, difficult as the task of fishing had now become, at all hazards the attempt must be made again. The Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne [1875]

T. E. Lawrence The brilliant stars cast about us a false light, not illumination, but rather a transparency of air lengthening slightly the shadow below each stone, and making a difficult greyness of the ground. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Samuel Johnson It seems impossible to him to be idle, and his disorders made it difficult or dangerous to be long seriously studious, or laboriously diligent. Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

Anthony Hope He was a little older now, and his temper more difficult to stir. Rupert of Hentzau by Anthony Hope

Algernon Blackwood Yet, without a hint of insincerity or charlatanism, he seemed conscious only of what he deemed the long, sweet prizes of the soul, difficult of attainment, and to the majority mere dreams. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

But she returned to the charge, as if difficult to be convinced. East Lynne by Ellen Wood [1861]

Jules Verne The brig’s ensign hung in folds, and it became more and more difficult to observe it. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

Anthony Trollope What was the condition of the people of Rome at the time it is difficult to learn from the conflicting statements of historians. The Life of Cicero by Anthony Trollope [1881]

Virginia Woolf At what moment and by what means her spell was broken it is difficult to ascertain. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf [1925]

M. P. Shiel I need only point out that when the whole company trooped out of the room, Randolph was the last to leave it, and it is not now difficult to conjecture why. Prince Zaleski by M. P. Shiel [1895]

George Gissing Both of them found it difficult to understand their young sister, who, in her letters, had betrayed distaste for the change of career proposed to her. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Andrew Lang Of the boys in “Tom Brown” it is difficult to speak, because the Rugby boy under Arnold seems to have been of a peculiar species. Adventures Among Books by Andrew Lang

Theodore Dreiser I know how difficult this family business is, but you can arrange it. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Charles Dickens I was not very comfortable that night, though I felt a certainty, difficult to explain, that the figure would not return. The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens

Except Cervantes, it is difficult to think of any novelist who had shown himself able to supply the want. The English Novel by George Saintsbury [1913]

Elizabeth Gaskell This I find it difficult to do. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

How difficult it is to see a partridge, snipe, woodcock, certain plovers, larks, and night-jars when crouched on ground. The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

G. K. Chesterton He did not merely believe in himself; he believed in things requiring far more faith: in things which some think far more incredible and difficult to believe. Four Faultless Felons by G. K. Chesterton [1930]

Benjamin Disraeli It is difficult to conceive a career of more various, more constant, or more distracting excitement than that in which the Duke of St. James was now engaged. The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli [1831]

If that man possessed a thousand young ones, exaltedly nasty, and dogs enough to make a sub-Atlantic cable of German sausage, you would find it difficult to make us believe in him. The Fiend’s Delight by Ambrose Bierce [1873]

H. G. Wells Maybe we shall find our formulae difficult for some of these new types. The Holy Terror by H. G. Wells [1939]

H. G. Wells Through this universe with its diffused Space-God spun the earth, moving amidst the stars along paths that were difficult to understand and still more difficult to remember. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

When we see the formations tabulated in written works, or when we follow them in nature, it is difficult to avoid believing that they are closely consecutive. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Arthur Conan Doyle Finally when I got your reply to my wire I came out to you, since I gather that you are a person who gives advice in difficult cases. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

Willa Cather It is so difficult to do anything well in this mysterious world. Not Under Forty by Willa Cather [1936]

And once they have children, the most difficult times will seem to them happy, so long as there is love and courage. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

George Gissing She had promised to see her aunt today, but it would be difficult to find time, unless she could manage to get there between her business with Arnold and the hour of dinner. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Theodore Dreiser How much influence the presence of that young woman in the same house had upon her it would be difficult to say. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Gertrude Stein We had spent a great deal of our money during the war and we were economising, servants were difficult to get if not impossible, prices were high. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein [1933]

Guy de Maupassant That gave him a difficult and a rather ridiculous part to play towards us, the part of a deceived lover, almost a husband’s part. Fly (Boatman's Reminiscence) (Mouche) by Guy de Maupassant [1890]

Virginia Woolf Dashed to the crest of the waves, bumped and battered on the stones at the bottom, it is difficult for an English reader to feel at ease. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf [1925]

It is extremely difficult to preserve unchanged, and it is still more difficult completely to destroy. The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman [1911]

John Galsworthy The other eight male members of the jury tired her eyes, so diverse and difficult to place. Over the River by John Galsworthy

I found it so difficult to cheer him with hopeful words, when my own heart was hourly growing heavier, and the fears that had been vague and shadowy were gathering strength and shape. Milly Darrell by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1873]

Theodore Dreiser The thing was difficult to encounter, and she had a few days. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

His conduct became so strange at that date—so difficult to account for upon any other hypothesis. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

Robert Louis Stevenson It is odd how difficult in this world it is to be armed. Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson

Maria Edgeworth Miss Portman was now really placed in a difficult and dangerous situation, and she had ample opportunities of learning and practising prudence. Belinda. by Maria Edgeworth

Anthony Trollope It is difficult in the same house to adhere to two political doctrines, because the holders of each will require support at all general meetings. Marion Fay by Anthony Trollope [1882]

Florence Dixie It is difficult for hoary sin to face the features of a pure, good life. Redeemed in Blood by Florence Dixie [1889]

Theodore Dreiser Other people, men particularly, found it difficult to face Cowperwood’s glazed stare. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Miles Franklin No God except as we demonstrate Him! Whew! There was a burden too difficult and demanding to be borne. My Career Goes Bung by Miles Franklin [1946]

What with reference to black and white hair, to poop-ladders, and to his own feelings and views, it is difficult to make head or tail of it. The Black Mate by Joseph Conrad [1908]

Though how you can make use of my body is difficult to understand. A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay [1920]

You were engaged then to Philemon. Why break up this second match?” She eyed him as if she found it difficult to credit her ears. Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green

He is old in the uses of state-craft; and he is the father of a princess of whom it is difficult to suppose that she was herself an infant. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

The hedges made it difficult to see the man he was following; their dark mass made a gloomy background for a moving figure. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey [1936]

Arnold Bennett The machine was one guaranteed to go in any position, and was much more difficult to stop than to start. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

It would be difficult to say which is the stronger influence in the treatment of abnormal persons, Maupassant or the Russian writers. The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction by Dorothy Scarborough

Elizabeth Gaskell A more jaded wretch than I looked, it would be difficult to conceive. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

Virginia Woolf Which of the three followed the designs most carefully it would be difficult to tell, but it is certain that not one of the three found for the moment anything to say. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf [1919]

Anthony Trollope It was not difficult to flatter Dr. Proudie or Sir Nicholas Fitzwhiggin, but very difficult to flatter Mr. Towers without letting the flattery declare itself. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

The maternal ancestry of a distinguished man is quite as important as the paternal, but in the present instance it is much more difficult to obtain information concerning it. The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Frank Preston Stearns [1906]

George Meredith In the midst of her thoughts, she surprised herself by saying: “I certainly was difficult to instruct. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]

Robert Louis Stevenson They do not stand merely to the dead, these foolish monuments; they are pillars and legends set up to glorify the difficult but not desperate life of man. Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson

But when we say, “The driver negotiated a difficult turn of the road,” or, “The chauffeur negotiated a hill,” we speak nonsense. Write it Right by Ambrose Bierce [1909]

Arthur Machen It was some years since I had been to the Head, and I had gone on that last time and on a former visit by the cliffs, a rough and difficult path. Holy Terrors by Arthur Machen

Kate Chopin It was very difficult to withhold the reproach which she felt inclined to deal her; hard to refrain from upbraiding a selfishness which for a life-time had appeared to Thérèse as criminal. At Fault by Kate Chopin

George Gissing She much desired to see the baby, and Nancy found it difficult to invent excuses for her unwillingness. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

Virginia Woolf It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? It is difficult to say. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

It would, I think, be difficult to distinguish this act from one performed by man by the aid of reason. The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Anthony Trollope You will find it difficult to get beyond the front-door, and I would advise you to abandon all such ideas. Mr. Scarborough's Family by Anthony Trollope [1883]

But it is so difficult to account in any common way for Mrs. Holbrook’s disappearance. Fenton’s Quest by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

Jules Verne Some of these trees lay on the ground, and they had only to be barked, which was the most difficult thing of all, owing to the imperfect tools which the settlers possessed. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

H. G. Wells He frowned with the expression of one who makes a difficult explanation. Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells [1923]

George Gissing You attacked a new sophistry, but there is a newer sophistry still, and uncommonly difficult it is to deal with. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

A. E. W. Mason It was a difficult speech for her to deliver, but she had thought over it night and day during this last fortnight, and the words were ready to her lips. The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason [1902]

H. G. Wells What he should do he found it difficult to imagine. Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells [1903]

Charles Dickens Some quarter of an hour of this sort of progress, brought us to the Corso; and anything so gay, so bright, and lively as the whole scene there, it would be difficult to imagine. Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens [1846]

Anthony Trollope It has been difficult with me to love. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

Marie Corelli The intellectual men of France, whether clergy or laity, are in a difficult situation. The Master-Christian by Marie Corelli [1900]

It is difficult to see how Gandhi’s methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the régime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Collected Essays by George Orwell

Jules Verne Penellan, in this dilemma, found it difficult to convince himself that all was for the best. A Winter Amid the Ice by Jules Verne [1874]

On the other hand he is often artificial, extravagant, and turgid, and his ultimate literary position is difficult to forecast. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin [1910]

George Gissing Maud had been for an hour to Our Lady of the Rosary, and found it difficult to make her way back. The Unclassed by George Gissing [1883]

At the best of times his birthmark made it difficult for him to look people straight in the face. Burmese Days by George Orwell

Charles Stur It was evident that the country into which we were now advancing, was drier and more difficult than the country we had left behind. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Rudyard Kipling When one is dressed only in one’s virtue and a pair of spectacles it is difficult to shut the door in the face of a girl. From Sea to Sea by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

T. E. Lawrence We had proved that a well-laid mine would fire; and that a well-laid mine was difficult even for its maker to discover. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

You will easily see how difficult is my position. Wylder’s Hand by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Anthony Trollope It was necessary that she should answer her sister’s question, and yet so difficult to find words in which to do so. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope [1882]

Theodore Dreiser There were such difficult things ahead of him to do. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Ann Radcliffe In this it was not difficult to succeed; for the delicacy of madame’s feelings made her quick to perceive, and to withdraw from a treatment unsuitable to the natural dignity of her character. A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe [1790]

Nathaniel Hawthorne This course, with an army of office-seekers besieging the departments, was unquestionably difficult to avoid, and perhaps, on the whole, not desirable to be avoided. Life of Franklin Pierce by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1852]

Arthur Conan Doyle That is what makes it so difficult to tell a connected story. Danger! and other stories by Arthur Conan Doyle [1918]

It would seem that truth is nowhere so difficult to come at, as on the battle-field. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco

Zona Gale It is difficult for me to believe that your appliances are so immature. Romance Island by Zona Gale [1906]

But that they do admit of a real, an unanswerable criticism, it is difficult to doubt. Books and Characters by Lytton Strachey

John Morley Ferney was rather a difficult spot for a woman with a passion for the hum of cities. Voltaire by John Morley

George Meredith It is difficult for women to earn money, but I think I can. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

I—— For the moment it was too difficult to go on. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

Ford Madox Ford These were all definite but difficult things . Some Do Not . . . by Ford Madox Ford [1924]

Fanny Fern It is difficult else to imagine, as 1 said before, how a person, who has always been surrounded with comfort and luxury, could describe so feelingly the other side of the picture. Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern [1854]

He maintained a hard, careless deportment, indicative of neither joy nor sorrow; if anything, it expressed a flinty gratification at a piece of difficult work successfully executed. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte [1847]

Anna Katherine Green It should not be so difficult — that is, if in the course of time it has not been destroyed — for look here. The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katherine Green

When the same eminent critic, however, went on to say that Ghosts was “a poetic treatment of the question of heredity,” it was more difficult to follow him. Henrik Ibsen by Edmund Gosse

George Meredith It wouldn’t be difficult to get up a mutiny on board this ship. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

Jules Verne It was a difficult matter to kindle it, though, and still more to keep it alight. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

Thomas Hardy What could have been her object in visiting the churchyard then? ‘It is difficult to say. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy [1899]

Ivan Turgenev He swears that I use phrases of this kind —‘It is easy because it is difficult, though on the other hand it is difficult because it is easy’. The Diary of a Superfluous Man and other stories by Ivan Turgenev

Anthony Trollope They used to make gentlemen Deans.” After this there was a pause, Lord George finding it difficult to go on with the conversation without a quarrel. Is He Popenjoy? by Anthony Trollope [1878]

In other cases it is difficult to distinguish between mere curiosity and admiration. The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Where should she go? What should she do with herself during the time of hiding? That was the question; and it was a difficult one for this inexperienced girl to answer. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

Algernon Blackwood It is a difficult ritual — the only one acknowledged by the world as still effectual. Sand by Algernon Blackwood [1912]

Anthony Trollope She did not find it difficult to forgive her father, nor could she altogether refuse to join him in the returning gaiety of spirit to which her present avowal gave rise. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Maria Edgeworth I grant you it must be difficult to hear reason in such a situation — as difficult almost as in the midst of the din of all the passions at the faro-table. Ormond by Maria Edgeworth

It is but fair to say that his suspicions of the police methods (unless the police happened to be a semi-military body organised by himself) was not difficult to arouse. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

I had a start of an hour or so, but before dawn I had to traverse thirty miles of unknown and difficult country. Prester John by John Buchan

Virginia Woolf If I lie open to the pressure of society I often succeed with the dexterity of my tongue in putting something difficult into the currency. The Waves by Virginia Woolf [1931]

Algernon Blackwood The only thing that seemed difficult to explain was the fear she had spoken of, and this I hoped the wholesome effects of camp-life and exercise would sweep away naturally in the course of time. John Silence by Algernon Blackwood

For it is difficult to read M. Anatole France without admiring him. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Samuel Johnson Of a work so much read, it is difficult to say anything new. Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

Henry James She was tremendously particular, difficult to please, he could see that; and she assured him that she never put up with anything a moment after it had ceased to be agreeable to her. The Princess Casamassima by Henry James [1886]

Theodore Dreiser It’s a lot more difficult than you think. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Anthony Trollope It was easy to arrive at this with Linda, nor would it afterwards be difficult to persuade her as to the course she ought to take. The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope Silence therefore on a matter which is common in the mouths of most men was less difficult to him than to another, and the result less embarrassing. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

H.P. Lovecraft I come now to the crucial and most difficult part of my narrative — all the more difficult because I cannot be quite certain of its reality. The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft [1935]

Jules Verne It would be difficult to imagine a collection of greater ruffians. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

Walter Scott Our purpose, however, is only conditional, for we foresee temptations which may render it difficult for us exactly to keep it. Saint Ronan’s Well by Walter Scott [1824]

Anthony Trollope It is difficult to explain the good,—particularly to a man who is so violently opposed as you to all ideas of rank. Marion Fay by Anthony Trollope [1882]

G. K. Chesterton But I hope there will never come a dark and difficult hour when political differences become personal, and Mr. Garvin begins to throw daggers about and say that our friendship is at an end. Autobiography by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

I am quite aware that the problem which I have put before you and which you know as much about as I do, and a great deal more probably, is one extremely difficult to solve. Science and Education by Thomas Henry Huxley

H. G. Wells Yes, it’s a difficult position. The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H. G. Wells [1898]

John Galsworthy But that was it! With every year, in these times, it was more difficult to do what you said you would. Swan Song by John Galsworthy

E. F. Benson It is difficult to determine when Ellen was told: Charlotte did not want it to be known in the neighbourhood, and it was a secret in which her sisters shared. Charlotte Bronte by E. F. Benson [1932]

The nearer he drew to that glittering expanse, the more difficult it became for him to see it. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

G. K. Chesterton But, indeed, such a complication is not really difficult to expound. George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

H. G. Wells It was very secret and difficult to tell. Meanwhile by H. G. Wells [1927]

It was not difficult for him to overtake a woman embarrassed with her cloak. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Jules Verne For several hours, therefore, there would be a current, which it was well to profit by, for later the ebb would make it difficult to ascend the river. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

It would be difficult to say whether Fulc Nerra, the founder of the dynasty, or Black Angers, the home of the race, was more vividly present to him. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

Henry James Catherine was always agitated by an introduction; it seemed a difficult moment, and she wondered that some people — her new acquaintance at this moment, for instance — should mind it so little. Washington Square by Henry James [1880]

In fact, the temptations are great; and it must be difficult for a young man to withstand them. Life in Mexico by Frances Calderon de la Barca [1843]

Anthony Trollope Aby doubtless entertained an idea that his father was deficient in pluck for the management of so difficult a matter, and that he could supply what his father wanted. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope

It was not a difficult matter to obtain an interview, even by people not known to him. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

Always I had been a wasp in their spider’s web, difficult to claim as a tool, uncritical, antagonistic. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

A. E. W. Mason She was of a high and joyous spirit and not difficult in the matter of an introduction. The Affair at the Semiramis Hotel by A. E. W. Mason [1917]

Sigmund Freud It is thus not difficult to recognize that dreams of pain and anxiety are, in accordance with our theory, just as much wish-fulfilments as are the straightforward dreams of gratification. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

Frances Hodgson Burnett And after all why should one state difficult things in exact phrases unless one lacks breeding and is curious. The Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett [1922]

It is difficult to trace a man of whom one has no definite description. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]

Robert Louis Stevenson It was most difficult to decide whether to go on or not. Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin by Robert Louis Stevenson

E. Phillips Oppenheim Behind those thick glasses, difficult though it was to recognise any expression in the saucerlike eyes, Haven could have sworn he caught a gleam of disappointment. The Ostrekoff Jewels by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1932]

Both of them I judged to be not far off forty, but while he was a gentle, reserved man of charming manners, she was a very unpleasant woman, bad tempered, and most difficult to please. The Silent Dead by Arthur Gask [1950]

I wonder what a scholar would say to the man who should undertake to criticise a difficult passage in a Greek play, but who obviously had not acquainted himself with the rudiments of Greek grammar. Science and Education by Thomas Henry Huxley

THE personal history of Aphra Behn, the first Englishwoman to earn her livelihood by authorship, is unusually interesting but very difficult to unravel and relate. A Memoir of Mrs. Behn by Montague Summers

Edith Wharton If it had been embarrassing to evade Cicely’s questions in June it became doubly so as the months passed, and the pretext of Justine’s ill-health grew more and more difficult to sustain. Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton [1907]

Theodore Dreiser The matter was not so difficult of accomplishment. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Then it had been a fancy of a difficult act; now the act had suddenly become simple. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams [1937]

Maria Edgeworth In difficult cases say nothing; but still you are wrong in sitting so uneasily under it, for that seems as if there was something. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

Maria Edgeworth As Catalani said of singing, it is much more difficult to descend than to ascend well. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

Virginia Woolf But he liked her; respected her, in spite of her damnable, difficult upper-class refinement, which made it impossible to ask Clarissa Dalloway to sit on his knee. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf [1925]

Edith Wharton It was going to be rather more difficult than she had supposed. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton [1922]

Andrew Lang Or a partisan of Dudley’s, finding poison difficult or impossible, may have, in his zeal, murdered Amy, under the disguise of an accident. The Valet’s Tragedy by Andrew Lang

Jules Verne Our engineers met problems more difficult every day. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

Arnold Bennett She tried hard to maintain her scorn of him, but it was exceedingly difficult to do so. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

She saw at once that the change was natural, but she found it difficult to keep pace with, and the effort to do so was a constant strain. Sir Charles Danvers by Mary Cholmondeley [1889]

Whether this scheme was an after-thought it is difficult to say; but it is certainly necessary to a proper understanding of the author’s method — a method which was to find so many imitators. Fielding by Austin Dobson

Charles Dickens A more complete picture of terror than the little man presented, it would be difficult to imagine. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

Jack London But quick and brilliant was a difficult matter with so consummate a swordsman as Fortini opposed to me. The Star Rover by Jack London [1915]

Bram Stoker With a woman’s natural forethought in a difficult position, she had provided the furnishing of the tea-table as a subtle indication of the social difference between her and her guest. The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker [1911]

I was a little dubious about what Mr. Mackenzie would say when I went in to ask him for two days’ leave to go up to the city, but he proved not difficult to persuade. The Shadow of Larose by Arthur Gask [1930]

Walter Scott On examining the spot which the phantom had indicated by her gestures, it was not difficult to discover that a board had been loosened, which might be raised at pleasure. The Monastery by Walter Scott [1820]

It was a difficult part, and she kept away from them as much as she could. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

Virginia Woolf She knew from the effort, the rise in his voice to surmount a difficult word that it was the first time he had said “we. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf [1927]

The ascent, steep and laborious, was rendered still more difficult by fragments of rock and loose stones which encumbered the passes. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Guy de Maupassan But it would be difficult for my father, and impossible for my mother to come in here. The Marquis De Fumerol by Guy de Maupassan

T. E. Lawrence The desert route to Akaba was so long and so difficult that we could take neither guns nor machine-guns, nor stores nor regular soldiers. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Robert Louis Stevenson Nor was it long in wakening all the echoes of Europe. What success might have attended it, had the question decided been a purely abstract question, it is difficult to say. Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson

Elizabeth Von Arnim Mrs. Fisher, he was glad to see, gradually found it difficult herself, for her severity slackened, and she ended by saying lamely, “You ought to have told me you were not doing it. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim [1922]

The upper deck is of course well deluged several times a day; but even so, it is difficult to keep the timbers from starting. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

David Hume These, indeed, sufficiently engage every heart, on the first apprehension of them; and it is difficult to abstain from some sally of panegyric, as often as they occur in discourse or reasoning. An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals by David Hume

Yet it would be difficult to find a poetic fury less allied to sane human life than that which informs his tales. A Study of Hawthorne by G. P. Lathrop [1876]

Florence Dixie It was not difficult to learn the, attraction which, with magnetic influence appeared to bring them back again and again to the same spot. Redeemed in Blood by Florence Dixie [1889]

Ivan Turgenev With an underground fire, now, it’s a difficult job to deal. The Diary of a Superfluous Man and other stories by Ivan Turgenev

George Eliot It’s a difficult stile too,’ added Felix, striding over. Felix Holt the Radical by George Eliot [1866]

Anthony Trollope He was known as a good diner out, though in what his excellence consisted they who entertained him might find it difficult to say. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

H. G. Wells And it was evident that in all directions he was finding things unusually difficult to explain. Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells [1909]

Rafael Sabatini Already the fact that she had been paraded with naked face among the Faithful must in itself have been a difficult obstacle to his pride. The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

Ivan Turgenev It is difficult to say what I did hear. Dream tales and prose poems by Ivan Turgenev

George Gissing Christian Moxey had come up as a topic, and Earwaker was saying that he found it difficult to divine the man’s personality. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Walter Scott Quentin found, in the meanwhile, that the rescue of Gertrude was a task more difficult than could be finished in one moment. Quentin Durward by Walter Scott [1823]