1. ultimate (n)

    the finest or most superior quality of its kind; "the ultimate in luxury"

Examples from classic literature
  • Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poe worked hard at the ‘Gentleman’s’ for some time, contributing to its columns much of his best work; ultimately, however, he came to loggerheads with its proprietor, Burton, who disposed of the magazine to a Mr. Graham, a rival publisher. At this period Poe collected into two volumes, and got them published as ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesques’, twenty-five of his stories, but he never received any remuneration, save a few copies of the volumes, for the work. For some time the poet strove most earnestly to start a magazine of his own, but all his efforts failed owing to his want of capital.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • A great deal of this success was due to Poe’s weird and wonderful stories; still more, perhaps, to his trenchant critiques and his startling theories anent cryptology. As regards the tales now issued in ‘Graham’s’, attention may especially be drawn to the world-famed “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” the first of a series–‘“une espece de trilogie,”’ as Baudelaire styles them–illustrative of an analytic phase of Poe’s peculiar mind. This ‘trilogie’ of tales, of which the later two were “The Purloined Letter” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” was avowedly written to prove the capability of solving the puzzling riddles of life by identifying another person’s mind by our own. By trying to follow the processes by which a person would reason out a certain thing, Poe propounded the theory that another person might ultimately arrive, as it were, at that person’s conclusions, indeed, penetrate the innermost arcanum of his brain and read his most secret thoughts. Whilst the public was still pondering over the startling proposition, and enjoying perusal of its apparent proofs, Poe still further increased his popularity and drew attention to his works by putting forward the attractive but less dangerous theorem that “human ingenuity could not construct a cipher which human ingenuity could not solve.”

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • There are, no doubt, many who have found difficulty in reconciling the critical dictum that the “Paradise Lost” is to be devoutly admired throughout, with the absolute impossibility of maintaining for it, during perusal, the amount of enthusiasm which that critical dictum would demand. This great work, in fact, is to be regarded as poetical only when, losing sight of that vital requisite in all works of Art, Unity, we view it merely as a series of minor poems. If, to preserve its Unity–its totality of effect or impression–we read it (as would be necessary) at a single sitting, the result is but a constant alternation of excitement and depression. After a passage of what we feel to be true poetry, there follows, inevitably, a passage of platitude which no critical prejudgment can force us to admire; but if, upon completing the work, we read it again; omitting the first book–that is to say, commencing with the second–we shall be surprised at now finding that admirable which we before condemned–that damnable which we had previously so much admired. It follows from all this that the ultimate, aggregate, or absolute effect of even the best epic under the sun, is a nullity–and this is precisely the fact.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The prize was unanimously adjudged to Poe by the adjudicators, and Mr. Kennedy, an author of some little repute, having become interested by the young man’s evident genius, generously assisted him towards obtaining a livelihood by literary labor. Through his new friend’s introduction to the proprietor of the ‘Southern Literary Messenger’, a moribund magazine published at irregular intervals, Poe became first a paid contributor, and eventually the editor of the publication, which ultimately he rendered one of the most respected and profitable periodicals of the day. This success was entirely due to the brilliancy and power of Poe’s own contributions to the magazine.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Here once, through an alley Titanic. Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul– Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul. These were days when my heart was volcanic As the scoriac rivers that roll– As the lavas that restlessly roll Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek In the ultimate climes of the pole– That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek In the realms of the boreal pole.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Taking with him such poems as he had ready, Poe made his way to Boston, and there looked up some of his mother’s old theatrical friends. Whether he thought of adopting the stage as a profession, or whether he thought of getting their assistance towards helping him to put a drama of his own upon the stage,–that dream of all young authors,–is now unknown. He appears to have wandered about for some time, and by some means or the other succeeded in getting a little volume of poems printed “for private circulation only.” This was towards the end of 1827, when he was nearing nineteen. Doubtless Poe expected to dispose of his volume by subscription among his friends, but copies did not go off, and ultimately the book was suppressed, and the remainder of the edition, for “reasons of a private nature,” destroyed.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • I have often thought how interesting a magazine paper might be written by any author who would–that is to say, who could–detail, step by step, the processes by which any one of his compositions attained its ultimate point of completion. Why such a paper has never been given to the world, I am much at a loss to say–but perhaps the autorial vanity has had more to do with the omission than any one other cause. Most writers–poets in especial–prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy–an ecstatic intuition–and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought–at the true purposes seized only at the last moment–at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view–at the fully-matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable–at the cautious selections and rejections–at the painful erasures and interpolations,–in a word, at the wheels and pinions, the tackle for scene-shifting, the step-ladders and demon-traps, the cock’s feathers, the red paint, and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poe left the ‘Evening Mirror’ in order to take part in the ‘Broadway Journal’, wherein he re-issued from time to time nearly the whole of his prose and poetry. Ultimately he acquired possession of this periodical, but, having no funds to carry it on, after a few months of heartbreaking labor he had to relinquish it. Exhausted in body and mind, the unfortunate man now retreated with his dying wife and her mother to a quaint little cottage at Fordham, outside New York. Here after a time the unfortunate household was reduced to the utmost need, not even having wherewith to purchase the necessities of life. At this dire moment, some friendly hand, much to the indignation and dismay of Poe himself, made an appeal to the public on behalf of the hapless family.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • About the middle of the poem, also, I have availed myself of the force of contrast, with a view of deepening the ultimate impression. For example, an air of the fantastic–approaching as nearly to the ludicrous as was admissible–is given to the Raven’s entrance. He comes in “with many a flirt and flutter.”

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule– From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE–out of TIME.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “One could see a fair-sized church. One could certainly see any towns or buildings, or anything like the handiwork of men. There might perhaps be insects, something in the way of ants, for example, so that they could hide in deep burrows from the lunar light, or some new sort of creatures having no earthly parallel. That is the most probable thing, if we are to find life there at all. Think of the difference in conditions! Life must fit itself to a day as long as fourteen earthly days, a cloudless sun-blaze of fourteen days, and then a night of equal length, growing ever colder and colder under these cold, sharp stars. In that night there must be cold, the ultimate cold, absolute zero, 273 degrees Centigrade, below the earthly freezing point. Whatever life there is must hibernate through that, and rise again each day.”

    The First Men in the Moon by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • Restored to vigour in a moment, I ran over the few remaining mounds of decreasing size, and found myself on the level land beyond. Even then, however, the prospect was not inviting. All before me was dark and dismal, and I had evidently come on one of those dank, low-lying waste places which are found here and there in the neighbourhood of great cities. Places of waste and desolation, where the space is required for the ultimate agglomeration of all that is noxious, and the ground is so poor as to create no desire of occupancy even in the lowest squatter. With eyes accustomed to the gloom of the evening, and away now from the shadows of those dreadful dustheaps, I could see much more easily than I could a little while ago. It might have been, of course, that the glare in the sky of the lights of Paris, though the city was some miles away, was reflected here. Howsoever it was, I saw well enough to take bearings for certainly some little distance around me.

    Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker
  • One day, late in a fine afternoon, toward the end of September, I entered the holy of holies of the city of dust. The place was evidently the recognised abode of a number of chiffoniers, for some sort of arrangement was manifested in the formation of the dust heaps near the road. I passed amongst these heaps, which stood like orderly sentries, determined to penetrate further and trace dust to its ultimate location.

    Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker
  • And yet, Christ did not revolt against authority. He accepted the imperial authority of the Roman Empire and paid tribute. He endured the ecclesiastical authority of the Jewish Church, and would not repel its violence by any violence of his own. He had, as I said before, no scheme for the reconstruction of society. But the modern world has schemes. It proposes to do away with poverty and the suffering that it entails. It desires to get rid of pain, and the suffering that pain entails. It trusts to Socialism and to Science as its methods. What it aims at is an Individualism expressing itself through joy. This Individualism will be larger, fuller, lovelier than any Individualism has ever been. Pain is not the ultimate mode of perfection. It is merely provisional and a protest. It has reference to wrong, unhealthy, unjust surroundings. When the wrong, and the disease, and the injustice are removed, it will have no further place. It will have done its work. It was a great work, but it is almost over. Its sphere lessens every day.

    The Soul of Man under Socialism by Oscar Wilde
  • “Mr. Jarndyce,” he went on, “makes no condition beyond expressing his expectation that our young friend will not at any time remove herself from the establishment in question without his knowledge and concurrence. That she will faithfully apply herself to the acquisition of those accomplishments, upon the exercise of which she will be ultimately dependent. That she will tread in the paths of virtue and honour, and–the–a–so forth.”

    Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Lastly, the client, shaking hands, beseeches Mr. Vholes, for heaven’s sake and earth’s sake, to do his utmost to “pull him through” the Court of Chancery. Mr. Vholes, who never gives hopes, lays his palm upon the client’s shoulder and answers with a smile, “Always here, sir. Personally, or by letter, you will always find me here, sir, with my shoulder to the wheel.” Thus they part, and Vholes, left alone, employs himself in carrying sundry little matters out of his diary into his draft bill book for the ultimate behoof of his three daughters. So might an industrious fox or bear make up his account of chickens or stray travellers with an eye to his cubs, not to disparage by that word the three raw-visaged, lank, and buttoned-up maidens who dwell with the parent Vholes in an earthy cottage situated in a damp garden at Kennington.

    Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • This pleasantry so tickles Mr. Smallweed that he laughs, long and low, before the fire. But ever while he laughs, he glances over his paralytic shoulder at Mr. George and eagerly watches him as he unlocks the padlock of a homely cupboard at the distant end of the gallery, looks here and there upon the higher shelves, and ultimately takes something out with a rustling of paper, folds it, and puts it in his breast. Then Judy pokes Mr. Smallweed once, and Mr. Smallweed pokes Judy once.

    Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • But Wicks and Carthew heeded him no longer. They lay back on the gunnel, breathing deep, sunk in a stupor of the body: the mind within still nimbly and agreeably at work, measuring the past danger, exulting in the present relief, numbering with ecstasy their ultimate chances of escape. For the voyage in the man-of-war they were now safe; yet a few more days of peril, activity, and presence of mind in San Francisco, and the whole horrid tale was blotted out; and Wicks again became Kirkup, and Goddedaal became Carthew–men beyond all shot of possible suspicion, men who had never heard of the Flying Scud, who had never been in sight of Midway Reef.

    The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • In Mr. Denman’s exchanges, as in those of little Agnes, the same peculiarity was to be remarked, an undue preponderance of that despicably common stamp, the French twenty-five centimes. And here joining them in stealthy review, I found the C and the CH; then something of an A just following; and then a terminal Y. Here was also the whole name spelt out to me; it seemed familiar, too; and yet for some time I could not bridge the imperfection. Then I came upon another stamp, in which an L was legible before the Y, and in a moment the word leaped up complete. Chailly, that was the name; Chailly-en-Biere, the post town of Barbizon–ah, there was the very place for any man to hide himself–there was the very place for Mr. Norris, who had rambled over England making sketches–the very place for Goddedaal, who had left a palette-knife on board the Flying Scud. Singular, indeed, that while I was drifting over England with the shyster, the man we were in quest of awaited me at my own ultimate destination.

    The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • And then the bidding returned to its original movement by hundreds and fifties; but I had been able in the meanwhile to draw two conclusions. In the first place, Bellairs had made his last advance with a smile of gratified vanity; and I could see the creature was glorying in the kudos of an unusual position and secure of ultimate success. In the second, Trent had once more changed colour at the thousand leap, and his relief, when he heard the answering fifty was manifest and unaffected. Here then was a problem: both were presumably in the same interest, yet the one was not in the confidence of the other. Nor was this all. A few bids later it chanced that my eye encountered that of Captain Trent, and his, which glittered with excitement, was instantly, and I thought guiltily, withdrawn. He wished, then, to conceal his interest? As Jim had said, there was some blamed thing going on. And for certain, here were these two men, so strangely united, so strangely divided, both sharp-set to keep the wreck from us, and that at an exorbitant figure.

    The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • In one or other of two ways only is that unification possible. Either men may set up a common league to keep the peace of the earth, or one state must ultimately become so great and powerful as to repeat for all the world what Rome did for Europe two thousand years ago. Either we must have human unity by a league of existing states or by an Imperial Conquest. The former is now the declared Aim of our country and its Allies; the latter is manifestly the ambition of the present rulers of Germany. Whatever the complications may have been in the earlier stages of the war, due to treaties that are now dead letters and agreements that are extinct, the essential issue now before every man in the world is this: Is the unity of mankind to be the unity of a common freedom, in which every race and nationality may participate with complete self-respect, playing its part, according to its character, in one great world community, or is it to be reached–and it can only be so reached through many generations of bloodshed and struggle still, even if it can be ever reached in this way at all–through conquest and a German hegemony?

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • Such are the two sets of considerations that will, I think, ultimately prevail over every prejudice and every difficulty in the way of the League of Free Nations. Existing states have become impossible as absolutely independent sovereignties. The new conditions bring them so close together and give them such extravagant powers of mutual injury that they must either sink national pride and dynastic ambitions in subordination to the common welfare of mankind or else utterly shatter one another. It becomes more and more plainly a choice between the League of Free Nations and a famished race of men looting in search of non-existent food amidst the smouldering ruins of civilization. In the end I believe that the common sense of mankind will prefer a revision of its ideas of nationality and imperialism, to the latter alternative. It may take obstinate men a few more years yet of blood and horror to learn this lesson, but for my own part I cherish an obstinate belief in the potential reasonableness of mankind.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • Yet it has to be remarked that, so far, not one of the League of Nations projects I have seen have included any practicable proposals for the appointment of delegates either to that ultimate body or to its two necessary predecessors, the Council of the Allies and the Peace Congress. It is evident that here, again, we are neglecting to get on with something of very urgent importance. I will venture, therefore, to say a word or two here about the possible way in which a modern community may appoint its international representatives.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • Is it not time for us British not merely to admit to ourselves, but to assure the world that our Empire as it exists to-day is a provisional thing, that in scarcely any part of the world do we regard it as more than an emergency arrangement, as a necessary association that must give place ultimately to the higher synthesis of a world league, that here we hold as trustees and there on account of strategic considerations that may presently disappear, and that though we will not contemplate the replacement of our flag anywhere by the flag of any other competing nation, though we do hope to hold together with our kin and with those who increasingly share our tradition and our language, nevertheless we are prepared to welcome great renunciations of our present ascendency and privileges in the interests of mankind as a whole. We need to make the world understand that we do not put our nation nor our Empire before the commonwealth of man. Unless presently we are to follow Germany along the tragic path her national vanity and her world ambitions have made for her, that is what we have to make clear now. It is not only our duty to mankind, it is also the sane course for our own preservation.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • But in practice this involves something else. A practical consequence of this disarmament idea must be an effective control of the importation of arms into the “tutelage” areas of Africa. That rat at the dykes of civilization, that ultimate expression of political scoundrelism, the Gun-Runner, has to be kept under and stamped out in Africa as everywhere. A Disarmament Commission that has no forces available to prevent the arms trade will be just another Hague Convention, just another vague, well-intentioned, futile gesture.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • The gist of the Labour proposal is an international control of Africa between the Zambesi and the Sahara. This has been received with loud protests by men whose work one is obliged to respect, by Sir Harry, Johnston, for example, and Sir Alfred Sharpe, and with something approaching a shriek of hostility by Mr. Cunninghame Graham. But I think these gentlemen have not perhaps given the Labour proposal quite as much attention as they have spent upon the details of African conditions. I think they have jumped to conclusions at the mere sound of the word “international.” There have been some gross failures in the past to set up international administrations in Africa and the Near East. And these gentlemen think at once of some new Congo administration and of nondescript police forces commanded by cosmopolitan adventurers. (See Joseph Conrad’s “Out-post of Civilization.”) They think of internationalism with greedy Great Powers in the background outside the internationalized area, intriguing to create disorder and mischief with ideas of an ultimate annexation. But I doubt if such nightmares do any sort of justice to the Labour intention.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • But simple as this method is, it completely kills the organization and manipulation of voting. It completely solves the Goldbug-Wurstberg- Sanity problem. It is knave-proof–short of forging, stealing, or destroying voting papers. A man of repute, a leaderly man, may defy all the party organizations in existence and stand beside and be returned over the head of a worthless man, though the latter be smothered with party labels. That is the gist of this business. The difference in effect between Proportional Representation and the old method of voting must ultimately be to change the moral and intellectual quality of elected persons profoundly. People are only beginning to realize the huge possibilities of advance inherent in this change of political method. It means no less than a revolution from “delegate democracy” to “selective democracy.”

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • But we must admit that at present they do so only in a very rhetorical sense. There is no real council of empowered representatives, and nothing in the nature of a united front has been prepared. Unless we provide beforehand for something more effective, Italy, France, the United States, Japan, and this country will send separate groups of representatives, with separate instructions, unequal status, and very probably conflicting views upon many subjects, to the ultimate peace discussions. It is quite conceivable–it is a very serious danger–that at this discussion skilful diplomacy on the part of the Central Powers may open a cleft among the Allies that has never appeared during the actual war. Have the British settled, for example, with Italy and France for the supply of metallurgical coal after the war? Those countries must have it somehow. Across the board Germany can make some tempting bids in that respect. Or take another question: Have the British arrived at common views with France, Belgium, Portugal, and South Africa about the administration of Central Africa? Suppose Germany makes sudden proposals affecting native labour that win over the Portuguese and the Boers? There are a score of such points upon which we shall find the Allied representatives haggling with each other in the presence of the enemy if they have not been settled beforehand.

    In the Fourth Year by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • After another day and a half, I could no longer contend with the general discontent. The schooner must ultimately retrace her course towards the north.

    An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne