So rarely is it beheld, that though one and all of them declare it to be the largest animated thing in the ocean, yet very few of them have any but the most vague ideas concerning its true nature and form; notwithstanding, they believe it to furnish to the sperm whale his only food.
Now, the problem with this is that the answers the oracles gave were somewhat vague or odd sounding.
According to the tradition, which Herodotus quotes sceptically, this was accomplished; but the story is too vague to be accepted as more than a possibility.
A vague message from Mahommed, that it was the duty of every good Moslem to take part with the family of the Prophet, was interpreted in favour of Mokhtar, and thenceforward all the Shiites, among them the powerful Ibrahim, son of Ali's right hand Malik Ashtar, followed him blindly as their chief.
It is possible that the mouth of the Mississippi was discovered in 1519 by Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, but this interpretation of his vague manuscript remains conjectural; and that it was discovered by the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez cannot be established.
There is one exception, which is made clear in the following extract from Sir Walter Gilbey's Ponies Past and Present (1900) Before the establishment of the Hackney Horse Society in 1883 the dividing line between the horse and the pony in England was vague and undefined.
Many of the ancient oaks that remain in England may date from Saxon times, and some perhaps from an earlier period; the growth of trees after the trunk has become hollow is extremely slow, and the age of such venerable giants only matter of vague surmise.
The explanation of this is that the plebeians had long been organized, like the patricians, in genies, and nothing remained distinctive of the old nobility except a vague sense of dignity and worth.
He was quiet, and her thoughts wandered to Anshan and her alleged, vague duty to the people.
In investigating any subject there must occur at the beginning words and phrases which cannot be adequately understood until the pupil has made considerable advancement; yet I have thought it best to go on giving my pupil simple definitions, thinking that, although these may be somewhat vague and provisional, they will come to one another's assistance, and that what is obscure to-day will be plain to-morrow.