Fountains tinkled musically here and there; the vast colonnade, open to the south, allowed the maidens, as they raised their heads from their embroideries, to gaze upon a vista of rose-hued fields and groves of trees bearing fruits or laden with sweet-scented flowers.
Some of the girls looked upon this object enviously; the Sorceress merely gave it a glance and nodded her stately head as if pleased, for it meant the coming of her friend and mistress—the only one in all the land that Glinda bowed to.
tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
"Obstinate" also means "resistant to guidance or discipline"--since Ozma is seen as a wise ruler who would prefer to use her words to convince her subjects to be good, when they are being obstinate, they are rejecting her guidance. But because the Skeezers have already declared war on the Flatheads, the chosen definition is a stronger fit for the example sentence.
I am sure it would be better for me to go peacefully, without an army and armed only with my authority as Ruler, and plead with them to obey me. Then, if they prove obstinate I could resort to other means to win their obedience."
She longed to tell her girl friends, tiny Trot and Betsy Bobbin, of the adventure they were undertaking, but refrained from saying a word on the subject although both these girls lived with her in Ozma's palace.
After reading the next example sentence, you can see the pun in the author's choice of the word "recoil" to describe the motion of the monstrous Spider King. "Recoil" also means "draw back, as with fear or pain," which both girls should've done when they first saw the big heads, sharp claws, small eyes and fuzzy hair of the spiders, but their Magic Belt and Magic Wand gave them courage to stand and fight.
He turned swiftly and made a dash at Ozma, but she held her Magic Wand over his head and the monster recoiled as if it had been struck.
Ozma and Dorothy ran as fast as they could and although the angry spiders threw a number of strands of web after them, hoping to lasso them or entangle them in the coils, they managed to escape and clamber to the top of the hill.
"Distinguish" also means "detect with the senses"--Dorothy could scarcely distinguish the Mist Maids because she could not distinguish the fairies' gray, fleecy clothes from the clouds. But as a distinguished ("standing above others in character or attainment") magical being, Ozma knows the Mist Maids would soon appear to answer her call.
Presently out from the billows rose beautiful forms, clothed in fleecy, trailing garments of gray that could scarcely be distinguished from the mist.
temporary loss of strength and energy resulting from hard physical or mental work
The given definition is the opposite of what Ozma is warning against. She is actually encouraging weariness that results from hard physical or mental work, in order to prevent the weariness that would make one lose interest in life and others.
"Instead of happiness your plan would bring weariness to the world. If every one could wave a wand and have his wants fulfilled there would be little to wish for. There would be no eager striving to obtain the difficult, for nothing would then be difficult, and the pleasure of earning something longed for, and only to be secured by hard work and careful thought, would be utterly lost. There would be nothing to do you see, and no interest in life and in our fellow creatures.
audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
Because the Supreme Dictator is used to being obeyed by the Flatheads, he audaciously disobeys Ozma and threatens to make her and Dorothy his prisoners. Dorothy may think the Su-Dic has no right to be so arrogant, but he disagrees because he believes he is more powerful than Ozma.
Dorothy was amazed by this effrontery and defiance of the beautiful girl Ruler of Oz, whom all until now had obeyed without question.
"I know who you are, for I have consulted my Magic Oracle, which told me that one calls herself Princess Ozma, the Ruler of all the Land of Oz, and the other is Princess Dorothy of Oz, who came from a country called Kansas.
Ozma did not like this attitude, for it meant that the Skeezers were eager to fight the Flatheads, and Ozma's object in coming here was to prevent fighting and induce the two quarrelsome neighbors to make peace.
separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
The dark object cleaving the water is a submarine. The use of the verb "cleave" emphasizes the weapon-like nature of the submarine, which the Queen of the Skeezers is planning to use to fight the Flatheads. It also emphasizes the nature of the water to Dorothy and Ozma, who are currently trapped within a submerged island and could use a sharp instrument to cut through the dome and water.
The door instantly closed behind it and the dark object cleaved its way through the water, without rising to the surface, directly toward the place where the Flatheads were standing.
feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
The Su-Dic is not rueful because of any sins or offenses he'd committed against others; rather, he is sad that his own dancing knocked over the vessel and spilled out all the poison he was going to use to kill the fishes (including the three magic Adepts who could take away his power).
The Su-dic stopped short and looked at the overturned vessel with a rueful countenance.
marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
"In such a dilemma," said she, musingly, "nothing is gained by haste. Careful thought may aid us, and so may the course of events. The unexpected is always likely to happen, and cheerful patience is better than reckless action."
Glinda, the Good, in her palace in the Quadling Country, had many things to occupy her mind, for not only did she look after the weaving and embroidery of her bevy of maids, and assist all those who came to her to implore her help—beasts and birds as well as people—but she was a close student of the arts of sorcery and spent much time in her Magical Laboratory, where she strove to find a remedy for every evil and to perfect her skill in magic.
clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
His long-tailed coat was of velvet, his vest of satin and his trousers of finest silk. There were diamond buckles on his shoes and he carried a gold-headed cane and a high silk hat. All of the bright colors were represented in his rich attire, so it tired one's eyes to look at him for long, until one became used to his splendor.
a coating that provides a hard, lustrous, transparent finish to a surface
The Wizard wasn't exactly handsome but he was pleasant to look at. His bald head was as shiny as if it had been varnished; there was always a merry twinkle in his eyes and he was as spry as a schoolboy.
When they had gleaned all the information they could from these Skeezers, the Wizard said to Glinda: "If you find you can make this boat obey your sorcery, you could have it return to the island, submerge itself, and enter the door in the basement from which it came.
"This" refers to Glinda the Good's belief that "the best plan will be to summon the three fishes and learn from them how to raise the island." Despite knowing the fishes are magical, the Wizard thinks this is a forlorn plan because he doesn't believe that fishes can be summoned because they can't hear.
The little Wizard seemed to think that this was rather a forlorn hope.
Horned toads hopped about; each of the four upper corners of the room was festooned with a thick cobweb, in the center of which sat a spider as big around as a washbasin, and armed with pincher-like claws;
"People accuse me of being cross and crabbed and unsociable, and they are quite right. If you had come here pleading and begging for favors, and half afraid of my Yookoohoo magic, I'd have abused you until you ran away; but you're quite different from that. You're the unsociable and crabbed and disagreeable one, and so I like you, and bear with your grumpiness.
something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
A better definition for how "balk" is used here is "to stop short and refuse to go on"--but even that does not perfectly fit the example sentence, since the Wizard is saying that they have been balked, which means the door (which is made of the strong material of marble) is the one stopping them and refusing to allow them to go on.
"It seems a shame, after we have made the boat obey us, to be balked by just a marble door," grumbled the Wizard.
If the lower end of the steel pillar is firmly embedded in the bottom of the lake, Coo-ee-oh could utter a magic word that would make the pillar expand, and so lift the entire island to the level of the water."
Taking them one at a time, she had the can of brains that belonged to each one opened and the contents spread on the flat head, after which, by means of her arts of sorcery, she caused the head to grow over the brains—in the manner most people wear them—and they were thus rendered as intelligent and good looking as any of the other inhabitants of the Land of Oz.