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Cant   Listen
verb
Cant  v. t.  (past & past part. canted; pres. part. canting)  
1.
To incline; to set at an angle; to tilt over; to tip upon the edge; as, to cant a cask; to cant a ship.
2.
To give a sudden turn or new direction to; as, to cant round a stick of timber; to cant a football.
3.
To cut off an angle from, as from a square piece of timber, or from the head of a bolt.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... have put in this chapter on fighting of malice prepense, partly because I want to give you a true picture of what everyday school life was in my time, and not a kid-glove and go-to-meeting-coat picture, and partly because of the cant and twaddle that's talked of boxing and fighting with fists nowadays. Even Thackeray has given in to it; and only a few weeks ago there was some rampant stuff in the Times on the subject, in an article ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... both in the law of God and man: [Sidenote: Script. Brit. cent. I.] and for that cause exceedinglie giuen to religion, especiallie the inhabitants of this Ile of Britaine, insomuch that the whole nation did not onelie take the name of them, but the Iland it selfe (as Bale [Sidenote: De ant. Cant. cent. lib. I.] and doctor Caius agree) came to be called Samothea, which was the first peculiar name that euer it had, and by the which it was especiallie [Sidenote: This Ile called Samothea.] knowne before the ...
— Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (1 of 8) • Raphael Holinshed

... peace and the same pleasure in hugging the old proprieties. Hegel will be to the next generation what Sir William Hamilton was to the last. Nothing will have been disproved, but everything will have been abandoned. An honest man has spoken, and the cant of the genteel tradition has become harder for young lips ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... deep rooted in the past, creating a tradition of public and private action which needs no definite formula. The man who did more than any other to supply this lack in a new country, by imbuing its national consciousness—even its national cant—with high aspiration, did—it may well be—more than any strong administrator or constructive statesman to create a Union which should ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... a cathedral, and to spend our tears and pity upon a Saviour who was crucified nearly two thousand years ago, while women and men and little children are being crucified in our midst, without pity and without help, is cant, and sentimentality, ...
— God and my Neighbour • Robert Blatchford

... [*] The cant word for luggage in the western states of America is "plunder." The term might easily mislead one as to the character of the people, who, notwithstanding their pleasant use of so expressive a word, are, like the inhabitants ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... absurdities there was something serious. These young men and women, who were themselves terribly in earnest, were systematically hostile not only to accepted conventionalities in the matter of dress, but to all manner of shams, hypocrisy, and cant in the broad Carlylean sense of those terms. To the "beautiful souls" of the older generation, who had habitually, in conversation and literature, shed pathetic tears over the defects of Russian social and political organisation without ever moving a finger to correct them—especially the landed ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... land, the time of pruning is come; the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, and come. Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines, for our vineyard hath flourished." (Cant. ch. ii. 12, 13, 15). The foxes of which the sacred writer speaks here are those defects which, although they appear small, still assail the soul with great virulence, and will leave no virtue intact unless you hasten to ...
— Serious Hours of a Young Lady • Charles Sainte-Foi

... profession of public spirit is to be considered as a debauch of youth, or, at best, as a visionary scheme of unattainable perfection. The very idea of consistency is exploded. The convenience of the business of the day is to furnish the principle for doing it. Then the whole ministerial cant is quickly got by heart. The prevalence of faction is to be lamented. All opposition is to be regarded as the effect of envy and disappointed ambition. All administrations are declared to be alike. The same necessity justifies all their measures. It is no longer ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... can now afford to dine unwisely every night, and keep their daughters in well-dressed indolence, self-satisfied, self-aggrandising, self-advertising young politicians, who, having obtained an attentive public, delight to cant about the rights of the citizen and the good of the Empire, clever, intuitive, charming novelists, who apparently possess an unaccountable vein of dense non-comprehension on some points - all harp upon this ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... first.— [To MOR. You see yourself enclosed beyond escape, [To AUR. And, therefore, Proteus-like, you change your shape; Of promise prodigal, while power you want, And preaching in the self-denying cant. ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... confined government to its simple duties, while it left opinion unfettered, was especially present in Julius Caesar himself. From cant of all kinds he was totally free. He was a friend of the people, but he indulged in no enthusiasm for liberty. He never dilated on the beauties of virtue, or complimented, as Cicero did, a Providence in which he did not believe. He was too sincere to stoop to unreality. He held to the ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... vertuous' taught him at Edward's court was no doubt that of drawing, for we find that 'He was buried with much pomp at Thetford Abbey under a tomb designed by himself and master Clarke, master of the works at King's College, Cambridge, & Wassel a freemason of BuryS. Edmund's.' Cooper's Ath. Cant., i. ...
— Early English Meals and Manners • Various

... a comparatively poor doctor, because he knows nothing of medicine, and so can see only the other half of the picture. There is much to be said for the religion of medicine if it can be kept free from cant, if it can be simple and rational enough to be available for the ...
— The Untroubled Mind • Herbert J. Hall

... to his father's old college, but to the more splendid foundation of Trinity. About the date of his matriculation there is a doubt. In Wood's Athenae Oxonienses there is a note to the effect that Marvell was admitted "in matriculam Acad. Cant. Coll. Trin." on the 14th of December 1633, when the boy was but twelve years old. Dr. Lort, a famous master of Trinity in his day, writing in November 1765 to Captain Edward Thompson, of whom ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... religious publications in the 'Arminian Magazine.' 'I would not,' he said, 'read all the religious books that are now published for the whole world.' He protested against 'what were vulgarly called Gospel sermons.' 'The term,' he says, 'has now become a mere cant word. I wish none of our Society would use it. It has no determinate meaning. Let but a pert, self-sufficient animal that has neither sense nor grace bawl out something about Christ and His blood, or justification by faith, ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... in tow, and bring him to his moorings in a safe riding. He ordered the waiter, who showed them into a parlour, to bear a hand, ship his oars, mind his helm, and bring alongside a short allowance of brandy or grog, that he might cant a slug into his bread-room, for there was such a heaving and pitching, that he believed he should shift his ballast. The fellow understood no part of this address but the word brandy, at mention of which he disappeared. Then ...
— The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves • Tobias Smollett

... cant that would represent the merchant and the banker as people disinterestedly toiling for mankind, and then most useful when absorbed in their transactions; for the man is more ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... measure of success which Mr. Hammerstein won. There was a large fascination in the audacity of the undertaking, and its freedom from art-cant and affectation. Curiosity was irritated by the manager's daring, and admiration challenged by the manner in which he kept faith with the public. He seemed to be attempting the impossible, but he ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... a contemptuous sneer at this, and replied, "Ay, ay, I will venture him with you. He is too well grounded for all your philosophical cant to hurt. No, no, I have taken care to instil such ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... and loyal herself in spite of the many deceptions and treacheries which she had witnessed in her life, she never looked for falsehood or for cant in others. Even now she only saw before her a woman who had been wrongfully persecuted, who had suffered and had forgiven those who had caused her to suffer. She bitterly accused herself for her original mistrust of this ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... clerical office, who was simply curate at a chapel of ease in St. Peter's parish, and had time for extra duty. Nobody had anything to say against Mr. Tyke, except that they could not bear him, and suspected him of cant. Really, from his point of ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... abruptly, but piecemeal, those outward symbols—his sombre clothes. First 'twas his hat he exchanged for a feather-trimmed beaver of more sightly hue; then those stiff white bands that reeked of sanctity and cant for a collar of fine point; next it was his coat that took on a worldly edge of silver lace. And so, little by little, step by step, was the metamorphosis effected, until by the end of the week ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... world, either. Nature's poet fares no better than Nature herself. Half the world is out of the pale of knowledge; a good part of the rest are stunted by cant in its Protean shapes, or by inherited narrowness and prejudice, and innumerable soul-cankers. They neither know nor think of Nature or Poetry. Just as there are hundreds in all great cities who never leave their accustomed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... though with the prospects of motherhood approaching, yet she "had never lived with a Chink." To Pell Street that was heroic. It would have forgiven all the rest, had there been anything to forgive. But there was not. Whatever else may be, cant is not among the vices ...
— Children of the Tenements • Jacob A. Riis

... says to himself, 'Bedad, I must raycrout the force agin, or thim that's left 'ull think I cant do widout 'em an' thin there'll be no ind to their impidince. Begorra, this marryin' is a sayrious business,' says he, sighin', fur he'd got about all the wimmin that wanted to be quanes an' didn't just know where to find anny more. But, be pickin' up wan here an' there, ...
— Irish Wonders • D. R. McAnally, Jr.

... "My good fellow, we weighed an hour ago with a fresh northerly breeze. I haven't been on deck, but by the cant of her we must be clear of the Sound already ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... O'Ded. Cant you? Then you'll never do. If your tongue don't run faster than your client's, how will you ever be able ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810 • Samuel James Arnold

... it's nonsense, sir. I think he do, because if he didn't he'd on'y have to give his head a cant on one side and send that there lantern a-flying; and he never do. Now steady: it's a bit steeper here. See your way ...
— First in the Field - A Story of New South Wales • George Manville Fenn

... mouth was the largest round timber market in the world. With its row of riverfront saloons Catlettsburg, between the Big Sandy and the Ohio Rivers, was then called the wettest spot on earth. Through its narrow streets strode loggers and raftsmen. Theirs was talk of cant hooks and spike poles, calipers and rafts. "You best come and have a drink down to Big Wayne's that'll put fire in your guts." The boss wanted his whole crew to be merry, so the whole crew headed for Big Wayne ...
— Blue Ridge Country • Jean Thomas

... look followed the square shoulders and aggressive, close-cropped head of Phil Goodrich, the firm, athletic figure of Evelyn, who had represented to him an entire class of modern young women, vigorous, athletic, with a scorn of cant in which he secretly sympathized, hitherto frankly untouched by spiritual interests of any sort. She had, indeed, once bluntly told him that church meant nothing to her ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... soft-'arted toffs, Kep in bounds it don't do no great 'arm. Poor old BUGGINS, he flushes and coughs; Gets hangry, he do, at my talk. I sez, keep on your hair, my good bloke, Hindignation ain't good for your chest; cut this Sosherlist cant, or ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 22nd, 1890 • Various

... are quite well. i am quite well. Rubens is here and he is quite well. We dont no how he got here but i am verry glad. Ant Maria said well he cant be sent back now so he sleeps on my bed and i like London it is a kweer place the houses are very big and i like my cussens pretty well they are all gals their nozes are very big i ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... home affections, which remained unsullied and unshaken to the end of her days. She had, in common with her three brothers and her charming sister, the advantage of a wise and loving mother—a woman pious without cant, and worldly-wise without being worldly. Mrs. Porter was born at Durham, and when very young bestowed her hand and heart on Major Porter. An old friend of the family assures us that two or three of their children were born ...
— The International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 7 - Of Literature, Art, and Science, August 12, 1850 • Various

... I may see your brazen face blush black, when you hear yourself proved to be a liar and a hypocrite. At a public meeting in the Town-hall yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing myself insulted by the speaker opposed to me in the question under discussion, by allusions to my private affairs; by cant about monsters without natural affection, family despots, and such trash; and when I rose to answer, I was met by a shout from the filthy mob, where the mention of your name enabled me at once to detect the quarter in which this base attack had ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... of whom he is thus the bard, is a rather sophisticated average man, without very deep thoughts or feelings, without a very fertile or fresh imagination or fancy, with even a touch—a little touch—of cant and "gush" and other defects incident to average and sophisticated humanity. But this humanity is at any time and every time no small portion of humanity at large, and it is to Moore's credit that he sings its feelings and its thoughts so as always to get the ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... institution of the Divorce Court, is only what might be expected of the horrible eighteenth century—the true dark age of Europe; but surely even a composer of Handel's powers could scarcely do himself justice with such a choice blend of stupidity and cant religion ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... tired, and I may say in passing that I have never yet seen a chaplain refuse his ration. And of the salt of the good God's earth are the chaplains. There was Major the Reverend John Pringle, of Yukon fame, whose only son Jack was killed in action after he had walked two hundred miles to enlist. No cant, no smug psalm-singing, mourners'-bench stuff for him. He believed in his Christianity like a man; he was ready to fight for his belief like a man; he cared for us like a father, and stood beside us in the mornings as we drank our stimulant. Again, I repeat if a man is found ...
— Private Peat • Harold R. Peat

... Nobbs is probably one of those half-witted persons who fancy they have received a call to preach nonsense—some cobbler escaped from his stall, or tailor from his shopboard. Kitty Quintal's cant phrase—'we want food for our souls,' and praying at meals for 'spiritual nourishment,' smack not a little of the jargon of the inferior caste of evangelicals. Whoever this pastoral drone may be, it is but too evident that the preservation of the innocence, simplicity, and ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... skidway he had built. They would then run down without help; indeed, the difficulty was to stop them when they reached the track. Festing was wet and dirty, and the sweating horses were splashed. When he stopped to unhook the chain, three or four men came up with cant-poles, and struggling in the churned-up mire, rolled the log to the top of ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... hugeous silver book, in the shape of a half-tierce, or hogshead, of sentences, and, having filled it at the fountain, said to him, The philosophers, preachers, and doctors of your world feed you up with fine words and cant at the ears; now, here we really incorporate our precepts at the mouth. Therefore I'll not say to you, read this chapter, see this gloss; no, I say to you, taste me this fine chapter, swallow me this rare gloss. Formerly an ancient prophet of the Jewish nation ate ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... inquiry, or talk about inductive and deductive philosophy, or the principles of the "Baconian philosophy." I do protest that, of the vast number of cants in this world, there are none, to my mind, so contemptible as the pseudoscientific cant which is talked ...
— The Method By Which The Causes Of The Present And Past Conditions Of Organic Nature Are To Be Discovered.—The Origination Of Living Beings • Thomas H. Huxley

... fresh healthy trade that stirred up a man’s blood like sea-bathing; and the whole thing was clean gone from me, and I was dreaming England, which is, after all, a nasty, cold, muddy hole, with not enough light to see to read by; and dreaming the looks of my public, by a cant of a broad high-road like an avenue, and with the sign on a ...
— Island Nights' Entertainments • Robert Louis Stevenson

... perhaps did, laugh in their turn (tho' still, sure, with the same indecency and indiscretion) at that incomparable Man, for wearing out a long Life in poring through a Telescope. Indeed, the weaknesses of Such are to be mentioned with reverence. But who can bear, without indignation, the fashionable cant of every trifling Writer, whose insipidity passes, with himself, for politeness, for pretending to be shocked, forsooth, with the rude and savage air of vulgar Critics; meaning such as Muretus, Scaliger, Casaubon, Salmasius, Spanheim, ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... sleeping in the stalls in wet beds, having to sweep out the water without ceasing and suffering severely from clouds of mosquitoes. When at last the storm abated and they could return to the house, they found everything wet and mildewed and the cottage leaning with a decided cant to one side. Worst of all, one of the horses had become entangled in the barbed-wire fence that had been blown down by the wind, and was dreadfully injured. Thus they discovered that life in the tropics has its drawbacks as well ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... Unitarian church was showing its head, and the writers for the "Courant" were among the most outspoken. The climax was reached when one day the paper appeared with a diatribe containing such words as these: "For my own part, when I find a man full of religious cant and palaver, I presently suspect him to be a knave,"—a sentiment which the religious authorities very properly took as an insult to themselves. James was arrested and imprisoned for a month, and on his release was forbidden to print the "Courant." To escape this ...
— Benjamin Franklin • Paul Elmer More

... to me and Cissy rite off. Why aint you done it? It's so long since you rote any. Mister Recketts ses you dont care any more. Wen you rite send your fotograff. Folks here ses I aint got no big bruther any way, as I disremember his looks, and cant say wots like him. Cissy's kryin' all along of it. I've got a hedake. William Walker make it ake by a blo. So no more at present from ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... the sailors released their holds and the aeroplane lurched forward just clear of the bulwarks. Margaret Bunce clutched the rail nervously. One or two of the men had been somewhat slow in letting go, causing the aeroplane to cant over in a manner that was alarming to the onlookers. But long practice with the aeroplane in all kinds of gusty weather had developed in Smith an instinct for the right means of meeting an emergency of this nature. Like a bicyclist, he did the right thing without thinking. ...
— Round the World in Seven Days • Herbert Strang

... of the policemen as though it had been a feather: with one great stride he reached the countess and caught her roughly by the wrist. "Look at her, will you?" he cried: "you and the likes of you, with your smooth cant, have killed her! You crush us and starve us till we turn, and then you shoot us down like dogs. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... here gives a minute and accurate description, took place on the 22d of July 1544, when Lord Gray's partizans were repulsed with a loss of upwards of sixty men.—(Adamson's Muses Threnodie, by Cant, pp. 70, 71, 112.) Lord Gray, in October that year, received from the Cardinal a grant of part of the lands of Rescobie in Forfarshire, for his "ready and faithful help and assistance in these dangerous times ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

... far back—or in any life, any age. The reader who feels interested must get—with all its dryness and mere dates, absence of emotionality or literary quality, and whatever abstract attraction (with even a suspicion of cant, sniffling,) the "Journal of the Life and Religious Labours of Elias Hicks, written by himself," at some Quaker book-store. (It is from this headquarters I have extracted the preceding quotations.) During ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... plenty of room for private dramas, secret disappointments and sufferings. As she sat there beside him she thought of some of these things, asked herself whether they were what he was thinking of when he said, for instance, that he was sick of all the modern cant about freedom and had no sympathy with those who wanted an extension of it. What was needed for the good of the world was that people should make a better use of the liberty they possessed. Such declarations as this took Verena's breath away; she didn't suppose you ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. II (of II) • Henry James

... dreams of. The hypocrite is rare as icebergs in the tropics; the fool common as buttercups beside a water-furrow: whether you go this way or that you tread on him; you dare not look at your own reflection in the water but you see one. There is no cant phrase, rotten with age, but it was the dress of a living body; none but at heart it signifies a real bodily or mental condition which ...
— The Story of an African Farm • (AKA Ralph Iron) Olive Schreiner

... whatever puts the word into your purty mouth. Providence! oh, how much we regard it, as if Providence took heed of what we do. Go an' get me somethin' to put to this swellin', you had betther; or if it's goin' to grow religious you are, be off out o' this; we'll have none of your cant or pishthrougues here." ...
— The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine • William Carleton

... actual text of The Feast at Solhoug, and of Olaf Liljekrans must be taken in spite of anything their author chose to say nearly thirty years afterwards. Great poets, without the least wish to mystify, often, in the cant phrase, "cover their tracks." Tennyson, in advanced years, denied that he had ever been influenced by Shelley or Keats. So Ibsen disclaimed any effect upon his style of the lyrical dramas of Hertz. ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... gallant man who sits him down before the baize and challenges all comers, his money against theirs, his fortune against theirs, is proscribed by your modern moral world. It is a conspiracy of the middle classes against gentlemen: it is only the shopkeeper cant which is to go down nowadays. I say that play was an institution of chivalry: it has been wrecked, along with other privileges of men of birth. When Seingalt engaged a man for six-and-thirty hours without leaving the table, do you think he showed no courage? How have we had the best blood, and ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... a subscriber for the New York age I have read a few letters in your paper asking for help of securing a position in the North I am trying to make a man of myself I can get any work down here in the South and owing to prejudice I cant get a start I am 18 yrs. of age weighs 152 lbs. and any position that you can get me will work at any job—untill I can get better I am asking how can I get transportation from here it can be deducted from salary and I will certainly appreciate ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... effectually and everlastingly upon the cross as off it; but to be poor long enough to acquire a sense of proportion by coming to close grips with life; to learn what things and people really are, the good and the bad of them together; to have to weigh and measure cant and sentimentality and Christian charity—which last is a fearsome thing—in the balance with truth and common sense and human kindness. It is an experience that makes ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... imperturbable face one hundred and seven in the shade, at which experts who had passed the whole of their summers in the furnace of the Diamond City inveighed against the slowness of the instrument and its lapse from the path of rectitude. The cant of the day ordained the twenty-fifth of December the "hottest day of the year." Well, the newcomers felt that if it were to be redder than the twenty-fourth they might jump into the Kimberley mine, without danger ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... his sisters, and matched them admirably. He was a kind-hearted, outspoken, generous young man, up to anything, from a midnight spree to a special religious service; hating everything like cant as decidedly "low," and going in for sincerity, truth, and free- thought. Moreover, he spent his money, or, more strictly speaking, his father's money as well as his own, on horses, dogs, and guns, and left sundry little bills to stand ...
— Working in the Shade - Lowly Sowing brings Glorious Reaping • Theodore P Wilson

... Virginia. "Thank goodness, in these days not all the king's horses and all the king's men can make even a Princess marry against her will. I hate that everlasting cant about 'duty in marriage.' When people love each other, they're kind and good, and sweet and true, because it's a joy, not because it's a duty. And that's the only sort of loyalty worth having between men and women, according to me. I wouldn't accept anything else from a man; and I should despise ...
— The Princess Virginia • C. N. Williamson

... uncommon want, When every year and month send forth a new one; 'Till, after cloying the gazelles with cant, The age discovers he is ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... knowledge, that nothing can recompense her for the reproaches of conscience, but I know you, and am convinced that you are the last man to render her happy. I set aside, for the moment, all rules of religion and morality in general, and speak to you (to use the cant and abused phrase) "without prejudice" as to the particular instance. Emily's nature is soft and susceptible, yours fickle and wayward in the extreme. The smallest change or caprice in you, which would not be noticed by a ...
— Falkland, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... think there is one habit,—I said to our company a day or two afterwards—worse than that of punning. It is the gradual substitution of cant or flash terms for words which truly characterize their objects. I have known several very genteel idiots whose whole vocabulary had deliquesced into some half dozen expressions. All things fell into one of two great categories,— FAST or SLOW. Man's chief end was to be a BRICK. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... disfigure his fine work on the English language by traducing all who now write that tongue. "None seek the audience, fit, though few, which contented the ambition of Milton, and all writers for the press now measure their glory by their gains," and so indefinitely onward,—which is simply cant. Does Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., who honestly earns his annual five thousand dollars from the "New York Ledger," take rank as head of American literature by virtue of his salary? Because the profits of true literature are rising,—trivial as they still are beside ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... are often effective and satisfying. His discussion, for example, of prologues and epilogues considered in relation to the theatrical conditions which determined their character is admirable.[174] A note on "the cant of supposing that the Iliad contained an obvious and intentional moral"[175] is also full of sense and vigor, but these qualities are so thoroughly diffused through the work that there is no need of particularizing. His praise of Alexander's Feast may be referred to, however, as showing ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... members to work slowly they use certain cant phrases which sound most plausible until their real meaning is analyzed. They continually use the expression, "Workmen should not be asked to do more than a fair day's work," which sounds right and just until we come to see how it is applied. The absurdity of its usual application would be apparent ...
— Shop Management • Frederick Winslow Taylor

... man, used to winning your way by direct means—axe to the tree, cant-dog to the rolling log, but that isn't the way in politics. I know this preachment from me sounds strange. It may offend you, but you mustn't allow yourself to be offended. You have simply quarrelled with the men who have tried to tell you—it's no use for your ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... From the Restoration to 1682, says Malone, no more than four plays of Shakspeare's were performed by a principal company in London. "Such was the lamentable taste of those times, that the plays of Fletcher, Jonson, and Shirley, were much oftener exhibited than those of our author." What cant is this! If that taste were "lamentable," what are we to think of our own times, when plays a thousand times below those of Fletcher, or even of Shirley, continually displace Shakspeare? Shakspeare would himself have exulted in ...
— Biographical Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... not been as fortunate in their chroniclers as they deserve. The tumid cant of Nicholas is grotesque enough to be more amusing than the tract-and-water style of Yate and Barret Marshall, or the childishness of Richard Taylor. Much better in every way are Buller's (Wesleyan) ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... much given to this silly sort of cant, more gratifying to vulgar prejudice, than becoming a scholar, or a man of science. One knows not how to show its absurdity better than, by merely directing the reader to consider for a moment, the things that are put in contrast or compared together. If he cannot be at the trouble ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 13 • Robert Kerr

... year, with its wearisome woes; Its pleasures hoped for—never seen: Its swallow-winged friends: its fair-faced foes: Its sorrow which happiness might have been: Its cant and its cunning: its craft and crime: Its loves and its hates: its hopes and fears: Its lives that, reaching tow'rds heights sublime, Fell short of the mark in a ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... commodities. As a matter of fact, a modern intelligent community is quite capable of doing all these things infinitely better for itself, and the beneficent influence of commerce may easily become, and does easily become, the basis of a cant. Exploitation by private persons is no doubt a necessary condition to economic development in an illiterate community of low intelligence, just as flint implements marked a necessary phase in the social development of mankind; ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... nauseous cant of the French critics, and of their advocates and pupils, that the English writers are generally incorrect. If correctness implies an absence of petty faults, this perhaps may be granted; if it means that, because their tragedians have avoided the ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... the way will be open for a proposition to recognize the 'Vicegerent of Christ on earth,' as the true source of power among the nations! If the proposed amendment is anything more than a bit of sentimental cant, it is to have a legal effect. It is to alter the status of the non-Christian citizen before the law. It is to affect the legal oaths and instruments, the matrimonial contracts, the sumptuary laws, &c., &c., of the country. This would be an ...
— The United States in the Light of Prophecy • Uriah Smith

... and experiences of hospital life their religious lesson, and throughout his work are scattered pictures of anguish heroically borne, and of Christian resignation to death, which are all the more touching because the example of courage through simple and perfect faith is enforced without cant or sentimentality. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... on the downward path. Soon daily contact with vice removes abhorrence to it. Familiarity makes it habitual, and another life is ruined. The heartless moral code of the cynical young pleasure-seeking male is summed up in the cant phrase anent women: "Find, ... and forget!" It is these girls, who are victimized by their lack of self-restraint or moral principle, their ignorance or weakness, who make possible the application of ...
— Sex - Avoided subjects Discussed in Plain English • Henry Stanton

... quality which all men feel; and which may be called a sudden antiquity. Its classicalism was not altogether a cant. When it had happened it seemed to have happened thousands of years ago. It spoke in parables; in the hammering of spears and the awful cap of Phrygia. To some it seemed to pass like a vision; and yet it seemed eternal as a group of statuary. One ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... Simon observed, a soldier of the old school, with powdered head, side locks, and pigtail. His face is shaped like the stern of a Dutch man-of-war, narrow at top, and wide at bottom, with full rosy cheeks and a double chin; so, that, to use the cant of the day, his organs of eating may be ...
— Bracebridge Hall • Washington Irving

... are fatigued and disgusted with this cant:—"The Carnatic is a country that will soon recover, and become instantly as prosperous as ever." They think they are talking to innocents, who will believe that by sowing of dragons' teeth, men may come up ready grown and ready armed. They who ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... from all nationalities, and their descendants, but the English and Irish elements predominated. They had an argot peculiar to themselves. It was partly made up of the "flash" language of the London thieves, amplified and enriched by the cant vocabulary and the jargon of crime of every European tongue. They spoke it with a peculiar accent and intonation that made them instantly recognizable from the roughs of all other Cities. They called themselves "N'Yaarkers;" we came ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... manager. "I gave orders, at your request," he said to Tom, "that no one but the men in this part of the plant were to be present at the casting. I cant understand ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... it to your konshens, Are is the same to us as milk to babies, Or water is to fish, or pendlums to clox, Or roots and airbs unto an Injun doctor, Or little pills unto an omepath, Or Boze to girls. Are is for us to brethe. What signifize who preaches ef I cant brethe? What's Pol? What's Pollus to sinners who are ded? Ded for want of breth! Why Sextant when we dye Its only coz we cant brethe no more—that's all. And now O Sextant? let me beg of you To let a little are into our cherch (Pewer are is sertin proper for the pews); ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... the South, however losing a game it might be. No true American need beg pardon of Europe for this war, which is the only apology we can make to civilization for slavery. Mr. Trollope states the worn-out cant that the secessionists of the South have been aided and abetted by the fanatical abolitionism of the North. Of course they have: had there been no slavery, there would have been no abolitionists, and therefore no secessionists. Wherever there is a wrong, there are ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... pays far better to break up an illustrated book than to sell it intact. When they purchase a book, it is obviously their own property, to preserve or destroy, as they find most agreeable. Personally, we regard the system as in many ways a pernicious one, but it is one upon which a vast amount of cant has been wasted. ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... compromising their Christian principle, are not necessarily either morose, uncharitable, or exclusive. The effects of the old separation were injurious to men's minds. Religion was with many associated with puritanism, with cant, and unfitness for the world. The difference is marked also in the style of sermons prevalent at the two periods. There were sermons of two descriptions—viz., sermons by "moderate" clergy, of a purely moral ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... happy to find matters are managed so impartially in the post-office here. Nothing like a public cant for making matters find their true level. Tell the postmaster, then, I'll keep the letter, and the rather, as it happens, by good luck, to be intended ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... litill we leg, And it wes cant as any cleg, It wes wynd in ane wynden schet, Baythe the handis and the feit: Suppose this gaist wes litill Yit it stal Godis quhitell; It stal fra peteous Abrahame, Ane quhorle and ane quhim quhame; It stal fra ye carle of ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3) • Walter Scott

... member of the University of Oxford, and a very clever writer, Mr. Frederic Harrison, developed, in the systematic and stringent manner of his school, the thesis which Mr. Bright had propounded in only general terms. "Perhaps the very silliest cant of the day," said Mr. Frederic Harrison, "is the cant about culture. Culture is a desirable quality in a critic of new books, and sits well on a possessor of belles lettres; but as applied to politics, it ...
— Culture and Anarchy • Matthew Arnold

... not pose as a teacher, still less as a propagandist. I do not attempt to direct the jury. The choice rests exclusively with yourself.—And here rid your mind of any cant about moral obligations. Both ways have merit, both bring rewards—of sorts—are equally commendable, equally right. Only this—whether you choose blinkers, your barrel between the shafts and another man's whip ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... it seems a useless thing our goin' up to the oak. I know the Cap' sayed we were to wait for them under it. Why cant we just as well stay heer? 'Taint like they'll be long now. They wont dally a minute, I know, after they've clutched the shiners, an' I guess they got 'em most as soon as we'd secured these pair o' petticoats. Besides they'll come quicker ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... him up in my book—you see I could do no less after the handsome way he cracked me up in his—and I cant go back on it now. (Breaking loose from Balsquith.) No: its no use, Balsquith: he can dictate ...
— Press Cuttings • George Bernard Shaw

... convert' | Ob'ject object' Ac'cent accent' | Con'vict convict' | Out'leap outleap' Affix affix' | Con'voy convoy' | Per'fect perfect' As'pect aspect' | De'crease decrease' | Per'fume perfume' At'tribute attribute'| Des'cant descant' | Per'mit permit' Aug'ment augment' | Des'ert desert' | Pre'fix prefix' Au'gust august' | De'tail detail' | Pre'mise premise' Bom'bard bombard' | Di'gest digest' | Pre'sage presage' Col'league colleague'| Dis'cord discord' | Pres'ent present' Col'lect collect' | Dis'count discount' | Prod'uce ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... know that the clergy there had no option but between starving and perjury? And what does he think of the poor man executed at Birmingham, who declared at his death, he had been provoked by the infamous handbill? I know not who wrote it. No, my good friend: Deborah may cant rhymes of compassion, but she is a hypocrite; and you shall not make me read her, nor, with all your sympathy and candour, can you esteem her. Your compassion for the poor blacks is genuine, sincere from your soul, most amiable; hers, a measure ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... is; or if you like so to call it, a belief qualified with scorn in all things extant. The tastes and habits of such a man prevent him from being a boisterous demagogue, and his love of truth and dislike of cant keep him from advancing crude propositions, such as many loud reformers are constantly ready with; much more of uttering downright falsehoods in arguing questions or abusing opponents, which he would die or starve rather ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... presence of God in your own hearts, who is always speaking, always instructing, always illuminating the heart that is attentive to Him.' Jonathan Edwards called the poor parish minister of Ettrick 'a truly great divine.' But Law goes on to say, 'A great divine is but a cant expression unless it signifies a man greatly advanced in the divine life. A great divine is one whose own experience and example are a demonstration of the reality of all the graces and virtues of the gospel. No divine has any more of the gospel in him than that which proves itself by the ...
— Bunyan Characters - Third Series - The Holy War • Alexander Whyte

... counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit. This is the supreme end of the talk of Socrates, and it is the supreme end of the talk of Johnson. 'My dear friend,' said he, 'clear your mind of cant; . . . don't THINK foolishly.' The effect of long companionship with Boswell's Johnson is just this. As Sir Joshua said, 'it brushes away the rubbish'; it clears the mind of cant; it instills the habit of singling ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... let'ter her'mit sweep ge'nus en'ter mer'cy speed se'cret ev'er ser'mon breeze re'bus nev'er ser'pent teeth se'quel sev'er mer'chant sneeze se'quence dex'ter ver'bal breed he'ro mem'ber ver'dict bleed ze'ro plen'ty per'son freed se'cant ven'om fer'ment ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... simplest fare was all that was necessary to tempt the extremity of hunger, and stating that Adam and Eve, in 'Paradise Lost,' were too much like married people. He has furnished many a text for Coleridge to preach upon. There was no fuss or cant about him; nor were his sweets or sours ever diluted with one ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... deeply, "if I am fated, I must; I know there is no resisting one's fate." This is a common cant with poor deluded girls, who are not aware that they themselves make their fate by their folly, and then complain there is no ...
— Stories for the Young - Or, Cheap Repository Tracts: Entertaining, Moral, and Religious. Vol. VI. • Hannah More

... and now they lie withered in the grasp. My youth flies me—age scowls on me from the distance; an age of frivolities that I once scorned; yet—yet, had I formed a different creed, how much I might have done! But—but, out on this cant! My nerves are shattered, and I prate nonsense. Lend me your arm, Constance, let us go into the saloon, ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... lovely garden. It is in this garden he dwells; it is there he walks. See 2 Cor. 6:16. When the south winds blow and the spices flow out he comes into his garden to eat his pleasant fruits; he gathers the myrrh and the spices, he eats honey and drinks wine and milk. See Cant. 4:16 and 5:1. This is sweet language, and is expressive of the purity of the Christian heart, where God dwells, and where he walks in the gentleness of his Spirit, delighting himself in the tender Christian graces that are budding and blooming all along the peaceful avenues of the soul. ...
— Food for the Lambs; or, Helps for Young Christians • Charles Ebert Orr

... took himself off next morning with young Carew (who however behaved very genteelly throughout), saying as he flung away, that God only knew but they might next be suspected, and they had better depart while their characters were safe. You know the silly cant he is apt to talk as well ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... absurd also is such a sentence from the pen of one who, (as we have lately seen,) no sooner descends to particulars than he makes himself ridiculous by betraying his own excessive ignorance.... "The letter for the spirit," also! which is one of the 'cant' expressions of Mr. Jowett and his accomplices in 'free handling,'—based evidently on a misconception of the meaning of 2 Cor. iii. 6. The contrast recurs at pp. 36, 357, ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... reason, and the real secret of Nietzsche's influence, is the fine quality of his moral personality. However much we may be repelled by the thinker, we are attracted by the magnetism of the man, by his noble courage, by his splendid integrity, by his love of truth, his hatred of cant. Even though he has himself misunderstood Christianity, he has done a great deal to bring us back to the fundamental ideals of the Christian religion. He has done a great deal to undermine that superficial and "rose-water" view ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... lingering illness, these "Observations" were for him but an inadequate outlet for the expression of the courageous and hopeful philosophy which was always his distinguishing characteristic. To cover his pain with a jest,—to preach without cant the gospel of love,—to do the best that he could do according to the lights before him—these generous motives and high purposes are to be read between the lines by those who knew him as legibly as if they shone out in words upon ...
— Observations of a Retired Veteran • Henry C. Tinsley

... was possessed of the art of preparing love-powders; and many applications had he in consequence from love-sick patients of both sexes. But all these cases formed the mysterious part of his practice, in which, according to the cant phrase, "secrecy and honour might be depended on." Dolph, therefore, was obliged to turn out of the study whenever such consultations occurred, though it is said he learnt more of the secrets of the art at the key-hole, than by all the rest of ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... yet I wish I could join heartily in that chorus of praise which the kind-hearted old bully has enjoyed. It is difficult to follow his own advice and to "clear one's mind of cant" upon the subject, for when you have been accustomed to look at him through the sympathetic glasses of Macaulay or of Boswell, it is hard to take them off, to rub one's eyes, and to have a good honest stare on one's ...
— Through the Magic Door • Arthur Conan Doyle

... defending the townlet built on the northern slope and plain. The dimensions of the work are fifty-five metres each way. The curtains, except the western, where stood the Bab el-Bahr ("Sea gate"), were supported by one central as well as by angular bastions; the northern face had a cant of 32 degrees east (mag.); and the northwestern tower was distant from the sea seventy-two me'tres, whereas the south-western numbered only sixty. The spade showed a substratum of thick old wall, untrimmed granite, and other hard materials. Further ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... Mormon reads his Bible, and finds polygamy; a Christian Scientist reads his, and finds we have no arms and legs. St. Clare was an old Anglo-Indian Protestant soldier. Now, just think what that might mean; and, for Heaven's sake, don't cant about it. It might mean a man physically formidable living under a tropic sun in an Oriental society, and soaking himself without sense or guidance in an Oriental Book. Of course, he read the Old Testament rather than the New. Of course, he found in ...
— The Innocence of Father Brown • G. K. Chesterton

... immediately cant the swill-tub to an angle of forty-five degrees at a distance of one and a half inches above his right eyebrow. (In the case of Rifle Regiments the soldier will balance the swill-tub on his nose.) He will then invite the officer, by a smart ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... What cant! What sickening cant! An appeal to love based on false pity. That's the way to inculcate a filthy pharisaic conceit into a child.—If the child ill-treats ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words. Used at the present day in the streets of London; the universities of Oxford and Cambridge; the houses of Parliament; the dens of St. Giles; and the palaces of St. James. Preceded by a history of cant ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... of breach of promise were assessed in advance and without respect of sex. Whichever side repented of the bargain undertook to pay ten pounds by way of compensation for the broken pledge. As a nation, Israel is practical and free from cant. Romance and moonshine are beautiful things, but behind the glittering veil are always the stern realities of things and the weaknesses of human nature. The high contracting parties were signing the document as Becky returned. The bridegroom, who halted a little on one leg, was a tall sallow ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... of play, both at cards and dice, at which he was always good-humoured and affable, often using the cant terms customary on these occasions. During our expedition to Higueras, I observed that he had acquired a habit of taking a short sleep or siesta after eating; and if he could not get this he was apt to ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV. • Robert Kerr

... sentences, (a) "They knew well that this woman ruled over thirty millions of subjects;" (b) "If all the flummery and extravagance of an army were done away with, the money could be made to go much further;" (c) "It is idle cant to pretend anxiety for the better distribution of wealth until we can devise means by which this preying upon people of small incomes can ...
— An English Grammar • W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell

... to the talent and earnestness of the father, the gentle, endearing qualities of his mother. He was handsome, frank, and graceful; the expression of his face so truthful and unaffected, that it created an interest in his favour at first sight. Religious without cant, and clever without pretence, it is no wonder that his father, who was his sole instructor, reposed in the fine lad the utmost confidence, treating him more like an equal than a son, over whom he held the authority ...
— George Leatrim • Susanna Moodie

... Oh! I am sick of visions and systems that shove one another aside, and come again like figures in a moving picture.' Probably Walpole's belief in the ploughman lasted till he saw the next smock-frock; but the bitterness clothed in the old-fashioned cant is serious and is justifiable enough. Here is a picture of English politics in the time of Wilkes. 'No government, no police, London and Middlesex distracted, the colonies in rebellion, Ireland ready to be so, and France ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... flash of the white burnous, as the Bedouins glided to and fro in the chiar-oscuro of the encampment; now in the flicker of the flames, now in the silvered luster of the moon. "It is the conflict of the races, as the cant runs, and their day is done. It is a bolder, freer, simpler type than anything we get in the world yonder. Shall we ever drift back to it in the future, ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... no mere cant or hypocrisy in their case, but a profound belief in the teachings of the Scripture in which they truly believe is to be found the most powerful bulwark of the throne against the ever rising tide of democracy, and the ...
— The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: William II, Germany; Francis Joseph, Austria-Hungary, Volume I. (of 2) • Mme. La Marquise de Fontenoy

... the manner in which many persons speak of scientific inquiry, or talk about inductive and deductive philosophy, or the principles of the "Baconian philosophy." I do protest that, of the vast number of cants in this world, there are none, to my mind, so contemptible as the pseudo-scientific cant which is talked ...
— Darwiniana • Thomas Henry Huxley

... that the shops of the mere trading Methodists attract as many auditors by their singing as by their preaching; consequently, enlarged churches and improved psalmody would serve to protect many of the people from becoming the dupes of that CANT and CRAFT of FANATICISM, which is so disgraceful to the age, so dangerous to religion, and so inimical to the ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... cant,' answered Jim, 'and I said nothing of sin or virtue. I don't ask you to trust God, but to trust man. Be ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... warriors, of whom I sing, had on their backs their cuirass and on their heads their casque, and never had night or day once laid them by, whilst here they were; those arms, by long practice, were grown as light to bear as a garment" —Ariosto, Cant., MI. 30.] ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... Walk her up! Come on, Angus! Where's yer porridge gone to? Move over, two av ye! Don't take advantage av a little man loike that!" Angus was just six feet four. "Now thin, yer pikes! Shove her along! Up she is! Steady! Cant her over! How's that, framer? More to the east, is it? Climb up on her, ye cats, an' dig in yer claws! Now thin, east wid her! Togither-r-r—heave! Aw now, where are ye goin'? Don't be too rambunctious! ...
— The Doctor - A Tale Of The Rockies • Ralph Connor

... my sport Vain were thy cant and beggar whine, Though human spirits of thy sort Were tenants ...
— Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine • Lewis Spence

... turning to Tamara, she passionately and rapidly began saying something in an agreed jargon, which presented a wild mixture out of the Hebrew, Tzigani and Roumanian tongues and the cant words of ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... the word requisition, which Breitmann had heard during the War of Emancipation. I once heard this cant term used in a droll manner, about the end of the war, by a little girl, six years old, the daughter of a quarter-master. She had "confiscated," or "foraged," or "skirmished," as it was indifferently called, a toy whip belonging to her little brother of four years, ...
— The Breitmann Ballads • Charles G. Leland

... very limited compass. With this design, I desired to unite some exhibition of what seems to me a principal vice in the hot and emulous chase for happiness or fame, fortune or knowledge, which is almost synonymous with the cant phrase of "the March of Intellect," in that crisis of society to which we have arrived. The vice I allude to is Impatience. That eager desire to press forward, not so much to conquer obstacles as to elude them; that gambling with the solemn destinies ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... time for persons of the first rank and distinction to give their birthday suits to the most favoured actors. I think Mr. Thurmond was honoured by General Ingolsby with his. But his finances being at the last tide of ebb, the rich suit was put in buckle (a cant word for forty in the hundred interest). One night, notice was given that the General would be present with the Government at the play, and all the performers on the stage were preparing to dress out in the suits presented. The spouse of Johnny (as he was commonly called) try'd all her arts to ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... life in God. To many readers this free outpouring of a God-loving soul will seem to approach too near to that abuse of religious phraseology which is a sign of superficial rather than of deep-seated piety. But, though through life a sworn enemy of every kind of cant, Bunsen never would surrender the privilege of speaking the language of a Christian, because that language had been profaned by the thoughtless repetition of ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... cant of the bigot or the hypocrite, no reasoning can aught avail. If you would argue until the end of life, the infallible creature must alone be right. So it proved with the laird. One Scripture text followed another, not in the least connected, and one sentence of the profound Mr. Wringhim's ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... slight air of contempt in Carlton's voice and manner. "I hate to hear this everlasting cant, if I must so call it, about business; as if there were nothing else in the world to think or care about. Men bury themselves between four brick walls, and toil from morning until night, like prison-slaves; and if you talk to them about an hour's recreation for body and mind, all ...
— The Two Wives - or, Lost and Won • T. S. Arthur

... is to be said in favor of toasted cheese for supper. It is the cant to say that Welsh rabbit is heavy eating. I like it best in the genuine Welsh way, however—that is, the toasted bread buttered on both sides profusely, then a layer of cold roast beef with mustard and horseradish, and then, on the top of all, the superstratum, ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... and tastes Him with great delight"; (2) "The wound of love," of which one of his authorities says, "haec poena tam suavis est quod nulla sit in hac vita delectatio quae magis satisfaciat." It is to this experience that Cant. ii. 5 refers: "Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis, quia amore langueo." Sometimes the wound is not purely spiritual: St. Teresa, as was shown by a post-mortem examination, had undergone a miraculous "transverberation of the heart": "et pourtant elle ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... after-life Scott was wont to pride himself upon being a man of business, and he averred, in contradiction to what he called the cant of sonneteers, that there was no necessary connection between genius and an aversion or contempt for the common duties of life. On the contrary, he was of opinion that to spend some fair portion of every day in any matter-of-fact occupation was good for the higher faculties themselves in the ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... unanimous consent. Interpolation.]. Which one Church the Holy Spirit also in the Song of Songs designates in the person of the Lord and says: "My dove, my spotless one, is but one. She is the only one of her mother, chosen of her that bare her" (Cant. 6:9). Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church [unity of Peter. Corrupt reading.] think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church [who deserts the chair of Peter. Interpolation.] ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... lifting of the nose's tip; A certain curling of the nether lip, In scorn of all that is, beneath the sky; In brief it is an aspect deleterious, A face decidedly not serious, A face profane, that would not do at all To make a face at Exeter Hall,— That Hall where bigots rant, and cant, and pray, And laud each other face to face, Till ev'ry farthing-candle ray Conceives itself a great gas-light ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... loth, In which much wisdom spake so merrily. A voice, and no mere echo, thine, Of many tones, but manly ever. Thy rustic Biglow's rugged line A grateful world neglecteth never! It smote hypocrisy and cant With flail-like force; sleek bards that ripple Like shallow pools—who pose and pant, And vaguely smudge or softly stipple,— These have not brain or heart to sing As Biglow sang, our quaint Hosea, Whose "Sunthin in the Pastoral line," Full primed ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 22, 1891 • Various

... fruit—mostly choke-pears and apples from ungrafted limbs—as was enterprising enough to grow and ripen without tending or harvesting. The trunks of the neglected trees were studded with knobs like enormous wens, and the branches had a jaunty earthward cant that made climbing the easiest sort of work, and swinging an irresistible temptation. In the higher boughs were cosey crotches where one could sit, and read, and even sleep, without danger of falling. I and my court of small darkies had spent one whole July Saturday in and under the "big ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... fond of light and fanciful pursuits, and among others of forming verbal conceits. Hence, we find that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch, no doubt, derisively,[30] and in Julian's time they had a cant saying that they had suffered nothing from the X or the K (Christ or Constantius). A celebrated school of rhetoric was established here, and no doubt some of the effusions penned at this time, abounded ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... it," said he,—"we'll see about it in the morning; but, at the same time, let me assure you, the affair is not so easy as you may at first blush suppose. These worthy people have been so often 'done'—to use the cant phrase—before, that scarcely a ruse remains untried. It is of no use pleading that your family won't consent; that your prospects are null; that you are ordered for India; that you are engaged elsewhere; that you have nothing but your pay; that you are too young or too old,—all such reasons, ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... upon you and ignore you, its back, and nothing else, you will surely see. And this on account of your merits. You really have thoughts. You make combinations of your own. You have freighted your words out of your own mental experience. You do not flatter any of the sects by using their cant. Now, then, be sure that you have got to do finished work, finished in every minutest particular, for years, before your ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... time it had ever occurred to me, that this detestable cant of false humility might have originated out of the Heep family. I had seen the harvest, but had never thought ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... billiards, and when he is tired and wishes to rest himself he stays up all night and plays billiards, it seems to rest his head. He smokes a great deal almost incessantly. He has the mind of an author exactly, some of the simplest things he cant understand. Our burglar-alarm is often out of order, and papa had been obliged to take the mahogany-room off from the alarm altogether for a time, because the burglar-alarm had been in the habit of ringing even when the mahogany-room was ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... threw out much smoke, but no vital heat; here and there, the red glare of violence burst up through the dust of words and the insufferable cant of the world. ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... exterminating war against the blessings of commerce and the bounties of a merciful Providence; and which, by an impious perversion of language, is called 'Protection.' . . . . I will not add, sir, my deep and deliberate conviction, in the face of all the miserable cant and hypocrisy with which the world abounds on the subject, that any course of measures which shall hasten the abolition of slavery, by destroying the value of slave labor, will bring upon the Southern ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... artist. We need some one to exploit our shop-talk on the reading public, and to show up our work as you and I know it, not as you and I have been told by laymen that it ought to be,—a literature of the elementary school with the cant and the platitudes and the goody-goodyism left out, and in their place something of the virility, of the serious study, of the manful effort to solve difficult problems, of the real and vital achievements that ...
— Craftsmanship in Teaching • William Chandler Bagley

... overlooked in the confusion. I felt economical about the stars as if they were sapphires (they are called so in Milton's Eden): I hoarded the hills. For the universe is a single jewel, and while it is a natural cant to talk of a jewel as peerless and priceless, of this jewel it is literally true. This cosmos is indeed without peer and without price: for there cannot ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... also at Aix a very celebrated preacher named De Coq. I went to hear him, and, though much struck with his fluency of language, did not much admire his style of preaching; there was too much of cant and declamation, and at times he made a most intolerable noise, roaring as if he were addressing an army. This man, however, succeeded in drawing tears from the audience; but this did not surprise me, for it is astonishing how easily this is accomplished. This reminds me of a scene which ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... commanding phrase, but one or two must suffice. It is a delight to read his published correspondence, because of this power of strong and luminous utterance, which he wields with such Titanic ease. Then, again, there is no affectation or cant, but an engaging candor and straightforwardness which bespeak a true man, considering the time when they were written. What clarity of political vision there is in such passages ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... when a woman is married she ought to do all she can for the sake of peace. I dont see what a man has got to do interferin with the cookin, no how; a woman oughter 'tend to these matters. 'Pears to me, Mr. Moore, (captain, as you calls him,) is mighty fidjetty about bottles, all at once. But if he cant bear the sight of a brandy bottle in the house, bring 'em down here to me; I'll keep 'em out of his sight, I'll be bound. I'll put 'em in the corner of my old chist yonder, and I'd like to see him thar, rummagin arter brandy ...
— Aunt Phillis's Cabin - Or, Southern Life As It Is • Mary H. Eastman

... one Bisel perhaps a volenteer in the Second U S Regiment who Richly deserved preferment for his bravery through the whole action he made the freeest use of the Baonet of any Man I noticed in the Carcases of the Savages. John Hamelton I cant say too much in praise of who was along with the army a packhorse master he picked up the dead mens guns and used them freely when he found them Loaded and when the Indians entered the Camp he took up an ax and at them with it. I am Intirely at a loss to Give you any idea what General ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Four - Louisiana and the Northwest, 1791-1807 • Theodore Roosevelt

... like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Your very words, Scrooge. Decrease the surplus population. (SCROOGE hangs his head in shame.) Man, if man you be in heart, forbear that wicked cant. Will you decide what men shall live, and what men shall die? It may be that in the sight of Heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like ...
— The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays • Walter Ben Hare

... far as to say that the paper gives its holder a certain power in a certain quarter where such power is immensely valuable." The Prefect was fond of the cant ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Detective Stories • Various

... then, perhaps, we shall be better able to decide what degree of ignorance in him constitutes unfitness for citizenship and cause for shutting him out. Perchance then, also, we shall hear less of the cant about his being a peril to the republic. Doubtless ignorance is a peril, but the selfishness that trades upon ignorance is a much greater. He came to us without a country, ready to adopt such a standard of patriotism as he found, at its face ...
— The Battle with the Slum • Jacob A. Riis



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