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Cant   Listen
noun
Cant  n.  
1.
An affected, singsong mode of speaking.
2.
The idioms and peculiarities of speech in any sect, class, or occupation. "The cant of any profession."
3.
The use of religious phraseology without understanding or sincerity; empty, solemn speech, implying what is not felt; hypocrisy. "They shall hear no cant from me."
4.
Vulgar jargon; slang; the secret language spoker by gipsies, thieves, tramps, or beggars.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... with his hand. "I cannot forget my father's account of the times when Red-nosed Noll ruled the roost, and that arch-traitor Hutchinson held the castle, and insulted all the Cavaliers in the town and neighbourhood by his preaching, and his cant, and his strict rules and regulations; and now, forsooth, every man and woman in the place thinks fit to stand up for the usurper William, and not an expression of sympathy do I hear for the cruel fate of ...
— John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... gold, nor godlike splendor; Nor house, nor home, nor lordly state; Nor hollow contracts of a treach'rous race, Its cruel cant, its custom and decree. Blessed, in joy and sorrow, Let love ...
— The Loves of Great Composers • Gustav Kobb

... "prefers the angry ranting of ill- meaning demagogues to the advantages of solid education." That, however, the working-men appreciate solid education when they can get it unmixed with the interested cant of the bourgeoisie, the frequent lectures upon scientific, aesthetic, and economic subjects prove which are delivered especially in the Socialist institutes, and very well attended. I have often heard working-men, ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... and style of Scripture. Hebraisms violently introduced into the English language, and metaphors borrowed from the boldest lyric poetry of a remote age and country, and applied to the common concerns of English life, were the most striking peculiarities of this cant, which moved, not without cause, the derision both ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... day he printed the interviews—a collection of curiosities in utopianism, cant, ignorant fanaticism, provincialism, hypocrisy. These appeared strictly as news; for the cardinal principle of Howard's theory of a newspaper was that it had no right to intrude its own views into its news-columns. On the editorial ...
— The Great God Success • John Graham (David Graham Phillips)

... phrases which official Methodists so universally employed in mutual converse. She might have been an insurance agent, or a school-teacher, visiting in a purely secular household, so little parade of cant ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... given to his 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

... said Dick bluntly; "I don't believe you when you say so. I call it cant. How do you know? You can't tell till ...
— Follow My leader - The Boys of Templeton • Talbot Baines Reed

... Thornton laid a hand gently on his shoulder. "My dear Mr. Grell," he said, "I don't want to use the ordinary cant about duty and all the rest of it. We may sympathise with you—personally, I admire the attitude you have taken, though perhaps I shouldn't say it—but our own feelings do not matter the toss of a button. Nothing ...
— The Grell Mystery • Frank Froest

... his country groan; 330 Bid Liberty stretch out her hands, Religion plead her stronger bands; Bid parents, children, wife, and friends, If they come 'thwart his private ends— Unmoved he hears the general call, And bravely tramples on them all. Who will, for him, may cant and whine, And let weak Conscience with her line Chalk out their ways; such starving rules Are only fit for coward fools; 340 Fellows who credit what priests tell, And tremble at the thoughts of Hell; His spirit dares contend with Grace, And meets Damnation face to face. ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... respect of self by showing him what his mind is capable of. I argue on no sectarian, no religious grounds even. Is it possible to make a man's self his most precious possession? Anyhow, I work to that end. A doctor purges before building up with a tonic. I eliminate cant and hypocrisy, and then introduce self-respect. It isn't enough to employ a man's hands only. Initiation in some labour that should prove wholesome and remunerative is a redeeming factor, but it isn't all. His mind must work also, and awaken ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... 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 ...
— Biographical Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... quite as 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 ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... 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, and a mockery ...
— God and my Neighbour • Robert Blatchford

... "self-control" is daily in the blatant mouths of preachers and moralists, the very cant of emptiness and folly. It means nothing, nor can any play of words or cunning twisting of conception ever give it meaning. For the "self" is the divine, imperishable portion of the eternal God which is in man. ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... you whisper that in her ear, my youthful friend; for Eve Effingham fancies herself as much American in character as in birth. Single-minded and totally without management,—devoted to her duties,—- religious without cant,—a warm friend of liberal institutions, without the slightest approach to the impracticable, in heart and soul a woman, you will find it hard to persuade her, that with all her practice in the world, and all her extensive attainments, she is more than a humble ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... were held up by the designing to dazzle the eyes of the unwary, &c.; he found in short that reformation, by popular insurrection, must end in the destruction and cannot tend to the formation of a regular Government.' After a good deal more of this well-meaning cant, the Introduction concludes with the following sentence:—the writer is addressing the reformers of 1793, amongst whom—'both leaders and followers,' he says, 'may together reflect—that, upon speculative ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... home, dont be fritened about me because I know the way. Ive got to go. something is calling me. dont be cross. I love you, but I cant stay. Im leaving my foolscap book for you, you can keep it always but I must go back to ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... 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, of Cheshire ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... I have mention'd, the readers may judge by the fulfilling of 'em, whether I am on the level with common astrologers; who, with an old paultry cant, and a few pothook for planets, to amuse the vulgar, have, in my opinion, too long been suffer'd to abuse the world: But an honest physician ought not to be despis'd, because there are such things as mountebanks. I ...
— The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers • Jonathan Swift

... had probably been reading some miserable cant about Southern humanity, for there are people everywhere who take the wrong side of every subject, from sheer obstinacy. What can disprove the laws of human nature? They require that things should be at the South as our ...
— The Sable Cloud - A Southern Tale With Northern Comments (1861) • Nehemiah Adams

... e'er an aunt? Then learn the rules of woman's cant, And forge a tale, and swear you read it, Such as, save woman, none would credit Win o'er her confidante and pages By gold, for this a golden age is; And should it be her wayward fate, To be encumbered with a mate, A dull, old dotard should he be, That dulness claims ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... ceremonials of their station; whilst the insignificant fluttering of soldiers may be termed active idleness. More confined to the society of men, the former acquire a fondness for humour and mischievous tricks; whilst the latter, mixing frequently with well-bred women, catch a sentimental cant. But mind is equally out of the question, whether they indulge the ...
— A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Title: Vindication of the Rights of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft [Godwin]

... channel. Indeed, feeling without thought, and the consequent combination of impulse to speak with lack of matter, is the cause of much of that common-place utterance concerning things of religion which is so wearisome, but which therefore it is not always fair to despise as cant. ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... istis articulis praenotatis fecit Bonifacius, Cant. Arch. suorum suffraganeorum sibi subditorum universorum, praelatorum pariter et cleri procuratorum, convocationem isto anno apud Londonias semel et secundo, propter gravamina et oppressiones, de die in diem per summum pontificem et D. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 183, April 30, 1853 • Various

... principles in which they were agreed; government by parties was the very soul of representative institutions; it had raised England to her present power and protected the liberty of the people; while the cant, "measures not men," had always been the pretext for getting loose ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 • Various

... admirably balanced by her 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 in Ireland, and that certainly ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... gives mankind railways, power, 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; but to-day the avaricious getter, like some obsolescent ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... Vincent. "It is a cant antithesis in opinion to oppose them to one another; but, so far as mere theoretical common sense is concerned, I would much sooner apply to a great poet or a great orator for advice on matter of business, than any dull plodder who has passed his whole life in a counting-house. Common sense is ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... own face was transfigured. Mrs. Zelotes, also, seemed to radiate with a sort of harsh and prickly delight. She descanted upon the hard-earned savings which Andrew had risked, but she held her old head very high with reluctant joy, and her bonnet had a rakish cant. ...
— The Portion of Labor • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... mingling of gallantry and pedantry; at the hesitations of Nelvil; at the agonies of Corinne. When French critics tell us that as they allow the good-humoured satire on the Count d'Erfeuil to be just, we ought to do the same in reference to the "cant Britannique" of Nelvil and of the Edgermond circle, we can only respectfully answer that we should not presume to dispute their judgment in the first case, but that they really must leave us to ours in the second. As ...
— Corinne, Volume 1 (of 2) - Or Italy • Mme de Stael

... printed version of this text, all apostrophes for contractions such as "can't", "wouldn't" and "he'd" were omitted, to read as "cant", "wouldnt", and "hed". This etext edition restores the ...
— Pygmalion • George Bernard Shaw

... fitting mate, though late in life. But, what are fifty years? They mark the prime of a healthy man's existence. He has by that time seen the world, can decide, and settle, and is virtually more eligible—to use the cant phrase of gossips—than a young man, even for a young girl. And may not some fair and fresh reward be justly claimed as the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... you have me do?" said the old man, rising and walking' about in unusual distress and agitation; "you don't know me—I can't do it—I cant do it. You say, Honor, I don't care about him—I'd give him my blood—I'd give him my blood to save a hair of his head. My life an' happiness depinds on him; but who knows how he an' his wife might mismanage that money if they got it—both young an' foolish? ...
— Fardorougha, The Miser - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... sun in Cant. vi. already quoted, "Clear as the sun," may be taken as equivalent to "spotless." That is its ordinary appearance to the naked eye, though from time to time—far more frequently than most persons have any idea—there are spots upon the sun sufficiently large to be seen without any optical ...
— The Astronomy of the Bible - An Elementary Commentary on the Astronomical References - of Holy Scripture • E. Walter Maunder

... and praised by Charles II, and his court, and the one that best represents the spirit of the victorious party, is the satirical poem of Hudibras by Samuel Butler. The object of the work is to satirize the cant and excesses of Puritanism, just as the Don Quixote of Cervantes burlesques the extravagances and ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... consists in the nice adjustment of what is due to me from my neighbours, and to them from me. Here, among the poor, where a native reserve has not grown, as a fungus upon it, a native cant, where there is no desire to seem better than one is, and no belief that one is so by seeming—here, I say, among the Tuscan poor, there is never any difficulty, for here there is no excrescence to the substantial quality of the soul, but precisely to the ...
— The Fool Errant • Maurice Hewlett

... the Ghost, "if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, 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 this poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the insect on ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 • Charles H. Sylvester

... full enormity of the cant about Penny Dreadfuls can best be perceived by travelling to and fro for a week between London and Paris and observing the books read by those who travel with first-class tickets. I think a fond belief in Ivanhoe-within-the-reach-of-all would not ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... insult' Ab'stract abstract' | Con'vert 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 ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... a cant phrase, is an exquisite "bit of Blarney;" but independent of the vulgar association, it has a multitude of attractions for every reader. Its interest will, however, be materially enhanced by the following ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 14, No. 396, Saturday, October 31, 1829. • Various

... just Heaven! Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world—though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, the cant of criticism is the most ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... through my favourite channels of diurnal communication—and so, sir, you have my history. Sneer. Most obligingly communicative indeed! and your confession, if published, might certainly serve the cause of true charity, by rescuing the most useful channels of appeal to benevolence from the cant of imposition. But, surely, Mr. Puff, there is no great mystery in your present profession? Puff. Mystery, sir! I will take upon me to say the matter was never scientifically treated nor reduced to rule before. Sneer. Reduced to rule! Puff. O Lud, sir, ...
— Scarborough and the Critic • Sheridan

... a moment even Selah Briggs's pride and vehemence. It was very impertinent of him to try and interfere with her purely personal business, no doubt, but he seemed to do so in a genuinely kindly rather than in a fussy interfering spirit. At any rate he didn't begin by talking to her that horrid cant about the attempt to commit suicide being so extremely wicked! If he had done that, Selah would have felt it was not only an unwarrantable intrusion upon her liberty of action, but a grotesque insult to her natural intelligence ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... was she a Christian. The being brought into frequent and intimate contact with religious persons has been one of the chief privileges of my vocation, but never yet have I met with any person whose reverence for holy things was deeper than hers. Abhorring, as all honest minds must, every species of cant, she respected true religious thought and feeling, by whomsoever cherished. God seemed nearer to her than to any person I have over known. In the influences of His Holy Spirit upon the heart she fully believed, and in experience realized them. Jesus, ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... with cant, ere we were born, For feasts of death, and hatred's harvest wain Piled high, for princes from proud mothers torn, And soft despairs hushed in the ...
— Ionica • William Cory (AKA William Johnson)

... sufficiently absurd to us, but it was not always so. Solomon (Cant. vi. 10) does not disdain the image "fair as the moon, clear as the sun," and those who have seen a moon in the sky of Arabia will thoroughly appreciate it. We find it amongst the Hindus, the Persians, the Afghans, the Turks and all the nations of Europe. We have, finally, the grand ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... a kind of a sideways cant to my nose, that Tobin give me when we was to school. I don't know's you ever noticed it," said Mr. Briley. "We was scufflin', as lads will. I never bore him no kind of a grudge. I pitied ye, when he was taken away. I re'lly did, now, Fanny. ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... 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

... was on duty, a tree in Hyde Park, near the powder magazine, had been set on fire; the Duke replied, he hoped it was not by the new light. This nonsensical new light is extremely in fashion, and I shall not be surprised if we see a revival of all the folly and cant of the last age. Whitfield preaches continually at my Lady Huntingdon's,(1464) at Chelsea; my Lord Chesterfield, my Lord Bath, my Lady Townshend, my Lady Thanet, and others, have been to hear him.(1465) What will you lay that, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... since I know that it would blister The thin skin of a democrat, I drop the title "Mr.," You have talked a lot of bunkum, all mixed up with most terrific cant. But you truly said that "persons are so very insignificant;" And the author of a speech I read, part scum and partly dreggy, Is perhaps the least significant—that windbag named CARNEGIE. But your kindness most appals me, Sir; how really, truly gracious, For one whose home is in ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., September 20, 1890 • Various

... great. As he saw it, it was not alone military greatness but greatness of the soul, which was greater. Both were deeply religious— Lee, the Episcopalian, and Jackson, the Presbyterian, and it was a piety that contained no trace of cant. ...
— The Shades of the Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... They do not grumble, perhaps, so much as the British "full private;" indeed they have little cause, for the commissariat arrangements, even in remote departments, are admirable, and the Union grudges no comfort, or even luxury, to her armies. But they become "demoralized" (the word is a cant one now) surprisingly fast, and recover from such, depression very, very slowly. When the moment for action arrives, such men get fresh heart in the first excitement, but they lack stability, and if any sudden check ensues, involving change of ground to the rear, a few minutes are enough ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... personal confidences, and I will frankly confess that if it were not for Euphemia I do not think I should wash at all. There is a vast amount of humbug about washing. Vulgar people not only profess a passion for the practice, but a physical horror of being unwashed. It is a sort of cant. I can understand a sponge bath being a novelty the first time and exhilarating the second and third. But day after day, week after week, month after month, and nothing to show at the end of it all! Then there is shaving. I have to get shaved because Euphemia hates me with a blue jowl, ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... mirror of the Wizard of the North. But France owes him a great debt. He was cruel, but in comparison with the cruelty of Lebon, of Barere, of Billaud-Varennes, his cruelty was tender mercy, He was a hypocrite, but his hypocrisy shows like candour beside the perfidy and the cant of Petion and of Robespierre, while in the great 'art and mystery' of government he was a master where these modern apes ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... 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

... he entered the store-house had felt that bacon heavier than the heaviest end of the biggest stick of timber he had ever helped to cant. He felt guilty, sneaking, disgraced; he felt that the literal Devil had first tempted him near the house, then all suddenly—with his own hunger pangs and thoughts of his starving family—swept him into the smoke-house to steal. But he had consented to do it; he had said ...
— Old Man Savarin and Other Stories • Edward William Thomson

... strange to witness his transitions. At one moment he would be holding high discourse of Goethe, and translating illustrative passages into classic French; at the next, whining about la deche, and begging for a petite salete de vingt sous, in the cant of the Paris gutters. Or, from an analysis of the character of some conspicuous personage he had known, he would break into an indecent song, or pass to an interchange of mildewed ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... ragged, but without shoes and stockings. The hat of the elder was wreathed round with yellow flowers; the younger, whose hat was only a rimless crown, had stuck it round with laurel leaves. They continued at play till I drew very near, and then they addressed me with the begging cant and the whining voice of sorrow. I said, 'I served your mother this morning' (the boys were so like the woman who had called at our door that I could not be mistaken). 'O,' says the elder, 'you could ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... of your rhetoric! Through your newspapers, you are turning the thoughts of our children to war, our children who should be to us the symbol of a nobler, purer future rising out of the sordid wreckage of the present—you make them drunk with your cant about national glory—glory!—until their innocent faces glow feverishly up to you, hungry for battle. You will not rest until you hear the terrible savage cry from their lips—War, war! You shall not hear it if I can prevent it! I am going to the Senate now. In fifteen minutes your ...
— Makers of Madness - A Play in One Act and Three Scenes • Hermann Hagedorn

... 'Cant help it. I'm a lone, lorn grass-widow, dear, but I will not sleep in my stays. And such news too! Oh, do unlace me, there's a darling! The Dowd The Dancing Master I and the Hawley Boy You ...
— Under the Deodars • Rudyard Kipling

... always so graceful, that he might almost have been suspected of having studied them; for he might, on any occasion, have served as a model for an artist, so remarkably striking were his ordinary attitudes. Andrew Gemmells had little of the cant of his calling; his wants were food and shelter, or a trifle of money, which he always claimed, and seemed to receive, as his due. He sang a good song, told a good story, and could crack a severe jest with all the acumen of Shakspeare's jesters, though without ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 14, No. 397, Saturday, November 7, 1829. • Various

... Twenty replies to madame Grimaldi were written and torn, as not sufficiently expressive of a resentment that was rather vociferous than eloquent, and her confessor was at last forced to write one, in which he prevailed to have some holy cant inserted, though forced to compound for a heap of irony that related to the antiquity of her family, and for many unintelligible allusions to vulgar stories which the Ghibelline party had treasured up against the Guelfs. The most lucid part of the epistle pronounced ...
— Hieroglyphic Tales • Horace Walpole

... fed by the Apostles with 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.] trust that he is in the Church, when, moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... [murmuring] Thats always the way. Just as we'd settled down to work. What harm are we doing? Well, it is tiresome. Let them finish the job themselves. Oh dear, oh dear! We cant have a minute to ourselves. Shoving ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... argument to the feelings and passions of men, the Honorable Member had great advantages in dwelling on this topic; because it was a subject which those who disliked everything that had the air of cant and profession on the one hand, or of indifference on the other, found it awkward to meddle with. Establishments, tests, and matters of that nature, were proper objects of political discussion in that House, but not general charges of Atheism and Deism, as pressed upon their consideration by the ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... public would not stand them. But the British public has stood some very severe things about the Bible, which is even yet reckoned of higher sanctity than Shakespeare. And certainly there is as much cant about Shakespeare to be cleared away as about the Bible. However this is scarcely the place to do it. It is clear enough, however, from his usage of Painter, that Shakespeare was no more original in plot than any of his fellows, and it is only the unwise and rash who could ask for ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... advantages, or another man will take his place. He must disguise himself at all costs. But disguises are not easy to make; they require time and care, which he cannot afford. So he must snatch up ready-made disguises—unhook them, rather. He must know all the cant-phrases, the cant-references. There are very, very many of them, and belike it is hard to keep them all at one's finger-tips. But, at least, there is no difficulty in collecting them. Plod through the 'leaders' and 'notes' ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... was a cant name given to a lady [Lady Powis], who was very fond of loo, and who had lost much ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... know of no Parisian adventure so degrading as certain pranks of Buckhurst's, which I would not dare mention in your hearing. We imitate them, and out-herod Herod, but we are never like them. We send to Paris for our clothes, and borrow their newest words—for they are ever inventing some cant phrase to startle dulness—and we make our language a foreign farrago. Why, here is even plain John Evelyn, that most pious of pedants, pleading for the enlistment of a troop of Gallic substantives and adjectives to eke out our ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... ber Ziel und Schnur, Das Herz mcht sich zerspalten, Sie sucht es in B Moll, B Dur, Auf allerhand Gestalten, Thut hundertfalt 75 Den Bss und Alt, Tenor und Cant durchstreichen; Doch Stimm doch Kunst Ist gar umbsonst, Der Schall thuts ...
— An anthology of German literature • Calvin Thomas

... had become so disagreeable that a shameless cynicism was now considered the mark of a gentleman. The ideal hero of Wycherley or Etherege was the witty young profligate, who had seen life, and learned to disbelieve in virtue. His highest qualities were a contempt for cant, physical courage, a sort of spendthrift generosity, and a good-natured readiness to back up a friend in a quarrel, or an amour. Virtue was bourgeois—reserved for London trades-people. A man must be either a rake or a hypocrite. The gentlemen were rakes, the city people were hypocrites. Their ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... like Mohammed for his total freedom from cant. He is a rough self-helping son of the wilderness; does not pretend to be what he is not. There is no ostentatious pride in him; but neither does he go much upon humility: he is there as he can be, in cloak and shoes of his own clouting; speaks plainly ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... themselves in the principles of the Saviour, no less than the confession that they themselves ruled only by a delegation of power from Christ, was regarded by the Protestant Americans as religious cant. The power behind the throne was more likely force of arms. The provision that other nations professing these principles should be "received with as much readiness as affection in this holy alliance" was regarded as a bid and possible conspiracy for the extension of legitimacy not ...
— The United States of America Part I • Ediwn Erle Sparks

... came next: Forty-five, long, Lincoln-bodied, and bony; coal-black hair, coal-black eyes, and charcoal-black mustache; neck like a loop in standing rigging; arms long as cant-hooks, with the steel grips for fingers; sluggish in movement and slow in action until the supreme moment of danger tautened his nerves to breaking point; then came an instantaneous spring, quick as the recoil of a parted hawser. ...
— The Tides of Barnegat • F. Hopkinson Smith

... contained within its girth much more of money, meal, and whiskey, than ever met the eye; his hat was exceedingly low in the crown; his legs were cast in at least three pairs of stockings; and in his hand he carried a long cant, spiked at the lower end, with which he slung himself over small rivers and dykes, and kept dogs at bay. He was a devotee, too, notwithstanding the whiskey horn under his arm; attended wakes, christenings, ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton

... thing that appears so in others." Now, Sir, this Sect, as I have been told, is very frequent in the great Town where you live; but as my Circumstance of Life obliges me to reside altogether in the Country, though not many Miles from London, I cant have met with a great Number of em, nor indeed is it a desirable Acquaintance, as I have lately found by Experience. You must know, Sir, that at the Beginning of this Summer a Family of these Apes came and settled for the Season not far ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... those very days, some little meanness on her mother's part brought the tears into Grace's eyes, and a gentle rebuke to her lips: but her mother bore the interference less patiently than usual; and answered, not by cant, but by counter-reproach. "Was she the person to accuse a poor widowed mother, struggling to leave her child something to keep her out of the workhouse? A mother that lived for her, would die for her, sell ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume I • Charles Kingsley

... go hear the old sinner's stuff," said Anne, "when your own sons laugh at him and say he is a fool? Besides, I am told he is ever abusing the Catholics, and I heartily despise his nonsensical, lying cant." ...
— The Cross and the Shamrock • Hugh Quigley

... in hopes, Hiram, you had quit talking cant,' said Dr. Frank, in a tone of disgust. 'Take my advice, and stop it, that is, if it is not ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No. V, May, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... 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 ...
— First in the Field - A Story of New South Wales • George Manville Fenn

... Susan's early life he objected on principle to all forms of frivolous amusement, such as music, dancing, or novel reading, while games and even pictures were regarded as meaningless luxuries. Such puritanical convictions might have easily degenerated into mere cant; but underlying all was a broad and firm basis of wholesome respect for individual freedom and a brave adherence to truth. He was a man of good business capacity, and a thorough manager of his wide and lucrative interests. He saw that compensation and ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... time of his vacations here, which proposal I hope he will accept and be here next week. What happy triumvirat would be ours if you were to join: but that is impossible at present; however those who cant enjoy reality are fond of feeding their fancies with agreable Dreams and charming pictures; that helps a little to sooth the sorrow of absence and makes one expect with more pati[ence] till fortune allows ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... felt that if he said what was in his mind it might sound like cant. So he changed the subject. "Just now my ambition is to get ...
— The Cost • David Graham Phillips

... told me stories of his friends, some of which were disgusting, some horrifying, and some stupid. But with it all he had an air as if he believed everybody at heart was bad, and as if morality and sobriety and unselfishness were mere affectation and cant. ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... go with you.' It isn't agreeable to my self-esteem to own it, but I expected to hear her say that she would consent to any sacrifice for the sake of her dear daughter. No such clap-trap as that passed her lips. She owned the true motive with a superiority to cant which won my sincerest respect. 'I'll do anything,' she said, 'to baffle Herbert Linley and the spies he has set to watch us.' I can't tell you how glad I was that she had her reward on the same day. We were too ...
— The Evil Genius • Wilkie Collins

... 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

... embraced him, and kissed him, and they wept." Read not "and he kissed him," but read, "and he bit him." The neck of Jacob, however, became as hard as ivory, and it is respecting him that Scripture says (Cant. vii. 5), "Thy neck is as a tower of ivory,"—so that the teeth of Esau became blunted; and when he saw that his desire could not be gratified, he began to be angry, and gnashed his teeth, as it is said (Ps. cxii. 10), "The wicked shall see it and be grieved; ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... The cant of civilization fatigues. Civilization is a fine and beautiful structure. It is as picturesque as a Gothic cathedral. But it is built upon the bones and cemented with the blood of those whose part in all its pomp is that and nothing more. ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... reason for addressing this remark to me was, that she fancied there might be some error in the translation of the Greek expression. I replied that, in my opinion, there was; and that I had myself always been irritated by the entire irrelevance of the English word, and by something very like cant, on which the whole burden of the passage is thrown. How was it any natural preparation for a vast spiritual revolution, that men should first of all acknowledge any special duty of repentance? The repentance, if any movement of that nature could intelligibly ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... he be 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 this ...
— The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays • Walter Ben Hare

... the true adept, seeking what spiritual ore there might be among the dross of the hermetic philosophy. What he says sincerely and inwardly was the cant of those outward professors of the doctrine who were content to dwell in the material part of it forever. In Jonathan Brewster, we have a specimen of these Wagners. Is it not curious, that there should have been a balneum Mariae at New ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... nevertheless with a certain reserve. He was not quite certain if Baltic's conversion was genuine, and if he found proof of hypocrisy, was prepared to fall foul of him forthwith. Sir Harry was not particularly religious, but he was honest, and hated cant ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... amiable, and often high and beautiful in his demeanor. He talks much, and, as we have said, well; impatient, at times, of interruption, and at other times readily listening to those who have anything to say. But he hates babblers, and cant, and sham, and has no mercy for them, but sweeps them away in the whirlwind and terror of his wrath. He receives distinguished men, in the evening, at his house in Chelsea; but he rarely visits. He used occasionally to grace the saloons of Lady Blessington, in the palmy days of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... wept. The minister assured him, that although his day was far spent, yet he behoved in the afternoon, yea when near evening, to run fast, and not to lie in the field, and miss his lodging, upon which he, with uplifted eyes, said, "Lord, how can I run? Lord, draw me, and I shall run," Cant. i. 4. The minister hearing this, desired him to pray, but he answered nothing; yet within an hour he prayed before him and his own lady very devoutly, and bemoaned his own weakness both inward and outward, saying, "I dare not knock at ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... I had the cab; I drove as hard as I could go. The London sky was dirty drab, And dirty brown the London snow. And as I rattled in a cant- er down by dear old Bolton Row, A something made my heart to pant, And caused my cheek to ...
— Ballads • William Makepeace Thackeray

... and the manliness of his character always commanded admiration, and his hatred of injustice and wrong, cant and hypocrisy, was in harmony with the nobility and passionate earnestness of his nature. He was the friend of the workingman, the poor, and the oppressed; and he exposed the abuses of jails and lunatic-asylums and trades-unions, and much besides, in the interest of humanity and as a disinterested ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, December, 1885 • Various

... with tying an imaginary knot under his left ear, and jerking his head over on the right shoulder; a piece of dumb show which the Jew appeared to understand perfectly. He then, in cant terms, with which his whole conversation was plentifully besprinkled, but which would be quite unintelligible if they were recorded here, ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... afford style. Every individual arrived with his hands in his pockets; a hand came out occasionally for a purpose, but it always went back again after service; and if it was the head that was served, just the cant that the dilapidated straw hat got by being uplifted and rooted under, was retained until the next call altered the inclination; many' hats were present, but none were erect and no two were canted ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... into the wind, a jostling crowd of men poured out on the ice from under the flapping sail. Each man bore a tool of some sort, either ax, cant-dog, iron-shod peavey-stick, or cross-cut saw; and the moonshine flashed on the steel surfaces. It was plain that the party viewed its expedition as an opportunity for reckless roistering, and spirits had added a spur to the natural boisterous ...
— The Rainy Day Railroad War • Holman Day

... Warrington would confess that he was a contributor to the leading journals of the day. The members were on the look-out for any indications of intellectual originality, academical or otherwise, and specially contemptuous of humbug, cant, and the qualities of the 'windbag' in general. To be elected, therefore, was virtually to receive a certificate from some of your cleverest contemporaries that they regarded you as likely to be in future an eminent man. The judgment so passed ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... boy, your belly ought to swear its life against your back, for you are killing the one to cover the other." I blushed, but still could not help laughing. "You are mistaken Whiteley," said the other, "there is not a man in your company eats better than John." "Where does he get it?" said W. "he cant have above half a guinea a week for his salary, and the clothes now on his back must cost at least twenty half guineas, or perhaps half a year's pay." "Go on Whiteley," said the other, "discharge all your Irish nonsense upon his head, he has temper ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... you please, than you are of any {12} conclusion from a deduction of reasoning." Moreover we all think we are more honest than our neighbours and are at once drawn to the man who was less of a humbug than any man who ever lived. "Clear your mind of cant" is perhaps the central text of Johnson, on which he enlarged a hundred times. "When a butcher tells you his heart bleeds for his country, he has in fact no uneasy feeling." No one who has ever attended ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... from all Cant: may the Lord, whatever else He do or forbear, teach us to look facts honestly in the face, and to beware (with a kind of shudder) of smearing them over with our despicable and damnable palaver into irrecognisability, and so falsifying the Lord's own Gospels to His unhappy blockheads of ...
— Life of Charles Darwin • G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany

... very much afraid of the least appearance of cant, but they would do anything for "Ma"; and when, a few days later, in order to give an object-lesson to the natives, she proposed an English service, they agreed, and one of them read the lessons, and another led ...
— Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary • W. P. Livingstone

... Bob Stratton and Jim Gladys took charge of it. Mike and Bob were running the cant-hooks, while Jim stood on top of the great pile of logs already decked. A slender, pliable steel chain, like a gray snake, ran over the top of the pile and disappeared through a pulley to an invisible horse,—Jenny, ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... 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 ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... blessed that heareth the word of God, and keepeth it." He railed bitterly ever and anon against John Calvin, and his brood, the Presbyterians, and against the present term, now in use, of "tender consciences." He ripped up Hugh Peters (calling him the execrable skellum—[A villain or scoundrel; the cant term for a thief.]—), his preaching and stirring up the maids of the city to bring in their bodkins and thimbles. Thence going out of White Hall, I met Captain Grove, who did give me a letter directed to myself from himself. I discerned money to be in it, and took it, knowing, as I found ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... in distant lands, near a little country village that lay just at the foot of the mountains. It was made up of the simple peasantry, where life was free from cant, suspicions, criticism and morbid curiosity. Here they could live and follow the bent of their minds, undisturbed and unobserved if they so wished. They kept their identity unknown yet the villagers knew from the Princess' delicate beauty of form and features ...
— Within the Temple of Isis • Belle M. Wagner

... 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 about the ...
— Darwiniana • Thomas Henry Huxley

... fortune and all, if the winning of them would lay me under the necessity of continuing it for the rest of my days, or even for any length of time. But once the knot is tied, and the property secured, there'll be an end of this farce. I'll let her know I'm done with cant, will neither talk it ...
— Elsie's Girlhood • Martha Finley

... 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

... 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 ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... intellectual accidents, but for the very woman. Guided by the self-evident axiom that humanity is to be judged by literature, and not literature by humanity, he detected the analogy between Lycidas and Annie. Only the dullard would object to the nauseous cant of the one, or to the indiscretions of the other. A sober critic might say that the man who could generalize Herbert and Laud, Donne and Herrick, Sanderson and Juxon, Hammond and Lancelot Andrewes into "our ...
— The Hill of Dreams • Arthur Machen

... extreme of artificiality as is the sonnet. These certainly are faults that one does not readily associate with the work of Whitman. But then I remember that the French critic, Scherer, charges Carlyle, the apostle of the gospel of sincerity, with being insincere and guilty of canting about cant. If Carlyle is insincere, I think it very likely that Whitman may be narrow and hide-bound. These things are so much a matter of temperament that one cannot judge for another. Yet one ought not to confound narrowness and breadth, or little and big. All earnest, uncompromising ...
— Whitman - A Study • John Burroughs

... ennobling scenery into the images of lofty thoughts; which shall give visible form and life to the abstract ideas of our written constitutions; which shall confer upon virtue all the strength of principle and all the energy of passion; which shall disentangle freedom from cant and senseless hyperbole, and render it a thing of such loveliness and grandeur as to justify all self-sacrifice; which shall make us love man by the new consecrations it sheds on his life and destiny; which shall force through the thin partitions ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... myself, Rather than live to act such black ambition: But, sir, you seek it with your smiles and bows. This side and that side congeing to the crowd. You have your writers too, that cant your battles, That stile you, the new David, second Moses, Prop of the church, deliverer of the people. Thus from the city, as from the heart, they spread Through all the provinces, alarm the countries, Where they run forth in heaps, bellowing your wonders; ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... notes on Lockhart in his later life, recalls his remark: "If I had to write my Life of Scott over again, now, I should say more about his religious opinions. Some people may think passages in his novels conventional and commonplace, but he hated cant, and every word he said came from his heart." Of Lockhart's own religious opinions, Mr. Gleig writes: "A clergyman, with whom he had lived in constant intimacy from his Oxford days [probably the writer himself], was ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... a worn-out voluptuary. Mentula is a cant term which Catullus frequently uses for a libidinous ...
— The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus • Caius Valerius Catullus

... 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 down were various shells, especially benitiers ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... Sunday-school France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals Graham Bell Hain't we all the fools in town on our side? Happily, the little child was to evade that harsher penalty Hatred of humbug, and a scorn for cant Header Hickory-nuts I could a staid if I'd a wanted to, but I didn't want to. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot Lecky Livy, if it comforts you to lean on the Christian faith do so! Modest" Club My advice is not to raise the flag Operas Optimist Pessimist Pretty ...
— Widger's Quotations from Albert Bigelow Paine on Mark Twain • David Widger

... which Knox 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 of ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

... every boy could read these stories, or have them read to him, there would be fewer rogues in the world. Straightforward, honest stories, without cant, without moralizing, full of genuine fun and hard common sense, they are just the tales that are needed to make a young fellow fall in love with simple integrity and fair dealing. They are noble contributions ...
— Stand By The Union - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... 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 of all new settlements, ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... 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 ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... Now welcome thou dread power, Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here Walk'st in the shadow of the midnight hour." BYRON: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cant, iv, st. 138. ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... see clearly how I can help her by sitting down to starve in her company; so I've made friends with the mammon of unrighteousness—you see my orthodox education was not wholly lost upon me! Voila tout! Honesty, I say, is for the most part cant, and at any rate only a relative term. I prefer substantial good. If you despise me, tant pis pour—one of us; whichever ...
— The Pagans • Arlo Bates

... conversation dealt chiefly with sport and games, to my own great relief be it added, for the dweller in the tents of the literary world hears but little of the ordinary topics of conversation, and becomes suffocated, if he be not to the manner born, with the nauseating cant and self-sufficiency which is so typical of the literary world of to-day, and more especially typical of its younger members. But at George Newnes's house you hear but little shop. We discussed golf and its ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, March 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... belong to another day, and that they are, in some sense, to be shut out from common life and speech. This does not mean such common use of Biblical phrases in every day conversation as to cause it to grow into that form or irreverence known as cant, but it does mean simple usage of Bible thought, and the effort to fit it to the conditions of daily life. Such a habit in itself will force any family to discriminate as to what things in the Bible are living and eternal, and what things belong rightly to that far away ...
— Study of Child Life • Marion Foster Washburne

... aroused by his mulishness, "do you deliberately choose to sacrifice the life of this lady to your bull-headed fanaticism? Do you refuse to unbend your miserable Connecticut sectarianism, your Puritan cant, although by so doing you might keep your comrades from the horrors of the stake? If this is what you mean, I denounce you as unworthy to be called a man, and I name your loud protestations of religion no more than a hissing and a byword ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... beast which lurks in the bottom of all our hearts, now, "Rouse up! art thou a man and darest not do this thing?" now, "Rise, kill and eat—it is thine, wilt thou not take it? Shall the flimsy scruples of this teacher, or the sanctified cant of that, bar thy way, and balk thee of thine own? Thou hast strength to brave them—to brave all things in earth, or heaven, or hell; put out thy strength ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... eloquence, that they have confidently pronounced him a saint. To those whose habit it is to judge of a man rather by his actions than by his words, Crawford will appear to have been a selfish, cruel politician, who was not at all the dupe of his own cant, and whose zeal against episcopal government was not a little whetted by his desire to obtain a grant of episcopal domains. In excuse for his greediness, it ought to be said that he was the poorest noble of a poor nobility, and that before the Revolution he was sometimes at a loss for a meal ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... resign my duty to another officer, when apprised of this fact.' All this was said with the air of one really interested in my honour; but in my increasing impatience, I told him I wanted none of his cant; I simply asked him a favour, which he would grant or decline as he thought proper. This was a harshness of language I had never indulged in; but my mind was sore under the existing causes of my annoyance, and I could not bear to have my motives reflected on at a moment ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... other hand, his Ode to Melpomene (IV, iii), written in the consciousness of accepted eminence as the national poet, "harpist of the Roman lyre," breathes a sentiment of gratitude to Divinity far above the typical poetic cant of homage to the Muse. And his fine Secular Hymn, composed by Augustus's request for the great Century Games, strikes a note of patriotic aspiration and of moral earnestness, not unworthy to compare with King ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... of the few sound and enlightened judges who thoroughly comprehend him, to the humble but honest admiration of professional performers, to the practice and imitation of effeminate amateurs, to the cant of criticism of the worthies on the free list, and to the instinctive applause of the popular voice. Even with these humbler hands to build up his monument, the great master of music has a perpetual possession within the hearts of men, that the poet and the painter may well ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... upon a recognised perception on the part of the person holding it that he is holding it, and of the reasons for his doing so—or it will shift as other reasons come to disturb it. A house built upon reason is a house built upon the sand. It must be built upon the current cant and practice of one's peers, for this is the rock which, though not immovable, is still ...
— Life and Habit • Samuel Butler

... squall that will soon blow over, continued Benjamin. To you that has such a length of keel, it must be all the same as nothing; thof, seeing that I am little short in my lower timbers, theyve triced my heels up in such a way as to give me a bit of a cant. But what cares I, Master Bump-ho, if the ship strains a little at her anchor? its only for a dog-watch, and damme but shell sail with you then on that cruise after them said beaver. I'm not much used to small arms, seeing that I was stationed ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... Mausoleums, that recalled the dread memories of kings": they were restored to their original places so far as possible by Viollet le Duc. The head of St. Denis is said to have been found when his shrine was desecrated and appropriated by the revolutionists, and in the cant of the time was brought back to Paris by "a miracle greater and more authentic than that which conveyed it from Montmartre to St. Denis, a miracle of the regeneration of opinion, registered not in the martyrology but ...
— The Story of Paris • Thomas Okey

... I don't know," said Honor in assumed despair, "I've lost my programme and am thrown quite on the mercy and veracity of my gentlemen friends. I regret to say—if you say this is yours—I cant refuse it, for I've neither programme nor memory to ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... less eventful and less changeful than his philosophical development.[1] Born in Koenigsberg in 1724, the son of J.G. Cant, a saddler of Scottish descent, his home and school training were both strict and of a markedly religious type. He was educated at the university of his native city, and for nine years, from 1746 on, filled the place of a private tutor. In 1755 he became Docent, in 1770 ordinary professor ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... negro gave the cask a "cant" to one side, slipped off into the water; and, with a final caution to his comrade to keep close to the spot where they were parting, he stretched out his muscular arms to their full extent, and commenced surging through the water,—snorting as he went like some huge cetacean ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... "I cant read and I thought to myself I thought there was a change comin. I sense that. I think de Lawd he does everythin right. De Lawd open my way. I think all people should be religious and know about de Lawd and ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: The Ohio Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... comes from the kitchen smells of its smoke; he who adheres to a sect has something of its cant; the college air pursues the student, and dry inhumanity him who herds with ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... women has lost its old meaning. They themselves, if they were alive, would not use it any longer. The conventional phrases of Evangelical Christianity ring untrue in a modern ear like a cracked bell. We have grown so accustomed to them as a cant, that we can hardly believe that they ever stood for sincere convictions. Yet these forms were once alive with the profoundest of all moral truths; a truth not of a narrow theology, but which lies at the very bottom of the well, at the fountain-head of human morality; namely, that a man ...
— Bunyan • James Anthony Froude

... 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 ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... painters; it is as absurd as if they would recommend a youth to learn astronomy by lying in the fields, and looking on the stars, without reference to the works of Kepler, Tycho Brahe, or of Newton." There is indeed a world of cant in the present day, that a man must do all to his own unprejudiced reason, contemning all that has been done before him. We have just now been looking at a pamphlet on Materialism (a pamphlet of most ambitious verbiage,) ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... This Chase was now at an End, and the Fellow who drove her came to us, and discovered that he was ordered to come again in an Hour, for that she was a Silk-Worm. I was surprized with this Phrase, but found it was a Cant among the Hackney Fraternity for their best Customers, Women who ramble twice or thrice a Week from Shop to Shop, to turn over all the Goods in Town without buying any thing. The Silk-worms are, it seems, indulged by the Tradesmen; for tho' they never ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... through the mountains of Nubia, or the plains of Romania, have conversed for centuries in a dialect precisely similar to that spoken at this day, by, the obscure, despised, and wretched people in England, whose language has been considered as a fabricated gibberish, and confounded with a cant in use among thieves and beggars; and whose persons have been, till within the period of a year, an object of the persecution, instead of ...
— A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies • John Hoyland

... Scotland[272]. 'A jury in England would make allowance for deficiencies of evidence, on account of lapse of time; but a general rule that a crime should not be punished, or tried for the purpose of punishment, after twenty years, is bad. It is cant to talk of the King's advocate delaying a prosecution from malice. How unlikely is it the King's advocate should have malice against persons who commit murder, or should even know them at all. If the son of the murdered ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... Atkins in his unanimous mood—unanimously condemning cant and at the same time unanimously courteous. Now that I come to reflect I believe that, in his best moments, these are perhaps the only two points concerning which Tommy Atkins is unanimous. Whether he lives up to them or not (and to expect him unflinchingly to live up ...
— Observations of an Orderly - Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital • Ward Muir

... manhood ever owes to the weak and helpless. Search London over and you will not find elemental goodness in a shape more worthy than it was to be found in the caves—nor can we forego a moment's reflection upon the cant which ever preaches the vice of the poor and so rarely stops to preach ...
— Aladdin of London - or Lodestar • Sir Max Pemberton

... not do. If Christianity were right, war was wrong. Either Christianity was a foolish thing, an impossible dream, and all our profession of it so much empty cant, or war was something which every Christian should turn from with loathing ...
— All for a Scrap of Paper - A Romance of the Present War • Joseph Hocking



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