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Cant   Listen
verb
Cant  v. i.  
1.
To speak in a whining voice, or an affected, singsong tone.
2.
To make whining pretensions to goodness; to talk with an affectation of religion, philanthropy, etc.; to practice hypocrisy; as, a canting fanatic. "The rankest rogue that ever canted."
3.
To use pretentious language, barbarous jargon, or technical terms; to talk with an affectation of learning. "The doctor here, When he discourseth of dissection, Of vena cava and of vena porta, The meseraeum and the mesentericum, What does he else but cant." "That uncouth affected garb of speech, or canting language, if I may so call it."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... fellow-men. He was not always suspecting them of something indistinguishable from fraud. When he wrote, "The world is still deceived with ornament" which "obscures the show of evil," he was expressing downright hatred—not suspicion—of sham, of quackery, of cant. His is the message of all commanding intellects which see through the hearts of men. Shakespeare's message is Carlyle's message or Ruskin's message anticipated by nearly three centuries, and more ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... prided themselves on selling nothing but cotton, would distribute among their friends parcels of seed from any specially fine plants they might encounter in their fields, and make little ado about it. Men of a more flamboyant sort, such as M.W. Philips, contemning such "ruffle-shirt cant," would christen their strains with attractive names, publish their virtues as best they might, and offer their fancy seed for sale at fancy prices. Thus in 1837 the Twin-seed or Okra cotton was in vogue, selling at many places for five dollars ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... youd better not try to take back the boddy of Mister Peter. We berried it verry deep and it better remain here. Anny way, you cant mannage it till late summer. Say about ...
— The Come Back • Carolyn Wells

... acquiescence in the world as it 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 than use. It was not in our friend's nature to be able to utter certain lies; ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... extended his patronage to robbers and mariners. Thieves are dubbed by Shakespeare as St. Nicholas's clerks[51], and Rowley calls highwaymen by the same title. Possibly this may be accounted for by the association of the light-fingered fraternity with Nicholas, or Old Nick, a cant name for the devil, or because The Golden Legend tells of the conversion of some thieves through the saint's agency. At any rate, the good Bishop of Myra was the patron saint of scholars, and therefore was naturally selected ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... money's worth, from his neighbour's pocket into his. The object of puzzling the question with religion is clear. You cannot quarrel for sixpences with the man who is helping you the way to heaven. The man who wants your sixpences, therefore, assumes a religious phraseology, which is cant, and cant is fraud, and fraud is dishonesty, and the dishonest should have a ...
— An Apology for Atheism - Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination - by One of Its Apostles • Charles Southwell

... were here many people of leisure and cultivation, 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 with rich ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... of God, of Africa, and of the world, we are consequently blameless—and rather praiseworthy—for our past transgressions. It is such sophistry as is contained in the foregoing extract, that kindles my indignation into a blaze. I abhor cant—I abhor hypocrisy—and if some of the advocates of the Colonization Society do not deal largely in both, I am unable to comprehend the ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... whose heart pants for the honour of a Bachelor of (p. 150) Arts degree must wait patiently till near four years have revolved.... He is obliged during this period, once to oppose and once to respond.... This opposing and responding is termed, in the cant of the place, doing generals. Two boys or men, as they call themselves, agree to do generals together. The first step in this mighty work is to procure arguments. These are always handed down, from generation to generation, on long ...
— Life in the Medieval University • Robert S. Rait

... 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 rapidly increasing popularity, the newest "serve" ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, March 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... "It's not that kind, General," he said. "There's no cant in the boy. He's more popular for it—that's often so with the genuine thing, isn't it? I sometimes think"—the young Captain hesitated and smiled a trifle deprecatingly—"that Morgan is much of the same stuff as Gordon—Chinese Gordon; the ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... images of horror. All the peculiarities of the Anacreon of the guillotine, his words unknown to the Dictionary of the Academy, his conceits and his jokes, his Gascon idioms and his Gascon hyperboles, had become as odious as the cant of the Puritans was in England after ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... times log-rolling was always a great frolic and brought the people from far and near to lend a helping hand in building the new house. In handling logs, lumbermen have tools made for that purpose—cant-hooks, peevy irons, lannigans, and numerous other implements with names as peculiar as their looks—but the old backwoodsmen and pioneers who lived in log houses owned no tools but their tomahawks, ...
— Shelters, Shacks and Shanties • D.C. Beard

... right," remarked the 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 what that ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... word owes its birth to one Joe Dun, a famous bailiff of the town of Lincoln, so extremely active and so dexterous in his business, that it became a proverb, when a man refused to pay, "Why do you not dun him?" that is, Why do not you set Dun to arrest him?—Hence it became a cant-word, and is now as old as since the days of Henry VII. Dun was also the general name of hangman, ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 6: Literary Curiosities - Gleanings Chiefly from Old Newspapers of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts • Henry M. Brooks

... sin &c. 945; irreverence; profaneness &c. adj.; profanity, profanation; blasphemy, desecration, sacrilege; scoffing &c.v. [feigned piety] hypocrisy &c. (falsehood) 544; pietism, cant, pious fraud; lip devotion, lip service, lip reverence; misdevotion[obs3], formalism, austerity; sanctimony, sanctimoniousness &c. adj; pharisaism, precisianism[obs3]; sabbatism[obs3], sabbatarianism[obs3]; odium theologicum[Lat], sacerdotalism[obs3]; bigotry &c. (obstinacy) 606, (prejudice) ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... 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

... Guthrie, James Hamilton, in Dumfreis, Bernard Sanderson, John Levingstoun, James Bonar, Evan Camron, David Dickson, Robort Bailzie, James Cuninghame, George Youngh, Andrew Affleck, David Lindsay, Andrew Cant, William Douglas, Murdo Mackenzie, Coline Mackenzie, John Monroe, Walter Stuart Ministers; Archbald Marquesse of Argyle, William Earle Marshall, John Earle of Sutherland, Alexander Earle of Eglingtoun, John Earle of Cassils, Charles Earl of Dumfermeling, ...
— The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland

... live a being so wretched and useless as herself. She supposed it was wicked—but she did not care! She ought to be resigned to the mysterious dispensations of Providence—that was the prescribed phraseology of pious people. She had heard the cant times without number. What more would they have than her utter destitution of love and bliss? Was she not miserable enough to satisfy the sternest believer in purgatorial purification? to appease the wrath even of Him who had wrought her desolation? It must be the judgment ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... hulking, strong-shouldered men were turning the logs from the piles without, along the skidways and to the carriage of the mill, their cant hooks working in smooth precision, their muscles bulging as they rolled the great cylinders of wood into place, steadied them, then stood aside until the carriages should shunt them toward the sawyer and the tremendous, revolving ...
— The White Desert • Courtney Ryley Cooper

... spirit when I add that to build 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, and a ...
— God and my Neighbour • Robert Blatchford

... confused in the popular mind, yet they are not synonymous, though very closely allied, and proceeding from a common Gypsy origin. Cant is the language of a certain class—the peculiar phraseology or dialect of a certain craft, trade or profession, and is not readily understood save by the initiated of such craft, trade or profession. It may be correct, according to the rules of grammar, ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... to which I should like to give expression might perhaps too readily fall into abstract or philosophical terms. They might, on the other hand, only too readily clothe themselves in cant phrases and assume the hortatory tone. I shall try to avoid dialectic or theory on the one hand, and preaching on the other. I take it that what I am to say is addressed chiefly to young men, and that it ought to serve a ...
— The business career in its public relations • Albert Shaw

... carricade, and sly passata, Thy stramazon, and resolute stoccata, Wiping maudritta, closing embrocata, And all the cant of the honorable ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... there is too much around to distract my attention. I don't think Westminster Abbey helps me personally to attend to the service. On the contrary, I think it makes me think of the building. I used somehow to imagine that service in the open air was necessarily associated with cant. Now I like it far the best. Not merely because it is more sanitary—till some one learns how to ventilate a building decently—but because it absolutely forces you to feel insignificant, and anxious that the ...
— What the Church Means to Me - A Frank Confession and a Friendly Estimate by an Insider • Wilfred T. Grenfell

... fine 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

... everybody knows that. I was living there at the time the business happened. Didn't the countess pull Lady Isabel to pieces! She and Miss Levison used to sit, cant, cant all day over it. Oh, I assure you I know all about it, just as much as Joyce did. Have you got that headache, that you are ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... Dr. Johnson's opinion of the works may be known; but many of them are examples of elaborate criticism, in the most masterly style. In his review of the 'Memoirs of the Court of Augustus,' he has the resolution to think and speak from his own mind, regardless of the cant transmitted from age to age, in praise of the ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... lyric poet the control is often so delicate that the hearer lives over again the finely shaded mood of the poet. Take the words of a lyric for what they say, and they say nothing most of the time. And that is true of philosophers. You must penetrate the ponderous vocabulary, the professional cant to the insight beneath or you scoff at the mountain ranges of words and phrases. It is this that Bergson means when he tells us that a philosopher's intuition always outlasts his system. Unless you get at that you remain forever foreign to ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... Invective, yet I do not recollect that he has explicitly criminated him in either, nor do I believe it is in his Power. If no one steps forward to accuse him, why should his Integrity be doubted? Why should you, my Friend, express yourself in so languid a Tone, "I cant yet but have a great opinion of Dr Lee," and "rather than the Cause of America should be betrayd I would give up the dearest Connections I have on Earth." Has Dr Lee forfeited the good opinion you "always had" of him? Do you doubt his Integrity & Attachment to the Cause of America? Has any one ...
— The Original Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume 4 • Samuel Adams

... now wishes to say something on the subject of canting nonsense, of which there is a great deal in England. There are various cants in England, amongst which is the religious cant. He is not going to discuss the subject of religious cant: lest, however, he should be misunderstood, he begs leave to repeat that he is a sincere member of the Church of England, in which he believes there is more religion, and consequently less cant, than ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU},) which signifies "Lion of the forest," may have been conferred by the popular voice on more than one favorite general, distinguished for irresistible valour? Is it not also possible that "BUONA PARTE" may have been originally a sort of cant term applied to the "good (i.e., the bravest or most patriotic) part" of the French army, collectively; and have been afterwards mistaken for the proper name of an individual?[23] I do not profess to support this conjecture; but it is certain that such mistakes may and do occur. Some critics have ...
— Historic Doubts Relative To Napoleon Buonaparte • Richard Whately

... knowed. See Hannah and me, we got a letter from Mrs. Whaley as keeps the 'Farmers.' Well she rote to Hannah and me to send her up some chickins and duks and eggs and butter and other fresh frutes and vegetubbles, which she sez as they doo ask sich onlawful prices for em in the city markits as she cant conshuenshusly giv it. So she wants Hannah and me to soopli her. And mabee we may and mabee we maynt; but that's nyther here nur there. Wot Hannah and me wants to say is this—as how Mrs. Whaley she met you in the street incerdentul. ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... those of a sincere, a generous, and a noble mind," says a biographer who knew him well. His contempt for base actions; his love of equity; his passion for truth, which was carried almost to a hatred of cant and hypocrisy, were the immediate causes of his want of fairness in his opinion of himself and of his self-accusation of things most ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... friend and others. Who have hearts and feelings right, To acknowledge for our brothers Such as thou; though foulest spite May be displayed in earnest quite, By those who are so fond of self That they cant spare a little pelf To make ...
— The Emigrant Mechanic and Other Tales In Verse - Together With Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects • Thomas Cowherd

... tender-hearted will be made conceited, Pharisaical, self-deceiving (for children are as ready to deceive themselves, and play the hypocrite to their own consciences, as grown people are); they will catch up cant words and phrases, or little outward forms of reverence, and make a religion for themselves out of them to drug their own consciences withal; while, when they go out into the world, and meet temptation, they will have no real safeguard against it, because ...
— Sermons for the Times • Charles Kingsley

... understanding few. Whatever the popular judgment, he knew there was a work to be done and that he had power to do it; and this was his personal ambition—to do that work in the world, and to do it without cant and humbug and self-seeking. Such were the aims that, newly returned to England, he confides to the sister who had ever prophesied great things of "her boy"; and in the end he made good the works spoken so boldly, yet surely in no mere spirit of boasting. He ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... BENTLEY. You cant argue with a person when his livelihood depends on his not letting you convert him. And would you mind not calling me Bunny. My name is Bentley ...
— Misalliance • George Bernard Shaw

... buns. Well! his kindness! You are right in appreciating as much as you can see. I'll tell you why I like him;—because he is a gentleman. And you haven't got an idea how rare that animal is. Dear me! Should I be plainer to you if I called him a Christian gentleman? It's the cant of a detestable school, my child. It means just this—but why should I disturb your future faith in it? The professors mainly profess to be 'a comfort to young women,' and I suppose you will meet your comfort, and worship them with the 'growing mind;' and I must confess ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... ave to go to the workus. but i no you will send it der polly so hi can old my little plice hi got a start todi a hoffcer past hi that it wos the workhus hoffcer. bill ses he told im to cum hif hi cant pi by septmbr but hi am trustin God der polly e asn't forgot us. hi 'm glad the poppies grew. ere's a disy hi am sendin yu hi can mike the butonoles yet. hi do sum hevry di mrs purdy gave me fourpence one di for sum i mide for her hi ad a cup ...
— Sowing Seeds in Danny • Nellie L. McClung

... uneasily through his mind was an undercurrent of disgust—with himself, with Jeff, with the whole situation. Why had he ever let himself get mixed up with such an outfit? Government by the people! The thing was idiotic, mere demagogic cant. Power was to the strong. He had always known it. But yesterday that old giant at The Brakes had hammered it home to him. He did not like to admit even to himself that his folly had betrayed Hardy's cause, but at bottom he knew he should not have gone to The Brakes ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... cant!" she cried. "The old shibboleth! What is this mission which is reserved for woman? All that is humble, that is mean, that is soul-killing, that is so contemptible and so ill-paid that none other will touch it. All that is woman's mission. And who imposed these limitations upon her? Who cooped ...
— Beyond the City • Arthur Conan Doyle

... off the grasp 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. Leave my ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... dexterously than Johnny Ridley's. Honeyman looked at the boy's drawings from time to time, and said, "Hm, ha!—very clever—a great deal of fancy, really." But Honeyman knew no more of the subject than a deaf and dumb man knows of music. He could talk the art cant very glibly, and had a set of Morghens and Madonnas as became a clergyman and a man of taste; but he saw not with eyes such as those wherewith Heaven had endowed the humble little butler's boy, to whom splendours of Nature ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... allowed the practice of the disciples of John, and excused, as only for a time, that of His own disciples. The very name, 'bridegroom,' was taken from the Old Testament (Ps. xix. 6 sq., Is. lxi. 10, xlix. 18, Cant. iv. 8); and its assumption by Christ was a sanction of marriage, and showed that Marcion did wrong ...
— The Gospels in the Second Century - An Examination of the Critical Part of a Work - Entitled 'Supernatural Religion' • William Sanday

... plentiful Crop which the Devil has sow'd of them in our times) to find such a Harmony between them and ours at present. Such a perfect Agreement in their wild Notions, and these express'd in the very self-same Cant, may easily convince any one, that the Instruments of both were strung and tun'd by the same Hand. Another thing observable is this; Let the Enthusiast have never such great Abilities, there is always something or other which proves his Pretensions to Revelation ...
— The Improvement of Human Reason - Exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan • Ibn Tufail

... cunning or witchery. To go further in limitation, the average man, 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 human ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... three years, although now I was not more than sixteen years old. Slaveholders may, sometimes, have confidence in the piety of some of their slaves; but the slaves seldom have confidence in the piety of their masters. "He cant go to heaven with our blood in his skirts," is a settled point in the creed of every slave; rising superior to all teaching to the contrary, and standing forever as a fixed fact. The highest evidence the slaveholder can give the slave of his acceptance with God, is the emancipation of ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... read 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 ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... a Russian or a musician familiar with the Russian tongue and its genius. The production of the opera outside of Russia and in a foreign language ought to furnish an occasion to demand a stay of the artistic cant which is all too common just now ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... even sensuous beneath his mask, Soames had not spent thirty-eight years over his one hobby without knowing something more about pictures than their market values. He was, as it were, the missing link between the artist and the commercial public. Art for art's sake and all that, of course, was cant. But aesthetics and good taste were necessary. The appreciation of enough persons of good taste was what gave a work of art its permanent market value, or in other words made it "a work of art." There was no real cleavage. And he was sufficiently ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... river for many miles. The California mining system a gambling or lottery transaction. Miner who works his own claim the more successful. Dr. C. a loser in his mining ventures. Another sleep-killer. Bowling-alleys. Bizarre cant phrases and slang used by the miners. "Honest Indian?" "Talk enough when horses fight". "Talk enough between gentlemen". "I've got the dead-wood on him". "I'm going nary cent" (on person mistrusted). All carry the freshness of originality to the ear ...
— The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52 • Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe

... Originally, no doubt, it pointed to some specific defect on the part of those with regard to whom it was used, and possibly also on the part of those who used it. But with the fate which usually attends the cant phrase of a clique, it seems to be degenerating, by lavish application, into something which irritates without conveying any definite instruction. As Luther did not live under the same conditions as Heinrich Heine, perfect ethical ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... beatings of tom-toms! What mouthings of pharisaical moralities—platitudes! Run now, good people, for you may see clearly how evil is dealt with in high places! It made him smile. Such hypocrisy! Such cant! Still, so the world was organized, and it was not for him to set it right. Let it wag as it would. The thing for him to do was to get rich and hold his own—to build up a seeming of virtue and dignity which would pass muster ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... all cant, but am satisfied that the chief reason why France does not succeed better in her revolutions is, because she lacks the steadiness which a sincere devotion to religion gives to a nation. The country needs less man-worship and more God-worship. It needs less adulation ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... that constellation seem to manifest. Ilioneus calls him nimbosus, Anna, aquosus. He is tempestuous in the summer, when he rises heliacally; and rainy in the winter, when he rises achronically. Your lordship will pardon me for the frequent repetition of these cant words, which I could not avoid in this abbreviation of Segrais, who, I think, deserves no little commendation in ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... type not uncommon, described over and over again in novels, and thoroughly familiar to theatre-goers." Such, no doubt, will be the summary verdict passed upon Mr. Cardew. The truth is, however, that he did not cant, and was not a hypocrite. One or two observations here may perhaps be pertinent. The accusation of hypocrisy, if we mean lofty assertion, and occasional and even conspicuous moral failure, may be brought against some of the greatest figures in history. But because David sinned with Bathsheba, ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... herself in her black silk gown, and came down, looking pale and languid, but still quite lovely enough to discharge what in this age of cant I suppose we should call "her mission": videlicet, to set honest men by ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

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

... 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 to ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... not say that you are wrong, Ben. If you make half as good a man as your father is, by believing half the truths he believes and advocates, you will stand pretty well in the world. I expect that we ought to avoid religious cant, bigotry, ...
— From Boyhood to Manhood • William M. Thayer

... evidently contains much that is autobiographical, and helps us to understand Carlyle's childhood and youth; but it is so mixed up with fantasy and humour that it is difficult to separate fiction from fact. Its chief aim seems to be the overthrow of cant, the ridiculing of empty conventions, and the preaching of sincerity and independence. But not yet was Carlyle's generation prepared to listen to such sermons. Jeffrey was bewildered by the tone and ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... not only courage," he said, "that War brings out. It brings out vile things too. Oh, I'm not thinking merely of the Boches. That's the cant of every nation: that all the heroism is on one side and all the brutality on the other. Take men from anywhere and some of them will be devils. War gives them their opportunity, brings out the beast. Can you wonder at it? You teach a man to plunge a bayonet into the writhing flesh of ...
— All Roads Lead to Calvary • Jerome K. Jerome

... has rendered you superstitious, Cornelius. I have no faith in the religious cant of the present day, in ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... about Shakespeare which he dared not utter, because the British 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 ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... have got the cant of the day, a superficial readiness of slight and cursory conversation, a kind of frothy collection of fashionable prattle, which yet carried them through the most select and approved judgment. This airy facility of talk sometimes imposes ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... is plenty more where it came from"—tapping his head with his finger, and taking occasion at the same time to cant his morion over his right ear, which gave him a very self-satisfied air—"I do not need to borrow my ideas, ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Volume 1 (of 2) • Mark Twain

... it from me, for all this, to value myself upon hitting the words of cant in which my drolling author is so luxuriant; for though such words have stood me in good stead, I scarce can forbear thinking myself unhappy in having insensibly hoarded up so much gibberish and Billingsgate trash in my memory; nor could I forbear asking of myself, as an Italian cardinal said ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... understand. And I had such an unpleasant sense of being outside, and not understanding, as I never felt before, and I did not like it a bit. I knew quite well that if Father had been there, he would have said it was all stuff and cant. But I did not feel so sure of my Aunt Kezia. And suppose it were not cant, but was something unutterably real,—something that I ought to know, and must know some day, if I were ever to get to Heaven! I did not ...
— Out in the Forty-Five - Duncan Keith's Vow • Emily Sarah Holt

... be certain abuses in the Roman Catholic Church and her priesthood in out-of-the-way countries; but then he attacks other forms of Christianity and other religions too. He had a great hatred of cant and humbug under the cloak of religion, and denounced them accordingly. There is nothing remarkable in this. We all denounce cant and humbug in the abstract, often most loudly when we are humbugs ourselves. If Burton attacked Christianity more than other religions, and Catholicism more than other ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... "The implications of false and shallow reasoning," says an American Unitarian divine, "partial observation, intellectual grouping, moral obliquity, spiritual ignorance,—in short, of puerility and superstition involved in a large part of the appeals, the preaching, the cant terms, the popular dogmas, the current conversation of Christendom,—are discouraging evidences how backward is the religious thought of our day, as compared with its general thought; how little harmony ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... pro patria mori. The tag has been all but outworn during these unending days of death; it has become almost a cant phrase which the judicious shrink from using. Yet to hundreds of thousands of mourning men and women there has been nothing but its truth to bring consolation. They are conscious of the supreme sacrifice and ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... old sundowners come, And cunningly ask if the master's at home, 'Be off,' she replies, 'with your blarney and cant, Or I'll call my son Andy; he's ...
— In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses • Henry Lawson

... "Confound your cant!" cried his lordship. "You care no more for your neighbours than I do. You only want to make yourself unpleasant to me. Show me the ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... to live and die as free citizens under the protecting wing of the mother country. Recalling all this sickening sentimentalism, Mr. Paine uttered a loud and ringing BOSH! Let us clear our minds of cant, he said in effect, and ask ourselves what is the nature of government in general and of the famous British Constitution in particular. Like the Abbe Sieyes, Mr. Paine had completely mastered the science of government, which was in fact extremely simple. Men form societies, he said, ...
— The Eve of the Revolution - A Chronicle of the Breach with England, Volume 11 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Carl Becker

... Country below the Kentucky from the Cherokees. He and about 300 adventurers are gone out to take Possession, who it is said intends to set up an independent Government & form a Code of Laws for themselves. How this may be I cant say, but I am affraid the steps taken by the Government have been too late. Before the Purchase was made had the Governor interfered it is believed the ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... water, turning her bows toward us, so as to torpedo us the moment we should arrive within range, or was she trusting that her presence was undetected, and waiting patiently for the moment when we should cross her bows as she lay? The latter, I believed, for she could not cant toward us without going either ahead or astern, and she could not do either without her periscope raising a ripple; and I was certain that nothing of that sort had happened. I determined to risk something, after all, to put that submarine out of ...
— Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun - A Story of the Russo-Japanese War • Harry Collingwood

... that you doctors can be trusted to keep your own counsel and your clients' secrets. And now for some confessions of mine. In the first place, it is my painful duty to tell you that I am a discharged convict—an 'old lag,' as the cant phrase ...
— John Thorndyke's Cases • R. Austin Freeman

... Dear Sir,—i cant make much of your letter except a riglemerole about pigs and dinamite and pictures but what they have to do with one another i dont know if you want some pork why dont you say so strait out like mr Hobson does i shall be killing one ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 21, 1920 • Various

... 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 fundamental basis of the entire monarchical system. ...
— The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: William II, Germany; Francis Joseph, Austria-Hungary, Volume I. (of 2) • Mme. La Marquise de Fontenoy

... like measure, and everywhere the first expression of fear of a servile insurrection largely disappeared. In truth, pro-Northern England went to such lengths in its support of emancipation as to astound and alarm the Saturday Review, which called these demonstrations a "carnival of cant[959]." More neutral minds were perplexed over the practical difficulties and might well agree with Schleiden who wrote in January, 1863, quoting Machiavelli: "What is more difficult, to make free men slaves, or slaves free[960]?" But by the end of January the popular approval ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... (concealment) 528; simulation &c (imitation) 19; dissimulation, dissembling; deceit; blague[obs3]. sham; pretense, pretending, malingering. lip homage, lip service; mouth honor; hollowness; mere show, mere outside; duplicity, double dealing, insincerity, hypocrisy, cant, humbug; jesuitism, jesuitry; pharisaism; Machiavelism, "organized hypocrisy"; crocodile tears, mealy-mouthedness[obs3], quackery; charlatanism[obs3], charlatanry; gammon; bun-kum[obs3], bumcombe, flam; bam*[obs3], ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... 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

... 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 ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... 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 out the essential thing; ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

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

... upon the first of men The apple pressed with specious cant, O, what a thousand pities then ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... 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 ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... the community who have tastes above the common level and are able to 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 just alike. We are speaking impartially of men, youths and boys. And we are also speaking ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... probably, oaths of asseveration. The last appears to be a corruption of by godmothers. Both are thrown into discourse very frequently: Begummers, I ont tell; I cant do ...
— The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire • James Jennings

... variorum, We regard not how it goes; Let them cant about decorum Who have characters to ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... reasons for his opinion. His reasons filled the churches with hatred. Instead of answering his arguments they attacked him. Men who were not fit to blacken his shoes blackened his character. There is too much religious cant in the statement of Mr. Thorburn. He exhibits too much anxiety to tell what Grant Thorburn said to Thomas Paine. He names Thomas Jefferson as one of the disreputable men who welcomed Paine with open arms. The testimony of a man who regarded Thomas Jefferson ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... in afar distance and are afraid of guns. They stay at home all the time and go to Church every Sunday. They are al-ways sick. They are al-ways funy and making fun of boys hands and they say how dirty. They cant play marbles. I pity them poor things. They make fun of boys and then turn round and love them. I dont beleave they ever kiled a cat or any thing. They look out every nite and say oh ant the moon lovely. Thir is one thing I have ...
— Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor - Volume I • Various

... said Mr. Brougham, "identify the people of France with their government; for I believe that every wish of the French nation is in unison with those sentiments which animate the Spaniards. Neither does the army concur in this aggression; for the army alike detests the work of tyranny, plunder, cant, and hypocrisy. The war is not commenced because the people or the army require it, but because three or four French emigrants have obtained possession of power. It is for such miserable objects as these that the Spaniards ...
— The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction, No. 496 - Vol. 17, No. 496, June 27, 1831 • Various

... "Well then, it is cant to speak as if the love that asks for no return is the noblest. Now listen. I have something very solemn to say, because it is only by the greatest things that we learn what the little ought to be. When God came to earth to live for awhile, it was for the sake of His happiness ...
— The Mermaid - A Love Tale • Lily Dougall

... hinge of the whole well-invented plot - until the instant of that highly dramatic declaration. It was not his tale; it was the little people's! And observe: not only was the secret kept, the story was told with really guileful craftsmanship. The conduct of both actors is (in the cant phrase) psychologically correct, and the emotion aptly graduated up to the surprising climax. I am awake now, and I know this trade; and yet I cannot better it. I am awake, and I live by this business; and yet I could not outdo - could not perhaps equal - that ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... is 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 closed. ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... 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

... inappropriately used, and often, too, with such exaggerated distortion of meaning, while the full simplicity of the noun "man," and the adjective "manly" are unacknowledged—that I am induced to class it with the cant ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... prate about their inviolable legal property, and deny the power of the legislature, which stamped them property, to undo its own wrong, and secure to wives by law the rights of human beings. Would such cant about "legal rights" be heeded where reason and justice held sway, and where law, based upon fundamental morality, received homage? If a frantic legislature pronounces woman a chattel, has it no power, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... must have wanted heart and fire. I watched him first to see if he could ride; he rode well. When he came he could not fence; in six months he was a good hand with the foils; physical fatigue seemed as unknown to him as mental inertia. There was no strain and no cant about him; he smoked hard, drank well after exertion, with pleasure always. He delighted to talk to my mother, chaffing her Styrian ideas with a graceful deference that made her smile. Victoria adored him openly, and Krak did not understand why he was not odious. Thus he conquered ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... there is a great deal of cant to be cleared out of the mind before we can become equitable judges of what doing good really means. I define doing good as the fulfilment of our best instincts and faculties for the best use of mankind; ...
— The Quest of the Simple Life • William J. Dawson

... to "non-attainment"; for he who attains to anyone is said to comprehend him when he attains to him. And in this sense God is comprehended by the blessed, according to the words, "I held him, and I will not let him go" (Cant. 3:4); in this sense also are to be understood the words quoted from the Apostle concerning comprehension. And in this way "comprehension" is one of the three prerogatives of the soul, responding to hope, as vision responds to faith, and fruition responds to charity. For even among ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I (Prima Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... 'I have used no 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

... she wrote some weeks after this. "I like my teacher; her name is Holt. She is just as nice as she can be. She is cousin to the one who came with me; I live with her uncle, and I can go to soshibles whenever I want to; but the other girls cant. I am feeling pretty good, but I ...
— A Little Norsk; Or, Ol' Pap's Flaxen • Hamlin Garland

... talk of unchastity, who, while she was plighting her troth to this same Eugene, were not ashamed to prostitute her to Strozzi! Cease your disgusting cant, and learn that I acknowledge and respect the tie that binds your daughter to her real spouse: and woe to you, if you dare trouble the current of her peaceful life! Farewell. Say to his majesty that I shall be forever grateful ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... THE UNIVERSITY is first of all religious. With no cant, with the avoidance of undue emotion, with a constant appeal to Christian manhood and womanhood, men and women loyal to Jesus, seeking less their rights than to faithfully perform their duties, are being ...
— The American Missionary — Volume 54, No. 01, January, 1900 • Various

... 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 ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... first be sure what the words mean. There is no use talking about a word till we have got at its meaning. We may use it as a cant phrase, as a party cry on platforms; we may even hate and persecute our fellow-men for the sake of it: but till we have clearly settled in our own minds what a word means, it will do for fighting with, but not for working with. Socrates of old used to tell the young Athenians ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... carried away. Her larboard quarter next came in contact with the ice, but the severity of the shock saved her; for after the damage which has been described was received, she again bounded off with a cant to starboard. The jib was instantly run up, and it and the other headsails catching the wind, away she glided from the berg. Those who had their eyes turned aft, however, could not refrain from uttering a cry of horror, for at that instant the berg, shaken by the concussion, threatened ...
— The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader - And what befell their Passengers and Crews. • W.H.G. Kingston

... 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

... the slipping of the cable. We soon had the shackle out, and the released portion of the cable at once rushed through the hawse-pipe with a roar that must certainly be heard at the settlement. Then I dashed aft to the wheel and flung it hard over to help the ship to cant, which she did with, as it seemed to me, most exasperating sluggishness. But she paid off at last, when we hauled aft the staysail sheet, braced up the yards, and the Mercury began, very deliberately, to forge ahead, ...
— Overdue - The Story of a Missing Ship • Harry Collingwood

... settled 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

... biographer has raised more objections to his character, than all the enemies to that excellent man. Sir John had a root of bitterness that "put rancours in the vessel of his peace." Fielding, he says, was the inventor of a cant phrase, "Goodness of heart, which means little more than the virtue of a horse or a dog." He should have known, that kind affections are the essence of virtue: they are the will of God implanted in our nature, to aid and strengthen ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... looking at the cant and form and creed of the crowd, and giving them their own rightful place, power and function, but it is also looking at the unseen and daring to affirm that an audience with God is attainable, certain and possible and productive of its own natural expressions ...
— Freedom Talks No. II • Julia Seton, M.D.

... the Cant of flattering Friend Admire my Forehead's Apollonic Bend, Then to the Glass I've wreathed my sad Regard - The Looking-Glass is ...
— The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Jr. (The Rubiyt of Omar Khayym Jr.) • Wallace Irwin

... patience, 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 ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... said the man; 'we of the thimble, as well as all cly- fakers and the like, understand cant, as, of course, must every bonnet; so, if you are employed by me, you had better learn it as soon as you can, that we may discourse together without being understood by every one. Besides covering his principal, a bonnet must have his eyes about him, for the trade ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... in Parson Fair's yard. The white horse had gone up the road at a brisk trot, but she had easily kept pace with him. She also harnessed him into the sleigh with no difficulty. The animal seemed docile, and as if he were to belie his hard reputation. There was, however, a proud and nervous cant to his old white head, and he set his jaw stiffly against ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... him a sharp critic of human nature, and his sense of personal disappointment turned into a bitterness hardly to be distinguished from cynicism. In a passionate longing for a better order of things, in the merciless denunciation of the cant and bigotry which was enlisted in the cause of the existing order, he resembled Byron. The rare union in his nature of the analytic and the emotional gave to his writings the very qualities which he enumerated as characteristic of the age, and his consistent sincerity made his voice ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... found an apartment prepared for my reception. Passing through the common room, I saw a face which I thought I recollected. 'Is not that Turl?' said I to Hector—'Pshaw, d——n me, take no notice of such a raff,' replied he, and stalked away. I was too ignorant of college cant, at that time, to know that raff was the term ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... soon enough,' thought Ralph; 'all love—bah! that I should use the cant of boys and girls—is fleeting enough; though that which has its sole root in the admiration of a whiskered face like that of yonder baboon, perhaps lasts the longest, as it originates in the greater ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

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

... unessayed or practised, to weaken her. And when open violence has been baffled, and useless, stratagem and contrivance have supplied what force could never effect. Hence it is, that under the cant of conscience and scruple, they have feigned a compliance of embracing her communion; if such and such ceremonies and rules that then stood in force could be omitted, or connived at: and having once broke ground on her discipline, they have continued to carry on their ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 212, November 19, 1853 • Various

... truly God, does nothing want, So all these speeches are the poets' cant. ("Hercules ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... in their cable and heave their anchor on board, lest they should be carried back and dashed against the wreck, the danger of which, a glance at the sketch will show. So they got a spring on the cable, to cant the lifeboat's head to starboard or landsward, and with a parting 'Hurrah!' they slipped their cable, of course thus sacrificing it and their anchor. They hoisted their foresail, and with a gale of wind behind them raced ...
— Heroes of the Goodwin Sands • Thomas Stanley Treanor

... learned afterwards, was the cant name by which king's officers were known to the buccaneers. The fact that I was an officer, of which they had apparently been ignorant, seemed to give the men much pleasure. Some of them, no doubt, had ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... Cant for religion, sounding words for truth, Fraud leads to fortune, gelt for guilt atones, No care for hoary age or tender youth, For widows' tears ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... for Chesterton, an attack on cant. It was a story written by Dickens to protest against all he hated in the nature of oppression. Dickens hated the vulgar cant that only helps to bring self-advertisement: the ethic that the poor must listen to the rich, not because the rich are the best ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... to Cambridge, not 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 more later on, told the captain that ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... a somewhat bold saying for a divine: "But, to avoid all commonplace cant as much as I can on this head, I will forbear to say, because I do not think, that 'tis a breach of Christian charity to think or speak ill of our neighbour. We cannot avoid it: our opinion must follow the evidence," &c. And a little later on, commenting on ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... and despondent, she is led to take her first step 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 ...
— Sex - Avoided subjects Discussed in Plain English • Henry Stanton

... father made little account of such 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 ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... not writing this paragraph for any other purpose than to protest against this never ending cant, affectation, and hypocrisy about money. It is one of the best things in this world—better than religion, or good birth, or learning, ...
— Black Beetles in Amber • Ambrose Bierce

... the same period a 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 was ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... borders of the home State. When other States enact and rigidly enforce some such drastic measure, the West will begin to have some regard for their particular brand of virtue. Until then, the West may be pardoned for believing that cant and hypocrisy often join hands with the lawless element and make a grandstand play ...
— Reno - A Book of Short Stories and Information • Lilyan Stratton

... who delivered two speeches, in which every third word was "freedom!" An address was delivered also by a merchant of the city, in which he made a play upon the word spear, which signifies also in a cant sense, citizen, find seemed to indicate that both would do their work in the good cause. He was loudly applauded. Their song of union was by Charles Follen, and the students were much pleased when I told them how he was honored ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... 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, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, December, 1885 • Various

... 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 of ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... of late I ask myself in whispers, is it the duty of a citizen to paint mere heroisms? ... Live to make others happy! Yes, surely, at all times, so far as you can. But at bottom that is not the aim of my life ... it is mere hypocrisy to call it such, as is continually done nowadays.... Avoid cant. Do not think that your life means a mere searching in gutters for fallen figures to ...
— Thomas Carlyle - Biography • John Nichol

... Henry was pleasing. This young actor promises well. Though, to adopt the cant of the turf, he will never be first, there is no fear of his being distanced, unless he carries ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Volume I, Number 1 • Stephen Cullen Carpenter

... dream, or rises from his couch and walks, so all of a sudden Abel Keeling found himself on his hands and knees on the deck, looking back over his shoulder. In some deep-seated region of his consciousness he was dimly aware that the cant of the deck had become more perilous, but his brain received the intelligence and forgot it again. He was looking out into the bright and baffling mists. The buckler of the sun was of a more ardent silver; the sea below it was lost ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... had got enough for one while, but it was nothing to the dose that was thrust down their throats in the evening. A keener, cleverer, bolder, and more heart- stirring harangue than that which Mr. C. delivered from Haworth pulpit, last Sunday evening, I never heard. He did not rant; he did not cant; he did not whine; he did not sniggle; he just got up and spoke with the boldness of a man who was impressed with the truth of what he was saying, who has no fear of his enemies, and no dread of consequences. ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Volume 1 • Elizabeth Gaskell

... "Cant say. 'Dentical is a ticklish trap for a pusson on oath. It do look like it, to be shore; but two seed in a okrey pod is ezactly alike, and one is one, and t'other ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... exhilerating. All the "members" attending the meeting house are very decorous, respectable, middle-class people—substantial well-pursed folk, who can afford to be independent, and take life easily—men and women who dislike shoddy and cant as much as they condemn spangles ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

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

... 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 before the ungodly you profess to despise. You are no ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... of the fact. The instinctive cry of the female in anger is noli me tangere. I take this as the most obvious and at the same time the least hackneyed instance of a fundamental quality in the female tradition, which has tended in our time to be almost immeasurably misunderstood, both by the cant of moralists and the cant of immoralists. The proper name for the thing is modesty; but as we live in an age of prejudice and must not call things by their right names, we will yield to a more modern nomenclature and call it dignity. ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... bus'ness of six. In a little Dutch chaise, on a Saturday night, On my left hand my Horace, a nymph on my right: No memoirs to compose, and no post-boy to move, That on Sunday may hinder the softness of love; For her, neither visits, nor parties at tea, Nor the long-winded cant of a dull refugee: This night and the next shall be hers, shall be mine To good or ill-fortune the third we resign. Thus scorning the world, and superior to Fate, I drive in my car in professional state; So with Phia thro' Athens Pisistratus rode, Men thought her Minerva, and him a new god. But ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... one evening a fortnight later, Festing threw down the cant-pole he had been using to move a big birch log, and lighting his pipe, stopped and looked about. A shallow creek flowed through a ravine at the edge of the tall wheat, and below the spot where he stood its channel was spanned by the stringers of an unfinished bridge. The creek had shrunk to a thread ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... met before. Infidelity has no surer or more deadly weapon than that which it wields to-day against our professions of love for the souls of our fellow-men, while we content ourselves with expressions only of that love. It is hollow, superficial, and full of cant. If our religion does not take a deeper form, and go out in active sympathy and work, it will surely perish, and deserves to perish. Men ask for results, and it is right they should. The tree is known by its fruits. ...
— Three Years on the Plains - Observations of Indians, 1867-1870 • Edmund B. Tuttle

... writings—the degree to which the Epistle to Philemon (ascribed to Paul) is FULL—short as it is—of expressions like PRISONER of the Lord, FELLOW SOLDIER, CAPTIVE or BONDMAN, (3) which were so common at the time as to be almost a cant in Mithraism and the allied cults. In I Peter ii. 2 (4), we have the verse "As newborn babes, desire ye the sincere MILK of the word, that ye may grow thereby." And again we may say that no one in that day could mistake the reference herein contained to old initiation ceremonies ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter



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