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Cant   Listen
noun
Cant  n.  A call for bidders at a public sale; an auction. "To sell their leases by cant."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... occupied a good deal of time in exposing the cant of these gentlemen about the sanctity of the Missouri compromise, and the dishonor attached to the violation of plighted faith. I have exposed these matters in order to show that the object of these men is to withdraw from public attention the real principle involved in the bill. They well know that ...
— American Eloquence, Volume III. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... things are kept close sometimes, even from friends; and I somehow was surprised to hear this, though I had no right to be, for I suppose I had no reason for my fancy. I think a good many things I have no reason for, George thinks. Maybe I do. I cant ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... prophet. I do not write as a pessimist, hardly as a critic; still less as a censor; to waste time in deriding others' theories of life is a very poor substitute for enjoying it! I think we do very fairly well as we are; only do not let us indulge in the cant in which educators so freely indulge, the claim that we are interested in ideas intellectual or artistic, and that we are trying to educate our youth in these things. We do produce some intellectual athletes, and we ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... Anthonio, whose person, qualities and principles I loathe, and rather than suffer him to consummate his nuptials, suppose I should (as sure I should) kill myself, it were blasphemy to lay this fatal marriage to heaven's charge——curse on your nonsense, ye imposing gownmen, curse on your holy cant; you may as well call rapes and murders, treason and robbery, the acts of heaven; because heaven suffers them to be committed. Is it heaven's pleasure therefore, heaven's decree? A trick, a wise device of priests, no more——to make the nauseated, tired-out pair drag on the careful ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

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

... as if sweeping something behind him). Oh, let us put aside all that cant. It horrifies me when I think of the doses of it she has had to endure in all the weary years during which you have selfishly and blindly sacrificed her to minister to your self-sufficiency—YOU (turning on him) who have not one thought—one ...
— Candida • George Bernard Shaw

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

... meetings. He was as yet William Rufus Holly, the cricketer, the laziest dreamer of a college decade. His religion was simple and practical; he had never had any morbid ideas; he had lived a healthy, natural, and honourable life, until he went for a mikonaree, and if he had no cant, he had not a clear idea of how many-sided, how responsible, his life must be—until that one particular day. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... He had eyes like fire; and his face was the most expressive I ever looked upon. And his voice was loud as the fall of mighty waters. And it was wonderfully flexible, and full of music. And he always spoke in natural tones. There was nothing like cant or monotony in his utterance. Yet he would raise his voice to such a pitch at times that you could hear him half a mile away. He was the most perfect actor I ever saw, because he was not an actor at all, but awful, absolute reality. And he was ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... faculty, no answer was ever made to it; but we noticed that, at every social gathering on Founder's Day afterward, as long as Mr. Cornell lived, he had arrangements made for dancing. I never knew a man more open to right reason, and never one less influenced by cant ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... after all, the one great redeeming quality of being true to himself. He made no pretense to religion and had an abhorrence of hypocrisy. Cant was not in his nature. Out into the world he went, a ferocious shark, cold-eyed for prey, but he never cloaked his motives beneath a calculating exterior of piety or benevolence. Thousands upon thousands he had deceived, for business was business, ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... CANT. Cant is a kind of affectation; affectation is an effort to sail under false colors; an effort to sail under false colors is a kind of falsehood; and falsehood is a term of Latin origin which we often use instead of ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

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

... for a preacher, Ches," he added after a minute. "I hope my talk doesn't sound to you like 'cant.' I'm a pretty poor specimen of a chap to be setting up my own example for anybody ...
— Red Pepper Burns • Grace S. Richmond

... virtue: or, is honesty the best policy? Fools pay for being flattered: Security essential to happiness: A triumphant retort, and difficult to be answered: Vice inevitable, under a vitiated system: A dangerous attack: or an exhibition of one of the principal arts of a gambler: A few cant phrases ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... public how we of the North could not but fight the South, however losing a game it might be. No true American need beg pardon of Europe for this war, which is the only apology we can make to civilization for slavery. Mr. Trollope states the worn-out cant that the secessionists of the South have been aided and abetted by the fanatical abolitionism of the North. Of course they have: had there been no slavery, there would have been no abolitionists, and therefore no secessionists. Wherever ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... and though, as the demonstration of an exact science, they are laughed to scorn, their force is unconsciously admitted in a hundred cant phrases, such as, "He was under an evil influence,"—"She makes you feel better because she is so cheerful," etc., etc.—Both these things here alluded to as forces are intangible, and yet are real proofs of the ...
— Three Things • Elinor Glyn

... We are 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, or good ...
— Black Beetles in Amber • Ambrose Bierce

... and a fourth in Blackwood, and so the new work is well introduced. Both Tennyson and Thackeray, it is said, got well taken notice of in this way by their comrades. But there was no plan at the bottom of it—nothing to constitute them a name. The Apostles were always inveighing against cant—always affecting much earnestness, and a hearty dislike of formalism, which rendered them far from popular with the high and dry in literature, politics, or religion. They were eyed with terror by the conservatives ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 440 - Volume 17, New Series, June 5, 1852 • Various

... individuality of the artist will create special modifications of the laws to suit himself, making that excellent or endurable which in other hands would be intolerable. If the purpose of Literature be the sincere expression of the individual's own ideas and feelings it is obvious that the cant about the "best models" tends to pervert and obstruct that expression. Unless a man thinks and feels precisely after the manner of Cicero and Titian it is manifestly wrong for him to express himself in their way. He may study in them the principles of effect, and try to surprise some ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... few words must be said as to the vocabulary of sharpers, pickpockets, thieves, and murderers, known as Argot, or thieves' cant, which has of late been introduced into literature with so much success that more than one word of that strange lingo is familiar on the rosy lips of ladies, has been heard in gilded boudoirs, and become the delight of princes, who have often proclaimed themselves "done brown" ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... I talking sentimental cant? Don't answer, if you think that. I can't trust my own mind any more, anyway; and," with an ugly laugh, "I'll know it all some day—the sooner ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... 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 ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... 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 ...
— A Christmas Carol • Charles Dickens

... great a proof of Immanuel and the [1] realism of Christianity, that it caused even the publi- cans to justify God. Although clad in panoply of power, the Pharisees scorned the spirit of Christ in most of its varied manifestations. To them it was cant and carica- [5] ture,—always the opposite of what it was. Keen and alert was their indignation at whatever rebuked hypocrisy and demanded Christianity in life and religion. In view of this, Jesus said, "Wisdom is justified of all her ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... upon the ways of his fellow working-men he learned properly how to swing an axe; he grew accustomed to dragging all day on the end of a seven-foot crosscut saw, to lift and strain with a cant hook. The hardening process, begun at Lone Moose, continued unceasingly. If mere physical hardihood had been his end, he could easily have passed for a finished product. He could hold his own with ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... orthodoxy. We do not go to church to learn, to meditate, to repent and to pray; we go to be happy, to learn how to keep young and prosperous; it is good business; it pays. We have a new and most detestable cant; someone has justly said that the natural man in us has been masquerading as the spiritual man by endlessly prating of "courage," "patriotism"—what crimes have been committed in its name!—"development ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... 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

... deepest debt for their efforts to strengthen his mind and make his footing firm. Now, of all men in this country at that time, these two were least likely to support pro-slavery theories or tolerate pro-slavery cant. For while to Small's soundness there is abundance of general testimony, there is to Wythe's soundness testimony the most pointed. We have but to take the first volume of Jefferson's Works, published by order of Congress, and we find Jefferson's anti-slavery letter to Dr. Price, written ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... a Saracen, Or Turk of Mahomet's own kin; Clad in a mantle della guerre Of rough impenetrable fur; And in his nose, like Indian King, 255 He wore, for ornament, a ring; About his neck a threefold gorget. As rough as trebled leathern target; Armed, as heralds cant, and langued; Or, as the vulgar say, sharp-fanged. 260 For as the teeth in beasts of prey Are swords, with which they fight in fray; So swords, in men of war, are teeth, Which they do eat their vittle with. He was by birth, some ...
— Hudibras • Samuel Butler

... branch over his shoulder, and finally leaves it on the growing pile in front of his father's lodge. Or perhaps the stick is too large and too heavy to be carried in such a way. In that case it must be cut into short billets and rolled, as a cant-hook man rolls a log down a skidway. Only the Beaver has no cant-hook to help him, and no skidway, either. All he can do is to push with all his might, and there are so many, many grass-tufts and little hillocks in the way! And sometimes the billet rolls ...
— Forest Neighbors - Life Stories of Wild Animals • William Davenport Hulbert

... of; model conjugation of. "Cant expressions," in letters. Capitalization, rules for. Cases, classified and defined; case forms of pronouns; case of word in apposition; case forms of relative pronouns; outline for use of case forms; rules for forming ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

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

... big loads were coming in regularly, and the railways became choked with the logs dumped down on them from the sleighs. There were not enough men to roll them down to the river, nor to "deck" them there in piles. Work accumulated. The cant-hook men became discouraged. What was the use of trying? They might as well take it easy. They did take it easy. As a consequence the teamsters had often to wait two, three hours to be unloaded. They were out until long after dark, feeling ...
— Blazed Trail Stories - and Stories of the Wild Life • Stewart Edward White

... goes agin the rint; and whin I cum home yisterday evenin, throth, barrin I tuck the bit from the woman and childre, sorra a taste I could get—so sis I, Biddy jewel, I'm mighty sick intirely, an I cant ate any thing. Well, she coxed me—but I didn't. So afther sittin a while, I bethought me that there wus to be a piper at the Crass-roads, an I was thin gettin morthul hungery; so sis I t'meeself I'll go dance the hunger off—and so I did:—an that wus the way I wus divartin meeself." ...
— Facts for the Kind-Hearted of England! - As to the Wretchedness of the Irish Peasantry, and the Means for their Regeneration • Jasper W. Rogers

... 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 and visionary reformers,' ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

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

... know what I would do, pretty well, the first time Bittridge showed himself in Tuskingum. You can do just as you please, and I don't ask you to believe me if you're think I'm so exciteable that I cant tell the truth. I guess Boyne will say the same. Much love to Mary. Your ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... give them. It could not be "Celebrated Frenchmen," because some of them would not exactly answer to the qualification. He had thought of "Earnest Frenchmen," but Mr. Seeley objected, and said, "The word 'earnest' has got spoilt. It was used over and over again till it got to sound like cant, and then people began to laugh at it. How would 'Modern Frenchmen' do?" It was deemed a perfectly suitable title, ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... Quaker. In 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 not chance ruled in the commercial ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... eager inquisitiveness, almost endangering her beautiful neck as she peered down into the hole where the water lay, black and gloomy. She turned and walked aft with her feet in the scuppers, and her right hand pressed against the deck, so great was the cant on the vessel. It was uphill walking too, for the schooner was sagged in the waist, and the stern tilted up to a considerable height. Nevertheless she reached the poop at last. ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... floor back, off Fleet Street, and Johnson began that life of struggle against debt, ridicule and unkind condition that was to continue for forty-seven years; never out of debt, never free from attacks of enemies; a life of wordy warfare and inky broadsides against cant, affectation and untruth—with the weapons of his dialectics always kept well burnished by constant use; hated and loved; jeered and ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... The only real reason for doing a thing is because you want to do it. I think the talk about 'engagements' is cant." ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... a renewal of an old respect; his humanity, his instinct for essentials, his cool detection of pretence and cant, however finely disguised, and his English with its frank love for the embodying noun and the active verb, make reading very like the clear, hard, bright, vigorous weather of the downs when the wind is up-Channel. It is bracing. But I discovered another notebook, of which ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... secured in its place by a forged steel pin, fitted with a nut and washer, which passes through the crown and the heel of the shank. All the above anchors were provided with a stock (fig. 1, hk), the use of which is to "cant'' the anchor. If it falls on the ground, resting on one arm and one stock, when a strain is brought on the cable, the stock cants the anchor, causing the arms to lie at a downward angle to the holding ground; and the pees enter and bury themselves below the surface ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... 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

... does not make him any better a man while he was alive. Don't let us cant about him now. The man was an unmitigated scoundrel—perhaps he deserved ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... sphere that her convictions play, and she had a vague but passionate belief in what she and Russia might do together. Yet here were these declaimers threatening to overrun Europe, and "Equality setting peoples at the throats of kings!" The cant about fraternity, the catch-words and sentiments, vanish like smoke. No anathemas on the Revolution were fiercer than those of the "Ame Republicaine," who had burned to restore the ancient institutions ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... certain that at the outset neither of these peculiarities was monopolized by either party. In abundant instances, the sins changed places,—Cavaliers canted, and Puritans plundered. That is, if by cant we understand the exaggerated use of Scripture language which originated with the reverend gentleman of that name, it was an offence in which both sides participated. Clarendon, reviewing the Presbyterian discourses, quoted text against ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... British Constitution," desiring only 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 ...
— The Eve of the Revolution - A Chronicle of the Breach with England, Volume 11 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Carl Becker

... 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 law-givers, but because society is ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... me 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 criticism ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... the thoughts 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 ...
— The business career in its public relations • Albert Shaw

... 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

... will acknowledge the justice of these observations. The agents and retainers of government are the general monopolizers of the markets, and these men, who are enriched by peculation, and are on all occasions retailing the cant phrases of the Convention, on the purete des moeurs republicains, et la luxe de la ci-devant Noblesse, [The purity of republican manners, and the luxury of the ci-devant Noblesse.] exhibit scandalous ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... "Sultana," the "Boomerang," the "Great Republic," the "Grand Mogul," and fifty other "mines" that had never been molested by a shovel or scratched with a pick. We had not less than thirty thousand "feet" apiece in the "richest mines on earth" as the frenzied cant phrased it—and were in debt to the butcher. We were stark mad with excitement—drunk with happiness—smothered under mountains of prospective wealth—arrogantly compassionate toward the plodding millions who knew not our marvellous canyon—but our credit was ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... newspapers, he wrote, and was ready to write, on the American war without any knowledge of the facts, and scorned Darwinism without ever bestowing a thought on it. Carlyle's public were long ago conscious, as one of his critics has said, that he canted prodigiously about cant, and talked voluminously in praise of silence; but then it recognized that much repetition has always the air of cant, and that to persuade men to be silent, as well as to do anything else, one must talk a great deal. A prophet has to be diffuse and loud, and often ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

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

... week was a tight fit; but that was not my trouble. Reduce your denominator—you know the quotation. I found it no philosophical cant, but a practical solution of life. My food cost me on the average a shilling a day. If more of us limited our commissariat bill to the same figure, there would be less dyspepsia abroad. Generally I cooked my own meals in my own frying-pan; but occasionally ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... 'Tatler' into volumes, at the time of the establishment of the 'Spectator'. The old bent of the English mind was strong in Steele, and he gave unostentatiously a lively wit to the true service of religion, without having spoken or written to the last day of his life a word of mere religious cant. One officer thrust a duel on him for his zeal in seeking to make peace between him and another comrade. Steele, as an officer, then, or soon afterwards, made a Captain of Fusiliers, could not refuse ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... JAPANNED. A cant term in use at the University of Cambridge, Eng., explained in the following passage. "Many ... step ... into the Church, without any pretence of other change than in the attire of their outward man,—the being 'japanned,' ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... 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

... groups, kept her attention unwearied: while the conceited efforts at wit, the total thoughtlessness of consistency, and the ridiculous incongruity of the language with the appearance, were incitements to surprise and diversion without end. Even the local cant of, Do you know me? Who are you? and I know you; with the sly pointing of the finger, the arch nod of the head, and the pert squeak of the voice, though wearisome to those who frequent such assemblies, were, to her unhackneyed observation, ...
— Cecilia Volume 1 • Frances Burney

... the fact that you have failed." The truth in this remark is preeminently a truth for young people. The world, on one side of it, is very hard and cruel. It will apologize for failure in the abstract under tricks of speech, and cant about charity, but for individual failure it has ...
— Men in the Making • Ambrose Shepherd

... of God's Earth, to share in those blessings which the great Father of all men has lavished upon His children, and which form the only means by which life can be maintained, is but hypocrisy and cant. The "rights of property," the financial interests of the privileged classes, the Elder Brothers, the so-called "power of the capitalists," may be based on and involved in the recognition of the claim of the few to control the use of the Earth. But the rights of man, the ...
— The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth • Lewis H. Berens

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

... once tempted to tell him the strange fact that, though he had been among the black people and thought he had learned their language, what they had imposed upon him for that was not Romany, but cant, or English thieves' slang. For what is given, in good faith, as the gypsy tongue in "Paul Clifford" and the "Disowned," is only the same old mumping kennick which was palmed off on Bampfylde Moore Carew; or which he palmed on his readers, as the secret of ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... 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 ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... splendid," 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 wish you boys ...
— A Little Norsk; Or, Ol' Pap's Flaxen • Hamlin Garland

... grimace. "You are about to say I repent of folly—or the enticing of a virgin—or that I fell victim to the blandishments of some tricky dame—I know all that cant by rote!—a man always repents until his broken head is mended, but all that is apart from the real thing—which is this:—In what way does my moment with a lady in the dark affect the Viceroy of the Indies? Why should his Excellency trouble ...
— The Flute of the Gods • Marah Ellis Ryan

... knows? Perhaps his flute had whispered tidings to him. He was, said Papa Isbister, immensely proud of his plaything, this huge gaunt sailor, who had been bent into the shape of a rainbow—the foot of a rainbow—by a chance shot, which shattered his hip and gave him an impressive forward cant, which appeared to women, it seemed—I quote my old friend—in the light ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... with any of your hypocritical cant, Cunnil McLane! What have you been teachin' that child to read an' write fur—out of your Bible, too? What do you bring her presents fur, and hang around us when we know you despise us all, except fur the black folks we can sell you cheap? Haven't I been sold to ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... your Letter you mention a Circumstance in Regard to my dress. I hope it did not Arise from your hearing I was too Extravagant that way, which I think they cant Tax me with. At same time I am not Remarkable for the Plainness of my Dress, upon proper Occasions I dress as Genteel as anyone, and cant say I am without Lace.... I find money some way or other goes very fast, but I think I can Reflect it has been spent with Satisfaction, ...
— Ten American Girls From History • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... in Alexandria was an overmatch for those who wished to testify the American sentiment." Indeed, he thinks it certain, he says in the same letter, "that Genet will be misled if he takes either the fashionable cant of the cities or the cold caution of the government for the sense of the public,"—falling himself, before he reaches the end of the sentence, into the cant of assuming neutrality in the government to be only a "mask" behind which to hide its "secret Anglomany." But he was quite mistaken ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... her needlework beside the window, looked out and saw Mrs. Rhoda Meserve coming down the street, and knew at once by the trend of her steps and the cant of her head that she meditated turning in at her gate. She also knew by a certain something about her general carriage—a thrusting forward of the neck, a bustling hitch of the shoulders—that she had important news. Rhoda ...
— The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural • Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman

... wide. The most difficult task was yet to be performed—the loading of the grand piano. We found it necessary to remove the raft to a place where the bank was more shelving, so that the shore side of the structure would rest on the ground, because the weight of the piano on one side would cant it over so that ...
— Field and Forest - The Fortunes of a Farmer • Oliver Optic

... 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 moral obligation; ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... and such things in the abstract—always in the abstract—calmly in the abstract. He was an old-fashioned Conservative of the Sir Leicester Deadlock style. When he was moved by an extra shower of aggressive democratic cant—which was seldom—he defended Capital, but only as if it needed no defence, and as if its opponents were merely thoughtless, ignorant children whom he condescended to set right because of their inexperience and for their own good. He stuck calmly to his own order—the ...
— On the Track • Henry Lawson

... 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

... mortal thing. Yet—here in Africa—it might reasonably be questioned if a second Augustine or Francois Xavier would ever have done half the good among the devil-may-care Roumis that was wrought by the dauntless, listless, reckless soldier, who followed instinctively the one religion which has no cant in its brave, simple creed, and binds man to man in links that are as true as steel—the religion of a ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... 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 ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... hard and steady in the firing position. The rifle should rest deep down in the palm of the left hand with fingers almost around the handguard. Shift the left palm a little to the right or left until the rifle stands perfectly upright (no cant) without effort. The left elbow should rest on the ground directly under the rifle, and right elbow on the ground about 5 inches to the right of a point directly under the stock. In this position the loop of the ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... course, that the "faddists" should be among Mr. Punch's most impatient critics, because "fad" and "cant" have always been Punch's pet ground-game that he loves to run to earth. It is perhaps from the Temperance party that he has had most sport, for he has always taken delight in the pictures they dislike the most—the incomparable drawings of Leech and Keene, which show the humorous, ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... his flock, for the city, and for your Majesty's authority, and though I am persuaded that the danger is not so great as he imagines, yet his scruples in this case are to be commended in him as laudable and religious." The Queen understood the meaning of this cant, recovered herself all of a sudden, and spoke to me very civilly; to which I answered with profound respect and so innocent a countenance that La Riviere said, whispering to Beautru, "See what it is not to be always at Court! The Coadjutor knows the world and is a man of sense, yet takes ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... 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, ...
— Life in the Medieval University • Robert S. Rait

... could only be a black-hearted scoundrel. I can see Monsieur exactly the same as ever in the King. The bad brother who voted so wrongly in his department of the Constituent Assembly was sure to compound with the Liberals and allow them to argue and talk. This philosophical cant will be just as dangerous now for the younger brother as it used to be for the elder; this fat man with the little mind is amusing himself by creating difficulties, and how his successor is to get out of them I do not know; he holds ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... of cant words renders jests imperfectly intelligible. Greek humour was clearer in this respect than that of the present day, especially since our vocabulary has been so much enriched from America. Puns also restrict the pleasantries dependent on them to ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... may likewise be objected that it is drawn from mythology, though such as may be more easily assimilated to real life. Idalia's 'velvet-green' has something of cant. An epithet or metaphor drawn from Nature ennobles Art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from Art degrades Nature. Gray is too fond of words arbitrarily compounded. 'Many-twinkling' was formerly censured as not analogical; we may say 'many-spotted,' but ...
— Select Poems of Thomas Gray • Thomas Gray

... something that I had not got before. I need not tell you that to me reformations in morals are as meaningless and vulgar as Reformations in theology. But while to propose to be a better man is a piece of unscientific cant, to have become a deeper man is the privilege of those who have suffered. And such ...
— De Profundis • Oscar Wilde

... composing armies of young men only, whose enthusiasm and health enable them to surmount all obstacles. When a gentleman, through zeal for the public service, undertakes to do the public business, we know that we shall hear the cant of backstairs counsellors. But we never heard this while the declaimer was himself a backstairs man, as he calls it, but in the confidence and views of the administration, as may more properly and respectfully be said. But if the members are to know nothing but what is important enough ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... covering any vessels which might happen to be disabled in an attack where they must necessarily be so prodigiously exposed. Being now fully prepared, his lordship, with that truly Christian spirit which, in direct opposition to the puritanic cant of piety, was ever far more manifested by his actions than expressed by his lips, devoutly exclaimed—"Thank God, for having enabled me to get through this difficult and fatiguing part of my duty: which has, really, worn me down; and is infinitely more ...
— The Life of the Right Honourable Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, Vol. II (of 2) • James Harrison

... A cant word, but of Gypsy origin, signifying a sister in debauchery, as Pal denotes a brother in villainy. It is the Plani and Beluni of the Spanish Gypsies, by whom sometimes Beluni is made to signify queen; e.g. Beluni de o tarpe ...
— Romano Lavo-Lil - Title: Romany Dictionary - Title: Gypsy Dictionary • George Borrow

... away. Group after group of laborers, peavies or cant-hooks on shoulders, were moving slowly past him toward the wharf. It was already nearly dark, and the arc lights on the elevator structure, and on the spouting house, beyond the tracks, were flaring. He started ...
— Calumet 'K' • Samuel Merwin

... dwelling more appropriately named than the cottage of Mother Hays. It stood on either a real or artificial eminence between Sheerness and Warden, facing what is called "The Cant," and very near the small village of East Church. The clay and shingle of which it was composed would have ill encountered the whirlwind that in tempestuous weather fiercely yelled around the cliffs, had it not been for the ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... LETTER 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 ...
— Historic Doubts Relative To Napoleon Buonaparte • Richard Whately

... the floor a minute. "Let me tell you folks something. I laugh at the cant they've wrapped the church up in. But I don't laugh at the system of ethics Christ taught. I'm here to tell you folks, He put out the finest, most workable system of ethics the world has ever known. And folks can't live together ...
— Judith of the Godless Valley • Honore Willsie

... feet 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 ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... infinite wrangling, as to what both the meaning and the expression should best be, so that they then had living significance in the mouths of those who used them, though they have become such mere shibboleths and cant formulae to ourselves that we think no more of their meaning than we do of Julius Caesar in the month of July. They continue to be reproduced through the force of habit, and through indisposition to get out of any familiar groove of action until it becomes too ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... his head about the matter which, in secret, he looked upon as one of the ramifications of the great edifice of British cant. The vast majority of people in his view went to church, not because they believed in anything or wished for instruction or spiritual consolation, but because it looked respectable, which was exactly why he did so himself. ...
— Love Eternal • H. Rider Haggard

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

... dignities, potences; it is especially meet that we say, to-day, all institutions. It is the grossest wrong practically to hold otherwise. It is loss, too, and nowhere more palpably than in the educational sphere. It is no cant saying to affirm, and that in a more than merely spiritual sense, that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' At his throne the lines of all science terminate; above all, the science that has man for its subject. Of all history, for example, rightly ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... 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

... he was a great blackguard, but as he has long joined the majority, it is of no consequence. There was one thing I admired about Sam: there was a thorough absence in him of all hypocrisy and cant. He professed no religion whatever, but acted upon the principle that a bargain was a bargain, and should be carried out as between man and man. That was his idea, and as I found him true to it, I respected him accordingly, and mention his name as one of the few genuinely honest men ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... Revolution: virtue of the people; reason of the people; natural rights of man, etc.—that Babylonish dialect, as John Adams called it, which in France meant something, but in this country was mere cant. Jefferson knew that here all were people, and that no set of men, whether because of riches or of poverty, had the right to arrogate to themselves this distinction. But he also knew that in Europe this distinction did exist, and that the emigrants who were coming in such numbers all belonged to ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864 • Various

... science, and it is not the teaching of life. We have forgotten the greater virtues, and we were becoming emasculated humbugs whose gods were our own weaknesses. Then came war, and the air was cleared. Germany, in spite of her blunders and her grossness, stood forth as the scourge of cant. She had the courage to cut through the bonds of humbug and to laugh at the fetishes of the herd. Therefore I am on Germany's side. But I came here for another reason. I know nothing of the East, but as I read history it is from the desert that the purification ...
— Greenmantle • John Buchan

... abundantly, yea, more abundantly, John x. 10. The water of life which he giveth, is "a well of water springing up to everlasting life," John iv. 14. Therefore he alloweth his friends to drink abundantly, Cant. v. 1. ...
— Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life • John Brown (of Wamphray)

... 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 ancient ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... people of taste enough in town, to fill one, if such a scheme could be managed; which he conducted with great address, and at last brought to bear, as he had the countenance of lord Whitlocke, Sir John Maynard, and other persons of rank, who really were ashamed of the cant and hypocrisy which then prevailed. In consequence of this, our poet opened a kind of theatre at Rutland House, where several pieces were acted, and if they did not gain him reputation, they procured him what is more solid, and what he then more wanted, money. Some of the people in ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... responded Charles, but no one save the traveller at the small table caught the play on words, the Cockney cant term for money being unfamiliar to American ears. He smiled, and then studied the bond-servant with more interest than he had ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... 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

... each strictly appropriate in the terms which distinguish and characterize it. I have ever been of opinion that an abolition of this unnatural jargon would open the path to reformation. And my observations on these people have constantly instructed me that indulgence in this infatuating cant is more deeply associated with depravity and continuance in vice than is generally supposed. I recollect hardly one instance of a return to honest pursuits, and habits of industry, where this miserable perversion of our noblest and ...
— A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson • Watkin Tench

... negatives; denying the God of the Bible, the resurrection of the dead, and judgment to come. Nevertheless each discoverer or constructor presents his system to the world with great confidence, large claims to superior benevolence, vast pretensions to learning and science, and no little cant about duty and piety. Wonderful to tell, some of them are very fond of clothing their ungodliness in the ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... wade through a few sentences of malice, meanness, falsehood, perjury, treachery, and cant,' said Slurk, handing the paper to Bob, 'you will, perhaps, be somewhat repaid by a laugh at the style of this ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... 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 ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... In Scripture, charity is compared to fire, according to Cant 8:6: "The lamps thereof," i.e. of charity, "are fire and flames." Now fire ever mounts upward so long as it lasts. Therefore as long as charity endures, it can ascend, but cannot ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... which we exhibit to the world—against the cant that is taught in the name of Christianity. And if the men that have never seen the real thing—if you could show them that, they would receive it as eagerly as you do. They are merely in revolt against the imperfections and inconsistencies ...
— Addresses • Henry Drummond

... PEEL—Oh! Cant—cant—nothing but cant! I shall talk of my feeling for the wants of the people, while I pick their pockets; bestow my pity upon the manufacturers, while I tax the bread that feeds their starving families; and proclaim my sympathy with the farmers, while I help ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... the last days of his royal brother, we have the characteristic queerness of his English, and a scarcely less characteristic passage of Pecksniffian cant:— ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... spoke to everybody he met, in the train, in the steamboat, or in hotels, in fluent if rather "bookish" German, in correct but somewhat halting French, or, if it was a Roman Catholic priest he had to deal with, in sonorous Latin. And, without anything approaching cant or officiousness, he always tried to bring the conversation round to the subject of religion—to the state of religion in the country in which he was travelling, about which he was always anxious to gain first-hand ...
— Principal Cairns • John Cairns



Words linked to "Cant" :   rhyming slang, paleface, blotto, tarradiddle, baloney, guinea, nonsense, chamfer, pie-eyed, meaninglessness, slope, applesauce, pixilated, kike, bunk, codswallop, bite, trash, bundle, tummy, shlockmeister, corporation, cant hook, boloney, bay window, cock sucking, some, roll in the hay, pious platitude, butch, mean, big bucks, splay, fuddled, fucking, poppycock, vernacular, wish-wash, shag, chink, piece of tail, heebie-jeebies, soup-strainer, nooky, trumpery, freaky, bevel, hood, fuck, dibs, screwing, slang, Kraut, ginzo, babe, buy it, wet, wog, slam-bang, wank, sozzled, spick, slant, plastered, tight, honkie, sister, old man, stuff and nonsense, sheeny, non-standard speech, spic, heist, cockeyed, airhead, hoof, Hun, potbelly, uncool, pile, stuff, besotted, Injun, pip out, arsehole, ditch, burnup, poor white trash, bunfight, nip, white trash, bilgewater, pint-sized, skin flick, dekko, deck, jacking off, rip-off, skinful, bad egg, Krauthead, drool, caff, pitch, spik, honkey, stroppy, gook, rod, bunghole, ass, argot, corker, cant dog, cock, arse, plum, Boche, hokum, chuck, pint-size, shakedown, talk, red man, Jerry, give, blowjob, pissed, twaddle, loaded, rubbish, power trip



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