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Knavery   Listen
noun
Knavery  n.  (pl. knaveries)  
1.
The practices of a knave; petty villainy; fraud; trickery; a knavish action. "This is flat knavery, to take upon you another man's name."
2.
pl. Roguish or mischievous tricks.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Knavery" Quotes from Famous Books



... most grievous wrong, so I resolved to ask the man whether he had not been told to give me wax lights. This was important, as it might be only a piece of knavery or stupidity on the ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... Ordnance for the Duke; but there are scarce any terms kept. Lord Sandwich, who governs the little Duke through the Duchess, is the chief object of the Newcastle hatred. Indeed there never was such a composition! he is as capable of all little knavery, as if he was not practising all great knavery. During the turnpike contest, in which he laboured night and day against his friend Halifax, he tried the grossest tricks to break agreements, when the opposite side were gone away on the security of a ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... the same, and upon a bottom that can never be shaken; and though all interest be duly paid by the public, yet through the contrivance and cunning of stock-jobbers, there has been brought in such a complication of knavery and cozenage, such a mystery of iniquity, and such an unintelligible jargon of terms to involve it in, as were never known in any other age or country of the world. I have heard it affirmed by persons skilled in these calculations, that if the funds appropriated to the payment ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... declared that he could find no quality but "great and shabby art and cunning; ill-will, jealousy, and every sort of dirty passion." From the head quarters of Moellendorf he wrote to a member of Pitt's Cabinet: "Here I have to do with knavery and dotage.... If we listened only to our feelings, it would be difficult to keep any measure with Prussia. We must consider it an alliance with the Algerians, whom it is no disgrace to pay, or any impeachment of good ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... that the problem [of these phenomena] is one to be discussed on its merits, in order to arrive at a distinct opinion how far it may be connected with facts insufficiently appreciated and explained by science, and how far with superstition, delusion, and sheer knavery. Such investigation, pursued by careful observation in a scientific spirit, would seem apt to throw light on ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... - me has run up and down mine Country and learn many fine thing, and mush knavery, now more and all dis me know you'll jumbla de fine vench and fill her belly with garsoone, her name is La ...
— The Noble Spanish Soldier • Thomas Dekker

... frequently give exhibitions of their horsemanship, in races, bull-baitings, etc.; but as we were not ashore during any holyday, we saw nothing of it. Monterey is also a great place for cock-fighting, gambling of all sorts, fandangos, and every kind of amusement and knavery. Trappers and hunters, who occasionally arrive here from over the Rocky mountains, with their valuable skins and furs, are often entertained with every sort of amusement and dissipation, until they have wasted their time and their money, and go ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... Grant, McPherson, and our brave associates who fight manfully and well for a principle, but despise the Copperheads and sneaks at the North, who profess friendship for the South and opposition to the war, as mere covers for their knavery and poltroonery. ...
— The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Complete • William T. Sherman

... "the low knavery and the ferocious cruelty incidental to them, the plotting and the lying and the bribing, the blustering and bragging, the screaming egotism, the hurrying and worrying. Of course, imitation and adulteration are the essence ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... for honest folks to be a-bed Is in the morning, if I reason right; And he who cannot keep his precious head Upon his pillow till it's fairly light, And so enjoy his forty morning winks, Is up to knavery; or ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... be that I have duped myself, That my desire has played into the hand Of my belief; yet such a thing might be. We palm more frauds upon our simple selves Than knavery puts upon us. Could I trust The open candour of an angel's brow, I must believe Francesca's. But the tongue Should consummate the proof upon the brow, And give the truth its word. The fault lies there. I've tried her. ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Francesca da Rimini • George Henry Boker

... the deficiency which lay at the root of all the blunders, follies, and imprudence which rendered his career less largely beneficent for Italy than it might have been. "He had no judgment of character," and was too honest to believe in knavery. It must be added that he was too little intelligent to detect it, or to estimate the consequences of it. Of any large views of social life, or of the means by which, and the objects for which, men should be governed, he was as innocent as a baby. In ...
— What I Remember, Volume 2 • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... his like either in Heaven Or upon earth for knavery or craft:— Out of the field my cattle yester-even, 445 By the low shore on which the loud sea laughed, He right down to the river-ford had driven; And mere astonishment would make you daft To see the double kind of footsteps strange He has ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... imposed a heavy fine upon the Kohong (a company of merchants possessing the monopoly of the European trade,) although the members of this body could have no concern in the transaction." Capt. K. is decidedly of opinion, that nothing but resolute conduct will overcome the fickleness and knavery of the Chinese. He pays a high compliment to our countrymen, especially Mr Drummond, president of the factory, who interfered in his behalf when at Whampoa, and with effect, when they could easily have thwarted his plan, and embroiled his government with that of China. "That ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... bonfire of thistles in a remote place and burned it; and what was left of the bones and ashes they threw into the Tiber. So perished Rienzi, a being who was not a man, but a strangely responsive instrument, upon which virtue, heroism, courage, cowardice, faith, falsehood and knavery played the grandest harmonies and the wildest discords in mad succession, till humanity was weary of listening, and silenced the harsh music forever. However we may think of him, he was great for a moment, yet however great we ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... smooth villain Har-hat!" he cried in a tempest of wrath. "A murrain upon his greedy, crafty lust! The gods blast him in his knavery! Now is my precious amulet in his hands. Would it were white-hot and clung to him ...
— The Yoke - A Romance of the Days when the Lord Redeemed the Children - of Israel from the Bondage of Egypt • Elizabeth Miller

... wasn't he expending this precious acquirement on a platoon of agricultural recruits? The officer who suffers such gladly has his name inscribed on the Golden Legend (unfortunately unpublished) of the British Army—"but when it comes," he went on, "to low-down lying knavery, then I'm done. I don't know how to tackle it. All I can do is to get out of the knave's way. I've found Gedge to be a beast, and I'm very honourably in love with Gedge's daughter, and I've asked her to marry me. I attach some value, Major, ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... him in leading-strings like a sucking giant, rifled his pockets without ceremony, ridiculed him to his face, traduced his character, and exposed him in a thousand ludicrous attitudes for the diversion of the public; while at the same time he knew their knavery, saw their drift, detested their morals, and despised their understanding. He was so infatuated by indolence of thought, and communication with folly, that he would have rather suffered himself to be led into a ditch ...
— The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves • Tobias Smollett

... silken coats, and caps, and golden rings, With ruffs, and cuffs, and farthingales and things; With scarfs, and fans, and double change of bravery, With amber bracelets, beads, and all this knavery. Taming of the Shrew, ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... inform his brother of the success of his treachery. This was the old Beschadeddin, our acquaintance, who, though he pretended to be a Mussulman, had always remained an Infidel. It was he who had excited his brother to all this knavery, in order that he himself might if possible gain possession of Smaragdine. He now took his people with him, provided himself with gold, mounted his mule, and repaired directly to Alischar's habitation. His slaves seized Smaragdine by force, threatening her ...
— Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers • Various

... merits; whereas in England it is just the reverse of all this. Here you may securely display your utmost rhetoric against mankind in the face of the world; tell them that all are gone astray; that there is none that doeth good, no, not one; that we live in the very dregs of time; that knavery and atheism are epidemic as the pox; that honesty is fled with Astraea; with any other common-places equally new and eloquent, which are furnished by the splendida bills {56c}; and when you have done, the whole audience, far from being offended, shall return you thanks as a deliverer ...
— A Tale of a Tub • Jonathan Swift

... one went for the Friar an hour ago. Comes he not yet? s'foot, if I do find knavery unders cowl, I'll tickle him, I'll firk him. Here, here, he's here, he's here. Good morrow, Friar; ...
— The Merry Devil • William Shakespeare

... in his character above alluded to, were disclosed in a private letter from Hamilton, who said: "This man (Arnold) is in every sense despicable. In addition to the scene of knavery and prostitution during his command in Philadelphia, which the late seizure of his papers has unfolded, the history of his command at West Point is a history of little as well as great villainies. He practiced every dirty act of peculation, and even stooped ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... expense, to which other joint-stock companies for foreign trade are subject; but they had an immense capital divided among an immense number of proprietors. It was naturally to be expected, therefore, that folly, negligence, and profusion, should prevail in the whole management of their affairs. The knavery and extravagance of their stock-jobbing projects are sufficiently known, and the explication of them would be foreign to the present subject. Their mercantile projects were not much better conducted. The first trade which they engaged in, was that of supplying the Spanish West Indies with negroes, ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... every supply, water excepted, which could sustain them through its horrors, (and which yet, through that single want, had nearly perished)—they persued a long and dlifficult march through a dreary country, scantily peopled, dotted with robber clans, and exhibiting impediments of all kinds in the knavery and villany of the native authorities; until they reached the borders of Abyssinia. We had by no means been aware that volcanoes had made so large a share of this portion of Africa. The whole border seems ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... his master in exposing and denouncing what he calls this "least covert of all forms of knavery which consists in calling a shilling a pound." But the opinions of Mill, the saint of rationalism, deserve and demand citation as they bring us directly to ...
— The Paper Moneys of Europe - Their Moral and Economic Significance • Francis W. Hirst

... difference of the spirits animating the Diggers and their opponents, by relating how one of the Colonels of the Army told him—"That the Diggers did work upon Georges Hill for no other end than to draw a company of people into arms; and that our knavery was found out, because it takes not that effect": on ...
— The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth • Lewis H. Berens

... Simonist and eke a Courtisan, And here to every peasant and every common man My knavery will very well appear. I called and cried to all who'd give me ear, To nobleman and knight and all above me: "Behold me! And ye'll ...
— German Culture Past and Present • Ernest Belfort Bax

... I have heard some things which appear to entitle her to compassion and respect. But as to Peschiera all who prize honour suspect him to be a knave,—I know him to be one. Now, I think that the longer we preserve that abhorrence for knavery which is the generous instinct of youth, why, the fairer will be our manhood, and the more reverend our age. You agree with me?" And Harley suddenly turning, his eyes fell like a flood of light upon Randal's ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... and punished two cozening faint-hearts. For the best of it is that neither can complain. Each is neck-high in the mire of lies, each has plundered the other, and must be dumb for shame of his knavery." ...
— The Lady of Loyalty House - A Novel • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... of the divining rod may be attributed to knavery and credulity by philosophers who will not take the trouble of witnessing and investigating the operation, any one who will pay a visit to the Mendip Hills in Somersetshire, and the country round their base, may have abundant proof of the efficacy of it. Its success has ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 217, December 24, 1853 • Various

... in ever a fight, And Truth is Bravery, And the Right and True are the Ready too, When the bolt is hurl'd in the peaceful blue By the hand of Knavery. And the Land that fears for its Volunteers Is ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... if I say it myself, a superior woman. Her father, Captain Baltus Van Hoorn, had been a burgher of substance in old Dorp, until the knavery of a sea-captain who turned pirate with a ship owned by my grandfather drove the old gentleman into poverty and idleness. For years his younger daughter, my mother, kept watch over him, contrived by hook or by crook to collect ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... men and women I have known and who left with me a love of my kind that even a wide experience with knavery and misfortune has never dissipated. For my knowledge of Mr Greeley I am chiefly indebted to David P. Rhoades, his publisher, to Philip Fitzpatrick, his pressman, to the files of the Tribune ...
— Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country • Irving Bacheller

... while waiting for fuller illumination, was disposed to render every service in his power to the professors of the old faith. James, who was never very discerning, and who in religious matters was absolutely blind, suffered himself, notwithstanding all that he had seen of human knavery, of the knavery of courtiers as a class, and of the knavery of Sunderland in particular, to be duped into the belief that divine grace had touched the most false and callous of human hearts. During many months the wily minister continued to be regarded at court as a promising catechumen, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... logical protest from Grandier and the barefaced knavery of the exorcist, M. de Laubardemont prepared a report of the expulsion of the three devils, Asmodeus, Gresil, and Aman, from the body of sister Jeanne des Anges, through three wounds below the region of the heart; a report which was afterwards ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - URBAIN GRANDIER—1634 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... beadle and the parish officers: the system of signals was not then perfected, and the means of conveying secret and swift intelligence, by telegraphic science, had not in those days been practised. The art of begging was then only art without science: the native genius of knavery unaided by method or discipline. The consequence was, that the beggars fled before my father's beadles, constables, and overseers; and they were dispersed through other parishes, or led into captivity to ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... it, I shall make a shift yet, old as I am, To find your knavery: you are sent here, Sirra, To discover certain Gentlemen, a spy-knave, And if ye find 'em, if not by perswasion To bring 'em back, by ...
— Beggars Bush - From the Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher (Vol. 2 of 10) • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... woman of the name of Masha, who lived in a village a few miles off. Masha was what is known in Russia as a znakharka—that is to say, a woman who is half witch, half medical practitioner—the whole permeated with a strong leaven of knavery. According to Anton, she could effect by means of herbs and charms every possible cure short of raising from the dead, and even with regard to this last operation he cautiously ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... the credulity of his neighbors. "The spirits," then at the height of their profit and renown, were adapted to his purpose. A blank and vacant mind was freely offered to any power of earth or air which would condescend to enter and possess it. And so Mr. Stellato, with his three parts knavery and two parts delusion, became a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... cassock that displays it; we admire his learning; we delight in his oddities. But above all he reflects honour on his creator by the inflexible integrity of his goodness. A hundred tricks are played on him by shallow knaves, and the result is but to convince us of the folly of knavery. His ill-clad and uncouth figure moves among the vicious and prosperous, and we perceive the ugliness of vice, and the poverty of wealth. With his nightcap drawn over his wig, a short grey coat half covering a torn cassock, the crabstick so formidable to ruffians in ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... with those of the neighbouring islands, are mostly black, or of a mixed colour, very encroaching in their manners, and much addicted to knavery. The island is extremely rocky and uneven, but the vallies are fertile. The inhabitants raise cotton, and they have several sugar works; the quantity they raise of both, does not, however, much exceed their own consumption, but there is no doubt that it might be considerably ...
— Observations Upon The Windward Coast Of Africa • Joseph Corry

... of triumph, a Roman cannot keep honor pure. In the games—all of them, mark you—their tricks are infinite; in chariot racing their knavery extends to everything—from horse to driver, from driver to master. Wherefore, good sheik, look well to all thou hast; from this till the trial is over, let no stranger so much as see the horses. Would you be perfectly safe, do more—keep watch over them with armed hand as well as sleepless ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... absolute right. Must we endure detraction from a slave? What was the man thou noisest here so proudly? Have I not set my foot as firm and far? Or stood his valour unaccompanied In all this host? High cause have we to rue That prize-encounter for Pelides' arms, Seeing Teucer's sentence stamps our knavery For all to know it; and nought will serve but ye, Being vanquished, kick at the award that passed By voice of the majority in the court, And either pelt us with rude calumnies, Or stab at us, ye laggards! with base guile. Howbeit, these ways will never help to build The wholesome order of established ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... me ha run up and downe mane Countrie and learne many fine ting and mush knavery; now more and all dis me know you ha jumbla de fine vench and fill her belly wid a Garsoone: her name is ...
— Old English Plays, Vol. I - A Collection of Old English Plays • Various

... penetration which we must observe in some men over the rest of the human species, and one which will serve not only in the case of lovers, but of all others. From whence is it that the knave is generally so quick-sighted to those symptoms and operations of knavery, which often dupe an honest man of a much better understanding? There surely is no general sympathy among knaves; nor have they, like freemasons, any common sign of communication. In reality, it is only because they have the same thing in their ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... points in his restoration. He had put his personal effort into the preparatory extirpation of idols, but he did not need to do so now. He could work this time by deputy. And it is noteworthy that he chose 'laymen' to carry out the restoration. Perhaps he knew how Joash had been balked by the knavery of the priests who were diligent in collecting money, but slow in spending it on the Temple. At all events, he delegated the work to three highly-placed officials, the secretary of state, the governor of Jerusalem, and ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... industrious poor, instead of grinding them out of a few hundred of poorly-paid and over-worked artisans. Education in the hands of the poor would be a powerful agent with which they would alleviate their own condition, and defend themselves against oppression and knavery. ...
— Mizora: A Prophecy - A MSS. Found Among the Private Papers of the Princess Vera Zarovitch • Mary E. Bradley

... notwithstanding her forty years, and then she is, in spite of all, a real noblewoman, which flattered him. He has not one dollar's-worth of moral delicacy in his heart. But he has an abundance of knavery.... Let us, too, strike out his wife. She is such a veritable slave whom the mere presence of a white person annihilates to such a degree that she dares not look her husband in the face.... It is not Hafner. The sly fox is capable of doing anything by cunning, but is he capable of undertaking a ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... circumstances any one is, the more severely be pinches him: he hunts out the names of young fellows that have just put on the toga virilis under rigid fathers. Who does not cry out, O sovereign Jupiter! when he has heard [of such knavery]? But [you will say, perhaps,] this man expends upon himself in proportion to his gain. You can hardly believe how little a friend he is to himself: insomuch that the father, whom Terence's comedy introduces ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... herself. She had been a model to the painters. She was brought up as became her mother's daughter. She drank gin with her father, &c. &c. It was a lost woman who was married to a lost man; and the moral to be inferred from Mrs. Bute's tale was, that the knavery of the pair was irremediable, and that no properly conducted person ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... day when desponding I read in thine aspect the story Of those that were slain when defending Their homes and their mountains of glory. And curst be the guile Of treacherous knavery That throws o'er our isle In its tyranny vile ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... Jerusalem.' Said I, 'Wheeling a pair o' lies, one stony, one fleshy, may be work, and hard work, but honest work 'tis not. 'Tis fumbling with his tail you wot of. And,' said I, 'master, next time you go to tempt me to knavery, speak not to me of my poor old dad.' Said I, 'You have minded me of my real father's face, the truest man in Holland. He and I are ill friends now, worse luck. But though I offend him shame him I never will.' ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... say you so? Sure I should know that voice: this is knavery. I'le fit you for it. Were he living Sir, I would perswade you to be charitable, I, and confess we are not all so ill as your opinion holds us. O my friend, what penance shall I pull upon my fault, upon my most unworthy ...
— The Scornful Lady • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... he announced. "There was knavery and treachery writ large upon his ugly face. I always felt it, and this business proves how correct were my instincts. The rogue was bribed when he discovered how things were with you, you greasy sots. But you, La Boulaye," he cried suddenly, "were ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... inimitably it expresses the national faith and feeling as regards the inevitable righteousness of England, the Almighty's consequent respect and partiality for that redoubtable little island, and His presumed readiness to strengthen its defence against the contumacious wickedness and knavery of all other principalities or republics. Tennyson himself, though evidently English to the very last prejudice, could not write half so good a song for the purpose. Finding that the entire dinner-table struck in, with voices of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... Cunning leads to knavery; it is but a step from one to the other, and that very slippery; lying only makes the difference; add that to cunning, and it is ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... Cardinal Duc de Rohan was the only distinguished person deluded by the artifices of the Countess de la Motte, it is certain that Joseph Balsamo, commonly called Alexandre, Count de Cagliostro, was capable of any knavery, however infamous. Guile was his element; audacity was his breastplate; delusion was his profession; immorality was his creed; debauchery was his consolation; his own genius—the genius of cunning—was the god of his idolatry. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... them . . . take them prisoners to Luderitzbucht to pay for their knavery," muttered the old man savagely. "Six and with arms, you say! And what care I for six such schwein- hunden? And you, Herr Sydney, I know you are both ...
— A Rip Van Winkle Of The Kalahari - Seven Tales of South-West Africa • Frederick Cornell

... 824. In these lines he seems to accuse the butchers of three faults—cruelty, knavery, and extortion. The general reading is "duplam," but Rost suggests "dupla," "at double the price." If "duplam" is retained, might it not possibly mean that the butchers agree to kill lamb for you, and bring to you "duplam agninam," "double lamb," or, in other words, lamb twice ...
— The Captiva and The Mostellaria • Plautus

... of the good and great. She read ennobling works of poetry and counsel. She brought before his mind by example how superior was earnestness to trivialty, strict integrity to knavery and falsehood, goodness and piety to wickedness and infidelity. As she read and commented, her voice became to Philip as the voice of an angel. Her work was indeed accomplished when, after having listened to her rendering of St. Paul's grand epistles, there sprang up in his heart, first: "Almost ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... straitened upon me!" Replied she, "At once I will devise for thee to do away his life." "How so?" asked he; and she answered, "By means of our female slave the so-called Bakun." Now this Bakun was past mistress in all kinds of knavery and was one of the most pestilent of old women, in whose religion to abstain from wickedness was not lawful; she had brought up Kuzia Fakan and Kanmakan who had her in so great affection that he used to sleep at her feet. So when King Sasan heard ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... to which they could not otherwise have access, and make their advantage of that total resignation of the understanding, and contempt of reason and learning, which nothing but ignorance, delirium, or knavery can dictate, to lead men blindfolded whither it pleased, till it set them down at the foot of an altar where ...
— The Life of Col. James Gardiner - Who Was Slain at the Battle of Prestonpans, September 21, 1745 • P. Doddridge

... I perceived in the scene that was passing before us, an exhibition that is not uncommon on our earth, of cunning knavery imposing on ignorance and credulity; and I expressed my opinion to the Brahmin; but he assured me that the class of persons in the moon, who were resorted to on account of their supposed powers of divination, was very different from the similar class in Asia or Europe, ...
— A Voyage to the Moon • George Tucker

... the good air, and so much for the view of the country. Thus he built up a tidy fortune with other people's money, became as round as a butt, larded with fat, and was called Monsieur. At the time of the last fair three young fellows, who were apprentices in knavery, in whom there was more of the material that makes thieves than saints, and who knew just how far it was possible to go without catching their necks in the branches of trees, made up their minds to amuse themselves, and live well, condemning certain hawkers or others ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... for Liberty, rather than Slavery! Well might you wish to be quit of that ill, But you were sold by political knavery, Meshed in diplomacy's spider-like skill: And you rejoice to see Slavery banished, While the free servant works well as before, Confident, though many fortunes have vanished, Soon ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... whole crew muttered {reproaches} against me. AEthalion, among them, says, 'As if, forsooth, all our safety is centred in thee,' and he himself comes up, and takes my duty; and leaving Naxos, he steers a different course. Then the God, mocking them as if he had at last but that moment discovered their knavery, looks down upon the sea from the crooked stern; and, like one weeping, he says: 'These are not the shores, sailors, that you have promised me; this is not the land desired by me. By what act have I deserved this treatment? What honor is it to you, ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... occasions of doing any good—the ill company will sooner corrupt him than be the better for him; or if, notwithstanding all their ill company, he still remains steady and innocent, yet their follies and knavery will be imputed to him; and, by mixing counsels with them, he must bear his share of all the blame that ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... other men and women in this court, some very near me if I remember rightly. In what are their characters superior, or their claims to respect greater, that you should thus single me out as the fool or knave who could not only commit so wild and despicable an act, but go so far in folly—let alone knavery—as to conceal ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... you news from court; Marke, these things will make you good sport. All the French that lately did prance There, up and downe in bravery, Now are all sent back to France, King Charles hath smelt some knavery. ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... first great master of laughter and of tears. His serious poetry is full of the tenderest pathos. His loosest tales are delightfully humorous and life-like. He is the kindliest of satirists. The knavery, greed, and hypocrisy of the begging friars and the sellers of indulgences are exposed by him as pitilessly as by Langland and Wiclif, though his mood is not like theirs, one of stern, moral indignation, but rather the good-natured scorn of a man of the world. His charity is broad ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... made of the Rover," returned the countryman; "but never to enter into any of the intricate particulars of his knavery." ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... a very different temper. With this man's knavery was strangely mingled an eccentric vanity which resembled madness. The thought that he had raised a rebellion and bestowed a crown had turned his head. He swaggered about, brandishing his naked sword, and crying to ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Official Festivities. A Party of Pleasure. Hospitalities of Bigot. Desperate Gambling. Chateau Bigot. Canadian Ladies. Cadet. La Friponne. Official Rascality. Methods of Peculation. Cruel Frauds on the Acadians. Military Corruption. Pean. Love and Knavery. Varin and his Partners. Vaudreuil and the Peculators. He defends Bigot; praises Cadet and Pean. Canadian Finances. Peril of Bigot. Threats of the Minister. Evidence of Montcalm. Impending Ruin ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... to the interests of a penniless master? We grow tricky in waiting upon such fellows. They scold us; sometimes they beat us. We have more wit than they. We support them; we are obliged to invent, for their benefit, all sorts of knavery, in which they are always ready to take a share; and, withal, they are the masters, and we the servants. It is not just. Hereafter I mean to scheme for myself, and become a master in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 92, June, 1865 • Various

... amazing mad war of theirs, in violation of all human instincts of self-respect and self-preservation, to say nothing of the obligations of religion and morality observed among mankind from the first dawnings of civilization. The knavery, the villainy, and the besotted bestiality of it can never be forgotten, and must never be forgiven, and Louis Raemaekers, gifted as he is with the rare dramatic genius that discriminates his Cartoons, has but discharged ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... on yon last piece. It begins with thee coming home from vespers. Then it flieth to me, to the potter and his glasses, to the knavery of his charges, and cometh back to the man whom thou didst meet coming forth of the door—whom it hath no sooner touched, than it is off again to the cold even; then comest thou into the Queen's lodging, and down 'grees' [degrees, that is, stairs] ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... which horses can be secured: they must be turned into the woods for their subsistance, and feed upon leaves and young shoots of trees. Many projects, such as belts, hobles, &c., were tried, but none of these were a security against the wildness of the country and the knavery of the people we were obliged to employ: by these means we lost our horses almost as fast as we could collect them, and those which remained grew very weak, so we found ourselves every day less able to undertake the extra-ordinary march ...
— Conestoga Wagons in Braddock's Campaign, 1755 • Don H. Berkebile

... with despair for what he had done, and he tried to make his peace with Francis; but while that monarch did not punish him directly for his knavery; he would have no more to do with him, and this was the worst punishment the artist could have had. However, his genius was so great that other than French people forgot his dishonesty and he began life anew in ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... may sell and give credit, and deliver parcels of goods to what sum, or what quantity, he thinks fit, and to whom, and so, by his indiscretion, or perhaps by connivance and knavery, lose to the stock what parcel of goods he pleases, to the ruin of the other partner, and bring themselves to ...
— The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.) • Daniel Defoe

... with the roaring of the beaten waters has something of the strange and fearful to one unaccustomed to it. They are chastised on the least disorder, and without the least humanity; yet are they cheerful and full of knavery. ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... plays his thought grows clearer to his mind, plainer and more feasible. There is a gay audacity about the laugh which lingers in Bertie's eyes and on his lips, as if Dan Cupid himself had just been there, whispering some choice scheme of roguish knavery, some artful artlessness, into the young man's ear. Bertie does not acknowledge that his inspiration has come in such a questionable fashion. He says to himself, "It will do: I feel it will do. Isn't it providential? Just when I was in despair!" This is a more suitable ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... laughter of my heart that I tip-toed into his greasy privacy. I forced the strong-box at his ear while he sprawled beside his wife. He was my butt, my ape, my jumping-jack. And now . . . O fool, fool! [Duped by such knaves as are a shame to knavery, crime's rabble, hell's tatterdemalions!] Shorn to the quick! Rooked to my vitals! And I must thieve for my daily bread like any crawling blackguard in the gutter. And my sister . . . my kind, innocent sister! She will come smiling to me with her poor little love-story, ...
— The Plays of W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson

... appropriations for the improvement of Western rivers and harbors. The debate was continued between the conflicting absurdities of the Southern Democracy, which is slavery, and the Western Democracy, which is knavery." Under the leadership of Jackson and other Southerners, the Democrats, notwithstanding their long ascendency, had adhered to their position on internal improvements more consistently, perhaps, than to any other of the contentions which they had made ...
— Stephen Arnold Douglas • William Garrott Brown

... interests of the seller, the other to those of the purchaser. These 'sale-speakers' exercise no other trade. They go from market to market, to promote business, as they say. They have generally a great knowledge of cattle, have much fluency of tongue, and are, above all, endowed with a knavery beyond all shame. They dispute by turns furiously and argumentatively as to the merits and defects of the animal, but as soon as it comes to be a question of price, the tongue is laid aside as a medium, and the ...
— Harper's Young People, August 3, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... aristocracies of Europe. It certainly might be supposed that persons who made this foolish charge were competent at least to see that the present enemy of the unity of the American people is the pro-slavery fanatic, and that it is on his knavery or stupidity that the ill-wishers to American unity now ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 89, March, 1865 • Various

... Arabs had sunk to a race of mere traders when Aladdin became possessed of his lamp, and the trickery, greed, and avarice of peddlers and merchants are exhibited in incident after incident of the "Thousand and One Nights." War is despised or feared, courage less to be relied upon than astute knavery, and one of the facts that strikes us is the general frivolity, dishonesty, and cruelty which prevail through the tales of Bagdad. The opposite is the case with Antar. Natural passion has full play, but nobility of character is taken seriously, and ...
— Oriental Literature - The Literature of Arabia • Anonymous

... profits from it that they prefer to run in danger of their life every day than to stop getting unlawful gain from you. 21. If they beseech you and entreat you, you should not justly pity them, but rather have compassion on the citizens who have been dying with hunger on account of their knavery, and the merchants against whom they combined. These you will please and make more zealous if you inflict punishment on the dealers. But if not, what opinion do you think they will have when they learn that you let off the retail ...
— The Orations of Lysias • Lysias

... in accordance with the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, is one of two things—a fool who cannot understand the meaning of plain words, or a knave, who, for many reasons, which most of my hearers will understand, pretends to be that which he is not. I may remind you here that knavery is not by any means confined to the limits of what is conventionally termed criminality. For every crime that puts a man or a woman into prison, there are a hundred others committed in every-day ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... countrified ways for town ribaldry, and by removing their character as far as possible from cowardice and effeminacy, even if that should make people get very near to audacity and foolhardiness. And some even make superstition a plea for atheism, and stupidity a plea for knavery, perverting their nature, like a stick bent double, from inability to set it straight. But the basest disowning of flattery is to be disagreeable without any purpose in view, and it shows an altogether inelegant and clumsy unfitness for social intercourse ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... blaze with gold and gay colors. On their working days they line the principal streets, eyeing the passers-by with a cool, easy indifference, but never losing a chance of business. In Algeria this race is generally thought to present a picture of arrogance, knavery and rank cowardice not equaled on the face of the globe. An English traveler saw an Arab, after maddening himself with opium and absinthe, run a-mok among the shopkeepers who lined the principal street of Algiers. Selecting the Hebrews, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873 • Various

... say, that our faithful Molly, his wife, was as jealous as his old fellow-servants. The blacks could not pardon her for having demeaned herself so far as to marry one of their kind. She met with no respect, could exercise no authority, came to her mistress with ceaseless complaints of the idleness, knavery, lies, stealing of the black people; and finally with a story of jealousy against a certain Dinah, or Diana, who, I heartily trust, was as innocent as her namesake the moonlight visitant of Endymion. Now, on the article of morality Madam Esmond was a very Draconess; and ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... helped to accelerate the catastrophe of Viriathus, and with a foray against the Lusones, neighbours of the Numantines. When at length the decision of the senate arrived, its purport was that the war should be continued—the state became thus a party to the knavery of Pompeius. ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... Witchfinder made use of: Whereupon the Magistrates of the place ordered that he should make his Experiment with some other Pin as they should appoint: But that he would by no means be induced unto, which was a sufficient Discovery of the Knavery and Witchery of the Witchfinder. There is a strange Diabolical Energy goeth along with Incantations. If Balak had not known that he would not have sent for Balaam, to see whether he could inchant the Children of Israel. The Scripture intimates that Inchantments ...
— The Wonders of the Invisible World • Cotton Mather

... evil. Taouism is a type of religion which traces itself to the teaching of Laou-tsze. That teaching became mixed with wild speculations. Then certain Buddhistic rites and tenets were added to it. The result, finally, was a compound of knavery and superstition. Taouism is at once mystical and rationalistic in ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... Protestant in England would give threepence to have his choice whether it should be true or false: It might indeed serve as a passage in his history, among a thousand other instances, to detect the knavery of the court of Rome; but I ask, where could be the use of it in this Introduction? Or why all this haste in publishing it at this juncture; and so out of all method apart, and before the work itself? He gives ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... man that may have been shot or hanged, there will have been a hundred who have gained the confidence of the British to betray it either to their own use or that of the enemy. No one could ever know or assess the extent of the knavery which has arisen, flourished, and grown fat in this long-protracted war. And what a field for sharps and knaves! Was not the control of the whole country in the hands of straightforward and fair-thinking English officers,—men whose word was their bond, and who ...
— On the Heels of De Wet • The Intelligence Officer

... They are interesting to fathom and to know, amusing to listen to, often witty, never commonplace as the ordinary French guests. Their women are always pretty, with a little flavor of foreign knavery, with the mystery of their past existence, half of which, perhaps, spent in a House of Correction. They generally have fine eyes and glorious hair, the true physique of the profession, an intoxicating grace, a seductiveness which drives ...
— Yvette • Henri Rene Guy de Maupassant

... as well—something elfin, wayward, mischievous. They peep and whisper. It is said they can cast spells. To sleep upon a daisied lawn is to run a certain risk. There is this hint of impudence in their attitude, half audacity, half knavery, that shows itself a little in the way they stare unwinkingly all day at everything above them—at the stately things that tower proudly in the air—then just shut up at sunset without a word of explanation or apology. ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... materialism, Sludge after all is less the wronger than the wronged. Who made him what he is? Who, keen and clear-sighted enough in fields which they had not selected as their special parade-ground for self-conceit, trained him on to knavery and self-degradation? Who helped him through his blunders with ingenious excuses—"the manifestations are at first so weak"; or "Sludge is himself disturbed by the strange phenomena"; or "a doubter is in the company, and the ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... profits of manufactures, commerce, and banking, mercantile frauds, and pretensions which are honored with the beautiful names of TALENT and GENIUS, but which ought to be regarded as the last degree of knavery and deception; and, finally, all sorts ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... knavery of his officers, not knowing for some time the want of provision in his camp, was troubled in mind that the Cyzicenians should hold out against him. But his ambition and anger fell, when he saw his soldiers in the extremity of want, and feeding on man's flesh; as, in truth, Lucullus ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... my distance of time and place I could safely revel in his friendship, and as an author I certainly found him a most charming companion. The adventures of his rogue of a hero, who began life as the servant and accomplice of a blind beggar, and then adventured on through a most diverting career of knavery, brought back the atmosphere of Don Quixote, and all the landscape of that dear wonder- world of Spain, where I had lived so much, and I followed him ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... repelled without doing any harm, and some of them made prisoners, who, to regain their liberty, pretended to shew the passes to the Spaniards, and led them to such places as were not fit for the purpose. On their knavery being discovered, some of them were torn in pieces by the dogs, which so intimidated the rest, that at length one of them undertook to guide them, and very easily brought them into ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 5 • Robert Kerr

... fault, no doubt, but one for which many excuses might be found in her easy and tender disposition, and the clever knavery of her accomplice, always talking of marriage, hiding from her that he himself was no longer free, and when at last obliged to confess it, painting such a picture of his dull life, of his despair, of his love, that the poor ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... return the compliment, then," said Fenton; "everyone knows you're anything but a gentleman, and that's the difference between us. What piece of knavery have you on the anvil ...
— The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... what we have lost from Thynne's great storehouse of information; how valuable would have been "that long and no common discourse" which he tells us he might have composed on that most curious form of judicial knavery, the ordeal; and possibly much more so is that of his "collections" for his edition of Chaucer! This last may, however, be still recovered by some fortunate ...
— Animaduersions uppon the annotacions and corrections of some imperfections of impressiones of Chaucer's workes - 1865 edition • Francis Thynne

... gentry are adepts in all the arts of knavery and tricking. If, therefore, you should observe a person, without any previous acquaintance, paying you extraordinary marks of civility; if he puts in for a share of your conversation with a pretended air of deference; if he tenders his assistance, courts ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... Francisco, was in his youth an English Cordwainer, that is to say, a Shoemaker, which he improv'd in time to a Merchant; and the Devil and his Knavery helping him to a considerable Estate, he set up for Gentleman; and being naturally a stingey, hide-bound Rascal, and in the Humour of Jealousy even out-doing the most rigid of us Spaniards, he came over into Spain, to settle with his whole Family, where his Wife dying, to heighten ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III • Aphra Behn

... the inhabitants of Staithes since 1846, when Mr. Ord describes the fishermen as 'exceedingly civil and courteous to strangers, and altogether free from that low, grasping knavery peculiar to the larger class of fishing-towns.' Without wishing to be unreasonably hard on Staithes, I am inclined to believe that this character is infinitely better than these folk deserve, and even when Mr. Ord wrote of the place I have reason to ...
— Yorkshire—Coast & Moorland Scenes • Gordon Home

... might be of use to you. Though you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security—for the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by their knavery. But damn ye altogether; damn them for a pack of crafty rascals, and ye who serve them, for a parcel of hen-hearted numbskulls. They villify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference: they rob the poor under cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under protection of our ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... form habits of honesty, or knavery; truth, or falsehood; of industry, or idleness; frugality, or extravagance; of patience, or impatience; self-denial, or self-indulgence; of kindness, cruelty, politeness, rudeness, prudence, perseverance, circumspection. In short, there, is not a virtue, nor a vice; not an act of body, ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... influence of drink and somewhat mad. Favonius was a candidate for the aedileship and was losing his election, when Cato, who was present, observed that the voting tablets were written in one hand, and so proved the knavery, and by appealing to the tribunes stopped the return. Afterwards when Favonius was made aedile, Cato both administered the other duties of the aedileship, and superintended the exhibitions in the theatre, giving to the actors not crowns ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... he replied. "'Wisdom cries in the streets, and no man regards her.' The small voice of Philosophy was unheard amid the blare of the trumpets that heralded successful knavery; the rabble ran headlong to the devil after gauds ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... every waiter harangued upon the knavery of a publican in Canterbury, who had charged the French ambassador forty pounds for a supper that was not worth forty shillings. They talked much of honesty and conscience; but when they produced their ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... his arms, laying one clenched fist quietly on the table. "I'll tell you why. Because you drummed nothing but money and knavery into their ears from the time they wore knickerbockers; because you carped away at them as you've been carping here tonight, holding our friends Phelps and Elder up to them for their models, as our grandfathers held up George Washington and John Adams. But the boys were ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... yourself, and leave these passions: Now do I sound the depth of all their drifts, The devil's[154] device and Churms his knavery; On whom this heart hath vow'd to be reveng'd. I'll scatter them: the plot's already in my head. Nurse, hie thee home, commend me to my sister; Bid her this night send for Master Churms: To him she must recount her many griefs, Exclaim against ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... we except the work of Sir George Staunton, and the limited account of Mr. Bell of Antermony, which was not written by himself, it may be considered as unbeaten ground by Britons. We have heard a great deal of Chinese knavery practised at Canton, but, except in the two works abovementioned, we have not yet heard the sentiments of an Englishman at all acquainted with the manners, customs, and character of the Chinese nation. The voluminous communications of the missionaries are ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... beat him with a grievous beating, what while he cried out for succour, but none succoured him, and besought protection, but none protected him. Then said he to them, "O folk, ye are quit[FN295] of that which ye have taken from me; but now restore me to my lodging." They replied, "Leave this knavery, O rascal! thine intent is to sue us for thy clothes on the morrow." The youth cried, "By the truth of the One, the Eternal One, I will not sue any for them!" but they said, "We find no way to this." And the Prefect bade them bear him to the Tigris and there slay him and cast him ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... operations are regulated by morality and reason, and it finally induces a serene exaltation of temper. It was a pardonable foible of Elizabethan writers distinctly to identify with the English character this healthily energetic sort of patriotism—the sort of patriotism to which an atmosphere of knavery or folly ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... as in most large ships, we had a number of bad characters—runaway apprentices, lawyers' clerks, broken-down tradesmen, footmen dismissed for knavery, play-actors, tinkers, gipsies, pickpockets, thieves of all sorts; indeed, the magistrates on shore seemed to think nothing was too bad to send on board a man-of-war. These men were, of course, always ready for mischief of any sort. There is no ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston



Words linked to "Knavery" :   misconduct, quackery, dishonesty, trick, betrayal, falsehood, treason, treachery, perfidy, charlatanism, falsification



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