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Prevarication   Listen
noun
Prevarication  n.  
1.
The act of prevaricating, shuffling, or quibbling, to evade the truth or the disclosure of truth; a deviation from the truth and fair dealing. "The august tribunal of the skies, where no prevarication shall avail."
2.
A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office.
3.
(Law)
(a)
(Roman Law) The collusion of an informer with the defendant, for the purpose of making a sham prosecution.
(b)
(Common Law) A false or deceitful seeming to undertake a thing for the purpose of defeating or destroying it.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Prevarication" Quotes from Famous Books



... the savage and exulting eye of Thornton, when it read the damning record of Glanville's guilt; and in spite of my horror at the crime of my former friend, I trembled for his safety: nor was I satisfied with myself at my prevarication as a witness. It is true, that I had told the truth, but I had concealed all the truth; and my heart swelled proudly and bitterly against the miniature which I ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... replied. "If the Queen should come to Chicago she would live here," and I comforted myself by saying, "You shall have your hour of wonder and romance, even at the expense of a prevarication." ...
— A Daughter of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... to escape human justice, he will resort to appealing to the mercy of the judge, to evade compliance with the law, to the non-fulfillment of any duty, and to live only to enjoy his rights; he will resort, in dealing with human authorities, to the use of the same methods of propitiation, adulation, prevarication, humiliation, and deception which dominated the same God and triumphed over the power of ...
— The Legacy of Ignorantism • T.H. Pardo de Tavera

... the truth, mother; listen to me." And in a voice that trembled with emotion, he rapidly related all he had learned by his visit to the baron, softening the truth as much as he could without concealing it. But prevarication was useless. Madame Ferailleur's indignation and disgust were none the less evident. "That woman is a shameless creature," she said, coldly, when her ...
— Baron Trigault's Vengeance - Volume 2 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... ostentation, and the mingling a respect of myself in preaching thy word; I have sinned in my fasting, by repining when a penurious fortune hath kept me low; and I have sinned even in that fulness, when I have been at thy table, by a negligent examination, by a wilful prevarication, in receiving that heavenly food and physic. But as I know, O my gracious God, that for all those sins committed since, yet thou wilt consider me, as I was in thy purpose when thou wrotest my name ...
— Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions - Together with Death's Duel • John Donne

... would follow. Haunted with this fear, he told her to say that she was his sister—which was not a direct falsehood, but only so by implication. According to the Jewish mode of reckoning relationship, she might be called a sister; and Abram stooped to this prevarication under that terrible dread which, in the case of Peter, drove a true disciple of Christ to the brink of ...
— Half Hours in Bible Lands, Volume 2 - Patriarchs, Kings, and Kingdoms • Rev. P. C. Headley

... considerate as it had been from the first, did not deceive me. I knew that I had been detected in some slip or prevarication. As I had omitted all mention of the most serious part of my adventure—had said nothing of my vision of Carmel or the terrible conclusions which her presence there had awakened—my conscience was in a state ...
— The House of the Whispering Pines • Anna Katharine Green

... "I haven't suggested prevarication," said the Idiot. "Put on your front page, for instance, an item like this: 'George Bronson, colored, aged twenty-nine, a resident of Thompson Street, was caught cheating at poker last night. He was not murdered.' There you tell what has ...
— The Idiot • John Kendrick Bangs

... a little over the prevarication. St. Michael was not Peter Masters, even excuses found no easy flow ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... words proved it, and Gillian could not tell her. She could not betray his confidence even if she had so wished. If she could but speak frankly and show all her difficulty to the friend who had never yet failed in love and sympathy——She sought refuge in prevarication. "How can I marry him?" she cried miserably. "You don't know anything about me. I'm not a fit person ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... door. He had had too much experience in such matters to attempt any prevarication. The three men crossed the room quickly and Bellamy followed in the rear. He heard a cry of disappointment from the foremost as he opened the door. The inner ...
— Havoc • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... stepped into another apartment to hear his story. He accused Holbein of the violence, but suppressed the provocation; whereat Henry broke into a towering Tudor rage, and, after reproaching the nobleman for his prevarication, said, "You have to do with me, Sir. I tell you, that of seven peasants I could make seven earls like you; but of seven earls I could not make one Holbein. Do not molest him, if you value your head." And as second-hand heads, though plentiful about those ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... the tumbler touched my lips, and, girls, I was so sure that she would take me down to Miss Ashton,—and there is no such thing as keeping anything away from her, for you know how she hates what she calls a 'prevarication,'—that I just had my choice, to drink that nasty stuff, or to betray the Demosthenic Club, or to tell a fib, and have my walking-ticket given me, so I opened my mouth wide, and swallowed one swallow, then was going to turn away my head, but Miss Palmer held the tumbler tight to my lips, ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... it was in his power to have waited much longer, and he ought to have done so. But the man was over-weighted; the position was too much for him, and he gave way when a stronger mind might have stood firm. The worst point about him appears to be his want of consistency and miserable prevarication; but this may have been weakness rather than absolute absence of principle, or of any due sense of right or wrong. He was unfit to direct, but he might have been directed. Mr. Burke has been blamed for trusting Brahe; but he was the ...
— Successful Exploration Through the Interior of Australia • William John Wills

... uselessness of any prevarication with an Indian; and the importance of complete frankness. He described the exact place where he had ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... assertions, by insisting that they had known all along, that Mr. Effingham owned the property, but that they did not choose he, or any other man, should presume to tell them what they knew already. In short, the end of this affair exhibited human nature in its usual aspects of prevarication, untruth, contradiction, and inconsistency, notwithstanding the high profession of liberty made by those implicated; and they who had been the most guilty of wrong, were loudest in their complaints, as ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... Prevarication of every kind partakes of the very essence of lying, being not only subversive of social happiness, by preventing all confidential intercourse amongst mankind, but diametrically opposed to the commands ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... Adam there, as he knows all about it.' She was asked if she was quite certain that General Clavering ever was at any of her parties; she replied, 'So certain, that I always told him he need not use any ceremony, but come in his boots.' It will be remembered that General C. was sent to Newgate for prevarication on that account, not having ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... "you should hope for the best. Besides, I honestly believe you to be disturbing yourself unnecessarily. If nothing fresh transpires, a mere prevarication or so of your cousin's will not suffice ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... weapon in a way to wound the feelings of an adversary. In examining and cross-examining witnesses, he has assumed their veracity, whenever it has been possible to do so; and though he has had the eye of a lynx and the scent of a hound for prevarication in all its forms, yet he has never sought by browbeating and other arts of the pettifogger, to confuse, baffle, and bewilder a witness, or involve him in self-contradiction. Adopting a quiet, gentle, and straightforward, though full and careful examination, winning the good-will of the witness, ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... I never knew that this way through the paddock led home. Come, Ermengarde, I am tired of prevarication. What ...
— The Children of Wilton Chase • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... not prevarication only a mean lie? Oh, Terence, I am so deeply grieved! I know not what to ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... said John Brown be, for his said prevarication, taken into the custody of the serjeant at ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. VI; The Drapier's Letters • Jonathan Swift

... impossible—any such thing were to happen, how could we resist any error?—how could we correct those who err? If you declare that the people of one city cannot be composed to peace, what should we make of the whole world's universe were it deceived by our prevarication? The series of canons coming down from our fathers, and a multifold tradition, establish that the authority of the Apostolic See is set for all Christian ages over the whole Church. O emperor, if anyone made any attempt against ...
— The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI - The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I • Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

... the court as unworthy or incapable of giving a successor to the throne; but she still wished to save appearances: she would, if possible, make the world believe that the decree of Providence alone denied to her a mother's honors. She had the cruel courage to conceal the truth by prevarication. ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... a sort of hotel," said the voice, doubtfully. My hesitation and prevarication had apparently not inspired my interlocutor with ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... to be answered, I had to collect my thoughts and admit, not without a little bashfulness, that my first account of my exploit had contained a slight prevarication. ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... glance on the group; but when he perceived his man, Roque, whose presence deprived him of the little opportunity left for prevarication, hope forsook him, and the presence of mind which had served him on so many occasions proved utterly insufficient at this critical moment. He foresaw that any attempt at exculpation would be as fruitless as dangerous. He therefore ...
— Gomez Arias - The Moors of the Alpujarras, A Spanish Historical Romance. • Joaquin Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio

... who felt—who was certain that the young man was lying, impudently lying, was abashed by this scientific prevarication which is so universally practised in good society, and of which ...
— The Honor of the Name • Emile Gaboriau

... morning there was a general meeting of the Sheikhs and people of the town in our apartments; and from the turn affairs began to take, we found it necessary to despatch a courier to Aroukeen, to beg the Tanelkums to wait a few days for us at that place. During the meeting began the first prevarication of the Tuaricks. The son of Shafou said that he did not agree to conduct us to Aheer—an assertion we contradicted strongly. At length he exclaimed: "Although I did not agree to this, I will nevertheless conduct you,"—making a new favour of ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 • James Richardson

... could have seen him this morning," murmured Penelope, thoroughly enjoying the unexpected situation. Her conscience was not troubled by the prevarication. ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... the disgrace of making a confession of repentance of any kind. If on such conditions a temporary return could be granted to me, I do not deny that it would be a lift to me. If, however, it is not possible, and if a definite negative answer is given, let me know at once and without any prevarication; then I shall know where I am. Then I shall begin a different life. Then I shall get money how and where I can; I shall borrow and steal, if necessary, in order to travel. The beautiful parts of Italy are closed to me unless I am amnestied. ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... under a powerful palsy, while the Mandarin drinks damnation to the Lord of the Manor in a horn of eleemosynary ale, handed to him by the village blacksmith, in days of old not the worst of the gang, and who, but for a stupid jury, a merciful judge, and something like prevarication in the circumstantial evidence, would have been hanged for a murderer—as he was—dissected, and hung in chains;—Be it a red-haired woman, with a pug nose, small fiery eyes, high cheekbones, bulging ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... pretend that all have said; and what many have said that is good, you pretend that nobody has said; and all that, once again, for the glory of God. For such direction of the intention justifies all that. Such direction of the intention will not suffice to justify a prevarication, but it is more than sufficient to justify calumny, provided only you are convinced that you are serving ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... your share of duty, in doing the wisest and best thing which may present itself. And if you can induce Donna Veronica to forgive your brother and your brother's wife, by telling her the truth without prevarication, you will have done something to atone for the past evil which, you cannot undo. I am not preaching to you, my dear friend. Pray look upon me as a man and not as a priest. Indeed, I would rather that you should never think of me as a priest at all. If ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... apparently there is, in the minds of many, a peculiar virtue in "the rules of evidence" used by lawyers. Witnesses examined under these rules are supposed to receive from them a strong stimulus in veracity and explicitness, while they at once expose prevarication or concealment. One newspaper eulogist went so far the other day as to pronounce the rules the product of the wisdom of all ages, beginning with the Phoenicians and coming down to our own time. There is, however, only one good reason that we know of for carrying any attack ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... them all proudly. "I eloped with no man. That was simply a little prevarication to worry you, my uncle, after the manner in which you have worried me. I was on my way to Dresden, it is true, but only to hide with my old governess. This gentleman jumped into my compartment as the train ...
— The Princess Elopes • Harold MacGrath

... about it?" She looked at Horace for the first time, steadily scrutinizing his face. Horace took refuge in prevarication. ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... nothing is more insulting sometimes than a philosophic temper; but in China you must, as a first law unto yourself, protect yourself at all costs and against all comers, and it generally requires a good deal of noise. Here the bully is not the coward. In respect of prevarication, it seems to be absolutely universal; the poor copy the vice from the rich. It seems to be in the very nature of the people, and although it is hard to write, my experience convinces me that my statement is not exaggeration. I have found the Chinese—I speak of the common ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... "An unworthy prevarication," replied Catherine, "by which you seek to work my ruin, and accomplish your union with Anne Boleyn. And you will no doubt succeed; for what can I, a feeble woman, and a stranger in your country, do to prevent it? You will ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth

... attest the retiring, I attest the advancing generations between which, as a link in the great chain of eternal order, we stand.—We call this Nation, we call the world to witness, that the Commons have shrunk from no labor; that we have been guilty of no prevarication, that we have made no compromise with crime; that we have not feared any odium whatsoever, in the long warfare which we have carried on with the crimes—with the vices—with the exorbitant wealth—with the enormous and overpowering ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... he say to explain it?" inquired Polly, with maiden's curiosity in learning to what extent of prevarication a deacon would go in order to ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... he looked me straight in the eye. It takes practice to lie convincingly. And the Space Academy doesn't list the Art of Prevarication among ...
— Attrition • Jim Wannamaker

... Desiring to be better acquainted with the particulars of this assertion, he turned up the page referred to, and there found, to his entire satisfaction, "Mr Justice Best said he had a great mind to commit the witness for prevarication." ...
— The Book-Hunter - A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author • John Hill Burton

... live.—Every morning, seventy Paris newspapers and as many local gazettes in the large towns of the provinces expose, with supporting documents, details and figures, not merely their former crimes, but, again, their actual corruption, their sudden opulence founded on prevarication and rapine, their bribes ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... patch, and lead you to infer that, some of the needlework being obviously done on the velvet, all of it is. But to disguise in this way the line of demarcation, even if you succeed in doing it, is at best the art of prevarication. ...
— Art in Needlework - A Book about Embroidery • Lewis F. Day

... prevarication and confusion. You've always been an idle dog, Roger, so I think 'a gentleman of no occupation' will be a sufficiently correct description. You are very well connected ...
— The Man From the Clouds • J. Storer Clouston

... will, 'Rene," gasped Penelope. And then she added, shamed out of her prevarication by Irene's haughty magnanimity, "I have. ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... were, as regards the bookselling trade, they were, nevertheless, sometimes disregarded or infringed; some ventured to take more for a book than the sum allowed, and, by prevarication and secret contracts, eluded the vigilance of the laws.[75] Some were still bolder, and openly practised the art of a scribe and the profession of a bookseller, without knowledge or sanction of the university. This gave rise ...
— Bibliomania in the Middle Ages • Frederick Somner Merryweather

... had been given the alternative of leaving the apartment or of signing a year's lease at two hundred and twenty-five a month. She had signed it. Inevitably as the necessity for economy had increased they found themselves as a pair quite unable to save. The old policy of prevarication was resorted to. Weary of their incapabilities they chattered of what they would do—oh—to-morrow, of how they would "stop going on parties" and of how Anthony would go to work. But when dark came down Gloria, accustomed to an engagement every night, would feel the ancient restlessness creeping ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... sum up this government! Who is at the Elysee and the Tuileries? Crime. Who is established at the Luxembourg? Baseness. Who at the Palais Bourbon? Imbecility. Who at the Palais d'Orsay? Corruption. Who at the Palais de Justice? Prevarication. And who are in the prisons, in the fortresses, in the dungeons, in the casemates, in the hulks, at Lambessa, at Cayenne, in exile? Law, honour, intelligence, liberty, ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... but I do say that it is the only right course, and that he is equally certain to get out of it again; whereas an opposite course must lead him into difficulties, and involve him more and more as he tries to extricate himself by prevarication, subterfuge, or falsehood. I therefore told the chief that I had come on shore hoping to open up a trade with him, under the belief that the country was no longer either in possession of the Dutch or French, but that it was now under ...
— James Braithwaite, the Supercargo - The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat • W.H.G. Kingston

... Kamraviona finding me rather warm, with the usual pertinacious duplicity of a negro, then said, "Well, let that subject drop, and consider the present Kamrasi promised you when you gave him the Uganga" (meaning the watch); "Kamrasi's horn is not ready yet." This second prevarication completely set my dander up. If I did not believe in his dangers of the way before, it quite settled my opinion of the worth of his words now. I therefore tendered him what might be called the ultimatum to this effect. There was no sincerity in such ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... said nothing of the kind, but Blank's prevarication had its intended effect, and fortunately, before the lapse of another six hours, there was news from ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... ought to hold firmly and assert, especially we bishops who preside in the Church, that we may prove the episcopate itself to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a falsehood; let no one corrupt the truth by a perfidious prevarication. The episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one in its entirety. The Church, also, is one which is spread abroad far and wide into a multitude by an increase of fruitfulness. As there are many rays of the sun, but one light, and ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... that is very irritating and very hard to meet is that known as prevarication. This consists in telling a part of a truth, or even a whole truth, in such a way as to convey a false impression, and is most common at about twelve or thirteen years. When a child resorts to prevarication he is already old enough to know ...
— Your Child: Today and Tomorrow • Sidonie Matzner Gruenberg

... Popery. All which, since they were once purged away from the church of Scotland and cast forth as things accursed into the jakes of eternal detestation, how vile and abominable may we now call the resuming of them? Or what a piacular prevarication is it to borrow from any other church which was less reformed, a pattern of policy for this church which was more reformed. But, 2. Though there could be more alleged for the ceremonies than truly ...
— The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Gillespie

... the truth," said Fanny, raising her voice to a somewhat insolent tone. "The club does not permit the slightest vestige of prevarication. Is that not so?" ...
— Betty Vivian - A Story of Haddo Court School • L. T. Meade

... mirthlessly; he saw no reason for being joyful over the lie he had told. He was getting deeper and deeper into the mire of deceit and prevarication, and there seemed ...
— Square Deal Sanderson • Charles Alden Seltzer

... Supreme Being meant to describe and point out such a person as Jesus by such descriptions of the Messiah as are contained in the Old Testament, is certainly substantially to accuse him of the moat unjustifiable prevarication, and ...
— The Grounds of Christianity Examined by Comparing The New Testament with the Old • George Bethune English

... violent effort recovered his equanimity, and said,—'Prevarication or denial I suppose to be useless. You have probably outbid me for the confidence of this miserable villain. What do you propose ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... languishes and projects die a-borning. But mixed up with this religious obstinacy is a goodly jigger of secretiveness, and in order to gain his own point the religion of the owner does not prevent him from prevarication. In "Margaret Ogilvie," that exquisite tribute to his mother by Barrie, the author shows us a most religious woman who was well up to the head of the Sapphira class. The old lady had been reading a certain book, and there was no reason why she should conceal the fact. The son suddenly ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... indeed fortunate, for he comes to us several times each summer and is one of the family, Lady Morley accompanying him. He is as fond of the yacht as I am myself, and, fortunately again, it is the best medicine for both of us. Morley is, and must always remain, "Honest John." No prevarication with him, no nonsense, firm as a rock upon all questions and in all emergencies; yet always looking around, fore and aft, right and left, with a big heart not often revealed in all its tenderness, but at rare intervals and upon ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... in the utter difficulty of answering. "Basil"—she began, and stopped, not finding another word to add. For prevarication was an accomplishment Diana knew nothing of. She closed her eyes, that they might not ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... child of science. Science yearns ever to know and to tell. Truth for truth's sake! He had no strong moral feeling against a lie; but he had never had the slightest use for a lie, and a prevarication on his tongue would have been as strange to him as castanets in his palms. Guile takes alertness, adroitness; and the slim pennyworth of these that he could command he used up, no doubt, on Fontenette. ...
— Strong Hearts • George W. Cable

... unreasonable and irreligious one. "Parents have no right," says Paley, "to urge their children upon marriage to which they are averse;" "add to this," says he, "that compulsion in marriage necessarily leads to prevarication; as the reluctant party promises an affection, which neither exists, nor is expected to take place." To proceed to marriage, therefore in the face of absolute dislike and revulsion, ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... and clothing tainted with offensive odors. He poisons the atmosphere that others must inhale, and disputes their rights to breathe a pure, untainted air. The free use of tobacco by young people dulls the acuteness of the moral senses, often leads to prevarication and deceit in the indulgence, and is apt to draw one downward to bad associates. It is not the speed but the direction that tells on the future character and ...
— A Practical Physiology • Albert F. Blaisdell

... to conform again to Itself the Human Creature, which, through the sin of the prevarication of the first Man, was separated from God and deformed thereby, it was decided, in that most exalted and most united Divine Consistory of the Trinity, that the Son of God should descend to the Earth to accomplish this union. And since at ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... to say that Plunket has two Orange informers to produce as witnesses, who were parties to the conspiracy. There was no prevarication or difficulty with the only ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... perilous. And a paper like the (modern) Pall Mall Gazette which deliberately pimps and panders to this latent sense and state of aphrodisiac excitement, is as much the more infamous than the loose book as hypocrisy is more hateful than vice and prevarication is more ignoble than a lie. And when such vile system is professionally practiced under the disguise and in the holy names of Religion and Morality, the effect is loathsome as that spectacle sometimes seen ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... Florian, "it is not quite becoming to speak thus of your dead husband. No doubt you speak the truth: there is no telling what sort of person you may have married in what still seems to me unseemly haste to provide me with a successor: but even so, a little charitable prevarication would be far ...
— The Line of Love - Dizain des Mariages • James Branch Cabell

... arrival, nothing has occurred to cause any interruption to the same intercourse as was held last year. The usual supplies are continued, and the places pointed out whence they can be most readily received. There certainly appears great prevarication on the part of the Swedish Government relative to the property landed from the neutral vessels at Carlshamn; and in an object of such importance, I beg to suggest the expediency of one or two persons, duly authorised by the merchants and underwriters concerned ...
— Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez. Vol II • Sir John Ross

... to them. I told them, as gently as I could, the bare facts, deeming it wise to make no prevarication. ...
— Vicky Van • Carolyn Wells

... without saying a word. I listened—oh! with such a heavy heart, with such a crushing sense of disenchantment and despair! The idol of my worship, the companion, guide, protector of my life—had he fallen so low? could he stoop to such shameless prevarication as this? ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... understand, before you speak a word, that I can see through any number of infernal lies. I see that you're prepared for prevarication. By George! it shall come out of you, if I get it by main force. The Duke compelled me to give you that appointment in my Company. Now, sir, did you, or did you not, go to him and deliberately state to him that you believed the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... it would be if one could foresee the result of every action! Hester Alden's slight prevarication to Robert Vail, when she told him that her father had been Miss Debby's brother, carried with it a long series of misunderstandings. Had Robert Vail known the facts—but ...
— Hester's Counterpart - A Story of Boarding School Life • Jean K. Baird

... conveying a French ambassador and three hundred Frenchmen on a sacred mission to the British sovereign, this redoubtable mariner of England prepared to do battle with the ships of France. It was with much difficulty and some prevarication that Rosny appeased the strife, representing that the French flag had only been raised in order that it might be dipped, in honour of the French ambassador, as the ships passed each other. The full-shotted broadside was fired from fifty guns, but the English commander consented, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... Mirabeau's Secret Correspondence with the Court. His prevarication and double-dealing as a popular leader in the pay of the king had long been known. At least twenty persons were in the secret. One man, leaving Paris hurriedly, left one paper, the most important of all, lying about in his room. Unmistakable allusions were found among the ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... Twain's favourite themes for the display of his humour was the subject of prevarication. He seemed never to tire of ringing the changes upon the theme of the lie, its utility, its convenience, and its consequences. Doubtless he chose to dabble in falsehood because it is generally winked at as the most venial of all moral obliquities—a ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... hesitate to say of General White that he 'used' others, but his prudent selection of subordinates ensured that all units in his Brigade were well commanded. He was more than a good judge of character: hollow prevarication was useless with him, and bluff—though, when he liked, he was himself a master of it—a dangerous policy. Among the shrewd qualities of this man there were the abilities to summarize rapidly whatever he had been told, and to remember most of everything he saw. His power of observation ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... clandestine marriages, and the most stupendous thefts. It is a city without commerce and without manufactures; or rather, its commerce is illicit, and its manufacturers are newspaper-correspondents, who weave tissues of fiction out of the warp of rumor and the web of prevarication. The site of the United States Treasury, it is the home of everything but affluence. Its public buildings are splendid, its private dwellings generally squalid. The houses are low, the rents high; the streets are broad, the crossings narrow; the hacks are black, the horses white; ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... have your admission of that without any of the prevarications that are usual in your kind. And I will say this, that here prevarication would avail you little. For we always have the truth in the end. ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... me.' Bruce had now definitely lost his temper. 'I can stand anything except prevarication. Anything in the world, but prevarication, I can endure, with patience. But not that! As if you didn't know perfectly well there's only one letter I ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson

... idiots, all the slaves, all the robbers of the eighty-three departments, at the head of which are the exemplary names of the members of the Directory of Paris—fathers of their country! There is in this such a complication of ingratitude and fraud, prevarication and perverseness, philosophical hypocrisy and perfidious moderation, that on the instant we rally round the decrees and around yourselves. Continue faithful, mandatories, and if they obstinately persist in not ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... choose to own the truth, and produce the letter," she resumed, "I will give you this, as your reward for finding, and restoring to me, something that I had lost. If you persist in your present prevarication, I can, and will, make that sheet of note-paper you have stolen from me nothing but waste paper in your hands. You have threatened Mrs. Glenarm with my interference. Suppose I go to Mrs. Glenarm? Suppose I interfere before ...
— Man and Wife • Wilkie Collins

... "I have no wish to frighten you. But you must see for yourself that it is utterly impossible for us to go on like this. You are keeping something from me. I want you to tell me quite quietly and without prevarication what ...
— The Rocks of Valpre • Ethel May Dell

... we are now before the court at Sauveterre, before a jury composed of people from this district, incapable of prevarication, I am sure, but, unfortunately, under the influence of that public opinion which has long since condemned M. de Boiscoran. The proceedings begin; the judge questions the accused. Will he say what he told me,—that, after having ...
— Within an Inch of His Life • Emile Gaboriau

... young, who drove Through clouds of dust at postal pace, By the decree of Mighty Jove, Inheritor of all his race. Friends of Liudmila and Ruslan,(1) Let me present ye to the man, Who without more prevarication The hero is of my narration! Oneguine, O my gentle readers, Was born beside the Neva, where It may be ye were born, or there Have shone as one of fashion's leaders. I also wandered there of old, But cannot stand ...
— Eugene Oneguine [Onegin] - A Romance of Russian Life in Verse • Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

... an unconvincing prevarication is of less practical value than—" he began, but he was interrupted by the appearance of a young lady who came ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... characteristic of the best type of Englishmen. He had been led into scrapes, he had done things for which he was sorry, and he was even now suffering the consequences of doing what was wrong, but instead of attempting to get out of the difficulty by twisting and turning and prevarication and falsehood, he always endeavoured to escape by going straightforward, boldly telling the truth, and, if needs be, doubling his fist, or drawing his sword and fighting his way out. Thus the sophistries and arguments which he heard brought forward ...
— John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... hissing out the syllables from between his clenched teeth, "you infernal black villain! speak, I tell you! answer me this instant, without prevarication! which—which is your ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... said to her smilingly, "tell me without any prevarication which of the three characters ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... examining a Scottish farmer. "You'll affirm that when this happened you were going home to a meal. Let us be quite certain on this point, because it is a very important one. Be good enough to tell me, sir, with as little prevarication as possible, what meal it was you ...
— More Toasts • Marion Dix Mosher

... of his drugs and the gleam of his lancet. Once I had been his patient and then I had trembled at his approach. When he took my little wrist in his big hand, I remember with what reluctance I stuck out my quivering tongue, black, as I feared with evidences of prevarication. ...
— Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country • Irving Bacheller

... humanity—has not been in error as to the REALITY of a fact essential in human nature,—a fact which it has designated by the words ORIGINAL PREVARICATION, let us further interrogate Christianity, humanity, as to the MEANING of this fact. Let us not be astonished either by metaphor or by allegory: truth is independent of figures. And besides, what is truth to us but the continuous progress of our mind ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... 454; untruth &c 546; guile; lying &c v.. misrepresentation; mendacity, perjury, false swearing; forgery, invention, fabrication; subreption^; covin^. perversion of truth, suppression of truth; suppressio veri [Lat.]; perversion, distortion, false coloring; exaggeration &c 549; prevarication, equivocation, shuffling, fencing, evasion, fraud; suggestio falsi &c (lie) 546 [Lat.]; mystification &c (concealment) 528; simulation &c (imitation) 19; dissimulation, dissembling; deceit; blague^. sham; pretense, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... opprobrious name of fanaticism, the regard which they owed to the great duties of mercy and justice, for the neglect of which (if they should neglect them) they would be answerable at that tribunal, where no prevarication of witnesses could misinform the judge; and where no subtlety of an advocate, miscalling the names of things, putting evil for good and good for evil, ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808) • Thomas Clarkson

... did not disdain even truth whenever it equally served his purpose. In such a case it gave him a reputation for candor under which he could, with more safety, avail himself of his disingenuity and prevarication. He knew, as we said, that his mother's description of the family contained not one atom of truth; and yet he was too dastardly and cunning to defend them against her calumny. The great basis of his character, in fact, was a selfishness, which kept him perpetually ...
— The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... wonder at the question. I want you to tell me the truth, of course. That is, if you can. How did it all happen—you must tell me everything just as it occurred, without concealment or prevarication." ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... traitorous designs. To those whose loving trust bound them most closely to him, Satan had represented that he was wrongly judged, that his position was not respected, and that his liberty was to be abridged. From misrepresentation of the words of Christ, he passed to prevarication and direct falsehood, accusing the Son of God of a design to humiliate him before the inhabitants of heaven. He sought also to make a false issue between himself and the loyal angels. All whom he could ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... dear Helen; but you will do better now. You feel, I am very sure, that a life of prevarication and indifference does not answer for a Catholic; and now there will be ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... Frank Oldfield, when they were shut in alone, "I'll have a straightforward statement, without any prevarication, or I give you over at once into custody. If you can't clear yourself, and I don't see how you possibly can, there's the jail before you, the only place you're ...
— Frank Oldfield - Lost and Found • T.P. Wilson

... not ask him a second time what he meant. He had made her realize the utter futility of prevarication. Instead, she forced herself to meet his look boldly, and grapple with him ...
— Rosa Mundi and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... no importance that they both knew this to be a prevarication about which St. Peter would not trouble his hoary head nor take the pains to indite in ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... rough customers, he wishes himself in the moon, and to the moon appropriately he goes. Mediaevalism can hardly be called anything but a rather enfeebling dream. If it were a real effort to live in the Middle Ages, your life would be one perpetual prevarication. You would be drawn by the steam engine to lecture against steam; you would send eloquent invectives against printing to the press, and you would be subsisting meanwhile on the interest of investments which the Middle Ages would have condemned as usury. If ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... the governor to arrange the capitulation, but when he was met by prevarication and pleas for delay the bombardment was once more resumed. A few minutes of this sufficed to bring the defenders to reason, and by five o'clock the English flag flew ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... of the loss of his Lieutenancy show. The presence of honest and friendly Carew as one of the royal commissioners, renders the account as it stands all but incredible. He certainly would not have been a party to a lying and wicked prevarication. Cecil would not, nor Sir Julius Caesar. But it is one of the many Ralegh myths, with a possible particle of truth in it, which cannot be sifted out of the ...
— Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography • William Stebbing

... of the pretty woman in the Taverne Royale? What about her? At whose bidding had she followed him? One or the other of them had not told the truth, and he was inclined to believe that the prevarication had its source in the pomegranate lips of the Calabrian. To give the old barb one more twist, to learn if its venomous point still held and hurt; nothing would have afforded the diva more delight. Courtlandt glared at the window as the shade ...
— The Place of Honeymoons • Harold MacGrath

... the window?" I asked, as I extricated the four-year-old witness from Harriet's chiffon and violets. I doubted if young Susan had attained the years of prevarication as ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... aimlessly in that good company, humming a popular but refined tune, and thinking vaguely of a business letter from abroad, which had to be answered on the morrow with cautious prevarication. Then, as he walked towards a wardrobe, he saw appearing at his back, in the high mirror, the corner of his wife's dressing-table, and amongst the glitter of silver-mounted objects on it, the square white patch of an envelope. It was such an unusual thing to be seen there that he spun round almost ...
— Tales of Unrest • Joseph Conrad

... want to know," he shouted. "Don't let me have any further prevarication. Where did the man, or Wallypug, or whatever you call him, ...
— The Wallypug in London • G. E. Farrow

... did the preceptress consider sending Amy Gregg home, for the origin of the fire was plainly an accident, though bred in carelessness. For prevarication, however, Mrs. Tellingham was tempted ...
— Ruth Fielding in Moving Pictures - Or Helping The Dormitory Fund • Alice Emerson

... banquet. They shall have one, on your body, if you reject the terms I've offered. Accept them, Don Valerian Miranda; or before to-morrow's sun reaches meridian the birds will be feeding upon your flesh, and the wild beasts quarrelling over your bones. Answer me, and without prevarication. I demand ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... "This is prevarication, sir," cried the lieutenant; "but I am not to be put off like this. Come, sir, I received information about a very valuable contraband cargo that has been run from Dunquerque. It has been landed here successfully during the past night or the night before. Now, sir, if you please, ...
— Devon Boys - A Tale of the North Shore • George Manville Fenn

... improvement and pertaining to the better working of the law. But when it came to repealing the law altogether, not one of the distinguished men here quoted was in favour of it. The principle of State regulation, against the adoption of which in America every art of prevarication has been employed, that principle is fully accepted by the English medical profession to-day. Was it fair for the editor of a leading journal to misstate so obvious a fact? Can one imagine that the leading representatives of ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... this occasion, I sat as foreman of the jury, which was summoned soon after daylight, and continued to sit until nearly one o'clock the next morning, when two men and a woman were committed for trial; and a third man, in the progress of the investigation, was sent to gaol for prevarication. When the prisoners were arraigned at the bar, they all pleaded "Not guilty;" and, after an impartial trial, were acquitted. The singularity and cruelty of this man's murder appeared to be equal to ...
— The Present Picture of New South Wales (1811) • David Dickinson Mann

... beginning, and tell you the history as far as I understand it myself. You know that Mr. James Thorndale has been here, and perhaps you know it was for the purpose of making an offer to Eveleen. Every one was much surprised at her refusing him, and still more when, after much prevarication, it came out that the true motive was her attachment to Mr. Fielder, the tutor. It appeared that they had been secretly engaged for some weeks, ever since they had perceived Mr. Thorndale's intentions, and not, as it was in poor Laura's case, an unavowed ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... might well develop into a typical pathological swindler. He came of a family of five brothers and sisters, one of whom was incarcerated for a year on account of stealing. One sister was noted for her tendency to prevarication. Several of them were remarkably unstable, at least early in life. All of them are said to have learned very unwillingly in school. One brother of the ...
— Pathology of Lying, Etc. • William and Mary Healy

... ascends the throne. The Church of England's glory, Another face of things was seen, And I became a Tory: Occasional conformists base, I damn'd their moderation, And thought the church in danger was By such prevarication, And this ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 482, March 26, 1831 • Various

... "Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for Him?" severely asks the old prophet of those who thought to cheat for their own set, as though it were in the cause of religion; and no godly soul can accept as a grateful tribute the least prevarication, however disinterested or devoted in its behalf. Indeed, no smart antithesis has been so hurtful as the overstated distinction between black lies and white. They are of different species, but have no generic ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... prevarication," said Rupert; "your crimes are discovered. A policeman is stationed at the corner of the court. Though only a private detective myself, I will take the responsibility of telling you ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... us come, I say, to the morality of it. To break a solemn promise is a kind of prevarication; that is certain, there is no coming off of it; and I might enlarge here upon the first fault, namely, of making the promise, which, say the strict objectors, they should not do. But the tradesman's answer is this: ...
— The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.) • Daniel Defoe

... lies with as much alertness and as little thought of conscience as a blackbird chatters. It is difficult for people who have been trained from childhood in the school of verities,—who have been lectured for even the shadow of a prevarication, and shut up in disgrace for a lie, till truth becomes a habit of their souls,—it is very difficult for people so educated to understand how to get on with those who never speak the truth except by mere accident, who assert ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... girl and the young borderer in private conversation, enabled him to effect his design with sufficient clearness. Faith heard him without betraying any of her ordinary waywardness, and answered with as little prevarication as the subject ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... individuals that they had cheated Mr. Young out of his nomination, turns out to be the mere phantom of a disordered imagination, instead of a logical deduction of truth, if the facts which have been urged in support of this charge, are the mere creatures of misrepresentation, prevarication and falsehood; this alone will settle the controversy, and fix the imputation, upon its unprincipled authors. The loop on which this absurd tale is made to hang, is the frail and feeble certificate of Ketcham, Gardner and Cowles. That I should be authorised to apply an ...
— A Review and Exposition, of the Falsehoods and Misrepresentations, of a Pamphlet Addressed to the Republicans of the County of Saratoga, Signed, "A Citizen" • An Elector

... murdered, only reserving Don Juan Serrano alive, in order to procure a supply of artillery and ammunition for his ransom. With these conditions the Spaniards would have willingly complied, but found so much prevarication and treachery in the conduct of the natives, and were so intimidated by the miserable fate of their companions, that they put to sea, leaving the unfortunate ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X • Robert Kerr

... delightful girl but you!" he broke in with a voice that, as he afterwards learned, struck Mrs. Rooth's ears in the garden with affright. "I simply hold you, under pain of being convicted of the grossest prevarication, to the strict sense of what ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... in short, they are ambulating humbugs, and the would-be respectables that wear 'em are a huge fraternity of "false pretenders." Don't trust 'em, reader; they are sure to do you! there's deceit in their straps, prevarication in their trousers, and connivance in their distended braces. We never met but one exception to the above rule—it was John Smith. Every reader has a friend of the name of John Smith—in confidence, that is the man. We would have sworn by him; in fact, we did swear by him, for ten long ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, July 24, 1841 • Various

... a pause when the younger man had finished. Dudley kept his eyes down, and traced a pattern on the table-cloth with a fork, while Max looked at him furtively. At last Dudley looked up quickly and asked, in a tone which admitted of no prevarication in the ...
— The Wharf by the Docks - A Novel • Florence Warden

... than that he, all the while that he was professing to be of the Church of England, expressing both zeal and affection to it, was yet secretly reconciled to the Church of Rome; thus mocking God, and deceiving the world with so gross a prevarication. And his not having the honesty or courage to own it at the last; his not shewing any sign of the least remorse for his ill-led life, or any tenderness either for his subjects in general, or for the queen and his servants; and his recommending only his mistresses and their children to his ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume III (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland I • Francis W. Halsey

... is expelled. When will Bernstorff's turn come? That it will come, indeed must come, is self-evident. The artist sees things too clearly as they are not to see also what they will be. He therefore skips the ignoble interlude of prevarication, quibble, and intrigue, and gives us Uncle Sam happy at last in his recovered simplicity. So we see him here, enjoying himself, as only a white man can, in a wholehearted spurning ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... calmest and clearest moods of his mind he was conscious that he had a deep vow unredeemed, and that an unburied corpse was calling to him out of the wilderness. Yet such was the consequence of his prevarication that he could not obey the call. It was now too late to require the assistance of Roger Malvin's friends in performing his long-deferred sepulture; and superstitious fears, of which none were more susceptible than the people of the outward settlements, forbade ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... your position; you lie as you would drink water. You lie to the people, lie to the Parliament, lie to the Crown, lie to your adversaries, lie to your friends. I know—some of you do not personally indulge in the general prevarication, but you tolerate it in your colleagues. Many of you shrink from assuming this on entering the seat of government, as, upon entering a mine, we put on a dirty dress to protect our own and, on coming out, lay it down joyfully. But can these, who are the best, call themselves faithful servants of ...
— The Saint • Antonio Fogazzaro

... woman in it were placed on a weighing machine, and thus it was ascertained that she regularly lost weight daily. At the expiration of the ninth day of this strict watching, Dr. Fox found her evidently sinking and told her she would soon die unless she took food. After a little prevarication, the woman signed a written confession that she was an impostor, and had "occasionally taken sustenance for the last six years." She also stated that during the first watch of three weeks her daughter had contrived, when washing her face, to feed her every morning, ...
— Fasting Girls - Their Physiology and Pathology • William Alexander Hammond

... so much," said Mr. Romaine, "if you call it prevarication. The order in question emanated from the Count himself. He does not ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... for Joshua Peck, and examined him on oath, and after much prevarication, he gave nearly the same account how the business was to be conducted as the others had done, except as to the manner how the officers were to be made prisoners, which was, "that after "they had secured me, they were to go to Mr. Dunavan's house at "the entrance of the vale, ...
— An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island • John Hunter

... confessed that Cobham had mentioned the plot to him, though nothing would induce him to admit that he had asked Cobham for a sum of money, or consented to take any active part. Still this was enough; and in the face of his unfortunate prevarication about the interview with Renzi, the jury could hardly act otherwise. For a summing up of both sides of the vexed question what shadow of truth there was in the general accusation, the reader may be recommended ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... all kind of precaution to defeat the motion; and succeeded—if it can be called success to have quashed the demand, and thereby confirmed the suspicions. After several councils, it was determined, that all the cabinet councillors should severally declare the insufficience and prevarication of Fawcett's evidence: they did, and the motion Was rejected by 122 to 5.(371) If one was prejudiced by classic notions of the wisdom and integrity of a senate, that debate would have cured them. The flattery to ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... you are kind enough to inquire—beat her for her utter untrustworthiness and mean prevarication. I said I would, if ...
— The Black Cat - A Play in Three Acts • John Todhunter

... I should know the secrets of another woman's soul?" she replied, with unhesitating prevarication. "There she is. Go and ask her, and take my best wishes with you. Now I am going to talk to my affinity ...
— The Mummy and Miss Nitocris - A Phantasy of the Fourth Dimension • George Griffith

... said the doctor—"I hope you will never disguise it to any one, especially to me. Any prevarication, I promise you, will forfeit ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... see the roses," says Mrs. Steele, calmly ignoring the wretch's prevarication, for I know to the first question he said "Yes." With my nose in the air I follow the rest into the rose garden of the hospital, where all is so lovely I quite forget ...
— Under the Southern Cross • Elizabeth Robins



Words linked to "Prevarication" :   story, fib, whopper, falsity, white lie, falsehood, untruth, equivocalness, untruthfulness, falsification, lie, fabrication, tale, tarradiddle



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