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Cant   /kænt/   Listen
Cant

verb
(past & past part. canted; pres. part. canting)
1.
Heel over.  Synonyms: cant over, pitch, slant, tilt.  "The ceiling is slanting"



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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... lily in Heb., derived by some from its six (shash) leaves, and by others from its vivid cheerful brightness. "His lips are lilies" (Cant. v. 13), not in ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... would one babble promiscuously on such awful themes; and to have the soul's sublime and eternal emotions, its sacred and unspoken communings, lugged out into farcical prominence by such conversational cant as that, is to dry up the very fountain of true religion, and put a premium on the successful grin ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... gallant man who sits him down before the baize and challenges all comers, his money against theirs, his fortune against theirs, is proscribed by your modern moral world. It is a conspiracy of the middle classes against gentlemen; it is only the shopkeeper cant which is to go down nowadays. I say that play was an institution of chivalry; it has been wrecked along with other ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

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

... leave one having such an exhortation as "Take heed that thou stumbleth not." Yet all this was done in an honest, and, as I believe, a secretly humorous spirit of a serious nature, for Gordon was as opposed to cant and idle protestations as any man. There is a strikingly characteristic story preserved somewhere of what he did when a hypocritical, canting humbug of a local religious secretary of some Society Fund or other paid a visit to a house while he was present. Gordon remained silent during ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume I • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... hypocrite; what then? If you have lived unrepenting, unforgiven, unchanged; if with your whole heart and habits you have departed from the living God, and not returned to him through the Mediator,—will all be atoned for and made up by the single fact that to all your other sins you did not add the cant of a hypocrite? It is true, a hypocrite is a loathsome creature; but his badness will not make a profane man good. When he is cast away for his hypocrisy, it will be no comfort to you as you keep him company that it is for open ungodliness, and not for lying pretensions to piety, that you are condemned. ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... been a revolt of labor it too often finds arrayed against it the press, the law, and the police. All the great powers are in entente. The press, without inquiry, begins a detestable cant about labor agitators misleading ignorant men. Every wild phrase uttered by an exasperated worker is quoted against the cause of labor, and its grievances are suppressed. We are told nothing about how the worker lives: what homes, what food, his wage will provide. The ...
— National Being - Some Thoughts on an Irish Polity • (A.E.)George William Russell

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

... and art—trade, commerce, manufactures, agriculture—and the amenities of society and manners, were allowed to develop themselves in their own way, without reference to rule and preconcerted dogmas. Hence the peculiarities which mark the institutions of America—their utter freedom from cant and the shows and pageantry of state. Bank, titles, and caste were abolished; and the enormous gulfs which separate the European man from the European lordling were bridged over by Equality with the solid ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... Chesterton, an attack on cant. It was a story written by Dickens to protest against all he hated in the nature of oppression. Dickens hated the vulgar cant that only helps to bring self-advertisement: the ethic that the poor must listen ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

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

... was denounced by the Prophets against Tyre and Sidon, Babylon, and Damascus, and Jerusalem, as a consequence of the sins of their people; but if fire now consumes or earthquake shatters or the tornado crushes a great city, those are scoffed at as fanatics and sneered at for indulging in cant, or rebuked for Pharisaic uncharitableness, who venture to believe and say that there are divine retributions and God's judgment in the ruin wrought by ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... of this favorite hymn-poem, had a peculiar genius for putting golden thoughts into common words, and making them sing. Probably no other sample of his work shows better than this his art of combining literary cleverness with the most reverent piety. Cant was a quality Faber never could put ...
— The Story of the Hymns and Tunes • Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth

... I want to have her with us when we get the little farm—and it must be near, that little farm of ours—we have waited for it so long—and something tells me my own old faker will make his hit soon and be great. You cant tell how I have loved it and hoped for it and how real every foot of that farm is to me. And though I can never see my own darling's face among the roses it will make me so happy to see this poor dead ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 1 • Various

... capital, industry, science, thought, and study have been at work, and everything has been done, thus far, which can be done to make the earth more gladsome, and the hearts of the children of men more thankful to the Giver and Bestower of all our blessings. Away, then, with this cant, prejudice, and sneering about 'book farming.' As well cry out against book geography, or book philosophy, or book history, or book law. Chemistry, botany, entomology, and pomology unite the results of ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... thoughts are all his own. The illiterate fellow has a language peculiar to himself; energetic but half unintelligible; compounded of a few fine phrases, and an inundation of proverbial wisdom and uncouth cant terms. Of the scanty number of polite words, which he has endeavoured to catch, he is very bountiful to Sir Arthur. 'That's noble! That's great your noble honour! Well, by my truly, that's an elegunt ideer! But I always said your honour had more nobler and elegunter ideers than any other noble ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... are dead may tell their children, perhaps, how, out of anguish and darkness such as the world seldom has borne, the enduring morning evolved of the true world and the true man. It is not clear to us. Hands wet with a brother's blood for the Right, a slavery of intolerance, the hackneyed cant of men, or the blood-thirstiness of women, utter no prophecy to us of the great To-Morrow of content and right that holds the world. Yet the To-Morrow is there; if God lives, it is there. The voice of the meek ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... DOOR. Now then, now then! Where are you shovin to? Whats up? Order in court. Chuck him out. Silence. You cant come in here. ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... performed the work of many, and the superfluous labourers were thrown out of employment. Yet it is to be observed, that the work thus executed was inferior in quality; not marketable at home, and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. It was called, in the cant of the trade, by the name of "Spider-work." The rejected workmen, in the blindness of their ignorance, instead of rejoicing at these improvements in arts so beneficial to mankind, conceived themselves to be sacrificed ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... Well, she cant see the doctor. Look here: whats the use of telling you that the doctor cant take any new patients, when the moment a knock comes to the door, in you bounce to ask ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma • George Bernard Shaw

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

... is, Society, which is founded on the family, is to-day giving only perfunctory and half-hearted attention to the family. The whole vocabulary of the institution has taken on such a quality of cant, that one almost hesitates to use the words "home" and "mother"! A girl's education should contain at least as much serious instruction on the relation of the family to Society as it does on the relation of the Carboniferous Age to the making of the globe. At present, it ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... to the baron, and expressed his desire to play no more. There was an immediate stir. All jumped up, and now the deed was done. Cant, in spite of their exhaustion, assumed her reign. They begged him to have his revenge,—were quite annoyed at the result,—had no doubt he would ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

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

... it seems a useless thing our goin' up to the oak. I know the Cap' sayed we were to wait for them under it. Why cant we just as well stay heer? 'Taint like they'll be long now. They wont dally a minute, I know, after they've clutched the shiners, an' I guess they got 'em most as soon as we'd secured these pair o' petticoats. Besides they'll come quicker ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... made of Mark Twain's natural leaning toward ministers of the gospel, and the explanation of it is easier to realize than to convey. He was hopelessly unorthodox—rankly rebellious as to creeds. Anything resembling cant or the curtailment of mental liberty roused only his resentment and irony. Yet something in his heart always warmed toward any laborer in the vineyard, and if we could put the explanation into a single sentence, perhaps ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... valued at $2,720,594, and the exports at $1,272,247. Bangor has various manufactures, the most important of which (other than those dependent upon lumber) are boots and shoes (including moccasins); among others are trunks, valises, saws, stoves, ranges and furnaces, edge tools and cant dogs, saw-mill machinery, brick, clothing, cigars, flour and dairy products. In 1905 the city's factory products were valued at $3,408,355. The municipality owns and operates the water-works (the water-supply being drawn from the Penobscot by the Holly system) ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... forces acting in favour of applying the Christian code of morality to subject races are capable of overcoming those moving in a somewhat opposite direction. We are inclined to think that our Teutonic veracity and gravity, our national conscientiousness, our British spirit of fair play, to use the cant phrase of the day, our free institutions, and our press—which, although it occasionally shows unpleasant symptoms of sinking beneath the yoke of special and not highly reputable interests, is still greatly superior in tone to that of any other nation—are ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... off the grasp of the policemen as though it had been a feather: with one great stride he reached the countess and caught her roughly by the wrist. "Look at her, will you?" he cried: "you and the likes of you, with your smooth cant, have killed her! You crush us and starve us till we turn, and then you shoot us down like ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... that tongue. "None seek the audience, fit, though few, which contented the ambition of Milton, and all writers for the press now measure their glory by their gains," and so indefinitely onward,—which is simply cant. Does Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., who honestly earns his annual five thousand dollars from the "New York Ledger," take rank as head of American literature by virtue of his salary? Because the profits of true literature are rising,—trivial as they still are beside ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

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

... beforehand what they were going to try: but were to be impressed by the magnifying agency of legal processes, and would be awe stricken accordingly. The passage, "inasmuch as it did not lie within my learned friend's province to tell you," is a delightful bit of cant. In short, the Jury was thus admitted to the secret legal arena, and into community with the learned friends themselves, and were persuaded that they were very sharp fellows indeed. What pleasant satire is here, on the mellifluous "openings" of Counsel, the putting a romantic ...
— Bardell v. Pickwick • Percy Fitzgerald

... to ignore the existence of class distinctions; though they do not perhaps operate over so large a segment of life as formerly, they still exist in ancient strength, notwithstanding the fashionable cant—lip-service only to democratic ideals—about the whole world kin. There is not one high wall, but two high walls between the classes and the masses, so-called, and that erected in self-defence by the exploited is the higher and more difficult to climb. On the one ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... knee breeches, an individual sans culotte, had occupied so honourable a position. The cry of sans culotte was taken up, and approved on the spot as the symbol of worthy citizenship. But the cant phrase that belongs most closely to the event of the 6th of October, was that whereby the Parisians declared triumphantly that they had now brought into their midst le boulanger, la boulangere, et le petit mitron,—the ...
— The French Revolution - A Short History • R. M. Johnston

... which were entered all the charges, of whatever nature, involving any serious tendency—in fact, all that exceeded a misdemeanor—in the regular chronological succession according to which they came before the magistrate. Here, in this vast calendar of guilt and misery, amidst the aliases or cant designations of ruffians, prostitutes, felons, stood the description, at full length, Christian and surnames all properly registered, of my Agnes—of her whose very name had always sounded to my ears like the very echo of mountain innocence, purity, and pastoral simplicity. Here in another column ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

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

... was not altogether unpardonable; few, indeed, would have even guessed that the appearance of utter neglect which surrounded the use of Cant and Slang in English song, ballad, or verse—its rich and racy character notwithstanding—was anything but of the surface. The chanson d'argot of France and the romance di germania of Spain, not to mention other forms of the MUSA PEDESTRIS had long held popular sway, ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

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

... words before we quit the subject. I have put in this chapter on fighting of malice prepense, partly because I want to give you a true picture of what everyday school life was in my time, and not a kid-glove and go-to-meeting-coat picture, and partly because of the cant and twaddle that's talked of boxing and fighting with fists nowadays. Even Thackeray has given in to it; and only a few weeks ago there was some rampant stuff in the Times on the subject, in an ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... also form a part of the college course. The religious atmosphere which surrounds the college is as genial and cheerful as the natural atmosphere which bathes the hills and valleys around in October days. It has no element of sectarianism or bigotry. Free alike from cant, from looseness and indifference, the religious tone of ...
— The New England Magazine Volume 1, No. 6, June, 1886, Bay State Monthly Volume 4, No. 6, June, 1886 • Various

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

... it may be that in his heart he believed it. Who, indeed, shall say that he was wrong? But what made such an excuse so disagreeable in his case was that he had not—intellectually speaking—the right to avail himself of it. The difference between truth and cant often lies only in the lips that give forth ...
— Demos • George Gissing

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

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

... life in God. To many readers this free outpouring of a God-loving soul will seem to approach too near to that abuse of religious phraseology which is a sign of superficial rather than of deep-seated piety. But, though through life a sworn enemy of every kind of cant, Bunsen never would surrender the privilege of speaking the language of a Christian, because that language had been profaned by the thoughtless repetition ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... the devil take such cant! Say, once and always, Luca was a wittol, I am his cut-throat, you are . ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... man who had conceived a violent eccentric prejudice against negroes; and he was not content with chiming in with the usual cant of the prejudice that they ought not to be allowed in our churches and in our rail-road-cars, but vociferated, that, if he had his way, they should not be allowed in Africa! The advantage of grit in this respect is in its annihilating ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 90, April, 1865 • Various

... one could do him so much good. The curate was just as confident and uncompromising in the discharge of his office as he was yielding and diffident when only himself was in question. He was so honest, and straightforward, and true—so free from rant or cant—so strong in his simple theology, that Guy soon trusted him implicitly when he spoke of the past and of the future that was so near. The repentance that was begun by Constance's dying bed was completed, I am sure, ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... Whosoever does these things, God's curse is on him, and his sin will surely find him out. No excuse of being in hot blood will avail him. No excuse of having fought well beforehand will avail him. Such cant will no more excuse him with God than it will with truly noble-minded men. He may have been brave enough before, but he is doing a coward's deed then; he is doing the devil's work, and the devil, ...
— True Words for Brave Men • Charles Kingsley

... infer from this extract that Roosevelt, as an historical critic, strove to preserve an open mind; as an ardent Republican, however, he never wavered in his support of the tariff. Even his sense of humor permitted him to swallow with out a smile the demagogue's cant about "infant industries," or the raising of the tariff after election by the Republicans who had promised to reduce it. To those of us who for many years regarded the tariff as the dividing line between the parties, ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... is offended by priestly hypocrisy and occult necromantic jugglery,—we, who perhaps in our innermost heart of hearts ardently desire to believe in a supreme Divinity and the grandly progressive Sublime Intention of the Universe, but who, discovering naught but ignoble Cant and Imposture everywhere, are incontinently thrown back on our own resources, . . hence it comes, I say, that we are satisfied to accept ourselves, each man in his own personality, as the Beginning and End of Existence, and to minister to that Absolute Self ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... to the past. And, unquestionably, there is great satisfaction to be derived from so doing; the mere effort seems at once to take us into another atmosphere,—an atmosphere as foreign to unctuous cant as it is to what is vulgarly known as "electioneering taffy." This evening we pass away from the noisy and heated turmoil of partisan politics, with its appeals to prejudice, passion, and material interest, into the ...
— "Imperialism" and "The Tracks of Our Forefathers" • Charles Francis Adams

... is direct to the feelings, could not induce him to tell a sympathetic lie. Would that the writers and speakers of plain English, and of their mother-tongue in every vernacular, might take example from the conscientious creator, who would not put a particle of cant into the crooked marks and ruled bars which are such a mystery to the uninitiated, blot with one demi-semi-quaver of falsehood his papers, or leave aught but truth of the heavenly sphere at a single point on any line! ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... breach of promise were assessed in advance and without respect of sex. Whichever side repented of the bargain undertook to pay ten pounds by way of compensation for the broken pledge. As a nation, Israel is practical and free from cant. Romance and moonshine are beautiful things, but behind the glittering veil are always the stern realities of things and the weaknesses of human nature. The high contracting parties were signing the document as Becky returned. The bridegroom, who halted a little on one ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... lovable personality. Those who came into contact with him day after day appreciated best his sterling qualities. He was kindly and considerate and nothing was too much trouble, and yet he had an intolerance of hypocrisy and cant that was almost violent. He was steadfast of purpose and there is nothing that shows this better than his lifelong work in plant breeding and the ruthless manner in which he rooted out his inferior seedlings ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 13th Annual Meeting - Rochester, N.Y. September, 7, 8 and 9, 1922 • Various

... also is such a sentence from the pen of one who, (as we have lately seen,) no sooner descends to particulars than he makes himself ridiculous by betraying his own excessive ignorance.... "The letter for the spirit," also! which is one of the 'cant' expressions of Mr. Jowett and his accomplices in 'free handling,'—based evidently on a misconception of the meaning of 2 Cor. iii. 6. The contrast recurs at pp. 36, 357, ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

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

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

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

... of other answers. If anybody were so far left to himself as to go with this question to some of our modern wise men and teachers, they would say, 'Saved? My good fellow, there is nothing to be saved from. Get rid of delusions, and clear your mind of cant and superstition.' Or they would say, 'Saved? Well, if you have gone wrong, do the best you can in the time to come.' Or if you went to some of our friends they would say, 'Come and be baptized, and receive ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... be glad, at last, to come to the conclusion that we would fain draw from all these descriptions—why does this immorality exist? Because the people MUST be amused, and have not been taught HOW; because the upper classes, frightened by stupid cant, or absorbed in material wants, have not as yet learned the refinement which only the cultivation of art can give; and when their intellects are uneducated, and their tastes are coarse, the tastes and amusements of ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

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

... spirit, which confined government to its simple duties, while it left opinion unfettered, was especially present in Julius Caesar himself. From cant of all kinds he was totally free. He was a friend of the people, but he indulged in no enthusiasm for liberty. He never dilated on the beauties of virtue, or complimented, as Cicero did, a Providence in which he did not believe. He was too sincere ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... the country in which it is spoken. In Spain it is called 'Germania'; in France, 'Argot'; in Germany, 'Rothwelsch,' or Red Italian; in Italy, 'Gergo'; whilst in England it is known by many names; for example, 'cant, slang, thieves' Latin,' etc. The most remarkable circumstance connected with the history of this jargon is, that in all the countries in which it is spoken, it has invariably, by the authors who have treated of it, and who are numerous, been confounded with the Gypsy language, and asserted ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

... necessaries of life. There were here many people of leisure and cultivation, fond of light and fanciful pursuits, and among others of forming verbal conceits. Hence, we find that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch, no doubt, derisively,[30] and in Julian's time they had a cant saying that they had suffered nothing from the X or the K (Christ or Constantius). A celebrated school of rhetoric was established here, and no doubt some of the effusions penned at this time, abounded with rich ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... the very way for the soul to turn itself from Jesus Christ, instead of turning to Him; for such a soul looks upon Christ rather to be a painted Saviour or a cypher than a very and real Saviour. Friend, if thou canst fit thyself, what need hast thou of Christ? If thou cant get qualifications to carry to Christ that thou mightst be accepted, thou dost not look to be accepted in the Beloved. Shall I tell thee? Thou art as if a man should say, I will make myself clean, and then I will go ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... read parts of "Patience Strong's Outings"—an ugly title, and a transcendental style, but beautiful in conception, and taken off the stilts, in execution. I do not like the cant of Unitarians any better than they like ours, but I like what is elevating in any sect. I have had a present of a lot of table-linen, towels, etc., for Dorset, and feel a good deal like a young housekeeper. I wonder how soon you go back to Northampton? How ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... What cant! What sickening cant! An appeal to love based on false pity. That's the way to inculcate a filthy pharisaic conceit into a child.—If the child ill-treats ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... wait and live on in the faith that right would win. They were eyes which challenged the nobler things in men and brought out the hidden largeness. They were humorous eyes that saw things in their true proportions and in their real relationships. They looked through cant and pretense and the great and little vanities of great and little men. They were the eyes of an unflinching courage and an unfaltering faith rising out of a sincere dependence upon the Master of the Universe. To believe in Lincoln is to learn to ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... school, with powdered head, side locks, and pigtail. His face is shaped like the stern of a Dutch man-of-war, narrow at top, and wide at bottom, with full rosy cheeks and a double chin; so, that, to use the cant of the day, his organs of eating may be said to ...
— Bracebridge Hall • Washington Irving

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

... didn't look for cant from you. I don't believe that God cares. Everything goes on by the almanac and natural law. The sun sets when the time comes, no matter who is belated. Girls that are sweet and loving and trusting, like Katy, have always been and will always be victims of rakish fools like ...
— The Mystery of Metropolisville • Edward Eggleston

... must go to a Dyeing man and i Mustnt Tell Who cause if my mother was Home I Wood and she wood say yes. She always helps dyeing folks and sick ones one the boys will go and he can ride Moses or prince Which he likes. I guess marty so i Cant right any more the paper is so littul and i ...
— Jessica, the Heiress • Evelyn Raymond

... out this morning we found it was blowing a bliz. so it was almost a case of having to remain in camp, but on second thoughts we thought it best to kick off as we cant afford to lay up on account of food, so thought it best to push on. I wonder if the Pole Party have experienced this. If so they could not travel as it would be in their face, where we have got it at our back. We have lost the ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... which was perhaps unrivaled. But the fingers can not express more than rests in the heart and brain to give to their skill, and Thalberg, with all his immense talent, seems to have lacked the divine spark of genius. It goes without saying, to those who are familiar with the current cant of criticism, that the word genius is often applied in a very loose and misleading manner. But, in all estimates of art and artists, where there are two clearly defined factors, imagination or formative power and technical dexterity, it would seem that ...
— Great Violinists And Pianists • George T. Ferris

... Poland when the final struggle should come. But I had seen enough of patriotic ruin. Besides," he went on, a little hastily, "I knew in my heart, even then, that art is greater than all other things.—That's not cant, Ivan Mikhailovitch! It's ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... or snuff in the eyes of the person intended to be robbed; also to invent some plausible tale, to delude shop-keepers and others, thereby to put them off their guard. CANT. ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... I have been strictly honest with myself, from first page to last. Whether everything I have written is the truth, I do not know. But at least I believe that it is—or I would not have written it. And I can solemnly say that the book is free from any cant, hypocrisy, falsehood, exaggeration or compromise, nor has any attempt been made in any chapter to conciliate the stupid, the ignorant, the pervert, or ...
— Woman - Her Sex and Love Life • William J. Robinson

... loathsome cant! Day-labourer, slave of toil and want! I hate thy babble vain and hollow. Thou art a worm, no child of day: Thy god is Profit—thou wouldst weigh By pounds the Belvidere Apollo. Gain—gain alone to thee is sweet. The marble is a god! ... what of it Thou count'st ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

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

... language to the majority:—"As to the greater part of the sect, it is, we apprehend, of little consequence what they study or under whom. It would be more amusing, to be sure, and more reputable, if they would take up the old republican cant and declaim about Brutus and Timoleon, the duty of killing tyrants and the blessedness of dying for liberty. But, on the whole, they might have chosen worse. They may as well be Utilitarians as jockeys or dandies. And, though quibbling about self-interest and motives, and objects of desire, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

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

... goin straight down; but I hope an trust, an what's more, I believe, I am taking a kine o' cant over ...
— Lost in the Fog • James De Mille

... one word of cant; he just wished me good luck, and told me to write to him whenever I felt that he could be of use to me. A less sensible man might have preached to me and talked about the "threshold of a career"; but, thank goodness, he knew what I wanted, and that if I had ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... the better sort. Edward S. Martin, in a grateful letter, said: "How gratifying it is to feel that we have a man among us who understands the rarity of the plain truth, and who delights to utter it, and has the gift of doing so without cant and with not ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... cant" of this remark, as the Cravens would have put it, brought a contemptuous look for an instant into the girl's face. She began to talk eagerly and cleverly, showing a very fair training in the catch words ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

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

... the same peace and the same pleasure in hugging the old proprieties. Hegel will be to the next generation what Sir William Hamilton was to the last. Nothing will have been disproved, but everything will have been abandoned. An honest man has spoken, and the cant of the genteel tradition has become harder for ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

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

... hourly dealt with by people whose time is money, they must be simplified, and treated much as a painter treats them, drawing them in squarely, seizing the more important features, and neglecting all that does not assert itself as too essential to be passed over—hence the slang and cant words of every profession, and indeed all language; for language at best is but a kind of "patter," the only way, it is true, in many cases, of expressing our ideas to one another, but still a very bad way, and not for one moment comparable ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... yet, though so freakish and dashing, You are not the slave of your fun, For there's nobody better at lashing The crimes and the cant of the Hun; Anyhow, I'd be proud as a peacock To have it inscribed on my tomb: "He followed the footsteps of LEACOCK ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, February 14, 1917 • Various

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

... oppressed nationalities and their sympathizers; that he was against "the tramplers"—Castlereagh, and the Duke of Wellington, and the Holy Alliance; that he stood for liberty. Another point in his favour was his freedom from cant, his indifference to the pieties and proprieties of the Britannic Muse; that he had the courage of his opinions. Doubtless in a time of trouble he was welcomed as the champion of revolt, but deeper reasons must be sought for an almost exclusive preference for the works ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 7. - Poetry • George Gordon Byron

... stop, stop. Let us have no more of that horrible cant. Mr Praed: if there are really only those two gospels in the world, we had better all kill ourselves; for the same taint is in both, ...
— Mrs. Warren's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

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

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

... purely sexual, stage of the young man of twenty-one. It was the period when "young Germany's" device was the emancipation of sensuality. Wagner himself says that his "conception was mainly directed against Puritan cant, and led to the bold glorification of unrestrained sensuality. I was determined to understand the grave Shakespearean subject only in this sense." And in his "Autobiographical Sketch" he says: "I learned to love matter." In addition to this Wagner gives us the following synopsis of a (lost) ...
— The Evolution of Love • Emil Lucka

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

... would say this, too: love is of the body; not the body, but of the body. Ah! the misery that would be saved if we confessed that! Ah! for a little directness to liberate the soul! Your soul, dear Lucy! I hate the word now, because of all the cant with which superstition has wrapped it round. But we have souls. I cannot say how they came nor whither they go, but we have them, and I see you ruining yours. I cannot bear it. It is again the darkness creeping in; it is hell." Then he checked himself. "What nonsense I have talked—how ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... Creator to revere Must sure become the creature; But still the preaching cant forbear, And ev'n the rigid feature: Yet ne'er with wits profane to range Be complaisance extended; An atheist-laugh's a ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... I have said, the slave spoke to the world. Such a message is naturally veiled and half articulate. Words and music have lost each other and new and cant phrases of a dimly understood theology have displaced the older sentiment. Once in a while we catch a strange word of an unknown tongue, as the "Mighty Myo," which figures as a river of death; more ...
— The Souls of Black Folk • W. E. B. Du Bois

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

... lamented as omissions. Of the laborious and mercantile part of the people, the diction is in a great measure casual and mutable; many of their terms are formed for some temporary or local convenience, and though current at certain times and places, are in others utterly unknown. This fugitive cant, which is always in a state of increase or decay, cannot be regarded as any part of the durable materials of a language, and therefore must be suffered to perish with other things ...
— Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language • Samuel Johnson

... year, with its wearisome woes; Its pleasures hoped for—never seen: Its swallow-winged friends: its fair-faced foes: Its sorrow which happiness might have been: Its cant and its cunning: its craft and crime: Its loves and its hates: its hopes and fears: Its lives that, reaching tow'rds heights sublime, Fell short of the mark in a sea ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... proportionate to its constant supply. Dear reader, you are very difficult to please. My descriptions you call slow, my imaginings frivolous, science dry. Jokes are feeble and personalities tedious morality is stale, religion is cant. What, how can I write? You have had a taste of all and if you are not content the fault is—well, let me be on the safe side—either yours ...
— Three Months of My Life • J. F. Foster

... here gives a minute and accurate description, took place on the 22d of July 1544, when Lord Gray's partizans were repulsed with a loss of upwards of sixty men.—(Adamson's Muses Threnodie, by Cant, pp. 70, 71, 112.) Lord Gray, in October that year, received from the Cardinal a grant of part of the lands of Rescobie in Forfarshire, for his "ready and faithful help and assistance in these dangerous ...
— The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) • John Knox

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

... as a very fine example of Borrow's style. That it undoubtedly is, but some critics were unsympathetic about pugilism, amongst them the late Rev. Whitwell Elwin, who, in the Quarterly Review (January-April, 1857), wrote: "Mr. Borrow's notions of what constitutes cant have not always been the same. In his 'Gypsies of Spain' he speaks of pugilistic combats as 'disgraceful and brutalizing exhibitions,' but in the Appendix to 'The Romany Rye' we find that he now considers such language to be cant. This is one of the cases ...
— Souvenir of the George Borrow Celebration - Norwich, July 5th, 1913 • James Hooper

... "Cant and hypocrisy is a fashion of theirs, if you like," she interrupted. "You are not going the right way about it if you wish me to pay any attention to ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

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



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