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Knavery

noun
(pl. knaveries)
1.
Lack of honesty; acts of lying or cheating or stealing.  Synonym: dishonesty.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Knavery" Quotes from Famous Books



... rookery near Saint Giles's and the desperate neighbourhood of Saffron Hill in our own time. And yet, on the very site of the sordid tenements and squalid courts we have mentioned, where the felon openly made his dwelling, and the fraudulent debtor laughed the object of his knavery to scorn—on this spot, not two centuries ago, stood the princely residence of Charles Brandon, the chivalrous Duke of Suffolk, whose stout heart was a well of honour, and whose memory breathes of loyalty ...
— Jack Sheppard - A Romance • William Harrison Ainsworth

... volume was published in London, the work of Reginald Scott, a learned English gentleman, whose title sufficiently indicates its import, "The Discovery of Witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notably detected; the knavery of conjurers, the impiety of inchanters, the folly of soothsayers, the impudent falsehood of cozeners, the infidelity of atheists, the pestilent practices of pythonists, the curiosities of figure-casters, the vanity of dreamers, the beggarly art of alcumstrie, the ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... the person. How is it to penetrate within? The necessary conditions will be fulfilled when mechanical rigidity no longer requires for its manifestation a stumbling-block which either the hazard of circumstance or human knavery has set in its way, but extracts by natural processes, from its own store, an inexhaustible series of opportunities for externally revealing its presence. Suppose, then, we imagine a mind always thinking of what it has ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

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

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

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

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

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

... and the guilt they were conscious of themselves, made them watch all opportunities to make themselves gracious to those who could do them good; and so they became spies upon their master, and from one piece of knavery were hardened and confirmed to undertake another, till at last they had no hope of preservation but by the ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume III (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland I • Francis W. Halsey

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

... asunder; The faking-boy ne'er spoke again, For they pulled his legs from under. And there he dangles on the tree, That sort of love and bravery! Oh, that such men should victims be Of law, and law's vile knavery. ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

... she loved him, was most utter folly. Also, for a penniless youth to sue a lady with a fortune, even though it was (the Brithwoods took care to publish the fact) smaller than was at first supposed—would, in the eye of the world's honour, be not very much unlike knavery. ...
— John Halifax, Gentleman • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... height, and when neither could decidedly pronounce themselves conquerors, the Big-knives arrived in Canada, and a war commenced between them and the confederated Iroquois. Thus placed between two fires, and in danger of being exterminated, they resorted to their old cunning and knavery. They sent a deputation of their principal warriors, with the sacred calumet (1) and the belt of peace, to the sons of their grandfather. But they appeared not to wish for peace, but to be guided by wisdom and compassion alone, and to be fearful only of being considered ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... who managed this low trafficking. Indeed, for the rubbing together of more doubloons in his money-bags I think that La Chesnaye's servile nature would have bargained to send souls in job lots blindfold over the gangplank. But, as La Chesnaye said when Pierre Radisson remonstrated against the knavery, the gin was ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... that I am chastising is my servant, employed by me to watch a flock of sheep that I have hard by, and he is so careless that I lose one every day, and when I punish him for his carelessness and knavery he says I do it out of niggardliness, to escape paying him the wages I owe him, and before God, and on my ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... dollars per annum. Nor can this be prevented; for every new check is only a transfer of power from intelligent to ignorant hands; and ignorance, however honest, is a more expensive manager and easier victim than knavery. There is but one remedy. Make it for men's interest to reduce the expenses of operating to a minimum. Make it for their interest to do so, by allowing them to share in the profits, and then the question is solved, and you have a thousand vigilant ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... full of ghosts, or that he can make a corpse talk. It is at all events a good sign that poets and novelists could reckon on popular applause in holding up this class of men to ridicule. Bandello not only treats this sorcery of a Lombard monk as a miserable, and in its consequences terrible, piece of knavery, but he also describes with unaffected indignation the disasters which never cease to pursue the credulous fool. 'A man hopes with "Solomon's Key' and other magical books to find the treasures hidden in the bosom of the earth, to force his lady to do his will, to find out the secret of princes, ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... has come to be considered the type of roguery in general; and now, just as all the political squibs were made to come of old from the lips of Pasquin, all the reflections on the prevailing cant, knavery, quackery, humbug, are put into the mouth of ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... inflexibility have been relaxed, and he has made popular speeches wherever he has gone. I hope good fruits will ensue. But he returns to find the people here almost in a state of starvation in the midst of plenty, brought on by the knavery or ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... presently interpreted these words to the others, Jost Tetzel, Ursula's father, declared them to be sheer lies and knavery; even Uncle Conrad deemed them of little worth; and for this reason: that if the lad had indeed been the son of some grand Emir of Egypt the bear-leader would for certain have made profit of him by ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... the time, one week ago to-night; the occasion, the playing of a game of cards between young Beresford and yourself in which you were the winner—by what knavery you best know—the stakes so heavy that, on perceiving that he had lost, the young man cried out that he was ruined, and in his mad despair attempted self-destruction. It is quite possible that you may not have ...
— Elsie's Girlhood • Martha Finley

... something practical, is a fitful and fantastic and extravagant thing. How poorly prepared are that young man and woman for the duties of to-day who spent last night wading through brilliant passages descriptive of magnificent knavery and wickedness! The man will be looking all day long for his heroine in the tin-shop, by the forge or in the factory, in the counting-room, and he will not find her, and he will be dissatisfied. A man who gives himself ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

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

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

... there's none can tell like thee Whether 'tis folly, pride, or knavery That makes this discontented land appear Less happy now in times of peace than war? Why civil feuds disturb the nation more Than all our bloody wars have done before? Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place, And men are always honest in disgrace; The court preferments make men knaves ...
— English Satires • Various

... of some favourite Project, or curse his Stars for missing the lucky Moment of buying as he intended at the Rise of the South-Sea. Another complains of the Roguery of some Broker or Director, whom he intrusted; this I have heard canvass'd over and over, with so many Aggravations of Meanness and Knavery against each other, that, I confess, I shall never see a poor Malefactor go to suffer Death for robbing another of ten Pounds upon the High-Way, but I shall look with Compassion on his Condition, and perhaps reflect secretly upon the Partiality of publick ...
— The Theater (1720) • Sir John Falstaffe

... men, and they looked at him. The two men in the runabout resembled each other, and were evidently brothers. Carroll's eyes on the men were sharp, so were theirs on him. Carroll's eyes were looking for knavery, and the men's were looking for ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... not refuse to pity her. The misfortunes of her sickness had exposed her to temptations far beyond the strength of an ordinary woman; and the guilt which she passionately claimed for herself rested far more truly with the knavery of the Christ Church monks and the incredible folly of Archbishop Warham.[207] But the times were too stern to admit of nice distinctions. No immediate sentence was pronounced, but it was thought desirable for the satisfaction of the people that a confession should ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

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

... Sir Bruin, "let me alone with Reynard; I am not such a truant in discretion to become a mock to his knavery;" and thus, full of ...
— The Comical Creatures from Wurtemberg - Second Edition • Unknown

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

... and she dearly liked praise from Tom; but on this occasion it failed to soothe her. She said curtly, "I suppose it's not paid for. If we can't afford much, we can afford to live at our own expense, and not on the knavery or the forbearance of tradesmen." With which she threw the locket into a box of odds and ends, and turned the key ...
— A Great Emergency and Other Tales - A Great Emergency; A Very Ill-Tempered Family; Our Field; Madam Liberality • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... (the first article, as yet without a continuation) by the same man (of Jesus College?) on whose article in the "Ecclesiastic" on Hippolytus' book I have thrown some degree of light? The leading thought is exactly the same in both; the account of Calixtus' knavery is interpolated (by Novatianus), says the writer in the "Chronicle." This is a proof that nothing can be said against my argument requiring a serious answer. Gladstone felt ashamed of the review. It has ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... Salmael and Malchidael, the guardian angels of England. Among his works are his autobiography, and his "Observations on the Life and Death of Charles, late King of England." The rest of his effusions are pretentious, mystical, muddle-headed rubbish, half nonsense half knavery, as "The White King's Prophecy," "Supernatural Light," "The Starry Messenger," and "Annus Tenebrosus, or the Black Year." The rogue's starry mantle descended on his adopted son, a tailor, whom he named Merlin, junior. The credulity of the atheistical ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... overheard by some of our people, who reported it to me. I gave orders immediately that the Indians should be undeceived; upon which the right owners took possession of their canoe, and Potattow was so conscious of his guilt, that neither he nor his wife, who was privy to his knavery, could look us in the ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... French Republic. The peace, which rather deserves the name of a suspension of arms, or still more, the name of a prodigious act of credulity on the part of well-meaning John Bull, and an act of desperate knavery on the part of the First Consul and his accomplices, has lasted exactly one year and sixteen days,—England having occupied the time in disbanding her troops and dismantling her fleets; and France being not less busy in seizing on Italian provinces, strengthening her defences, and ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

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

... and supperstitious, possessed with fearfull tales, and alone in the dark, are subject to the like fancies, and believe they see spirits and dead mens Ghosts walking in Churchyards; whereas it is either their Fancy onely, or els the knavery of such persons, as make use of such superstitious feare, to pass disguised in the night, to places they would not ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

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

... granted they would have more to ask. Their faction is their religion; nor are those combinations ever entered into upon real and substantial motives of conscience, how erroneous so ever, but consist of many glutinous materials, of will, and humour, and folly, and knavery, and malice, and ambition, which make men cling inseparably together till they have satisfaction in all their pretences, or till they are absolutely broken and subdued, which may always be more easily done than the other." [Footnote: Ibid., ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... Should they come thick upon me: I'll prevent 'em. Give me a bowl of lusty wine, to fright This humour from my heart. [DRINKS.] Hum, hum, hum! 'Tis almost gone already; I shall conquer. Any device, now, of rare ingenious knavery, That would possess me with a violent laughter, Would make me up again. [DRINKS AGAIN.] So, so, so, so! This heat is life; 'tis ...
— Volpone; Or, The Fox • Ben Jonson

... unimagined abominations, but supplying him with those missing pieces of the puzzle for which he had long and vainly searched. During the brief colloquy between Galloway and the innkeeper his brain had been busy fitting together the whole intricate design of knavery. ...
— The Shrieking Pit • Arthur J. Rees

... to get the ex-teller "in bad" by sending the cheque so soon? It would, thought Nelson, be perfectly in harmony with the Banfield manager's knavery. Probably Henty had quit, suddenly; and, angered, Penton had sought revenge on Henty's old associate. However, there was no harm done, thought Evan; and he dismissed the matter from his mind—the cash ...
— A Canadian Bankclerk • J. P. Buschlen

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

... several streets, and several families lay all sick together; and, accordingly, in the weekly bill for the next week the thing began to show itself. There was indeed but fourteen set down of the plague, but this was all knavery and collusion, for in St Giles's parish they buried forty in all, whereof it was certain most of them died of the plague, though they were set down of other distempers; and though the number of all the burials were not increased above thirty-two, ...
— A Journal of the Plague Year • Daniel Defoe

... or the art of imposing on our fellow men. It is addressed to Bubb Dodington[127] as to an ambitious, obsequious, unscrupulous, and only partially successful courtier; and undertakes to show that, being (more or less) a knave, his conduct also proclaimed him a fool, and lost him the rewards of knavery. Mr. Browning does not concern himself with the moralities of the case; these, for the time being, are put out of court. He assumes, for the purposes of the discussion, that everyone is selfish and no one ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... it was the captive's own fault that he was taken. Frequently he was serving on a vessel of a power then at war with Algiers. The system of passes for the Mediterranean opened the way to a good deal of knavery; ships sailed under false colours, or, being themselves at war with Algiers, carried passes purchased from her allies. The Algerines were shy of contracting too many alliances, lest there should be no nation to prey upon, and we read of a ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... persisting in trying to make me suspect that they were writing things against me which they did not dare to say to me. That is the manifestation which they might make in case of any treachery or knavery on my part. They had little to answer to these arguments, but for all that they were not willing to regulate their conduct as they should, but to persevere in their theme. That would have obliged me to make the demonstration which the case demanded, had I not considered rather the service ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIII, 1629-30 • Various

... his employment of his superfluous time. Instead of giving way to the fooleries of fashionable life, the absurdities of galloping after hares and foxes, for months together, at Melton, or the patronage of those scenes of perpetual knavery which belong to the race-course, the Marquis has spent his vacations in making tours to the most remarkable parts of Europe. It is true that Englishmen are great travellers, and that our nobility are in the habit of wandering over the Continent. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... hoped he would; and having learned the cause of his grief, plunged into the stream and brought up a golden axe, inquiring if he had lost it. The Workman seized it greedily, and declared that truly it was the very same axe that he had lost. Mercury, displeased at his knavery, not only took away the golden axe, but refused to recover for him the axe he had thrown into ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

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

... slightest difference. But the good old times and usages are fast fading away. One scarcely every hears of a fair meeting now, and the use of those cowardly pistols, in place of the honourable and manly weapon of gentlemen, has introduced a deal of knavery into the practice of duelling, that ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... met with an innkeeper who exceeded in knavery all we had met with, either in France or Italy: for supper, we had a soupe maigre, a partridge and a chicken roasted, a plate of celery, a small cauliflower, two bottles of poor vin du Pays, and ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... tell you the truth, I shouldn't know how to go about it. Not everyone who wishes becomes a rascal in business. It's difficult enough for me to pursue commerce on the plain, honest track; knavery demands an expertness altogether beyond me. Wherefore, let us give thanks ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... in red armor was disgusted. "Oh, you tall squinting villain knight of the silver stallion, I wonder from whose court you can be coming, where they teach no better behavior than woman-killing, and I wonder what foul new knavery you can ...
— Figures of Earth • James Branch Cabell

... from the neighbouring ale-houses and cabarets, who deemed it a most fitting occasion to honour us with the most infernal yells and shouts, as indicating their love of justice, and delight in detecting knavery; and that we were both involved in such suspicion, we had not long to learn. Meanwhile the poor old maire, who had been an employe in the stormy days of the revolution, and also under Napoleon, and ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... hypocrites than sycophantic ones, for there are more rascals of no consequence than rich and distinguished ones, though they get fewer smiles each. The American people will be plundered as long as the American character is what it is; as long as it is tolerant of successful knavery; as long as American ingenuity draws an imaginary distinction between a man's public character and his private—his commercial and his personal In brief, the American people will be plundered as long as they deserve to be plundered. No human law can stop it, none ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... length, and Gammon agreed with him; but strange to say, with all his acuteness, never adverted to the real cause of Quirk's sudden and vehement exclamation. When Gammon told him of the manner in which he had opened Titmouse's eyes to the knavery of Tag-rag, and the expedient he had suggested for its complete demonstration to Titmouse, Quirk could have worshipped Gammon, and could not help rising and shaking him very energetically by the hand, much to his astonishment. ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

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

... Falstaff stands detected in a lie, Why, without meaning, rolls Love's[33] glassy eye? Why? There's no cause—at least no cause we know— It was the fashion twenty years ago. Fashion!—a word which knaves and fools may use, Their knavery and folly to excuse. To copy beauties, forfeits all pretence To fame—to copy faults, is want of sense. Yet (though in some particulars he fails, Some few particulars, where mode prevails) 460 If in these hallow'd times, when, sober, sad, ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... felt no inclination to part with so pleasant and so profitable a delusion: like his patron, Cromwell, whose early fanaticism subsided into hypocrisy, he carefully retained his folly as a cloak for his knavery. Of his success in deception, the present narrative exhibits abundant proofs. The number of his dupes was not confined to the vulgar and illiterate, but included individuals of real worth and learning, of hostile parties and sects, who courted ...
— William Lilly's History of His Life and Times - From the Year 1602 to 1681 • William Lilly

... mean? I must go to Lebadea, swaddle myself up in absurd linen, take a cake in my hand, and crawl through a narrow passage into a cave, before I could tell that you are a dead man, with nothing but knavery to differentiate you from the rest of us? Now, on your seer-ship, what is a Hero? I am sure I ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, ...
— Much Ado About Nothing • William Shakespeare [Knight edition]

... the more cause they should have stood like honest men. If a rogue be not to hang for deserting his captain and then maligning him, soon would knavery be master ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... wherein nature has placed this lord. There is something very fantastical in the distribution of civil power and capacity among men. The law certainly gives these persons into the ward and care of the Crown, because that is best able to protect them from injuries, and the impositions of craft and knavery; that the life of an idiot may not ruin the entail of a noble house, and his weakness may not frustrate the industry or capacity of the founder of his family. But when one of bright parts, as we say, with his eyes open, and all men's eyes upon him, destroys those purposes, there is ...
— The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 • George A. Aitken

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

... all, sir; the large sanctified hat, and the little precise band, with a swinging long spiritual cloak, to cover carnal knavery—not forgetting the black patch, which Tribulation Spintext wears, as I'm informed, upon one eye, as a penal mourning for the ogling offences of his youth; and some say, with that eye he first discovered the frailty ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... round, The cruel spoiler aim'd a shot, Cured her heart's wound, cured her heart's wound. She will not hear their helpless cry, Nor see them pine in slavery! The burning breast she will not bide, For wrongs of wanton knavery. ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

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

... rarely exercised broad humour the knavery of the Welsh Friar, Hugh ap David, should be noticed; his trick for winning a hundred marks from 'sweet St. Francis' receiver' is, perhaps, the best part of it. More worthy of remembrance is Joan, admirably chosen, for her innocence and gentleness, to stand in contrast to Queen ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

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

... appealed to evidences not to speculations; to usage, not to argument. They were in possession, and fought against change, not as inconsistent with a theory, but as hostility to an interest. In the contest of Caesar with the oligarchic knavery of Cicero, Cato, and Pompey, no possible exercise of representative functions (had the people possessed them) could have been applied beneficially to the settlement of the question at issue. Law, and the abuses of law, good statutes and evil customs, had equally thrown the public ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... everywhere for his probity; for many years he had been keeping the tavern, and no one either of the peasants or of the gentry had ever made complaint against him to his landlord. Of what should they complain? He had good drinks to choose from; he kept his accounts strictly, but without any knavery; he did not forbid merriment, but would not endure drunkenness. He was a great lover of entertainments; at his tavern marriages and christenings were celebrated; every Sunday he had musicians come from the village, including a bass viol ...
— Pan Tadeusz • Adam Mickiewicz

... pass them and proceed. You have heard of the sins of his youth, of his apprenticeship, and how he set up, and married, and what a life he hath led his wife; and now I will tell you some more of his pranks. He had the very knack for knavery; had he, as I said before, been bound to serve an apprenticeship to all these things, he could not have been more cunning, he could not have ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

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

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

... reached the tender age of two or thereby. It follows, of course, that Tottie's father—old Bones—is my uncle, alias Blackadder, alias the Brute, of whom I have also made mention, and who, it seems, came to London to try his fortune in knavery after havin' failed in the country. I saw him once, I believe, at old Blurt's bird-shop, but did not recognise 'im at the time, owin' to his hat bein' pulled well over his eyes, though I rather think he must have ...
— Post Haste • R.M. Ballantyne



Words linked to "Knavery" :   treachery, actus reus, perfidy, misconduct, wrongful conduct, treason, betrayal, trick, charlatanism, quackery, falsehood, wrongdoing, falsification



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