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Pretence   Listen
Pretence

noun
1.
A false or unsupportable quality.  Synonyms: pretense, pretension.
2.
An artful or simulated semblance.  Synonyms: guise, pretense, pretext.
3.
Pretending with intention to deceive.  Synonyms: dissembling, feigning, pretense.
4.
Imaginative intellectual play.  Synonyms: make-believe, pretense.
5.
The act of giving a false appearance.  Synonyms: feigning, pretending, pretense, simulation.



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"Pretence" Quotes from Famous Books



... know, dearest, that my ancestor, Barnim, the second of the name, was murdered, out of revenge, in this very spot by one of his vassals, named Vidante von Muckerwitze. For this aforesaid ancestor had sent him into Poland under some pretence, in order the better to accomplish his designs upon the beautiful Mirostava of Warborg, Vidante's young wife. But the warder of Vogelsang, a village about two miles from here, pleasantly situated on the river Haff, and close to which lay the said Vidante's castle, discovered the amour, and informed ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V1 • William Mienhold

... presented themselves; one house was never like the next, one hostess never resembled another; wealth itself was presented to her under innumerable aspects ranging all the way from that false modesty and smugness known as meekness, to fevered pretence, arrogance, ...
— Athalie • Robert W. Chambers

... with a pretence of bravery she was far from feeling. "We are going into this restaurant to get something to eat. Don't look as if you thought you were going to be eaten. It is rather horrid, but perhaps they will let us ...
— Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid • Amy D. V. Chalmers

... before the court. A remarkable and in my opinion praiseworthy feature of the case has been that the sanity of the prisoner has never been called into question; and, like the learned judge, the Court must dismiss as mischievous pretence the attitude of this young man who stands convicted of two brutal murders in cold blood. This case has, from beginning to end, exhibited no feature calling for sympathy; the evidence has on every point been conclusive, and on this evidence the jury have convicted the ...
— Night Must Fall • Williams, Emlyn

... colewort. But if we are to have our noses rubbed together in this course of flight, let us each dare to be ourselves like savages, and each swear that he will neither resent nor deprecate the other. I am a pretty bad fellow at bottom, and I find the pretence of virtues very irksome." ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to her that people wilfully complicated life. She put a just value on the restraint which had been a great part of her training, but a pretence which had the transparency of its weakness moved her to a patient kind of scorn, and in that moment she had a flash of insight which showed her that she had sometimes failed to understand her stepmother ...
— Moor Fires • E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

... unexampled indecency of a large proportion of the epigrams. The "candour" noted in him by Pliny is simply that of a sheet of paper which is indifferent to what is written upon it, fair or foul. He may claim the merit—nor is it an inconsiderable one—of being totally free from pretence. In one of the most graceful of his poems, he enumerates to a friend the things which make up a happy life: "Be yourself, and do not wish to be something else," is the line which sums up his counsel. To his own work he extends the same easy ...
— Latin Literature • J. W. Mackail

... two larger and more aristocratic members of the party required a box to themselves. The gazelle had a little tent pitched for him specially in a sheltered corner, and the birds were all stowed away and battened over in the smoking fiddle. Dinner was rather a lame pretence, and it was not long before we all retired, and certainly no one wished to take his or her mattress on deck to-night. It is the first night I have slept in a bed on board the yacht for many weeks, and a very disturbed night it ...
— A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' • Annie Allnut Brassey

... separation thrown a gloom over their spirit. It was St. Aubert's plan to proceed, on the morrow, to the borders of the Mediterranean, and travel along its shores into Languedoc; and Valancourt, since he was now nearly recovered, and had no longer a pretence for continuing with his new friends, resolved to leave them here. St. Aubert, who was much pleased with him, invited him to go further, but did not repeat the invitation, and Valancourt had resolution enough ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... all was ready for departure. La Chesnaye and the marquis had come back with the partridges that were to make pretence for our quick return to the Prince Rupert. Ben Gillam had disguised as a bush-runner, and the canoe lay ready to launch. Fools and children unconsciously do wise things by mistake, as you know; and 'twas such an unwitting act sprung M. Radisson's plans and let the prize ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... with a fair pretence of backing down, "there's no need of getting so hot about it. Of course I don't want to make ...
— His Lordship's Leopard - A Truthful Narration of Some Impossible Facts • David Dwight Wells

... credit for a genuine impulsiveness which seemed to him as pleasing as it was uncommon; and he had, with the moderation expected of a man in politics who hoped some day to assist in the government of the nation by accepting a junior lordship, admired her. But was it all pretence? Was she paying court to him merely to annoy her husband? Had her enthusiasm about the shooting of red-deer been prompted by a wish to attract a certain pair of eyes at the other side of the table? Lord Arthur began to sneer at himself for ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... spirit of doleful egotism, and at the recurrence of favourite phrases, with the double defect of being at once trite and licentious;—the second was on low creeping language and thoughts, under the pretence of simplicity; the third, the phrases of which were borrowed entirely from my own poems, on the indiscriminate use of elaborate and swelling language and imagery. The reader will find them in the note [7] below, ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... said, struck with the young fellow's freedom from all sort of pretence or assumption, "is the dress gentlemen wear of an evening at dinner parties or other gatherings. This is it," and he ...
— Facing Death - The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal Mines • G. A. Henty

... Those who would satisfy the national pride with something besides battle flags must give our people an objective as shining and splendid as war when it is most glittering, something Napoleonic, and with no outward pretence of excessive virtue. We want a substitute as dramatic internationally, yet world-winning, friend making. If America is to become the financial centre through no fault of her own, that fact must have a symbol other ...
— The Art Of The Moving Picture • Vachel Lindsay

... Nay, keep out, sir, I know not your pretence, you send me word, sir, you are a soldier, why, sir, you shall be answered here, here be them have been amongst soldiers. ...
— Every Man In His Humour • Ben Jonson

... stops her darning now and Kathleen makes no pretence of sewing; the story is fast approaching its climax,—everybody feels that, including Peter, who hopes that he will be in it, in some guise or other, ...
— Mother Carey's Chickens • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... breaking it to her, the sooner you let the world into the secret the better. The disclosure may be mortifying; but then it is a single misery, and soon over: whereas you otherwise suffer it, in anticipation, every hour in the day. It is not poverty, so much as pretence, that harasses a ruined man—the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse-the keeping up a hollow show that must soon come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting." ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... before administering them. The overseer must record in the prescription book every dose of medicine administered." Weston said he would never grudge a doctor's bill, however large; but he was anxious to prevent idleness under pretence of illness. "Nothing," said he, "is so subversive of discipline, or so unjust, as to allow people to sham, for this causes the well-disposed to do ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... the advent of the inkosi-casa, or chieftainess, and the piccaninnies and their following, especially the "vaiter," whom he detests. In his way, Charlie is a wag, and it is as good as a play to see his pretence of stupidity when the "vaiter" or French butler desires him to go and eat "sa paniche." Charlie understands perfectly that he is told to go and get his breakfast of mealy porridge, but he won't admit that it is to be called "paniche," preferring his own word "scoff;" ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... hands and clinching of teeth. Why they snapped and closed and clinched is uncertain. To follow their operations is impossible for an outsider, but Mr Lawson always succeeds in convincing you that on the pretence of money-making he is attacking some lofty enterprise. He would persuade you that he is a knight-errant of purity. "Tremendous issues" are always at stake. The heroes of Wall Street are engaged in never-ending "battles." They are "fighting" for causes, the splendour of which ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley

... later period had a most exalted conception of what a man should be, and they respected themselves as exemplifiers of their ideals, but they were always ready to accord to others the same reverence they paid themselves. The change that had taken place is shown in the lack of pretence and self-assertion in judges, councillors, in college presidents and other dignitaries. Thomas Nelson Page, in speaking of the fully developed Virginia gentleman, says, "There was the foundation of a certain pride, based on self-respect and ...
— Patrician and Plebeian - Or The Origin and Development of the Social Classes of the Old Dominion • Thomas J. Wertenbaker

... see your Aneouta, but you may, if she will consent, carry her away from those who keep her from you. You shall disguise yourself as a gipsy, and, accompanied by one of the young women of the tribe, you will easily gain access to her, under the pretence of telling fortunes. If you can persuade her to fly from her persecutors, we will protect her. No one will suspect that you have gone to the house for any other purpose than collecting a few kopecks, or stealing chickens, perhaps; ...
— Fred Markham in Russia - The Boy Travellers in the Land of the Czar • W. H. G. Kingston

... considerable sum of money, rendered totally insolvent. He absconded, of course—not empty-handed, if it be true, as stated in an advertisement for his apprehension, that he had in his possession sums to the amount of L1000 sterling, obtained from several noblemen and gentlemen under pretence of purchasing cows for them in the Highlands. This advertisement appeared in June 1712, and was several times repeated. It fixes the period when Rob Roy exchanged his commercial adventures for speculations of a very ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... refurbished them if necessary with disinterested conscientiousness. Sometimes her caustic comment, as she did so, would have startled the complacency of the erstwhile wearers of the garments. Her knowledge of the stage, its artifices, its pretence, its narrowness, its shams, was widening and deepening. No critic in bone-rimmed glasses and evening clothes was more scathingly severe than she. She sewed on satin. She mended fine lace. She polished stage jewels. And waited. She knew that one day ...
— Cheerful—By Request • Edna Ferber

... said abbot now of late, when he could not be suffered to give general orders, weekly for the most part doth give orders by pretence of dispensation; and by that colour he promoteth them to orders by two and three, and takes much money of them, both for their orders and for to purchase their dispensations after the time he hath promoted them ...
— Froude's Essays in Literature and History - With Introduction by Hilaire Belloc • James Froude

... force to do so. Fields in these districts were everywhere laid waste or left uncultivated. Enormous sums were exacted as indemnity. In many of the villages peasants previously well-to-do were ruined. There seemed no limit to the bleeding of the "common man," under the pretence of compensation for damage ...
— German Culture Past and Present • Ernest Belfort Bax

... which gives full leisure to the court hangers on to see and discourse with them in detail, and the astonished members of the convention the moment they arrive were thus assailed on all hands with a universal cry of Young, Young, Young for the candidate. No scheme was left untried, no pretence neglected, no argument overlooked, no path unexplored to entrap, to drive, to persuade and to lead the convention contrary to their old established practice, to nominate Mr. Young a third time as a candidate. Still despairing of success, Thompson and his ...
— 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

... was greatly deceived. His fate was sealed. A conspiracy was formed against him. He suspected foul play, because his former associates did not come forward and bail him. His removal to the hospital was only a pretence set up by them, that might give more time to carry out their treacherous designs. He was a prisoner, and they were determined to make him such the remainder of his life. He had his friends, however, warmhearted, and true. He was almost worshipped by the poorer members of the brotherhood. ...
— Secret Band of Brothers • Jonathan Harrington Green

... that you may observe in a man's appearance, manner, and surroundings, and also taking for granted that his motives for action are bad. I do not mean to say that my young friend considers me grotesque or dishonest, but his idea of humour is to make a pretence of thinking so. He would be distressed if he thought that he had given me pain; his intention is to diffuse a genial good-humour into the scene; and if he were bantered in the same way, he would take it as an evidence of ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... lading of such ships, and the true value of the same, as near as you judge. And we do hereby strictly charge and command you, as you will answer the contrary at your peril, that you do not, in any manner, offend or molest our friends or allies, their ships or subjects, by colour or pretence of these presents, or the authority thereby granted. In witness whereof, we have caused our great seal of England to be affixed to these presents. Given at our court in Kensington, the 26th day of January, 1695, in the 7th ...
— The Pirates Own Book • Charles Ellms

... wasn't too tired for that. But he had given up all that sort of thing. It brought only vexation and trouble. Besides, he had told everybody that he did not think it worth his while to waste his time on such things and perhaps catch his death to boot. The Lord knew that was mere pretence. Eighty crowns for a beautiful, dark brown fox skin was a tidy sum! But a man had to think up something to say for himself, the way they all harped on fox-hunting: Bjarni of Fell caught a white vixen night before last, or Einar of Brekka caught ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... O'Connor was captured by his English allies, and would have been sacrificed to their vengeance on some pretence, had not Earl Marshal rescued him by force of arms. He escorted him out of the court, and brought him safely to Connaught; but his son and daughter remained in the hands of the English. Hugh soon found an opportunity of retaliating. ...
— An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 • Mary Frances Cusack

... great Messiah sent to save the world, He, seeking for a sign—not for himself, But to show proof to all that he was God Conceived this plan, rash if you will, but grand. "Thinking him man," he said, "mere mortal man, They seek to seize him—I will make pretence To take the public bribe and point him out, And they shall go, all armed with swords and staves, Strong with the power of law, to seize on him— And at their touch he, God himself, shall stand Revealed before them, and their swords drop, And ...
— A Roman Lawyer in Jerusalem - First Century • W. W. Story

... responsible government, declares that as God is the only ruler of princes, princes cannot be accountable to the people; and perdition is the lot of all rebels, agitators of sedition, demagogues, who work under the pretence of reforming the State. All the troubles of the country are due to parliaments constantly demanding more power and thereby endangering the supremacy of the mother country. The Banner is astonished by the unblushing avowal of these doctrines, which had not been so ...
— George Brown • John Lewis

... determination may be to the interests of the shareholders of Waterloo, Vauxhall, and Southwark Bridges, Sir PETER has resolved that no man—not even in the suicidal season of November—shall drown, hang, or otherwise destroy himself, under any pretence soever! Sir PETER, with a very proper admiration of the pleasures of life, philosophises with a full stomach on the ignorance and wickedness of empty-bellied humanity; and Mr. HOBLER—albeit in the present case the word is not reported—doubtless ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... later Caroline and her husband are still at Goettingen, and still celebrating their marriage. At one house, under pretence of the heat, the bride was led into the garden, and beheld there an illuminated motto: "Happy the man who has a virtuous wife: his life will be doubly long." Another friend arrayed her son as Hymen, and taught him to strew flowers in Caroline's path, leading her thus to an arbour where there was ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... counter-revolutionary element existed. One single truth was forgotten,—that these Southern friends of the Union, even while avowing that slavery must be supported, had no love of it in their hearts. Emancipation has been sedulously set aside under pretence of conciliating them; but it was needless,—'old custom' had made them cautious, and mindful of 'expediency;' but the mass of them hate 'the institution.' It is for the traitorous Northern dough-faces, and the paltry handful of secessionists, 'on ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... Under pretence of hunting, he left the court, and succeeded in getting an old sailor to row him to the rock. Twilight was brooding over the valley of the Rhine when the boat approached the gigantic cliff; the departing sun had long sunk below the mountains, and now ...
— Legends of the Rhine • Wilhelm Ruland

... Clare election, and argues calmly, as the agitators had been arguing for nearly thirty years, that no settlement was practicable short of complete, though not unconditional, surrender. There is no pretence of consistency. All the constitutional, political, and religious objections to civil equality between protestants and catholics in Ireland remained unanswered and unabated. Indeed the increasing power and defiant tone of the catholic demagogues might well have appeared a crowning reason for refusing ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... while her brother was with Genji, to a private chamber of Chiujio, her companion, in the rear of the main building, under the pretence that her own room was too near that of the Prince, besides she was indisposed and required "Tataki,"[49] which she desired to have done in a retired part of ...
— Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan • Various

... been forced to observe concerning his partner's fireside wretchedness during his few years of married life, he had learned to fear and to hate her. With his quick temper and honest way he made no pretence of hiding his feeling—declined her invitations—cut her openly in society—and said why. When his partner died, not killed indeed but broken-spirited, he spoke his mind on the subject more publicly and ...
— The Mettle of the Pasture • James Lane Allen

... that the lingering longings of the Commissioners, who had been driven forth of their proposed paradise of Woodstock, not by a cherub indeed, but, as they thought, by spirits of another sort, still detained them in the vicinity. They had, indeed, left the little borough under pretence of indifferent accommodation. The more palpable reasons were, that they entertained some resentment against Everard, as the means of their disappointment, and had no mind to reside where their proceedings could be overlooked ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... quite as evident that the veriest daub, if its subject be attractive, is enjoyed no less thoroughly. There are prigs of course, the children of the "prignorant," who babble of Botticelli, and profess to disdain any picture not conceived with "high art" mannerism. Yet even these will forget their pretence, and roar over a Comic Cuts found on the seat of a railway carriage, or stand delighted before some unspeakable poster of a melodrama. It is well to face the plain fact that the most popular illustrated books which please the ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... you think of that innocent pair, who made it their pretence to seek for others, but came, ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) - Almanzor And Almahide, Marriage-a-la-Mode, The Assignation • John Dryden

... Quirk—but you really misunderstand me; I was laughing only at the absurd inconsistency of the fellow: he's a most transparent little fool, and takes us for such. Go abroad! Ridiculous pretence!—In his precious postscript he undoes all—he says he is only often thinking of going—- pshaw!—That the wretch is in great distress, is very probable; but it must go hard with him before he either commits suicide or goes abroad, I warrant him: I've no fears on that ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... serve your lordship in this, or in some becoming capacity, than any other minister. They who confided to my management affairs of a higher nature have found me exact as well as secret. My impenetrable negociation at Vienna (hid under the pretence of curiosity) was not only applauded by the prince that employed me, but also proportionably rewarded. And here, my lord, give me leave to say that I have found England miserably served abroad since this change; and our ministers at home ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... not of what we ponder'd Or made pretence to talk, As, her hand within mine, we wander'd Tow'rd the pool by the limetree walk, While the dew fell in showers from the passion flowers And the blush-rose bent on ...
— A Nonsense Anthology • Collected by Carolyn Wells

... my wishes entirely, and under the pretence of going to look at something on the Carnarvon road we managed to escape from the party, Sinfi still carrying her crwth and bow. She then led the way up a slope green with grass and moss. We did not talk till we had passed ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... light. Ephraim Phillips talked horses with Sam Levine, and old Hyams quarrelled with Malka over the disposal of the fifteen shillings. Knowing that Hyams was poor, Malka refused to take back the money retendered by him under pretence of a gift to the child. The Cohen, however, was a proud man, and under the eye of Miriam a firm one. Ultimately it was agreed the money should be expended on a Missheberach, for the infant's welfare and the synagogue's. Birds of a feather flock together, and Miriam ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... about it. True it is that in many or most cases we have got so used to this ornament, that we look upon it as if it had grown of itself, and note it no more than the mosses on the dry sticks with which we light our fires. So much the worse! for there IS the decoration, or some pretence of it, and it has, or ought to have, a use and a meaning. For, and this is at the root of the whole matter, everything made by man's hands has a form, which must be either beautiful or ugly; beautiful if it is in accord ...
— Hopes and Fears for Art • William Morris

... suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he. ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... then came and placed herself at the table at which they were eating. Soft and fond glances were interchanged; and, before they had finished their meal, each had as good as said "I love." When they had done eating, the old man and woman arose, and under some pretence or other left the room, carrying with them the whole brood of odd and beast-like creatures. So the Nanticoke was left alone with the beautiful little maiden, to press her soft little hand, and to say in her ears those affectionate things which are always ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... very hard, sitting in his arbour, on the wooden seat which gave a view over the whole coast, with its mountains whose feet were promontories. Half amused, half alarmed lest the pretence were sin, he tried to put himself in Vanno's place; and so doing it was borne in upon his mind that something of importance must have happened between the Prince and Miss Grant. She had been gambling all the ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... in my mind before I spoke again. Then interest and attraction overcame my hesitation, and I abandoned all pretence of making a chance conversation. "Father," I said, "I expect you have travelled a good deal up there and seen many things. Tell me a little about it all. I've seen enough to be very interested in your experiences. May I pull up a chair ...
— The Priest's Tale - Pere Etienne - From "The New Decameron", Volume III. • Robert Keable

... men. Very well, then let us see how good men could tell so many things which they knew were not true, and suffer and die in attestation of what they knew to be false. You will see the danger of supposing that honest men can bear testimony to falsehood under the pretence of doing good, as this would destroy all testimony at once; even your own cannot be relied on after you maintain this abominable principle, which has been practised a wicked ...
— A Series of Letters In Defence of Divine Revelation • Hosea Ballou

... thinking this? If so, he must now know the truth, if the Parsons were right, those unconvincing very-human Parsons of like passions, and pretence of unlike passions. Could his friend be dead, his friend whom he had so loved and admired? And yet he was a murderer—and he had ...
— Driftwood Spars - The Stories of a Man, a Boy, a Woman, and Certain Other People Who - Strangely Met Upon the Sea of Life • Percival Christopher Wren

... first swelter room of the new Osmanli Baths in Cork Street four or five recumbent individuals, in a state of moist nudity and self-respecting inertia, were smoking cigarettes or making occasional pretence of reading damp newspapers. A glass wall with a glass door shut them off from the yet more torrid regions of the further swelter chambers; another glass partition disclosed the dimly-lit vault where other patrons of the establishment ...
— When William Came • Saki

... whose love-making was on exactly the same line as his clothes, and having found out from the maid in the ladies' room just how to get to the end of the town in which was situated the Camel King's house, she waited for a desirable opportunity, and slipped out of the hotel on the pretence of looking at the stars, knowing that her unwitting hosts would think she had simply ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... taken than that they should swear that they would return. With these was sent Carthalo, a noble Carthaginian, who might propose terms, if perchance their minds were inclined towards peace. When they had gone out of the camp, one of their body, a man who had very little of the Roman character, under pretence of having forgotten something, returned to the camp, for the purpose of freeing himself from the obligation of his oath, and overtook his companions before night. When it was announced that they had arrived ...
— The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six • Titus Livius

... child on his arm, who in the first outbreak had lost father and mother, and now grandfather and grandmother, being thus twice through God's merciful blessing rescued from the hands of the Indians, before it was two years old. Nothing was now heard but murders, most of which were committed under pretence of coming to put the ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • Various

... contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread; he said, that was true: so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of their ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Of York, Mariner, Vol. 1 • Daniel Defoe

... greatly concerned, dear elderly folk, about Auriol. She and General Lackaday had been hand in glove for months. He evidently more than admired her. Auriol, said Sir Julius, in her don't-care-a-dam-for-anybody sort of way made no pretence of disguising her sentiments. Any fool could see she was in love with the man. And they had affiched themselves together all over the place. Other women could do it with impunity—if they didn't have an infatuated ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... shot his first grouse. We saw more antelope, and met a man with his wife and six children and five dogs and two cows and twelve chickens going east. He said he was tired of Nebraska, and was on his way to Illinois. At noon we stopped at Merriman, another railroad station. Jack got up and made a pretence of getting dinner, but he ate nothing himself, and really began to ...
— The Voyage of the Rattletrap • Hayden Carruth

... philosophy is quite of another nature; it is an art of living, and therefore must be admitted into every part of our conversation, into all our gay humors and our pleasures, to regulate and adjust them, to proportion the time, and keep them from excess; unless, perchance, upon the same scoffing pretence of gravity, they would banish temperance, justice, and moderation. It is true, were we to feast before a court, as those that entertained Orestes, and were silence enjoined by law, that might prove no mean cloak ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... all," said Mrs. Stantiloup. "The main spirit in the matter is just as manifest whether the lady is or is not allowed to look after the boys' linen. In fact, I despise him for making the pretence. Her doing menial work about the house would injure no one. It is her presence there,—the presence of a woman who has falsely pretended to be married, when she knew very well that she ...
— Dr. Wortle's School • Anthony Trollope

... incident to a small man in attempting to make for himself a career among big men? There had frequently been in the mind of this young man an idea that there was something almost false in his own position,—that his life was a pretence, and that he would ultimately be subject to that ruin which always comes, sooner or later, on things which are false; and now as he wandered alone about Lady Glencora's gardens, this feeling was very strong within his bosom, and robbed him altogether of the honour and glory ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... not attempt to sooth a Grief like mine. Why did you point me to the painful Sight? Why have you shown this Shipwreck of my Hopes, And plac'd me in this beating Storm of Woe? Why was I told of my Monelia's Fate? Why wa'n't the wretched Ruin all conceal'd Under some fair Pretence—That she had fled— Was made a Captive, or had chang'd her Love— Why wa'n't I left to guess her wretched End? Or have some slender Hope that she still liv'd? You've all been cruel; she died to torment me; To raise my Pain, and ...
— Ponteach - The Savages of America • Robert Rogers

... my intimacy with Boyce. The blind and lonely man craved it and claimed it. It would be an unmeaning pretence of modesty to under-estimate the value to him of my friendship. He was a man of intense feelings. Torture had closed his heart to the troops of friends that so distinguished a soldier might have had. He granted admittance ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... born and not made, so that it may fit a world which pretends to be a born Paradise populated by cynical angels who own allegiance to no god. In such a world art means, beauty means, the concealment of effort, the pretence that it does not exist; and that pretence is the end of art and beauty in all things made by man. There is a close connexion between the idea of life expressed in Aristotle's ideal man and the later Greek sculpture. ...
— Essays on Art • A. Clutton-Brock

... capable of assuming in turn the guise of Gurn, and of Etienne Rambert, and of the man of fashion at the Royal Palace Hotel: who has had the genius to devise and to accomplish such terrible crimes in incredible circumstances, and to combine audacity with skill, and a conception of evil with a pretence of respectability; who has been able to play the Proteus eluding all the efforts of the police;—this man, I say, ought not to be called Gurn! He is, and can be, no ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... stay with his feet on solid earth just as long as he could, and when the hounds were thrown off and the rest had started at a gallop he waited, under the pretence of adjusting his gaiters, until they were all well away. Then he clenched his teeth, crammed his hat down over his ears, and scrambled up on to the saddle. His feet fell quite by accident into the stirrups, and the next instant ...
— Van Bibber and Others • Richard Harding Davis

... be washed not only with water but with the Holy Spirit of all your fellows. To be baptized into Christ ought to mean to be regenerated in the Holy Spirit of all humanity; and no doubt in cases it does mean this, but too often unfortunately it has only amounted to a pretence of religious sanction given to the meanest and bitterest quarrels of the ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... believe that free labour, properly exercised, is cheaper than slave labour; but there is no pretence to say that it is so at this moment in our West India colonies; and we undertake to show, in an early number, in connexion with this fact, that the existence of the high protecting duties on our West India produce has done more ...
— The Economist - Volume 1, No. 3 • Various

... now. A sheet of old newspaper wrapped round a parcel—just a little chance like that—had given the secret to her. And she had to go down to tea and pretend that there was nothing the matter. The pretence was bravely made, but ...
— The Railway Children • E. Nesbit

... distance, in the islands which he visited in the South Pacific Ocean. Possibly, however, the presumption arising from this resemblance, that all these islands were peopled by the same nation, or tribe, may be resisted, under the plausible pretence, that customs very similar prevail amongst very distant people, without inferring any other common source, besides the general principles of human nature, the same in all ages, and every part of the globe. The reader, perhaps, will not think this pretence applicable to the matter before us, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 15 (of 18) • Robert Kerr

... the people should hold a meeting every six months to discuss questions involving the welfare of the colony. The boldness of these measures will scarcely be appreciated at the present day. The intendant Talon declined, on pretence of a slight illness, to be present at the meeting of the estates. He knew too well the temper of the king, whose constant policy it was to destroy or paralyze every institution or custom that stood in the way of his autocracy. The despatches in which Frontenac ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... if what Juvenal only in ridicule mentions, was to be admitted as a thing really done, that the Cranes could fly away with a Pygmie, as our Kites can with a Chicken, there might be some pretence for Ludovicus's Condor or Cunctor: For he mentions afterwards[A] out of P. Joh. dos Santos the Portuguese, that 'twas observed that one of these Condors once flew away with an Ape, Chain, Clog and all, about ten or ...
— A Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients • Edward Tyson

... is the payment of the remainder of the money, the restitution of certain ships taken and kept without any colour or pretence, and the taking of arrests and seizures which were made in that kingdom against our subjects contrary to treaty, being of right and due. And that which is demanded of us concerning the places in Canada and those parts, and some few ships of that nation (French) which remained ...
— The Makers of Canada: Champlain • N. E. Dionne

... about,—had not the frontier settlements, just at that moment, been threatened with more than usual peril; and to have deserted his post at such a time would have given his accusers real grounds for the charges, which heretofore had been but a mere pretence. Before the immediate danger was past that kept him at his post, many of his warmest and most influential friends, residing in different parts of the province, had written to him, earnestly entreating ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... suspect they will not be accepted. In short, my dear sir, it is impossible for you to conceive what is passing in our conclave; and it is evident that one or two [meaning Hamilton and Knox] at least, under pretence of avoiding war on the one side, have no great antipathy to run foul of it on the other, and to make a part in the confederacy of princes against human liberty." Thus, on all occasions, the secretary of state ungenerously charged those of ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... sandwiches and pretended to relish Munich beer served in tall stone mugs. Aunt Lucas, who was shaped like a 'cello, made more than a pretence of sipping; she drank one entirely, regretting the exigencies of chaperonage: to ask for more might shock the proper ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... my men—to Connecticut. [He here tied the marmalade up in his handkerchief.] I confess I have sometimes thought I might, under provocation, be driven to extreme measures for the good of the cause. I make no pretence to leadership, but—" ...
— Thankful Blossom • Bret Harte

... of such pretence, That were to venture far, indeed. Speak out, and make your choice with speed! With what a ...
— Faust • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... afterward, when the memory of his person had passed away from those who had known him in his younger days, he groped his way back to the scene of his former labors, and, guided by a lad to the tower which enclosed the already famous work of art, under pretence of listening once more to its chimes, he suddenly, with his scissors, severed a single small wire, and the wonderful performances were closed forever. No artist thereafter could be found to restore the work, for none other than the inventor was acquainted with its mechanism, or could discover ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 • Various

... heartily. Of the hairdresser Woolsey said, that as for Eglantine being his real name, it was all his (Mr. Woolsey's) eye; that he was in the hands of the Jews, and his stock and grand shop eaten up by usury. And with regard to Woolsey, Eglantine remarked, that his pretence of being descended from the Cardinal was all nonsense; that he was a partner, certainly, in the firm, but had only a sixteenth share; and that the firm could never get their moneys in, and had an immense number of bad debts in their books. As is usual, there was a great deal ...
— Men's Wives • William Makepeace Thackeray

... advance of his years, and who had calculated upon being her guide, philosopher, and friend all through the day, found himself ousted by the West End physician, who took complete possession of Miss Palliser, under the pretence of explaining the history—altogether speculative—of the spot. He discoursed eloquently about the Druids, expatiated upon the City of Winchester, dozing in the sunshine yonder, among its fat water meadows. He talked of the Saxons and the Normans, of William of Wykeham, ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... yearning for motherhood, as that she wanted to hold her own with the other charwomen who were represented in the trenches. So she assumed the relationship of an anonymous marraine towards a certain unknown namesake in the Black Watch, and made boastful pretence of having received letters from ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 18, 1917 • Various

... me to mean that, merely as a compromise of courtesy, two professors of different idolatries would agree to recognise each other. Not at all. The truth of one does not imply the falsehood of the other. Both are true as facts: neither can be false, in any higher sense, because neither makes any pretence to ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... throughout all her extensive dominions, had ever made religion the pretence for her usurpations, she now met with resistance from a like principle; and the Catholic religion, as usual, had ranged itself on the side of monarchy; the Protestant, on that of liberty. The states of Bohemia, having taken arms against the emperor Matthias, continued their revolt against ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... successfully applied to the Transvaal Government. In the speech[25] in which he sketched the main lines of this policy he declared emphatically that the paramount power of England was to be maintained at all costs, that foreign intervention would not be permitted under any pretence, and that the admitted grievances of the Uitlanders ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... much more than does writing. He touches on the Burmese war, "which seems likely to be even worse than the Egyptian and Sudanese iniquity in its results to us." And he adds, "We have now without any just cause of war, or even the pretence of any, invaded this province, which is subject and tributary to China, and lawlessly act the marauder upon it, claiming it as ours, and treating the patriots who oppose us as rebels and robbers. The ...
— Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman • Giberne Sieveking

... regarded as an excellent training for the intellect. Among other things which I learned very quickly, both outside and inside of school, is that most pompous and impressive preachers don't practise what they preach. It's so unpractical and unreasonable that it appears to be a sort of pretence and convention for the benefit of the young and gullible. I find it more sensible to be guided by what other intelligent people around you are actually doing and learn in that way what ...
— Heart and Soul • Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)

... You'd pile up the steamboat on the first convenient reef, and then be one of the first to come and loot her."—He turned to Murray: "Now, look here, Mr. Mate. I'll leave you in charge, and see you keep steam up and don't leave the deck. Don't let any of these niggers come on board on any pretence whatever, and if they try it on, steam out to sea. I'll get through Mr. Wenlock's business ashore as quick as lean, and perhaps pick up a ton or two of ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... you: they have now been abandoned by those whose duty it was to have maintained them: and this fact they, who in the old state of things as it existed in our day used to be called Optiinates, not only declare by look and expression of countenance, by which a false pretence is easiest supported, but have proved again and again by their actual sympathies and votes. Accordingly, the entire view and aim of wise citizens, such as I wish both to be and to be reckoned, must needs have undergone a change. For that is the ...
— Letters of Cicero • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... preference of the objects of his immediate solicitude than Mr. Burke has ever done. A man so circumstanced often seems to undervalue, to vilify, almost to reprobate and disown, those that are out of danger. This is the voice of nature and truth, and not of inconsistency and false pretence. The danger of anything very dear to us removes, for the moment, every other affection from the mind. When Priam had his whole thoughts employed on the body of his Hector, he repels with indignation, and drives from him with a thousand reproaches, his surviving sons, who with an officious ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... the Residency with his attendants, dismissing all but a favoured few with a regal wave of the hand at the foot of the steps, and climbing on the divan arranged for him, to sit there and talk under the pretence of looking at pictures. Gerrard had sent for his books from down-country by this time, and after long journeying on the heads of groaning coolies, and many vicissitudes by the way, they now graced his meagrely ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... wrinkling her forehead into lines of acute distress. "Oh, Goody! It's as bad as lessons every bit. Look here, I'm not clever, and I don't make any pretence at poetry or the rest of it. You'll just have to leave ...
— The Princess of the School • Angela Brazil

... think of Germany and of my future enterprises in that country. God forgive me, but I discover nothing but mean and miserable things, conceit and a pretence of solid work without any real foundation; half-heartedness in everything. After all I prefer to see "Le Pardon de Ploermel" in Paris than under the shadow of the famous, glorious German oak tree. I must also confess to ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 2 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... townfellows, stated with great delight, that it was an idol, representing Jesus Christ, and that we were going to use it in the church. Unlike any other indian town we have visited, there is not even the pretence of an open school in this place. Nowhere else have women and children showed so great a fear of us and our work. From the moment that I showed an interest in the mapaho, the beating of cotton ceased, and the village was quiet. At no time during our stay did women or children come to ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... existence, whose geographical studies are limited to his own journeys and the tales of his friends, who, finally, has the impertinence to intersperse his narrative with fictitious speeches, thus destroying any pretence at a scientific character for his treatise, and revealing it in its true nature as a mere work of art or imagination? It may indeed be doubted whether a modern trained librarian, working according to the classification laid down by the standard Congress library at Washington, ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... humanity, and friendship, and at no time to be hindered, and all victual, reparation, and things fit for use at the ordinary price; they shall not be prohibited to depart or go out of the port or harbour by any pretence whatsoever, as long as they have not committed anything against the statutes, ordinances, and custom of the place where their ships are brought and ...
— A Journal of the Swedish Embassy in the Years 1653 and 1654, Vol II. • Bulstrode Whitelocke

... embraced her. She was too dazed, too confused to remember that Divine purity had been enclosed in that embrace. What terrified her most was the thought that had suddenly come that possibly the unknown woman in Florence had been the real lawful wife, and that her own marriage had been a sin, a vile pretence and horror. For the first time in her life the grandest words of confidence that have expressed and interpreted the clinging faith of humanity seemed an unreality. Rose had never known the faintest temptation ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... pretence of piety. One virtue he had in the fullest abundance. He was perfectly sincere with those whom he considered his friends. That there could be any need for ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... end, As giue a Crutch to th' dead. But our Count-Cardinall Has done this, and tis well: for worthy Wolsey (Who cannot erre) he did it. Now this followes, (Which as I take it, is a kinde of Puppie To th' old dam Treason) Charles the Emperour, Vnder pretence to see the Queene his Aunt, (For twas indeed his colour, but he came To whisper Wolsey) here makes visitation, His feares were that the Interview betwixt England and France, might through their amity Breed him some preiudice; for from this League, Peep'd harmes ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... death all the Bigendian exiles, and also all the people of the empire who would not immediately consent to break their eggs at the smaller end. And that, like a false traitor to his Most Serene Majesty, you excused yourself from the service on pretence of unwillingness to force the consciences and destroy the liberties and lives ...
— The Blue Fairy Book • Various

... he gave frequent proof to his lords, who, for that as well as other qualities, considered him rather as a father or brother than as their agent or steward, honouring in him an excellence that was no pretence, ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... If I had the happiness of being their father, the case would be altered. What I have said to your daughters is what I feel, and what I think most likely to bring about the end I have in view. I have not the slightest pretence to virtue, but I adore the fair sex, and now you and they know the road to my purse. If they wish to preserve their virtue, why let them; nobody will trouble them, and they, on their side, must not expect anything ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... others, which they resisted in themselves, viz. the light, grace, and spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ; but always under the notion of innovation, heresy, schism, or some such plausible name; though Christianity allows of no name, or pretence whatever, for persecuting of any man for matters of mere religion, being in its very nature meek, gentle, and forbearing; and consists of faith, hope, and charity, which no persecutor can have, whilst he remains a persecutor; in that a man cannot ...
— A Brief Account of the Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers • William Penn

... fodder throughout the year. Then he takes three iron nails, which have lain for three days and nights in water, and knocks them into the willow; after which he pulls them out and flings them into a running stream to propitiate the water-spirits. Finally, a pretence is made of throwing Green George into the water, but in fact it is only a puppet made of branches and leaves which is ducked in the stream. In this version of the custom the powers of granting an easy delivery to women and of communicating vital energy to the sick ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... Travers had built when his prosperity came, was large and costly, sober and comfortable, and with no more pretence than was naturally attendant on the finest country home in the county. Its atmosphere was just the sort that he and his daughter would create. But in the days that followed his brother's home-coming, all this was changed. Gone was the subdued and ordered repose. Frederick ...
— The Turtles of Tasman • Jack London

... her dress, she answered that she had obtained it in the Kirktown from a friend; it was the holiday suit of a son of hers, who had taken the field with his liege-lord, the baron of the land. She had borrowed the suit under pretence she meant to play in some mumming or rural masquerade. She had left, she said, her own apparel in exchange, which was better worth ten crowns than this was ...
— The Monastery • Sir Walter Scott

... inside; and in the evening Knud went, for the first time in his life, to a theatre. And what did he see? He saw Joanna, and how beautiful and charming she looked! He certainly saw her being married to a stranger, but that was all in the play, and only a pretence; Knud well knew that. She could never have the heart, he thought, to send him a ticket to go and see it, if it had been real. So he looked on, and when all the people applauded and clapped their hands, he shouted "hurrah." He could see that even the king smiled at Joanna, and ...
— Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... and his vague promise of rewarding merit was applied by every candidate to his own hopes. Conscious of the influence of the clergy, Michael successfully labored to secure the suffrage of that powerful order. Their expensive journey from Nice to Magnesia, afforded a decent and ample pretence: the leading prelates were tempted by the liberality of his nocturnal visits; and the incorruptible patriarch was flattered by the homage of his new colleague, who led his mule by the bridle into the town, and removed to a respectful distance the importunity of the crowd. Without ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon



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