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Cynic   Listen
noun
Cynic  n.  (Gr. Philos)
1.
One of a sect or school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes, and of whom Diogenes was a disciple. The first Cynics were noted for austere lives and their scorn for social customs and current philosophical opinions. Hence the term Cynic symbolized, in the popular judgment, moroseness, and contempt for the views of others.
2.
One who holds views resembling those of the Cynics; a snarler; a misanthrope; particularly, a person who believes that human conduct is directed, either consciously or unconsciously, wholly by self-interest or self-indulgence, and that appearances to the contrary are superficial and untrustworthy. "He could obtain from one morose cynic, whose opinion it was impossible to despise, scarcely any not acidulated with scorn."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cynic" Quotes from Famous Books



... Jenny had come to him in a dream and asked him to give her name to Isabel, there was still the world. Though Jenny might understand, the world would think he had forgotten Jenny. The minority of faithful hearts would grow sadder by his seeming apostasy, and the cynic would strengthen his pessimism by one more illustration of human inconstancy. The world might hear that he was loving Isabel in some Aegean isle, and still deem him faithful; for grief is allowed mistresses, but with a wife ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... guiding wisdom or consistent purpose therein. The broad result, however, has been a fine and vigorous colony. Some will see in its record of early struggles, difficulties and mistakes endured, paid for and surmounted, a signal instance of the overruling care of Providence. To the cynic the tale must be merely a minor portion of the "supreme ironic procession with laughter of gods in the background." To the writer it seems, at least, to give a very notable proof of the collective ability of a colonizing race to overcome ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... small appetite; but to a man who has seen the world, and drunk deeply of the wine of life, there is nothing half so sweet in the whole of his existence as a good dinner. "A hard heart and a good digestion will make any man happy." So said Talleyrand, a cynic if you like, but a man who knew the temper of his day and generation. Ovid wrote about the art of love—Brillat Savarin, of the art of dining; yet, I warrant you, the gastronomical treatise of the brilliant Frenchman ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... Poverty of spirit, humility, meekness, mercifulness, and peaceableness are indeed the marks of Christ's teaching. But as Christ conceived them they were not passive qualities, but intensely active energies of the soul. It has been well remarked that[14] there was a poverty of spirit in the creed of the cynic centuries before Christianity. There was a meekness in the doctrine of the Stoic long before the advent of Jesus. But these tenets were very far from being anticipations of Christ's morality. Cynic poverty of spirit was but the poor-spiritedness of apathy. Stoic meekness ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... of the other man, the incarnation of the thing that is, with a cynic's contempt for dreams and dreamers, had given voice to her own rebellion and ...
— The One Woman • Thomas Dixon

... a great mistake," I said, "for Thackeray is a satirist pur et simple. Jerrold was a cynic, if you please, although he had a wonderful amount of kindly feeling even in his bitterest moods—indeed I would rather prefer calling him a one-sided advocate of the poor against the rich, than apply to him ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... the harvester surveys His sorry crops of yesterdays; Of trampled hopes and reaped regrets, And for another harvest whets His ancient scythe, eying the while The budding year with cynic smile. Well, let him smile; in snug retreat I fill my pipe with honeyed sweet, Whose incense wafted from the bowl Shall make warm sunshine in my soul, And conjure mid the fragrant haze Fair ...
— The Smoker's Year Book • Oliver Herford

... master, Lord Borrodaile made ready to do the honours of the house to a lady who had had so little profit of her visit. Beeching carried off the reluctant Farnborough. Mrs. Freddy kept up her spirits until after the exodus; then, with a sigh, she sat down beside Vida. 'It's true what that old cynic says,' she admitted sorrowfully. 'The scene has put back the ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... religion.... He had listened much more indulgently to Ulick than she had expected, and seemed to perceive the picturesqueness of the gods, Angus and Lir. It was Christianity that irritated and changed him to the cynic he was not, and forced him into arguments which she hated: "that when you went to the root of things, no one ever acted except from a selfish motive" and his aphorism, "I don't believe in temptations that one doesn't yield to." Her thoughts ...
— Evelyn Innes • George Moore

... magistrate, a kind-hearted man, troubled at what seemed to him a certain sardonical disdain, lurking beneath the foundling's humble mien, and in Christian sympathy more distressed at it on his account than on his own, dimly surmising what might be the final fate of such a cynic solitaire, nor perhaps uninfluenced by the general strangeness of surrounding things, this good magistrate had glanced sadly, sideways from the speaker, and thereupon his foreboding eye had started at the expression of the unchanging face ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... the cynic or think meanly of my fellow-man shall come, my mind will hark back to those two unpretending fellows and bow in reverence before the selflessness and immensity of the human soul. Needing bread, they gave it freely away; needing strength, they poured themselves out unsparingly; ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... Marcia. "He says, 'Give me either a firebrand or a cynic!' He has no use for other sorts of people. And perhaps Sir Wilfrid will help us, too—with ...
— The Coryston Family • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... ould Nick," said the cynic, "which would be nearly the same thing: but go an, avick, an' never heed me; sure I must have my spake—doesn't ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton

... a modern day fad, But, Roger, you make a poor cynic, my lad. Your heart at the core is as sound as a nut, Though the wheels of your mind have dropped into the rut Of wrong thinking. You need a strong hand on the lever Of good common sense, and an earnest endeavor To pull yourself out of the slough of despond ...
— Three Women • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... a cynic humor in the blood, or is it a manifestation of childish optimism? Let us frankly answer that it may be one or the other or both. There are cynics and sentimentalists who are the despair of all who are seriously working for better citizenship. But the chances are that the men to ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... who followed the so-called Stoic system made themselves prominent, among whom was Demetrius the cynic. These men, abusing the title of philosophy, kept teaching their disciples publicly many pernicious doctrines, and in this way were gradually corrupting [Footnote: Reading [Greek: hypodiephtheiron] (Dindorf).] some. Under these circumstances ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) • Cassius Dio

... cynic, who thinks himself a Stoic. Thus Maud was made to be unpopular with the author's countrymen, who conceived a prejudice against Maud's lover, described by Tennyson as "a morbid poetic soul, . . . an egotist with the makings of a cynic." That he ...
— Alfred Tennyson • Andrew Lang

... matter. The answer is sometimes apparent, sometimes not; he will not refrain from asking a question just because he does not know the answer; his role is asking, not answering. Nor when he gives an answer is it always certain whether it is to be taken in earnest. Was he a cynic? one would say so after reading The Cynic; was he an Epicurean? one would say so after reading the Alexander; was he a philosopher? one would say Yes at a certain point of the Hermotimus, No at another. He doubtless had his ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... Exchequer to denounce in the House the Estimates which he had approved in Cabinet. His business was to find the money. Circumstances had altered his attitude to the Excess Profits Duty, and he was now determined to stick to it. Did not a cynic once say that nothing ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, April 28, 1920 • Various

... were God," the cynic said, "this sinning, suffering world would break my heart." But what if God's heart was broken? Do we not read in the 69th Psalm, "Reproach hath broken my heart? [Footnote: Ps. lxix. 20.]" The last ...
— The One Great Reality • Louisa Clayton

... is a grand, a stirring thing, the exalting paradox of Christianity, and the sad want of it in our own time is, we believe, what really makes us think life dull, like a cynic, instead of marvellous, like a child. With this, however, we have at present nothing to do. What we have to do with is the unfortunate fact that among no persons is it more wanting than among Socialists, Christian ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... say that the last was the more reasonable. And this I will say, that if you bring up any child to care nothing for the praise of its parents, its elders, its pastors, and masters, you may make a fanatic of it, or a shameless cynic: but you will neither make it a man, an Englishman, or ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... age when the forces of character still lie dormant, and an accident may determine the direction of their future development. It is the age when it is possible for fortune to make a dare-devil of a philosopher, a sceptic of a worshipper, a cynic of ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... that is like the cynic," Pitying runs your poet-smile, "He has sat at the Devil's clinic With some dead love up the while." Dead or alive are one with passions, Under the potent knife of Truth They will be seen composed of ...
— Many Gods • Cale Young Rice

... acquaintances in particular, Mr. Jasper Vermont made his preparations for the night. He kept no valet; men of his type seldom care to have another in such close relations as must necessarily happen when one man holds the keys of another. It has been said by some cynic, that "the man who takes off your coat sees what is passing in the heart beneath it," and with this ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... a nom de plume that is known and loved by almost every boy of intelligence in the land. We have seen a highly intellectual and world-weary man, a cynic whose heart was somewhat embittered by its large experience of human nature, take up one of OLIVER OPTIC'S books, and read it at a sitting, neglecting his work in yielding to the fascination of the pages. When a mature and exceedingly well-informed mind, long despoiled of all ...
— Seek and Find - or The Adventures of a Smart Boy • Oliver Optic

... of his Proverbs. Her maid-servants arose at six in the morning and called her blessed, for though her rule was strict it was just and loving. She was at once the mistress and the friend of her household; no Yankee captain so audacious that he ventured to oppose her law; no cynic so cold as not to be melted by her tenderness. She was clad always in black, with a white cap and ribbons, always spotless amid the grime of Liverpool; in her more active moments—though she was always active—she added a white apron to her attire. She ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... of their trust. Like the Israelites of old, they succeed at length in escaping from the hands of oppression and tyranny, but only to wander in a desert land throughout the length of their days. This is the region where dwell the pessimist, the skeptic and the cynic—miserable mortals that have wasted on creatures the talents they should have given to their Creator, or that have otherwise failed in their conception of life, and have left unmultiplied the money of the Master.(92) There is plainly no middle ...
— The Shepherd Of My Soul • Rev. Charles J. Callan

... oppressor: no tie seems to have bound him to his brother, and up to this hour he had never yet slept one night under the paternal roof. These were no ordinary trials; and if the youth who was subjected to them became in after-life a cynic, is it to be wondered at? Indeed, a hasty view of this remarkable man's character might lead to the conclusion of M. Colmache, that the untoward accidents of his infancy and boyhood afforded an explanation of all his adult peculiarities; but we can not allow ourselves to accept this ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... staff in Cairo, who doubtless had, felt their hearts go out to their less fortunate brethren of the fighting forces and how they hatched a plan for special private wires from wife to husband at this season of goodwill. Let no cynic obtrude other ...
— The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918 • F.L. Morrison

... church, and people listened for familiar sentences with something like the composed gravity with which they heard on Sundays the reading of the second lesson. But as the stage-talk went on, the slave-maidens announcing themselves without delay comfortably modern and commonplace, and Pilate a cynic and a decadent, though as distinctively from Melbourne, it was possible to note the breaking up of this sentiment. It was plain after all that no standard of ideality was to be maintained or struggled after. The relief was palpable; nevertheless, ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... fight and win the battle against depression. If these pictures of life behind the windows of our village streets are too couleur de BUCKROSE to be quite true, there is nevertheless a real quality in them. They are not for the cynic, but for readers who can appreciate simple tales of simple people, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 25, 1917 • Various

... the reputation of being wealthy. It was supposed that he had enjoyed opportunities of making money, and had availed himself of them, but this was not true. Though a cynic, and with little respect for his fellow-creatures, Ferrars had a pride in official purity, and when the Government was charged with venality and corruption, he would observe, with a dry chuckle, that he had seen a great deal of life, and that for his part he would not much ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... thought that this young man would play the cynic. He is superbly the optimist, though now again he struck a note of almost cynic whimsicality. 'Of course our art is in its infancy—' He waited for my nod of agreement, then dryly added, 'We must, I think, consider it the Peter Pan of the arts. And I dare say you recall ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... because it's an inexpensive substitute for wit or intellect,' Harry answered. 'Indeed, I'm a bit of a cynic myself, I believe, for the same reason and on strictly economical principles. It saves one the trouble of having any intelligible or original opinion of ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... as he always is contented when he can make satisfactory arrangements to sacrifice himself unselfishly and pretend to himself he is a cynic. Whether because the armed guard of their own people put new courage in them, or because rifles at their rear made them more afraid, the stragglers gave less trouble for the next few hours. Perhaps they were growing more ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... has taken place, and Shakespeare is now generally recognized, even in France, as one of the greatest of poets. Yes, some anti-Gallican cynic will say, the French rank him with Corneille and with Victor Hugo! But let me have the pleasure of quoting a sentence about Shakespeare, which I met with by accident not long ago in the Correspondant, a French review which not a dozen English people, I suppose, ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... wife—sentimental at fifty, you see, after a quarter of a century's toiling and preaching—would enlarge on Doctor Dowbiggin's cordiality, and the marked courtesy of the clerk, and when they were alone in the manse, his wife would kiss him—incredible to our cynic—and say, "You see, Tom, more people than I know what a good work you are doing," and Tom would start his twenty-first lecture on the Ephesians next morning with new spirit. Such is the power of comradeship, such is the thirst for sympathy; and indeed there is no dog either so big ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... nor friend ever looked upon those notes which this "little Duke with his cruel, piercing, unsatisfied eyes" was so busily penning. Says Vallee: "He filled a unique position at Court, being accepted by all, even by the King himself, as a cynic, personally liked for his disposition, enjoying consideration on account of the prestige of his social connections, inspiring fear in the more timid by the severity and fearlessness of his criticism." Yet Louis ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... just here. The Masked Lady and Mr. Literal were there, after all, standing close behind Everychild. And Mr. Literal was saying: "She seems to be a bit of a cynic. That reference to women on the go . . . what period should you say ...
— Everychild - A Story Which The Old May Interpret to the Young and Which the Young May Interpret to the Old • Louis Dodge

... hates, ambitions, and immortal fires, Are tossed pell-mell together in the grave. But stay! no age was e'er degenerate, Unless men held it at too cheap a rate, For in our likeness still we shape our fate. 90 Ah, there is something here Unfathomed by the cynic's sneer, Something that gives our feeble light A high immunity from Night, Something that leaps life's narrow bars To claim its birthright with the hosts of heaven; A seed of sunshine that can leaven Our earthly dullness with the beams of stars, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... a great effect upon the eye. This old-fashioned brass-faced one we have here, with its arched top, half-moon slit for the day of the month, and ship rocking at the upper part, impresses me with the notion of its being an old cynic, elevating his brows, whose thoughts can be seen wavering between ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... cynic you are! I feel like a mere daub of sentiment beside you. There have been moments, do you know, even in this benighted mining camp, when I have believed in that hunter ...
— In Exile and Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... most promising time in front of us," that old cynic replied, while he puffed rings of smoke. "It all should be as full of adventure as an egg is full ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... thinking, nor profound feeling; and too volatile to attain to the pathetic, that higher quality of genius, he was so imbued with the petty elegancies of society that every impression of grandeur in the human character was deadened in the breast of the polished cynic. ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... hand, the idea of the appearance of the Gods in human form presented no difficulty (see Acts XIV. 11; XXVIII. 6). But philosophic speculation—the Platonic, as well as in yet greater measure the Stoic, and in the greatest measure of all the Cynic—had led to the recognition of something divine in man's spirit ([Greek: pneuma, nous]). Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations frequently speaks of the God who dwells in us. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VI. 14. ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... wealth, and the selfishness that eats like a corroding poison into the purer metal of the rich man's nature. Your wealth will only bring you happiness in so far as you use it to benefit others less fortunate though equally deserving. It is given you as a trial, not as a reward.'—To you, oh Cynic, this message have I also: 'Your eyes see but through a veil of dulled and vainglorious senses. Some truths you have learned, but in the passage through your mind they take the colour and shape of a distorted and embittered fancy. You have a work to do, and influence ...
— The Mystery of a Turkish Bath • E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)

... the denial of pleasure. The school of the Cynics made this perverse mood, as Aristippus deemed it, the maxim of their philosophy. As the Cyrenaic school was the school of the rich, the courtly, the self-indulgent, so the Cynic was the school of the poor, the exiles, the ascetics. Each was an extreme expression of a phase of Greek life and thought, though there was this point of union [215] between them, that liberty of a kind was sought by both. The Cyrenaics claimed liberty to please themselves in the ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... that it would have been better not to have been born, albeit such sentiments are not altogether inconsistent with the power of deriving a certain amount of enjoyment from living. It was that pleasure-loving old cynic, Madame du Deffand, who said: "Il n'y a qu'un seul malheur, celui d'etre ne." Nevertheless, the avowed joyousness bred by the laughing tides and purple skies of Greece is certainly more conducive to human happiness, though at times even Greeks, such as Theognis and Palladas, lapsed into ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... thought," said the cynic, with an obsequious sneer. "Yet, might I presume to say so, the gem would make a rare sepulchral lamp, and would display the glories of Your Lordship's progenitors more truly in the ancestral vault than ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... the shift of mood and mood, Mine ancient humour saves him whole— The cynic devil in his blood That bids him mock ...
— The Seven Seas • Rudyard Kipling

... a disciple of Socrates, the master of Diogenes, and founder of the Cynic school; affected to disdain the pride and pomp of the world, and was the first to carry staff and wallet as the badge of philosophy, but so ostentatiously as to draw from Socrates the rebuke, "I see your pride looking out through the rent of ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... was Tim. What a man Tim was, and how blind I had been and selfish! He stood before me tall and strong, watching me with his quiet eyes, and as I looked at him I thought of Weston, the lanky cynic, with his thin, homely face and loose-jointed, shambling walk. Then I wondered at it all. Then I said to myself, "Is ...
— The Soldier of the Valley • Nelson Lloyd

... money could bring back to him the nature which had been his before the bitterness of betrayal changed him to a misanthropical cynic. His hatred of women was not appeased by the revenge he had on the Lambtons and O'Guires. He would not employ a woman; he would not employ a man who was married; he would not tolerate the presence of a woman on any of his ...
— The Rider of Waroona • Firth Scott

... Chesterton lays great stress. It was this, he thinks, that made him an optimist. It was the same position that made Browning an optimist. It is the disbelief in the Divine image in Man that makes the cynic and the pessimist. ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... and hate the old man, but all his ordinary tactics were powerless against this impenetrable eighteenth century cynic. If he resorted to his Congressional practise of browbeating and dogmatism, the Baron only smiled and turned his back, or made some remark in French which galled his enemy all the more, because, while he did not understand it, he knew well that Madeleine ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... a university—its spirit of humility, and of reverence for antiquity—begins. The true university man, born and bred in the century, not in the years, in the race halls, not those alone in his Alma Mater, is neither a scoffer nor an atheist, nor a critic, sceptic, or cynic. He is a man of simple and exalted faith. God, who hath brought such great things to pass in science, nature, and art, in human character, in the destiny of nations, and the history of humble men and women, is a God before whom there must be awe and reverence, and not a flippant ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... his life. Marriage to a rich woman could alone snatch him from the social abyss, and the prospect became doubly alluring when it took the guise of Cynthia. He would restore her to a disconsolate chaperon some time before midnight, and he was cynic enough to admit that if he had not then succeeded in winning her esteem by his chivalry, his unobtrusive tenderness, his devoted attentions—above all, by his flow of interesting talk and well-turned epigram—the ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... ingenuousness amused him; her developing taste and imagination interested him; her freshness, her freedom from any sense of his importance in the world fascinated him, and there was a keener pleasure than he dreamed in the novel sensation of breathing the perfume of what he, the one time cynic, would have staked his life on being unsullied purity. Their relations were to him a delightful variation upon the intimacy of master and pupil. Either he was listening to her or was answering her questions—and the time flew. And there never ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... as Pigasov's,' observed Rudin, 'the desire of being original. One affects to be a Mephistopheles—the other a cynic. In all that, there is much egoism, much vanity, but little truth, little love. Indeed, there is even calculation of a sort in it. A man puts on a mask of indifference and indolence so that some one will be sure to think. "Look at that man; what talents he has thrown away!" But if you ...
— Rudin • Ivan Turgenev

... be glad to digress here and tell about the beauty of the summer scenery along the Omaha road, and the shy and beautiful troutlet, and the dark and silent Chippewa squawlet and her little bleached out pappooselet, were it not for the unkind and cruel thrusts that I would invoke from the scenery cynic who believes that a newspaper man's opinions may be ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... 24 years (1793-1816). But in all these stirring events, there was, in the greater part of the reign, at least, and notwithstanding some murmurings, the appearance of a solidity in the Constitution which has somehow settled down into the tradition of "the good old times." A cynic might have described the Constitution as resting upon empty bottles and blunder-busses, for was it not the great "three-bottle period" of the British aristocracy? and as for the masses, the only national sentiment in common was that of military glory earned by British heroes in foreign ...
— Fragments of Two Centuries - Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King • Alfred Kingston

... better in the Middle Ages. For the Greeks and Romans contented themselves with mocking at rich people, and constructing merry dialogues between Charon and Diogenes or Menippus, in which the ferryman and the cynic rejoiced together as they saw kings and rich men coming down to the shore of Acheron, in lamenting and lamentable crowds, casting their crowns into the dark waters, and searching, sometimes in vain, for the last coin out of all their treasures that ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... friend of kings and courtiers, the brilliant cynic, the pet of the salons and the center of the culture ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 7 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Orators • Elbert Hubbard

... almost any one. She ceased after a while to care to argue with him, and wondered what could have happened to him to make him so perverse. Probably something had gone wrong in his life—he had had some misfortune that coloured his whole view of the world. He was a cynic; she had often heard about that state of mind, though she had never encountered it, for all the people she had seen only cared, if possible, too much. Of Basil Ransom's personal history she knew only what Olive had told her, and that was ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. II (of II) • Henry James

... politeness and good-breeding are absolutely necessary to adorn any, or all other good qualities or talents. Without them, no knowledge, no perfection whatever, is seen in its best light. The scholar, without good-breeding, is a pedant; the philosopher, a cynic; the soldier, a brute; and every ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... absolutely necessary to humanity that a man shall have seen many men whom he can respect. The most lost cynic will get a new heart by learning thoroughly to believe in the virtue of one man. Our estimate of human nature is in proportion to the best specimen of it we have witnessed. This then it is which is wanted to raise the feeling of humanity into an enthusiasm; when the ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... used to come often and entertain me with the news and gossip of the town. I have never met a more interesting man. He was an onlooker of life rather than an actor, an ironical cynic, chuckling with sardonic humour. The secret of his charm lay perhaps in a certain whimsical outlook and in an original ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... prepare myself against another inevitable ancient calamity called "Cornutation," or by other less learned names. How Philosophy taught that after all it was but a pain founded on conceit, a blow that hurt not; the reply of the Cynic philosopher to one who reproached him, "Is it my fault or hers?"; how Nevisanus advises the sufferer to ask himself if he have not offended; Jerome declares it impossible to prevent; how few or none are safe, and the inhabitants of some countries, especially parts of Africa, consider it the ...
— Trivia • Logan Pearsall Smith

... scanning my sire-sown tree, And the hieroglyphs of this spouse tied to that, With offspring mapped below in lineage, Till the tangles troubled me, The branches seemed to twist into a seared and cynic face Which winked and tokened towards the window like a Mage Enchanting me to ...
— Moments of Vision • Thomas Hardy

... preach to me a long sermon about what I have just written, and so will you, moralist: and you, stern sage: you, stoic, will frown; you, cynic, sneer; you, epicure, laugh. Well, each and all, take it your own way. I accept the sermon, frown, sneer, and laugh; perhaps you are all right: and perhaps, circumstanced like me, you would have been, like me, wrong. The first month was, indeed, ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... A cynic, considering the fact that women was the last thing made by God, asserts that the product shows both His ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... that which afterwards became Bartley Hubbard's. "Get a basis," said the softening cynic of the Saturday Press, when I advised with him, among other acquaintances. "Get a salaried place, something regular on some paper, and then you can easily make up the rest." But it was a month before I achieved this vantage, and then ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... resting-places of the illustrious dead, either in the old world or the new, we are not seldom astonished upon reading the sculptured testimony of the survivors, to find that "'tis still the best that leave us." One may well wonder, with the Arch-Cynic, where the bones of all the sinners are deposited. In the case of Governor Simcoe, however, there is much to be said in the way of just commendation, and the inscription is not so nauseously fulsome us to excite disgust. Toronto's citizens, especially, should take pleasure in ...
— Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... swing mule is a wit; an' all day long he'd be throwin' off remarks that keeps a ripple of laughter goin' up an' down the team. You-all finds trouble creditin' them statements. Fact, jest the same. I've laughed at the jokes of that swing mule myse'f; an' even Jerry, the off wheeler, who's a cynic that a-way, couldn't repress a smile. Shore! anamiles talks all the time; it's only that we-all ...
— Wolfville Days • Alfred Henry Lewis

... each cliff-top bough, Like a cynic nodding there, Moved up and down, though no man's brow But mine met the ...
— Late Lyrics and Earlier • Thomas Hardy

... heaven,—not confined to the poor Indian, whose paradise consists of happy hunting-grounds, where, of course, he will need his faithful hound to keep him company. The main argument of white men is generally found to be the superiority of canine virtue over the human. Whether the word "cynic" originates from a similar source I will not undertake to say; but I have more than half a suspicion that such talk proceeds rather from a prejudice against men than a genuine enthusiasm for dogs. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... So quoth the cynic; and the peculiar part about it is that, wherever are large stretches of dusty ground, so also there is the wind! and nothing need be said of the result of a combat between these ...
— Through Palestine with the 20th Machine Gun Squadron • Unknown

... Club did not see very much of Billy during the next three months, but the captain, who prided himself upon his playing of the role of smoking-room cynic—though he would have been better in the part had he occasionally displayed a little originality—was of opinion that our loss would be more than made up to us after the marriage. Once in the twilight I caught sight of a figure that reminded me of Billy's, accompanied ...
— Sketches in Lavender, Blue and Green • Jerome K. Jerome

... snugly back in his tub of impersonality from which he liked to view the fools' show drift pass. His last experiment in the actively objective had ruined a girl and promised to produce a fine picture. And that was the end of it. No fellow-creature could ever share this cynic's barrel ...
— Lying Prophets • Eden Phillpotts

... has been the unity of Germany under the primacy of Prussia; and here he encountered Austria, as he now encounters France. But in that larger unity where nations will be conjoined in harmony he can do less, so long at least as he continues a fanatic for kings and a cynic towards popular institutions. ...
— The Duel Between France and Germany • Charles Sumner

... very rare intervals, Nature seems to select a favoured man and woman to uphold the torch of the ideal, lest it be reduced to sparks and smoke, to refute the cynic and the pessimist; to hearten a world nauseated and discouraged by the eternal tragi-comedy of marriage, with the spectacle of a human relationship of unsullied beauty: a relationship that passes, by imperceptible ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... of view, his attitude towards it. Mr. Henley speaks of his 'deliberate and unmitigable baseness of morality.' Differing with deference, I think it may be shown that his attitude is a pose merely, and an artistic and quite innocent pose. It is the amusing pose of the boyish cynic turned into an ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... that illustrious voyage all plain sailing? Sam Winnington used to draw a long sigh, and lay back his head and close his eyes in his coach, after the rout was over. He was not conscious of acting; he was not acting, and one might dare another, if that other were not a cynic, to say that the motive was unworthy. He wanted to put his sitters on a good footing with themselves; he wanted to put the world on a good footing with itself; it was the man's nature. He did not go very far down; he was not without his piques, and like other ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... must get on. You rest if you like though; there isn't anybody waiting for you; but Mabel, she 's waiting for me and I must try and get back. She would be disappointed else. Grieve! of course she'll grieve if I'm lost. All the world isn't a cynic ...
— The Moving Finger • Mary Gaunt

... had known nothing previously of the original's character; he could not have read it in his features. I wonder at this. To me the broad brow seems to express intellect. Certain lines about the nose and cheek, betray the satirist and cynic; the mouth indicates a child-like simplicity—perhaps even a degree of irresoluteness, inconsistency—weakness in short, but a weakness not unamiable. The engraving seems to me very good. A certain not quite Christian expression—'not to put too fine a point upon ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... comfortable tradition and sure faith. Would he not betray himself an alien cynic who should otherwise portray Main Street, or distress the citizens by speculating whether there may not ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... universality of culture and refinement vastly widens the circle from which one may choose congenial associates, there is nothing to prevent anybody from living a life as absolutely unsocial as the veriest cynic of the ...
— Equality • Edward Bellamy

... ever since in the matter of dogs. I remember that little dog, and can at this moment not only recall my pain and terror—I have no doubt I was to blame—but also her face; and were I allowed to search among the shades in the cynic Elysian fields, I could pick her out still. All my life I have been familiar with these faithful creatures, making friends of them, and speaking to them; and the only time I ever addressed the public, about a year after being ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... conveyed No sense of meaning in their jargonings; Nor had cognizance from the stammered tones, Answered in turn, in verbal nothingness; The crabbed cynic might no longer rail; Nor those of sober countenance discourse In melancholy and foreboding strains; Nor light and frivolous sons of levity On others perpetrate the humorous jest; Fathers attempted to correct their ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... go, sneering cynic—write nonsense and fiction On champagne and velvet, on satin and sin; Though the joke may be able, 'tis false as a fable, And shows what a fog Fleet-street ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... pleased me, while, on the other hand, I tried always to seem indifferent towards any unusual circumstance which I myself perceived or which I had had pointed out to me. I aimed always at figuring both as a sarcastic cynic divorced from every sacred tie and as a shrewd observer, as well as at being accounted logical in all my conduct, precise and methodical in all my ways of life, and at the same time contemptuous of all materiality. I may safely say that I was far better in reality ...
— Youth • Leo Tolstoy

... about his head. I caught Bernenstein's arm and whispered, "Bauer," pointing with my finger where the face was. But, even as I pointed, it was gone; though it seemed impossible for a man to move in that press, yet it was gone. It had come like a cynic's warning across the scene of mock triumph, and went swiftly as it had come, leaving behind it a reminder of our peril. I felt suddenly sick at heart, and almost cried out to the people to have done with ...
— Rupert of Hentzau - From The Memoirs of Fritz Von Tarlenheim: The Sequel to - The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... quixotism was this man in all dealings with his fellows, yet he proved a faulty student of character. First he was in a measure blinded by his own amiable qualities to acute knowledge of human nature; secondly, he was drawn away from humanity rather than not, for no cynic reason, but by the character of his personal predilections ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... rather ashamed of our former judgments of her, and were very full of good resolutions as to our future treatment of her. Only Mary, our maid, disbelieved in this excessive grief; but then Mary is the most profound cynic I have ever known, and we always ...
— An Isle in the Water • Katharine Tynan

... congratulated Washington, at the surrender of Yorktown years after, upon the brilliant combination which had resulted in the capture of the army, he added these words: "But, after all, your excellency's achievements in the Jerseys were such that nothing could surpass them!" And the witty and wise old cynic, Mr. Horace Walpole, with his usual discrimination, wrote to a friend, Sir Horace Mann, when he heard of the affair at Trenton, the night march to Princeton, and the successful attack there: "Washington, the dictator, has shown himself both a Fabius and a Camillus. ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... with a coat-sleeve, which had no arm within it, with a silver chin and a wooden leg. Marius thought he perceived that this man had an extremely well satisfied air. It even struck him that the aged cynic, as he hobbled along past him, addressed to him a very fraternal and very merry wink, as though some chance had created an understanding between them, and as though they had shared some piece of good luck ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... indulgently Pope: yet his life it is which has mainly fixed upon Pope that false impression which predominates at this day—that doubtless intellectually he was a very brilliant little man; but morally a spiteful, peevish, waspish, narrow-hearted cynic. Whereas no imputation can be more unfounded. Pope, unless in cases when he had been maddened by lampoons, was a most benignant creature; and, with the slightest acknowledgment of his own merit, there never lived a literary man who was ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... fancied frailty, disenthrall "Manhood" by "playing for" a woman's fall; Redeem the wreckage of a "noble" name By building hope on sin, and joy on shame; Redress the work of passion's reckless boldness By craven afterthoughts of cynic coldness; Purge from low taint "the blood of all the HOWARDS" By borrowings from the code of cads and cowards! Noblesse oblige? Better crass imbecility Of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, August 9, 1890. • Various

... century of a dream and standing up to some cynic who's trying to tell us we're not going to get any better. Are we at the end? Well, I can't tell it any better than the real thing—a story recorded by James Madison from the final moments of the Constitutional Convention, ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Ronald Reagan • Ronald Reagan

... Langham, the cynic within him was on the point of uncontrollable laughter. Madame Desforets complaining of calumny to this little Westmoreland maiden! But his eyes involuntarily met Catherine's, and the expression of both fused ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... which the wit hangs his jest, the preacher his text, the cynic his grouch, and the ...
— A Guide to Men - Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl • Helen Rowland

... am sure he was affectionate, and grateful for any affection and tenderness that were bestowed upon him. He was much away too, at first on his voyages to Guinea and afterwards on the business of his petitions to the Portuguese and Spanish Courts; and one need not be a cynic to believe that these absences did nothing to lessen the affection between him and his wife. Finally, their married life was a short one; she died within ten years, and I am sure did not outlive his ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... as skilful as Salmasius or Scaliger, but still more learned in the language of abuse. This cynic was the Attila of authors. He boasted that he had occasioned the deaths of Casaubon and Scaliger. Detested and dreaded as the public scourge, Scioppius, at the close of his life, was fearful he should find no retreat in ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... his last official utterance. Theoretically, the Republic is established not by a people in arms acting in opposition to the imperial will, but by the Emperor acting with august benevolence for his people's good. The cynic may smile at the transparency of the attempt to represent the abdication as entirely voluntary, but in this procedure we find something more than a mere "face-saving" device intended for the purpose of effecting a dignified retreat ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... Fielding was certainly "a vile Whig"), but most of all perhaps to a sort of horrified recoil from the novelist's easy handling of temptations which were no easy matter to his critic—was nearly if not quite propitiated by it: and the enthusiasm for it of such a "cynic" as Thackeray is well known. Of the very few persons whom it would not be ridiculous to name with these, Scott—whose competence in criticising his own art is one of the most wonderful though the least generally recognised things about him—inclines, in the interesting Introduction-Dialogue ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... it's in the temperament. I might never lose my head in just that way. We're not made alike, you see. Now I should be struck with a dumb devil, and grow surly and cynical as time went on, and of all contemptible men a cynic is the worst. You will have your burst of passion, and carry a tender spot to your grave, but you can't squeeze all the sunshine out of your soul, any more than out ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... Barker, with a perfect placidity. "Suppose he is a tyrant—he is still a check on a hundred tyrants. Suppose he is a cynic, it is to his interest to govern well. Suppose he is a criminal—by removing poverty and substituting power, we put a check on his criminality. In short, by substituting despotism we have put a total check on one criminal and a partial check on all ...
— The Napoleon of Notting Hill • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... another member of the group drily, "when one New York family can move as stolid an old cynic as Staples to eulogy, it ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... happier than when I have more to think of and to do than I can manage in a given period'. Idleness and insouciance had few temptations for them, cynicism was abhorrent to them. Even Thackeray was perpetually 'caught out' when he assumed the cynic's pose. Charlotte Bronte, most loyal of his admirers and critics, speaks of the 'deep feelings for his kind' which he cherished in his large heart, and again of the 'sentiment, jealously hidden but genuine, which extracts the venom from that formidable Thackeray'. ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... [Sidenote:—19—] The pretext for his campaign against the Parthians was that Vologaesus had not acceded to his request for the extradition of Tiridates and a certain Antiochus with him. Antiochus was a Cilician and pretended at first to be a philosopher of the cynic school. In this way he was of very great assistance to the soldiers in warfare. He strengthened them against the despair caused by the excessive cold, for he threw himself into the snow and rolled in it; and as a result he obtained money and honors from Severus himself and from Antoninus. ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol VI. • Cassius Dio

... Solomon and Job have best spoken of the misery of man, the former the most fortunate, the latter the most unfortunate of creatures. And yet it seems strange to me that John Benham, the millionaire, Jerry's father, cynic and misogynist, and Roger Canby, bookworm and pauper, should each have arrived, through different mental processes, at the same ideal and philosophy of life. We both disliked women, not only disliked but feared and distrusted them, seeing in the changed social order a menace to the peace ...
— Paradise Garden - The Satirical Narrative of a Great Experiment • George Gibbs

... that one's taste should become too fastidious, or that natural feeling should be refined away. And a cynical young man is bad, but a cynical old one is a great deal worse. The cynical young man is probably shamming; he is a humbug, not a cynic. But the old man probably is a cynic, as heartless as he seems. And without thinking of cynicism, real or affected, let us remember, that, though the taste ought to be refined, and daily refining, it ought not to be refined beyond being practically serviceable. Let things be good, but not too ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... Donne Curiose," the gondoliers sing their barcarolle and compel even the cynic of the drama to break out into an enthusiastic exclamation: "Oh, beautiful Venice!" The world has heard more of the natural beauties of Naples than of the artificial ones of Venice, but when Naples is made the scene of a drama of any kind it seems that ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... corner of his little Padmavati's heart, he will never expect her to do anything but love, admire, adore and kiss him!'' Then suiting the action to the word, she convinced him that the young minister had for once been too crabbed and cynic in his philosophy. ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... years ago. He was suffering very much at the time through a woman. Now he will tell you he has become a cynic." ...
— The Happy Foreigner • Enid Bagnold

... something more than first sight, when an observant man gazes at a woman for an hour in a blaze of light, and drinks in her looks, her walk, her voice, and all the outward signs of a beautiful soul; for the stout cynic's heart beat at entering that room as it had not beat for years. To be sure, he had not only seen her on the stage in all her glory, but had held her, pale and bleeding, to his manly breast, and his ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... others. The simplicity and enthusiasm of his feelings, with respect to nature, renders him bigotted and intolerant in his judgments of men and things. But it happens to him, as to others, that his strength lies in his weakness; and perhaps we have no right to complain. We might get rid of the cynic and the egotist, and find in his stead a common-place man. We should "take the good the Gods provide us:" a fine and original vein of poetry is not one of their most contemptible gifts, and the rest is scarcely worth thinking of, except as it may ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... "Menippus: A Necromantic Experiment." Translated by H. W. and F. G. Fowler. Menippus was a Cynic philosopher, originally a slave, born in Syria. He lived about 60 B.C., and wrote much, but all his works ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece • Various

... make my heart stand still with terror at his cool deliberation. But he was never known to fumble nor to funk, and somehow he always got us out safe enough. Then there was Rattray—'Rat' for short—who, from a swell, had developed into a cynic with a sneer, awfully clever and a good enough fellow at heart. Little 'Wig' Martin, the sharpest quarter ever seen, and big Barney Lundy, centre scrimmage, whose terrific roar and rush had often struck terror to the enemy's heart, and who ...
— Black Rock • Ralph Connor

... House. He was the able, bold, unscrupulous leader of leaders, and men came to see him. He rarely smiled, and when he did it was the smile of the cynic and misanthrope. His tongue had the lash of a scorpion. He was a greater terror to the trimmers and time-servers of his own party than to his political foes. He had hated the President with sullen, consistent, and unyielding venom from his ...
— The Clansman - An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan • Thomas Dixon

... It,' which quickly followed, is a dramatic adaptation of Lodge's romance, 'Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legacie' (1590), but Shakespeare added three new characters of first-rate interest—Jaques, the meditative cynic; Touchstone, the most carefully elaborated of all Shakespeare's fools; and the hoyden Audrey. Hints for the scene of Orlando's encounter with Charles the Wrestler, and for Touchstone's description of the diverse shapes of a lie, were clearly drawn from a book called 'Saviolo's ...
— A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles • Sidney Lee

... adapted to our rude plantation in the New-England wilderness, did Sir Joseph patronizingly impart. And it was good to meet a man with a sense of corporeal identity so honest and satisfactory. A cynic might have said that his mind moved in rather narrow limits. But then within those limits he was so ruddy and jubilant that I could not but remember something Shakspeare says about the ease of being bounded in a nutshell and yet counting one's self king of infinite space,—were it not for ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... who had experienced the favours of fortune and was an Optimist, met a man who had experienced an optimist and was a Cynic. So the Cynic turned out of the road to let the Optimist roll by in his ...
— Fantastic Fables • Ambrose Bierce

... them presents and dismissed them unhurt. He also sent Onesikritus to the most renowned of them, who lived a life of serene contemplation, desiring that they would come to him. This Onesikritus was a philosopher of the school of Diogenes the cynic. One of the Indians, named Kalanus, is said to have received him very rudely, and to have proudly bidden him to take off his clothes and speak to him naked, as otherwise he would not hold any conversation with him, even if he came from Zeus himself. ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... convinced and angry a cynic and pessimist, his behaviour had been remarkable. When I returned to Fanny she was admiring her pretty, new, dove-coloured frock in the fly-blown mirror of our sitting-room. Poor child, her experience of new frocks ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... The old cynic, who alone knew his real purpose, was in his most genial mood to-night, and the grim lines of his powerful face relaxed into something like a smile as they ate and chatted and ...
— The Clansman - An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan • Thomas Dixon

... aims to make himself, in a small way, the Peabody of Paris. A cynic might maintain that his gifts were a trifle sensational, and shaped with a view to procure the greatest amount of notoriety at the price; but that they are frequent, and that they show a hearty love for Paris on the Englishman's part, none can ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... followed her beloved George Louis. One seems to be speaking of Captain Macheath, and Polly, and Lucy. The king we had selected; the courtiers who came in his train; the English nobles who came to welcome him, and on many of whom the shrewd old cynic turned his back—I protest it is a wonderful satirical picture. I am a citizen waiting at Greenwich pier, say, and crying hurrah for King George; and yet I can scarcely keep my countenance, and help laughing at the ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... physical conservation for the eugenic good of the race and mental dominance over matter. But I'm infernally lazy myself, and it's easy to preach. It's even easier to create a counter-philosophy of condonance and individualism, and I'm alternately an ethical egoist, a Fabian socialist and a cynic. Moreover, I'm a creature of whims and inconsistencies and there are black nights in my temperament when John Barleycorn lightens the gloom; and there are other nights when he treacherously deepens it—but I'm peculiarly balanced and subject to ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... and neither the honor nor the gain held out by them was sufficient to determine me to their cultivation: for I was not, thank Heaven, in a condition which compelled me to make merchandise of science for the bettering of my fortune; and though I might not profess to scorn glory as a cynic, I yet made very slight account of that honor which I hoped to acquire only through fictitious titles. And, in fine, of false sciences I thought I knew the worth sufficiently to escape being deceived by the professions of an alchemist, the predictions of an astrologer, ...
— A Discourse on Method • Rene Descartes

... morning with these thoughts: I shall meet the meddler, the ingrate, the scorner, the hypocrite, the envious man, the cynic. These men are such because they know not to discern the difference between good and evil. But I know that Goodness is Beauty and that Evil is Loathsomeness: I know that the real nature of the evil-doer ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... thaws rapidly upon the Nile. They were fortunate in being without the single disagreeable person who, in these small boats, is sufficient to mar the enjoyment of the whole party. On a vessel which is little more than a large steam launch, the bore, the cynic, or the grumbler holds the company at his mercy. But the Korosko was free from anything of the kind. Colonel Cochrane Cochrane was one of those officers whom the British Government, acting upon a large ...
— The Tragedy of The Korosko • Arthur Conan Doyle

... two months since I got into this region; my Wife followed me with her maid and equipments some five weeks ago. Newington Lodge, when I came to inspect it with eyes, proved to be too rough an undertaking: upholsterers, expense and confusion,—the Cynic snarled, "Give me a whole Tub rather! I want nothing but shelter from the elements, and to be let alone of all men." After a little groping, this little furnished cottage, close by the beach of the Solway Frith, was got hold of: here ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, - 1834-1872, Vol. I • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... Let the cynic who spurns the consoling influences of friendship ponder upon the life-intimacy of these two old men who, throughout the cares and turmoils of a long and engrossing existence, illustrated so beautifully the charm of ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... is too short to waste In critic peep or cynic bark, Quarrel, or reprimand. 'Twill soon be dark; Up! mind thine own aim, and ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... Jerusalemitish plebeian-maker[216] will learn what a fine return he has made to my brilliant speeches, of which you may expect a splendid recantation. For, as well as I can guess, if that profligate is in favour with our tyrants, he will be able to crow not only over the "cynic consular,"[217] but over your Tritons of the fish-ponds also.[218] For I shall not possibly be an object of anybody's jealousy when robbed of power and of my influence in the senate. If, on the other hand, he should quarrel with them, it will not suit his purpose to attack me. However, ...
— The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... the cynic; "without it, few pursue successfully, and fewer are themselves pursued.—Stop!" he said to Miss Vere, as her companions moved off, "With you I have more to say. You have what your companions would wish to have, or be thought ...
— The Black Dwarf • Sir Walter Scott

... more than any other has caused La Rochefoucauld to be criticized severely as a cynic, if not a misanthrope, appeared only in the first two editions of the book. In the others, published in the author's lifetime, it was supprest. In defense of the author, it has been maintained that what he meant by the ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I • Various

... fellow creatures, below the platitudes and conventionalities. He is richly endowed with the divine gift of sympathy, the supreme art of discrimination, yet occasionally reveals the witty spirits of the cynic, who ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... profound, which are scattered over the pages of Helvetius, is one subtle and far-reaching sentence, which made a strong impression upon Bentham. "In order to love mankind," he writes, "we must expect little from them." This might, on the lips of a cynic, serve for a formula of that kind of misanthropy which is not more unamiable than it is unscientific. But in the mouth of Helvetius it was a plea for considerateness, for indulgence, and, above all, it was ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... of all minds and dispositions tendered their services to Lord Timon, from the glass-faced flatterer, whose face reflects as in a mirror the present humour of his patron, to the rough and unbending cynic, who affecting a contempt of men's persons, and an indifference to worldly things, yet could not stand out against the gracious manners and munificent soul of Lord Timon, but would come (against his nature) to partake of his royal entertainments, and return most rich in his ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... has a passage evidently directed at Swift: "I know another, that is an orator in the Latin, a walking index of books, has all the libraries in Europe in his head, from the Vatican at Rome, to the learned collection of Dr. Salmon at Fleet-Ditch; but at the same time, he is a cynic in behaviour, a fury in temper, impolite in conversation, abusive and scurrilous in language, and ungovernable in passion. Is this to be learned? Then may I be still illiterate. I have been in my time, pretty well master ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... of thought upon a topic of literature did not tend to slacken my previous disposition to retreat into solitude; a solitude, however, which at no time was tainted with either the moroseness or the pride of a cynic. ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... foe in thine own soul, The sloth, the intellectual pride; The trivial jest that veils the goal For which our fathers lived and died; The lawless dreams, the cynic Art, That rend thy ...
— The Lord of Misrule - And Other Poems • Alfred Noyes

... feeling of satisfaction with yourself which comes from generosity is such a desirable thing in your eyes that you want it for yourself—consequently when you show kindness and sympathy for others you are obeying the same motive as the cynic, himself, who having small sympathy for others, prefers the frank gratification of his own ego. This, of course, is pure sophistry. But if any mind is so kinked that it must reason that way, there is a simple answer which will suffice to bring it through the question ...
— Heart and Soul • Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)

... broadened to this extent we must emphatically reject it. There has been too much disposition among moralists to listen indulgently to such talk as this. When we find five nations engaged in a terrible war, and each declaring that it is only defending itself against its opponent, the cynic indeed may indolently smile at the situation, but the man of principle has a more rigorous task. Some one of those peoples is lying or is deceived, and, in the future interest of mankind, it is imperative to determine and condemn the delinquent. ...
— The War and the Churches • Joseph McCabe

... agreeable pertness and vivacity of his dialogue—Addison, whose fame as a poet greatly exceeded his genius, which was cold and enervate; though he yielded to none in the character of an essayist, either for style or matter—Swift, whose muse seems to have been mere misanthropy; he was a cynic rather than a poet, and his natural dryness and sarcastic severity would have been unpleasing, had not he qualified them, by adopting the extravagant humour of Lueian and Rabelais—Prior, lively, familiar, and amusing—Rowe, solemn, florid, and declamatory—Pope, the prince ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... Upton, severely. "Remember this: I didn't marry you because I thought you were a cynic. Now Walter as a young ...
— The Booming of Acre Hill - And Other Reminiscences of Urban and Suburban Life • John Kendrick Bangs

... coach, took the lady's hand, with that decision and positiveness which a hesitating and undecided sex know how to admire, and in an instant had dexterously and gracefully swung her to the ground and again lifted her to the platform. An audible chuckle on the box, I fear, came from that other cynic, Yuba Bill, the driver. "Look keerfully arter that baggage, Kernel," said the expressman, with affected concern, as he looked after Colonel Starbottle, gloomily bringing up the rear of the triumphant ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... of atheism, dogmatic, self-satisfied, insolent cynic. I speak especially to-night of a form of unbelief far more attractive, which is spreading, I believe, among people often of high intellect, often of virtuous life, often of great attainments in art, science, or literature. Such repudiate, and justly, the name ...
— Westminster Sermons - with a Preface • Charles Kingsley



Words linked to "Cynic" :   faultfinder, detractor, cynical, disparager, philosopher, disagreeable person



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