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Venal   Listen
adjective
Venal  adj.  Capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration; made matter of trade or barter; held for sale; salable; mercenary; purchasable; hireling; as, venal services. " Paid court to venal beauties." "The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate."
Synonyms: Mercenary; hireling; vendible. Venal, Mercenary. One is mercenary who is either actually a hireling (as, mercenary soldiers, a mercenary judge, etc.), or is governed by a sordid love of gain; hence, we speak of mercenary motives, a mercenary marriage, etc. Venal goes further, and supposes either an actual purchase, or a readiness to be purchased, which places a person or thing wholly in the power of the purchaser; as, a venal press. Brissot played ingeniously on the latter word in his celebrated saying, " My pen is venal that it may not be mercenary," meaning that he wrote books, and sold them to the publishers, in order to avoid the necessity of being the hireling of any political party. "Thus needy wits a vile revenue made, And verse became a mercenary trade." "This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful muse."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Venal" Quotes from Famous Books



... artists, men of action, princes, kings—historical figures—in whom courtesans had inspired immortal passion. He thought of the illustrious courtesans who had made themselves heroic in legend, women whose loves were countless and often venal, and yet whose renown had come down to posterity as gloriously as that of supreme poets. He thought of lifelong passionate attachments, which to the world were inexplicable, and which the world never tired of leniently discussing. He overheard ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... exult in the malediction which has kept his ashes undisturbed in its quiet and hallowed vaults. What honor could his name have derived from being mingled in dusty companionship with the epitaphs and escutcheons and venal eulogiums of a titled multitude? What would a crowded corner in Westminster Abbey have been, compared with this reverend pile, which seems to stand in beautiful loneliness as his sole mausoleum! The solitude about the grave ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... had celebrated, with various degrees of complacency and panegyric, "Paris", and "Woman", and a "Syrian Tale", and Mrs. Lefanu, and Mr. Barrett, and Mr. Howard Payne, and a long list of the illustrious obscure? Are these the men who in their venal good nature presumed to draw a parallel between the Reverend Mr. Milman and Lord Byron? What gnat did they strain at here, after having swallowed all those camels? Against what woman taken in adultery dares the foremost of these literary prostitutes to cast his opprobrious stone? Miserable man! ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... was beginning to be odious in the eyes of the European democracy, when contrasted with our antagonistical system of the divine right of the people. It is her policy and her purpose to render our institutions unstable by means of a suborned and venal press, and a band of mercenary, hireling, political and religious monarchical conspirators, parasites and traitors. These her gold can furnish. Her arms having repeatedly failed to subjugate the American democracy, she now has ...
— The Right of American Slavery • True Worthy Hoit

... Portraits of Men; Santa Conversazione. Hampton Court. Madonna and Donors. London. Daphnis and Chloe; Portrait of Lady. Bridgewater House: Holy Family. Milan. Brera: Descent of Holy Spirit; Baptism; S. Dominio presented to the Saviour by Virgin; Madonna and Saints; Venal Love. S. Maria pr. Celso: Madonna and S. Jerome. Munich. Portrait; Man counting Jewels. Paris. Portraits. Rome. Colonna: Holy Family and Saints. Treviso. Madonna and Saints. Duomo: Adoration of Shepherds; Madonna and Saints. Venice. Academy: ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... for their start across the Western Ocean, and the invalid Governor found himself a popular man on board, for it was generally understood that but for his insistence upon an immediate trial and sentence, the villain might have played upon some more venal judge and so escaped. At dinner that day Sir Charles gave many anecdotes of the deceased pirate; and so affable was he, and so skilful in adapting his conversation to men of lower degree, that captain, mate, and Governor smoked their long pipes, and drank their claret ...
— The Green Flag • Arthur Conan Doyle

... flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs, Nor sleeps with 'sleeping beauties' but anon In five facetious acts comes thundering on, While poor John Bull, bewildered with the scene, Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean; But as some hands applaud—a venal few— Rather than sleep, John Bull applauds ...
— Reminiscences of Captain Gronow • Rees Howell Gronow

... treatment. The butcher and baker are not expected to feed the hungry unless the hungry can pay; but a doctor who allows a fellow-creature to suffer or perish without aid is regarded as a monster. Even if we must dismiss hospital service as really venal, the fact remains that most doctors do a good deal of gratuitous work in private practice all through their careers. And in his paid work the doctor is on a different footing to the tradesman. Although the articles he sells, advice and treatment, are the same for all classes, his fees ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... charter renewed from time to time and retain its extraordinary special privileges, the United States Bank systematically debauched politics and such of the press as was venal; and when a critical time came, as it did in 1832-34, when the mass of the people sided with President Jackson in his aim to overthrow the bank, it instructed the whole press at its command to raise the ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... of genius: it is trifling, it is futile, worse than ignorant, superficially taught, with the politics and morals of girls at a boarding-school rather than of men and statesmen: but it is not yet desperately wicked, or so scandalously venal as in former times. Did not a triennial Parliament give up the national dignity, approve the peace of Utrecht, and almost give up everything else, in taking every step to defeat the Protestant succession? Was ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... augment this sum by all expedients, how pernicious soever to the public, or dangerous to royal authority. He put to sale the revenues and manors of the crown; the offices of greatest trust and power, even those of forester and sheriff, which anciently were so important [c], became venal; the dignity of chief justiciary, in whose hands was lodged the whole execution of the laws, was sold to Hugh de Puzas, Bishop of Durham, for a thousand marks; the same prelate bought the earldom of Northumberland for life [d]; many of the champions of the ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... exempt from the most onerous taxes, and the best places under the government were reserved for them. Therefore every man who rose to eminence or to wealth in France strove to enter their ranks, and since nobility was a purchasable commodity, through the multiplication of venal offices which conferred it, none who had much money to spend failed to secure the coveted rank. Thus the order had come to comprise almost all persons of note, and a great part of the educated class. To describe its ideas and aspirations is to describe those of most of the leaders of ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... sundering betwixt those who meant never to sunder, so it must be: but there need be no pretext of unity when the reality of it is gone: nor do we drive those who well know that they are incapable of it to profess an undying sentiment which they cannot really feel: thus it is that as that monstrosity of venal lust is no longer possible, so also it is no longer needed. Don't misunderstand me. You did not seemed shocked when I told you that there were no law-courts to enforce contracts of sentiment or passion; but so curiously are men made, that perhaps you will be shocked when I tell you that there ...
— News from Nowhere - or An Epoch of Rest, being some chapters from A Utopian Romance • William Morris

... praise attending pomp and power, The incense given to kings, Are but the trappings of an hour — Mere transitory things! The base bestow them: but the good agree 10 To spurn the venal gifts as flattery. But when to pomp and power are join'd An equal dignity of mind — When titles are the smallest claim — When wealth and rank and noble blood, 15 But aid the power of doing good — Then all their trophies last; and flattery ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... Railroad Corporation, and his desire for re-election—to retain his brilliant position— multiplies his shackles; for if he proves himself useful, the Trust will buy his Legislature—if it happens to be venal—and keep him in his place. But these instances I know must be rare, for I know the personal character of every man in the Senate. One Senator who is nearing the end of his first term told me the other day that he should not return, for his experience in the Senate had given him such a keen desire ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... policy breeds corruption inevitably. Venal men aspiring to place, avow themselves the friends of the Secretary, and if through such avowals they secure appointments, the offices will be used ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 2 • George S. Boutwell

... been obdurate. The misery of the whole family had been great: but Kiffin was most to be pitied. He was seventy years old when he was left desolate, the survivor of those who should have survived him. The heartless and venal sycophants of Whitehall, judging by themselves, thought that the old man would be easily propitiated by an Alderman's gown, and by some compensation in money for the property which his grandsons had forfeited. Penn was employed ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... homes of decent, semi-educated families, and for such society he was altogether unfitted. The licence of the streets but seldom allured him. After his twenty-fourth year he was proof against the decoys of venal pleasure, and lived a life of asceticism exceedingly rare in young and lonely men. When Christian Moxey returned to London and took the house at Notting Hill, which he henceforth occupied together with his sister, a possibility ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... sugar castle melts into the tide—the invisible army that had obeyed his sourceless voice without being able to blackmail or rebel, the perfectly balanced tool in his hands that could be used for the bribing of venal politicians, with a limitless fund for the bribery, the growing secret control of the most venal of the political machines of Earth, that by the time he needed it it would have been an irresistible weapon in his hand for the single swift political blow that would rip the Belt from ...
— The Man Who Staked the Stars • Charles Dye

... doctors are indeed pompous, self-sufficient, affectedly solemn, venal and unfeeling with a vengeance. ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... and two circumstances contributed to make that course easy. One was the great length of coast line on both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes over which a surveillance had to be exercised, making it difficult to catch the interlopers. The other was the venal connivance of the governors of the ports, who often tolerated and even encouraged the traffic on the plea that the colonists demanded it.[36] The subterfuges adopted by the interlopers were very simple. When a vessel wished to enter a Spanish port to trade, the captain, pretending that provisions ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... iniquity? What blasting whispers, and what loud declaiming! What lying, drinking, bawding, swearing, gaming! Friendship so cold, such warm incontinence; Such griping av'rice, such profuse expense; Such dead devotion, such a zeal for crimes; Such licens'd ill, such masquerading times; Such venal faith, such misapplied applause; Such flatter'd guilt, and such inverted laws; Such dissolution through the whole I find, 'Tis not a world, but chaos of mankind. Since Sundays have no balls, the well-dress'd belle Shines in the pew, but smiles to hear of ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... certainly did seem to the bystanders, that even the opposing counsel, even the judge on the bench, abstained from their prey because he was a member of Parliament. It was notorious to all the world that Griffenbottom had debased the borough; had so used its venal tendencies as to make that systematic which had before been too frequent indeed, but yet not systematized; that he had trained the rising generation of Percycross politicians to believe in political corruption;—and ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... Auletes, and Gabinius, when Proconsul in Syria, had succeeded in restoring the king to his throne—no doubt in obedience to Pompey, though not in obedience to the Senate. Auletes, when in Rome, had required large sums of money—suppliant kings when in the city needed money to buy venal Senators—and Rabirius had supplied him. The profits to be made from suppliant kings when in want of money were generally very great, but this king seems so have got hold of all the money which Rabirius possessed, so that the knight-banker found himself obliged to become one of the king's suite ...
— The Life of Cicero - Volume II. • Anthony Trollope

... "puff" of Les Madeleines Repenties is an admirable piece of rhetoric not seldom reaching eloquence; and it has the not unliterary side-interest of suggesting the question whether its ironic treatment of the general estimate of the author as Historiographer Royal to the venal Venus is genuine irony, or a mere mask for annoyance. The Preface to the dreary Fils Naturel (it must be remembered that Alexander the Younger himself was originally illegitimate and only later legitimated), though rhetorical again, is not dreary at all. It contains a very agreeable address ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... creditors being in general servants of the Company renders my task, on the part of the Company, difficult and invidious." "I have freed the sanction of this government from so corrupt a transaction. It is in my mind the most venal of all proceedings to give the Company's protection to debts that cannot bear the light; and though it appears exceedingly alarming, that a country on which you are to depend for resources should be so involved as to be nearly three years' revenue ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... the whole of their labors as mere cant and slang; I suppose it must mean compared with its own dignified and masterly pages. The majesty of the people is truly a monstrous Deity in the eye of venal and sell-created consequence. It is merely for repeating some of the sentiments expressed at these meetings, that the editor of the Journal is assailed as the arch-disturber of our ...
— 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

... Lord John Russell and Charles Tennyson respectively could scarcely have been thrown out by the same house, but squabbles arose in the cabinet, partly on the comparative guiltiness of the two venal constituencies, but chiefly on the disposal of the seats to be vacated. It was agreed at last that Penryn should be merged in the adjacent hundred, and the majority of the cabinet, represented by Peel, were for dealing in like manner with East Retford. The liberal section, however, ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... massacre the day celebrates, and the love of liberty which inspired the patriots' revolt on that memorable occasion. Yet two years earlier, as we have since discovered from a letter of Governor Hutchinson, he had been anonymously employing his venal pen in the ...
— The Romance of Old New England Rooftrees • Mary Caroline Crawford

... bosoms could be expected to last, with no prospect of reward save such as may be reckoned in the number of palkis and pletnis (whips and lashes); sons, whether rich or poor, to be exposed to cavil, cunning, and vindictiveness, to the practices of gambling judges and a profligate soldiery, to a venal police, to fraudulent employes, themselves badly paid for service, but whose extortions and abuses always meet with approval, a single complaint against whom would expose the complainant to be sent through that hopeless gate always open on the route to Siberia;—oh, for the sake of common ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... fornication to be a mortal sin, notwithstanding that a gloss [*St. Augustine, QQ. in Deut., qu. 37] on Deut. 23:17, says: "This is a prohibition against going with whores, whose vileness is venial." For instead of "venial" it should be "venal," since such is the wanton's trade. In order to make this evident, we must take note that every sin committed directly against human life is a mortal sin. Now simple fornication implies an inordinateness that tends to injure the life of the offspring to ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... from Signora Lodovico or his Commissioner of Works, Messer Ambrogio Ferrari, when not one of them is fit to undertake the task." And certain epigrams in the Windsor Sketchbook are plainly directed against the false and venal science of the astrologer Ambrogio da Rosate, whose name is given in the margin, and show how cordial was Leonardo's hatred ...
— Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497 • Julia Mary Cartwright

... of a venal race, Who think you cheat the sky With every pharisaic face And simulated lie; Round Freedom's lair, with weapons bare, We greet the light divine Of those who throned the goddess there, And yet inspire ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... sacred personage of the nation, in order that no rash resolution of the people, or senate, or judge might be executed. And this response, given in an audible voice, was final and supreme, and not like the Grecian oracles, venal and mendacious. This oracle of the Hebrew God "was a wise provision to preserve a continual sense of the principal design of their constitution—to keep the Hebrews from idolatry, and to the worship of the only true God ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... censure; so used, it often falls little short of justifiable; as, I think, under those circumstances, his action was excusable. Protestants do not recognize the distinction between venial and mortal sins. Venial must not be confounded with the very different word VENAL. Compare VENAL. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... with Boutan respecting the demoralizing effects of that nurse trade, the shameful bargaining, the common crime of two mothers, who each risked the death of her child—the idle mother who bought another's services, the venal mother who sold her milk. He felt cold at heart as he saw one child carried off still full of life, and the other remain there already so puny. And what would be fate's course? Would not one or the other, perhaps both ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... and obscene jests. Though not one of the hereditary chiefs, his influence was great. "He has the strongest head and the loudest voice among the Iroquois," wrote Lamberville to La Barre. "He calls himself your best friend.... He is a venal creature, whom you do well to keep in pay. I assured him I would send him the jerkin you promised." [Footnote: Letters of Lamberville in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. For specimens of Big Mouth's skill in drawing, see ibid., IX. ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... presents.... (Inspecting parcels.) Are my arrangements complete? The bundle of choice cigars, in each of which a charge of nitro-glycerine has been dexterously inserted? The lip-salve, made up from my own prescription with corrosive sublimate by a venal chemist in the vicinity? The art flower-pot, containing a fine specimen of the Upas plant, swathed in impermeable sacking? The sweets compounded with sugar of lead? The packet of best ratsbane? Yes, nothing has been omitted. Now to summon my faithful MONKSHOOD.... ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 22nd, 1890 • Various

... of the heroes of yore, who, whenever their origin was involved in obscurity, modestly announced themselves descended from a god, and who never visited a foreign country but what they told some cock-and-bull stories about their being kings and princes at home. This venal trespass on the truth, though it has been occasionally played off by some pseudo marquis, baronet, and other illustrious foreigner, in our land of good-natured credulity, has been completely discountenanced in this sceptical, matter-of-fact age; and I even ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... contempt for women had taken possession of the young fellow. He would have liked to spit in their faces—all venal creatures—he knew quite enough about them now, ay, and ...
— The Son of His Mother • Clara Viebig

... House over a bill as to which there was a bitter contest between two New York City street railway organizations, I saw lobbyists come down on the floor itself and draw venal men out into the lobbies with almost no pretense of concealing what they were doing. In another case in which the elevated railway corporations of New York City, against the protest of the Mayor and the other local authorities, rushed through a bill remitting over half their ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... if recourse is had to the courts which are established by Common Law, either those set up by us, or by the regular judges which we are bound to recognize, there is presented by venal men the tangled forest of the Decretals, under the pretext, as it were, of the sacred memory of Pope Alexander, and the more ancient sacred Canons are thrown away, rejected, ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... concessions, which the allies against him rejected. He was obliged to continue the contest with exhausted resources and a saddened soul. He offered Marlborough four millions to use his influence to procure a peace; but this general, venal as he was, preferred ambition to money. The despair which once overwhelmed Holland now overtook France. The French marshals encountered a greater general than William III., whose greatness was in the heroism of his soul and his ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VIII • John Lord

... "'The most venal and sordid of all the superstitions that have swept and darkened our globe may, indeed, like African locusts, have consumed the green corn in very extensive regions, and may return periodically to consume it; but the strong, ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... the more is he universally admired; you, as you have used your advantages unworthily, have incurred the greater disgrace. This topic, then, I shall pass over. Indeed, Athenians, a correct observer will find the source of his greatness here, [Footnote: In this assembly, by the contrivance of venal orators, or through the supineness of the people. In the first Philippic there is a more pointed allusion to the practices of Philip's adherents, who are charged with sending him secret intelligence of what passed at home. Such men as Aristodemus, Neoptolemus, perhaps Demades and others are referred ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... light; and should think myself a traitor to the constitution of my country, if I voted for either. If every elector would bring the same consideration home to his conscience, we should not have such reason to exclaim against the venality of p—ts. But we all are a pack of venal and corrupted rascals; so lost to all sense of honesty, and all tenderness of character, that, in a little time, I am fully persuaded, nothing will be ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... and rebuke; and I saw that the very eye of a chosen one lifted on these children of Belial was sufficient to dismay and put them to flight. I walked aside to my friend, who stood at a distance looking on, and he said to me: "What thinkest thou now?" and I answered in the words of the venal prophet, "Lo, now, if I had a sword into mine hand ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... have beaten both candidates and disfranchised the borough. As it is, it is probable the matter will be taken up and the borough disfranchised. The right of voting is as bad as possible in the freemen, who are the lowest rabble of the town and, as it appears, a parcel of venal wretches. Here comes the difficulty of Reform, for how is it possible to reform ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... requires virtue to execute them. The Spanish sovereigns were more humane than their subjects, but the latter were ready with expedients for evading laws whose execution would have hindered their avaricious undertakings in the distant colonies, while venal officials lent their connivance to these violations, instead of administering the laws in the spirit in which their authors had conceived them. The statute books of the worst despotisms are adorned with the wisest and most liberal ordinances. From the irades ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... had been a young man of fortune I should have been the most unhappy rascal upon earth, for I should have always suspected that every woman liked me for my wealth—I should have had no pleasure in the smiles of an angel—angels, or their mothers, are so venal now-a-days, and so fond of the pomps and vanities of ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. V - Tales of a Fashionable Life • Maria Edgeworth

... Datatario alone brought from ten to fourteen thousand crowns a month into the Papal treasury in 1560.[55] This large sum accrued from the composition of benefices and the sale of vacant offices. The Camera Apostolica, or Chamber of Justice, was no less venal. A price was set on every crime, for which its punishment could be commuted into cash-payment. Even so severe a Pope as Paul IV. committed to his nephew, by published and printed edict, the privilege of compounding with criminals by fines.[56] One consequence ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... between the lines of his speech a cynic could only infer that the Upper House, as at present constituted, is such a useless and superfluous assembly that it does not much matter who gets into it or by what venal ladder ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 15, 1917 • Various

... pathicorum" first came before me by a chance of earlier life. In 1845, when Sir Charles Napier had conquered and annexed Sind, despite a fraction (mostly venal) which sought favour with the now defunct "Court of Directors to the Honourable East India Company," the veteran began to consider his conquest with a curious eye. It was reported to him that Karachi, a townlet of some two thousand ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... intervention of foreign powers. The third estate, jealous and envious, fiercely demanded their place and their rights amongst the privileged castes; its justice appeared hatred. The Assembly comprised in its bosom all these weaknesses, all this egotism, all these vices. Mirabeau was venal, Barnave jealous, Robespierre fanatic, the Jacobin Club blood-thirsty, the National Guard selfish, La Fayette a waverer, the government a nullity. No one desired the Revolution but for his own purpose, and according to his own scheme; and it ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... regarding the Union may perhaps be worth notice. It has sometimes been suggested that it was carried by a venal oligarchy in opposition to the will of the great mass of the population, of the Roman Catholic population in particular. This is precisely the reverse of the truth. The oligarchy controlled the Parliament, ...
— Against Home Rule (1912) - The Case for the Union • Various

... came all that way to save me from an unjust death. And is such a woman to be insulted? I blush for the hired advocate who cannot see his superior in an incorruptible witness, a creature all truth, piety, purity, unselfishness, and goodness. Yes, sir, you began by insinuating that she was as venal as yourself; for you are one that can be bought by the first-comer; and now you would cast a slur on her chastity. For shame! for shame! This is one of those rare women that adorn our whole sex, and embellish human nature; and, so long as you have the privilege ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... But mere thought of the law frightened her; the longer she pondered her situation the more she realized her own impotence. There was no doubt that the courts were corrupt: they were notoriously venal at best, and this war had made them worse. Graft was rampant everywhere. To confess publicly that Esteban Varona had left no deeds, no title to his property, would indeed be the sheerest folly. No, Cueto ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... learned man thinks himself obliged to commence politician.—Such pamphlets will be as trifling and insincere as the venal quit-rent of a birth-day ode. [Footnote: On another scrap of paper I find "the miserable quit-rent of an annual pamphlet." It was his custom in composition (as will be seen by many other instances) thus to try the ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... seen overthrowing Pyr'rhus and Hannibal, as much by their virtues as their arms. They were now only to be distinguished from the rest of the people by their superior luxuries; and ruled the commonwealth by the weight of an authority gained from riches and mercenary dependents. 19. The venal and the base were attached to them from motives of self-interest; and they who still ventured to be independent, were borne down, and entirely lost in an infamous majority. 20. In short, the empire at this period came under ...
— Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome • Oliver Goldsmith

... the other to write as much as possible; accordingly tedious compilations and periodical magazines are the result of their joint endeavors. In these circumstances the author bids adieu to fame; writes for bread; and for that only imagination is seldom called in. He sits down to address the venal muse with the most phlegmatic apathy; and, as we are told of the Russian, courts his mistress by falling asleep ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... disgraceful scene of his cross-examination at Westminster, and the condemnation by his venal judges at the order of a paltry king. It became known, or shrewdly guessed, that Spain had sent to James I. a hectoring alternative that Raleigh must be executed in London or sent alive for a like purpose to Madrid. The trial was a cowardly and ignominious ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... and ordinary proceeding; and, in the present instance, the only course consistent with prudence and common sense. Those who maintained the contrary were either flighty enthusiasts, whose opinion was not worth considering, or venal orators, who had sold their country for a bribe. "Will you suffer yourselves," asked the indignant moralist, "to be blinded by these corrupt advocates, who amuse you with their eloquence, and then pocket the price? But it is your own fault: you have no sense of public responsibility—you ...
— Stories From Thucydides • H. L. Havell

... Antiochus and the Aetolians. They also, by the direction of Quinctius, sent immediate succours of five hundred men to Chalcis, and five hundred to the Piraeus; for affairs at Athens were in a state not far from a civil war, in consequence of the endeavours, used by some, to seduce the venal populace, by hopes of largesses, to take part with Antiochus. But at length Quinctius was called thither by those who were of the Roman party; and Apollodorus, the principal adviser of a revolt, being publicly charged therewith ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... And Navies yawn'd for orders on the main. "O Muse! relate, (for you can tell alone, Wits have short memories, and dunces none,) Relate who first, who last, resign'd to rest; Whose heads she partly, whose completely blest, What charms could faction, what ambition lull, The venal quiet, and intrance the dull; Till drown'd was Sense and Shame, and Right and Wrong— O sing, and hush the nations ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various

... had once ventured to pass the bounds of virtue, and they soon proceeded to enormity. This was particularly conspicuous in that general conduct, which they uniformly observed, after any unsuccessful conflict. Influenced only by the venal motives of European traffick, they first made war upon the neighbouring tribes, contrary to every principle of justice; and if, by the flight of the enemy, or by other contingencies, they were disappointed of their prey, they made no hesitation of immediately turning their arms against ...
— An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African • Thomas Clarkson

... him, and his contempt for money, which he squandered with a prodigal hand, had secured for him the good-will of the ferrymen, and the friendship of the surrounding emigrants. But there was one whose esteem had no venal mixture in it. This was Mary, the old ferryman's daughter, a fair-cheeked girl of nineteen, who never neglected an opportunity of performing a kind office for her father's temporary guest; and when he and his man departed ...
— Wild Western Scenes • John Beauchamp Jones

... that time to this has given its tone and character to the British affairs and government. It marks and specifies the origin and true principle of all the abuses which Mr. Hastings was afterwards appointed to correct, and which the Commons charge that he continued and aggravated: namely, the venal depositions and venal exaltations of the country powers; the taking of bribes and corrupt presents from all parties in those changes; the vitiating and maiming the Company's records; the suppression of public correspondence; corrupt combinations and conspiracies; ...
— The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... to encounter at this school, and which, but for a mere accident, would have fixed upon my character an indelible stain; and I am especially induced to notice it by the circumstance of its having been grossly misrepresented by the venal part of the public press. I believe it appeared either in one or both of those sinks of corruption, those stews of falsehood, those unblushing vehicles of calumny and lies, the Morning Post and the Courier, viz. "that Hunt, when a boy, was turned out of a school ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... his fingers touch'd the purse's strings, The chinking metal made a magic sound, While hungry placemen gather'd fast around: And he, as if by chance or play, Or that he would their venal votes repay, The golden treasures round ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 5, 1841 • Various

... ourselves our safety must be sought; That by our own right hands it must be wrought, That we must stand unpropp'd, or be laid low. O Dastard whom such foretaste doth not chear! We shall exult, if They who rule the land Be Men who hold its many blessings dear, Wise, upright, valiant; not a venal Band, Who are to judge of danger which they fear, And honour which they do ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 1 • William Wordsworth

... gross, too infirm, for your inspection; but if you durst have looked nearer, you would not have found Cowardice in the number of his infirmities.—We will try if we cannot redeem him from this universal censure.—Let the venal corporation of authors duck to the golden fool, let them shape their sordid quills to the mercenary ends of unmerited praise, or of baser detraction;—old Jack, though deserted by princes, though censured by an ungrateful world, and persecuted from ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... Dryden's reputation is based on his other poems, and although his dramas have conduced scarcely at all to his fame, he did play a principal part in this department of literary work. Dryden made haste to answer the call, and his venal muse wrote to please the town. The names of many of his plays and personages are foreign; but their vitality is purely English. Of his first play, The Duke of Guise, which was unsuccessful, he tells us: "I undertook this as the fairest way which the Act of Indemnity had left us, as setting forth ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... cite with pride her Varela, Musquiz, Gabarrus, Ulloa, Jovellanos, &c., was little cultivated or encouraged in that decay of the Spanish monarchy which commenced with the reign of the idiotic Carlos IV., and his venal minister Godoy, and in the wars and revolutions which followed the accession, and ended not with the death of Fernando his son, the late monarch—was almost lost sight of; though Canga Arguelles, lately deceased only, might compete with the most erudite economist, here or elsewhere, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... alone, as he needs no propitiation, while devoting sacrifice and ritual to fetishes and ghosts. That this should be done is perfectly natural if the Supreme Being (who wants no sacrifice) were the first evolved in thought, while venal fetishes and spirits came in as a result of the ghost theory. But if, as a result of the ghost theory, the Supreme Being came last in evolution, he ought to be the most fashionable object of worship, the latest developed, the most powerful, and most to be propitiated. ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... of France, I must conclude, in the list of those once popular, the ci-devant Duke of Orleans. But it was an unnatural popularity, unaided by a single talent, or a single virtue, supported only by the venal efforts of those who were almost his equals in vice, though not in wealth, and who found a grateful exercise for their abilities in at once profiting by the weak ambition of a bad man, and corrupting the public morals in his ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... to soften. It would even make the member himself more corrupt, by increasing his dependence on those who could best support him at elections. It would wreck the fortunes of those who stood on their own private means. It would make the electors more venal, and injure the whole body of the people who, whether they have votes or not, are concerned in elections." Finally, it would greatly impair the proper authority of the House itself. "It would deprive it of all power and dignity; and a House ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... exploded androgyne system was worked in modern France, and when he added the development of the Palladium as the climax to the mystery of iniquity, it is small wonder that his book achieved notoriety to the extent of five thousand copies. He was assailed as a venal pamphleteer and his past achievements in literature were freely disinterred for his own benefit and for public instruction, but he was more than compensated by the approbation of Mgr. Fava, bishop of Grenoble, with whose opinions upon Satanism in Masonry we have previously made acquaintance. ...
— Devil-Worship in France - or The Question of Lucifer • Arthur Edward Waite

... and displeasure at the mother's weak selfishness. It was easier to forgive and forget Rosa's sins; to lessen, in the retrospect, her worst faults into foibles, than it would have been to overlook the more venal failings of one less mercurial, and whose personal fascinations did not ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... epithets as odious and cowardly, monstrous, vile, venal and vindictive, on the Association, which he declared he wanted to ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... the causes of much that is superficially distasteful and sometimes unpleasantly disappointing in our national habits,—we would not too hastily say in our national character. Our most incorrigible blackguards, and the class of voters who are at the mercy of venal politicians, have had their training, such as it is, under forms of government and amid a social order very unlike ours. Disgust at the general dirtiness and corruption of our politics, we are told, keeps all our leading men out of public life. This appears to us, we confess, a rather ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... observed with great marks of satisfaction and triumph—'I am afraid we have shocked that gentleman's prejudices.' This did not appear to me at that time quite the thing and this happened in the year 1794.—Twice has the iron entered my soul. Twice have the dastard, vaunting, venal Crew gone over it: once as they went forth, conquering and to conquer, with reason by their side, glittering like a falchion, trampling on prejudices and marching fearlessly on in the work of regeneration; once again when they returned with retrograde steps, ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... photograph. Times almost past counting he had been taken up on suspicion; more than once had been arrested on direct charges, and at least twice had been indicted. But because of connections with crooked lawyers and approachable politicians and venal police officials and because also of his own individual canniness, he always had escaped conviction and imprisonment. There was no stink of the stone hoosgow on his correctly tailored garments, and no barber other ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... they found that Grant was not disposed to favor their arguments. The prospect looked very black for them. Gould met the situation with matchless audacity. By spreading subtle rumors, and by inspiring press reports through venal writers, he deceived not only the whole of Wall Street, but even his own associates, into believing that high Government officials were in collusion with him. The report was assiduously disseminated that the Government did not ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... The authorities were by no means helpful, and the engineer was driven to an old expedient with the object of overcoming this difficulty. "We endeavour all we can," he says, in one of his letters, "to make ourselves popular, and this we find most effectually accomplished by 'regaling the venal beasts.'" {196} He also gave a ball at Mariquita, which passed off with eclat, the governor from Honda, with a host of friends, honouring it with their presence. It was, indeed, necessary to "make a party" in this way, as other schemers were ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... maritime Share Literal Sun Solar Star Astral, sideral, stellar Sunday Dominical Spring Vernal Summer Estival Seed Seminal Ship Naval, nautical Shell Testaceous Sleep Soporiferous Strength Robust Sweat Sudorific Step Gradual Sole Venal Two Second Treaty Federal Trifle Nugatory Tax Fiscal Time Temporal, chronical Town Oppidan Thanks Gratuitous Theft Furtive Threat Minatory Treachery Insidious Thing Real Throat Jugular, gutteral Taste Insipid Thought Pensive Thigh Femoral Tooth ...
— Lectures on Language - As Particularly Connected with English Grammar. • William S. Balch

... a premium of twenty to twenty-five per cent. before the first payment had been made. Thus, the distribution of stock became a public scandal, deplored in the messages of the Governor and assailed by the press. "The unclean drippings of venal legislation," the New York Evening Post called it. But no remedy was applied. The Governor, in spite of his regrets, signed every charter the Legislature granted, and the commissioners, as if ignorant of the provisions to secure a fair distribution of the stock, continued to ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... in England are endowed with high notions of honour and independence, I thoroughly believe. They have evidenced it lately on very important questions, and have given an example of adherence to principle, in preference to party and power, that must have astonished many of the venal and obsequious courts of Europe. Such are the glorious effects of freedom, when infused into a constitution. But it seems to me, that they are apt to forget the positive nature of their duties, and to fancy that their eminent privileges ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... holy: ay, but what law? Is there nothing more divine Than the patched-up broils of Congress, venal, full of meat and wine? Is there, say you, nothing higher? Naught, God save us! that transcends Laws of cotton texture, wove by vulgar men for ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... deranged; so that his large estate was his great misfortune, to enjoy which his enemies had recourse to fraud, and pretended to doubt of the mercy of Heaven in restoring him from the condition of a brute to that of a man. In short, he talked so plausibly that he made the rector appear venal and corrupt, his relations unnatural, and himself so discreet that the chaplain determined to take him immediately to the archbishop, that he might be satisfied ...
— Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... Spain. Giovio, from his intimate relations with the principal persons of his time, had also access to the best sources of knowledge, while in the notice of foreign transactions he was but little exposed to those venal influences, which led him too often to employ the golden or iron pen of history as interest dictated. Unfortunately, a lamentable hiatus occurs in his greatest work, "Historiae sui Temporis," embracing the whole period intervening ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V2 • William H. Prescott

... good hap to find the monster and break his horn, nor indeed had they any idea of his whereabouts; but their neighbors, the Algonkins, furnished them at times small fragments for a large consideration.[114-4] Clearly the myth had been taught them for venal purposes by their trafficking visitors. Now among the Algonkins, the Shawnee tribe did more than all others combined to introduce and carry about religious legends and ceremonies. From the earliest times they seem to have had peculiar aptitude for ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... hand divine And wrote the judgment-sign, And Babylon fell!—So now, in that his place Of Tudor-Stuart pride, The golden gallery wide, 'Mid venal beauty's lavish-arm'd embrace, And hills of gambler-gold, a godless King Moved ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... philosophy which makes such a man covet the quiet, will make him eschew the inutility of the hermitage. Very little praiseworthy would LORD BOLINGBROKE have seemed among his haymakers and ploughmen, if among haymakers and ploughmen he had looked with an indifferent eye upon a profligate minister and a venal Parliament. Very little interest would have attached to his beans and vetches, if beans and vetches had caused him to forget that if he was happier on a farm he could be more useful in a Senate, and made him forego, in the sphere of a bailiff, all care for re-entering that ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... emulation; but, conducted as it now was, it led to a general degradation of poetry. Barbarism in (396) language, and a corruption of taste, were the natural consequences of this practice, while the judgment of the multitude was either blind or venal, and while public approbation sanctioned the crudities of hasty composition. There arose, however, in this period, some candidates for the bays, who carried their efforts beyond the narrow limits which custom and inadequate genius prescribed to the poetical exertions of their ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... me but the liberty of the press, and I will give to the minister a venal House of Peers—I will give him a corrupt and servile House of Commons—I will give him the full sway of the patronage of office—I will give him the whole host of ministerial influence—I will give him all the power that place can confer upon him to purchase up submission and ...
— The Continental Monthly, Volume V. Issue I • Various

... naturally in this type of exposure that King should criticize some of the legal subterfuges, which in turn brought him to analysis of the firm's legal advisers, who had previously enjoyed a good reputation. From such subjects he drifted to dueling, venal newspapers, and soon down to the ordinary criminals such as Billy Mulligan, Wooley Kearny, Casey, Cora, Yankee Sullivan, Ned McGowan, Charles Duane, and many others. Never did he hesitate to specify names and instances. He never dealt in innuendoes. This was bringing him very ...
— The Forty-Niners - A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado • Stewart Edward White

... and honor. One of the young princes showed a high spirit, and Jugurtha had him assassinated. The other fled to Rome and sought the support of the senate. Jugurtha now, following the suggestions of his false friends, sent gold and promises to Rome, purchased the support of venal senators, and had voted to him the strongest half of the kingdom; Adherbal, the young prince, being given the ...
— Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... the bitterness accumulated in the heart of that helpless creature had got into her veins, and, like some subtle poison, had decomposed her fidelity to that hateful pair. It was a great piece of luck for him, he reflected; because women are seldom venal after the manner of men, who can be bought for material considerations. She would be a good ally, though it was not likely that she was allowed to hear as much as the tables and chairs of the Chateau Borel. That could not be expected. But ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... down as a principle that commerce is the venal interchange of what human art or nature yields, and which should not be purchased by wealth, but demanded by want. Labor and commerce, when badly regulated, scatter ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley as a Philosopher and Reformer • Charles Sotheran

... Romanists, who are three fourths of the Christian world, it is a most prominent doctrine, everywhere vehemently proclaimed and acted on: that is the meaning of the sacrament of extreme unction, whereby, on submission to the Church and confession to a priest, the venal sins of the dying man are forgiven, purgatory avoided or lessened, and heaven made sure. The ghost of the King of Denmark complains most of the unwarned suddenness of his murder, not of the murder itself, but of its suddenness, which ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... young William was arrested and lodged in jail and a corrupt and venal judge laughed with contempt at his plea. After three long days in jail, came Mr. Hicks, senior, who compounded with the boat owner for two hundred and fifty dollars, the boat being, as the owner swore, of Spanish ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... reformation of the papacy. His son and grandson succeeded him, Otto II. in 973, Otto III. in 983. In 996 died Pope John XV., a Roman whom the Frankish chronicler, Abbo of Fleury, declares to have been lustful of filthy lucre and venal in all his acts. To Otto the clergy, senate, and people of Rome submitted the election of his successor. He chose his own cousin Bruno, "a man of holiness, of wisdom, and of virtue,"—news, to quote the same saintly writer, more precious ...
— The Church and the Barbarians - Being an Outline of the History of the Church from A.D. 461 to A.D. 1003 • William Holden Hutton

... care, all venal strife, To try the still, compared with active, life; To prove, by these, the sons of men may owe The fruits of bliss to bursting clouds of woe; That ev'n calamity, by thought refined, Inspirits and ...
— Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift • Samuel Johnson

... kind. One great debt we generously cancelled; but the manner in which our generosity has been requited forces us to remember that he was long ago impeached for receiving money from France. How can we be safe while a man proved to be venal has access to the royal ear? Our best laid enterprises have been defeated. Our inmost counsels have been betrayed. And what wonder is it? Can we doubt that, together with this home trade in charters, a profitable foreign ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the history of the gaekwars was very much the same as that of most territorial houses in India: an occasional able minister, more rarely an able prince; but, on the other hand, a long dreary list of incompetent heads, venal advisers and taskmasters oppressive to the people. At last a fierce family feud came to a climax. In 1873 an English committee of inquiry was appointed to investigate various complaints of oppression against the gaekwar, Malhar Rao, who had recently succeeded to ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... all would have been well. But our impetus carried us too far, the privileged orders goaded us on by their very opposition, and the result is the horror of which yesterday you saw no more than the beginnings. No, no," he ended. "Careers there may be for venal place-seekers, for opportunists; but none for a man who desires to respect himself. It is time to go. I make ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... unbecoming, unbeseeming^, unbefitting; derogatory, degrading; infra dignitatem [Lat.], beneath one's dignity; ungentlemanly, ungentlemanlike; unknightly^, unchivalric^, unmanly, unhandsome; recreant, inglorious. corrupt, venal; debased, mongrel. faithless, of bad faith, false, unfaithful, disloyal; untrustworthy; trustless, trothless^; lost to shame, dead to honor; barratrous. Adv. dishonestly &c adj.; mala fide [Lat.], like a thief in the night, by ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... progress, fellow-citizens, marked the gravest crisis in the affairs of our grand old state that an intelligent constituency had ever been called upon to vote down, but that he felt they were on the eve of a sweeping victory that would sweep the corrupt hell-hounds of a venal opposition into an ignominy from which they would never be swept by any base act of his while they honoured him with their suffrages, because his life was an open book and he challenged any son-of-a-gun ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... Brasidas; but his merits were debased by mean and sordid vices; and his is one of the cases in which history has been austerely just, and where little or no fame has been accorded to the successful but venal soldier. But for the purpose for which he was required in Sicily, an abler man could not have been found in Lacedaemon. His country gave him neither men nor money, but she gave him her authority; and the influence of her name and of his own talents was speedily seen in the zeal with which ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... seldom; unless they be landholders! But see, see, there are my clients, descending the steps of the Comitium! By all the Gods! I am too late! their audience is ended! Now, by Themis, the goddess of justice! will they deem me also venal!" ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 2 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... all); and how the neighboring ravenous Powers, on-lookers hitherto, have opened their throats with one accord to swallow Prussia, thinking its downfall certain: "Poor mercenary Sweden, once so famous under its soldier Kings, now debased by a venal Senate;"—Sweden, "what say I? my own kindred [foolish Anspach and others], driven by perverse motives, join in the plot of horrors, and become satellites ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... Company's employees, untrained in war—namely that a weak-walled native town lying right against the northern wall of Fort St. George was a serious danger. The houses offered convenient cover for any enemies that might attack the Fort; and, moreover, any disaffected or venal townsman was in a position to give the assailants valuable help. The French Governor set himself, therefore, to the deliberate destruction of Black Town. He first destroyed the Town Wall, and then—for a distance of 400 yards from the northern ...
— The Story of Madras • Glyn Barlow

... 'Independence.' And this is what disgusts us, that under cover of principles so dear to us all, independence and national honour, these brave men are sent to the battlefield to preserve for a tyrannical and venal oligarchy the right to share amongst themselves, and distribute as they please, the gold which is levied on the ...
— Native Races and the War • Josephine Elizabeth Butler

... rais'd below: The Face of Guilt a Flush of Vertue wears, And sudden burst the involuntary Tears: Honour's sworn Foe, the Libertine with Shame, Descends to curse the sordid lawless Flame; The tender Maid here learns Man's various Wiles, Rash Youth, hence dread the Wanton's venal Smiles— Sure 'twas by brutal Force of envious Man, First Learning's base Monopoly began; He knew your Genius, and refus'd his Books, Nor thought your Wit less fatal than your Looks. Read, proud Usurper, read with conscious Shame, Pathetic Behn, or Mauley's ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... expression in ceaseless efforts to propitiate the malign spirits surrounding them on every side. Thus they were given over to the mastery of those amongst them who had the traditional art of such propitiation, and fell more or less completely under that cruellest and most venal of sways, the tyranny of the witch-doctor. It is impossible to doubt, and hard to exaggerate, the grinding and brutal exactions to which this rule led. Anything that a man possessed might be demanded and must be yielded, on pain of disease and death, even to the whole season's catch ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... votes on that ballot to Drouet, the postmaster's son of Ste-Menehould, Mr. Carlyle's 'bold old dragoon,' who stopped the carriage of Louis XVI. at Varennes. He was one of the special adherents of Marat, and a most vicious and venal creature, as his own memoirs, giving among other matters an account of his grotesque attempt to fly down out of his Austrian prison with a pair of paper wings, abundantly attest. He escaped the guillotine, and ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... the peculations of a life. Our ears have rung with the noisy frothiness of those who have bought their fellow-men as beasts in the market-place, and found their reward in the sycophancy of a degraded constituency, or the patronage of a venal ministry—no matter of what creed, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... amount of disguise could hide its identity from his penetrating glance. Without great vision or imagination, he knew criminals as did few other men; could reason from cause to effect within certain channels, unerringly. He was heartless, ruthless—some said venal. But he caught and convicted felons, solved the problems of his office by a dogged perseverance that ignored defeat. For, with a mind essentially tricky, he anticipated tricksters—unless their operations were beyond ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... back, one or two of them seized an entire railroad under cover of what was the merest parody of purchase and opposed both to law and to public policy, afterward defending their outrage in the courts through the brazen aid of venal judges and bringing to Albany (headquarters of their attempted theft) a great carload of New York ruffians, each with a proxy in his soiled and desperate hand—an instrument almost as illegal as the pistol which those hands ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... killing the goose with the golden eggs has not been evolved for nothing out of the wisdom of mankind. It is a story that will never grow old. That is why Charles Gould in his deep, dumb way has countenanced the Ribierist Mandate, the first public act that promised him safety on other than venal grounds. Ribierism has failed, as everything merely rational fails in this country. But Gould remains logical in wishing to save this big lot of silver. Decoud's plan of a counter-revolution may be practicable or not, it may have ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... nominal leader," replied Dunkirk. "Roebuck is far too shrewd for that. No, he has put forward as the decoy my colleague, Croffut,—perhaps you know him? If so, I needn't tell you what a vain, shallow, venal fellow he is, with his gift of gab ...
— The Plum Tree • David Graham Phillips

... to what hinders our agreeing. [Me,] whom fine garments and dressed locks adorned, whom you know to have pleased venal Cynara without a present, whom [you have seen] quaff flowing Falernian from noon—a short supper [now] delights, and a nap upon the green turf by the stream side; nor is it a shame to have been gay, ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... effect the wish of the great body of Christians. It was the masses, therefore, who made the mediaeval church. It possessed a corporate organization and hierarchy which was a body of personal interests, in which ambition, cupidity, and love of power were awakened. The church was venal, sensual, gross, and inhuman, because the mores of the age were such. How could the church be other than the age was? Where was it to find inspiration or illumination from without which should make ecclesiastics anything but men of their age? The men of that age left on record ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... would disregard the Constitution, the laws, and all the great examples of our history; also a consciousness of power such as comes from the habit of power; a combination of energies found only in a hundred arms directed by a hundred eyes; a control of public opinion through venal pens and a prostituted press; an ability to subsidize crowds in every vocation of life—the politician with his local importance, the lawyer with his subtle tongue, and even the authority of the judge on the ...
— American Eloquence, Volume III. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... insufficiently represented, and the boroughs were venal. The Irish parliament was, in fact, an Oligarchy, and Edgeworth realised this danger. He, however, wished the reform to be carried on 'through the intervention of parliament,' while the more extreme party insisted on sending delegates from the volunteers ...
— Richard Lovell Edgeworth - A Selection From His Memoir • Richard Lovell Edgeworth

... as subtle as a Jesuit, he has as many ways of converting the folks among whom he is thrown as Panurge had of eating the corn in ear. For the simple and credulous—crosses and beads; for the hard-hearted and venal—material considerations; for the cultured and educated—a fine tissue of epigrams and anthropology; for the ladies—flattery and badinage. A spiritual ancestor of Anatole France's marvellous full-length figure ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... the proprietor of this regenerated journal submitted without complaint and without reply to the cowardly insinuations with which a venal press insults all citizens who, strong in their convictions, refuse to pass beneath the Caudine Forks of power. Long enough has a man, who has already given proofs of devotion and abnegation in the important functions ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... waterfall gave me back the reverberating words! How the lime trees rocked to the final crack of the whip over the unhappy Grafton! "The learned dullness of declamation will be silent; and even the venal Muse, though happiest in fiction, will forget ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... rather my habit to talk in earnest. Next to the evil of having all public men in this land corrupt; next to the evil of having all our governmental affairs in the hands of men venal and weak and narrow, debauching public life and carrying it down to destruction, is the calamity of having all the young men believe it is so, whether it be so or not. [Applause.] Teach all the boys to believe that every man who goes into public life ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O • Various

... Journal announced them the day before publication, the newsboys cried them, and papers called attention to them, some by daring to indorse, but more by abusing Mr. Riddle for publishing such unpatriotic and "incendiary rant." In quoting the strong points, a venal press was constrained to "scatter the living coals of truth." The name was held to be a nom de plume, for in print it looked so unlike the common pronunciation of that of one of the oldest families ...
— Half a Century • Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm

... organs of the capital, with the exception of the moderately liberal Novosti ("The News") which managed to survive the shipwreck of the liberal press, became either openly or secretly the official mouthpieces of the Government. The venal Novoye Vremya, which the Russian satirist Shchedrin had branded as "the sewer," embarked, towards the end of the eighties, on the noble enterprise of hunting down the Jews with a zeal which was clear evidence of a higher demand for Judaeophobia in the official world. There was no accusation, ...
— History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II • S.M. Dubnow

... married in December, 1833, to her paramour, Munoz, within three months of the decease of the king her husband, and this was kept secret for fifteen years from the Spanish people, until, under the auspices of the new government of Narvaez, it was at last brought to light, for purposes at once venal and revolting. This disclosure incensed the Spanish people, and revived the hopes of both the republican and Carlist parties. The corrupt practices of Senor Salamanca also coming before the public, disgusted the nation with its public men. As will be seen on another page, France ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... and the lawyers are now fighting tooth and nail over the costs. The judges gave me one hundred and sixty pounds damages, but, as I lost the demurrer with costs, the balance will doubtless be small. But, if the pecuniary result is small, the victory over the pirates and the venal part ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, December, 1885 • Various

... some use. The belief in a creative purpose led Harvey to discover the circulation of the blood. He says: "When I took notice that the valves in the veins of so many parts of the body were so placed that they gave a free passage to the blood towards the heart, but opposed the passage of the venal blood the contrary way, I was incited to imagine that so provident a cause as Nature has not placed so many valves without design, and no design seemed more probable than the circulation of the blood."[275] The wonderful discoveries ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... easy conscience, familiar alike with the subject under consideration and legislative procedure, and last, but not least, of confidential agents authorized and prepared to enter into secret negotiations with venal members. The lobby which represents the railroad companies at legislative sessions is usually the largest, the most sagacious and the most unscrupulous of all. Its work is systematic and thorough, its methods are unscrupulous and its resources ...
— The Railroad Question - A historical and practical treatise on railroads, and - remedies for their abuses • William Larrabee

... and well-known horror of civil war, made him the worst of colleagues for the only policy his tool could wield with effect; and the great demagogue himself, when obliged to discard the mask of democratic hypocrisy that still partly hid the subtle and venal traitor of his party, would have lost, like Strafford, many of the elements of his potency; and despoiled, especially, of the miraculous resources of his eloquence, must have contented himself with that lucid, common-sense, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... the sweeping curve of white letters in which the name of the owner of the bakery was set forth was added in smaller letters the words "Cafe Nuernberger." Gottlieb and Aunt Hedwig and the man who made the sign (this last, however, for the venal reason that more letters would be required) had stood out stoutly for the honest German "Kaffehaus;" but Minna, whose tastes were refined, had insisted upon the use of the French word: there was more style about it, she said. And this was a case in which style was wedded to substantial ...
— A Romance Of Tompkins Square - 1891 • Thomas A. Janvier

... Tartaree From the Navel to the Knee; That her Father's Gracy-Grace Might give him a Placy-Place. He no longer writes of Mammy Andromache and her Lammy Hanging panging at the Breast Of a Matron most distrest. Now the Venal Poet sings Baby Clouts, and Baby Things, Baby Dolls, and Baby Houses, Little Misses, Little Spouses; Little Play-Things, Little Toys, Little Girls, and Little Boys: As an Actor does his Part, So the Nurses get by Heart Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes, Little Jingle, Little Chimes, To repeat to Little ...
— A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) • Anonymous

... sooner or later into the hands of men of abilities even lower than the average, but endowed with the resistance of flexibility of india-rubber, qualities denied to noble genius; nay, perhaps the future newspaper proprietor will be the tradesman with capital sufficient to buy venal pens. We see such things already indeed, but in ten years' time every little youngster that has left school will take himself for a great man, slash his predecessors from the lofty height of a newspaper column, drag them down by the ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... the laws of evolution in its method of realization, and that is the secret of its vitality and power, and that is also what makes it so essentially different from that mystical and violent anarchism, which class prejudices or the exigencies of venal journalism assert is nothing but a consequence of socialism, while in fact it is the ...
— Socialism and Modern Science (Darwin, Spencer, Marx) • Enrico Ferri



Words linked to "Venal" :   venality, dishonest, bribable, corrupt, purchasable



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