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Venial   Listen
adjective
Venial  adj.  
1.
Capable of being forgiven; not heinous; excusable; pardonable; as, a venial fault or transgression. "So they do nothing, 't is a venial slip."
2.
Allowed; permitted. (Obs.) "Permitting him the while venial discourse unblamed."
Venial sin (R. C. Theol.), a sin which weakens, but does not wholly destroy, sanctifying grace, as do mortal, or deadly, sins.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Venial" Quotes from Famous Books



... sympathize with and console him. Oh! who could blame her if in so doing she departed from the strict and literal meaning of that vow which had bound her to consider her relations as dead to her? But the fault—if fault it were—was so venial, that to justify it is to invest it with an importance which it would not have possessed save for the frightful results to which it led. You have already heard how foully he was waylaid, how ruthlessly he was ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... innocent souls! No need for these elaborate preparations. Yet what contrition, what sorrow, what love they pour forth over some simple imperfections, where even a Jansenist cannot detect the shadow of a venial sin! No wonder that my curate declares that we have material in Ireland to make it again a wonder to the world,—an Island of Saints once more! But something is wanting. He does not know what, nor do I. But he says sometimes that he feels as if he were working ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... she was his wife, as because she was so young, so innocent, so unaware of the complications of existence. How could she understand the temptations that assail a young man in the heyday of life, to whom many indulgences appear permissible or venial, which to her limited and innocent soul would seem unpardonable sins? To live even for a few years with a stainless nature like that of Lucy, in whom there was not even so much knowledge as would make ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... life of the orator. In his dull, dim way, he half recognised that the unfortunate old fellow's evils had been in great part of his own creating. He knew that he was far from faultless. That poaching business—a very venial offence in a labourer's eyes—he knew had been a serious one, a matter of some two-score pheasants and a desperate fight with a gang. Looking at it as property, the squire had been merciful, pleading with the magistrates for a mitigated ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... KAISER and his advisers determined to make it the pretext for destroying Serbia, and crushing Russia and France if they dared to interfere. BISMARCK once said that "never are so many lies told as before a war, during an election and after a shoot." His own manipulation of the Ems telegram was venial compared to the manner in which the German diplomatists, egged on by their ruler—whose marginalia on the despatches furnish the most amusing reading in the volume—used all the arts of chicanery to deceive ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 25th, 1920 • Various

... a male sheep in regard to the other sin is venial blackness. Whether the teller of such a tale as this should say so outright, may be matter of dispute; but, unless he say so, the teller of this tale does not know how to tell his tale truly. Blackness such as that will be all ...
— Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite • Anthony Trollope

... off? Rather not! One resource suggests itself: a highly improper one, I admit, not far removed indeed from larceny. O quiet paths of algebra, you are my excuse for this venial sin! Let me confess the ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... serials. It was not only in those Saturday papers which were specially devoted to graver musings that they served the cause of religion and morality. They were true sons of the Church; and if they did not go far below the surface, nor profess to do more as a rule than satirise follies and censure venial forms of vice, their tone was ever that of Christian moralists. They did no scanty service as mediators, so to say, between religion and the world. This phase of literature lived on later into the century, but it became duller and less popular. It ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... the honours of an edition of "Phalaris," was but a venial offence, compared with that committed by the celebrated volume ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... have not been entirely in agreement on this point. Clement of Alexandria said that when the seed had been sown the field must be left till harvest. But it may be concluded that, as a rule, the Church was inclined to regard intercourse during pregnancy as at most a venial sin, provided there was no danger of abortion. Augustine, Gregory the Great, Aquinas, Dens, for instance, seem to be of this mind; for a few, indeed, it is no sin at all.[11] Among animals the rule is simple and uniform; as soon as the female is impregnated at the period of oestrus ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... the story of the young man's folly substantially as he had related it to her, but she skilfully showed how one comparatively venial thing had led to another, until an act had been committed which might have resulted in years ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... in transactions which were all the time carried on with impunity, he told himself that interest could be used to make his punishment light. In these hopeful moods it was a necessity of his drama that his transgression of the law should seem venial to him. It was only when he feared the worst that ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... enforce it. No very severe reprobation follows untruthfulness. In all ages and countries, falsehood has been thought allowable in love, and laudable in war; while, at the present day, it is held to be venial by the majority of mankind, in trade, commerce, and speculation. A certain amount of untruthfulness is a necessary part of politeness in the east and west alike, while even severe moralists have held a lie justifiable, to elude an enemy or prevent a crime. Such being the difficulties ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... express it for fear of offending the notorious modesty of the senior service. So shy indeed is our Fleet of praise that I feel my apologies are due to their Chaplain for my perfectly honest commendation of his book. But he seems human enough to pardon the more venial sins. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, February 28, 1917 • Various

... should be liable to the penalties of perjury. It is probable that those penalties, by showing that the Legislature was in earnest, would turn the course of opinion in the same direction, and would hinder it from regarding, as has hitherto done, this most serious crime against society as a venial peccadillo. When once this effect has been produced, there need be no doubt that the declaration on oath or honor would be considered binding. [6] "Opinion tolerates a false disclaimer only when it already tolerates ...
— Considerations on Representative Government • John Stuart Mill

... thence-forward be on guard against me without having given me any real information. I was perfectly convinced there was a deep plot underlying the foolishness she had proposed. The fact that she considered me so venial and so gullible was no proof that the hidden purpose was not dangerous. The mystery was how to seem to be fooled by her and yet get in touch with my friends. Then suddenly I recalled that she and the hag had been trying to use the gipsy's black art. Unless they ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... name of "City," would be a keen irony; not greater, however, than is the name with which its Padres have baptized it. To call a place with its moral character, a very Sodom in iniquity, "Holy Faith," is scarcely a venial sin; it deserves Purgatory at least. Its health is the best in the country, which is the first, second and third recommendation of New Mexico by its greatest admirers. It is a small town of about two thousand inhabitants, crowded up against the mountains, ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... their strong personal attachment. There are men no doubt whose natures are proof against kindness and consideration, but my experience is that they are few and far between. I have found also that if one refrains from fault- finding, gives praise where praise is due, and overlooks small or venial faults, when reproof becomes necessary, if it be temperately administered, it is always effective and productive of good. But even such reproof may be carried too far as on one occasion I found to my dismay. Pinion, one forenoon, came into my room to tell me he had discovered ...
— Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland • Joseph Tatlow

... departed heroes, the Gods of heaven and hell, abstractions of virtue or vice, might unblamed be made the objects of religious worship. Witchcraft therefore, and the invocation of the spirits of the dead, might be practised with toleration; or at all events were not regarded otherwise than as venial deviations from the religion of ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... the display of his humour was the subject of prevarication. He seemed never to tire of ringing the changes upon the theme of the lie, its utility, its convenience, and its consequences. Doubtless he chose to dabble in falsehood because it is generally winked at as the most venial of all moral obliquities—a fault which is the most thoroughly universal of all that flesh is heir to. The incident of George Washington and the cherry tree furnished the basis for countless of his anecdotes; he wrung from it variations innumerable, from the epigram to the anecdote. ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... men as James, the naval chronicler, made it appear profanity so much as to consider whether Nelson's attack differed in the least from his intended plan, and anyone who ventured to examine the question in the light of general principles was likely to be shouted down as a presumptuous heretic. Venial as was this attitude of adulation under all the circumstances, it had a most evil influence on the service. The last word seemed to have been said on tactics; and oblivious of the fact that it is a subject on which the last word can never be spoken, and that the enemy ...
— Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 - Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX. • Julian S. Corbett

... are thus apologising for a venial offence, you forget it is to a man guilty of the same error. I knew your person, from having seen you on the Continent; and finding you disposed to go by the homely name of Sharp, in a moment of thoughtlessness, I took its counterpart, Blunt. A travelling name is sometimes ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... But thirty years had made a great change of opinion in reference to the punishment of crime, which was cruelly severe. Capital offences numbered at the beginning of the century nearly two hundred and fifty, some of which were almost venial; but in 1837 only seven crimes were punishable with death, and the accused were allowed benefit of counsel. Before this, the culprit could be condemned without a hearing,—a gross violation of justice, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume X • John Lord

... several points towards latitudinarianism in the course of the next ten minutes. He had a deep inward sense that everything was as it should be, human nature included. The little accidents of humanity, known collectively to moralists as sin, looked very venial to his growing sense ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... out, and therefore is in the habit of attending rehearsals and expressing his opinion at them. It is regrettable that criticism should be written in this fashion, since it causes a feeling of distrust. Probably the writer had no desire to be unjust, or even unfair in the comparatively venial way of doing rather less than justice to the author in his desire to do rather more ...
— Our Stage and Its Critics • "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

... indeed: "My daughter, you have behaved with the fortitude of a saint. It would have been more than a venial sin, if you had kissed and blessed a rebel in the very act of his rebellion. The Holy Mary will ...
— Remember the Alamo • Amelia E. Barr

... some extent as a warning to others; but that is not its primary object, for no punishment ought to exceed in severity that which is due to the particular offence to which it is applied. To add to a sentence for a very venial offence for which a nominal punishment ought to suffice an extra fine or term of imprisonment by way of example or warning to others would be unreasonable and unjust. Vengeance, or the infliction of unnecessary ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... bishop's palace to see his own condemned works burnt, was then led on to be burnt himself, in 1415. Many of his works, however, were republished in the following century; but the twenty-nine errors which the Council of Constance detected in his work on the Church would probably nowadays seem venial enough. It was his misfortune to live in those days when the inhumanity of the world was at ...
— Books Condemned to be Burnt • James Anson Farrer

... furnished the model for all poems of the kind that followed; their first genuine humorist, he flashes forth his wit like a stream of light suddenly turned on in the dark. That he measured the worth of his productions by the generous meed of praise given by his contemporaries is a venial offense in the time of the troubadours and minnesingers. Charisi was particularly happy in his use of the "mosaic" style, and his short poems and epigrams are most charming. Deep melancholy is a foil to his humor, but as often his writings are disfigured by levity. The ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... was inditing the goodly matter which my readers have just perused, I might be said to go through a course of breaking-in to stand criticism, like a shooting-pony to stand fire. By some of those venial breaches of confidence, which always take place on the like occasions, my private flirtations with the Muse of Fiction became a matter whispered in Miss Fairscribe's circle, some ornaments of which were, I suppose, highly ...
— The Surgeon's Daughter • Sir Walter Scott

... expressed a doubt whether he might not have to wait a few days, in order to save money enough to make a purchase. He never stole himself, though his association with street boys, whose principles are not always very strict on this point, had accustomed him to regard theft as a venial fault, provided it was not found out. For his own part, however, he did not care to run the risk of detection. Though he had cut himself off from his old home, he still felt that he should not like to have the report reach home that he had ...
— Ben, the Luggage Boy; - or, Among the Wharves • Horatio Alger

... as they might seem, were few indeed when compared with the offences; and the offenders who were convicted looked on themselves as murdered men, and were firm in the belief that their sin, if sin it were, was as venial as that of a schoolboy who goes nutting in the wood of a neighbour. All the eloquence of the ordinary could seldom induce them to conform to the wholesome usage of acknowledging in their dying speeches the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... while a perception of the ridiculous, perhaps to excess, is characteristic of the British mind, and is at the bottom of many defects in the national manners, commonly attributed to less venial feelings, our Transatlantic descendants err in just the opposite direction. The Americans seldom laugh at any body, or any thing—never at themselves; and this, next to an unfortunate trick of insolvency, and a preternatural abhorrence ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... "the sharpener of the young" (narthex, nearous thegein), but the best authorities were against it. Seneca is indignant with the savage who will "butcher" a young learner because he hesitates at a word—a venial fault indeed, one would think, when we remember what must have been the aspect of a Roman book, written as it was in capitals, almost without stops, and with little or no distinction between the words. And Quintilian is equally decided, though he allows ...
— Roman life in the days of Cicero • Alfred J[ohn] Church

... immediate readmission of the offender (e), a practice which led to great abuse. One of the effects of the development of the penitential discipline was the establishment of a distinction between mortal and venial sins (f), the former of which were, in general, acts involving unchastity, shedding of blood, and apostasy, according to the ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... all judged according to their deeds, and those who are incurable are thrust into Tartarus, from which they never come out. Those who have only committed venial sins are first purified of them, and then rewarded for the good which they have done. Those who have committed crimes, great indeed, but not unpardonable, are thrust into Tartarus, but are cast forth at the end of a year by way of Pyriphlegethon ...
— Phaedo - The Last Hours Of Socrates • Plato

... whose outlawry had been incurred only for shooting the king's deer. Indeed, to most men of that time—that is, to most men who were not in the royal service—the shooting of deer, and the pursuit of game in general, were not only venial offences, but the most natural thing in life. The royal claim to exclusive hunting in the vast forests of Epping, Sherwood, Needwood, Barnesdale, Englewood, and many others seemed preposterous to the yeomen who lived on the borders of the forests, and they took their risks ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... with justice be imputed to him. He found that wine broke the spell which lay on his fine intellect, and was therefore too easily seduced into convivial excess. Such excess was in that age regarded, even by grave men, as the most venial of all peccadilloes, and was so far from being a mark of ill-breeding that it was almost essential to the character of a fine gentleman. But the smallest speck is seen on a white ground; and almost all the biographers of Addison ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... a venial nature, Mr. Douglas besought the Bailie to us his interest to procure the enfranchisement of this his vassal, which Mr. Broadfoot, happy to oblige a good customer, promised should be obtained on the following day; and Duncan's emotions being rather ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse." I think the principle here enunciated to be the mere preamble in the formal credentials of the Catholic Church, as an Act of Parliament ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... the contrary, was still stimulating, if indeed I ever found it more so in the foolish past. It had not altered in the least. There was the same sweet pedantry of the Attic e, the same superiority to the most venial abbreviation, the same inconsistent forest of exclamatory notes, thick as poplars across the channel. The present plantation started after my own Christian name, to wit "Dear Duncan!!" Yet there was nothing Germanic ...
— No Hero • E.W. Hornung

... to town "heeled for a big time," finds that presents are all the rage, and must immediately give somebody something. Oh, childlike, miscellaneous Frontier! So thought the good-hearted Governor; and it seems a venial misconception. "My dear fellow," he added, meaning as well as possible, "I don't want you to spend your money ...
— Lin McLean • Owen Wister

... "grew as serious as that of the Greens and the Blues under Justinian at Constantinople; an anti-Handelist was looked upon as an anti-courtier, and voting against the Court in Parliament was hardly a less remissible or more venial sin than speaking against Handel or going to the Lincoln's Inn Fields Opera." Hervey was a man of some culture and some taste; it is curious to observe how little he thought of the greatest musician of his time, one of the ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume II (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... wilt thou kill me?" Quoth the Kitchener, "Needs must I kill thee, so I may take thy money;" and quoth Salim, "Take my money, but kill me not, neither enter into sin against me; and do with me kindness, for indeed the taking of my coin is more venial than the taking of my life." The Cook replied, "This is nonsense. Thou canst not deliver thyself herewith, O youth, because in thy deliverance is my destruction." Cried Salim, "I swear to thee and give thee the bond of ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... ease and breadth altogether untroubled by the rebuke of conscience. Not a soul in Madame Beck's house, from the scullion to the directress herself, but was above being ashamed of a lie; they thought nothing of it: to invent might not be precisely a virtue, but it was the most venial of faults. "J'ai menti plusieurs fois," formed an item of every girl's and woman's monthly confession: the priest heard unshocked, and absolved unreluctant. If they had missed going to mass, or read a chapter of a novel, that was another thing: these were crimes whereof ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... inflicted various terms of imprisonment on two drunkards and a beggar-woman; had discharged for lack of evidence (but with admonition) a youth accused of profane swearing; and were now working through a list of commoner and more venial offences, such as cheating by the ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... to-day. Now I'm not going to ask you to tell me how you have gone on in my absence. God and you alone know, and while He will tell me nothing, you would only tell me fibs, and I want to save you from that venial sin at least. But here I am, in as good spirits as ever, more in love than ever, and quite ready ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... other, he thought to gain credit and influence with the nation of the prisoner by effecting his release. His first point was won. Champlain would not give up the murderer, knowing those with whom he was dealing too well to take a course which would have proclaimed the killing of a Frenchman a venial offence. The Hurons thereupon refused to carry the missionaries to their country; coupling the refusal with many regrets and many protestations of love, partly, no doubt, sincere,—for the Jesuits had contrived to gain no little favor in their eyes. The council broke up, the Hurons ...
— The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century • Francis Parkman

... knowledge of spiritual things. Being under divine direction, they could not allow any weak sentiment of pity or human consideration to influence their judgment. Their only error was in their failure to discern the authenticity of the girl's miracles, and we must call that a venial error, since it has taken the Church nearly five centuries to give a final decision on the point. The authenticity of miracles! Of all questions that is the most difficult for a contemporary to decide. In the case of Joan's judges, indeed, ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... whose loose conduct, in that loose age, exposed them to be duped like the hero of the play. It is a singular mark of the dissolute manners of those times, that an audience, to whom matrimonial infidelity was nightly held out, not only as the most venial of trespasses, but as a matter of triumphant applause, were unable to brook any ridicule, upon the mere transitory connection formed betwixt the keeper and his mistress. Dryden had spared neither kind of union; and accordingly his opponents ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... Christianity promised Heathen—such an immortality —was another of things which tended to give it success;—on the one hand, a menace of retribution, not for flagrant crimes only, which Heathenism itself punished, nor for the lax manners which the easy spirit of Paganism had made venial but for spiritual vices, of which it took account, some of which it had even consecrated virtues; and, on the other hand, an other of a which promised nothing but delights of a spiritual order; a paradise which, whatever material or imaginative adjuncts it might ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... fault of a moment, so soon repented of, so largely excusable, is far more venial than many of our denials. For a continuous life in contradiction to our profession is a blacker crime than a momentary fall, and they who, year in and year out, call themselves Christians, and deny their profession by the whole tenor of their lives, are more deeply guilty than ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the sworn enemy; so much so, that he would not look them in the face even when he spoke to them. Weakness of the flesh and fornication appeared to him the most monstrous of sins, and he would be very angry if I dared to assert that, in my estimation, they were the most venial of faults. His sermons were crammed with passages from the Greek authors, which he translated into Latin. One day I ventured to remark that those passages ought to be translated into Italian because women did not understand ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... up to meditation, or even to works of charity. They perform some exterior austerities; endeavour, little by little, to purify themselves, to rid themselves of certain notable sins, and even of voluntary venial ones. They endeavour, with all their little strength, to advance gradually, but it is ...
— Spiritual Torrents • Jeanne Marie Bouvires de la Mot Guyon

... true that a few writers among the Fathers see in blessed Mary traces of venial sin; who think of her intervention at Cana as presumptuous &c. But such notices are not of sufficient frequency or importance to break the ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... remarking, if only by way of contrast between these two opposite houses, that while Madame Bernstein and her guests—bishop, dignitaries, noblemen, and what not—were gambling or talking scandal, or devouring champagne and chickens (which I hold to be venial sin), or doing honour to her ladyship the king's favourite, the Countess of Yarmouth-Walmoden, our country friends in their lodgings knelt round their table, whither Mr. Brian the coachman came as silently as his creaking shoes would let him, whilst Mr. Lambert, standing up, read in a low voice, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the dinner was over, we drank, every one In a bumper, "the venial delights of Crim. Con.;" At which Headfort with warm reminiscences gloated, And Ellenb'rough chuckled ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... among the English in the Mediterranean, that Sir Alexander Ball thought too well of the Maltese, and did not share in the enthusiasm of Britons concerning their own superiority. To the former part of the charge I shall only reply at present, that a more venial, and almost desirable fault, can scarcely be attributed to a governor, than that of a strong attachment to the people whom he was sent to govern. The latter part of the charge is false, if we are to understand by it, that he did not think his ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... perishing fire greeted her like living eyes in the corpse of day. There she stood still, around her stretching the vast night atmosphere, whose incomplete darkness in comparison with the total darkness of the heath below it might have represented a venial beside ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... of this hindrance, especially in the country districts, is our ignorant, and, in too many cases, venial ministry, for ignorance is the greatest curse on earth, save sin. The Sunday-school is destined to be the most potent factor in the removal of this evil. As our children see the light as revealed in the Sunday-school ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... Pamela, the Confidence with which I dictate these Things to you; whom after those Endearments which have passed between us, I must in some Respects estimate as my Wife: For tho' the Omission of the Service was a Sin; yet, as I have told you, it was a venial One, of which I have truly repented, as I hope you have; and also that you have continued the wholsome Office of reading good Books, and are improved in your Psalmody, of which I shall have a speedy Trial: For I purpose to give you a Sermon next Sunday, and shall spend the Evening ...
— An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews • Conny Keyber

... Land; another age went mad for fear of the devil, and offered up hundreds of thousands of victims to the delusion of witchcraft. At another time, the many became crazed on the subject of the philosopher's stone, and committed follies till then unheard of in the pursuit. It was once thought a venial offence, in very many countries of Europe, to destroy an enemy by slow poison. Persons who would have revolted at the idea of stabbing a man to the heart, drugged his pottage without scruple. Ladies of gentle birth and manners caught the contagion of murder, until poisoning, under their auspices, ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... without wrestling against it, hindereth the acceptation of your solemn approaches. If your heart regard iniquity, shall God hear? Psal. lxvi. 18. No, believe it, the least sin that you may judge at first venial, and then give it toleration and indulgence, shall separate between God's face and you. Your prayers are abomination, because of such an idol perked up in the heart beside God, that getteth the honour and worship due to him, and God must answer ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... fears of the Duchess Regent, who was certainly placed in a terrible position. Her conduct was not heroic, although she might be forgiven for trepidation. Her treachery, however, under these trying circumstances was less venial. At three o'clock in the morning of the 22nd of August, Orange, Egmont, Horn, Hoogatraaten, Mansfeld, and others were summoned to the palace. They found her already equipped for flight, surrounded by her waiting-women, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... bilt a glue factory and where the libary stood they was a slauter house. but in spite of all these improovments he did not feal to home and he was verry loansum. so he went back to the king and gnelt down on his gnees and sed nobble and venial monnark send me back to jale for my friends are scatered and my house is gone. so the king whitch was a verry kind harted monnark sent him back to jale where he lived hapily many years on bread and water ...
— Brite and Fair • Henry A. Shute

... of Sheering had been struck by his literal way of accepting all beliefs, in the manner of a past time when the world had trembled at the near certainty of the Last Judgment, expiating its misdeeds by barefooted pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and its venial faults by cruel macerations of ...
— Via Crucis • F. Marion Crawford

... of exposing such incompetence and errors which at the time when Lane wrote were venial enough; his foolish friend, however, by unskilful and exaggerated pretensions and encomiums, compels me to lay the case ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... the legitimate offspring of marriage and its accompanying errors. Women, for no other crime than having followed the dictates of a natural appetite, are driven with fury from the comforts and sympathies of society. It is less venial than murder; and the punishment which is inflicted on her who destroys her child to escape reproach is lighter than the life of agony and disease to which the prostitute is irrecoverably doomed. Has a woman obeyed the impulse of unerring nature;—society ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... means of a few prayers, and a few alms, which shall be made after their death; not regarding that these good works can be useful only to those who died in a state of grace, although stained by some venial fault, since the Scripture informs us[399] that nothing impure will enter the ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... and a heart purged from selfishness and self-will, and ready for obedience, to know when God speaks, though men may be His mouthpieces, and when men speak, though they may call themselves His messengers. The child's mistake was venial. It is less pardonable and more dangerous when repeated by us. If we would be guarded against it, we must be continually where Samuel was, and we must not sleep in the Temple, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... generally towards the punishment of death, except for murder in the highest degree, was hostile; but Mrs. Fry's constant intercourse with inmates in the condemned cell fixed her attention in a very painful manner upon the subject. For venial crimes, men and women, clinging fondly to life, were swung off into eternity; and neither the white lips of the philanthropist, nor the official ones of the appointed chaplain, could comfort the dying. Among these dying ones were many women, who ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... that he could ever have been intended for the popular personification of evil. Implacable hate, patient cunning, and a sleepless refinement of device to inflict the extremest anguish on an enemy, these things are evil; and, although venial in a slave, are not to be forgiven in a tyrant; although redeemed by much that ennobles his defeat in one subdued, are marked by all that dishonours his conquest in the victor. Milton's Devil as a moral being is as far superior to his God, as one who perseveres in some ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... and sometimes overflows. How this comes to pass I have not space to tell, but while I do not believe that all men have their price, I suspect that some Custom House officials have not always been proof against temptation, and are not now. And perjury in the view of a non-christian Chinese is a venial offense except when so clumsily committed as to lead to detection. But, no matter how these new comers get here, once among us they are fish for our fishing, and when one of them becomes a Christian and tells me ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 2, June, 1898 • Various

... station, and assumed no other control than that which resulted from the avoiding of deceit, and the open expression of my sentiments. The youth was of a noble spirit, but his firmness was wavering. He yielded to temptations which a censor less rigorous than I would have regarded as venial, or, perhaps, laudable. My duty required me to set before him the consequences of his actions, and to give impartial and timely information ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... during our brief stay on earth this sanctuary has fallen to our lot, and this possibility of a holy life. We must take every advantage of it, thanking Heaven if our stay be long enough for us to repent of our sins and obtain indulgence for our venial shortcomings. It is wicked to desire to shorten our lives. It is wicked to desire anything which is not the will of God. We are here to live, to watch and to pray—not to complain and ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... guilt of the sin she premeditated upon her victim, upon the Intendant, upon fate, and, with a last subterfuge to hide the enormity of it from her own eyes, upon La Corriveau, whom she would lead on to suggest the crime and commit it!—a course which Angelique tried to believe would be more venial than if it were suggested by herself! less heinous in her own eyes, and less wicked in ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... every man a liar.' He says you cannot serve Him and Mammon. He says that strait is the gate that leads to eternal life. Many there are who seek to widen it; they will tell you that such and such self-indulgences are but venial offences—that this and that worldly compliance is excusable and even necessary. The thing cannot be; for in a hundred and a hundred places He tells you so—look to your Bibles and seek there whether such counsel is true—and if not, oh, 'halt ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... uttered or written a word against the Manbo's sexual morality. It is true that sexual matters are discussed with the greatest freedom, but the most venial breaches of morality are punished. The greatest modesty is observed in regard to the exposure of the private parts. Gazing at an undressed woman, for instance, at the bathing place results in a ...
— The Manbos of Mindano - Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir • John M. Garvan

... and distrust. I am not likely to desire close communion, except in the way of fisticuffs, with a boy who has been spying upon me all day, or who has very likely "reported" me as having committed divers venial offenses. ...
— Children's Rights and Others • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... detained, who depart this life after their deadly sins have been remitted as to the stain and guilt, and as to the everlasting pain that was due to them; but who have on account of those sins still some debt of temporal punishment to pay; as also those souls which leave this world guilty only of venial sins."—"Catholic Belief," page 196 (ed. 1884; imprimateur Archbishop of ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... fidelity. Polygamy, which once prevailed among them to a great extent, was now rarely indulged. All the crimes denounced by the Christian faith met with severe punishment among them. Even theft, so venial a crime among the Indians, had recently been punished with hanging, ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... past has been both prudish and Pharisaic, the public opinion of the world is frankly cynical. Roughly speaking, the world expects the majority of women to be pure, acquiesces in the prostitution of the remainder, and treats masculine immorality as a venial offence. Numbers of would-be reformers—of the male sex—are not ashamed to advocate, in private if not in public, the establishment of licensed brothels on the continental model. It ought not to be necessary to say that ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... of a Flemish burgher more or less? What the honour of a Flemish wife? These were not considerations to daunt a soldier, a valiant man of war. And because such was his dull mood—for he was dull, this Rhynsault, as dull as he was brutish—he considered his sin too venial to be denied. And the Duke, who could be crafty, perceiving that mood of his, and simulating almost an approval of it, drew the ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... undoubtedly a very naughty girl. We do not mean to say that she was merely rude and unlady-like in her manners; that she was occasionally angry without a just cause; that she had a few bad habits, and a few venial faults: she was impudent to her benefactors; she was untruthful, and even dishonest. Not only to Fanny and Bertha, but also to Mr. Grant, she was openly defiant. She used bad language, told falsehoods ...
— Hope and Have - or, Fanny Grant Among the Indians, A Story for Young People • Oliver Optic

... made not exclusively to the instinct of self-preservation, but to the conscience, on behalf of another life besides your own, accidentally cast upon your protection. To fail, to collapse in a service merely your own, might seem comparatively venial; though, in fact, it is far from venial. But to fail in a case where Providence has suddenly thrown into your hands the final interests of another—of a fellow-creature shuddering between the gates of life and ...
— Miscellaneous Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... lighting his eye. "This courteous reception quite outdoes us of Italy; for I doubt if there be a man south of the Alps, who would be willing to condemn either of our seas to so overwhelming a punishment, for a fault so venial, or at least so natural. I beg, however, that the lake may be pardoned; since, at the worst, it was but a secondary agent in the affair, and, I doubt not, it would have treated us as it treats all travellers, had we kept out of its embraces. The crime must be imputed to the ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... and Sweden, it is to be feared that little remains; and, thanks to the spirit of English artists and to the patronage of the English public, what is in this country is already in a great measure recorded. To an Englishman, it is hoped it may be a source of venial self-congratulation, that the first publication upon Norman architecture originates in his own island: he will likewise probably not be displeased to find, that this collection of the finest remaining specimens of Norman ...
— Architectural Antiquities of Normandy • John Sell Cotman

... of the Whig's exposure was brilliantly fulfilled. People did laugh over it and say that it was a good speech, whatever its source. In popular conception literary theft is at worst a venial sin whose very iniquity is doubtful unless found out. The culprit's average fellow-townsman accepted the incident as fresh evidence of his acknowledged cleverness and promptly forgot it in the nine days' wonder over his exploit at the ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... dear sufferer. In view of such misery the abbe will surely give me absolution for the venial sins which the deceits of the world compel us to commit. Leave me now, my daughter," she said, going to her prie-Dieu. "I must pray to our Lord and the Blessed Virgin for you, with special supplication. Good-bye, my dear Sabine; above all things, do not neglect your religious duties if you wish ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... be noted that the Catholic writers who express their extreme disgust at the immoral principles of Luther belong to a Church whose theologians have made very questionable distinctions between venial sins and others. Papal dispensations and decisions of Catholic casuists, especially in the order of the Jesuits, have startled the world by their moral perverseness. Yea, the very principles of probabilism and mental reservation ...
— Luther Examined and Reexamined - A Review of Catholic Criticism and a Plea for Revaluation • W. H. T. Dau

... difficulties as well as heresies; he must lead his men as well as guide his flock; he must be the Church's steward as well as her consecrated arch-head; he must be the reformer of manners as well as the preserver of faith; he must be the understander of men's venial mistakes as well as the censor of ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... justice of bestowing such appalling, heart-withering denunciations of the popular obloquy upon the venial mistake of a poor author who thought to please us in the act of filling his pockets,—for the sum of his demerits amounts to no more than that,—it does, I own, seem to me a species of retributive justice far too severe for the offence. A culprit ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... any man as well as I love my father, and so I strive not to do it, Hist," returned the conscientious Hetty, who knew not how to conceal an emotion, by an approach to an untruth as venial as an evasion, though powerfully tempted by female shame to err, "though I sometimes think wickedness will get the better of me, if Hurry comes so often to the lake. I must tell you the truth, dear Hist, because ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... straight to hell. Thus practically the Intermediate State is cancelled for these two classes. There remains, therefore, only one class which is supposed to enter the Intermediate State, those namely, who have died in venial sin. And since it is part of the Romish doctrine to regard Paradise as the same thing as Heaven, and to hold that the souls which alone enter Purgatory, after suffering due torments, pass direct out of Purgatory into Paradise or Heaven, it follows that in the Intermediate ...
— The Life of the Waiting Soul - in the Intermediate State • R. E. Sanderson

... not offend the young man; its immediate effect was that of allaying his agitation. The theatrical touch in her manner made his offense seem more venial than he had ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... spoken of obtaining "judgment from a jury," for it is the function of a jury not to deliver judgment (which is the prerogative of the court), but to find a verdict on the facts. The error is, indeed, a venial one, but it is just one of those little things which at once enable a lawyer to know if the writer is a layman or ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... with servants to attend to them; indeed, they are told so by every magistrate who cares about the peace of his district. The people, seeing how much we expect from the Thanadar, and how little we give him, submit to his demands for contribution without a murmur, and consider almost any demand venial from a man so employed and paid. They are confounded at our inconsistency, and say, where they dare to speak their minds, 'We see you giving high salaries and high prospects of advancement to men who have nothing ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... innovations introduced by the church of Rome; albeit not altogether, for they admitted confession by contrite prayer to God and the mention aloud of their sins to a priest, the power of priests to bind and to loose, that sins were of two classes, mortal and venial, and the efficacy of fasts and penance. At the Reformation all these were swept away, and the doctrines and church polity of Calvin adopted. The independent church of the Waldenses, or valley-people, existed about a century before the arrival of Pierre Valdo from Lyons in 1180. Their name ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... no sense of responsibility in the matter of enforcement. It still has a hazy idea that Nature has an overflowing sanctuary of her own, somewhere or other, which will fill up the gaps automatically. The result is that poaching is commonly regarded as a venial offence, poachers taken red-handed are rarely punished, and willing ears are always lent to the cry that rich sportsmen are trying to take the bread out of the poor settler's mouth. The poor settler does not reflect that he himself, and all other classes alike, ...
— Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador • William Wood

... assistance, this outraged husband accomplished his purpose with diabolical deliberation. He must have been well aware that, had he acted on the natural impulse of the moment and revenged himself then and there on Aubert, he would have committed what is regarded by a French jury as the most venial of crimes, and would have escaped with little or no punishment. He preferred, for reasons of his own, to set about the commission of a deliberate and cold-blooded murder that bears the stamp of a more sinister motive than the vengeance ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... without confession, never having any grievous sins to confess, grievous sin alone being necessary matter for that sacrament. There is no downright cogent reason why a man might not do so. And yet, if he neglected such ordinary means of grace as confession of venial sin, having it within reach, month after month, no one, considering "the sin which surrounds us," would expect that man to go without grievous scathe. In mechanics, there are many machines that work prettily enough in speculation and on paper, where the inventors do not consider the ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... men and women were burned alive there for adhering to the principles of the Reformation—when it is known that men and women were imprisoned and whipped every day during the kirk-session's pleasure, for offences now considered venial—when it is known that, for a breach of the seventh commandment, some were carted through the streets, whipped, and thereafter banished from the town; that others, for a violation of the said commandment, were fined ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

... not repress a smile at Belle's association of herself with him in the guilt of the affair. In fact, he rather liked the idea, for it made his own part seem quite venial after all—an error of ignorance like that of the child's—so he said kindly, "Indeed, we did not, and now we'll make amends. You go and see what is needed and let me know, and to-morrow, if you wish, you can take your own place and not any one's ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... connoisseur of the incidents and by-play of "sudden death," so much so that Goethe was under the impression that he had been guilty of a venial murder (see his review of Manfred in his paper Kunst and Alterthum, Letters, 1901, v. 506, 507). A year after these lines were written, when he was at Rome (Letter to Murray, May 30, 1817), he saw three robbers guillotined, and observed ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... patriots, and to support them in venial errors Possible to do, only because we see that it has been done Repose in the other world, "Repos ailleurs" Soldiers enough to animate the good and terrify the bad To work, ever to work, was the primary law of his nature When persons ...
— Quotations From John Lothrop Motley • David Widger

... has been treated in its most venial form by Shakespeare in "Measure for Measure," and in its most condemnable form in Goethe's "Faust." "The Scarlet Letter" lies midway between these two. Hester Prynne has married a man of morose, vindictive disposition, ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... honour and of trade, which would have bent to earth any other, was supported by him with a light spirit and tameless hilarity; while his company was so necessary at the tables and assemblies of the rich, that his derelictions were considered venial, and he himself received with ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... generibus? he hath done no more than what gentlemen usually do. [344]Neque novum, neque mirum, neque secus quam alii solent. For in a great person, right worshipful Sir, a right honourable grandee, 'tis not a venial sin, no, not a peccadillo, 'tis no offence at all, a common and ordinary thing, no man takes notice of it; he justifies it in public, ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... heaping up money were accounted lawful, how indirect soever, and extortion was publicly protest. Murder was reckoned but a venial trespass, and was boasted as a ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVI. (of 18) - The Life of St. Francis Xavier • John Dryden

... to creep inwards from the court of the Gentiles to holier places. The parasite grows very quickly, and Christ had to deal with it more than once to keep down its growth. The sellers of doves and changers of money into the sacred shekel were venial offenders compared with many in the Church, and the race is not extinct. If Christ were to come to His house to-day, in bodily form, who doubts that He would begin, as He did before, by driving the traders out of His temple? How many 'most respectable' ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... restrictions of the term, something of an historical scholar; she had humour, of which there was scarcely a particle in Miss Sewell's composition; she had a very considerable understanding, and consequently some toleration of the infinite varieties, and at least the more venial foibles, of human temperament. She possessed an inexhaustible command of dialogue which was always natural and sometimes very far from trivial; and if she had no command of the greater novelists' imagination in the creation of character and story, she had an almost ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... But such venial faults, common to every army, and almost justified by the deficiencies of the Southern commissariat, were more than atoned for when the enemy was met. Of the prowess of Lee's veterans sufficient has been said. Their deeds ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... altogether account for that Captain Filbert should not desert her post. The idea had an element of imitation oddly personal; he could not bear to reflect upon it. It may be wondered whether in any flight of venial imagination Arnold saw himself in a parallel situation with a lady. I am sure he did not. It may be considered, however, that among mirages there are unaccountable resemblances—resemblances without shape or form. He might fix his gaze, at all events, ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... Sidwell cast frequent glances at her brother, in whom a shrewder eye could have divined conflict of feelings—disgust at the glorification of Chilvers and involuntary pleasure in the successive defeats of his own conqueror in Philosophy. Buckland's was by no means an ignoble face; venial malice did not ultimately prevail ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... himself, elsewhere, have branded their enemies; and Juvenal in bursts of satiric indignation, has reproached his countrymen with the most shocking crimes. But here, in a complimentary poem to a patron and intimate friend, these are jocularly alluded to as the venial indulgences of his earliest youth" (vol. ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... Penance Upon penitent confusion Upon interior peace amidst anxieties Upon discouragement Upon rising after a fall Upon kindliness towards ourselves Upon imperfections The just man falls seven times in the day Upon the purgative way Upon venial sin Upon complicity in the sins of another Upon equivocating Upon solitude Upon vanity Upon the knowledge which puffs up Upon scruples Upon temptations Upon the same subject Thoughts on the Incarnation Upon Confession and Communion Upon Confession Upon a change of confessor Upon different methods ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... this venial fault of my uncle's came to be pretty well understood in time, and an unfair advantage was taken of it; the students laid wait for him in dangerous places, and when he began to stumble, loud was the laughter, ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... mother, exiled from the companionship of others of her age, permitted no familiarity with any living being, no sympathies with any other heart, commanded but never indulged, rebuked but never applauded, she must have sunk beneath the severities imposed on her by her father, but for the venial disobedience committed in the pursuit of the solitary pleasure procured for her by her lute. Vainly, in her hours of study, did she read the fierce anathemas against love, liberty, and pleasure, ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... into the pocket of his pantaloons. Him I was compelled to expel from my house, the Toe of my Boot aiding; and meeting him subsequently at a Coffee-house, and he not seeming sufficiently impressed with the turpitude of his Offence, but the rather inclined to regard it as a venial Prank or Whimsey, I did Batoon him within an inch of his life, and until there were more wheals on his Body than bars of silver-braid on his Jacket. This led to a serious misunderstanding between Justice and myself. I was not ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 3 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... beginning, God was most gracious unto me. Though I was not so free from sin as the book required, I passed that by; such watchfulness seemed to me almost impossible. I was on my guard against mortal sin—and would to God I had always been so!—but I was careless about venial sins, and that was my ruin. Yet, for all this, at the end of my stay there—I spent nearly nine months in the practice of solitude—our Lord began to comfort me so much in this way of prayer, as in His mercy to raise me to the prayer of quiet, and now and then to that ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... the working moral standard of society. I cannot describe it because it differs so greatly in different sections of society. In general it has to be said that it treats lack of chastity among unmarried men as a very venial offence and punishes the same offence in women with very severe social penalties; and it may certainly be said that it has not yet demanded a full recognition by the law of the equality of the sexes in the matter of moral and ...
— Men, Women, and God • A. Herbert Gray

... choice only between the devil of poverty or the deep sea of the Prisoners' Aid Society. He resorted to the latter (refusing Suffragettes), and came by Joan Murphy for wife who, with all her excellent capacity, was no lady. Manslaughter, however, may be a venial crime and physical beauty is a very saving grace, and, as these things all happened in the earliest chapters, I readily foresaw an ultimate end of the happiest nature and a solution of all difficulties ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 3, 1914 • Various

... she had made her point, and now she had her eye at the hole in the curtain and she was watching the house! But she blushed as she perceived his smile, and her blush, which was beautiful, made her fault venial. ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... that something should be done for our relief, the predetermined patron of what has been actually done may have taken his bias from the weight of these considerations, as well as from considerations of a sinister nature. The predetermined adversary, on the other hand, can have been governed by no venial motive whatever. The intentions of the first may be upright, as they may on the contrary be culpable. The views of the last cannot be upright, and must be culpable. But the truth is, that these papers are not addressed to persons falling under ...
— The Federalist Papers

... sceptical of the existence of the Mine, and he was mistrustful of Ralegh's disposition to comply with the compact. The national eagerness, however, for the adventure, and the confidence of Ralegh's well-wishers, overpowered his reluctance. He was moved also by the venial hope of a vast influx of innocent profit into his empty Treasury. From the first it was understood plainly that the admiral accepted the entire responsibility for the maintenance of a peaceable attitude towards Spanish possessions. ...
— Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography • William Stebbing

... censurable in making the dwelling and the food of acknowledged and convicted guilt more comfortable and palatable than what the parties could have gained by any exertions when at large, and supporting themselves by honest labour; but this is a venial error compared to that of our ancestors, who, considering a charge and a conviction as synonymous, treated the accused before sentence in a manner which would have been of itself a severe punishment after he was ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... largely on one's natural cast of mind and disposition; and may even be found where the martyr's temper is altogether wanting. We recognize that there is certain serviceable, fustian, every-day piety, where, together with a great deal of spiritual coarseness, insensibility to venial sin and imperfection, there exists a firm faith that would go cheerfully to the stake rather than deny God, or offend Him in any grave point that might be considered a casus belli. And on the other hand a certain nicety of ethical discernment and delicacy of devotion, an anxiety ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... observes—"Though the most accomplished author of his day, yet he had none of the airs of authorship." He continues—"He was a proud man; not a proud poet, or historian, or novelist." His was the pride of ancestry—a weakness, to be sure, but of a venial nature: "he loved to be looked on as a gentleman of old family, who built Abbotsford, and laid out its garden, and planted its avenues, rather than a genius, whose works influenced mankind, and diffused happiness among millions." His own narrative will best illustrate ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 571 - Volume 20, No. 571—Supplementary Number • Various

... Precipitant in fear would wing their flight, And curse their cumbrous pride's unwieldy weight. But ah, I dream!-the appointed hour is fled. And hope, too long with vain delusion fed, Deaf to the rumour of fallacious fame, Gives to the roll of death his glorious name! With venial freedom let me now demand Thy name, thy lineage, and paternal land; Sincere from whence began thy course, recite, And to what ship I owe the friendly freight? Now first to me this visit dost thou deign, Or number'd in my father's social train? ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer, translated by Alexander Pope

... greatness rendered him superior. Some instances of rashness have been noted by Walpole with unsparing vituperation;[1] and some self-complacent or boasting sallies, have been pointed at by Croker with a sarcastic sneer. But, admitting that these were far from being venial faults, yet it would be very uncharitable now to recall them from the forgetfulness and forgiveness in which they have long been passed over; especially as they were fully redeemed by noble qualities and beneficent deeds. Surely, he who was celebrated ...
— Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe • Thaddeus Mason Harris

... Christian must not talk in this Manner, yet I believe it may be one of those Sins which the Church of Rome holds to be venial, ...
— The Lovers Assistant, or, New Art of Love • Henry Fielding

... the Gnostics, who would not listen with patience to the repose of the Deity after six days' labor, to the rib of Adam, the garden of Eden, the trees of life and of knowledge, the speaking serpent, the forbidden fruit, and the condemnation pronounced against human kind for the venial offence of their first progenitors. [28] The God of Israel was impiously represented by the Gnostics as a being liable to passion and to error, capricious in his favor, implacable in his resentment, meanly jealous of his superstitious worship, and confining his partial providence to a single people, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... man on this earth lived to embody the tremendous text, "But if the light in your body be darkness, how great is the darkness," it was certainly he. Great men like Ariosto, Rabelais, and Shakspere fall in foul places, flounder in violent but venial sin, sprawl for pages, exposing their gigantic weakness, are dirty, are indefensible; and then they struggle up again and can still speak with a convincing kindness and an unbroken honour of the best things in the world: Rabelais, of the instruction ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... only the hopelessly prejudiced who can say, as does John Fiske, that "to regard classic paganism as one of the degraded remnants of a primeval monotheism, is to sin against the canons of a sound inductive philosophy." Sinning against the consonant testimony of universal history is a venial offense, it would seem, when the integrity of this "sound inductive philosophy"—that is, of the Spencerian theory—is at stake. It needs but a glance at the well-known facts of religious history to show the working ...
— Evolution - An Investigation and a Critique • Theodore Graebner

... I make no judgment on the other peculiarities attributed to him by Monsieur Bixiou, who has a cutting and a flippant tongue; I am more inclined to think, with Joseph Bridau, that such mistakes are venial. But a fault to be forever regretted, according to my ideas, will be that of abandoning his present career to fling himself into the maelstrom of politics. You are yourself interested in turning him from this idea, if you strongly desire to entrust that work to his hands. Preach to him as strongly ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... again, not all sins are committed through pure malice, that is, with complete knowledge and full consent. Ignorance and weakness are factors to be considered in our guilt, and detract from the malice of our sins. Hence two kinds of sin, mortal and venial. These mark the extremes of offense. One severs all relation of friendship, the other chills the existing friendship. By one, we incur God's infinite hatred, by the other, His displeasure. The penalty for one is eternal; the other can be atoned for ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... hint concerning the difference in our respective stations aboard the Julia; or else the planters must have considered him some illustrious individual, for certain inscrutable reasons, going incog. With this idea of him, his undisguised disinclination for work became venial; and entertaining such views of extending their business, they counted more upon his ultimate value to them as a man of science than as a ...
— Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas • Herman Melville

... those questions pitilessly asked by husbands, the mere apprehension of which gives a chill, while the actual words enter the heart like the blade of a dagger. It is from such crises that the maxim has come, "All women lie." Falsehood, kindly falsehood, venial falsehood, sublime falsehood, horrible falsehood,—but always the necessity to lie. This necessity admitted, ought they not to know how to lie well? French women do it admirably. Our manners and customs teach them deception! Besides, women are so naively saucy, so pretty, graceful, and ...
— Ferragus • Honore de Balzac

... sun-flecked coverts in the forest around Hester Prynne's hut, as if they had become dryads for her sake; ever and anon the sinister Hunding was heard muttering in the ear of Chillingworth, and Hester wore the badge of her shame on the robes of Elsa, washed in innocency. But such things are venial in a first work. In frankly confessing his model (for it cannot be thought for a moment that Mr. Damrosch expected his imitations to be overlooked) he illustrated a rule which applies to all composers at the outset ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... venial wretches to set fire to the prison while the festival was proceeding, with a view to suffocating Orion in his cell; but the gang were detected and all the prisoners were released in time. Thus the young man ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Thieves, you see, are not particular, unless, indeed, we may regard them as particularly indifferent to the injuries they inflict on their fellow-men—but, what did we say? their fellow-men?—a railway is not a fellow-man. Surely Jim's sin in robbing a railway must be regarded as a venial one. Honest men do that every day and appear to think nothing of it! Nobody appears to think anything of it. A railway would seem to be the one great unpardonable outlaw of the land, which does good ...
— The Iron Horse • R.M. Ballantyne

... little affected by the straightener's treatment, but his friends did not choose to be over-curious upon the subject, and on his return to his affairs it was by common consent passed over as hardly criminal in one who was otherwise so much afflicted. For they regard bodily ailments as the more venial in proportion as they have been produced by causes independent of the constitution. Thus if a person ruin his health by excessive indulgence at the table or by drinking, they count it to be almost a part of the mental disease which brought it about, and so it goes for little, ...
— Erewhon • Samuel Butler

... reverberate echo, reverberate toil, labor false, perfidious prove, verify join, unite join, annex try, endeavor carry, convey save, preserve save, rescue safe, secure poor, pauper poor, penurious poor, impecunious native, indigenous strange, extraneous excuse, palliate excusable, venial cannon, ordnance corpse, cadaverous parish, parochial fool, stultify fool, idiot rule, govern governor, gubernatorial wages, salary nice, exquisite haughty, arrogant letter, epistle pursue, prosecute use, ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... public life; the Whips have to put a query to his name, and he cannot be trusted to confine his revolts to such occasions as those on which Mr. Foster of Henstead thought an exhibition of independence a venial sin, or in ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... confession as aggravating proofs of more deliberate turpitude? Has not the modern sanctuary of Mercy long been shut, by forms of state, against the personal supplications of repentance, and against humble representations of venial errors of criminal courts? If sinners would approach that gate, are they not stopped at the very threshold, and obliged to rely on the intercession of some practised minister, or seek the good offices of illiberal clerks? Is this Christendom, the volume of whose faith tells ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... should be felt for the husband; inconstancy, ill-governed temper—all which, not to mention other obvious objections—are to be considered as sufficient reasons for terminating an engagement. The communication should be made as tenderly as possible: room may be left in mere venial cases for reformation; but all that is done must be so managed that not the slightest shadow of fickleness or want of faith may rest upon the character of the lady. It must be remembered, however, ...
— Routledge's Manual of Etiquette • George Routledge

... liberty to do so, subject to unimportant reservations, limiting the area at their disposal for the practice. It is needless—and might be thought indelicate—to instance the numerous expressions that no little girl should use under any circumstances, which are regarded as venial sin in little boys, except of course on Sunday. Society does not absolutely countenance the practices of spitting and sniffing in little boys, but it closes its eyes and passes hypocritically by on the other side of the road; while, on the other hand, little girls indulging in these vices ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... duty to crush into nothingness? Not at all. If we have any compunctions, they are quickly absorbed in the pride of our capture. And more often still, as in the present case, we set our foot upon the poor victim by pure accident or venial carelessness. ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... famous guitar-player girl. The encounter having taken place under the wall of a convent, O'Brien had contrived to keep Don Vincente in prison ever since—not on a charge of murder (which for a young man of that quality would have been a comparatively venial offence), but of sacrilege. The Salazars were a powerful family, but he was strong enough to risk their enmity. "Imagine that, Juan!" Carlos would exclaim, closing his eyes. What had caused him the greatest uneasiness was the knowledge that Don Balthasar had been induced lately to ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... assure you sir; we are not so officiously befriended by him, as to have his presence in the tiring-house, to prompt us aloud, stamp at the book-holder, swear for our properties, curse the poor tireman, rail the music out of tune, and sweat for every venial trespass we commit, as some author would, if he had such fine enghles as we. Well, 'tis but ...
— Cynthia's Revels • Ben Jonson

... which so vile a crime can go unpunished.— When now Luzio brings her tidings of her own brother's fate, her disgust at her brother's misconduct is turned at once to scorn for the villainy of the hypocritical Regent, who presumes so cruelly to punish the comparatively venial offence of her brother, which, at least, was not stained by treachery. Her violent outburst imprudently reveals her to Luzio in a seductive aspect; smitten with sudden love, he urges her to quit the convent for ever and to accept his hand. She contrives to check his boldness, but resolves at once ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... knew everything is much more certain than that miracles do not happen; and he certainly knew Mr Arnold's case if not Mr Arnold, when he introduced a certain main episode in A Midsummer Night's Dream. To frown on Oberon and caress Bottom is venial compared with the dismissal of the Bible as popular legend, and the implicit belief in as, bhu, ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... Switzerland can long make a successful stand. Upon the whole, history can never blame Prussia for such a use either of her conquests or her influence. Say what you will, gambling is an indulgence blushed over in England; abroad, practised as a little luxury in dissipation, it may be pardoned as venial; habitually, however, it is a leprosy. And as it is by habitual gamblers that these haunts are made to flourish, this alone should reconcile the world of tourists to a deprivation which for them must be slight; while to the class they imitate, without equalling, it will be the prohibition ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... creed of the Church of Rome a place in which the souls of the dead, saved from hell by the death of Christ, are chastened and purified from venial sins, a result which is, in great part, ascribed to the prayers of the faithful and the sacrifice of the Mass. The creed of the Church in this matter was first formulated by Gregory the Great, ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... down the law to a Field Marshal is as obnoxious to military "form" as a vacuum was once supposed to be to the sentiments of nature. The child, who teaches its grandmother to suck eggs, commits a venial fault in comparison. So I have had to convey my precepts insensibly to Milord K.—to convey them in homeopathic doses of parable. The brilliant French success of the 21st-22nd, I explain to him, was due to the showers of shell wherewith they deluged the Turkish ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... one of the Cardinal-Bishops, starting toward the wavering priest. "Down on your knees before the Holy Father, who waits to forgive your venial sin!" ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... excite popular irritation on a subject and on an occasion, on which the people can with difficulty be reasoned with, but are irritated most easily. To speak incautiously on such subjects, is an offence of no venial order; but deliberately and wilfully to connect the words, war and scarcity, were infamous, a treachery to our country, and in a peculiar degree cruel to those whom alone it can delude, the lower uneducated classes. I will not enlarge upon that subject, ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... the hinting at an obligation, the consciousness of it on the part of the testator, will make him determined to avoid the formal acknowledgment of it at any expense. The disinheriting of relations is mostly for venial offences, not for base actions: we punish out of pique, to revenge some case in which we been disappointed of our wills, some act of disobedience to what had no reasonable ground to go upon; and we are obstinate in adhering to our resolution, as it was sudden ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... repeat the experiment till he succeeds. General Macaulay's fastidious nature led him to take my father's line regarding your uncle, and my youthful soul was often vexed by the constant reprimands for venial transgressions. But the great sin was the idle reading, which was a thorn in my father's side that never was extracted. In truth, he really acknowledged to the full your uncle's abilities, and felt that if he could only add his own morale, his unwearied industry, his power of concentrating ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... respect. I do not hate you; but I do sincerely pity you, and humbly, and fervently do I pray that you may, ere too late, see the errors of your conduct. You, by your own confession, deem coquetry a venial error; can that be such, from which come such cruel and mischievous results. But no more. I forgive you most freely, and shall ever fervently pray that you may see and feel how inimical to peace here, as well as hereafter, is such conduct as ...
— A Book For The Young • Sarah French

... and the hardly less adoring Claire—the latter not in the least a prude, nor given to giving herself "airs"—are constantly obliged to pull him up for his want of delicatesse. He is evidently a coxcomb, still more evidently a prig; selfish beyond even that selfishness which is venial in a lover; not in the least, though he can exceed in wine, a "good fellow," and in many ways thoroughly unmanly. A good English school and college might have made him tolerable: but it is rather to be doubted, and it is certain that his way as a transgressor would have been hard at ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... warrant, to send Joan Bocher, a silly woman, to the stake. Yet Latimer never thought of his own conduct in his last moments; nor did Cranmer thrust his hand into the fire for a real crime, but for one which was venial, through the frailty of human nature. Our gracious Elizabeth could likewise burn people for religion. Two Dutchmen, Anabaptists, suffered in this place in 1675, and died, as Holinshed sagely remarks, with "roring and crieing." But let ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, - Volume 12, No. 329, Saturday, August 30, 1828 • Various

... hardly supposed till the self-accusations of his journal were laid bare. Though there was little in him of the Calvinism of his maternal ancestors, he judged himself on this point with the severity of an austere moralist. In the world of pleasure in which he moved such offences were considered venial, but he looked upon them with the disgust of a man who reckons personal freedom beyond all earthly goods, and who sees himself in danger of becoming a slave. "The humiliating and degrading emotions of play" threaten, he says, to undermine his intellectual and moral faculties; his "miserable ...
— Cavour • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... matter of little moment. She had experienced the emotion of it, and just the same would it have been a matter of indifference to her had the dagger pierced Natalie's breast—she was sufficiently a child of the South to consider a murder as only a venial sin, for which ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach



Words linked to "Venial" :   theology, forgivable, venial sin, divinity, excusable



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