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Charlatan   /ʃˈɑrlətən/   Listen
Charlatan

noun
1.
A flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes.  Synonym: mountebank.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Charlatan" Quotes from Famous Books



... created nobility, among whom such names as Marchese Giaffori and Marchese Paoli (Pasquale's father) singularly figure. His manifesto, in answer to Genoese proclamations denouncing his pretensions and painting him as a charlatan, affected as great a sensitiveness of insult as could exist in the mind of a Capet. For some time all things went well; Theodore became master of nearly the whole island except the Genoese fortresses, which he blockaded. These were, in fact, the keys of the island. But the succours which he ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... people really find Mr. Charteris particularly attractive?" Patricia demanded, so quickly and so innocently that Mrs. Pendomer could not deny herself the glance of a charlatan ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... of which he believed her to know nothing. But he was quite alive to the fact that a favourable notice in the 'Breakfast Table' of his very thoughtful work, called the 'New Tale of a Tub,' would serve him, even though written by the hand of a female literary charlatan, and he would have no compunction as to repaying the service by fulsome praise in the 'Literary Chronicle.' He would not probably say that the book was accurate, but he would be able to declare that it was delightful ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... that you ought to believe as easily that such a man as you describe is laughing with the devil and his angels, as that he wrote a copy at the order of a charlatan, or worse." ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... charlatan, my lord? In a few days, you may be able to cut my head off; kill me, but don't calumniate me; your position in the state is too high for you ...
— The Resources of Quinola • Honore de Balzac

... coarser wit of the banqueters. At this feast of flowers may be seen the man high in office, the grave merchant, the man entrusted with the most important affairs of the commonwealth-the sage and the charlatan. Sallow-faced and painted women, more undressed than dressed, sit beside them, hale companions. Respectable society regards the Judge a fine old gentleman; respectable society embraces Mr. Soloman, notwithstanding he carries on a business, as we shall show, that brings misery upon hundreds. ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... fraud led to a serious attempt on his life. The whole account gives a graphic description of the inner working of one among the many new oracles that were springing up at this period. Alexander had remarkable beauty and the striking personality of the successful charlatan, and must have been a man of considerable intellectual abilities and power of organization. His income is said by Lucian to have reached an enormous figure. He died of gangrene of the leg in his ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... national peculiarities. Their language was, originally, Oscan, as well as the characters represented. The principal one resembled the clown of modern pantomime; another was a kind of pantaloon or charlatan, and much of the rest consisted of practical jokes, like that of the Italian Polincinella. After their introduction at Rome, they received many improvements; they lost their native rusticity; their satire was good-natured; ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... essays as a member of the public, as one who has to find a right attitude towards art so that the arts may flourish again. The critic is sure to be a charlatan or a prig, unless he is to himself not a pseudo-artist expounding the mysteries of art and telling artists how to practise them, but simply one of the public with a natural and human interest in art. But one of these essays ...
— Essays on Art • A. Clutton-Brock

... bad enough; but when it came to Monet, words were inadequate to express sufficient contempt. A shrug of the shoulders or a pitying look, which clearly meant, "Art thou most of madman or simpleton, or, maybe, impudent charlatan who would attract attention to himself by professing admiration ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... Du Jardin's best works are in the Louvre, but there are also many of his pictures in England. Among his masterpieces, 'Cattle of all kinds in a meadow surrounded by rocks, and watered by a cascade; a horseman giving alms to a peasant boy;' and his celebrated 'Charlatan,' full of observation and humour, are in the Louvre. A fine picture, 'Figures of Animals under the shade of a Tree,' is ...
— The Old Masters and Their Pictures - For the Use of Schools and Learners in Art • Sarah Tytler

... whom notices may be found in the pages of Haller and Vanderlinden; also, Reed's Surgery, and Nicholas Culpeper's Practice of Physic and Anatomy, the last as belonging to Samuel Seabury, chirurgeon, before mentioned. Nicholas Culpeper was a shrewd charlatan, and as impudent a varlet as ever prescribed for a colic; but knew very well what he was about, and badgers the College with great vigor. A copy of Spigelius's famous Anatomy, in the Boston Athenaeum, has the names of Increase and Samuel Mather written in ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... our own—the directness of a child mingles with the profoundest cunning. He believes easily in powers of light and darkness, yet is a sceptic all the while. Stirling knew this; but he could not know just when, if ever, the young charlatan Cheschapah would succeed in cheating the older chiefs; just when, if ever, he would strike the chord of their superstition. Till then they would reason that the white man was more comfortable as a friend than as a foe, that rations and gifts of clothes and farming ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... the non-existence of the machine was discovered is one of the things that is well outside the province of aeronautics. He was charlatan pure and simple, as far as actual flight was concerned, though he had some ideas respecting the design of hot-air balloons, according to Tissandier. (La Navigation Aerienne.) His flying machine was to contain, among other devices, bellows to produce ...
— A History of Aeronautics • E. Charles Vivian

... quality that interested him was intellect.' Intellect is equally, if not quite as exclusively, interesting to the creator of Sidonia. He admires it in all its forms—in a Jesuit or a leader of the International, in a charlatan or a statesman, or perhaps even more in one who combines the two characters; but the most interesting of all objects to Disraeli, if one may judge from his books, is a precocious youth, whose delight in the sudden consciousness of great abilities ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... life serene around him by the dignity and sweetness of his behavior, could he afford to circumvent the favor of the caucus and the press, and covet relations so hollow and pompous as those of a politician? Surely nobody would be a charlatan who could afford to ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... surmise. She knew that he was, in a way, a great man—a man with a growing greatness. He had promulgated ideas so daring that his brother scientists were embarrassed to know where to place him. There were those who thought of him as a brilliant charlatan; but the convincing intelligence and self-control of his glance repudiated that idea. The Faust-like aspect of the man might lay him open to the suspicion of having too experimental and inquisitive a mind. But he had, it would seem, no ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... moderate amount of erudition to unearth a charlatan like the supposed father of the infinitesimal dosing system. The real inventor of that specious trickery was an Irishman by the name of Butler. The whole story is to be found in the "Ortus Medicinm" of Van Helmont. I have given some account of his chapter "Butler" in different articles, ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... simmered steadily enough, and showed very well by and by whither it was bound. For I must say of Edward Sterling, after all his daily explosive sophistries, and fallacies of talk, he had a stubborn instinctive sense of what was manful, strong and worthy; recognized, with quick feeling, the charlatan under his solemnest wig; knew as clearly as any man a pusillanimous tailor in buckram, an ass under the lion's skin, and did with his whole heart ...
— The Life of John Sterling • Thomas Carlyle

... A thaumaturgus of our days, unless of an extreme simplicity, like that manifested by certain stigmatists of Germany, is odious; for he performs miracles without believing in them; and is a mere charlatan. But, if we take a Francis d'Assisi, the question becomes altogether different; the series of miracles attending the origin of the order of St. Francis, far from offending us, affords us real pleasure. The founder of Christianity lived in as ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... much learning the ascription, by the brilliant yet matter-of-fact and practical Tyndall, of almighty "potency" to matter. Of course we should reply that Tyndall was a sincere and earnest student, and not a charlatan or a fanatic; whereto our author might respond, and respond justly, in sharp disclaimer of the latter brace of characters. He seems to be sincere: he can read and think, and does both, as the first part of his book, and much of the rest of it, show. He would ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... inherited fortune and position, I have studied, and now I am poor, I am not trusted with the most ridiculous office, and all say, 'He's a fool! He doesn't know how to live!' The curate calls me 'philosopher' as a nickname and gives to understand that I am a charlatan who is making a show of what I learned in the higher schools, when that is exactly what benefits me the least. Perhaps I really am the fool and they ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... experts who had been waiting patiently to testify, folded his arms and said in a loud voice, "This is what comes of tolerating women in the professions." Another muttered, "Charlatan ... ridiculous ... dangerous thing ... shameful ... sex ..." Two elderly ladies in broadcloth coats with fur collars, later identified as crusaders for antivivisection, cheered ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... manufacturer of patent medicines regularly employs a person of some literary attainment whose duty it is to invent vigorous testimonials of sufferings relieved by Dr. Charlatan's universal panacea. In many instances persons are hired to give testimonials, and answer letters of inquiry in such a way as to encourage business. The shameless dishonesty and ingenious villainy exhibited are ...
— Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why - What Medical Writers Say • Martha M. Allen

... the Tariff Reform League. He would never have done that if his mind had not been weakened. [Beginning to declaim] He has fallen a victim to the arts of a political charlatan who— ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... that he was ready to treat with Trolle. After standing some time in the midst of a pouring rain, and without any prospect of an answer, the regent grew impatient, and sent word to Trolle that he could offer no other terms than those already offered. The charlatan then threw off the mask. He replied that he placed implicit confidence in Christiern, and was in no hurry for a parley. Any time within six weeks would do. At this announcement the regent had nothing for it but to withdraw. Drenched ...
— The Swedish Revolution Under Gustavus Vasa • Paul Barron Watson

... entrance. All the Shadows looked up with an air of weary expectation, like people waiting for their turn in a doctor's consulting-room. She beckoned to me, however, and I made haste to follow her. The words 'Charlatan!' 'You a poet!' in a variety of languages, greeted me by way of farewell from ...
— Adventures among Books • Andrew Lang

... thousands beyond this little town—but I have realized that it could be no more than a dream. I have been successful here because the people believe in me and have unquestioning faith in me—to go outside amongst strangers would only have been to be received as a charlatan and faker, or as a poor deaf and ...
— The Miracle Man • Frank L. Packard

... and wan, They've seen it all before, They know they'll see the charlatan But twice ...
— Fifty Bab Ballads • William S. Gilbert

... as this biological law exists, so long the charlatan will keep his hold on the ignorant public. So long as it exists, the wisest practitioner will be liable to deceive himself about the effect of what he calls and loves to think are his remedies. Long-continued and sagacious observation will to some extent undeceive him; ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... ways; and when all is said and done, the failure detracts from the force in the universe; he is the clog on the wheel of fortune. To say that the successful man benefits by the failure of others is as true as it would be to say that the ratepayer benefits by the poor-rates. You use the word 'charlatan' somewhat profusely of several successful writers, and no doubt you are right. But you must remember that it is a favourite charge against the gifted and the fortunate. Because we have failed by fair means, we are sure the other fellows have succeeded by foul. And, moreover, one is apt ...
— Prose Fancies (Second Series) • Richard Le Gallienne

... an after-dinner conversation on January 11th, 1803, with Roederer, Buonaparte exalted Voltaire at the expense of Rousseau in these significant words: "The more I read Voltaire, the more I like him: he is always reasonable, never a charlatan, never a fanatic: he is made for mature minds. Up to sixteen years of age I would have fought for Rousseau against all the friends of Voltaire. Now it is the contrary. I have been especially disgusted with Rousseau since I have seen the East. ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... day at San Francisco had come the news of his mother's death; she had left him some money—not much, but enough to set him up in business; so he had cut loose from the charlatan and had opened his 'Dental Parlors' on Polk street, an 'accommodation street' of small shops in the residence quarter of the town. Here he had slowly collected a clientele of butcher boys, shop girls, drug clerks and car conductors. He made but few ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... reformer, and who long possessed the ear and favor of his sovereign, lends an interest to the reign of the second Chintsong. Wanganchi did not possess the confidence or the admiration of his brother officials, and subsequent writers have generally termed him an impostor and a charlatan. But he may only have been a misguided enthusiast when he declared that "the State should take the entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own hands, with the view of succoring ...
— China • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... "fads" as a distinguished foreigner with stars. Naturalism I wore round my neck, Romanticism was pinned over the heart, Symbolism I carried like a toy revolver in my waistcoat pocket, to be used on an emergency. I do not judge whether I was charlatan or genius, I merely state that I found all—actors, managers, editors, publishers, docile and ready to listen to me. The world may be wicked, cruel, and stupid, but it is patient; on this point I will not ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... the walls, and look down upon the scene. How gay it is! Around the fountain, which is spilling in the centre of the court, a constantly varying group is gathered, washing, drinking, and filling their flasks and vases. Near by, a charlatan, mounted on a table, with a huge canvas behind him painted all over with odd cabalistic figures, is screaming, in loud and voluble tones, the virtues of his medicines and unguents, and his skill in extracting teeth. One need never have a pang ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... self-possession—[49]"Messieurs, c'est impossible de tromper des gens instruits comme vous. Je vais absolument couper la tete a cet-enfant: Mais avant de commencer, il faut que je vous fasse voir que je ne suis pas un charlatan. Eh bien, en attendant et pour un espece d'exorde: Qui est entre vous qui a le mal au dent?" "Moi," exclaimed instantly a sturdy looking peasant, opening his jaws, and disclosing a row of grinders which might have defied ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... correspondence course I have ever known anything about was not as good as a number of books on elocution that are available in any good library. Usually these courses are written by some charlatan who is in business as a mail-order-man selling trinkets and stammering cures or running a general correspondence school, teaching not only how to cure stammering by correspondence but giving courses in "Hair-Waving" and "How to Become a Detective." It is ...
— Stammering, Its Cause and Cure • Benjamin Nathaniel Bogue

... addressed, gives touching testimony to the sincere piety of his character. No man was ever more devoted to a high purpose, no man had ever more right to imagine himself, or less inclination to pronounce himself, entrusted with a divine mission. There was nothing of the charlatan in his character. His nature was true and steadfast. No narrow-minded usurper was ever more loyal to his own aggrandisement than this large-hearted man to the cause of oppressed humanity. Yet it was inevitable that ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... would have been in any sense whatever a pillar of the orthodoxies. As she would have come to preach Truth, you may suppose Truth needed, and therefore lacking; and so, that her teachings would have been at once dubbed vilest heterodoxy, and herself a charlatan. ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... openly, before one of the tenants and a parcel of farm-hands, making use of a superstitious device in which no sane person could believe. Weston, as I remember it, compared him to a gipsy fortune-teller, and went on through the gamut of impostor, mountebank and charlatan, before he commanded him to desist on the moment. I don't quite know what came next, though something was said about a lifted riding-crop, but within the week Clarence ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... his second descent upon France, and Punch, mindful of the fiasco of the first, prepared to give him a warm reception. His treatment from the beginning of the Pretender and Prince-President was that of an unblushing adventurer and charlatan. In course of time, as the Emperor became of importance in his day, he relaxed his severity to some extent, and at times at least showed him the respect due to an ally. On other occasions he would relapse into his original practice of violent and scornful attack—to such ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... disapprobation of living writers, so common and convenient, what does it do but injure all reverence for parents and teachers, when the young find out that the poet, who, as they were told, was a bungler and a charlatan, somehow continues to touch the purest and noblest nerves of their souls, and that the author who was said to be dangerous and unchristian, somehow makes them more dutiful, more earnest, more industrious, more loving to the poor? I speak of actual cases. Would to ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... others. M. Louis Blanc and M. Ernest Hamel talk of him as an angel or a prophet, and the Ninth Thermidor is a red day indeed in their martyrology. Michelet and M. D'Hericault treat him as a mixture of Cagliostro and Caligula, both a charlatan and a miscreant. We are reminded of the commencement of an address of the French Senate to the first Bonaparte: 'Sire,' they began, 'the desire for perfection is one of the worst maladies that can afflict the human mind.' This bold aphorism touches one of the roots of the judgments ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... the generous and ennobling hospitality, in his city house and villas, of the millionaire rhetorician, Herodes Atticus. About Peregrinus Paulus could never make up his mind. Was he the helpful teacher Gellius thought him, or the blatant charlatan of Lucian's frequent attacks? At any rate, the stories that were abroad about his wild youth, his connection with the strange sect known as Christians, his excommunication by them for profaning one of their rites, his expulsion from Rome by the Prefect of ...
— Roads from Rome • Anne C. E. Allinson

... amid the universal forward-hurrying throng, what then? If you have done something that can be mentioned, in art or letters or science, the newspapers may toss you a paragraph; or if you have been a notorious criminal or charlatan or windbag, they may even devote a leader to you; but the multitude—what time have they to think? A careless eye glances at the couple of obituary lines that have been paid for by relatives; then ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... and stories. The artist who fails to realize for his world the character-creating elements in the life which he essays to paint or write, fails, to just that degree, in being an artist; or is self-branded by his work as criminally careless, a charlatan or a liar. That one who, for a price, presents a picture or a story without regard for the influence of his production upon the characters of those who receive it, commits a crime for which human law provides no adequate punishment. Being the famous ...
— The Eyes of the World • Harold Bell Wright

... . . . of course this was silly traditional repeating of superstitious old words. There was no shelter; there could be none in this life. No one could show her the path, because there was no path; and anyone who pretended to show it was only a charlatan who traded on moments of ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... single Indian except only two women. At the end of that time, he returned because his provisions were all consumed. He brought a quantity of earth with him, which he declared to be from the mines. A charlatan—who had been brought from Espana, at a salary of one thousand ducados, as an assayer—having made the test, found no gold in this earth. They say that the reason was, that he threw salt into the mass that he was about to smelt; and ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609 • Various

... about the reasonably satisfactory arrangement that is now in force. Yet to leave to an international tribunal not merely the decision of a disputed case but the legislation necessary to regulate an international property was in itself a great step in the development of world polity. The charlatan who almost brought on war by maintaining an indefensible case was also the statesman who made perhaps the greatest single advance in the conservation of the ...
— The Path of Empire - A Chronicle of the United States as a World Power, Volume - 46 in The Chronicles of America Series • Carl Russell Fish

... no further trouble until four years ago, when, whilst I was staying with a friend in a little place in the province of Burgos, the pain came on again. There was no doctor, no surgeon, nobody. But a charlatan happened to come along who extracted teeth whilst on horseback; and I was in such distress that I was obliged to have recourse to him, and he took out two with the tail end ...
— The Grandee • Armando Palacio Valds

... my last will and testament like a woman on the verge of old age, I shall tell you that I was ever faithful to Conti, and should have been till death, and yet I know him. His nature is charming, apparently, and detestable beneath its surface. He is a charlatan in matters of the heart. There are some men, like Nathan, of whom I have already spoken to you, who are charlatans externally, and yet honest. Such men lie to themselves. Mounted on their stilts, they think they are on their feet, and perform their jugglery with a sort of innocence; ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... upward on a fiery chariot, as well as a predicted disappearance and reappearance after three days. Such were the stories being gulped down by the thousands who still clung with an indefinable fascination to the memory of the charlatan. Meantime the soldier Wilkes had died of his injuries, and the coroner's inquiry was ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... on this occasion; but I know that sort of man always has a leaning to the Abimelech and Jedediahs of biblical history; solely, I believe, because the names have a sonorous roll with them that is pleasant in the mouth of the charlatan. ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... the Dernieres Chansons has aroused in Madame Colet a pindaric fury. I have received an anonymous letter from her, in verse, in which she represents me as a charlatan who beats the drum on the tomb of his friend, a vulgar wretch who debases himself before criticism, after having "flattered Caesar"! "Sad example of the passions," as ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... any idea of French orators, and I doubt that they have ever had any or can have any now in the strict construction of the term orator, because we must not confuse the name orator with the words babbler and charlatan, for these can exist in any country, in all the regions of the inhabited world, among the cold and curt Englishmen as among the lively and ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... that Mohammed, from all accounts, was a demagogue, a charlatan, and a victim of mental disease. It strikes him strangely that such an individual should be chosen by Allah as his disciple on earth to make known his commands. He notes Mohammed's appearance on earth in 600 A.D. and wonders why the Creator should have ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... this man's real opinions? He had brains and literature; his pose before the world was not that of an ignorant charlatan. Vanity, no doubt, was his prime motive, but did it operate to make a cleric of a secret materialist, or to incite a display of excessive liberalism in one whose convictions were orthodox? Godwin ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... done honour to feeble truisms, that Fox should have been unable to distinguish between logic and looseness of reasoning, or that the whole assembly, who had been in the habit of hearing those pre-eminent orators, should have been tricked by theatric dexterity or charlatan rhetoric into homage. The oration must have been a most magnificent performance, and we have only to deplore the loss of a great ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... emperor than I do this minute; but he knew how to coquet also—Who would have thought it?—So there were notes, and verses, and dreams, and interpretations, and I can't tell you what. But, so far, the man is no charlatan—he has made Lady Angelica dream the very dream he chose—the strangest, too, imaginable—that she is in love with him. And the interpretation is, that she will take him 'for ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... the influence of the audience on the writer are many. First of all comes a fault far enough removed from the characteristic vices of the charlatan—to wit, sheer timidity and weakness. There is a kind of stage-fright that seizes on a man when he takes pen in hand to address an unknown body of hearers, no less than when he stands up to deliver himself to a sea of expectant ...
— Style • Walter Raleigh

... ex-clergyman and quack-doctor, harangued the people of Chaudiere from his gaily-painted wagon. He had the perfect gift of the charlatan, and he had discovered his metier. Inclined to the picturesque by nature, melodramatic and empirical, his earlier career had been the due fruit of habit and education. As a dabbler in mines he had been out of his element. He lacked the necessary reticence, and arsenic had not availed him, though ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... opposite Synge's chair. Whenever I raised my eyes I saw him, and wondered who he could be. Disordered people look disordered, unusual people look unusual. A youth with long hair, a velvet coat, extravagant manners, and the other effeminacies of emptiness looks the charlatan he is. Synge gave one from the first the impression of a strange personality. He was of a dark type of Irishman, though not black-haired. Something in his air gave one the fancy that his face was dark from gravity. ...
— John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, with Biographical Notes • John Masefield

... Pargeter is going to consult to-morrow morning can have any clue to the truth! Surely you do not seriously believe——" he did not conclude his sentence. That this broad-minded and religious Frenchwoman could possibly cherish any belief in the type of charlatan to which the American diplomatist supposed the famous Paris fortune-teller to belong ...
— The Uttermost Farthing • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... did not seem to be very clear in the matter. If Silva was merely a fakir and a charlatan, there was no reason why he should wish to induct Miss Vaughan into the mysteries of a religion which he wore only as a cloak, to be dropped as soon as his plans were accomplished. On the other hand, if he was sincere and really wished to convert the girl, it was ...
— The Gloved Hand • Burton E. Stevenson

... writes—"A lover of repose from selfishness, he sought it also from incapacity. He wished to enjoy a reputation easily usurped, the falsehood of which the least complication of events would have exposed." And the picture he gives throughout of Casimir Perier is that of an "illustrious charlatan," in whom nothing was genuine but his pride, his ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... self-conceit, at whom Cowper in his saner mood had laughed, but whom he now treated as a spiritual oracle, and a sort of medium of communication with the spirit-world, writing down the nonsense which the charlatan talked. Mrs. Unwin, being no longer in a condition to control the expenditure, the housekeeping, of course, went wrong; and at the same time her partner lost the protection of the love-inspired tact by which she had always contrived to shield his weakness and to secure for him, in spite of his ...
— Cowper • Goldwin Smith

... nurses from Mexico City, one an American, the other an English woman, both experienced, intrepid, efficient. The third step taken simultaneously with the other two was to dismiss the man who masqueraded as a physician though he was nothing in reality but a cheap charlatan fattening himself at the expense of weakness and disease. The man had been inclined to make trouble at first about his unceremonious discharge. He had no mind to lose without a protest such a convenient source ...
— Wild Wings - A Romance of Youth • Margaret Rebecca Piper

... ready, and in a moment the gondola was skimming the canal. Dressed in his unseasonable suit, and accompanied by the still more ridiculous figure of Balbi in his gaudy cloak and without a hat, he imagined he would be taken for a charlatan or an astrologer. ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... write, continue to address to me at Venice. Where do you suppose the books you sent to me are? At Turin! This comes of 'the Foreign Office' which is foreign enough, God knows, for any good it can be of to me, or any one else, and be d——d to it, to its last clerk and first charlatan, Castlereagh. ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... heart of some little known, vast, and almost impenetrable forest, successfully defy capture. But the fact of there being pseudo-wer-leopards by no means disposes of the fact that there are genuine ones, any more than the fact that there are charlatan palmists precludes the possibility of there being bona fide palmists; and I am inclined to believe lycanthropy exists in certain parts of West Africa (i.e., where primitive conditions are most in evidence), although ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... important discoveries, the true philosopher will communicate his details with modesty and reserve; he will rather be a useful servant of the public, bringing forth a light from under his cloak when it is needed in darkness, than a charlatan exhibiting fireworks and having a trumpeter to announce their magnificence. I see you are smiling, and think what I am saying in bad taste; yet, notwithstanding, I will provoke your smiles still further by saying a word or two on his other moral qualities. ...
— Consolations in Travel - or, the Last Days of a Philosopher • Humphrey Davy

... very remarkable man. You have heard of Count St. Germain, about whom so many marvelous stories are told. You know that he represented himself as the Wandering Jew, as the discoverer of the elixir of life, of the philosopher's stone, and so forth. Some laughed at him as a charlatan; but Casnova, in his memoirs, says that he was a spy. But be that as it may, St. Germain, in spite of the mystery surrounding him, was a very fascinating person, and was much sought after in the best circles of society. Even to this day my grandmother retains an affectionate recollection ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... ran to the Baron, and with a sickening heart sought to allay the flux of blood. The touch of the skin of that great charlatan revolted her to the toes; the wound, in her ignorant eyes, looked deathly; yet she contended with her shuddering, and, with more skill at least than the Chancellor's, staunched the welling injury. An eye unprejudiced with hate would ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... such folly, such arrant "faking" as this! What has philosophy, religion, politics to do with operatic music? It cannot express any one of them. Wagner, clever charlatan, knew this, so he worked the leading-motive game for all it was worth. Realizing the indefinite nature of music, he gave to his themes—most of them borrowed without quotation marks—such titles as Love-Death; Presentiment of Death; Cooking motive—in Siegfried; Compact ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... Conway, the boss, that he was a charlatan; that he was running a yellow sheet; that he had the ethics of a hyena; that he was pandering to the worst passions of the ignorant mob and ...
— Death Points a Finger • Will Levinrew

... (1766-1808), one of the most eventful periods of modern Danish history. The king himself was indeed a semi-idiot, scarce responsible for his actions, yet his was the era of such striking personalities as the brilliant charlatan Struensee, the great philanthropist and reformer C. D. F. Reventlow, the ultra-conservative Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, whose mission it was to repair the damage done by Struensee, and that generation of alert and progressive spirits which surrounded the young crown prince Frederick, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... theatrically, with the inscription, "To the defender of humanity, of truth, of liberty!" The salons caught the temper of the time. Voltairean as they were, disposed to set down Rousseau as an enthusiast or a charlatan, they could not resist the invasion of passion or of sensibility. It mingled with a swarm of incoherent ideas and gave them a new intensity of life. The incessant play of intellect flashed and glittered for many ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... danger whatever, I give you my word. You are always timid, Clarke, always; but you know my history. I have devoted myself to transcendental medicine for the last twenty years. I have heard myself called quack and charlatan and impostor, but all the while I knew I was on the right path. Five years ago I reached the goal, and since then every day has been a preparation for what we shall ...
— The House of Souls • Arthur Machen

... all hostile criticism of the paper, people read the Express—many staid ones surreptitiously—for it had a snap, a go, a tang, that at times almost took the breath. And despite the estimate of its editor as a charlatan, the people had yielded to that aggressive personage a rank of ...
— Counsel for the Defense • Leroy Scott

... study of Natural Science can give, and must give; for without it there is no use studying Natural Science; and the man who has not got that habit of mind, if he meddles with science, will merely become a quack and a charlatan, only fit to get his bread as a spirit-rapper, or an inventor of ...
— Town Geology • Charles Kingsley

... medicine and surgery as it existed in his time. Most of our modern medicine and surgery was anticipated in the olden time; but it may be said that all of the modes of the quack are as old as humanity. Galen's description of the travelling charlatan who settled down in his front yard, not knowing that it belonged to a physician, shows this very well. There were evidently as many of them and as many different kinds in Mondeville's time as in our own. In discussing the ...
— Old-Time Makers of Medicine • James J. Walsh

... name should be mixed up with a racing scandal staggered him by its dangers and its absurdity. Anger against his daughter became in some measure compassion. Of course she was but a woman and a clever charlatan ...
— Aladdin of London - or Lodestar • Sir Max Pemberton

... repeated he calmly. "You have spent a lot of money, and have done a lot of dreaming and talking and listening to compliments, and have taken a lot of lessons of an expensive charlatan. But what have those things to do ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... seen, too, at many open spaces. Sometimes a fervid preacher would be declaiming to a pale-faced group on the subject of God's righteous judgments upon a wicked and licentious city. Sometimes a wizened old woman or a juggling charlatan would be seen selling all sorts of charms and potions as specifics against the plague. Joseph pressing near in curiosity to one of these vendors, found him doing a brisk trade in dried toads, which he vowed would preserve the wearer from all infection. Another had packets of dried ...
— The Sign Of The Red Cross • Evelyn Everett-Green

... had been preceded, in the situation which he occupied, by a rival charlatan, on horseback, with powders to kill rats. The latter stood upon the same eminence, wearing a hat, jacket, and trowsers, all white—upon which were painted black rats of every size and description; and in his harangue to the populace he took care to tell them that the rats, painted upon his dress, ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... more consequence, be honest with God too. A well-known agnostic lecturer once said that no god could afford to damn an honest man, and I am not sure that he was not right; but if the words of Christ were not the empty mouthings of a charlatan or a dreamer, there cannot be the slightest doubt about the fate of the hypocrite. Remember that on the only occasion on which the gentle nature of our Lord was roused to anger he denounced in the most ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... cares for one person—himself. Yet Miss ELINOR MORDAUNT never seems to have any difficulty in making us share Bellamy's delight in his own conscienceless career. Perhaps it is this very delight that does the trick. Charlatan as he is, and worse, Bellamy is always so attractively amused at the success of his impostures that it becomes impossible to avoid an answering grin. It was not a little courageous of Miss MORDAUNT to write a story about a hero from the Five Towns district; but, though this may look ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 7, 1914 • Various

... his teacher one who had actually been disgraced by the infliction of stripes? [Footnote: Cp. Isaiah liii. 5.] If the Bāb had been captured in battle, bravely fighting, it might have been possible to admire him, but, as Court politicians kept on saying, he was but 'a vulgar charlatan, a timid dreamer.' [Footnote: Gobineau, p. 257.] According to Mirza Jani, it was the Crown Prince who gave the order for stripes, but his 'farrashes declared that they would rather throw themselves down from the roof of the palace than carry it out.' [Footnote: ...
— The Reconciliation of Races and Religions • Thomas Kelly Cheyne

... quackery now appears, so great at one time was its power, that persons every way qualified for the generative act, have been seen suddenly reduced to a humiliating nullity, in consequence of an impudent charlatan, a village sorcerer or a fortune-teller having threatened them with point-tying. Saint André, a French physician, gives an account of a poor weaver, who having disappointed Madame André in not bringing home some work was threatened by that lady with being point-tied by her husband the ...
— Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction • John Davenport

... communicated to him the steps which I intended to take in order to promote the circulation of the Bible, and they have uniformly met with his approbation; therefore you will easily conceive that in what I have done there has been no rashness nor anything which savoured of the arts of the charlatan: I have too much respect for the Gospel and my own character to ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... "Monte-Cristo, the infidel charlatan, is miles away. With all his boasted power he can do nothing to aid you. I have you now, and you ...
— The Son of Monte Cristo • Jules Lermina

... ultimately based upon a misinterpretation. The line between real science and its counterfeit is here as everywhere a distinct one, and the true man of science ought not to hesitate in doing his duty from fear that he might not be discriminated from the charlatan. A well-conducted psychotherapeutic treatment as a scientific physician ought to carry it out, is entirely different in meaning and appearance, from the first step of diagnosis to the last treatment of after-effects, from ...
— Psychotherapy • Hugo Muensterberg

... point the fatal charlatan-element got the upper-hand. He apostatized from his old faith in facts, took to believing in semblances; strove to connect himself with Austrian dynasties, popedoms, with the old false feudalities ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, May 1844 - Volume 23, Number 5 • Various

... skepticism of every grade and quality is in reference to the person and work of Christ. The elimination of the supernatural from the Bible would be an invalidation of Christ's claims and testimony. It would place him before the world as a false teacher, a fraud, a charlatan. Loyalty to the Word, and to the Incarnate Word, demands, therefore, that we should clearly understand the end to which this rationalism is drifting. For Christ's testimony concerning the Old Testament Scriptures, which ...
— The Testimony of the Bible Concerning the Assumptions of Destructive Criticism • S. E. Wishard

... illuminism in which the Princess herself is dabbling. So we have on the scene not only (as the reader sees at once, though some rather clumsy efforts are made to hide it) the resuscitated Albert, who passes as a certain Trismegistus, not only the historical charlatan Saint-Germain, but another charlatan at this time not at all historical (seeing that the whole story ends in 1760, and he never left Palermo till nine years later), Cagliostro. Even at Spandau Consuelo herself is not quite uninteresting; but the Illuminati ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... mankind that many without are in no necessity whatever, but only seek to enrich themselves at your expense. Therefore I propose you examine carefully each case that presents itself, and unless the beggar is in need of alms turn him away empty-handed, as being a fraud and a charlatan." ...
— Mother Goose in Prose • L. Frank Baum

... Alcinous, "not one of us who sees you has any idea that you are a charlatan or a swindler. I know there are many people going about who tell such plausible stories that it is very hard to see through them, but there is a style about your language which assures me of your good ...
— The Odyssey • Homer

... Browning put his foot down, and the experiments ceased. There can be little doubt that he was justified in this; indeed, he was probably even more justified if the experiments were genuine psychical mysteries than if they were the hocus-pocus of a charlatan. He knew his wife better than posterity can be expected to do; but even posterity can see that she was the type of woman so much adapted to the purposes of men like Home as to exhibit almost invariably either ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... people, as P. T. Barnum long ago pointed out, have a weakness for humbugs. They are the natural prey of the charlatan, and in nothing more so than in matters political. Despite their boasted intelligence, they will follow with a trust that partakes of the pathetic the mountebank who can perform the most sleight-of-hand tricks, the demagogue who can make the most noise. They think, but are too busy or indifferent ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... time had come for ending the interview. He desired that her receptive mind should retain a solemn impression of his majesty and of his power. A charlatan to the last, he now rose to his feet and with outstretched arm pointed upwards to the small ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... he asked, "that you believe one word of all this ghastly rubbish? I mean as to that antique charlatan being a thousand years old and having caused ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... girlish charlatan see in my face some signs of shrinking when she spoke of enemies, and set me down for a coward whose weakness might be profitable? Very likely. At all events she plucked a long brass pin, with a round bead for a head, from ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... Has he the enigma of modern times to solve, Napoleon I? In Napoleon, who in the sphere of action is to Modern History what Shakespeare is in the sphere of art, Tolstoi sees no more than the clerical harlequin, Abbe de Pradt, sees, a stage conqueror, a charlatan devoured by vanity, without greatness, dignity, without genius for war yet impatient of peace, shallow of intellect, tricking and tricked by all around him, dooming myriads to death for the amusement of an hour, yet on the dread morning ...
— The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe • J. A. Cramb

... sly touch in this sentence that sheds light upon "The Lady of Christ's." John Milton was a bit of a poseur, as Schopenhauer declares all great men are and ever have been. With the masterly mind goes a touch of the fakir or charlatan. Milton knew his power—he gloried in this bright blade of the intellect. He was handsome—and he knew it. And yet we will not cavil at his velvet coats, or laces, or the golden chain that adorned his slender, shapely person. These ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... is only of real value when, free from all charlatanism, it rests on a sufficiently scientific basis; for the art of an ignoramus falls into error and employs inappropriate methods; on the other hand, the art of a charlatan has for its object the purse of the patient. It is common to meet with physicians who have a good practical experience of art without possessing scientific knowledge, others who have both practical experience and science but are charlatans, others ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... was no common charlatan; she had strength of a sort, though where it came from who could say? Moreover, for all kinds of secret reasons of her own, she desired to keep in her grip this boy Godfrey, who had shown himself to be so wonderful a medium or clairvoyant. To her he meant strength and fortune; also for ...
— Love Eternal • H. Rider Haggard

... abuses, is that any reason why you should go and set up a brand-new one—an ugly anachronism besides,' retorted the squire. 'However, you and I have no common ground—never had. I say know, you say feel. Where is the difference, after all, between you and any charlatan of the lot? Well, ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... or abashed, The Court still met;—the Chairman and Directors, The Secretary, good at pen and ink, The worthy Treasurer, who kept the chink, And all the cash Collectors; With hundreds of that class, so kindly credulous, Without whose help, no charlatan alive, Or Bubble Company could hope to thrive, Or busy Chevalier, however sedulous— Those good and easy innocents in fact, Who willingly receiving chaff for corn, As pointed out by Butler's tact, Still find a secret pleasure in the act Of ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... of life"; he lives in the glare of absolute knowledge, an implicit criticism of the Paracelsian endeavour to let in upon men the searing splendour of the unclouded day. To Karshish, however, these very embarrassments—so unlike the knowing cleverness of the spiritual charlatan—make it credible that Lazarus is indeed no oriental Sludge, but one who has verily seen God. But then came the terrible crux,—the pretension, intolerable to Semitic monotheism, that God had been embodied in a man. The words scorch the paper as ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... fellow named Paolo Giovio, Bishop of Nocera, a charlatan and a wretched dabbler in necromancy and something of an alchemist, who has lately written the life of another Pope's son—Cesare Borgia, who lived nigh upon half a century ago, and who did more than any ...
— The Strolling Saint • Raphael Sabatini

... bore without abuse The grand old name of gentleman, Defamed by every charlatan, And soiled with all ignoble use. In Memoriam, ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... Her husband, disgusted by her behavior (for she had been introduced by him to many noblemen and gentlemen, his personal friends, some one at least of whom, on the slightest encouragement, would, he felt sure, have taken the place of the foreign charlatan she had disgraced him by preferring), consoled himself for her bad taste by entering into her possessions, which comprised a quantity of new jewellery, new lace, and feminine apparel, and an income of nearly seven thousand pounds a year. After this, he became so welcome in society that he could ...
— The Irrational Knot - Being the Second Novel of His Nonage • George Bernard Shaw

... whose "Life" took Thomas Carlyle thirteen years in searching musty German histories to produce. Carlyle says, "One of the reasons that led me to write 'Frederic' was that he managed not to be a liar and charlatan as his century was"; and indeed his adoration for Frederic is quite pardonable. He had spent thirteen years of his life in the supreme effort of making him a hero, and his great work, contained in eight volumes, is a matchless piece of literature; ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... worst has yet to be told. The masters of the Labor Trust, not to be outdone in bidding for unholy notoriety, had the insolence to invite this blasphemous charlatan to their riot of revolutionary ranting called a 'protest meeting.' He and other creatures of his ilk, summoning the forces which are organizing red ruin in our city, proceed to rave at the police and the courts for denying to mobs of ...
— They Call Me Carpenter • Upton Sinclair

... One Benjamin Perkins, "a charlatan believer in mesmeric influence," plied his trade in early Manhattan. He seems to have belonged to that vast army of persons who seriously believe their own teachings even when they know them to be preposterous. Perkins made ...
— Greenwich Village • Anna Alice Chapin



Words linked to "Charlatan" :   craniologist, cheat, slicker, beguiler, mountebank, phrenologist, quack, deceiver, trickster, cheater



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