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Common man   /kˈɑmən mæn/   Listen
Common man

noun
1.
A person who holds no title.  Synonyms: common person, commoner.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Common man" Quotes from Famous Books



... could do when given a free hand, she has had it in these countries, particularly in Mexico. In all the nearly four centuries of her unmolested control in that fair land, oppressed by sword and crucifix, did she ever make an attempt worth the name to uplift and emancipate the common man? Not one. She took his few, hard-earned pesos to get his weary soul out of an imagined purgatory—but she left him to rot in peonage while on earth! But, friend, I repeat, the struggle is coming here in Colombia. And look you well to your ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... the teacher a second time, and he took him by the collar of his jacket as if to raise him. The lad saw he had no common man to deal with, and ...
— From Canal Boy to President - Or The Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... a guess as to the intellectual ferment out of which 1601 rose I would say that Mark's intellectual structure and subconscious graining was from Anglo-Saxons as primitive as the common man of the Tudor period. He came from the banks of the Mississippi—from the flatboatmen, pilots, roustabouts, farmers and village folk of a rude, primitive ...
— 1601 - Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors • Mark Twain

... Certainly he was no common man to whose memory stands that tall monument at Botany Bay. It was erected at the cost of the French Government by the Baron de Bougainville, in 1825, and serves not only as a reminder of a fine character and a full, rich and manly life, but of a series of historical events that ...
— Laperouse • Ernest Scott

... availed myself of his kind invitation. I say singular, for the extraordinary, under whatever form, had long had no slight interest for me: and I had discernment enough to perceive that yon was no common man. Yet I went not near him, certainly not from bashfulness, or timidity, feelings to which I had long been an entire stranger. Am I to regret this? perhaps, for I might have learned both wisdom and righteousness from those calm, quiet lips, and my after-course might have been widely different. As it ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... A common man, who in the day Lifts not his eyes above him, Roaming the fields of even through May find a ...
— Fires of Driftwood • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... of the modern world is out of sympathy with the serious democratic sentiment that this statement will seem to many to be lacking in seriousness. Democracy is not philanthropy; it is not even altruism or social reform. Democracy is not founded on pity for the common man; democracy is founded on reverence for the common man, or, if you will, even on fear of him. It does not champion man because man is so miserable, but because man is so sublime. It does not object so much to the ordinary man being a slave ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... glass-rag into the locker. I hurried off to the galley to bring the breakfast, not knowing rightly whether it would be there or in another place. The cook, surly brute, made a lot of offensive remarks to me, to which I made no answer. He was glad to have someone to bully, for he had the common man's love of power, with all his hatred of anything more polished than himself. I took the breakfast aft to the cabin, where, by this time, the ship's captain was seated. I placed the ...
— Martin Hyde, The Duke's Messenger • John Masefield

... from the first, escaped the scrutinizing eyes of Mr. Hookey. No: he saw in the tall, pale, elegant, dark-haired student the victim of deep sensibility. From seeing him, he wondered, from wondering he loved him, from loving he adored him: he knew at once he was no common man. Having perused Byron's Manfred, he conceived him to be such another as that strange character; or he might be a second Lara; or, more, he might be, nay he was, a glorious genius, full of high imaginings. Little do we know what bright thoughts passed through the mind of the enthusiastic ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 565 - Vol. 20, No. 565., Saturday, September 8, 1832 • Various

... said, her lovely eyes twinkling and sparkling like diamonds:—"So! Then your Majesty is no more than a very common man who loses temper when he cannot have his own way!" She laughed again, and the King stared at her unoffended,—being spellbound, both by her regal beauty, and her complete indifference to himself. "I will ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... taken possession of and inspired by his god. Some of these belonged to Asia Minor, the great centre of worships accompanied with ecstasy and frenzy, but some were of native growth. In these the common man found a satisfaction which the stately ceremonial of the temples did not afford. The official religion had grown cold and distant; but in the worship of Demeter or Dionysus, as afterwards of the Phrygian Cybele, the "Great Mother" whom the Romans imported, the least educated could feel the ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... to name any sort of cosmetic the "Paste of Sultans" thus divining the magic force of such words in a land where every man hoped to be a sultan as much as every woman longed to be a sultana, was an inspiration which could only have come to a common man or a man of genius. The public always judges by results. Birotteau passed for a superior man, commercially speaking; all the more because he compiled a prospectus whose ridiculous phraseology was an element of success. In France they only made ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... only shake his new coat till common man see it silk. He feel velly much flighten all a same, as if big-button mandalin get ...
— Blue Jackets - The Log of the Teaser • George Manville Fenn

... at the stand to-day, good Malluch, Sheik Ilderim appeared to be a very common man. The rabbis in Jerusalem would look down upon him, I fear, as a son of a dog of Edom. How came he in possession of the Orchard? And how has he been able to hold it against the ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... dogs, and these dogs have a way of sniffing and snarling, anything but agreeable to an unbidden guest. The poor people complained to me no one ever came to see them. I should be surprised if any one did; but Mr. George Smith, of Coalville, is no common man, and having secured fair play for the poor children of the brick-fields—he himself was brought up in a brick-yard—and for the poor, and sadly-neglected, inmates of the canal-boats, he has now turned ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... with broken treaties. If he fought it would be because he felt there was need to strike a blow for something righteous. And his faith in the righteousness of the Allied cause was still unfired. He saw no mission to compel justice, to exact retribution, only a clash of Great Powers, in which the common man was fed ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... common man, vulgus, will speak ill of it; but my commilitiones, my comrades, will praise me to the skies for ...
— Comedies • Ludvig Holberg

... dislikes mentioning the fact or hearing it mentioned, the common man of science recognises no other end in life than protracted and agreeable existence. That is where he joins issue with the religious; it is also his excuse for being a eugenist. He declines to believe in any reality other than that of the physical universe. ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... or closer-fighting swordsman or the bowman could hold his own, and a democratic flavour, a touch of repudiation, was in the air. In such countries as Italy, Greece, the Alps, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, the two forces of the old order, the aristocrat and the common man, were in a state of unstable equilibrium through the whole period of history. A slight change[22] in the details of the conflict for existence could tilt the balance. A weapon a little better adapted to one class than the ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... generosity to my Rose-bud ever did me due credit with this pair of friends. Very hard, Belford, that credits cannot be set against debits, and a balance struck in a rake's favour, as well as in that of every common man!—But he, from whom no good is expected, is not allowed the merit of the good ...
— Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... the revolution envied the religious enjoyments of the common man, all pilgrimages were forbidden, and the road leading to our Lady's Chapel, and which, indeed, is the only high road in this part of the country, became almost impassable. Under the Emperor it was thoroughly repaired, and, as they ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... no common man with whom I fight, And if he be, he is of wond'rous spright. [Aside. Shall we ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VII (4th edition) • Various

... masters; they may also further the interests of office-holders, and more particularly of certain business houses or businessmen who stand to gain some small advantage by help of the powers in control; but it all signifies nothing more to the common man than an increased bill of governmental expense and a probable increase in the ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... fell. "But Lady Meadowcroft is not at all well," he answered, looking piteous; "and—she can't endure the ship's doctor. Such a common man, you know! His loud voice disturbs her. You MUST have noticed that my wife is a lady of exceptionally delicate nervous organisation." He hesitated, beamed on me, and played his trump card. "She dislikes being attended by owt ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... and revolutionary economic and social programs. He was not a student of such philosophies, yet he had in his heart that particular treasure, namely an affection for people, for the fortunate and no less for the poor and the dispossessed. Without this love for the common man, these philosophies are never translated into the natural order of things nor ever become more than intellectual pronouncements. He was neither a mystic nor a reformer, but a citizen who was deeply cognizant of religious faith as laying upon him and upon everyone a compulsive service. ...
— Frank H. Nelson of Cincinnati • Warren C. Herrick

... firesides to sail with him, without other hope or motion; we find silver bullets cast to shoot him in a mutiny; the hard, rude natures of the mutineers being awed by something in his carriage which was not like that of a common man. He has written the account of one of his northern voyages himself; and there is an imaginative beauty in it, and a rich delicacy of expression, which is called out in him by the first sight of strange ...
— The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book • Various

... The common man himself lifted up his voice in protest and backed his protest with such action as he could take. Besides the parent body of the Great War Veterans' Association other kindred groups of men who had fought on both sea and land sprang into being. The labor ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... by reciting an incident of my factory life. Every afternoon the men in my father's department would bring in Brisbane's latest editorial to me ... and listen to me as I read it aloud. To have the common man buy a newspaper for its ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... great importance to observe, that the character of every man is, in some degree, formed by his profession. A man of sense may only have a cast of countenance that wears off as you trace his individuality, whilst the weak, common man, has scarcely ever any character, but what belongs to the body; at least, all his opinions have been so steeped in the vat consecrated by authority, that the faint spirit which the grape of his own vine yields ...
— A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Title: Vindication of the Rights of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft [Godwin]

... were conceived as like men, irritated if they were neglected, contented if they were venerated. On this principle worship was based. It consisted in doing things agreeable to the gods to obtain their favor. Plato expresses as follows[55] the thought of the common man, "To know how to say and do those things that are pleasing to the gods, either in prayers or in offerings, this is piety which brings prosperity to individuals and to states. The reverse is impiety which ruins everything." "It ...
— History Of Ancient Civilization • Charles Seignobos

... Germany must rest on the soundness of the common people, rather than on the pretensions of the aristocracy whose corruption he held responsible for the decadence of the nation. Following the example of Frederick the Great, he tried to foster the simple virtues of the common man. He was, however, opposed to radicalism, seeing permanent progress only in order, self-discipline, and moderation. His leading idea, which was shared by such men as Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Niebuhr, and others, was that the principal task of the time was to arouse the ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... to pass, that none but peaceful bards had ever sat upon the mound. Never a warrior or a common man had risked sitting there. The general fear felt, and the awe inspired by ...
— Welsh Fairy Tales • William Elliot Griffis

... insignificant, but a glorious body. The desert master by nourishing the Rishi, procured a birth as the three leg, or foot star; worldly profit is fleeting and perishable, religious profit is eternal and inexhaustible; a man though a king is full of trouble, a common man, who ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... afterwards brought more or less into a true image of leaves, but deriving all its beauty from the botanical form. In the present instance only two leaves are set in each cluster; and the architect has been determined that the naturalism should be perfect. For he was no common man who designed that cathedral of Dunblane. I know not anything so perfect in its simplicity, and so beautiful, as far as it reaches, in all the Gothic with which I am acquainted. And just in proportion to his power of mind, that man was content to work under Nature's ...
— Lectures on Architecture and Painting - Delivered at Edinburgh in November 1853 • John Ruskin

... themselves, was made of the soaked and beaten bark of several shrubs, such as the wauke, olona, hau, oloa. Fine varieties were even made of the kukui (Aleurites moluccana). In ancient times it was an offense punishable with death for a common man to wear a double kapa ...
— Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands • Charles Nordhoff

... Bratti is not a common man. He has a theory, and lives up to it, which is more than I can say for any philosopher I have the honour of shaving," answered Nello, whose loquacity, like an over-full bottle, could never pour forth a small dose. "Bratti means to extract the utmost possible amount ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... had better tell you, Miss Lingard," said the curate, "that it was Mr. Polwarth who found the thing I gave you. After your visit, he could not fail to put things together, and had he been a common man, I should have judged it prudent to tell him for the sake of secrecy what I have told him for the sake of counsel. I repeat in your brother's hearing what I have said to you, that he is the wisest and best man I have ever known.—I left him in the meadow at the foot of the garden. He ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... could ever attain. With it all there was no hint of superciliousness: the eyes were too sad, too terribly wise in their own way for that; and his whole manner went far beyond modesty; it had all the pitiable self-consciousness of one that has fallen from the higher social plane. No common man, no matter what his fame and offences, could lose his self-respect as this poor gentleman had done. Anne, filled with a pity she had never known was in her, exerted herself to divert his mind from the gulf which had so long separated him from his class. She talked ...
— The Gorgeous Isle - A Romance; Scene: Nevis, B.W.I. 1842 • Gertrude Atherton

... Winfried's voice sank lower and a cloud of disappointment passed over his face as he replied: "Nay, miracles have I never wrought, though I have heard of many; but the All-Father has given no power to my hands save such as belongs to common man." ...
— Short Stories for English Courses • Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.)

... or woman. Mr. Graeme's eye glanced down over the tall square-shouldered form, a little stooping from lack of drill and much meditation, but instantly straightening itself upon any inward stir, and he said to himself, "This is no common man!" ...
— Donal Grant • George MacDonald

... freedom emboldened and improved her. She even began to consider her own judgment a safer guide in the affairs of every day than the example of her patroness. Had she not been right in declaring Cashel Byron an ignorant and common man when Lydia, in spite of her warning, had actually invited him to visit them? And now all the newspapers were confirming the opinion she had been trying to impress on Lydia for months past. On the evening of the assault-at-arms, the newsmen ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... other foundation than this, Mr. Triplett took occasion to give the gentleman's pedigree, by what methods some part of the estate was acquired, how much it was beholden to a marriage for the present circumstances of it: after all, he could see nothing but a common man in his person, ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... assembly, coming in front of the preacher—I at once recognised the pale and melancholy features of the afflicted Christian. I was surprised and delighted. He had convinced me, at the few interviews I had had with him, that he was no common man, and I had determined to obtain from him, if I should ever meet him again, all necessary knowledge of the Christian institutions and doctrine. Although I had learned much, in the mean time, from both Julia and the Hermit, still there was much left which I ...
— Zenobia - or, The Fall of Palmyra • William Ware

... of man? not a common man, I grant you: for instance, a subject—it's out of the power of ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... Among the men and women of the new era that barrier was broken down. The religious was no longer a recognised class: religion was no longer a luxury for the few, or to be partaken of in sacred places and at fixed days and hours. The common man, if a Christian man at all, was to be so now in his common and daily life, living it out from day to day on the deepest principles and from the highest motives. And the Christian woman, having a similar and ...
— John Knox • A. Taylor Innes

... Paul's, had pipe-stem legs, and a face like an old parchment put in a box to keep. His sandy hair was thin and straggling, and his fine cloth hose wrinkled around his shrunken shanks; but his eye was sharp, and he wore about his neck a broad gold chain that marked him as no common man. ...
— Master Skylark • John Bennett

... that one should pass from under the shadow of my house whither she is not welcome. Without my leave the prince named this woman as his queen, as he had the right to do; and without my leave he unnames her, as he has the right to do. Were the prince a common man, according to custom he should pay a fine of cattle to be held by me in trust for her whom he discards; but this is a matter that ...
— The Wizard • H. Rider Haggard

... otherwise unreasonable fact of the existence of Poets. Poets are those who share these popular sentiments, but can so express them that they prove themselves the strange and delicate things that they really are. Poets draw out the shy refinement of the rabble. Where the common man covers the queerest emotions by saying, "Rum little kid," Victor Hugo will write "L'art d'etre grand-pere"; where the stockbroker will only say abruptly, "Evenings closing in now," Mr. Yeats will write "Into the twilight"; where ...
— Alarms and Discursions • G. K. Chesterton

... taller in stature than the tallest of his countrymen, a yard in breadth from shoulder to shoulder, and the rest of his body in admirable proportion. His aspect was not handsome, but grave and courageous. His bow was not easily bent by a common man; his arrows were three-pronged, tipped with the bones of fishes, and his weapons appeared to be intended for a giant. In a word, he was so nobly proportioned, as to be the ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... highest philosophy and is perfectly intelligible to the most simple-minded. Here a bewildering number of mutually contradictory ways of life are urged upon us, not one of which can appeal in fulness and power to the common man. There do we find one clear way of salvation—the way of faith in Christ; and in order to walk in that way the power of the Divine Spirit is promised to every one, even to the humblest soul and to the greatest sinner, that he might accept the Christ and live in and ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... followed him with his eyes, and when the devil got to the turning or bend of the lane, he vanished! The devil was upon this occasion drest in a blue coat, plush waistcoat, leather breeches and boots, and talked and looked just like a common man, except as to a particular lock of hair which he had. "And how do you know then that it was the devil?"—"How do I know," replied the fellow,—"why, if it had not been the devil, being drest as he was, and looking as he did, why should I have been sore stricken with fright, ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... the merest, poorest nobodies. So small are they that even that suffices to make them feel big! But Helen did not like it, especially when he would ask her if he might have this or that, or do so and so. Any common man who heard him would have thought him afraid of his wife; but a large-hearted woman would at once have understood, as did Helen, that it all came of his fine sense of truth, and reality, and obligation. Still Helen would have had him forget all such matters in connection with her. They ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... the Crusaders were Knights and obeyed a somewhat different code of manners from the common men. But in such respects the common man was just the same as his master. He, too, resembled a shy horse, easily frightened by a shadow or a silly piece of paper, capable of excellent and faithful service but liable to run away and do terrible damage when his ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... wildly smiting the crown of his deerstalker. "That's just it! What does it all mean, my dear! Gad!—this is—to use the common language of the common man, a fair licker! That that chap Burchill should march as bold as brass into those Herapath Flats, is—well, I couldn't be more surprised, Trixie, than if you were to tell me that you are the Queen of Sheba's grand-daughter! Not so much so, ...
— The Herapath Property • J. S. Fletcher

... The map of the county, the mineralogical survey, the new roads, the opening of lime works, the competition of ploughing, the improving harbours, the building of bridges, are works which bespeak the exertions of no common man."—Letter to Mr. Andrew. Little, ...
— The Life of Thomas Telford by Smiles • Samuel Smiles

... which feature of the steadily moving travel would most forcibly strike the original Puritan settlers of the town: the fact that even the common man—the poor man—could own such a vehicle of speed and ease, or the fact that America—such a short time ago a wilderness—could produce, not as the finest flower on its tree of evolution, but certainly as its most exotic, the plutocrat who lives in a palace with fifty servants to ...
— The Old Coast Road - From Boston to Plymouth • Agnes Rothery

... to his fellow-pirates was short but to the point, saying "that since he had dipped his hands in muddy water, and must be a pyrate, it was better being a commander than a common man," not perhaps a graceful nor grateful way of expressing his thanks, but one which was no doubt understood by ...
— The Pirates' Who's Who - Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers • Philip Gosse

... pearls about the neck of a monkey"; "The inner power of great men becomes more evident in their misfortune than in their fortune; the fine perfume of aloes wood is strongest when it falls into the fire"; "The anger of the best man lasts an instant, of the mediocre man six hours, of the common man a day and a night, and the rascal will never get rid of it"; "The scholar laughs with his eyes, mediocre people show their teeth when they laugh, common people roar, and true men of wisdom never laugh"; "Truthfulness and cleverness ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... have not yet revealed. Perhaps "the Anglo-American Barrister" did not bow sufficiently low to confidential Secretaries and Executive Clerks. He would have found such obsequiousness difficult. Mr. Stuart was both vigorous in mind and body, and was very far from being a common man. He stood more than six feet high, and was built in proportion. His shoulders were broad, his chest ample, and his arms long. His head was immoderately large. His countenance was commanding and his bearing dignified. He spoke with great fluency ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... war is over that I have left my own country, signor," answered Giuseppe. "I fought against Austria on the sea; but now—now Italy is an unhappy place—no home for heroes at present. I am not a common man. I have a great ancestry—the Doria of Dolceaqua in the Alpes Maritimes. You ...
— The Red Redmaynes • Eden Phillpotts

... find his task so easy on this occasion. There was something in the personality of the man sitting opposite to him which seemed to make a narrative that had passed muster elsewhere sound here a mere vulgar impertinence, the wanton intrusion of a common man on things sacredly and ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... me in an injured tone: "I say, it is really too bad of you. I should not have believed it if you had not told us yourself. To go and get married like any fool of a fella' that hasn't forty thou' a year, like any common man—it's ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 86, February, 1875 • Various

... had no common man to deal with. He gave the necessary directions without any further remark, and parted with his ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... with the free stride of a perfect creature, swinging from the hip and covering the ground at a common man's running pace. His vast chest heaved and fell easily and rhythmically, the golden-hued skin rippling and flashing in the rising sunlight; every line of limbs and torso was the outward and visible sign of abounding health; the straight black hair falling to his shoulders framed a keen, ...
— The Pirate Woman • Aylward Edward Dingle

... describing how she first saw Burke, says:—'I had been told that Burke was not expected; yet I could conclude this gentleman to be no other. There was an evident, a striking superiority in his demeanour, his eye, his motions, that announced him no common man.' Mme. D'Arblay's Diary, ii. 145. See ante, ii. 450, where Johnson said of Burke:—'His stream of mind is perpetual;' and Boswell's Hebrides post,, v. 32, and Prior's Life of Burke, fifth ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, choke, and render unfruitful. Waking from the divine vision, if that can be called waking which is indeed dying into the common day, the common man regards it straightway as a foolish dream; the wise man believes in it still, holds fast by the memory of the vanished glory, and looks to have it one day again a present portion of the light of his life. He knows that, because of the imperfection and dulness and weakness of his ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... Charlemagne was of these, and his name Karl, or Kerl, or peasant, and the fact that his title is the only one in the world compounded of greatness and the people in equal measure, is the pith of what the Germans brought to leaven the whole political world. He made the common man so great, that the world has consented to his unique and superlative baptismal title of Karl the Great, or Carolus ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... never changed; still he plunged on across that trackless waste of waters. The men mutinied—and one can hardly blame them; but he subdued them by his force of character,—they saw in his eye that which told them that their leader was no common man, but one who would die rather than abandon his marvellous enterprise. And you remember the end? The very day after the mutiny, a branch of thorn with berries on it floats by them. They are all excitement. ...
— Amos Huntingdon • T.P. Wilson

... expression—something to stir a doubt or awaken a feeling of concern. The eyes, that were deep and intense, had a shadow in them, and the curves of the mouth had suffering and passion and evidences of stern mental conflict in every line. This was no common man, no social drone, but one who in his contact with men was used to ...
— Danger - or Wounded in the House of a Friend • T. S. Arthur

... Callisthenes; A tables Staff; an immobile spaghetti; A Shaw with whom the Common Man agrees; A Zambra searching vainly for Negretti; When spades are trumps, a hand without a spade— So is my breakfast ...
— The Sunny Side • A. A. Milne

... I, the Princess of Egypt, cannot live as the wife of a common man who falls from a throne to set himself upon the earth, and smears his own brow with mud for a uraeus crown. When your prophecies come true, Seti, and you crawl from your dust, then perhaps ...
— Moon of Israel • H. Rider Haggard

... that day Mr Sudberry and his boys learned a great deal about their new home from McAllister, whom they found intelligent, shrewd, and well-informed on any topic they chose to broach; even although he was, as Mr Sudberry said in surprise, "quite a common man, who wore corduroy and wrought in his fields like a mere labourer." After dinner they all walked out together, and had a row on the lake under his guidance; and in the evening they unexpectedly met Mr Hector Macdonald, who was proprietor of the estate on which the White House stood, and who ...
— Freaks on the Fells - Three Months' Rustication • R.M. Ballantyne

... we were wise, Ion, and that you could truly call us so; but you rhapsodes and actors, and the poets whose verses you sing, are wise; whereas I am a common man, who only speak the truth. For consider what a very commonplace and trivial thing is this which I have said—a thing which any man might say: that when a man has acquired a knowledge of a whole art, the enquiry into good and ...
— Ion • Plato

... giving medicine to heal his malady, even feed it with sweet poison? These it is who kill the rich crop of reason with the barren thorns of passion, who accustom men's minds to disease, instead of setting them free. Now, were it some common man whom your allurements were seducing, as is usually your way, I should be less indignant. On such a one I should not have spent my pains for naught. But this is one nurtured in the Eleatic and Academic philosophies. Nay, get ye gone, ye ...
— The Consolation of Philosophy • Boethius

... necessity and not gusto had to do with the iteration. "And the next thing I heard was, 'I forbid the banns,' from her. 'I'll speak to you after the service,' said the parson, in quite a homely way—yes, turning all at once into a common man no holier than you or I. Ah, her face was pale! Maybe you can call to mind that monument in Weatherbury church—the cross-legged soldier that have had his arm knocked away by the school-children? Well, he would about have matched that woman's face, ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... after. Fanny looked at him, and wondered he was not too shy to stand up there in front of all the people. But no, he was not shy. He had even a kind of assurance on his face as he looked down from the choir gallery at her: the assurance of a common man deliberately entrenched in his commonness. Oh, such a rage went through her veins as she saw the air of triumph, laconic, indifferent triumph which sat so obstinately and recklessly on his eyelids as he looked down at her. ...
— England, My England • D.H. Lawrence

... understand; words were put into his mouth. I have read of such things. God sometimes uses some common man as His messenger. ...
— The Unicorn from the Stars and Other Plays • William B. Yeats

... 'popular' ballads are the simple and spontaneous expression of the elemental emotion of the people, emotion often crude but absolutely genuine and unaffected. Phrases are often repeated in the ballads, just as in the talk of the common man, for the sake of emphasis, but there is neither complexity of plot or characterization nor attempt at decorative literary adornment—the story and the emotion which it calls forth are all in all. It is this simple, ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... And see how comparatively insignificant he made the supporting figures. The relation of those three people implies an acceptation of the old ideals of the social organization. MacNeil had a chance here to express the new spirit of today, the spirit that honors the common man and that makes an ideal of social co-operation on terms ...
— The City of Domes • John D. Barry

... must somehow gain a hearing from the common people themselves. His personal contact with these, however, was rather slight. Except for his brief work as a pastor, he had so far spent the greater part of his life in intellectual pursuits quite removed from the interest of the common man. And the question was then how he, a man without any special position and influence, could reach the ears ...
— Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark • Jens Christian Aaberg

... The common man is he who does not receive any special distinction: universities do not compete to do him honour, his name is but mentioned in a small circle. These are those of whom Dickens wrote. 'It is,' says Chesterton, 'in private life that we find the great characters. They ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... there's no service. Goethe wrote "The Sorrows of Werther" in order to get rid of his own. Many an unhappy lover has found peace by expressing his misery in sonnet form. The problem is to find something for the common man who is not interested in contemporary churches and who ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... who look superhuman only when elevated on the pedestals of their achievements. In ordinary life they look like ordinary men; not that they are of the common mould, but seem so because their uncommon qualities are not then called forth. Superiority requires an occasion. The common man is helpless in an emergency: assailed by contradictory suggestions, or confused by his incapacity, he cannot see his way. The hour of emergency finds a hero calm and strong, and strong because calm and clear-sighted; he sees what can be done, and does it. This is ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... Impossible that a woman on whom he had lavished such passion should never have felt passion for him—never any! Innumerable images of her passed before him—surrendering, always surrendering. It could not all have been pretence! He was not a common man—she herself had said so; he had charm—or, other women thought so! She had lied; she must have ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... has formed a plan Beyond the pitch of common minds, she sailed, Mocked and deserted by the common man, Made half divine to ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... I was a good enough card to make his hand worth playing, and in spite of the half contemptuous amusement with which I regarded the whole scheme, I couldn't help being "on my mettle." I found myself wanting to succeed, wanting to please the big, common man whom a few hours ago I ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... "waste" in the language of everyday life implies deprecation of what is characterized as wasteful. This common-sense implication is itself an outcropping of the instinct of workmanship. The popular reprobation of waste goes to say that in order to be at peace with himself the common man must be able to see in any and all human effort and human enjoyment an enhancement of life and well-being on the whole. In order to meet with unqualified approval, any economic fact must approve itself ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... half-sister, about half my own age, whose anxiety during my father's illness rendered my visits more frequent than perhaps they would have been from my own. But my sister was right in her anxiety. My father grew worse, and in December he died. I will not eulogize one so dear to me. That he was no common man will appear from the fact of his unconventionality and justice in leaving his property to my sister, saying in his will that he had done all I could require of him, in giving me a good education; and that, men having ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... maid, wife nor widow is she—yet she is not, never has been, and never will be a woman without virtue. Ah, Donald, my son, she's a bonny lass! For all her fall, she's not a common woman and my son is not a common man—I wonder—Oh, 'tis lies, lies, lies, and she's heard them and knows they're lies. Ah, my son, my son, with the hot blood of youth in you—you've a man's head and heart and a will of your own—Aye, she's sweet—that ...
— Kindred of the Dust • Peter B. Kyne

... education for a seaman—Miss," he said. And then, after apparently reflecting a moment, "My people live near the Leighs of Burrough Court, and I was playmate to the young gentlemen and was given a chance to learn with them, with their tutors, more than a common man is likely to ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... cool garden, and began to sing a lovely song. The seventh and youngest daughter of the King heard him, and she wondered who it was who could sing so deliciously. Then she put on her clothes, rolled up her hair, and came down to where the seemingly poor common man was lying singing. "Who are you? where do you ...
— Indian Fairy Tales • Collected by Joseph Jacobs

... should have been in school. As a working man I have helped get better conditions for the worker. Think how much more I could have done if I had had an education. Your leaders have done much for the iron workers because they could see farther than the common man. The worker with an education can see far. He can judge quickly and be guided rightly, for he has knowledge to guide him. I have knelt and prayed to God to direct me. Now I know He has answered my prayer. My mission is to bring to the poor man's boy the ample ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... with a magical practice. The combination is familiar in history. Indeed, few religions have ever succeeded in wholly extricating themselves from the old trammels of magic. The inconsistency of acting on two opposite principles, however it may vex the soul of the philosopher, rarely troubles the common man; indeed he is seldom even aware of it. His affair is to act, not to analyse the motives of his action. If mankind had always been logical and wise, history would not be a long chronicle of ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... an extra vocabulary. He graphically set forth the facts in the case, then gave his imagination full sway in accounting for them. He interpreted the whole affair as a clash between capital and labor, a conflict between the pampered aristocrat and the common man. The shooting was the result of a deep-laid plan: Dillingham and Morley had met by appointment, moved by what motive he did not make clear, to kill Sheeley, an honest laboring man. Hadn't the one on horseback, ...
— A Romance of Billy-Goat Hill • Alice Hegan Rice

... decide," Kardelj said blithely. "You're our average Transbalkanian. You feel as the average man in the street feels. You're our what the Yankees call, Common Man." ...
— Expediter • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... with us; some sought to destroy us; some fought the Turks; some were in alliance with them. They have a Bishop, Governor and Serdar, but these are mere names. People obey only if they can gain by so doing. We even heard a common man say to the Bishop's face: 'Holy Bishop, you lie like a hound! I will cut out your heart on the point of my knife.' Except that they keep the fasts they have no religion. They rob, steal, and have many wives. Some sell women and girls to the ...
— Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle • Durham M. Edith

... the same epoch, all the mediaeval bosses were Masters of Arts. The other grades were the journeyman and the apprentice; but like the corresponding degrees at the universities, they were grades through which every common man could pass. They were not social classes; they were degrees and not castes. This is the whole point of the recurrent romance about the apprentice marrying his master's daughter. The master would not be surprised at such a thing, any more than an M.A. would swell with aristocratic ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... come back rich, I'll be your ould friend again as much as a common man may; and if I come back poor and disappointed and done for, I'll not claim you to disgrace you; and if I never come back at all, I'll be saying to myself in my dark hour somewhere, 'He'll spake up for you at home, ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... that he surpasses all the rest Of Romans, heroes, patriots; and that when He sat down on the throne, he dispossessed The first graves of some glory. See again, This country-saving is a glorious thing: And if a common man achieved it? well. Say, a rich man did? excellent. A king? That grows sublime. A priest? improbable. A pope? Ah, there we stop, and cannot bring Our faith up to the leap, with history's bell So heavy round the neck of it—albeit ...
— The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume IV • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... somebody had wiped blood off his fingers, you'll understand. But it was not that, not the blood, made me give my particular attention to the thing, which I'd picked off with my thumb and finger. It was that I saw at once that this was no common man's property, for there was a crest woven into one corner, and a monogram of initials underneath it, and the stuff itself was a sort that I'm unfamiliar with—it wasn't linen, though it looked like it, and it wasn't silk, for I'm well acquainted with that ...
— Ravensdene Court • J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

... Dhil came forward, moving like one in a trance, and said to the jungle man, 'Are you a god?' and the jungle man answered her with shame, 'No, I am a common man.' ...
— Son of Power • Will Levington Comfort and Zamin Ki Dost

... bacteria of unrest, to set the results before those who could profit would they but read. Merle, the modernist, at the forefront of what was known as all the new movements, tirelessly applied the new psychology to the mind of the common man and proved him a creature of mean submissions. He spoke of "our ranks" and "our brave comrades of Russia," but a selective draft had its way and ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... of reigning—are very proper and necessary things to be done, and any one of them, done in the true spirit of work, is every bit as dignified as the writing of poetry, and often, I am afraid, a great deal more so. This scorn of the common man is but another instance of the poet's ignorance of the facts of life and the relations of things. The hysterical bitterness with which certain sections of modern people of taste are constantly girding ...
— Prose Fancies • Richard Le Gallienne

... Ali, smiling. "But no, no: that is a dream. Let us be serious. One of your people could not go, it would be impossible; but I am a Malay, and if I dress myself as a common man—a slave—I could follow where the hunting-party went, and find out all ...
— Middy and Ensign • G. Manville Fenn

... mortal. It was not known when he slept, scarcely if he ate. His weariness sat upon him like a halo. He grew thin, refined, radiant. In short, he presented an example of that rare spectacle which never fails to command spectators—a common man possessed by an ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 8 • Various

... the praise of this man. He is not a common man, not such a one as can be met with in every age. He is one of those geniuses who are doomed in their lifetime to endure the malice, the ridicule, and neglect of the world, and at their death to receive the praise and adoration of this same inconsistent world. I think ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... namesake of him of Alexandria, succeeded him. About that time Demetrianus died in Antioch, and Paul of Samosata received that episcopate. As he held low and degraded views of Christ, contrary to the teaching of the Church, namely, that in his nature He was a common man, Dionysius of Alexandria was entreated to come to the synod. But being unable to come on account of age and physical weakness, he gave his opinion on the subject under consideration by a letter. But the other pastors of the churches assembled from all directions, ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... matter to you? You are not a common man; you are an inventor. Rouse all the powers of your mind. There must be some way. Think for me. THINK! THINK! or my blood will be ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... without any show of rhetoric he won his way to men's hearts and that is eloquence, and he lived to move Eastern British America by translating his message in words imperishable, and lay foundations upon which others have built. He was no common man, but an empire-builder in ...
— William Black - The Apostle of Methodism in the Maritime Provinces of Canada • John Maclean

... India and Egypt and all that side of our system mean less than nothing; our trade is something they do not understand, our imperial wealth something they do not share. Britain has been a group of four democracies caught in the net of a vast yet casual imperialism; the common man here is in a state of political perplexity from the cradle to the grave. None the less there is a great people here even as there is a great people in Russia, a people with a soul and character of its own, a people of unconquerable kindliness and with a peculiar genius, which ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... The common man has a child's keen eye for the strong points and weaknesses of his superior. This endeavor, which they saw through, lost Fritz Nettenmair the last vestige of the men's respect; it taught them, if they did not already know it, in whose bad books they might safely come, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... more frankly coming Than this fair company: and yet ye answer not The password of warriors, and customs of kinsmen. Ne'er have mine eyes beheld a mightier warrior, An earl more lordly, than is he, the chief of you; He is no common man; if looks belie him not, He is a hero bold, worthily weaponed. Anon must I know of you kindred and country, Lest ye as spies should go free on our Danish soil. Now ye men from afar, sailing the surging sea, Have heard my earnest thought: best is a quick reply, ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... arm, and showing the coat of the Captain of Artillery—"this is what made me jine 'em. This is the coat of Cap'n Tom, that saved my life at the risk of his own an' that was struck down at Franklin; an' no common man of clay, as I be, ever befo' had so God-like a man of marble to pattern after. I saw him in the thick of the fight with his guns parked an' double-shotted, stop our victorious rush almos' up to the river bank an' saved Grant's army from defeat an' capture. ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... "and know that if anyone lays a finger on Macumazana, who is my guest, he shall die, whether he be a common man or a prince and my son. Also, Cetewayo, I fine you twenty head of cattle, to be paid to Macumazana because of the unprovoked attack which your men made upon him when ...
— Child of Storm • H. Rider Haggard

... has a father, and now we are going to learn that this father, without being in any way an extraordinary being, is yet no common man. To look at him, one would take him to be over sixty; but appearances are in this case deceitful, for he is not yet forty-nine. In the same city in which he dwells live some who were companions of his childhood, and they are still young; but Berta's father became a widower shortly after ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanish • Various

... common man were really cruel to his horse he would be compelled to draw his merchandise by hand. If the offence were committed by a man of high position the punishment would be more severe, and not only would he be treated as ...
— Another World - Fragments from the Star City of Montalluyah • Benjamin Lumley (AKA Hermes)

... to me to walk out and home generally protected. I might have been seriously annoyed but that one of the clerks-"articled," he called himself—of our lawyers happened to be by. He offered to guard me, and was amusing with his modest tiptoe air. No, I trust to the English common man more than ever. He is a man of honour. I am convinced he is matchless in any other country, except Ireland. The English ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... influential person of the colony. "In the whole of this savage Kaffir's letter, there is," says Dr. Philip, "a beautiful simplicity, a touching pathos, a confiding magnanimity, a dignified remonstrance, which shows its author to be no common man. It ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... each other, when there couldn't be any question of more. He was a rich man, and he had made his money out of nothing, or, at least, from a beginning of utter poverty. But in his last years he came to a sense of its worthlessness, such as few men who have made their money ever have. He was a common man, in a great many ways; he was imperfectly educated, and he was ungrammatical, and he never was at home in society; but he had a tender heart and an honest nature, and I revere his memory, as no one would believe I could without knowing him as I did. His ...
— Through the Eye of the Needle - A Romance • W. D. Howells

... nor by a common man; but it seemed that to the eyes of those keen hunters, the trail was as conspicuous as ever. I saw that, after searching a few seconds, they had taken it up, and were once more moving along, guided ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... speaking a loud trampling of feet was heard outside the great hall, and all the lackeys came tumbling in, pell-mell, without waiting to do their reverence, just as if the King had been any common man. ...
— Tales From Scottish Ballads • Elizabeth W. Grierson

... of crisis, by which it would appear whether there was strength enough in the constitution to prevail over the disease; that all he had heard of the manner of the King's life, did unquestionably make him an unfavourable subject for such a struggle, but that if it was the case of any common man, he should have no hesitation in pronouncing even now that it would be very bad luck indeed if he did not recover, and that the chances were nine to one in his favour. You will easily suppose that this was said under the seal of confidence, and that a professional man would ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... and a ruthless spirit, but never a cringing or a submissive one. The gentleman and the magistrate were deferred to, but neither was regarded as sacrosanct; and when, in the regime of Berkeley, special privilege in alliance with official corruption seemed to be narrowing the chances of the common man, the insurgent spirit of frontier democracy, denying the validity of distinctions and demanding fair play, found militant expression in Bacon's Rebellion. The episode was an early instance of that struggle between rich and poor, between exploiter and exploited, of that stubborn insistence ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... Middle Ages, when crude grinding made impure flour, were the days of the oppressed peasant and the rich landowner, dark days of toil and poverty and war, of blight and drought and famine; when common man in his wretchedness and hunger cried out, ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... beautiful by the most careless observer. And why beautiful? Simply because in its great contours it has the form of a forest leaf, and because in its decoration it has used nothing but forest leaves. He was no common man who designed that cathedral of Dunblane. I know nothing so perfect in its simplicity, and so beautiful, so far as it reaches, in all the Gothic with which I am acquainted. And just in proportion to his power of mind, that man was content to work ...
— Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys • Dugald Butler and Herbert Story

... he came across any common man who was making a noise, he struck him with his staff and rebuked him, saying, "Sirrah, hold your peace, and listen to better men than yourself. You are a coward and no soldier; you are nobody either in fight or council; we cannot all be kings; it is not well that ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... the St. Legers, a very interesting gentleman was spending a few days; he bore the common name of Chase, but he was no common man. Though still in the prime of life, he had traveled the world over, made himself conversant with all languages, manners, and customs, studied into all fanaticisms and all religions, and if he had ended in having faith in none, as such people often do, he admirably ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... vague mist in the midst of which beamed the shining phantom of Nyssia. His happiness transformed itself into ecstasy, and his love into madness. At times his very felicity terrified him. To be only a wretched king, only a remote descendant of a hero who had become a god by mighty labours, only a common man formed of flesh and bone, and without having in aught rendered himself worthy of it—without having even, like his ancestor, strangled some hydra, or torn some lion asunder—to enjoy a happiness ...
— King Candaules • Theophile Gautier

... did not know what to say to that, for it did not seem fitting that his daughter should marry a common man. But the Tsaritsa begged and plead with him till he could no ...
— Tales of Folk and Fairies • Katharine Pyle

... King feigned to be very patriotic, indignant, and warlike; but he always contrived so as never to make war in reality, and always to make money. His taxation of the people, on pretence of war with France, involved, at one time, a very dangerous insurrection, headed by Sir John Egremont, and a common man called John a Chambre. But it was subdued by the royal forces, under the command of the Earl of Surrey. The knighted John escaped to the Duchess of Burgundy, who was ever ready to receive any one who gave the King ...
— A Child's History of England • Charles Dickens



Words linked to "Common man" :   bourgeois, pleb, individual, secular, Joe Blow, worker, person, plebeian, nonentity, nobody, proletarian, burgher, soul, prole, Joe Bloggs, cipher, somebody, John Doe, cypher, everyman, layman, mortal, someone, layperson, man in the street, rustic



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