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Degenerate   /dɪdʒˈɛnərət/  /dɪdʒˈɛnərˌeɪt/   Listen
Degenerate

verb
(past & past part. degenerated; pres. part. degenerating)
1.
Grow worse.  Synonyms: deteriorate, devolve, drop.  "Conditions in the slums degenerated" , "The discussion devolved into a shouting match"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Degenerate" Quotes from Famous Books



... an alien of another country; since, in reference to him, they can have no more power than what every man naturally may have over another. Sect, 10. Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of ...
— Two Treatises of Government • John Locke

... of battle found no aid Against invaders; therefore, cooled in zeal, Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure, Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords Shall leave them to enjoy; for the earth shall bear More than enough, that temperance may be tried: So all shall turn degenerate, all depraved; Justice and temperance, truth and faith, forgot; One man except, the only son of light In a dark age, against example good, Against allurement, custom, and a world Offended: fearless of reproach and scorn, Or violence, he of their wicked ways Shall ...
— Paradise Lost • John Milton

... simplicity, deception and affectation? What else can we do but fail to recognise one another in the characters we are forced to assume? Is it surprising that good and wise men from their corners of seclusion call the world degenerate, and wonder at the persistent wrong-doing of those who are the work of such merciful hands? Strange to say, most of us know, or pretend to know, that life is all deception; that the world itself, and those who belong ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... function in the intellectual life of a Nation, that of spontaneous flow, that going out of its life by which the world is enriched. When the Nation has lost this power, when it merely receives, but cannot give out, then its healthy life is over, and it sinks into a degenerate existence, ...
— Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose - His Life and Speeches • Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose

... procreation was strong within them. True, the assignable lands in Japan continued to grow smaller, but what reason was there for stifling the reproductive instincts of a vigorous people in a great unused world half populated by a degenerate humanity? ...
— In the Clutch of the War-God • Milo Hastings

... from something deep down. They formed an element in my blood. My patriotism resented the failure of our government. Therefore such advice had very little influence upon me. The criticism that really touched and influenced me was that which said, "Don't preach,—exemplify. Don't let your stories degenerate into tracts." Howells said, "Be fine, be fine—but not too fine!" and Gilder warned me not to leave Beauty out of ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... where the heroine receives whacks with patient smiles. Fate boots her from pillar to post and she blesses Fate and is much obliged. That most deadly reproach to degenerate human nature—the accidental fact of sex—had been so skilfully extirpated from those pages that, like chaste amoebae, the characters merely multiplied by immaculate subdivision; and millions of lineal descendants of the American ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... view; for they are "patriots," which means that the fall of the birth-rate in all other countries but their own is a source of much gratification. "Woe to us," they exclaim in effect, "if we follow the example of these wicked and degenerate peoples! Our nation needs men. We have to populate the earth and to carry the blessings of our civilised culture all over the world. In executing that high mission we cannot have too much cannon-fodder in defending ...
— Essays in War-Time - Further Studies In The Task Of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... Europe lose in a few years their distinctive qualities, and degenerate at length into the cur with erect ears, kuyu, vulgarly called the pariah dog. An instance did not occur of any one going mad during the period of my residence. Many of them are affected with a kind ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... told that he has again exercised his function. That is the reason why the story of a poet's part in leading the Italian people toward their decision is received by Americans with such skeptical humor. And Gabriele d' Annunzio in the role! A poet who is popularly supposed to be decadent, if not degenerate, gossipingly known for his celebrated affair with a famous actress, whose novels and plays, when not denounced for their eroticism, are very much caviar to the "wholesome" man, so full are they of a remote symbolism, so purely "literary." "Exotic" ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... him; something instinctive and inherited had reappeared; and the gentlemanly, easy-going father, who yet, as Doris remembered, when matters were serious "always got his way," was there—strangely there—in the degenerate son. ...
— A Great Success • Mrs Humphry Ward

... fear and futility, the strong, kindly, imperturbable heart of the land still beat, sanely—if inconspicuously—in the home life of her cottages and her great country houses. Twentieth-century England could not be called degenerate while she counted among her hidden treasures homes of such charm and culture and mutual confidence as those that produced the Grenfells, the Charltons, a Lord Elcho, an Edward Tennant and a Charles Sorley—to pick a few names at random ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... the great House of Malatesta was represented by Pandolfo—Roberto Malatesta's bastard and successor—a degenerate so detested by his subjects that he was known by the name of Pandolfaccio (a contumelious augmentative, expressing the evil repute in which he ...
— The Life of Cesare Borgia • Raphael Sabatini

... of destroying insect life. More than half of its food consists of ants. In this country, taken as a whole, Flickers are very numerous, and the millions of individual birds which have yet escaped the guns of degenerate pot hunters constitute a mighty army ...
— The Bird Study Book • Thomas Gilbert Pearson

... the European quarter of Cairo," Margaret said. "It seems to me so vulgar and degenerate. The native quarter is just what it sets out to be, no better ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... generally tends. Nothing could be more appropriate than the application of the term to the "infima latinitas" of the Middle Ages; and from "mongrel" the transition to the name of the genus from that of the degenerate species appears to me to be very ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 201, September 3, 1853 • Various

... popular flavour and attract the mob, he adds a steady current of what I may be allowed to call the rancid. That is exciting to the moralist; but what more particularly interests the artist is this tendency of the extreme of detail, when followed as a principle, to degenerate into mere feux-de-joie of literary tricking. The other day even M. Daudet was to be heard babbling of audible colours ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... may be that alcoholism is merely a symptom of a degenerate stock. In this case the children will be defective, not because their parents drank, but because their parents were defective—the parents' drinking being merely one of ...
— Applied Eugenics • Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

... these opinions, revived, however, and introduced by [407] degenerate scholasticism, and in the Age of Chimeras, is vague indifference of choice, or real chance, assumed in our souls; as if nothing gave us any inclination unless we perceived it distinctly, and as if an effect could be without causes, when these causes are imperceptible. It is much as some have ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... conviction is, that purgatives, emetics, and blisters, by depressing the patient, sometimes cause ordinary scarlet fever to degenerate ...
— Advice to a Mother on the Management of her Children • Pye Henry Chavasse

... the ballad book flung heedlessly on my desk was—what should it be but the little morocco case, empty now, in which our Francesca keeps her dead mother's engagement ring,—the mother who died when she was a wee child. Truly a very pretty modern ballad to be sung in these unromantic, degenerate days! ...
— Penelope's Progress - Being Such Extracts from the Commonplace Book of Penelope Hamilton As Relate to Her Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... ultimate perfection of which they are capable. Philosophy and the intellectual sciences, on the contrary, stand like statues, worshiped and celebrated, but not moved or advanced. Nay, they sometimes flourish most in the hands of the first author, and afterwards degenerate. For when men have once made over their judgments to others' keeping, and (like those senators whom they called Pedarii) have agreed to support some one person's opinion, from that time they make no enlargement of the sciences themselves, but fall to the servile office ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... his object being to free himself from a narrow subjectivity and to give scope to his wide human sympathies and to his passion for perfection of utterance. It seemed to him that a plausible originality might degenerate into mere idiosyncrasy, and that universality of appeal should be a musician's highest goal. When he resigned his post and came before the public with his first large work, a concerto for pianoforte and orchestra, the gain made in increased power and resources was evident. ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... rather to differentiate than truly to characterise. The proportions of the sitter must be sacrificed to the proportions of the portrait; the lights are heightened, the shadows overcharged; the chosen expression, continually forced, may degenerate at length into a grimace; and we have at best something of a caricature, at worst a calumny. Hence, if they be readable at all and hang together by their own ends, the peculiar convincing force of these brief representations. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... became necessary for her to sever her legal ties if she wished to marry this other man. I heard of the scandal but not being interested in the woman, and not knowing the man, I paid no attention to the suit. Divorce cases are so common in these degenerate days." Mrs. Courtney sighed again, and showed her disapproval of ...
— Polly's Business Venture • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... cold at the calm pride of this degenerate fiend, had it not been boiling at the reference to Helene. He crept nearer to them, along the wall. He lay down on the floor, below the level of the first bullet paths. Then he drew his automatic and the bulb light, ready for ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... for Bunster for eight long years and a half. There was no escaping from Lord Howe. For better or worse, Bunster and he were tied together. Bunster weighed two hundred pounds. Mauki weighed one hundred and ten. Bunster was a degenerate brute. But Mauki was a primitive savage. While both had wills ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... more than a relative value. It is no absolute end, lying beyond all other aims of existence and valued above life itself. In this view, there will be nothing to applaud in the forced and extravagant conduct of a Lucretia or a Virginius—conduct which can easily degenerate into tragic farce, and produce a terrible feeling of revulsion. The conclusion of Emilia Galotti, for instance, makes one leave the theatre completely ill at ease; and, on the other hand, all the rules of female honor cannot prevent a ...
— The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life • Arthur Schopenhauer

... young and of a tender age, Yet will I cope with Locrine when he dares. My noble father with his conquering sword, Slew the two giants, kings of Aquitaine. Thrasimachus is not so degenerate That he should fear and tremble at the looks Or taunting words of a ...
— 2. Mucedorus • William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]

... had faced it, gently, quietly, but firmly faced it—firmly, because she had to be firm in keeping him within those bounds the invasion of which would have killed her. And after the first struggle with his unchangeable brutality it had been easier: for into his degenerate brain there had come a faint understanding of the real situation and of her. He had kept his side of the gulf, but gloating on this touch between the old luxurious, indulgent life, with its refined vices, and this present ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... smoke-embrowned spars Dip to the cold clay floor on either side! Her seats bare deal!—her only furniture Some earthen crock or two! Why, sir, a dungeon Were scarce more frightful: such a choice must argue Aberrant senses, or degenerate blood! ...
— The Saint's Tragedy • Charles Kingsley

... only about one-third remained. Once capable of accommodating nearly ninety thousand spectators, it had, in succession, been turned into a fortress in the middle ages, and then into a stone-quarry to furnish material for the palaces of degenerate Roman princes. Some of the popes had occupied it as a woollen-mill, some as a saltpetre factory; some had planned the conversion of its magnificent arcades into shops for tradesmen. The iron clamps which bound its stones together had been ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... study at once, on the one hand; and all the instrumentalists at once, on the other. Deplorable errors, innumerable mistakes, are thus committed—particularly in the intermediate parts—errors which the chorus-master and the conductor do not perceive. Once established, these errors degenerate into habits, and become part ...
— The Orchestral Conductor - Theory of His Art • Hector Berlioz

... shape, the dead come to life, the history of the world is laid open before you. After countless dynasties of giant creatures, races of fish and clans of mollusks, the race of man appears at last as the degenerate copy of a splendid model, which the Creator has perchance destroyed. Emboldened by his gaze into the past, this petty race, children of yesterday, can overstep chaos, can raise a psalm without end, and outline for themselves the story of the Universe in an Apocalypse ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... hopelessly. No urchin in the lower school, brewing cocoa over a form room fire, ladling out condensed milk with the blade of a penknife, would have been more dead to the decencies of life than this degenerate ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... to as authorities and leaders, whether in political or commercial or social life. The word by which they are designated is used in Numbers i. 17: 'Which are expressed by name.' The word 'carried back the thoughts of the degenerate aristocracy of Israel to the faith and zeal of their forefathers' (Pusey, Minor Prophets, on this verse). Israel, Amos calls 'The first of the nations.' It is singular that such a title should be given to the nation against whose corruption his one business is to testify, but probably ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... the honoured servitor of the noble and illustrious" (here he heaved a sigh, and passed his hairy hand across his eyes) "but in these degenerate days I am become the slave of quack doctors and newspapers. I am driven from pillar to post and hurried up and down, sometimes with stencil-plate and paste-brush to defile the fences with cabalistic legends, and sometimes in grotesque and extravagant character at the behest of some driving journal. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... present time. He believed that the functions are performed by the various organs of the bodies of animals and men as a mechanism, to which in man was added the soul. This soul he located in the pineal gland, a degenerate and presumably functionless little organ in the brain. For years Descartes's idea of the function of this gland was held by many physiologists, and it was only the introduction of modern high-power microscopy that reduced this also to a mere mechanism, and ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... shudder, "is only a fit beverage for asses!"—"To say a man could drink like a fish, was once the greatest encomium that a bon-vivant could bestow upon a brother Bacchanalian—but, alas! in this matter-of-fact and degenerate age, men do so literally—washing their gills with unadulterated water!—Dropsy and water on the chest must be the infallible result! If such an order of things continue, all the puppies in the kingdom, who would perhaps have become jolly dogs in their time, will be drowned! Yes, they'll ...
— The Sketches of Seymour (Illustrated), Complete • Robert Seymour

... Catilinarian conspirators after detection; [55] the character of Catiline; [56] the debauchery of Antony in Varro's villa; [57] the scourging and crucifixion of Gavius; [58] the grim old Censor Appius frowning on Clodia his degenerate descendent; [59] the tissue of monstrous crime which fills page after page of the Cluentius. [60] These are pictures for all time; they combine the poet's eye with the stern spirit of the moralist. His power of description is equalled ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... cannot redeem your heritage; if the foul boar must still wallow in thy sweet vineyard, Israel, at least I will not disgrace you. No! let me perish. The house of David is no more; no more our sacred seed shall lurk and linger, like a blighted thing, in this degenerate earth. If we cannot flourish, 'why, then, we ...
— Alroy - The Prince Of The Captivity • Benjamin Disraeli

... was not degenerate, even in the sense of those who thought he should have called out and shot the younger of the Farleys. It was in him to kill or be killed, quite in the traditional way: that grim gift is in the blood as the wine is in ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... Myrkiarton in the tenth century and took back with him to Norway, was one of this breed. But it was supposed by many to have become extinct soon after the disappearance of the last wolf in Ireland, and it was the endeavour of Captain Graham to demonstrate that specimens, although admittedly degenerate, were still to be found, and that they were capable of being restored to a semblance ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... false show of pleasure, from which he can reap but small advantage. They look on the desire of the bloodshed, even of beasts, as a mark of a mind that is already corrupted with cruelty, or that at least, by too frequent returns of so brutal a pleasure, must degenerate into it. ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... waiting twenty years for you, she had said yesterday, and The world would be quite empty if you left it. What would it be while he remained in it a publicly disgraced coward? A coward ridiculed by the effeminate, degenerate Haddock, who had no soul above club-ribbons, and no ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... Peron's anthropological studies among Australian aboriginals led him to conclusions totally at variance with the nebulous "state of nature" theories of the time, which pictured the civilised being as a degenerate from man unspoiled by law, government, and convention. The tests and measurements of blacks which he made, and compared with those of French and English people, showed him that even physically the native was an inferior animal; his observations of ways of life in the wild Bush taught ...
— Terre Napoleon - A history of French explorations and projects in Australia • Ernest Scott

... spite of herself. She remembered the visit so well, and Lady Augusta's loftily resigned air of discovering, in the passively degenerate new arrival, the culminating point of ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... witnesses of their own humiliation. "For what are you selling us?"—they seemed to say. "Because some one, who was already overfed, must needs grab at a larger mess of pottage—and we must pay! Unkind! degenerate!" ...
— Lady Connie • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... instructors as still adhere to the good old principles of the Church of England; in short, daily shaming us, by preserving a living representation of the opinions and habits of better times, as some historical record, which reproaches a degenerate posterity, by exhibiting the worthier deeds of their progenitors. In such a state of things, to what a depth public morals might sink, may be anticipated by those who consider what would then be the condition of society; who reflect ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... But all the earth, though it were full of kind hearts, is but a desolation and a desert place to a mother when her only child is absent. And you, Clement, would leave me for this Virginie,—this degenerate De Crequy, tainted with the atheism of the Encyclopedistes! She is only reaping some of the fruit of the harvest whereof her friends have sown the seed. Let her alone! Doubtless she has friends—it may be lovers—among these demons, who, under the cry of liberty, commit every licence. Let ...
— My Lady Ludlow • Elizabeth Gaskell

... the better classes of the inhabitants of the Icelandic capital, our traveller says: "Nothing struck me so much as the great dignity of carriage at which the Icelandic ladies aim, and which is so apt to degenerate into stiffness when it is not perfectly natural, or has not become a second nature by habit. They incline their head very coolly when you meet them, with less civility than we should use towards an inferior or a stranger. The lady of the house never accompanies her guests beyond the door ...
— The Story of Ida Pfeiffer - and Her Travels in Many Lands • Anonymous

... against a rule which he did not approve. In our days there are so many cowardly and degenerate characters, that we cannot too greatly admire those who have the courage to proclaim their opinion in the presence of the mob, especially when those opinions shock the brutalized mob; for my part I admire this man; but what I admire still more is the ...
— The Grip of Desire • Hector France

... time, falsest of women, When Breffni's good sword would have sought That man, thro' a million of foe-men, Who dared but to wrong thee in thought! While now—oh degenerate daughter Of Erin, how fallen is thy fame! And thro' ages of bondage and slaughter, Our country shall bleed ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... the heart of the citizen. One must belong to the race of the invincible and the indomitable, to persevere now in the rugged path of renunciation and of duty. An indescribable gangrene of material prosperity threatens to cause public honesty to degenerate into rottenness. Oh! what happiness to be banished, to be disgraced, to be ruined,—is it not, brave workmen? Is it not, worthy peasants, driven from France, who have no roof to shelter you, and no shoes to your feet? What happiness to eat black ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... was an important question to be discussed, the soldiers demanded a voice and a share in the solution. These soldiers were called the republican army. Although the Northern troops have not yet become so degenerate, still they never hesitate to disobey the order of their superiors whenever they are ordered to proceed to distant localities. Now we have come to the point when we are deeply satisfied if the army of the Republic does not openly ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... sensation, by a constant repetition of certain sequences, and a recurring exactitude of mathematical relations, keep our fancy clear and fresh, we should fall into an imaginative lethargy. Idealization would degenerate into indistinctness, and, by the dulling of our memory, we should dream a world daily more ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... progress is made the instructor will proceed to the exercises at will, by which is meant assaults between two men, each endeavoring to hit the other and to avoid being hit himself. Fencing at will should not be allowed to degenerate into random attacks ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... "Judith has saved a sum that is wondrous in these degenerate days of maids in silk gowns, and she is wise enough to give 'Master Geoffrey' all the management of it. But if you are surprised now, what will you be by the end of the day? See if his advice is not asked in ...
— Henrietta's Wish • Charlotte M. Yonge

... colonization is to deteriorate.' The first object of Government should therefore be to arrest this impulse, and remedy the evil so far as may be accomplished. If the original settlers degenerate in their moral condition, their children sink still lower. When parents cease to feel the influence of those high and pure principles in which they were themselves brought up, they naturally forget to inculcate them in the minds of their offspring. What, then, are the guides that ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... the receiver, and announced the new development. The Frenchman did not betray any cognizance of it. He had collapsed into a chair, and looked the degenerate that he was. ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... he said, between his shut teeth. "I don't care whether these Martians are degenerate human beings or only animals; but from my point of view the reception they have given us justifies any kind of retaliation. If we'd had a single port-hole open during the first volley you and I would have been dead ...
— A Honeymoon in Space • George Griffith

... theories, but no government had been previously established for the great purpose of their preservation and enforcement. That which was experimental in our plan of government was the question whether democratic rule could be so organized and conducted that it would not degenerate into license and result in the tyranny of absolutism, without saving to the people the power so often found necessary of representing or destroying their enemy, when he was found in the person of ...
— The Writings of Thomas Jefferson - Library Edition - Vol. 6 (of 20) • Thomas Jefferson

... the Danube. The armies of the Roman emperor that tried to check their progress were cut to pieces by them; and Panonia and other provinces south of the Danube were speedily occupied by the victorious cavalry of these new invaders. Not merely the degenerate Romans, but the bold and hardy warriors of Germany and Scandinavia were appalled at the numbers, the ferocity, the ghastly appearance, and the lightning-like rapidity of the Huns. Strange and loathsome legends were coined and credited, which attributed ...
— The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo • Sir Edward Creasy, M.A.

... do? Why, she did all her own work, and made grandfather's ruffled shirts besides, with the finest stitching and gathers; and she found exercise enough, I warrant you. Women of this day are miserable, sickly, degenerate creatures." ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 92, June, 1865 • Various

... While damned Casca, like a cur behind,/Struck Caesar on the neck] Casca struck Caesar on the neck, coming like a degenerate ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... individual. It is a greatness ill constituted, in which all the material elements are combined, and into which no moral element enters. If a people, like a star, has the right of eclipse, the light ought to return. The eclipse should not degenerate into night. ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... of the present century the property or farm on the opposite side of the Almond, above Caerlowrie, was designated by a name, having apparently the Celtic "battle" noun as a prefix in its composition—viz., Cat-elbock. This fine old Celtic name has latterly been changed for the degenerate ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... kafer 'pagans.' These names are used in Binh-Thuan to make a distinction, but Banis and Kaphirs alike are all Chams.... In Cambodia all Chams are Mussulmans." (E. Aymonier, Les Tchames, p. 26.) The religion of the pagan Chams of Binh-Thuan is degenerate Brahmanism with three chief gods, Po-Nagar, Po-Rome, and Po-Klong-Garai. (Ibid., p. 35.)—H.C.] The books of their former religion they say (according to Dr. Bastian) that they received from Ceylon, but they were ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... creature, holding little Lucy and cuddling her, while Lucy, shrinking away as far as she was able, kept her big, dark eyes of wonder and fear upon the woman's face. And all around were clustered the Thomas children, unkempt as their mother, a gentle but degenerate brood, all of them believing what their mother said. Viola May had come home again. Silas Thomas was not there; he was trudging slowly homeward from a job of wood-cutting. Jim saw only the mother, little Lucy, and that poor little flock ...
— The Copy-Cat and Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... result in the archipelago has been the formation of several tribes of half-breeds numbering considerably more than half a million. Side by side with them, and equally poor and wretched, are the Manthras, a cross between the Negritos and Malays and the degenerate descendants of the Saletes, a warlike tribe conquered by the Malayan Rajah Permicuri in 1411. Then come the Malay Sulus, all Mohammedans and still governed by their Sultan and their datos, feudal lords who, under the suzerainty of the ...
— The Boys of '98 • James Otis

... Philosophy as his mistress in The Fisher, and in a case where he is in fact judge as well as party, has no difficulty in getting his claim established. He is for ever reminding us that he loves philosophy and only satirizes the degenerate philosophers of his day. But it will occur to us after reading him through that he has dissembled his love, then, very well. There is not a passage from beginning to end of his works that indicates any real comprehension of any philosophic system. ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... in these degenerate days [15] Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise, When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied, No fabled Graces, flourished side by side, From the same fount their inspiration drew, And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew. Then, in this ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... inn, the first thing to be done was to appoint a chairman, who mostly retained his post of honour during the journey. At the breakfast or dinner there was none of that indecorous hurry in eating and drinking which marks our degenerate days. Had the travellers affected such thin potations as tea and soup, there was ample time for them to cool. But they preferred the sirloin and the tankard; and that no feature of a generous reception might be wanting, ...
— Old Roads and New Roads • William Bodham Donne

... Armenian, I that even on the confines of Ararat there are a great number who consider that mountain to be lower than the hillocks of Rome; but the greater number of degenerate Armenians are to be found amongst those who have wandered to the west; most of the Haik churches of the west consider Rome to be higher than Ararat—most of the Armenians of this place hold that dogma; I, however, have always stood firm in ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... take the higher title; it was first assumed by his son Okkodai. But there are doubts about this. (See Quatremere's Rashid, pp. 10 seqq. and Pavet de Courteille, Dict. Turk-Oriental.) The tendency of swelling titles is always to degenerate, and when the value of Khan had sunk, a new form, Khan-khanan, was devised at the Court of Delhi, and applied to one of the high ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... any animal capable of service; where nothing is sharper than stone; destitute of grain, and of fruits of any value, could be inhabited only by a wandering race. Their locomotion sharpened their powers of observation, without much increasing their ideas. In such circumstances, mind may degenerate, but it cannot advance. Some colonists were recently startled, by the appearance of a white family from the remote interior: they were found by a surveyor, who at first took them for savages; they had the animal expression of the eye, which is ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... most religious King of Crete, And still how popular the tale is here; And these dull Swine of Thebes boast their descent From the free Minotaur. You know they still 140 Call themselves Bulls, though thus degenerate, And everything relating to a Bull Is popular and respectable in Thebes. Their arms are seven Bulls in a field gules; They think their strength consists in eating beef,— 145 Now there were danger in ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... far-seeking care which the owner bestows upon the property for which he alone is responsible? Will not the gladsome absence of care, which has certainly hitherto been brilliantly conspicuous in Freeland, eventually degenerate into frivolity and neglect of that for which no one in particular is responsible? The fact that this has not yet happened may perhaps be due—for it is not yet a generation since this commonwealth was founded—to the dominant enthusiasm that marked the beginning. ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... love and pride, and the father was a gentleman, like Falstaff, a pure gentleman. The daughter-in-law also peered out to look at Il Giovann', who was evidently a figure of repute, in his sordid, degenerate American respectability. Meanwhile, this figure of repute blew himself red in the face, producing staccato strains on his cornet. And the crowd stood desolate and forsaken in ...
— Twilight in Italy • D.H. Lawrence

... history of the world. Why, when these sentiments were uttered, I almost expected to see the shades of Burke and Fox, and Pitt and Chatham, and Peel and Wellington, rise in the midst and denounce the degenerate bearer of such a message. What! the British Commons become the supple tools, the obsequious minions, the obedient parasites, to do the bidding of a foreign master, and tremble when his envoy should stamp his foot and wave the imperial banner in the halls of Parliament. From whom ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... being effected, and who can testify that all, or the overwhelming majority, of the beetles born with fairly well-developed wings got blown out to sea, while those alone survived whose wings were congenitally degenerate. Who saw them go, or can point to analogous cases so conclusive as to compel assent from ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... gradual intercourse with the Grecian colonies, which settled along the maritime coast. The little kingdom of Bosphorus, whose capital was situated on the Straits, through which the Maeotis communicates itself to the Euxine, was composed of degenerate Greeks and half-civilized barbarians. It subsisted, as an independent state, from the time of the Peloponnesian war, [98] was at last swallowed up by the ambition of Mithridates, [99] and, with the rest of his dominions, sunk ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... moral depravity with the mantle of the philosopher, he placed another canvas before her—something so unrefined, so animal, so destructive of womanly modesty and of all reserve, that any one looking upon it would instantly know that the man who had painted it was a degenerate demon—an associate of dissolute models, an anarchist in the world of women. It was fit only for the banquet-halls ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... were apt to degenerate into occasions of riot, and in 1432 the following statute was passed with ...
— The Customs of Old England • F. J. Snell

... my child will grow out of her little heretic prejudices, and learn to love her mother's staunch friends, the champions of Holy Church, and the representatives of true knighthood in these degenerate days. Ah, child! couldst thou but see a true Spanish caballero, or again, could I but show thee my noble cousin of Guise, then wouldst thou know how to rate these gross clownish English mastiffs who now turn thy silly little brain. Ah, that thou couldst ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... government at all; and live at this day in that brutish manner, as I said before. Howsoever, it may be perceived what manner of life there would be, where there were no common Power to feare; by the manner of life, which men that have formerly lived under a peacefull government, use to degenerate ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... other human love like this, which follows the child from the cradle to the grave, never once abandons, never once forsakes him, no matter how unfortunate or degenerate he ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... people corrupt and accursed. 'Their hearts are black as their skins are white.' They live by fleecing the Hujjaj, by making sale and barter of relics, by turning the holy places into marts of trade. All this is well known throughout Islam. Ah, the degenerate breed of the sons ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... political power, the Norman nobles of Chaucer's time had lost something of the traditions of their order. Chivalry had not quite come to an end with the Crusades; but it was a difficult task to maintain all its laws, written and unwritten, in these degenerate days. No laurels were any longer to be gained in the Holy Land; and though the campaigns of the great German Order against the pagans of Prussia and Lithuania attracted the service of many an English knight—in the middle of the century, Henry, ...
— Chaucer • Adolphus William Ward

... hundred and sixty images in the Kaaba. But there were some who were called hanifs, who were serious and earnest, and turned away from idolatrous worship. Besides the Sabian religion of the Persian sun-worshipers, the leading tenets and rites of Christianity and of Judaism, both in the degenerate types which they assumed on the Syrian borders, were not unfamiliar to Arabs dwelling in the caravan routes on the borders of ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... buying blood stock from a successful breeder; for a successful breeder is necessarily a good feeder and a kind handler, and stock may give good results in his hands, and, if removed to starvation and harshness, quickly degenerate. So, too, stock that has been bred on poor pasturage will readily improve if transplanted to richer pastures and ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 488, May 9, 1885 • Various

... we should not complain. Of money, there is plenty in America; and, while marquises are in the market, let Shoddy continue to pipe for its own. A fig for Macbeth's philosophy that "blood will have blood." We modify it in these degenerate days to ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 16, 1870 • Various

... organism of dejection and resentment at meals. Prisoners more than men in any other condition need abundance to eat and good cheer while eating; but the food they get, and the circumstances in which they get it, causes them to degenerate physically, and the body affects the mind. Physical disease breeds the disease of evil thoughts and impulses. Criminals might be generated by prison food alone, without taking account of their previous ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... young Moggs at a city dinner—I think it was the Bottle-makers' Company—when both were some way advanced beyond the initial sobriety of the occasion. This was the grandson of the original Moggs, and a very typical instance of an educated, cultivated, degenerate plutocrat. His people had taken him about in his youth as the Ruskins took their John and fostered a passion for history in him, and the actual management of the Moggs' industry had devolved upon a cousin and a ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... ancestors, ere I learn that my son—my only son—the last hope of my ancient house—the last remnant of the name of Peveril—hath consented to receive obligations from the man on earth I am most bound to hate, were I not still more bound to contemn him!—Degenerate dog-whelp!" he repeated with great vehemence, "you colour without replying! Speak, and disown such disgrace; or, by ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... believe, in short, that varieties can be improved by bud selection. There is, however, but little in either theory or fact to substantiate the belief of those who say that varieties once established can be improved; or, on the other hand, that they degenerate. Present knowledge and experience indicate that heredity is all but complete in varieties propagated from parts of plants. The multitude of grapes in any variety, all from one seed, are morphologically one individual. A few kinds of grapes go back to Christ's time, ...
— Manual of American Grape-Growing • U. P. Hedrick

... here is the sort of home you have. This passage is a cutting from the Daily News of Jan. 1, 1907; and its assertions have never been contradicted. It fills one with only the mildest enthusiasm for the return of our degenerate townsmen "back to the land." I came upon it as I read that morning's paper after ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... ugly and sarcastic buffoon of the fourteenth century. Hanswurst was a fat glutton of the fifteenth century who aimed to be clever but made blunders. Pickelhering, in Holland, was of the same type.[2117] In England, in the sixteenth century, Punch began to degenerate. He took away the role of "Old Vice," and became more and more depraved,—a popular Don Juan, a type of physical and moral deformity.[2118] The play was popular. The marionettes, being only dolls and sexless, escaped the ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... lifetime of the chief was to hinder its falling to a minor, or some one unfit to take up the chieftainship, and this continued to prevail for centuries after the Anglo-Norman invasion, and was even adopted by many owners of English descent who had become "meere Irish," as the phrase ran, or "degenerate English." ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... requisite; there being nothing eminent, in that case, to compensate for the want of them, or preserve the person from our severest hatred, as well as contempt. A high ambition, an elevated courage, is apt, says Cicero, in less perfect characters, to degenerate into a turbulent ferocity. The more social and softer virtues are there chiefly to be regarded. These are always good and amiable ...
— An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals • David Hume

... The modern Indians give no such evidence of labor. For wherever they are found they love to roam in undisputed possession of the forest, and lead an indolent life. Of course I do not assign this as a valid reason for their not being identified with the Mound-builders. An ancient race may have a degenerate offspring. ...
— Mound-Builders • William J. Smyth

... am not one of those who think the age degenerate: but certainly the rigid manly character of old times is melted into one of elegance and comparative softness. Perhaps the change is for the better, as I think no virtue has been lost in the transfusion. ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol. I. No. 3. March 1810 • Various

... class stands for dignified scientific presentation of facts, and obscenity will soon be tabooed in medical and all other reputable literature. Save for occasional emanations privately printed by and for degenerate persons, public obscenity will soon be unknown. Its complete disappearance will have a vast influence upon the ...
— Sex-education - A series of lectures concerning knowledge of sex in its - relation to human life • Maurice Alpheus Bigelow

... efforts. Just as the spirit of independence reached bold utterance Sir William died. He was succeeded in his title, and a part of his estates by his son John. The dreams of Sir William vanished, and his plans failed in the hands of his weak, arrogant, degenerate son. Sir John hesitated, temporized, broke his parole, fled to Canada, returned to ravage the lands of his countrymen, and ended by being driven across ...
— An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America • J. P. MacLean

... Degenerate Douglas! oh, the unworthy Lord! Whom mere despite of heart could so far please, And love of havoc (for with such disease Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word To level with the dust a noble horde, ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 2 • William Wordsworth

... of such a survey found an eloquent advocate in the late Professor A. N. Whitehead, in his book Science and the Modern World, where, in view of the contradictory nature of modern physical theories, he insists that 'if science is not to degenerate into a medley of ad hoc hypotheses, it must become philosophical and enter upon a thorough criticism ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... whether struggles were not made quite as disgraceful to the strugglers as anything that is done now. You can't alter the men, and you must use them." The younger Duke sat down and sighed over the degenerate ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... from his blind repose, How might we meet his searching questionings, Concerning all the follies, wrongs, and woes, Since his great day whom men call King of Kings, Victorious Agamemnon? How might we Those large, clear eyes confront, which scornfully Would view us as a poor, degenerate race, Base-souled and mean-proportioned? What reply Give to the beauty-loving Greek's heart-cry, Seeking his ancient gods ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... beast-like than any other people. No governor shall do good here,' he said, 'except he show himself a Tamerlane. If hell were open and all the evil spirits abroad, they could never be worse than these Irish rogues—rather dogs, and worse than dogs, for dogs do but after their kind, and they degenerate from ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... of Rome. The Pope was ready to spend enormous sums of money on this petty war; the Duke's purse was shorter, and the mercenary troops he was obliged to use, proved worthless in the field. Spaniards, for the most part, pitted against Spaniards, they suffered the campaigns to degenerate into a guerilla warfare of pillage and reprisals. In 1517 the duchy was formally ceded to Lorenzo. But this Medici did not live long to enjoy it, and his only child Catherine, the future Queen of France, never exercised the rights which had devolved ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... of belles and beaux, Of powdered wigs and wondrous hose, Of stately airs and careful grace, Look you at our degenerate race. ...
— When hearts are trumps • Thomas Winthrop Hall

... to observe how customs and ceremonies degenerate. The present Irish cry, or howl, cannot boast of such melody, nor is the funeral procession conducted with much dignity. The crowd of people who assemble at these funerals sometimes amounts to a thousand, often to four or five hundred. They gather as the bearers of the hearse proceed on their ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... are fortunate enough to be bidden to the right houses in Ireland to-day, you will have as much good talk as you are likely to listen to anywhere else in this degenerate age, which has mostly forgotten how to converse in learning to chat; and any one who goes to the Spring Show at Ball's Bridge, or to the Punchestown or Leopardstown races, or to the Dublin horse show, will have ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... great distance. But setting these considerations aside, was it laudable to grasp at wealth and power even when they were within our reach? Were not these the two great sources of depravity? What security had he, that in this change of place and condition, he should not degenerate into a tyrant and voluptuary? Power and riches were chiefly to be dreaded on account of their tendency to deprave the possessor. He held them in abhorrence, not only as instruments of misery to others, but to him on whom they were ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... beginning's of these various degenerate and illiterate attempts at book-work we have only to watch the last expiring gleams of classic art beneath the ruthless footsteps of the barbarian invaders of the old ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... on a wrong tack there. There is nothing weak-minded or degenerate about Miss Howard. She is an excellent specimen of well-balanced English beef and ...
— The Mysterious Affair at Styles • Agatha Christie

... be sung, have all gone. Pantomimists, and dancing girls with bare faces, have replaced Paulus and Roscius. What would the Athenians of the days of Pericles have said if they had seen a woman on the stage? It is indecent for a woman to appear in public. We must be very degenerate to permit it. It is as certain as that my name is Dorion, that woman is the natural enemy of man, and a ...
— Thais • Anatole France

... require to be replanted in the same way every autumn, as the plants, if they grow well, spread too wide; if the summer prove dry, many of the roots fail, and if they remain undisturbed in the same spot, they will degenerate and become single, notwithstanding Mr. MILLER informs us, that he never ...
— The Botanical Magazine Vol. 7 - or, Flower-Garden Displayed • William Curtis

... gentlemen," cried Magnus, remembering the duties of his office and rapping his knuckles on the table. "This meeting has been allowed to degenerate too far already." ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... lessons concerning Esau. He was a man intent upon immediate physical enjoyment; an idle drifter without spiritual ideals. From his character and that of the Edomites, his descendants, there is taught the lesson that such an unambitious man or nation will always become degenerate and prove a failure. God himself cannot make a man out of ...
— The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods • Josiah Blake Tidwell

... very brave man himself, said now, in great anger, "The more base and degenerate in you to take such means for her as you have done and leave her on ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... civilization is always in a process of decay, and would, in a few generations, become emasculated and effeminate were it not for the pure, crystal stream of country youth flowing steadily into and purifying the muddy, devitalized stream of city life. It would soon become so foul and degenerate as to threaten the physical and ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... Imperial Rome. Looking back to Republican Rome, and considering the state of public morals but fifty years before the emperors, we can with difficulty believe that the descendants of a people so severe in their habits could thus rapidly degenerate, and that a populace, once so hardy and masculine, should assume the manners which we might expect in the debauchees of Daphne (the infamous suburb of Antioch) or of Canopus, into which settled the very lees and dregs of the vicious Alexandria. Such extreme changes would falsify all that ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... attached to liberty will imitate the most frightful excesses of despotism!" He proved to the Convention, after his fashion, out of Sallust, that such arbitrary courts may indeed, for a time, be severe only on real criminals, but must inevitably degenerate into instruments of private cupidity and revenge. When, on the tenth of March, the worst part of the population of Paris made the first unsuccessful attempt to destroy the Girondists, Barere eagerly called for vigorous measures of repression and punishment. On the second of April, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... country; it is far more their wisdom, their economy, and, above all, their probity. If ever in the British Islands the useful citizen should lose these virtues, we may be sure that, for England, as for every other country, the vessels of a degenerate commerce, repulsed from every shore, would speedily disappear from those seas whose surface they now cover with the treasures of the universe, bartered for the treasures of the industry ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... be governed by the law of England; but his orders were totally disregarded; many of the unhappy English settlers fled from the country and returned to England; the barons supplied their places with native retainers. Thus the Ersefication of the degenerate Normans became complete; they "donned the saffron"—that is, they adopted the yellow dress of the Celts—abandoned their original language, and gave themselves up to a life of ...
— Is Ulster Right? • Anonymous

... which has to be treated as something apart from the racial factor, enables it to respond for good or for evil to the pre-natal—that is to say, maternal—environment. Thus we may easily fall into the mistake of supposing our race to be degenerate, when poor feeding and exposure to unhealthy surroundings on the part of the mothers are really responsible for the crop of weaklings that we deplore. And, in so far as it turns out to be so, social reformers ought to ...
— Anthropology • Robert Marett

... is not between establishment on one hand and toleration on the other, but between those who, being tolerated themselves, refuse toleration to others. That power should be puffed up with pride, that authority should degenerate into rigor, if not laudable, is but too natural. But this proceeding of theirs is much beyond the usual allowance to human weakness: it not only is shocking to our reason, but it provokes our indignation. Quid domini facient, audent cum talia fures? It is not the ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... polished surfaces conceal the most sinister combinations. You are only an honest countryman wandering amongst a crowd of courtiers,—virtue in danger amidst a myriad of vices: they speak our language, and we do not know theirs. Would it be possible that they should not deceive us? Louis XVI., of a degenerate race, without elevation of mind, or energy of will, allowed himself to be enthralled early in life by religious prejudices, which have even lessened his intellect; fascinated by a giddy queen, who unites to Austrian ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... government! Well, I shall do that; but there will be no place left near me for the Bourbons, whom France has spewed out, as one spews out mortal poison. These hated and weak Bourbons shall never attain to power and prestige again. Prance has turned away from them. France abhors this degenerate race of kings; it will erect a new edifice of power and glory, but there will be no room in it for the Bourbons! Mark that, intriguer, and build no air-castles on it. I demand of you an open confession, for I shall accuse yon as ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... went to St. Helena dwelt in a worn-out body, a fat, degenerate perversion of the ...
— Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers • Arthur Brisbane



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