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Mercenary   /mˈərsənˌɛri/   Listen
Mercenary

noun
(pl. mercenaries)
1.
A person hired to fight for another country than their own.  Synonym: soldier of fortune.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Mercenary" Quotes from Famous Books



... usually popular or to be encouraged, but Mark Twain had an especial weakness for compliments that came in that way. They were not mercenary compliments. The writer had nothing to gain. Two such letters follow—both written in England just at ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... voluptuous, and in some way terrible, shone those Pleasure Cities of which the kinematograph-phonograph and the old man in the street had spoken. Strange places reminiscent of the legendary Sybaris, cities of art and beauty, mercenary art and mercenary beauty, sterile wonderful cities of motion and music, whither repaired all who profited by the fierce, inglorious, economic struggle that went on in ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... a half is devoted to an elaborate peroration in one huge sentence, denouncing him in such terms as "pettifogging," "littleness," "pique," "secret and envenomed blows," "slime of rankling malice and mercenary scorn," "trammels of servility," "lies," "garbage," etc. etc. The Duke of Wellington he always speaks of as a brainless noodle, forgetting apparently that the description does not make his idol's defeat more creditable to the vanquished. As for the character of Gifford, and the earlier "Letter ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... opinion the forger has a commercial education or style, that he doesn't know me nor Barker, and don't understand slang. Now, I have to add what must have occurred to you, Jim, that the forger is either a coward, or his object is not altogether mercenary: for the same ability displayed in this letter would on the signature alone—had it been on a check or draft—have drawn from your bank twenty times the amount concerned. Now, what is the actual loss ...
— The Three Partners • Bret Harte

... consignments for the use of liberal economic government. We had infused into our laws, our language, and our institutions new vigor for conquest and for human enlightenment. Venality, that dogs great efforts, undoubtedly there was. But the high tide of the conflict showed no mercenary taint. On both sides it was urged from the highest motives of patriotism and of honor and in defense of the popular principle. That principle with us means local self-government and representative union. The rebel yell was because they thought local government in peril. ...
— Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character of William H. F. Lee (A Representative from Virginia) • Various

... but had not been previously denounced. I have limited my researches to the fifteenth century, leaving to others the task of studying those pictures of the Renaissance in which the Maid appears decked out in the German fashion, with the plumed hat and slashed doubtlet of a Saxon ritter or a Swiss mercenary.[144] I cannot say who served as a prototype for these portraits, but they closely resemble the woman accompanying the mercenaries in La Danse des morts, which Nicholas Manuel painted at Berne, on the wall of the Dominican Monastery, between 1515 and 1521.[145] In le Grand ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... are past, those noble days! The days When nations would imperil all to keep Their liberties, are only memories now. The common cause is lost,—and thou art brought, The captive of some mercenary raid, Some skirmish of a gold-begotten war, To serve within my ...
— The Poems of Henry Van Dyke • Henry Van Dyke

... felt a special animosity against lawyers, whom they considered mercenary instruments in the hands of the nobles for oppressing them. They hung all the lawyers that they could get into their hands, and after burning the Savoy they went to the Temple, which was a spacious edifice containing ...
— Richard II - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... her, and she bitterly felt the impoverishment of the always scanty means, which deprived her of the power of laying out sums of money on those rites which were universally deemed needful for the repose of souls snatched away in battle. It was a mercenary age among the clergy, and besides, it was the depth of a northern winter, and the funeral rites of the Lady of Whitburn would have been poor and maimed indeed if a whole band of black Benedictine monks had not arrived ...
— Grisly Grisell • Charlotte M. Yonge

... only putting the case), or an excessively generous one. After my experience of your honest character and your creditable conduct, it is only your due that I should absolve you at once of the mean motive. I believe you are as incapable as I am—I can say no more—of turning to mercenary account any discoveries you might make to Miss Gwilt's prejudice in Miss Gwilt's past life. Shall I go on any further? or would you prefer, on second thoughts, opening your mind frankly to ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... Miss Wilfer, for bearing with the drawbacks of my position in the house we both inhabit. Believe that they are not all mercenary, although I have, through a series of strange fatalities, faded out of my place in life. If what you see with such a gracious and good sympathy is calculated to rouse my pride, there are other considerations (and those you do not see) urging ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... overwhelmed from the outset, have had no chance whatsoever of development. Even if they had a language of their own, they would have no literature. Not one painter, not one musician, have they produced; only couriers, guides, waiters, and other parasites. A smug, tame, sly, dull, mercenary little race of men, they exist by and for the alien tripper. They are the fine flower of commercial civilisation, the shining symbol of international comity, and have never done anybody any harm. I cannot imagine why the King should not give them ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... considerably avoided them: she had watched the girl, off and on, from her early childhood. Flora, just twenty, was extraordinarily alone in the world—so alone that she had no natural chaperon, no one to stay with but a mercenary stranger, Mrs. Hammond Synge, the sister-in-law of one of the young men I had just seen. She had lots of friends, but none of them nice: she kept picking up impossible people. The Floyd-Taylors, with whom she had been at Boulogne, were ...
— Embarrassments • Henry James

... duchess, "the whole world knows Prince Eugene to be above mercenary considerations, and it also knows that had Monsieur Louvois not driven him away from France, he would not now be the most distinguished officer in the army ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... Home, went to the Hotel Europe, in the Piazza di Spagna. There for two weeks he lived like a milordo. He formed many acquaintances among the resident colony of American artists, and was received by them with much kindness. Some of the mercenary ones of their number, having formed the opinion that he came there to buy paintings, ignorant of his profession, were excessively polite;—but their offers of services were declined. When Caper finally moved to private lodgings in Babuino Street and opened a studio, ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... in that glance. Was it not likely to be genuine,—that feeling that she could not be to him what she had been to others? It must have been abundantly clear to her that had she chosen to accept from him what he had offered her, she might have amply satisfied any mercenary views, the most exorbitant. Therefore her views and her feelings were of ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... first season in London since her second marriage with Mr. Doll Loftus. After a very brief sojourn in that city of frivolity she had the acumen to discover that London society was hopelessly worldly and mercenary; that people only met to eat and to abuse each other; that the law of cutlet for cutlet was universal; that young men, especially those in the Guards, were garrisoned by a full complement of devils; that London girls lived only for dress and the excitement of husband-hunting. ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... double subterfuge in all this. De Stancy took no particular interest in his ancestral portraits; but he was enamoured of Paula to weakness. Perhaps the composition of his love would hardly bear looking into, but it was recklessly frank and not quite mercenary. His photographic scheme was nothing worse than a lover's not too scrupulous contrivance. After the refusal of his request to copy her picture he fumed and fretted at the prospect of Somerset's return ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... more Welcome to this grateful shore; Now no mercenary foe Aims again the fatal blow,— Aims at ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... easy to marry," said Jane, rather drearily. "It isn't easy to find some one with whom one would be willing to pass one's life. I've had several chances—one or two of them not entirely mercenary, I think. But not one that I could bring ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... to see a girl of your age mercenary," was the answer. "Good gracious, when I was two-and-twenty I never gave money a thought. I should never have dreamed of bothering myself about the amount of my friends' incomes. I don't now for that matter. Always keep your heart young, Carrissima! I am as disinterested ...
— Enter Bridget • Thomas Cobb

... a half-humorous bitterness in his voice that Margaret noted silently. So (she thought) he had hoped for a moment that at the last Frederick R. Woods had relented toward him. It grieved her, in a dull fashion, to see him so mercenary. It grieved her—though she would have denied it emphatically—to see him so disappointed. Since he wanted the money so much, she would have liked for him to have had it, worthless as he was, for the sake of the boy ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... contrary, profound conviction that about ninety-nine hundredths of whatever at present is, is wrong: conviction making four of us, according to our several manners, leaders of revolution for the poor, and declarers of political doctrine monstrous to the ears of mercenary mankind; and driving the fifth, less sanguine, into mere painted-melody of lament over the fallacy of Hope and the ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... hereditary, and domestic spiders, who have spun their webs over the lower division of my book-shelves (consisting chiefly of law and divinity) during the peaceful reign of her predecessor, fly at full speed before the probationary inroads of the new mercenary. Even so the Laird of Ellangowan ruthlessly commenced his magisterial reform, at the expense of various established and superannuated pickers and stealers, who had been his neighbours for half a century. ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... clock points to the hour of eleven. Judging by the pile of money-bags lying at the foot of the president's chair, and the two members of the court who are busily engaged in counting coin, George would seem to insinuate that the fellows of the college of his time were a decidedly mercenary set. ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... of the first antagonism to the Gospel in Europe was purely mercenary. The pythoness's masters had no horror of Paul's doctrines. They were animated by no zeal for Apollo. They only saw a source of profit drying up. Infinitely more respectable was Jewish opposition, which was, at all events, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... flashy coat, his sharp, mercenary face, hectic of night revels, and his small but wicked eyes wandering over Mr. McArthur's stock in trade, is seen in pursuit of his darling object. "I don't mind so much about the pay, old man! I'm up well in the world. The fact is, I am esteemed-and ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... management of the realm had been committed at that time, and asked her to take measures for the punishment of such a wrong. But she, with a woman's forwardness, and impelled by mental excitement, immediately gave orders to the prefects of the city and to certain of her own ruffians [mercenary body-guard] with all speed to go out of the city, under arms, and to punish the authors of the violence, sparing no one. Now as these armed men, who were prone to act cruelly at every opportunity, left the gates of the city, they came upon a number of clerks busy just ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... to doubt that any one understood the policy of the Polish Committee in Warsaw who should apply the epithet 'mercenary' to the Polish soldiers. We would not ask our author how much he gave per diem to those under his own command: we have no wish to rival the wit of a Russian proclamation which appeared last winter in Warsaw, in which the ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... There also the opposite character of avarice and cruelty is represented by a figure drawn from the same source. In the book from which my text is selected, we are warned not to partake of the offered banquet of him who spreads his table by constraint, and with ostentatious or mercenary views, and not from the impulse of an hospitable spirit. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart so is he: Eat and drink saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.[1] And again ...
— A Sermon Preached on the Anniversary of the Boston Female Asylum for Destitute Orphans, September 25, 1835 • Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright

... the object of his ambitious wishes appeared to bestow unusual favor. This individual was a young officer in the army, a sort of protege of the lady's father, who had been spending a furlough at Bellevue. In the matter of fortune Maxwell's rival was not to be dreaded, for he knew the lady was not mercenary in her views. The young captain was penniless; but his family was good, and he had the advantage of being a favorite with the father. He had won for himself a name on the fields of Mexico, which went far to enlist a lady's favor. He was a universal favorite both with the public ...
— Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue • Warren T. Ashton

... to confess, however, that with all its charms a mud floor (like a mercenary match) does certainly promote early rising. Long before daybreak we were up, and had breakfasted; after this there was nearly a whole tedious hour to endure whilst the horses were laden by torch-light; but this had an ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... bugle notes the soldiers strained every nerve as if rushing upon the foe. Napoleon offered to these bands the same reward which he had promised to the peasants. But to a man, they refused the gold. They had imbibed the spirit of their chief, his enthusiasm, and his proud superiority to all mercenary motives. "We are not toiling for money," said they, "but for your approval, and ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... forever?" The prosaic traveller perhaps remembers it better from the fact that a great sea-monster, in the shape of a steamboat, takes him, sitting in the car, on its back, and swims across with him like Arion's dolphin,—also that mercenary men on board offer him canvas-backs in the season, and ducks of lower degree ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... religion. It is the doctrine of obedience. Therefore I shall revive religion, but it shall be a religion of obedience to the House of Hohenzollern. The God of the Hebrews declared them to be his chosen people. But they proved a servile and mercenary race. They traded their swords for shekels and became a byword and a hissing among the nations—and they were scattered to the four corners of the earth. I shall revive that God. And this time he shall chose ...
— City of Endless Night • Milo Hastings

... or mercenary creature, No one more cordially detested the life of dependence than he. He always thought that his father had discharged all the duties of that relation in nourishing his childhood and giving him a good education. Whatever has been since bestowed, he considered as voluntary and unrequited bounty; ...
— Jane Talbot • Charles Brockden Brown

... that I must go to the Blue Boar, my mind was much disturbed by indecision whether or not to take the Avenger. It was tempting to think of that expensive Mercenary publicly airing his boots in the archway of the Blue Boar's posting-yard; it was almost solemn to imagine him casually produced in the tailor's shop, and confounding the disrespectful senses of Trabb's boy. ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... deputies and the City Government at once gave their cordial assent to these articles. When the deputies returned, their constituents were not very well pleased with what had been done, declaring that they would not submit to be locked up at the mercy of any man, nor would they trust to mercenary troops for guarding their city. The Prince, hearing this, agreed that the burghers, Calvinists, Lutherans, as well as Romanists, should be employed to guard ...
— The Golden Grasshopper - A story of the days of Sir Thomas Gresham • W.H.G. Kingston

... Mr. Humphrey Marshall, and, as you know, we are sadly in the minority in Kentucky now. I came here to-night to ask you to undertake a mission in behalf of myself and certain other gentlemen, and I assure you that my motives are not wholly mercenary." He paused, smiled, and put the tips of his fingers together. "I would willingly lose every crop for the next ten years to convict this Wilkinson of treason against the ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... to mutilate, curtail, and patch up a drama in Italian, in order to introduce favourite airs, selected from different authors, the contrast has always been broken thereby, without every one's knowing the reason: and since ignorant mercenary prompters, though Italians, have been employed in hotch-potch, and in translating our dramas from Italian into English, how could such operas appear any other ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... these arms, the source of all wealth, were monopolised by the wealthy. Thus we have seen those immense fortunes which are the characteristic feature of our age spring up on all sides. A king of the last century, "the great Louis the Fourteenth" of mercenary historians, would never have dreamed of possessing a fortune such as are held by those kings of the nineteenth century, the Vanderbilts ...
— The Place of Anarchism in Socialistic Evolution - An Address Delivered in Paris • Pierre Kropotkin

... or "khans" of the Bakhtiyaris, and another chief was the self-styled Minister of War. These chieftains have always been a strange and changing mixture of mountain patriot and city intriguer—of loyal soldier and mercenary looter. The mercenary instincts, possibly aided by a sense of their own comparative helplessness against Russian Cossacks and artillery, led them to accept the stranger's gold and fair promises, and they ended their checkered but theretofore relatively honorable careers ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... little history in his mind that was reasonably near the truth, of a hard-up professional family, fatherless perhaps, of a mercenary marriage at ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... therefore, hold that the Negro teacher has acted along the method here described, and has thus been the means of enlightening the masses of the colored people that lay claim to any degree of education whatever. What the Negro teacher has accomplished has been done not from a selfish motive or a mercenary point of view, but primarily because he has endeavored to do his part toward elevating the race with which he is identified. If it is true that the salvation of the Negro lies in his being educated, then to the Negro teacher ...
— Twentieth Century Negro Literature - Or, A Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating - to the American Negro • Various

... as he walked along, worked both his fists closely in his energy. "If I can't be down on him other gait than that, I'll leave him alone. But, Waddle, by my sacred honour as a man, I'll not leave him alone!" Waddle started, and stood with his mouth open, looking up at his friend. "Base, mercenary, false-hearted loon! What is it that ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... and serenity of mind, which excels the other not only in duration, but in sense of pleasure too. As for the other sort of converse, that which consists in expression of itself to others, Pindar says very well, that it was not mercenary in old time, nor indeed is it so now; but by the baseness and ambition of a few it is made use of to serve their poor secular interests. For if the poets represent Venus herself as much offended with those ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... Fatimites of Egypt and northern Africa, who claimed the caliphate, and who aimed at extending their rule over the Mahommedan world, at least in the west. Abd-ar-rahman subdued the nobles by means of a mercenary army, which included Christians. He repelled the Fatimites, partly by supporting their enemies in Africa, and partly by claiming the caliphate for himself. His ancestors in Spain had been content the the title of sultan. The ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... (and the point is worth insisting on) that the Englishman cannot pretend that he goes into business with any other object than to make money. His motives are on the face of them mercenary if not sordid. The American is impelled primarily by quite other ambitions. Similarly, when the Englishman thinks of business, the image which he conjures up in his mind is of a dull commonplace like, on ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... one end and the European Artillery at the other, separated by Native troops. This arrangement (which existed in almost every station in India) is another proof of the implicit confidence placed in the Native army—a confidence in mercenary soldiers of alien races which seems all the more surprising when we call to mind the warnings that for nearly a hundred years had been repeatedly given of the possibility of disaffection existing amongst ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... Arabs, menaced not only by their dissensions, but frequently attacked by the Christians from the North, there was but one method by which the Dey could maintain his power. He formed a large body of mercenary soldiers, drawn entirely from Turkey, united with himself and each other by a feeling of mutual dependence and common danger, and bound by no feeling of interest or affection to the inhabitants of the soil. Brave they were, as they proved in 1541, against ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... Seacole: 'I have witnessed her devotion and her courage; I have already borne testimony to her services to all who needed them. She is the first who has redeemed the name of 'sutler' from the suspicion of worthlessness, mercenary business and plunder; and I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some other illustrious ...
— Noble Deeds of the World's Heroines • Henry Charles Moore

... the quickest Apprehension; the Master therefore should consider how much more Time is necessary for one that has not the same Quickness, and how much he is obliged to consult the Capacity of his Scholar. From a mercenary Teacher this necessary Regard is not to be hoped for; expected by other Scholars, tired with the Fatigue, and solicited by his Necessities, he thinks the Month long; looks on his Watch, and goes away. If he be but poorly paid for his Teaching,—a God-b'wy ...
— Observations on the Florid Song - or Sentiments on the Ancient and Modern Singers • Pier Francesco Tosi

... Paris at a moment when the increasing and unmanageable deficit brought national bankruptcy and confusion to the very door of the state, a course of angry and mercenary pamphleteering on Finance, while connecting him with discontented men of wealth and influence, willing, jointly with the police, to hire or use his ready pen, forced on him education in another important, if unattractive, department of the great ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... night and day in a belt round his waist, as if he really loved them for their own mere sakes—dirty high-priced little baubles! Granville, for his part, couldn't bear to see such ingrained love of pelf. It was miserable; it was mercenary. ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... at the flexible form, and listens to the words that he would admire, only the cynical suspicion is in his mind that she is talking for effect. His general habit was to consider all women mercenary and untrustworthy. Deep in his heart—for he had a heart, though contracted from want of use—lay a hungry desire to be loved, really loved for himself; and the very keenness of the longing, and the anxiety not to be deceived, lessened his powers of penetration, and blinded him to ...
— Six Women • Victoria Cross

... thought of her constantly. But what had he to do with the banker's wealthy heiress, the future mistress of Lone? If he were so unwise as to seek her acquaintance, the world would be quick to ascribe the most mercenary motives to his conduct. But like weaker minded lovers, he comforted himself by writing such transcendental poetry as "The Soul's Recognition," "The Meeting of the Spirits," "What Those Eyes Said," etc. He did not publish these. After having ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... knew his Fearful position; but that which weighed heaviest upon his heart was a consciousness of the misinterpretations which the world might put upon the motives of his conduct in this elopement, imputing it to selfishness and a mercenary spirit. When about ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... last hour when we had to be getting back a certain tenderness came into his somewhat mercenary look. He devoted himself more to his nephew; he took him aside, and, with some ceremony, gave him money. He offered us cigars. We took one each. His round French face became all wrinkles, like a cracked plate. ...
— On Something • H. Belloc

... stated above that one of the abuses which came into large practice from the middle period of the Tokugawa Bakufu was the adoption of children of ignoble birth into samurai families in consideration of monetary payments by their parents. This mercenary custom was strictly interdicted by the Matsudaira regent, who justly saw in it a danger to the solidity of the military class. But it does not appear that ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... with some wonder. It had never dawned upon him that this shiftless, thriftless, worthless, sponging parasite was yet, after and in spite of all, not mercenary in the issue of his thoughts; ...
— Tales and Fantasies • Robert Louis Stevenson

... had revolted both the army and the people. The rebellion began in the camp of the Janissaries, and the ringleader was one Halil Patrona, a poor Albanian sailor-man, who after plying for a time the trade of a petty huckster had been compelled, by crime or accident, to seek a refuge among the mercenary soldiery of the Empire. The rebellion was unexpectedly, amazingly successful. The Sultan, after vainly sacrificing his chief councillors to the fury of the mob, was himself dethroned by Halil, and Mahmud I. appointed Sultan in his stead. For the next six weeks the ex-costermonger ...
— Halil the Pedlar - A Tale of Old Stambul • Mr Jkai

... morning in her uncle's parlour, and a hasty flitting away of the young couple—away from ominous looks and cold politeness, out into their own bright world, where no dark shadows in the shape of grim mercenary uncles ...
— Divers Women • Pansy and Mrs. C.M. Livingston

... expansion and economic independence, a series of frontiers was gradually thrust out toward the wilderness in successive waves of irregular indentation. The true leader in this westward advance, to whom less than his deserts has been accorded by the historian, is the drab and mercenary trader with the Indians. The story of his enterprise and of his adventures begins with the planting of European civilization upon American soil. In the mind of the aborigines he created the passion for the fruits, both good and evil, of the white man's civilization, and he ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... floor," said Marcel. "To me it is evident that Colline has been corrupted. He has already sold his vote for so many drinks. Don't interrupt me! (Colline was rising to protest.) You shall have your turn. Colline, mercenary soul that he is, has presented to you this stranger under an aspect too favorable to be true. I told you before; I see through this person's designs. He wants to speculate on us. He says to himself, 'Here are some chaps making their way. I must get ...
— Bohemians of the Latin Quarter • Henry Murger

... he complained that 'a spirit of business speculation, which has always more of cunning and chicane than of truth and righteousness in it,' was finding its way into the hearts of the people. The seigneurs in particular, he alleged, were becoming mercenary; they were taking advantage of technicalities to make the habitants pay more than their just dues. In many cases settlers had taken up lands on the merely oral assurances of the seigneurs; then when they got their deeds in writing these deeds contained various provisions ...
— The Seigneurs of Old Canada: - A Chronicle of New-World Feudalism • William Bennett Munro

... thing was to happen," remarked Bea, with a little mercenary expectation, "Congreve Hall would be Olive's; just think of it, girls, how grand! and Cousin Roger is immensely wealthy, and there would be no end of splendid things;" and Bea sighed a little, as she spoke, for she was not going to win any wealth ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... girls expect a man to mean business at the first look. No man when he first becomes interested in a woman has any definite scheme of engagement to marry her in his mind, unless he is meaning a vulgar mercenary marriage. However, I did at last mean an honourable engagement, as you call ...
— Victorian Short Stories, - Stories Of Successful Marriages • Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

... have no right to do, having heard by accident what I had no business to hear—I may say generally, to show how serious the quarrel was, that my mistress charged my master with having married from mercenary motives, with keeping out of her company as much as he could, and with insulting her by a suspicion which it would be hard ever to forgive, and impossible ever to forget. He replied by violent language directed against herself, and by ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... "go with" Bessy Houghton regularly after that. In his single-mindedness he never feared that Bessy would misjudge his motives or imagine him to be prompted by mercenary designs. He never thought of her riches himself, and it never occurred to him that she would ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... You voluntarily entered into our service, and received our pay. You were one of us, with only this difference, that we have taken up the cause from principle and loyalty, and you joined us from mercenary motives. Still we kept our faith with you; for every service performed, you were well and honourably paid. But you received our money and turned against us; revealed our secrets, and gave information ...
— Snarleyyow • Captain Frederick Marryat

... a man [common soldier], who has been ordered to go upon the king's highway [for war] does not go, but hires a mercenary, if he withholds the compensation, then shall this officer or man be put to death, and he who represented him shall take possession ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... into evil company. His one ambition is, to break away, and redeem himself. I am so anxious to help him, and wish you could realize his purpose, as I do, and become his friend. Won't you, for my sake? Why, even in this affair he has not the slightest mercenary purpose—he has only thought of what was ...
— Keith of the Border • Randall Parrish

... feel much elation. His was not a mercenary nature, and he had all along thought his comrade too sanguine, though ...
— Blake's Burden • Harold Bindloss

... him she expects me to back her up. The wish is doubtless natural, but for a proud girl it is rather an odd favor to ask. Oh yes, she 's a proud girl, even though she has been able to arrange it with her conscience to make a mercenary marriage. To expect me to help her is perhaps to treat me as a friend; but she ought to remember—or at least I ought to remember—that Gordon is an older friend than she. Inviting me to help her as against my oldest friend—is n't there a ...
— Confidence • Henry James

... who abandons his own proper occupation and betakes himself to that of a Sudra, should be considered as a Sudra and on no account should any food be accepted from him. Professors of the healing art, mercenary soldiers, the priest who acts as warder of the house, and persons who devote a whole year to study without any profit, are all to be considered as Sudras. And those who impudently partake of food offered at ceremonials in a Sudra's house are afflicted with a terrible calamity. In consequence ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... of Ethelrida's speech. The line of the Tancreds should go on through her! But never, never! That should never be! If they were counting upon that they were counting in vain. The marriage was never intended to be anything but an empty ceremony, for mercenary reasons. There must be no mistake about this. What if Lord Tancred had such ideas, too? And she quivered suddenly and caught in her breath with the horror of ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... I don't pretend to be giving you good news; but I 'm telling the simple, literal truth, so that you may know why I have gone to the dogs. She pretended to care greatly for all this, and to be willing to make any sacrifice in return; she had a magnificent chance, for she was being forced into a mercenary marriage with a man she detested. She led me to believe that she would give this up, and break short off, and keep herself free and sacred and pure for me. This was a great honor, and you may believe that I valued it. It turned my head, and ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... very wrong to buy a stolen diamond, but he had done it from no mercenary motives, for he had given it to her. She supposed that he had loved the beautiful thing, and felt when it was offered to him that he could not bear to let it go.... Perhaps the Countess de Santiago had ...
— The Second Latchkey • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... of their dead. The war dance was probably the most elaborate in costume and other details, and of recent years the Indians have sometimes given public exhibitions of what purported to be war dances, but these performances, like everything else which they do from purely mercenary motives, are very poor imitations of the originals, and it is doubtful if they have ever allowed a genuine war dance to ...
— Indians of the Yosemite Valley and Vicinity - Their History, Customs and Traditions • Galen Clark

... tyrannical abuse of it—HE professes to love wisdom, yet in all his establishments for promoting it he sets up false standards of truth; and persecutes, even with religious intolerance, all attempts to swerve from them—HE makes laws, which, in the hands of mercenary lawyers, serve as snares to unwary poverty, but as shields to crafty wealth—HE renders justice unattainable by its costliness; and personal rights uncertain by the intricacy and fickleness of legal decisions—HE ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... though so many are for the use of persons placed in the most trying circumstances, and some of them are for persons writhing under a sense of intolerable injury, sweetness and light do ever reign. Even 'yours truly, Jacob Langton,' in his 'letter to his Daughter's Mercenary Fiance',' mitigates the sternness of his tone by the remark that his 'task is inexpressibly painful.' And he, Mr. Langton, is the one writer who lets the post go out on his wrath. When Horace Masterton, of Thorpe ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... thought of it since. But perhaps the moon, which was shining again as it had shone that night on the old market-place, had helped to recall it, or perhaps it satisfied him with a sense of appropriateness. For it was not a dismal, monotonous product of mercenary dryness to which the words were set, but the characteristic music of devotion by which the spirit of prayer is made audible when words fail, as they always do, to express it in all its force and fervour. ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... cried, touched by his look and manner to an immediate unfolding of her scheme, "let us look at things again. Perhaps we shall not find them so hopeless as they look. If I am prudent, Everett, I am not mercenary. I only want to see Rosa happy. I don't care whether it is on hundreds a year, or thousands. And the fact is, I have not condemned your plans without having a more satisfactory one to offer to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... wretch to be wholly selfish and mercenary, from my experience of her on the raft—for that she was the same negress I had long ceased to doubt—and I determined, while I had an opportunity of doing so, to enter a wedge of confidence between us in the ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... in his own heart knew that his motives were not unmixed. He could not accuse himself of being outrageously mercenary, yet he was ashamed to be forced to acknowledge even to himself that the desire of gain was present to his mind. His debts were enormous. He entertained in a manner and after a style far in excess of his modest allowance. His dinners were the most sumptuous ...
— The Loyalist - A Story of the American Revolution • James Francis Barrett

... spahi^, Cossack, Croat, Pandoz. irregular, guerilla, partisan, condottiere^; franctireur [Fr.], tirailleur^, bashi-bazouk; [guerilla organization names: list], vietminh, vietcong; shining path; contras; huk, hukbalahap. mercenary, soldier of fortune; hired gun, gunfighter, gunslinger; bushwhacker, free lance, companion; Hessian. hit man torpedo, soldier. levy, draught; Landwehr [G.], Landsturm [G.]; conscript, recruit, cadet, raw levies. infantry, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... is soon prescribed which though it be not true, yet I forbear to note any deficiences; for the Olympian games are down long since, and the mediocrity of these things is for use; as for the excellency of them it serveth for the most part but for mercenary ostentation. ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... and Romance, passionately. "Aunt Frances, a woman hasn't any right to marry just because she thinks it is her best chance. She hasn't any right to make a man feel that he's won her when she's just little and mean and mercenary." ...
— Contrary Mary • Temple Bailey

... calling, to-wit, that of an unscrupulous adventurer, whose object was to line his own pockets. A fashion has arisen of late of writing about soldiers of fortune as if they were noble, Quixotic persons. Those with whom the author has come in contact, however, have, without exception, been mercenary and cold-blooded men, to whom the name highway robber could be applied with far more justice than the higher sounding term. Such men were Jim Hickey and his two companions, who had flocked like buzzards to the border at the ...
— The Border Boys Across the Frontier • Fremont B. Deering

... man, she would smile on his suit? Could he think that she would accept his attentions more gladly because of his newly acquired wealth? The idea made her furiously angry. If Farnsworth thought her that mercenary—if he deemed her so utterly sordid—well, her respect ...
— Patty Blossom • Carolyn Wells

... cowardly and mercenary Martinez has received the punishment his treachery so well deserved; during his flight he was met by some Indians and murdered. May divine Providence thus punish all traitors to ...
— Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet • Captain Marryat

... a mumbling bear without a claw? 220 Nor this, nor that, is standard right or wrong, Till minted by the mercenary tongue; And what is conscience but a fiend of strife, That chills the joys, and damps the scenes of life, The wayward child of Vanity and Fear, The peevish dam of Poverty and Care? Unnumber'd woes engender in the breast That entertains the ...
— Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett - With Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Samuel Johnson, Thomas Parnell, Thomas Gray, and Tobias Smollett

... protested earnestly. "That's why I haven't mentioned His Majesty—whom God preserve. That would have been an exaggeration. . . However, the end is not yet. We were talking about the beginning. I have heard that some dealers in fine objects, quite mercenary people of course (my mother has an experience in that world), show sometimes an astonishing reluctance to part with some specimens, even at a good price. It must be very funny. It's just possible that the uncle and the aunt have been rolling ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... cheered; but, that no provocation should be wanting to engage him to speak the truth, they asked him if he wanted any money. He with much art answered very indifferently, no; adding, he scorned to make such a discovery out of a mercenary view, but that he was resolved to be revenged of his captain. They then ordered him to the sign of the Boot, in St. Thomas's, Exeter, whither they soon followed him, having first sent to Mr. Eastwood, an exciseman, to ask what he would have for dinner, and ...
— The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew • Unknown

... some of the most famous professors of the science. But his prepossession for Cicero prevented him from much frequenting the dry and dusty walks of jurisprudence. In his epistle to posterity, he endeavours to justify this repugnance by other motives. He represents the abuses, the chicanery, and mercenary practices of the law, as inconsistent with every ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... and perspectives, the work of Mr. Streeter,' serjeant-painter to King Charles the Second. In February 1664, the Diarist saw Dryden's Indian Queen acted 'with rich scenes as the like had never been seen here, or haply, except rarely, elsewhere on a mercenary theatre.' Mr. Pepys—most devoted of playgoers—notes occasionally of particular plays, that 'the machines are fine and the paintings very pretty.' In October 1667, he records that he sat in the boxes for the first time in his life, ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... to him begging for a king, and urging, as one reason for the change, the unfitness of his sons to succeed him. They were mercenary and open to bribery, and it is not strange that they were disliked by the people. It is one of many instances of departure by children from the counsels and prayers of the kindest parents, and choosing ...
— Half Hours in Bible Lands, Volume 2 - Patriarchs, Kings, and Kingdoms • Rev. P. C. Headley

... mercenary engagement that I think Amenda ever entered into was one with a 'bus conductor. We were living in the North of London then, and she had a young man, a cheesemonger, who kept a shop in Lupus Street, Chelsea. He could not come up to her because of the shop, so once a week ...
— The Idler, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly. Edited By Jerome K. Jerome & Robert Barr • Various

... squatted a juggler from India. Under his white turban his glittering, beady eyes appraised the generosity of his audience as he arranged his flat baskets, his live rabbits and his hooded cobras for an exhibition of mercenary magic. ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... of economy, and openly discuss and settle the most essential points. At the same time a father should not intimidate his son with the idea that nothing but rigid economy can win his parental favour; his parental favour should not be a mercenary object; he should rather show his son, that he is aware of the great temptations to which a young man is exposed in going first into the world: he should show him, both that he is disposed to place confidence in him, and that he yet knows the fallibility of youthful prudence. ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... interests in Mexico, and had gone there to look after them, leaving Miss Denman and her mother in New York. Cantor, who had first met the Denmans in Ohio, when on recruiting duty in that state, had planned to make Miss Denman his wife for purely mercenary reasons. He had struggled to overcome his gaming mania, and had planned that once Miss Denman became his wife her money should be used to pay his gaming debts and free him from the claims ...
— Dave Darrin at Vera Cruz • H. Irving Hancock

... noblesse oblige—the noblesse of a free people—was the motto of the one as of the other. It has been asserted that the Federal armies were very largely composed of foreigners, whose motives for enlisting were purely mercenary. At no period of the war, however, did the proportion of native Americans sink below seventy per cent.,* (* See Note at end of chapter.) and at the beginning of 1863 it was much greater. As a matter of fact, the Union army was composed ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... them, and affectionate friendship for them, that attention to the most important duties at the last gasp, indicates that honesty without any thought of personal advantage was innate in the man; that it did not require the invitation of pleasure, or the allurements of mercenary rewards. For what greater evidence can we require that those things which are honourable and right are desirable of themselves for their own sake, than the sight of a dying man so anxious in the discharge of such important duties? But, as I think that letter deserving of all commendation ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... The City Hall clock near by struck eleven. The time had come for returning to their mercenary guardian. Phil shook the sleeping form of Giacomo. The little boy stirred in his sleep, and murmured, "Madre." He had been dreaming of his mother and his far-off Italian home. He woke to the harsh realities of life, four thousand miles away ...
— Phil the Fiddler • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... full tide of their prosperity, with none to succor, and with no hope from the first but that they must perish. Nor was this quite all. How could their sole companions, their servants, people of the country, and bound to their masters by none but the mercenary tie of a hireling, soothe their dying moments with any genuine sympathy, or supply in the dread travail of mortality the room of a friend, or even of a fellow-countryman? This is no baseless sketch ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 87, March, 1875 • Various

... honored, much respected friend![1] No mercenary bard his homage pays; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end, My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise: To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays, 5 The lowly train in life's sequestered scene; ...
— Selections from Five English Poets • Various

... will be asked: Will such improvements pay? I respect that question. I do not sneer at it, and regard it, as some are too apt to do, as a sign of the mercenary and money-loving spirit of the present age. I look on it as a healthy sign of the English mind; a sign that we believe, as the old Jews did, that political and social righteousness is inseparably connected with wealth and prosperity. The old Psalms and prophets have taught us that ...
— Sanitary and Social Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... Miss Matilda, "and why not, Lady Griffin? There is no reason you should break your tea-cup, because Algernon asks a harmless question. HE is not mercenary; he is all candor, innocence, generosity! He is himself blessed with a sufficient portion of the world's goods to be content; and often and often has he told me he hoped the woman of his choice might come to him without a penny, that he might show ...
— Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - The Yellowplush Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the year of Grace 1830 a new order of things was inaugurated. But with all this, a vastly different state of affairs existed then from that now prevailing. No one could accuse the preachers of those days of mercenary motives, for they were poorly paid, and carried their worldly possessions on their backs. Their labour was arduous and unremitting. They travelled great distances on foot and on horseback, at all seasons and in all weathers, to ...
— Life in Canada Fifty Years Ago • Canniff Haight

... of Florence, the kings of France and Spain agreed to withdraw their protection from Pisa, for a stipulated sum of money. There is nothing in the whole history of the merchant princes of Venice so mercenary and base, as this bartering away for gold the independence, for which this little republic had been so nobly contending for more than ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... France be still thy guardian care, Oh! spare these mercenary combats, spare! The thrones that now are reared but to be broke; The rights we render, and anon revoke; The muddy stream of laws, ideas, needs, Flooding our social life as it proceeds; Opposing tribunes, even ...
— Poems • Victor Hugo

... be that, the Vicomte de Berquin will be a vastly ingenious gentleman if he can either find our hiding-place, or delude me away from my men. To think that they should have chosen the first mercenary wretch they met on their way! Yet doubtless the perspicacious ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... it be A dashing damsel, gay and pert, A pattern of inconstancy; Or selfish, mercenary flirt? ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... our heavy overcoats and blankets and foot stoves and such other luxuries behind; that rather indicates that we are going to do something besides retreat; and I should like to get a whack at those mercenary Dutchmen before I freeze or ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... raised him above the Old Comedy turn for uproarious farce. He abused Socrates, but Xenophon, the disciple of Socrates, by his trained rhetoric saved the Ten Thousand. Aristophanes might say that if his warnings had been followed there would have been no such thing as a mercenary Greek expedition under Cyrus. Athens, however, was on a landslip, falling; none could arrest it. To gaze back, to uphold the old times, was a most natural conservatism, and fruitless. The aloe had bloomed. Whether right or wrong in his politics and his criticisms, and bearing in mind the instruments ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... "there is every need. I am very mercenary, Mr. Knight," she added, smiling "I am determined to make all the money I can, so that my dear little girl may have every advantage ...
— Virgie's Inheritance • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... Mr. Benton, "would you have me tear her from my heart, because her mercenary parent chooses to frown upon our love, and follow me ...
— Paul Prescott's Charge • Horatio Alger

... hundred dollars for that same Taminah only a few weeks ago; then he became suddenly aware that the canoe had drifted too far down during his meditation. He shook off the despondency caused by the certitude of Bulangi's mercenary disposition, and, taking up his paddle, in a few strokes sheered alongside the water- gate of the ...
— Almayer's Folly - A Story of an Eastern River • Joseph Conrad

... not to say capriciousness, of this fair one about such an engagement? Do you know that she has had the choice of the best matches in England? The Duke of Richmond paid his addresses to her first; but though he was in love with her, still he was mercenary: however, the king, observing that want of fortune was the only impediment to the match, took that article upon himself, out of regard to the Duke of Ormond, to the merit and birth of Miss Hamilton, and to her father's services; but, resenting that a man, who pretended to ...
— The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete • Anthony Hamilton

... had gone on to ask whether you can have a sharp and also a dull knowledge, and whether you can know near, but not at a distance, or know the same thing with more or less intensity, and so on without end. Such questions might have been put to you by a light-armed mercenary, who argued for pay. He would have lain in wait for you, and when you took up the position, that sense is knowledge, he would have made an assault upon hearing, smelling, and the other senses;—he would have shown you no mercy; and while you were lost in envy and admiration of his wisdom, ...
— Theaetetus • Plato

... talking of our young pupil and your daughter; I object still more strongly to your insinuation that my desire to see them married (provided always that they are sincerely attached to each other) springs from a mercenary motive." ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... to avoid it. Now they crossed athwart a bright feathery cloud, and now they were against the clear blue sky. I confess, being no sportsman, I was more interested for the poor bird that was striving for its life, than for the hawk that was playing the part of a mercenary soldier. At length the hawk got the upper hand, and made a rushing stoop at her quarry, but the latter made as sudden a surge downwards, and slanting up again, evaded the blow, screaming and making the best of his way for ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... our nobles from our common men; For many of our princes (wo the while!) Lie drowned and soaked in mercenary blood; So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs In blood of princes." (Henry ...
— Tolstoy on Shakespeare - A Critical Essay on Shakespeare • Leo Tolstoy

... unadvised into the meshes of an acquaintanceship which leads to her ruin. It is perhaps as useless to ask the men who are base enough to conceive these things to refrain from publishing them, as it is to urge the mercenary proprietors of certain newspapers to refrain from printing them in their columns. Yet it must be perfectly clear to all right-thinking minds, that it is in vain for parents to warn, parsons to preach, friends to advise, ...
— Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations • William Howe

... there was a feeling akin to despair in this also. His very tenderness towards her was more unendurable than would have been his wrath. The pity of it! The pity of it! It was that which made him sore of heart and faint of spirit. If he could have reproached her as cold, mercenary, unworthy, heartless, even though he had still loved her, he could have supported himself by his anger against her unworthiness. But as it was there was no such support for him. Though she had been ...
— The Golden Lion of Granpere • Anthony Trollope

... has told us that Girard's ship was loaded with "niggers," and that these were sold by the mercenary captain and the money pocketed by himself, "all being fair in ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... him): "if only we do not ruin our lives. For some people marriage for love may be unhappiness; but not for you, with your calm temperament, and your clear soul; I beseech you, do not marry without love, from a sense of duty, self-sacrifice, or anything.... That is infidelity, that is mercenary, and worse still. Believe me,—I have the right to say so; I have paid dearly for the right. ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... and spoke like a lady. Her hair was dyed; her breasts padded. She acted sentiment, but was less affectionate than E.B. I met her when she was out of a job. I gave her L2 whenever I met her. She was not mercenary. She was sensual. I became very much in love with her. I discovered her, however, writing letters to a fellow whom I had met one day when I was walking with her. He was only an acquaintance, but the brother of my most intimate friend. What I objected ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... too glorious to be true. It can't be true! But if it could! It's no use saying I wouldn't be glad—for poor Mr. van Buren's sake; he's so much too nice for her—mercenary, conceited, ...
— The Chauffeur and the Chaperon • C. N. Williamson

... different about her, too. Constance more than once was on the point of revising her estimate of the little actress. Was she, after all, wholly mercenary in her attitude toward Warrington? Was he merely a live spender whom she could not afford to lose? Or was she merely a beautiful, delicate creature caught in the merciless maelstrom of the life into which she had been thrown? Did she realize the ...
— Constance Dunlap • Arthur B. Reeve

... of Asia and Africa. I have everywhere shown myself the friend of my fellow-creatures. My knowledge, my time, my fortune have ever been employed in the relief of distress! I have studied and practised medicine, but I have never degraded that most noble and most consoling of arts by mercenary speculations of any kind. Though always giving, and never receiving, I have preserved my independence. I have even carried my delicacy so far as to refuse the favours of kings. I have given gratuitously my remedies and my advice to the rich: the poor have received from me both remedies and money. ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... him!" said Sir Norman, frowning; "she was forced into the marriage by her mercenary friends. Oh! if I had him here, wouldn't I make him wish the highwaymen had shot him through the head, and done for him, before I ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... altogether unprepared for this, Mr. Lightmark. In fact, I may as well own that I have talked it over with my son, and we agreed that the whole question resolved itself into—ah—into settlements. You must not think me mercenary." This was said with a dignified calm, which made the idea preposterous. "If you can"—here she seemed to refer to some mental note-book—"ah—satisfy Charles on that point, I am sure that it will give me great pleasure to regard you as a prospective son-in-law. ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... indignantly. "There is no helping them; the principal was right," said he. "He has squandered the money in golden bracelets for a mercenary danseuse, or at dice with his lawless comrades, and he now pays his usurer's bills with the hard earnings ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... their time in more charitable and useful actions than in filling the heads of poor children with stories so hurtful to the real interests of religion. However credulous our young guide was, he was not mercenary, being with difficulty persuaded to accept a franc or two for what he styled the pleasure of having conducted us. We next visited the castle of Tarascon, now used as the public prison, and in which ...
— Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone - Made During the Year 1819 • John Hughes

... fantastic, but practical—not picturesque and mediaeval, but modern and lucrative—a world-wide commonwealth with a half-submerged metropolis, which should rule the ocean with its own fleets and, like Venice and Florence, job its land wars with mercenary armies—all these dreams were not the cloudy pageant of a poet but the practical schemes of a great creative mind. They were destined to become reality. Had the geographical conditions been originally more favourable than they were, had Nature been less ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... will rather agree with St. Bernard, that love, as such, desires nothing but reciprocation—"verus amor se ipso contentus est: habet praemium, sed id quod amatur." If the question had been simply whether religion is or is not in its nature mercenary, we should have felt no doubt on which side the truth lay. Self-regarding hopes and schemes may be schoolmasters to bring us to Christ; it seems, indeed, to be part of our education to form them, and then see them shattered one after another, that better and deeper ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... thought. But now, the slave power, with the aid of Daniel Webster and a band of lesser traitors, has enacted a law, which puts their dearly-bought liberties in the most imminent peril; holds out a strong temptation to every mercenary and unprincipled ruffian to become their kidnapper; and has stimulated the slaveholders generally to such desperate acts for the recovery of their fugitive property, as have never before been enacted in ...
— Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom • William and Ellen Craft

... my penetration was not long in scenting out who was the formidable rival to whom Daddy Mainspring alluded. Sacre! to think the mercenary old hunks could dream of sacrificing my lovely Lucy to such a hobgoblin of a fellow as a superannuated dragoon quartermaster, with a beak like Bardolph's in the play. But I had some confidence in my own qualifications; and as I gave a sly glance down at my nether person, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 12, No. 339, Saturday, November 8, 1828. • Various

... who seemed to have been quite different men, if we may judge from the feats which they performed, from those of these days; one of the best of his histories is that which describes the life of Harald Haardraade, who, after manifold adventures by land and sea, now a pirate, now a mercenary of the Greek emperor, became king of Norway, and eventually perished at the battle of Stamford Bridge, whilst engaged in a gallant onslaught upon England. Now, I have often thought that the old Kemp, whose mouldering skull in the Golgotha of Hythe my brother ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow



Words linked to "Mercenary" :   worldly, venturer, adventurer, temporal, paid, secular, ninja, commercial



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