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Perverse   /pərvˈərs/   Listen
Perverse

adjective
1.
Marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict.
2.
Resistant to guidance or discipline.  Synonyms: contrary, obstinate, wayward.  "An obstinate child with a violent temper" , "A perverse mood" , "Wayward behavior"
3.
Deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper or good.  Synonyms: depraved, perverted, reprobate.  "A perverted sense of loyalty" , "The reprobate conduct of a gambling aristocrat"



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"Perverse" Quotes from Famous Books



... heart. Conscious of the many errors I am continually committing, I would earnestly implore thy pardon for whatsoever has been amiss in my conduct this day. Forgive me, O Lord, every foolish and angry word I have spoken, every perverse thought I have indulged, all I have done that I ought not to have done, and all I have left undone that I ought to have done. O may I truly repent of these my past faults, and strive to amend my future life. Bless my relations and friends; pardon all their past transgressions, ...
— A Week of Instruction and Amusement, • Mrs. Harley

... net of crime;—Devouring insects, who weary and confuse men's minds, Ignorant, oppressive, negligent, Breeders of confusion, utterly perverse:—These are the ...
— The Shih King • James Legge

... the opportunity; that there existed a subtle something in this man, in herself, that tempted to conventional relaxation. In all her repressed, regulated, and self-suppressed career, all that had ever been in her of latent daring, of feminine audacity, of caprice, of perverse provocation, stirred in her now, quickening with the ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... wretched man! perverse and obstinate! He counterworks my grace, and courts destruction. He gives his deadly foes the dagger to Destroy him, and defeats my friendly purpose, Which would, by seeming to abandon, save him. Nor will he keep the mask of prudence on A moment's space.—What! ...
— The Earl of Essex • Henry Jones

... Lionel and John made him so, but not often on his own account; and he had more resources of his own than they had. His drawing was a great amusement to him, though rather in a perverse way; for he would not be induced to take lessons of the master, seldom drew at the right time, or in the right place, and frequently in ...
— The Two Guardians • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... civic conscience and his social courage both were admirable. His life was pure. He was devoted to truth and usefulness, and his character was wholly free from envy and malice (though not from contempt), and from the perverse egoisms that so often go ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... of mankind." The main objection that the humanists make to the introduction of natural science as a necessary subject of education, is, he declared, that science is not spiritual, that it does not work in the sphere of ideas. He went on very properly to show how perverse is such a representation of science, but, alas, in further recommendation of science as a safe subject of instruction he added that the antagonism of science to religion is ended, and that the contest had been a passing phase. Reading this we may wonder whether ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... all the range. Yet he had chosen it with care as one of the points of passage for Alcatraz during the stallion's wanderings to the four quarters of his domains and though since he took up his station here an imp of the perverse kept the stallion far away, the watcher remained on guard, baked and scorched by the midday sun, constantly surveying the lower hills nearby or sweeping more distant reaches with his glass. This day he felt the long vigil to be definitely a failure, for the ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... in the early morning, before visitors began to arrive who might be alarmed at seeing an elephant at large. He was addicted to minding his own business, and never paid the slightest attention to any occupants of cage or enclosure. He was quite unaware of the hostility which he had aroused in the perverse and brooding ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... "You perverse hermit!" said he, "talk of solitude, indeed, with so pleasant a family a hundred yards distant! You deserve to be solitary,—I have no patience with you. They complain bitterly of your desertion, and say you were, at first, the ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book IV • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... which the representative of the actual King was expected there. But at other places there was constant risk of an encounter which might have produced several duels, if not an European war. James indeed, far from shunning such encounters, seems to have taken a perverse pleasure in thwarting his benefactor's wish to keep the peace, and in placing the Ambassador in embarrassing situations. One day his Excellency, while drawing on his boots for a run with the Dauphin's celebrated wolf pack, was informed that King James meant to be of the party, and ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the truth and divinity of a religion that condemns his vicious indulgences. And the longer he persists in his evil course, the darker becomes his understanding, the more corrupt his tastes, and the more perverse his judgment; until at length he "puts darkness for light, and light for darkness; calls evil good and good evil, and mistakes bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." He becomes an infidel. It is the decree of Heaven ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... banter, in which it was, unluckily, his habit to speak of his own good feelings, as well as those of others, however capable he might still have been of the same amiable sentiments, I question much whether the perverse fear of being thought desirous to pass for moral would not have prevented him from thus naturally and ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. I. (of VI.) - With his Letters and Journals. • Thomas Moore

... I loved," said Irene. "What perverse fate kept us apart, Olaf? Had you taken what I offered, by now you and I would have ...
— The Wanderer's Necklace • H. Rider Haggard

... cathedral— that might have been foretold by a keen observer of contemporary manners. But that it would really have the grossness to hang about is a fact over which, as he records it, an inveterate, a perverse cherisher of the sense of the past order, the order still largely prevailing at the time of his first visit to Italy, may well make what is vulgarly called an ado. The train does stop at Orvieto, not very long, it is true, but long enough ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... Nailles had red eyes; and Jacqueline made the reflection that women who are thirty-five should never weep. She knew that her face had not been made ugly by her tears, and this gave her a perverse satisfaction in the midst of her misery. Of Marien she thought: "He sits there as if he had been put 'en penitence'." No doubt he could not endure scenes, and the one he had just passed through must have given him the downcast look which ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Pierre, by all means! Pierre Pilleux. That would do. Pilleux. A name suggestive of a good amiable fellow, honest and slow. When he got down into France he would change his identity again—grow a beard, buy some decent clothes. A boulevardier... gay, perverse, witty.... The thought delighted him and he hurried through the forest, anxious to pass through Salvan before Doctor Waram got there. He felt extraordinarily light and exhilarated now, intoxicated, vibrant. His spirit soared; almost he heard the rushing of his old self forward ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... "You're a perverse little monkey, kitten; that's what you are!" Rosalind laughed with an excuse—or caress, it may be—in her laugh. "No," she continued, "we are much too hard on that old lady, both of us. Do you know, to-day she was quite entertaining—told me all about her ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... Marius, with his nature of boorish roughness and sensuous passion, was still less intolerable than this most tiresome and most starched of all artificial great men. His political position was utterly perverse. He was a Sullan officer and under obligation to stand up for the restored constitution, and yet again in opposition to Sulla personally as well as to the whole senatorial government. The gens of the Pompeii, which had only been named for some sixty years in the consular lists, had by no ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... these evil qualities over the other faculties of his mind as in a great measure to dim the light of reason, and render him as a subject of the colonial government, no less perverse and untractable, than he was debased and wretched, as ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 7, 1922 • Various

... last straw—that's what it is," Madigan answered grimly, bearing the cradle out to the woodshed. There he chopped it to pieces, as though defying a perverse destiny to send ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... by Paul Henry, has been translated from the German by the Rev. Dr. Henry Stebbing, of London, and we have the first of the two octavos of which it consists, from the press of Robert Carter & Brothers. So much inexcusable ignorance, so much perverse misrepresentation, so much insolent lying, may be found scattered through modern literature, respecting the great Genevan, that Dr. Henry deserves well the thanks of the christian world for exhibiting the chief facts of his ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... strength threaten to carry away the will, the aesthetic value of the character is increased, if he be capable of resisting these instincts. A vicious person begins to interest us as soon as he must risk his happiness and life to carry out his perverse designs; on the contrary, a virtuous person loses in proportion as he finds it useful to be virtuous. Vengeance, for instance, is certainly an ignoble and a vile affection, but this does not prevent it from becoming aesthetical, if to satisfy it we must endure painful ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... to admit the passion that had got hold of him. He would not know that his feeling for his orderly was anything but that of a man incensed by his stupid, perverse servant. So, keeping quite justified and conventional in his consciousness, he let the other thing run on. His nerves, however, were suffering. At last he slung the end of a belt in his servant's face. When he saw the youth start back, the ...
— The Prussian Officer • D. H. Lawrence

... intellect, they had never heard my conversation manifest so much energy or sublimity of conception; but, for all that, over the singular delusion that I was two persons my reasoning faculties had no power. The most perverse part of it was that I rarely conceived myself to be any of the two persons. I thought for the most part that my companion was one of them, and my brother the other; and I found that, to be obliged to speak and answer in the character of another man, was a most awkward business at the ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... of the Universe our friend, We would pray unto him to give thee peace, Since thou hast pity on our woe perverse. ...
— Divine Comedy, Longfellow's Translation, Hell • Dante Alighieri

... going to behave," said Willy in his peculiar voice, in which there was a blending of the guttural and nasal tones of American English with the Austrian German accent of his friends. "He snaps like a mad dog. He's enough to make you split your sides laughing—that is, if the perverse creature comes at all and doesn't have dinner served ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... the creatures inhabiting it seem to be of nocturnal habit, hiding themselves during the day, and only emerging into the open at night. Just listen now to the hubbub of sound all about us. Why, the place must be fairly teeming with life! And, by a perverse combination of circumstances, we can see nothing of it—Ah! thank goodness, the lightning is becoming more vivid. I would give a good round sum for a real first-class thunderstorm; and, by ginks! I believe we are going ...
— In Search of El Dorado • Harry Collingwood

... easily be traced to the pupils, but there were times when Miss Fenler seemed as contrary as the most perverse pupil. On those days no one ...
— Dorothy Dainty at Glenmore • Amy Brooks

... obligation. It set him at a distance, immediately. He ceased to look lovingly, to indulge in the nerve-rasping little caresses. He became carefully formal. He was evidently eager to prove the sincerity of his protestations—too eager perhaps, her perverse mind suggested. Still, sincere or not, he held to all the ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... system. Their language or their silence equally discover their contempt for the growing sect, which in their time had diffused itself over the Roman empire. Those among them who condescended to mention the Christians, consider them only as obstinate and perverse enthusiasts, who exacted an implicit submission to their mysterious doctrines, without being able to produce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... supreme prerogative of knowledge that it reveals all other things. It is not a phenomenon like any other phenomenon of the world. When we say that knowledge has been produced in us by the external collocations, we just take a perverse point of view which is unwarranted by experience; knowledge only photographs the objective phenomena for us; but there is nothing to show that knowledge has been generated by these phenomena. This is only a theory which applies the ordinary conceptions ...
— A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 • Surendranath Dasgupta

... sent the queen to Loch Leven. They intended to bring her to trial, and, if she was proved guilty, to expose and perhaps punish her. All parties for a time agreed in this—even the Hamiltons themselves; and had they been left alone they would have done it. But they had a perverse neighbour in England, to whom crowned heads were sacred. Elizabeth, it might have been thought, would have had no particular objection; but Elizabeth had aims of her own which baffled calculation. Elizabeth, the ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... bade adieu to the Intendant and the company. A couple of valets waited upon Le Gardeur, whom they assisted to bathe and dress. In a short time he left the Chateau almost sobered, and wholly metamorphosed into a handsome, fresh chevalier. A perverse redness about the eyes alone remained, to tell the tale ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... law encourages to prey upon her. She is compelled to exert her energies at highest tension to earn the very large sums which are necessary, not to gain profits for herself, but to feed all the sharks who are eager to grab what is given to her. The blind or perverse zeal of the moral legislators not only intensifies the evils it aims at curing, but it introduces a whole crop of ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... the perverse answer. "I don't wish to humble myself to any one. I'm going to take a chance on her keeping quiet about last night. I have an idea she is not a telltale. If worse comes to worst, there are other ...
— Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... puzzled for a moment, then opened his mouth from ear to ear in a guffaw that made the glasses ring. His humour was perverse. He was wit-proof and fun-proof; but at a feeble jest would sometimes roar like a lion inflated with laughing-gas. Laughed he ever so loud and long, he always ended abruptly and without gradation—his laugh was a clean spadeful dug out of Merriment. ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... course hard to write when one is being harassed by creditors. But if he had had it in him, it would have come out. The critic had very probably told him the truth. He could not hope to make a living out of literature. He had not the strength to write the masterpiece which the perverse cruelty of nature had permitted him only to see, and he was hopelessly unfit for journalism. But in his simple, wholesome mind there was no bent towards suicide; and he scanned every horizon. Once again he thought of his uncle. ...
— Vain Fortune • George Moore

... when things went perverse on. We had to engage (as a block to rehearse on) One Mr. Vansittart, a good sort of person, Who's also employed for this season to play, In "Raising the Wind," and "the Devil to Pay."[2] We expect too—at ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... the east end, we again find, as at the west, Lincoln throwing away great advantages by a perverse piece of sham. The east window of Lincoln is the very noblest specimen of the pure and bold tracery of its own date. But it is crusht, as it were, by the huge gable window above it—big enough to be the east window of a large church—and the aisles, whose east windows are as good on their smaller ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume I. - Great Britain and Ireland • Various

... come by birth? Nay then—too often the reverse. Wise father oft has son perverse; Solomon's son was ...
— 'All's Well!' • John Oxenham

... by their subtile fusion of exquisite simplicity with cynicism in a perverse form, won him immediate recognition outside of Germany. This in itself has never been forgiven by the Germans. Such prejudice did not deter German song composers from setting to music Heine's melodious ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... instructed. Still, for all this, I have a strict account to give unto God for the bad example I gave in other respects. May it please His Majesty to forgive me, for I have been the cause of much evil; though not with intentions as perverse as were the acts ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... nevertheless turned and altered his whole career. 'Tis with almost all of us, as in M. Massillon's magnificent image regarding King William, a grain de sable that perverts or perhaps overthrows us; and so it was but a light word flung in the air, a mere freak of perverse child's temper, that brought down a whole heap of crushing woes upon that family whereof ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... the utterly perverse rebel standing opposite, "why don't you keep on your Compound, you Yellow Peril? Who asked you to come into my shop to blackguard the things? Come ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... the two champions came up, things had grown more serious. The intoxication of the man talking to the chauffeur had taken one of its perverse and catlike jumps into mere screaming spite and rage. He lifted his stick and struck at the chauffeur, who caught hold of it, and the drunkard fell backwards, dragging him out of his seat on the car. Another ...
— The Ball and The Cross • G.K. Chesterton

... presence of love carries with it an intoxicating flavor of mystery. It is something that fills her alike with envy and a vague resentment, with wonder and an indefinable desire. Its commonest expression is a perverse antipathy to one of the lovers, with an irrational increase of affection for the other; and in this case Captain Breton came in for his full share of Cicely's smothered anger and disdain. He, meanwhile, in happy unconsciousness, chancing to meet the brown eyes lifted dreamily to his own, and ...
— In the Yule-Log Glow, Book I - Christmas Tales from 'Round the World • Various

... panting heart, Perceived the danger, but with subtle art, (Lest he should see the place) spurs on the foe, 539 Confounds his thoughts, and blames his being slow. For shame! move on; would you for ever stay? What sloth is this, what strange perverse delay? — How could you e'er my little pausing blame? — What! you would wait till night shall end the game? Phoebus, thus nettled, with imprudence slew 545 A vulgar Pawn, but lost his nobler view. Young Hermes leap'd, with sudden joy elate; And then, to ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... ungodliness, and which made him afterwards appear to himself such a monster of iniquity, was the energy which he put into all his doings. He had a zeal for idle play, and an enthusiasm in mischief, which were the perverse manifestations of a forceful character, and which may have well entitled him to Southey's epithet—"a blackguard." The reader need not go far to see young Bunyan. Perhaps there is near your dwelling an Elstow—a quiet hamlet ...
— Life of Bunyan • Rev. James Hamilton

... thinking of flight thither, but to lend him money to enormous amounts. Sire, it is not a Revolt, it is a Revolution; and truly no rose-water one! Worthier Noblemen were not in France nor in Europe than those two: but the Time is crooked, quick-shifting, perverse; what straightest course will lead to ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... govern the world. Under such a regimen, which is actual in every community devoid of imagination, virtue must always remain suspect and vice tolerable; the one a hypocrisy, the other a secret and venial indulgence, and nature will take its revenge upon the law in violent or perverse compensations. Hence, instead of being a hindrance, art ought to be a help to a rational morality: its realism should foster sincerity, its imagination, sympathy and justice. The moralist inspired by art would seek to impose upon men only that kind of form and order ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... physical or mental, tending to distinguish it from Britons, Australians, or North Americans? The answer is not easy. Nothing is more tempting, and at the same time more risky, than to thus generalize and speculate too soon. As was said at the outset, New Zealand has taken an almost perverse delight in upsetting expectations. Nevertheless, certain points are worth noting which may, at any rate, help readers to ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... Baron's perverse attachment to his lately-acquired charger—an attachment which seemed to attain new strength from every fresh example of the animal's ferocious and demon-like propensities—at length became, in the eyes of all reasonable men, a hideous ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 4 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... study of the language was concerned, and that nobody troubled himself about the relative age and the development of forms, so that the philologists were fain to take them as they were put into their hands by uncritical or perverse native commentators and writers, whose grammars and dictionaries teemed with blunders and downright forgeries. One thing, and one thing alone, led to the truth: the sheer drudgery of thirteen long years spent by Zeuss in the patient investigation ...
— Celtic Literature • Matthew Arnold

... frog." None ever said their good things before these indeliberate authors. Even their own kind—children—have not preceded them. No child in the past ever found the same replies as the girl of five whose father made that appeal to feeling which is doomed to a different, perverse, and unforeseen success. He was rather tired with writing, and had a mind to snare some of the yet uncaptured flock of her sympathies. "Do you know, I have been working hard, darling? I work to buy things for you." "Do you work," she asked, "to buy the lovely puddin's?" ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... of his breast were heard all over the house. The robin also when gobbling up spiders he made an emblem of himself, and the tree that was rotten at the heart,—till the Interpreter's patience with this so perverse pilgrim was fairly worn out. So the Interpreter shut up his significant rooms, and had this so troublesome pilgrim into his own chamber, and there carried it so tenderly to Mr. Fearing that at last he did seem to have taken some little ...
— Bunyan Characters (Second Series) • Alexander Whyte

... is really the daughter of the man who founded the great house in the City. With every advantage that wealth and position could give her the perverse creature married one of her father's clerks, who had been deservedly dismissed from his situation. From that moment her family discarded her. With the money procured by the sale of her jewels, her husband took the inn which ...
— Little Novels • Wilkie Collins

... street are men. He can stare at the Chinese because for him the Chinese are a passive thing to be stared at; if he stares at the old lady in the next garden, she becomes active. He is forced to flee, in short, from the too stimulating society of his equals—of free men, perverse, personal, deliberately different from himself. The street in Brixton is too glowing and overpowering. He has to soothe and quiet himself among tigers and vultures, camels and crocodiles. These creatures ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... noble words: "Thus much I should perhaps have said, though I were sure I should have spoken only to trees and stones, and had none to cry to, but with the Prophet, Oh earth! earth! earth! to tell the very soil itself what her perverse inhabitants are deaf to. Nay, though what I have spoken should happen [which Thou suffer not, who didst create free, nor Thou next who didst redeem us from being servants of men] to be the last words of our ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... when you saw her, Lady Lettice," saith he. "But—women be so perverse! Why, the poor wretch might have lived till this summer next following, or even (though I scarce think it) have tided o'er another winter, but she must needs take it into her foolish head to rush forth into ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... tranquil prosperity, and would have produced great revenues to the crown, without cruelty to the natives; but, like his brother the admiral, his good intentions and judicious arrangements were constantly thwarted by the vile passions and perverse conduct of others. While he was absent from Isabella, new mischiefs had been fomented there, which were soon to throw ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... the doctor himself. "It seems to be a trait of our perverse human nature to hate with the deepest intensity those who have ...
— The Jungle Fugitives • Edward S. Ellis

... common measure for these names, but it is clear that what is most distasteful to the writer, in theory at any rate, is variety. Epic is the most solemn, stately, and frigid of all kinds of composition. This was the result attained by the perverse following of precepts supposed to be classical. The critics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were generally right in distinguishing between Epic and Romance, and generally wrong in separating ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... musician, too, and a prosperous fellow—quite the antithesis of his father. It takes a lot of love to bring up a child, and the miracle of mother-love is a constant wonder to every thinking person. Without mother-love how would the cross-grained, perverse little tyrant ever survive the buffets which the world is sure to give? It is ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... assumed, that any view current on certain tangible interests which concern man very nearly, and which has been shared by great parties and even by whole peoples for generations, is not based only on ignorance or a perverse love of wrong. The error consists more frequently in applying measures wholesome and even absolutely necessary under certain circumstances, to circumstances entirely different. And here, a thorough insight into the conditions of the ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... and in speech." He speaks of Luther's "ungovernable transports, riotous proceedings, angry conflicts, and intemperate controversies," of Luther's "contempt of all the accepted forms of human right and all authority, human and divine," of "his unscrupulous mendacity," "his perverse principles," "his wild pronouncements." He calls Luther "a lawless one," "one of the most intolerant of men," "a revolutionist, not a reformer." He says that Luther "attempted reformation and ended in deformation." He ...
— Luther Examined and Reexamined - A Review of Catholic Criticism and a Plea for Revaluation • W. H. T. Dau

... to sudden tantrums of sheer obstinacy, that hang on like whooping-cough, or a sprain in one's joints. Did you never see a mule take the sulks on his way to the corn crib and the fodder rack, and refuse to budge, even for his own benefit? Some men are just that perverse. Mr. Dunbar is trailing game, worth more to him at present, than a sweetheart across the Atlantic Ocean; which reminds me of what brought me here. He asked Ned to-day, if you saw Mr. Darrington yesterday when he came here; and learning that ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... be, that the offending agent should be capable of being aware of the magnitude (the amount, if we might use such a word,) of the offence he commits, by being capable of something like an adequate conception of the being against whom it is committed. A perverse child, committing an offence against a great monarch, of whose dignity it had some, but a vastly inadequate apprehension, would not be punished in the same manner as an offender of high endowments and responsibility, ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... car, and so adapt it either to the Continental or to the British rule of the road. No English cars were so adaptable. We British suffered much from our insular rule of the road, just as we suffered much from our insular weights and measures. But we took a perverse pride in such disadvantages. The irruption of American cars into England was a recent phenomenon, it was another triumph for the tremendous organising ability of the American mind. They were doing with the automobile what ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... book must be, anyhow, something benedictory by a sinning fellow-man. Cleverness would be repellent at such an hour. Cleverness, anyhow, is the level of mediocrity today; we are all too infernally clever. The first witty and perverse paradox blows out the candle. Only the sick in mind crave cleverness, as a morbid body turns to drink. The late candle throws its beams a great distance; and its rays make transparent much that seemed massy and important. The mind at rest beside that light, ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... sold off in such a fashion unless—she coyly admitted—she could have half of the rum herself. Loth as he was to do so, Toby was brought to agree to this proposition, for he knew that rum was rare and good and girls were common and perverse, so the gentle forest lily took her mug of liquor and tossed it off. Now, it is not clear whether she wished to nerve herself for the deed that followed or whether the deed was a result of the tonic, ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... of the other's reign, I mean the body of her sister's {38} Council of State, which she retained entirely, neither removing nor discontenting any, although she knew them averse to her religion, and, in her sister's time, perverse to her person, and privy to all ...
— Travels in England and Fragmenta Regalia • Paul Hentzner and Sir Robert Naunton

... with other Western powers, our relations with Japan have been brought into serious jeopardy through the perverse opposition of the hereditary aristocracy of the Empire to the enlightened and liberal policy of the Tycoon, designed to bring the country into the society of nations. It is hoped, although not with entire confidence, that ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... herself had many and varied feelings on the subject, the strangest of which was a perverse desire to let Frank know that she did not care—that her heart was not broken by his desertion, and that there were those who prized her even if he did not. She had criticised Judge Markham very severely. She had weighed him in the balance with Frank, and found him sadly, wanting in ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. 29. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... fit to-day, and went off to write notes, et cetera, on Guy Mannering. This was perverse enough; but it was a composition between humour and duty; and as ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... forbidden the existence of clubs. On this account I believed it the more necessary to find out from two maid-servants, who were called deaconesses [ministrae], and that by torture, what was the truth. I found nothing else than a perverse and excessive superstition. I therefore adjourned the examination and hastened to consult you. The matter seemed to me to be worth deliberation, especially on account of the number of those in danger. For many of every age, every rank, and even of both ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... bent on destroying your son-in-law's home. To what end?—I know not. My brain is not equal to seeing clearly into these dark intrigues—perverse, ignoble, infamous! Your Madame Marneffe does not love your son-in-law, but she will have him at her feet out of revenge. I have just spoken to the wretched woman as she deserves. She is a shameless courtesan; I have told her that I am leaving her house, that ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... prostrate before the pattens of his kitchen-maid; as that there is no poverty or shame or crime, which will not be supported, hugged even with delight, and cherished more closely than virtue would be, by the perverse fidelity and admirable constant folly ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... many of them! You've let them convince you you're no woman hater. But the woman gave you the right answer; every healthy man's a woman hater, but can't live without linking himself to his enemy, and so must fight her! All perverse and unmanly men are admirers of women! How's it with you now? So you saw those invalids and thought yourself responsible for their misery? They're tough fellows, you can believe me; they'll be able to leave here in a few days and go back to their occupations. Oh yes, lying Erik's ...
— The Road to Damascus - A Trilogy • August Strindberg

... below. At last, having long waited in vain, he laid aside his flute, and casting his net into the sea, made an excellent haul of fish. When he saw them leaping about in the net upon the rock he said: "O you most perverse creatures, when I piped you would not dance, but now that I have ceased ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

... mind it seemed preposterous that it had been or should be, and I stated as much to my new colleagues. They offered objection which to me appeared perverse if not childish. They did not like Reid, to begin with. He was not a principal like the rest of us, but a subordinate. Greeley was this, that and the other. He could never be relied upon in any coherent practical plan of campaign. To talk about him ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... land by treaty, by armed conquest, or, as was actually the case, by a mixture of both, mattered comparatively little so long as the land was won. It was all-important that it should be won, for the benefit of civilization and in the interests of mankind. It is indeed a warped, perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations. All men of sane and wholesome thought must dismiss with impatient contempt the plea that these continents ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Three - The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790 • Theodore Roosevelt

... delighted to hear her express a preference, still more delighted to be able to gratify it by his own exertions. He took off his coat and waistcoat, turned up his shirt cuffs, and set to work. For an hour he laboured under her directions, struggling with pieces of furniture as perverse and obstinate as his ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... outside of and above the struggle,—the end has been reached and made a secure possession. On the basis of the Priestly Code no reformation would ever have taken place, no Josiah would ever have observed from it that the actual condition of affairs was perverse and required to be set right; it proceeds as if everything had been for long in the best of order. It is only in Deuteronomy, moreover, that one sees to the root of the matter, and recognises its ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... unconfined to modes and forms, makes him but the readier and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town, he lives in Soho- Square. It is said, he keeps himself a bachelor by reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir ROGER was what you call a Fine Gentleman, had often supped with my Lord Rochester and Sir George Etherege, fought a duel upon his first coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a public ...
— The Coverley Papers • Various

... for I consorted with none that looked much into books, but to disperse it was the difficulty. A seeming negligence was often useful, and I have very successfully made a reply not to what the lady had said, but to what it was convenient for me to hear; for very few were so perverse as to rectify a mistake which had given occasion to a burst of merriment. Sometimes I drew the conversation up by degrees to a proper point, and produced a conceit which I had treasured up, like sportsmen who boast of killing the foxes which they lodge in the covert. Eminence is, however, in ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, In Nine Volumes - Volume the Third: The Rambler, Vol. II • Samuel Johnson

... entertainment. Peremptory, commanding, decisive. Availed, was of use, had effect. Ally, a confederate, one who unites with another in some purpose. Tense, strained to stiffness, rigid. Relaxed, loosened. Chiding, scolding, rebuking. Crochet, a perverse fancy, a whim. Instanced, ...
— The New McGuffey Fourth Reader • William H. McGuffey

... Woe for sin of minds perverse, Deadly fraught with mortal curse. Behold us slain and slayers, all akin. Woe for my counsel dire, conceived in sin. Alas, my son, Life scarce begun, Thou wast undone. The fault was mine, mine only, ...
— The Oedipus Trilogy • Sophocles

... steadily followed its own impulses and arrived at its own destinations. Cynical, deracinated, he turned from his speculative doubts to the positive realities of sense, becoming the historian of love and loveliness in sumptuous, perverse phases. In Mary Magdalen he dressed up a traditional courtesan in the splendors of purple and gold and perfumed her with many quaint, dangerous essences more exciting than her later career as penitent; in Imperial Purple ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... distinguishing between the solidity of waking experience and what we may call the unsubstantialness of the dream. He may, indeed, have learned that the dream is not to be relied on for telling the truth; the Zulu, for example, has even reached the perverse triumph of critical logic achieved by our own Aryan ancestors in the saying that "dreams go by contraries." But the Zulu has not learned, nor had the primeval Aryan learned, to disregard the utterances of the dream as being purely subjective phenomena. To the ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... seems to let you into the real secrets of a people's soul. He believes in the sincerity of Russian promises to Poland, and claims that the Poles share his belief, but he does not pretend that this most unfortunate of nations has no grievances against its suzerain. I wonder whether our perverse Intelligences are capable of making the deduction that, if the progressives in Russia can forget their quarrel with reaction for sake of our great common cause, they themselves might mitigate some of the severity of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 22, 1916 • Various

... Voltaire's sneers with patience, and even enter with gravity on the examination of Father Hardouin's historic doubts. The fanaticism of an outraged liberalism, produced by centuries of injustice and despotism, is but a poor excuse for such perverse blindness. ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... heroically, and the touching little bravery of it was enhanced by his actually flushing with pain. He had picked up his hat, which he had brought in, and stood twirling it in a way that gave me, even as I was just nearly reaching port, a perverse horror of what I was doing. To do it in ANY way was an act of violence, for what did it consist of but the obtrusion of the idea of grossness and guilt on a small helpless creature who had been for me a revelation of the possibilities of beautiful intercourse? Wasn't ...
— The Turn of the Screw • Henry James

... the marked inconveniences of his situation, he felt brighter, he felt almost happy in this dense atmosphere of success. He even found a certain peculiar and perverse satisfaction in the fact that he had as yet been recognized by nobody. Once or twice the owners of shoulders had turned and deliberately glared at the worrying fellow who had the impudence to be all the time peeping over them and between them; they had not distinguished the ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... of the Italian republics were characteristics of all the individuals of this race. The proportions of their souls exceed the height of their destiny: vices, passions, virtues are all in excess. The women are all angelic or perverse, the men sublime or depraved, and their language even is as emphatic and lofty as their aspirations. There is in their most familiar correspondence the colour and tone of the ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... in the world to preserve those traits of the cave-dweller from which she was fleeing. Her father would never consent to see her after the marriage. Such unforgiving selfishness is difficult to understand unless as a perverse sort of refinement. There were also doubts as to Carleon Anthony's complete sanity for some considerable ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... color to their notion that you have been badly brought up. You must do us and yourself what credit you can, going amongst strangers. I am not afraid for you, unless you set up your little back, and determine to be downright naughty and perverse." ...
— The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax • Harriet Parr

... always perverse, and a husband is very lucky if there is but one day out of seven on which his return would be troublesome," answered one ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... them chief in significance among the constellations. They had gazed at him in their strange, surcharged hours of feeling, until they seemed themselves to live in every one of his stars. This evening Paul had been moody and perverse. Orion had seemed just an ordinary constellation to him. He had fought against his glamour and fascination. Miriam was watching her lover's mood carefully. But he said nothing that gave him away, ...
— Sons and Lovers • David Herbert Lawrence

... imagine that it is necessary to demonstrate that this poetic allusiveness is the characteristic of true slang. Such an expression as 'Keep your hair on' is positively Meredithian in its perverse and mysterious manner of expressing an idea. The Americans have a well-known expression about 'swelled-head' as a description of self-approval, and the other day I heard a remarkable fantasia upon this air. An American said that after the Chinese War the Japanese wanted 'to put on their hats ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... grasping the back of the chair, staring straight at her, his body motionless. For an instant he was conscious of a sudden revulsion of feeling, a vague distrust of her true character, a doubt of the real nature of this perverse personality. Such a resolution on her part shocked him with its recklessness. Either she did not in the least appreciate what such action meant, or else she woefully lacked in moral judgment. Slowly, those shadowed ...
— Beth Norvell - A Romance of the West • Randall Parrish

... earnestly. "Our friend has provided for you. He has hunted two rascals into the water, and has paid your father's debts. The baron has a nice little fortune remaining; and I can tell your perverse ladyship you are no bad match after all, if you lay any stress upon that. The letter you hold ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... was she virtuous or of questionable status? Ah! she was a woman, or rather ten women in one, at the very least! A woman from head to foot! A woman to her finger tips, a refined, Parisian woman, perverse even in her virginity, and a virgin perhaps in her perversity. A problem in ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... natural consequence is that their proposition is either mistaken or uncertain, or not an article of faith (which is rather to be hoped, lest we condemn all the Greek Churches as infidels or perverse heretics), or else that it can be derived from Scripture, which last is indeed the most probable, and pursuant to the doctrine of those wiser Latins who examined things by reason and ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... tongue withdrew, and only the gaping mouth was left, and above it a pair of frightened green eyes, transmitting to the perverse little soul within new ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... said, "and so unlike yourself, that I hardly know you. The more patient I am, the more hard words I get for my pains. You have taken a perverse hatred to Frank; and you are unreasonably angry with me because I won't hate him, too. Don't, Norah! you hurt ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... which in fact she sharply closed their discussion. He opened the door on a sign from her, and she accompanied him to the top of the stairs with an air of having so put their possibilities before him that questions were idle and doubts perverse. "I verily believe I shall hate you if you spoil for me the beauty of ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... on the whole such in character as to need all that it can show, to be cast into the scale of moral elevation and purity. Fenelon alone is, in quantity as in quality, enough, not indeed to overcome, but to go far toward overcoming, the perverse inclination ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... winds and clouds so perverse, the clerk of the weather best knows; but there was a reason for the ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... with airy fingers. A certain feeling of anxiety and insecurity began to take possession of me, though there was no definable cause for it, unless that I might be belated in getting home. With the perverse instinct of those who are lost I hastened my steps, but was impelled now and then to glance back over my shoulder, with a sensation of being pursued. But no living creature was in sight. The moon, ...
— David Poindexter's Disappearance and Other Tales • Julian Hawthorne

... exploring the jungles of the outside. But, of course, it wasn't necessary. They had everything they needed within the cities. All of their wants were supplied by the mechanicals and by the few toilers in the gray who still persisted in ignorance and in some perverse ideas that they must work in order to live. ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 • Various

... and equalled by few. That he has obvious and great defects, that he is wholly and in all probability deliberately careless of formal smoothness, that he adopted the fancy of his time for quaint and recondite expression with an almost perverse vigour, and set the example of the topsy-turvified conceits which came to a climax in Crashaw and Cleveland, that he is almost impudently licentious in thought and imagery at times, that he alternates ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... Celtic strain in him which rendered him liable to these strange and perverse forebodings of evil. On sundry other occasions in his earlier youth he had fallen with appalling swiftness from the heights of glad anticipation to the depths of a certain and most unwelcome gloom; and now, quite suddenly, he found himself involved in a black and rayless melancholy which ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... birth and growth to which it is subject, the wear and tear essential to life, the new generations intended to succeed and supplant the old,—so soon as the question is proposed as one of physiology, the reply is inevitable that death is no accident introduced by the perverse will of our first parents, nor any way connected with man's sinfulness; but is purely a result of the conditions of animal life. On the contrary, St. Paul rests most important conclusions on the fact, that ...
— Phases of Faith - Passages from the History of My Creed • Francis William Newman

... preparations for our hurried meal, we had all our eyes about us for gold in the channel of the rivulet, but saw none. We had not yet reached the favoured spot. After some difficulty in catching the pack-horses, one of the perverse brutes having taken it into its head to march up to its belly in the stream, where he floundered about for some time, enjoying the coolness of the water, we set forward, determined to reach the lower ...
— California • J. Tyrwhitt Brooks

... rare, the high Platonic Mysticism of our Author, which is perhaps the fundamental element of his nature, bursts forth, as it were, in full flood: and, through all the vapour and tarnish of what is often so perverse, so mean in his exterior and environment, we seem to look into a whole inward Sea of Light and Love;—though, alas, the grim coppery clouds soon roll together again, and hide ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... had a horror of the Greeks. He said to his son: "I will tell what I have seen in Athens. This race is the most perverse and intractable. Listen to me as to an oracle: whenever this people teaches us its arts it ...
— History Of Ancient Civilization • Charles Seignobos

... that virtue; and the more composed, we are under any trouble, the more commendable is our wisdom, and the larger will be our recompense. Let the provocation be what it will, whether from a good-natured and conscientious, or a wicked, perverse, and vexatious man; all this we should take as from the over-ruling hand of God, as a punishment for our sins. Many times injured innocence may be abused by false oaths, or the power of wicked, jealous, or malicious men; but we often find it, like ...
— The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of - York, Mariner (1801) • Daniel Defoe

... reply.— But, we ask in return, have you then come to know by some other means that this beginningless imagination of difference, acting in a manner analogous to that of certain defects of vision, is really the cause of an altogether perverse view of things?—If you reply that this is known just from the fact that Perception is in conflict with Scripture, we point out that you are reasoning in a circle: you prove the defectiveness of the imagination of plurality through ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... With a truly perverse instinct, I saw how strong this might be made, at the fond reader's expense, to be sure, and how much more pathetic, in such a case, the silhouetted figure on the coke-cart would really be. I should, of course, make it perfectly plain ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... again in another place he saith, With the pure, thou shalt be pure (and with the elect thou shalt be elect,) but with, the perverse man ...
— The Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Complete • Archbishop Wake

... not only as possibly, but certainly, true, the paradoxical proposition that a something, having nothing in common with anything, is necessarily existent. Matter is everywhere around and about us. We ourselves are matter—all our ideas are derived from matter—and yet such is the singularly perverse character of human intellect that, while resolutely denying the possibility of matter's eternity, an immense number of our race embrace the incredible proposition that matter was created in time by a necessarily existing Being who is without body, parts, passions, ...
— An Apology for Atheism - Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination - by One of Its Apostles • Charles Southwell

... to these legal duties being voluntary with all men, every day proves that they are not; but with all reasonable persons they must be, for we ought surely to perform that willingly, which is not only intended, but actually is, for our good. It is the perverse nature of man, that looks on the dark side of things, and forgetting the ultimate advantage to be derived, considers only the partial and trivial annoyances that necessarily attend its completion. The duties dictated by reason are the only duties that remain: it is difficult to separate these ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 550, June 2, 1832 • Various

... say that literature is created out of the vices of men of letters, I use the word in a large and liberal sense. A vice is a pleasant sensation condemned by Puritans. It is an over-emphasis laid upon some normal reaction; or it is a perverse and morbid deviation from the ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... sometimes impatiently rise from his seat, and stooping over his table, spread his arms wide apart, seize the whole desk, and move it, and jerk it, with a grim, grinding motion on the floor, as if the table were a perverse voluntary agent, intent on thwarting and vexing him, I plainly perceive that, for Nippers, brandy-and-water were ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... warm heart. I found these men agreeable, hospitable, intelligent, amusing. We worked too hard, dined too well, frequented too many clubs, and went to bed too late in the forenoon. We were overmuch addicted to shedding the blood of the grape. In short, we diligently, conscientiously, and with a perverse satisfaction burned the candle of life at both ends and ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... and perverse people," so runs the act De Heretico comburendo, "of a certain new sect, damnably thinking of the faith of the sacraments of the church, and of the authority of the same, against the law of God and of the church, usurping ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... that children with fathers below twenty-six at their birth showed the maximum of bad conduct and the minimum of good; they also yielded the greatest proportion of children of irregular, troublesome, or lazy character, but not of really perverse children who were equally distributed among fathers of all ages. The largest number of cheerful children belonged to young fathers, while the children tended to become more melancholy with ascending age of the fathers. ...
— Essays in War-Time - Further Studies In The Task Of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... weak smile. Picking up a pencil, she ran the thick end along the edge of the desk, as if she were giving the teacher only a small part of her attention. Miss Phillips noticed and was annoyed, but she said nothing. She realized that even the loveliest characters experience perverse moods. ...
— The Girl Scouts' Good Turn • Edith Lavell

... not too great to be saved. Thank you, my dear, dear brother, for showing me the way to heaven, and for all your goodness to me and Minette—(my poor Minette, I must leave her, but you will all take care of her better than I have done). Thank you, I am very sorry that I was such a wilful, perverse sister, when you tried ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... not caught and throttled without trouble? Should I be afraid on behalf of the Catholic faith to dispute with these men, who have handled with the utmost ill faith not human but heavenly utterances? I say nothing here of their perverse versions of Scripture, though I could accuse them in this respect of intolerable doings. I will not take the bread out of the mouth of that great linguist, my fellow-Collegian, Gregory Martin, who ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... downstairs a disagreeable surprise awaited me. Hitherto the long evenings had been spent by me in solitary and undisturbed enjoyment of Dr. Cooper's excellent library, but to-night a perverse fate decreed that I must wander abroad, because, forsooth, a preposterous farmer, who resided in a hamlet five miles distant, had chosen the evening of my guest's arrival to dislocate his bucolic elbow. I half hoped that Thorndyke would offer to accompany me, but he made no such suggestion, ...
— John Thorndyke's Cases • R. Austin Freeman

... most modern writing. A modern novelist generally endeavours to make his story interesting, by making his hero odd. The most typical modern books are those in which the central figure is himself or herself an exception, a cripple, a courtesan, a lunatic, a swindler, or a person of the most perverse temperament. Such stories, for instance, are Sir Richard Calmady, Dodo, Quisante, La Bete Humaine, even the Egoist. But in a fairy tale the boy sees all the wonders of fairyland because he is an ordinary boy. In the same way Mr. Samuel Pickwick sees an extraordinary ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton



Words linked to "Perverse" :   perversity, reprobate, negative, corrupt, disobedient



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