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Pretext   /prˈitˌɛkst/   Listen
Pretext

noun
1.
Something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason.  Synonym: stalking-horse.
2.
An artful or simulated semblance.  Synonyms: guise, pretence, pretense.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Pretext" Quotes from Famous Books



... surprised that he knew about this letter which was to be kept a secret. Then she realized that he was questioning her, and that his request for a dictionary was only a pretext. Why did he need an English dictionary if he could not understand a ...
— Nobody's Girl - (En Famille) • Hector Malot

... and express messenger on the box. Six were robbed by THREE!—they were a sweet-scented lot! Reckon they must hev felt mighty small, for I hear they got up and skedaddled from the station under the pretext of lookin' for the robbers." He laughed again, and the laugh was noisily repeated by his five companions at the other end ...
— Snow-Bound at Eagle's • Bret Harte

... arm round her, and raise her. She started to her feet, and waved him back from her with a wild action of her hands, as if she was frightened of him. "The wedding present!" she cried, seizing the first pretext that occurred to her. "You offered to bring me your mother's present. I am dying to see what it is. ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... Mark helped her mechanically, but left his own belongings behind. They went silently up the path, with slow and hesitating steps, as if each expected something from the other, both of them occupied with the same mental effort to find a pretext for delay. They came at last to the spot where Mark's way lay across a low fence, and hers by the winding path through the ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... in the matter of raising our legal and poor law administration to such a pitch of excellence, that not even five per cent. of our incriminated population can, with justice, bring forward any economic pretext whatever for violating the law. As far as legal administration is concerned, it must be remembered that mistakes will sometimes occur, no matter how numerous the precautions may be ...
— Crime and Its Causes • William Douglas Morrison

... financed him, and moved in behind him, the same way Makann moved in behind the King. And Dunnan will have him shot the way he had Prince Edvard shot, and use the murder as a pretext to liquidate ...
— Space Viking • Henry Beam Piper

... discontented, in despite of itself,—in defiance of all the efforts it is capable of making to render it otherwise; they have rather chosen to seek in the heavens for unknown powers to set it in motion; they have held forth to man distant, imaginary interests: under the pretext of procuring for him future happiness, he has been prevented from labouring to his present felicity, which has been studiously withheld from his knowledge: his regards have been fixed upon the heavens, that he might lose sight of the earth: truth has been concealed from him; and it has ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... the pretext of taking care of their wounded, the enemy asked a flag of truce, after the second assault at Marye's hill, which was granted by Col. Griffin; and thus the weakness of our force at that ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... any amount of bad usage provided they are paid for it, or can make money by it, which they somehow manage to do, even in Sooloo, although they are exposed to the almost unlimited plunder and extortion of the Sultan and Datos, or native chiefs, who, on the least occasion, or pretext for it, capture and enslave or confine them, only allowing these unfortunates to regain their very unstable liberty by presents or ...
— Recollections of Manilla and the Philippines - During 1848, 1849 and 1850 • Robert Mac Micking

... waning house of Valois. Catherine had four sons, three of whom successively mounted the throne of France, but all were childless. Although the king of the petty state of Navarre was a Protestant, and Catherine was the most fanatical of Catholics, she made this marriage a pretext for welding the two houses; but actually it seems to have been a snare to lure him to Paris, for it was at this precise time that the bloody Massacre of St. Bartholomew's day was ordered. Henry himself escaped—it is said, through the protection of Marguerite, his bride,—but his adherents ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... heart of the two Castiles, Philip was compelled to take, in mortal agony, the road to France, in order to direct his steps by way of Rousillon towards Navarre, thus giving his enemies a plausible pretext for turning his going out of the kingdom into a desertion ...
— Political Women, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... his martial features and the spotless white of his collar. He adopted the fashion of white pique waistcoats, and caused to be made for him a new surtout of blue cloth, on which his red rosette glowed finely; all this under pretext of doing honor to the new guests Madame and Mademoiselle de Chargeboeuf. He even refrained from smoking for two hours previous to his appearance in the Rogrons' salon. His grizzled hair was brushed in a waving line ...
— The Celibates - Includes: Pierrette, The Vicar of Tours, and The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... things, is himself no sooner created by the conscience,—in other words, no sooner have we lifted God from the idea of the social me to the idea of the cosmic me,—than immediately our reflection begins to demolish him under the pretext of perfecting him. To perfect the idea of God, to purify the theological dogma, was the second hallucination ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... the Rhine and the Danube. But on such Commissions the States concerned should be represented more or less in proportion to their interests. The Treaty, however, has made the international character of these rivers a pretext for taking the river system of Germany ...
— The Economic Consequences of the Peace • John Maynard Keynes

... and the efforts that have been made have not in any way shaken his position. Therefore he must die. It will be easy to put him out of the way. There are plenty of small chambers and recesses which he might be induced to enter on some pretext or other, and then be slain without difficulty, and his body taken away by night and thrown into some ...
— The Cat of Bubastes - A Tale of Ancient Egypt • G. A. Henty

... had descended on the first act, and traditionally, as the works of M. de Moliere demanded it, the three knocks were heard again without any interval. St. Just rose ready with a pretext for parting with his friend. The curtain was being slowly drawn up on the second act, and disclosed Alceste in ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... the Lieutenant Governor. It was bruited about, that he was the cause of the attack, that he was connected with the British, and that he had been bribed into a dereliction of duty, which, had not providence averted, would have doomed them to destruction. Under pretext of proving to them that there was no danger of an attack, he had a few days before it occurred, sold to the traders, all the ammunition belonging to the government; and they would have been left perfectly destitute and defenceless, had they not found, in a private house, eight barrels ...
— Great Indian Chief of the West - Or, Life and Adventures of Black Hawk • Benjamin Drake

... likewise called attention to a violent speech made by Mr. Johnson at St. Louis in September, 1866, charging the origin of the riot to Congress, and went on to say of the speech that "it was an unwarranted and unjust expression of hostile feeling, without pretext or foundation in fact." A list of the killed and wounded was embraced in the committee's report, and among other conclusions reached were the following: "That the meeting of July 30 was a meeting of quiet citizens, who came together without ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... news I have in store for thee. Alone Joys come not. Turandot shall be thine own. Three times to-night she sent to me to pray I would defer th' encounter of to-day. 'Tis evident her pride is sorely vext, She'd hide her failure by some vain pretext. Rejoice, all blessings for thy weal combine, To-day full happiness ...
— Turandot: The Chinese Sphinx • Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

... imputed? In how many cases are they concealed by false professions? In how many is no declaration of motive made? Admit this doctrine, and you give to the States an uncontrolled right to decide, and every law may be annulled under this pretext. If, therefore, the absurd and dangerous doctrine should be admitted, that a State may annul an unconstitutional law, or one that it deems such, it will not ...
— Key-Notes of American Liberty • Various

... intelligence, that it was good, nay, necessary, to put those polluting, damning questions. My infallible Church was mercilessly forcing me to oblige those poor, trembling, weeping, desolated girls and women to swim with me and all her priests in those waters of Sodom and Gomorrha, under the pretext that their self-will would be broken down, their fear of sin and humility increased, and that they would ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... with women and children, to forty souls, was producing a serious reduction in our stock of provision. He acknowledged the justice of the statement, and promised to remove as soon as his party had prepared snow-shoes and sledges for themselves. Under one pretext or other, however, their departure was delayed until the 10th of the month, when they left us, having previously received one of our fishing-nets, and all the ammunition we possessed. The leader left his aged mother ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 2 • John Franklin

... back and forth rather oftener just then. Clemens was particularly fond of the Boston crowd—Aldrich, Fields, Osgood, and the rest—delighting in those luncheons or dinners which Osgood, that hospitable publisher, was always giving on one pretext or another. No man ever loved company more than Osgood, or to play the part of host and pay for the enjoyment of others. His dinners were elaborate affairs, where the sages and poets and wits of ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... contrived to slip a ponderous coat of mail over his shoulders, which pinioned his arms to his sides; and in this condition, like a chicken trussed for roasting, he was thrown down behind a pillar in the first rush of the sortie. Mr. Crotchet seized the occurrence as a pretext for staying with him, and passed the whole time of the action in picking him ...
— Crotchet Castle • Thomas Love Peacock

... even more difficult than it is in our day. The name "banker" comes from the banc (Anglice, bench) upon which the banker sat, and on which he rang the gold and silver pieces to try their quality. After a time Filippo found in the death of his wife, whom he adored, a pretext for renewing his relations with the Republican party, whose secret police becomes the more terrible in all republics, because every one makes himself a spy in the name of ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... room. He rested on the landing and faced round toward me. There was something in his eye which said, Stop there! So we finished our conversation on the landing. The next day, I mustered assurance enough to knock at his door, having a pretext ready.—No answer.—Knock again. A door, as if of a cabinet, was shut softly and locked, and presently I heard the peculiar dead beat of his thick-soled, misshapen boots. The bolts and the lock of the inner door were unfastened,—with ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... could not be prevailed upon to spear a subject or so, our hospitable hosts resolved to have a few speared, and otherwise served up for our special entertainment. In a word, our arrival furnished a fine pretext for renewing their games; though, we learned, that only ten days previous, upward of fifty combatants had been slain at ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II (of 2) • Herman Melville

... Barnevelt, aided by the French interest, and the Prince of Orange, supported by the English; even to our own days the same opposite interests existed, and betrayed the Republic, although religious doctrines had ceased to be the pretext.[B] ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... While so doing, two pistol bullets flew past his head and compelled him to seek the cover of a tree trunk. Finding he could do nothing in the imperfect light, he retired gradually towards the sentries, and aided them in their weary watch. At length, as daylight was coming in, and affording a pretext for the fair occupants of the front room, whose windows hailed the beams of the rising sun, to leave their seclusion and mingle with the wakeful ones below, the sound of wheels was heard coming along the road to the left. Hurriedly, the detective became Mr. Chisholm, and joined the ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... hour. He was rich, fond of art, and himself a painter of great merit who modestly kept hidden behind his comrades. His picture Les raboteurs de parquets made him formerly the butt of derision. To-day his work, at the Luxembourg Gallery seems hardly a fit pretext for so much controversy, but at that time much was considered as madness, that to our eyes appears quite natural. This picture is a study of oblique perspective and its curious ensemble of rising lines sufficed to provoke astonishment. The work is, moreover, grey and discreet ...
— The French Impressionists (1860-1900) • Camille Mauclair

... the streets, has not the same right to remain in this his native land, that you and we have. Assuming this as an incontrovertable truth, we hold it self-evident that they have as good right to deport us to Europe, under the pretext that there we shall be prosperous and happy, as we have to deport them to ...
— The Trial of Reuben Crandall, M.D. Charged with Publishing and Circulating Seditious and Incendiary Papers, &c. in the District of Columbia, with the Intent of Exciting Servile Insurrection. • Unknown

... in the peace, provided that they committed no single act of depredation or hostility for a period of three months. Secretly subsidized by Louis with ample funds to prosecute the war, the Confederates immediately sought a pretext for the attack upon the possessions of Savoy, and found one ready to their hand in the confiscation by Count Romont of the celebrated contraband load of German sheepskins carried illegally through his country by some Bernese carters. Calling to their aid the inhabitants ...
— The Counts of Gruyere • Mrs. Reginald de Koven

... in Paris without the permission of the Imperial censorship, it is supposed, that Mr. Belly acted according to a superior order to arouse the public opinion against the United States. The President's message gives the pretext for it. The United States are represented as deadly enemies of the whole Latin Race and of the monarchies of Europe, which must fall to their feet, if that race does not commence a crusade against the heretics, ...
— Secret Enemies of True Republicanism • Andrew B. Smolnikar

... provinces would be postponed. The proposal to insert the extra month was defeated, and Curio, blocked in every move by the partisan and unreasonable opposition of Pompey and the Conservatives, found the pretext for which lie had been working, and came out openly for Caesar.[133] Those who knew him well were not surprised at the transfer of his allegiance. It was probably in fear of such a move that Cicero had urged ...
— The Common People of Ancient Rome - Studies of Roman Life and Literature • Frank Frost Abbott

... her first surprise was over, made her look round for some lurking danger, the more suspiciously, perhaps, because she had frequently remarked the unpleasant air and countenance of this man. She now hesitated, whether to speak with him, doubting even, that this request was only a pretext to draw her into some danger; but a little reflection shewed her the improbability of this, and she blushed at her ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... will march in the direction from whence he came," said Roger. "On, lads!" he exclaimed, having given his last orders to the crew to lie off the shore at anchor, and to allow no Indians on board under any pretext till his return. The forest was tolerably open, and the boat's compass enabled them to keep the course they desired. No wigwams were seen, nor cultivated fields, nor did any natives make their appearance. ...
— The Settlers - A Tale of Virginia • William H. G. Kingston

... acquiescence by the force of his knowledge of Raffles's misdeed. Hence, instead of taking his departure immediately, he remained at the Goring- Streatley Inn, taking care each day to encounter Miss Tattersby on one pretext or another, hoping that their acquaintance would ripen into friendship, and then into something warmer. Nor was the hope a vain one, for when the far Marjorie learned that it was the visitor's intention to remain in the neighborhood until ...
— R. Holmes & Co. • John Kendrick Bangs

... Russians and Austrians who menaced Wallachia. He thereupon assembled the boyards and called upon them to take up arms. Too cowardly, in the opinion of certain writers, or distrusting the prince, according to others, each excused himself on some flimsy pretext, whereupon Nicholas, indignant and furious, called upon one of his attendants to bring forth thirty horses, which were soon standing caparisoned in the court-yard. The prince invited his boyards to descend, and when they were arrived below, 'Now,' he cried, 'to horse!' They ...
— Roumania Past and Present • James Samuelson

... understanding, sufficiently inquired and handled the true limits and use of reason in spiritual things, as a kind of divine dialectic: which for that it is not done, it seemeth to me a thing usual, by pretext of true conceiving that which is revealed, to search and mine into that which is not revealed; and by pretext of enucleating inferences and contradictories, to examine that which is positive. The one sort falling into the error ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... building an opposition fort in the neighbourhood of Niagara. Another fort was erected by the Marquis, at Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, and yet another at Ticonderoga. The English very soon had a more reasonable pretext than a monopoly of the fur traffic, for more active demonstrations against the French. War was again declared in 1745, between France and England, by George II.; and Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, without waiting for instructions from England, determined upon attacking Louisbourg, ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... would soon see, that criminal means once tolerated are soon preferred. They present a shorter cut to the object than through the highway of the moral virtues. Justifying perfidy and murder for public benefit, public benefit would soon become the pretext, and perfidy and murder the end; until rapacity, malice, revenge, and fear more dreadful than revenge, could satiate their insatiable appetites. Such must be the consequences of losing, in the splendour of these triumphs of the rights of men, ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... boiled as Nome offered his arm to Mrs. Becker, who accepted it with a swift, laughing glance at the colonel. There was no response in the older man's pale face, and Philip's fingers dug hard into the palms of his hands. At the table Nome's attentions to Mrs. Becker were even more marked. Once, under pretext of helping her to a dish, he whispered words which brought a deeper flush to her cheeks, and when she looked at the colonel his eyes were fixed upon her in stern reproof. It was abominable! Was ...
— Philip Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • James Oliver Curwood

... as tribune, was in Britain in A.D. 106, and in A.D. 124.[98] Probably it had been stationed there for a period of years, and it is likely that Juvenal filled his tribuneship there. Now, all the vitae inform us that Juvenal was banished under the pretext of a military command. While the other vitae give Egypt as the place of his banishment, vita iv. gives Scotland; and it seems highly probable that vita iv. has confused Juvenal's regular military command ...
— The Student's Companion to Latin Authors • George Middleton

... and bringing tin horns and cowbells. The manner in which they swept into Oakdale and hurried, eager and laughing, toward the athletic field, plainly betokened their high confidence in the outcome of the contest. Even a few older persons came over from Barville on one pretext or another, and found it convenient to spend a portion of the afternoon watching the ...
— Rival Pitchers of Oakdale • Morgan Scott

... confidential servant. He allowed no journal to come into the house without passing through his hands, and he read them all before he would let any other soul in the house see them. He asked Rosa to let him be her secretary and open her letters, giving as a pretext that it would be as well she should have no small worries ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... of baptism is always inserted in their records of battles and massacres. Everywhere it conveys the same idea,—making evident to the reader that the pretext for all the military expeditions of the Spaniards was the enforced conversion to Christianity of the natives; a pretext on which the Spaniards seized in order to possess themselves of the land and its treasure, to rob the Indians of their wives and daughters, to enslave them, and to spill their ...
— Nagualism - A Study in Native American Folk-lore and History • Daniel G. Brinton

... and improving their acquaintance with many whom they had met there in the troubled times. There was scarce a day that they did not spend some time at the house of Sir Robert Gaiton, Albert especially being always ready with some pretext for a visit there. Van Voorden had left London, sailing thence on the very day before they ...
— A March on London • G. A. Henty

... man of the Koeri (cultivating) caste and opposite his house lived a barber who was very poor; and the barber thought that if he carried on his cultivation just as the Koeri did he might get better results; so every day he made some pretext to visit the Koeri's house and hear what work he was going to do the next day, and with the same object he would listen outside his house at night; and he exactly imitated the Koeri: he yoked his cattle and unyoked them, he ploughed and ...
— Folklore of the Santal Parganas • Cecil Henry Bompas

... euphemistic utterances concerning "the measures adopted," the Tzar stated in the same tone that all Russian subjects were equal before him, and expressed the assurance "that in the criminal disorders in the South of Russia the Jews merely serve as a pretext, and that it ...
— History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II • S.M. Dubnow

... est l'homme qui peche. Franklin, on the other hand, in a familiar tone of playful banter, vindicates its utility, alleging that it is mightily 'convenient to be a rational animal, who knows how to find or invent a plausible pretext for whatever it has an inclination to do.' Examples of this convenience abound. The Barbary Jews were rich and industrious, and, accordingly, their wealth provoke the cupidity of the indolent and avaricious Mussulmans. These latter, whenever a long drought ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 439 - Volume 17, New Series, May 29, 1852 • Various

... on water!" replies the king, who can scarcely draw his breath beneath the crushing weight of the hand he has won. Then he leaves the room, under the pretext of giving an order, and Nikita takes his place. The queen renews the experiment, presses with one hand, presses with both, and with all her might. Nikita catches her up, and then flings her down on the floor. The room shakes beneath the blow, the bride "arises, lies ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... said good lord was most apt unto.' Thus month after month passed away, and Shane was still virtually a prisoner. 'At length,' says Mr. Froude, 'the false dealing produced its cruel fruit, the murder of the boy who was used as the pretext for the delay. Sent for to England, yet prevented from obeying the command, the young Baron of Dungannon was waylaid at the beginning of April in a wood near Carlingford by Turlogh O'Neill. He fled for his life, with the murderers behind him, till he reached ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... Miss Brandon," he went on, "I hope soon. Once having seen her, one wants to see her again. I was lucky enough to have a pretext for coming again; and the very next day I was at her door, inquiring after M. Thomas Elgin. They showed me into the room of that excellent gentleman, where I found him stretched out on an invalid's chair, with his legs all bandaged up. By his side sat a venerable lady, ...
— The Clique of Gold • Emile Gaboriau

... though far from their masters, were close by their profit. They have always known how to manage their own matters very properly and with little loss, yet under pretext of the public business. They have also conducted themselves just as if they were the sovereigns of the country. As they desired to have it, so it always had to be; and as they willed so was it done. "The Managers," they say, "are masters in Fatherland, ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • J. F. Jameson, Editor

... of the town I frequented; one, whom I had unwittingly offended, giving the word to the whole pack. You can scarcely conceive the tyranny exercised by these wretches: considering themselves as the instruments of the very laws they violate, the pretext which steels their conscience, hardens their heart. Not content with receiving from us, outlaws of society (let other women talk of favours) a brutal gratification gratuitously as a privilege of office, they extort a tithe of prostitution, ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... is done, but I also am done for. Latterly I had intentionally dulled my feeling by means of work, and avoided every opportunity of writing to you before its completion. Today is the first forenoon when no pretext prevents me any longer from letting the long-nourished and pent-up grief break forth. Let it break forth, then. I can restrain it ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 2 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... Robert Scott, and out of it I was taught Hardiknute by heart before I could read the ballad myself. It was the first poem I ever learnt—the last I shall ever forget." According to Tibby Hunter, he was not particularly fond of his book, embracing every pretext for joining his friend the Cow-bailie out of doors; but "Miss Jenny was a grand hand at keeping him to the bit, and by degrees he came to read brawly."[44] An early acquaintance of a higher class, Mrs. Duncan, the wife of ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... advised the King to have the flesh of the murdered man made up into rissoles and sent as a present to his father. If he refused to eat the flesh of his own son he was to be accused of contempt for the King, and there would thus be a pretext for having him executed. Wen Wang, being versed in divination and the science of the pa kua, Eight Trigrams, knew that these rissoles contained the flesh of his son, and to avoid the snare spread for ...
— Myths and Legends of China • E. T. C. Werner

... and as they returned captured a whole Venetian squadron. In 876 the Slavs of Croatia and Dalmatia raided the Istrian coast towns, but were defeated at Grado. The Emperor Basil occupied Dalmatia in 877 on the pretext of Slav piracy. He gave the tribute from the Roman cities of Dalmatia to the Croats and Narentans, so that Spalato, Zara, Trau, Arbe, and the Byzantine cities of Veglia and Ossero had to pay tribute to the Croats. The successful expedition of Pietro Orseolo II. against the Narentan pirates ...
— The Shores of the Adriatic - The Austrian Side, The Kuestenlande, Istria, and Dalmatia • F. Hamilton Jackson

... mother's folly than her own. It flashed upon her that unless she put away the shame of it, the shame would weaken her and master her. But how to assert herself she did not know till he gave her some pretext. ...
— The Coast of Bohemia • William Dean Howells

... Major, and were not ill-disposed to encourage him; for Dobbin visited their house daily, and stayed for hours with them, or with Amelia, or with the honest landlord, Mr. Clapp, and his family. He brought, on one pretext or another, presents to everybody, and almost every day; and went, with the landlord's little girl, who was rather a favourite with Amelia, by the name of Major Sugarplums. It was this little child who commonly acted as mistress of the ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... 1648, where the obligation bears, "Because many of late have laboured to supplant the liberties of the kirk, we shall maintain and defend the kirk of Scotland, in all her liberties and privileges, against all who shall oppose or undermine the same, or encroach thereupon under any pretext whatsoever." ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... the one bad quality of extravagance, from which, however, the natural consequence followed. Unscrupulous financiers were long omnipotent at Court, till the bankrupt king robbed them of their spoils; a crusade was preached as a pretext for taxing the clergy; when a great earthquake happened in the Abruzzi, the survivors were compelled to make good the contributions of the dead. By such means Alfonso was able to entertain distinguished guests with unrivalled splendor; he found ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... famous sorcerers and demons ever imagined." Several Frenchmen had travelled through the country before him, purchasing furs and other commodities. These had smoothed the way for the Jesuits. Under the pretext of being traders, Brebeuf's party succeeded in making their way in spite of all obstacles interposed. They arrived at the head-chief's village, only to find that he had gone on a war party and would not return until spring. The missionaries sought to negotiate ...
— The Country of the Neutrals - (As Far As Comprised in the County of Elgin), From Champlain to Talbot • James H. Coyne

... for me entirely. I could not hope to carry out one of my original plans; for all available resources were nearly exhausted, and procuring fresh supplies from home would have involved infinite difficulty and delay. Besides, a refusal gave at once to the Federal authorities the pretext for detention that they had sought so eagerly, and, so far, failed to find. I know no earthly consideration, excepting clear obligations of duty or honor, that would have persuaded me to incur ten ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... and hundreds of caps were flung into the air. But noticing that Anne Boleyn was received with evil looks and in stern silence, and construing this into an affront to himself, Henry not only made slight and haughty acknowledgment of the welcome given him, but looked out for some pretext to manifest his displeasure. Luckily none was afforded him, and he entered the castle in ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth

... managed to escape from Mrs. Rice's clutches in order to have a serious talk with his old friend Payne, which resulted in the latter adroitly gathering the older and more dependable men together outside the building on the pretext of inspecting the future polo ground. In reality it was to afford Dermot an opportunity of disclosing to them as much of the impending peril of invasion as he judged wise. The planters would be the first ...
— The Elephant God • Gordon Casserly

... spice Of jealousy—that's all—an honest pretext, No wife need blush for. Say that you should see, (As oftentimes we widows take such freedoms, Yet still on this side virtue,) in a jest Your husband pat me on the cheek, or steal A kiss, while you were by,—not else, for ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... was too much overwhelmed with his misfortune to notice the implied insult. He did not even hear it, while his artful brother, under the pretext of striving to effect a reconciliation, was heaping fresh fuel on the fire, and doing all in his power ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... peace became only a question of time, and the war of to-day only a question of opportunity and pretext. Each of the parties to the understanding had the same clear purpose to serve, and while the aim to each was different the end was the same. Germany's power of defence must be destroyed. That done each of the sleeping partners ...
— The Crime Against Europe - A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914 • Roger Casement

... afflicted the North. Above and beyond the slave-owners must rise the great class of manufacturers and merchants,—almost every third man of Northern origin, too,—whose pocket is the great sufferer, and without whose property, hereafter, plantations can not prosper. Given a decent pretext for adjustment, when pride will go to the wall. Once allow the masses to grasp the reins, and the slave-owners will be driven to the wall-side of the political highway also. This I call Southern doughfacery for the sake of ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... against their lately idolized master, and attacked him in his palace, from, which he fled by a secret passage to an adjoining monastery, in the disguise of a priest. But the premier, to whom he was presently betrayed, had him put to death, on the pretext that he might cause still greater scandal and disaster, but in reality to establish himself in undisputed possession of the throne, which he now usurped under the title of P'hra-Phuthi-Chow-Luang, and removed the palace from the west to the east bank of the Meinam. During his reign ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... Ayr Wallace Oven? Read up Blind Harry for picturesque story Barns of Ayr. Far as I remember, English enticed all neighbouring Scots to powwow of some sort. Wallace expected; delay on way. Scots executed on some pretext. When Wallace turned up, niece warned him. He routed up few followers, set fire to barns and burnt English, who were celebrating triumph over Wallace and his men. When get to Ayr look this up further.... Word 'Whig' comes first from Ayr. Wonder why? Look up. Also get Burns glossary. Dialect difficult. ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... carrying out these measures he had seized upon the great earldom of Strathern, which had descended to one of their party in right of his wife, declaring that it could not be inherited by a female. In this he appears to have acted unjustly, from the strong desire to avail himself by any pretext of an opportunity of breaking the overweening power of the great turbulent nobles; and, to make up for the loss, he created the new earldom of Menteith, for the young Malise Graham, the son of the dispossessed ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... revived by the Reformers of the sixteenth century. Paintings and statues were ruthlessly destroyed, chiefly in the British Isles, Germany and Holland, under the pretext that the making of them was idolatrous. But as the Iconoclasts of the eighth century had no scruple about appropriating to their own use the gold and silver of the statues which they melted, neither had the Iconoclasts of the ...
— The Faith of Our Fathers • James Cardinal Gibbons

... charity commissioners, among whom Stephen soon became prominent by the dangerously 'liberal' character of his teaching. Philo gives important testimony to the existence of a 'liberal' school among the Jews of the Dispersion, who, under pretext of spiritualising the traditional law, left off keeping the Sabbath and the great festivals, and even dispensed with the rite of circumcision. Thus the admission of Gentiles on very easy terms into ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... a case, the magnetism which must exist between a man and his knocker, would induce the man to remove, and seek some knocker more congenial to his altered feelings. If you ever find a man changing his habitation without any reasonable pretext, depend upon it, that, although he may not be aware of the fact himself, it is because he and his knocker are at variance. This is a new theory, but we venture to launch it, nevertheless, as being quite as ingenious and infallible as many thousands of the learned speculations ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... school was closed, so that the daughters of leading families might remain in seclusion till the worst was over. The Baineses ignored the Wakes in every possible way, choosing that week to have a show of mourning goods in the left- hand window, and refusing to let Maggie outside on any pretext. Therefore the dazzling social success of the elephant, which was quite easily drawing Mrs. Baines into the vortex, cannot ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... protective duties. Always the policy has kept some hold on public sentiment, but it has varied in strength, now waxing, now waning. The time of revisions has been determined nearly always by varying needs of revenue. When more income has had to be raised, this has nearly always been made the occasion and pretext for increasing the degree of protection for many industries. This is not at all a necessary connection, for it would be possible to couple internal revenue taxes and customs duties in such a way that the rates would go up and down together ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... the grievances of the nation: under the decent pretext of preventing the misapplication of the revenue, a demand was repeatedly made that the appointment of the officers of state should be vested in the great council; and at length the constitution was entirely overturned by the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... son of the Church, could not comply: the formal recognition of the union of Romagna with Piedmont. Strict moralists, like Lanza, would have wished him to send the ambassadors of the King of Naples about their business, and to declare war on any pretext, and so escape from "a hybrid and perilous game." Cavour looked upon the Neapolitan Government as doomed, and that by its own fault, its own obstinacy, its own rejection of the plank of safety, which, almost at the risk of doing a wrong to Italy, he had advised his king to ...
— Cavour • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... be regarded as any authority, do thou cease then to urge this pretext. Do thou give those jewelled ear-rings to me. Be thou truthful in speech, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... existence of which I am not conscious," was her answer—very coldly, very gently given. "In Mr. Mountford's time I heard no such complaints: whenever I see the village children (and they are not unfrequent visitors at this house, on one pretext or another), they are well ...
— My Lady Ludlow • Elizabeth Gaskell

... the forced duties of their unhappy position. About a score of the slaves were white men: there were two Englishmen besides the five from the Golden Boar, the rest being Spaniards or Portuguese convicted of some crime; but the majority of the rowers were Indians, who on some pretext or other had been enslaved and sent in ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... cigar which he found by slapping his waistcoat pockets. John got down and fetched him a match, which he scratched in the vicinity of his hip pocket, lighted his cigar (John declining to join him on some plausible pretext, having on a previous occasion accepted one of the brand), and after rolling it around with his lips and tongue to the effect that the lighted end described sundry eccentric curves, located it firmly with an ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... leaving him, was bidden by Uffe to Upsala on pretence of a interview; but lost all his escort by treachery, and made his escape sheltered by the night. For when the Danes sought to leave the house into which they had been gathered on pretext of a banquet, they found one awaiting them, who mowed off the head of each of them with his sword as it was thrust out of the door. For this wrongful act Hadding retaliated and slew Uffe; but put away his hatred and consigned ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... which the law of the strongest seems to be entirely abandoned as the regulating principle of the world's affairs: nobody professes it, and, as regards most of the relations between human beings, nobody is permitted to practise it. When any one succeeds in doing so, it is under cover of some pretext which gives him the semblance of having some general social interest on his side. This being the ostensible state of things, people flatter themselves that the rule of mere force is ended; that the law of the strongest cannot be the reason of existence ...
— The Subjection of Women • John Stuart Mill

... if uninformed and unexercised, will feel no call to mind anything else: as a person retained for some service which demands but occasionally an active exercise, will justify the indolence which declines taking in hand any other business in the intervals, under the pretext that he has his appointment; and so, when not under the immediate calls of that appointment, he will trifle or go to sleep, even in the full light of day, with ...
— An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance • John Foster

... put down her work, and, declaring that she felt hot, threw open the French window and went out into the garden, whither, on some pretext or other, Philip ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... no more. The Prince counted five doors and entered the sixth where he found the Princess Dunya standing and awaiting him. As soon as she saw him, she knew him and clasped him to her breast, and he clasped her to his bosom. Presently the old woman came in to them, having made a pretext to dismiss the Princess's slave girls for fear of disgrace; and the Lady Dunya said to her, "Be thou our door keeper!" So she and Taj al- Muluk abode alone together and ceased not kissing and embracing and twining leg with leg till dawn.[FN46] When day ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... The donors disliked Leonard, and he grew to hate them intensely. When Laura censured his immoral marriage, he thought bitterly, "She minds that! What would she say if she knew the truth?" When Blanche's husband offered him work, he found some pretext for avoiding it. He had wanted work keenly at Oniton, but too much anxiety had shattered him; he was joining the unemployable. When his brother, the lay-reader, did not reply to a letter, he wrote again, saying that he and Jacky would come down to his village on foot. He did not intend ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... appointed to carry out these provisions were liberal in the interpretation and application of them, so as to save as many as there could be any possible pretext for saving. The descendants and family connections of Pindar, the celebrated poet, who has been already mentioned as having been born in Thebes, were all pardoned also, whichever side they may have taken in the ...
— Alexander the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... her descending footsteps, and hastily replaced the picture on the mantel. She entered, and, presenting me a letter, desired me to deliver it to Mr. Welbeck. I had no pretext for deferring my departure, but was unwilling to go without obtaining possession of the portrait. An interval of silence and irresolution succeeded. I cast significant glances at the spot where it lay, and at length mustered up my strength of ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... this essentially womanish tendency to the sentimental. "It is an odious onion, dear lady," he would say, holding both her hands in his. If men in his presence talked sentimentally to ladies he was so irritated that he soon found a pretext for leaving the room. "Yet let it not be thought," says One Who Knew Him Well, "that because he was so sternly practical himself he was intolerant of the outpourings of the sentimental. The man, in short, reflected the views on this subject which are so admirably phrased in his books, ...
— Tommy and Grizel • J.M. Barrie

... which alternately inspired his manner with an unwonted demonstrativeness and tenderness, and again made him so uncomfortable in her presence that he was fain to tear himself away and escape from her sight on any pretext. Her tender glances and confiding manner made him feel like a brute, and when he kissed her he felt that it was the kiss of a Judas. Such had been his feelings this evening, and such were the reflections ...
— Potts's Painless Cure - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... so. The whole of the family who had promoted this fictitious claim to the throne—father, mother, brothers, sisters—were all put to death, most of them in front of the eyes of the poor little fellow who was the victim of their idle pretext. The military returned, reporting that everything was now quiet, and a few days later, guarded by twenty soldiers, came this young pretender, encaged in one of the prison boxes, breaking his heart with grief. And it was he who was now conducted to meet the foreigner. He has been confined within ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... of the trees, informing Wah-ta-wah of their presence by Chingachgook's squirrel-signal. The spring that still bubbles for the refreshment of picnickers on the northern shore of the Point was the one which Wah-ta-wah made a pretext to draw away from the camp the old squaw who guarded her, and here Deerslayer throttled the vigilant hag, while Chingachgook and his Indian sweetheart raced for the canoe. Here, when Deerslayer released his grip to follow them, the squaw alarmed the camp. Along the stretch of beach ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... that he could remain in Allington until Saturday afternoon and then reach home in time for the dinner; but the place was almost as distasteful to him as to his wife, and he gladly seized upon any pretext to shorten his ...
— Bessie's Fortune - A Novel • Mary J. Holmes

... first act of jurisdiction, which was exercised by Don Alvarez, as captain of the sea; employing against Xavier himself, that authority which had been procured him by Xavier, and pushing his ingratitude as far as it could go. In the mean time, to cover his passion with the pretext of public good, according to the common practice of men in power, he protested loudly, that the interests of the crown had constrained him to act in this manner; that he had received information from his spies, that the Javans were making ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVI. (of 18) - The Life of St. Francis Xavier • John Dryden

... had advanced several pretexts for not troubling Roselands, had found them accepted by Jacqueline with an utter lack of comment, and had ceased to make them. She kept away, and her cousin made no complaint. What pretext, now, she wondered, would serve to explain this visit? She thought that pretext would be needed at first—just at first. And what if ...
— Lewis Rand • Mary Johnston

... it is the fashion, not from any love of the subject or the man. It cries you up or runs you down out of mere caprice and levity. If you have pleased it, it is jealous of its own involuntary acknowledgment of merit, and seizes the first opportunity, the first shabby pretext, to pick a quarrel with you and be quits once more. Every petty caviller is erected into a judge, every tale-bearer is implicitly believed. Every little, low, paltry creature that gaped and wondered, only because others did ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... consultation, General Stone, I learn, now lies a maniac in the asylum. The groundless pretext, upon which he suffered the reputation of treason, issued from the Department of ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... Stringent laws on vagrancy, guardianship, and labor contracts were enacted and large discretion given judge and jury in cases of petty crime. As a result Negroes were systematically arrested on the slightest pretext and the labor of convicts leased to private parties. This "convict lease system" was almost universal in the South until about 1890, when its outrageous abuses and cruelties aroused the whole country. ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois

... Well, if that isn't clear, what COULD be clear? Here is a young man who learns suddenly that if a certain older man dies he will succeed to a fortune. What does he do? He says nothing to anyone, but he arranges that he shall go out on some pretext to see his client that night; he waits until the only other person in the house is in bed, and then in the solitude of a man's room he murders him, burns his body in the wood-pile, and departs to a neighbouring hotel. The ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... tone, 'Take it.' When Toplady was going to speak, Johnson uttered some sound, which led Goldsmith to think that he was beginning again, and taking the words from Toplady. Upon which, he seized this opportunity of venting his own envy and spleen, under the pretext of supporting another person: 'Sir, (said he to Johnson,) the gentleman has heard you patiently for an hour; pray allow us now to hear him[739].' JOHNSON. (sternly,) 'Sir, I was not interrupting the gentleman. I was only giving him a signal of my attention. Sir, you are impertinent.' Goldsmith ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... give his master "warning," and remove himself from so uncongenial a sphere. He did not quite like to make his master's kindness to the poor invalid girl his ostensible reason for desiring a change; and, while he was looking around for a plausible pretext, the course of events supplied him with exactly such an occasion as ...
— The Golden Shoemaker - or 'Cobbler' Horn • J. W. Keyworth

... news of the way the siege was going, she became more and more unhappy. At last she determined that she would go back to him, but knowing that her attendants had been forbidden to let her return, except under special orders from the king, she kept her intention to herself. On the pretext of wishing sometimes to join the hunt, she ordered a small chariot, capable of accommodating one person only, to be built for her. This she drove herself, and used to keep up with the hounds so closely that she would leave the rest ...
— Old-Time Stories • Charles Perrault

... however, a pretext for the comparison in the fact that the two sovereigns took a lively interest in each other's affairs. Moulay-Ismael sent several embassies to treat with Louis XIV on the eternal question of piracy and the ransom of Christian captives, and the two rulers were continually exchanging ...
— In Morocco • Edith Wharton

... beer by means of sugar became in many instances a pretext for using illegal ingredients, the Legislature, apprehensive from the mischief that might, and actually did, result from it, passed an Act prohibiting the use of burnt sugar, in July 1817; and nothing but malt and hops is now allowed to enter into the composition of beer: even the use of ...
— A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons • Fredrick Accum

... so accomplished a connoisseur as he must not let them pass unappreciated. So he hastened to discharge his duty to aesthetic society by honoring them with his admiration and exalting patronage. On any transparent pretext,—the more transparent the better, he thought, for the proprietress of the white shoulders and the bewitching shape, who "no doubt understood,"—he dropped in often at the little bookstore, to begin with a "how-do?" and conclude with an "au revoir,"—the ineffable puppy! upon whose vicious ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II., November, 1858., No. XIII. • Various

... was the just expectation of the town that no one of its merchants should, under any pretext whatever, import any tea liable to duty, the ...
— Tea Leaves • Various

... again. Official balls facilitated their meeting; Serge was introduced to Madame Desvarennes as being an English friend, and soon became the most assiduous partner of Jeanne and Micheline. It was thus, under the most trivial pretext, that the man gained admittance to the house where he was to ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... altar in the temple, just as Assad is about to pronounce the words which are to bind him to Sulamith, she confronts him again, on the specious pretext that she brings gifts for the bride. Assad again addresses her. Again he is denied. Delirium seizes upon his brain; he loudly proclaims the Queen as the goddess of his devotion. The people are panic-stricken at the sacrilege and rush from the temple; the priests ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... time we contrived to catch some of them, and through one member of our party or the other to get at their stories. Really it was all one story. The slaving Arabs, on this pretext or on that, had set tribe against tribe. Then they sided with the stronger and conquered the weaker by aid of their terrible guns, killing out the old folk and taking the young men, women and children (except the ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... difficulty. In the first place, her meekness and extreme sweetness of temper rendered it almost impossible in a family where her own qualities predominated, to find any deviation from duty which might be seized upon without harshness as a pretext for inculcating those precautionary principles that were calculated to strengthen the weak points which her character may have presented. Even those weak points, if at the time they could be so termed, were perceptible only in the exercise of her virtues, so that it was a matter of ...
— Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... little anxiety and some trouble. Suddenly Holleben, who seemed to have had no thought but to obey with almost agonized anxiety the least hint of the Kaiser's will, received a telegram ordering him to pretext illness and come home, which he obeyed within four-and-twenty hours. The ways of the German Foreign Office had been always abrupt, not to say ruthless, towards its agents, and yet commonly some discontent had been shown as excuse; but, in this case, no cause was guessed for Holleben's ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... have given me a full and fair account of the transaction; for I cannot believe that Jeremiah would have come and taken away the fish without any pretext whatever. You must have omitted some important part of the ...
— Forests of Maine - Marco Paul's Adventures in Pursuit of Knowledge • Jacob S. Abbott

... from himself. He had not the opinion which Louis XIV. could have of himself, but that which the proudest of the Caliphs, the Pharoahs, the Xerxes, who held themselves to be of divine origin, had of themselves when they imitated God, and veiled themselves from their subjects under the pretext that their looks dealt forth death. Thus, without any remorse at being at once the judge and the accuser, De Marsay coldly condemned to death the man or the woman who had seriously offended him. Although often pronounced almost lightly, the verdict was irrevocable. ...
— The Girl with the Golden Eyes • Honore de Balzac

... Concord still dwell upon the exciting incident of Mr. Sanborn's arrest in 1860 as an accessory before the fact. The United States deputy marshal with his myrmidons drove out from Boston in a hack. They lured the unsuspecting abolitionist outside his door, on some pretext or other, clapped the handcuffs on him, and tried to get him into the hack. But their victim, planting his long legs one on each side of the carriage door, resisted sturdily, and his neighbors assaulted the officers with hue and cry. The town rose upon them. Judge Hoar hastily issued ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... night, the firing ceased; and shortly after a voice was heard, a little distance beyond the palisades, calling upon the garrison, in the name of Capt. de Villiers, to surrender. Suspecting this to be but a pretext for getting a spy into the fort, Col. Washington refused to admit the bearer of the summons. Capt. de Villiers then requested that an officer be sent to his quarters to parley; giving his word of honor that no mischief should befall ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... He who abandons the personal search for truth, under whatever pretext, abandons truth. The very word truth, by becoming the limited possession of a guild, ceases to have any meaning; and faith, which can only be founded on truth, gives way to credulity, resting on mere opinion. Natural Law, ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... expression furrowed his brow. He had relied on easily prevailing upon her through her gratitude; continuing in his disinterested role for yet some time; resuming the journey on the morrow, carrying her farther away under pretext of mistaking the road, until—Here his plans had faded into a vague perspective, dominated by unreasoning ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... passage!" The cool insolence of it! God's truth, it chilled me, this careless confession of the deed, and threat of what the future held. And then, as though to remove the last possible doubt in our minds that the slipping of the brace was an accident, that the whole job of striking sail was but a pretext to get Newman aloft, Swope turned to the ...
— The Blood Ship • Norman Springer

... latent in Christendom which may check the force of its cupidity, and put a stop to the exploitation and subjugation of Eastern countries for the sake of advancing its own material interests, under the specious pretext of introducing the blessings ...
— Fashionable Philosophy - and Other Sketches • Laurence Oliphant

... address thus amended was unanimously adopted. In this encounter nothing was gained by the Republicans. The people would not have endured an open declaration of want of confidence in Washington. But the entering wedge of the new policy was driven. The treaty was to be assailed. It was, however, the pretext, not the cause of the struggle, the real object of which was to extend the powers of the House, and subordinate the executive to its will. Before beginning the main attack the Republicans developed their general plan in their treatment of secondary issues; of these the principal was a tightening ...
— Albert Gallatin - American Statesmen Series, Vol. XIII • John Austin Stevens

... any "but his natural judges," which clearly means that no extraordinary or unusual courts shall be established for the punishment of ordinary crimes. Now, while it is admitted that martial law brings with it military tribunals and military punishments, it is contended that there is no pretext for declaring martial law in the capital, at a moment when the power of the present government is better assured than it has been at any time since its organization. But the charter solemnly stipulates that the conscription shall be abolished, while conscripts are and have ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... out of church, redraped in the antique and unbecoming fichu, she found herself the object of considerable attention. Indeed, upon one pretext and another nearly all the congregation seemed to be lingering about the porch and pathway to stare at the new parson's shipwrecked daughter when she appeared. Among them was Miss Layard, and with her the delicate brother. They were staying to lunch with the Stop-gap's meek ...
— Stella Fregelius • H. Rider Haggard

... difficulty to meet," said the other. "Men go on strike on frivolous pretext and we must protect our interests. We've not cut down wages and we ...
— The Workingman's Paradise - An Australian Labour Novel • John Miller

... should deal with it as though it were his own. Here"—he passed along a letter—"I have written that on my office paper, and you will see that it says, I have heard how gypsies are camping here, and that it is my wish they should remain. Garvington is not to order them off on any pretext whatsoever. You understand?" ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... of course compelled to attend, and as we wished to take our part, we offered to lead the singing. I feared an outbreak, and I earnestly implored my friends to keep quiet under any circumstances, and whatever happened, to give no pretext for any excitement. Our singing was finished, when in the place of the expected preacher, suddenly there appeared a blustering, fanatical Capuchin monk. He exhausted himself in denunciations of this God-forsaken, wicked generation, sketched ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... Any pretext to seek to quit the place before the definite arrangements of his negotiation were consummated seemed even to him, despite his eagerness to be off, too tenuous, too transparent, to be essayed, although he devised several ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... and set men off running, with billets, to summon the magnates of the province. I cannot recall what pretext he employed; at least, it was successful; and when our ancient enemy appeared upon the scene, he found my lord pacing in front of his house under some trees of shade, with the Governor upon one hand and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... which the Priory of Blossholme was affiliated to the Abbey of Blossholme, and the Abbot of Blossholme became the spiritual lord of its religious. From that day forward its fortunes began to decline, since under this pretext and that the abbots filched away its lands ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... went on, in his soft, slow voice, "in friendly—I might say familiar—relations with this man again. His wife is still living, and as bitter against him as ever, but not likely to give him any pretext for a divorce. You cannot marry him. Why do you provoke people to say ill-natured things about you by ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... situation presented itself to his mind. He had been confident that his tracks were so well hidden that his share in introducing Snaffle into the Club would not be suspected, unless the guest had himself mentioned it. He made the Princeton Platinum stock a pretext for calling upon the speculator, and endeavored to discover whether the latter had spoken, but he learned nothing. He was not quite ready to ask frankly whether Snaffle had betrayed him, and short of doing so he could not discover. Still Fenton told himself that the only ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... Elba; that is, as nearly straight as the wind would allow his legs to walk. Van Diemen was announced to be out; Miss Annette begged to be excused, under the pretext that she was unwell; and Tinman heard of a dinner-party ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... plot; but his other writings, whether critical or philosophical, are marked by correctness of taste, boldness of imagery, and dignity of sentiment. Lion-hearted in the exposure of absolute error, or vain pretext, he is gentle in judging human frailty; and irresistible in humour, is overpowering in tenderness. As a contributor to periodical literature, he will find admirers while the ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume III - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... 1: This was the argument of Vigilantius, whose words are quoted by Jerome in the book he wrote against him (ch. ii) as follows: "We see something like a pagan rite introduced under pretext of religion; they worship with kisses I know not what tiny heap of dust in a mean vase surrounded with precious linen." To him Jerome replies (Ep. ad Ripar. cix): "We do not adore, I will not say the relics of the martyrs, but either the sun or the moon ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... to get Carton out by a back door, but Marat's murderers were too quick for them, and the poor youth was torn to pieces. While this was doing the Procureur-Syndic provided another victim. He arrested on some pretext a retired officer of the army, M. de Montrosier, ex-commandant of Lille, then in the house of his father-in-law, M. Andrieux, one of the first magistrates of Reims. M. de Montrosier being taken to prison, the Maratist mob broke again into ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... to see them immediately on their arrival expedite express after express for objects of prime necessity which they ordered should be sent posthaste. Nevertheless, it was soon evident that the hunting-party and breakfast at Grosbois had been simply a pretext, and that the Emperor's object had been to put an end to the differences which had for some time existed between his Holiness and his Majesty. Everything having been settled and prearranged, the Emperor and the Pope signed ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... we? Who are you? who cares? Who am I? myself? What do we come from? an accident. What's a mother? an old woman. A father? the gentleman who beats her. What is crime? discovery. Virtue? opportunity. Politics? a pretext. Affection? an affectation. Morality? an affair of latitude. Punishment? this side the frontier. Reward? the other. Property? plunder. Business? other people's money—not mine, by God! and the end of life to ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV • Robert Louis Stevenson

... pretext whereof, some of your majesty's subjects have been by some of the said commissioners put to death, when and where, if by the laws and statutes of the land they had deserved death, by the same laws and statutes also they might, and by no other ought, to have been ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... write to Declare that the Snow called the Princess of Orange and the Cargoe belongs in truth to the Spainish Merchants, and the Dutch Pass and Colours were only for a pretext in the affair; for which we have Set our names in testimony of the Truth upon Oath declaring to be forced neither by the Capn. nor any of the officers nor by imprisonment, one the contrary have been well used. ...
— Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period - Illustrative Documents • Various

... herself about these rumors, more or less important, Sarah, whose ride to the port had been only a pretext, returned toward Lima, which she reached near the banks ...
— The Pearl of Lima - A Story of True Love • Jules Verne

... was the mark peculiar to the members of the commune when they assembled under their flags; so that the Count found himself reduced to assuming one, for he was afraid of being kept captive at Ghent, and, on the pretext of a hunting-party, he lost no time in gaining his castle ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... evening. Towards nine he went out on the pretext of seeing to a cow that had lately calved and was in a weakly state. He gave the animal her food and clean litter, doing everything more clumsily than usual. Then he went into the stable and groped about for a lantern that stood ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... under the lime-trees by which we had to pass with a thundering big stick. You should have seen the state the fellow was in, sir. The sweet youth started back, and turned as yellow as a cream cheese. Then he made a pretext to go into his room, and said it was for his pocket-handkerchief, but I know it was for a pistol; for he dropped his hand from my arm into his pocket, every time I said 'Here's Jack,' as we walked down the avenue ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... man's property," answered my father, "and as to allowing strangers to come into my house, under any pretext whatever, I don't intend to do it, so you have my answer. I'll give you corn for your horses and food for yourselves, but over this threshold you don't step with my ...
— With Axe and Rifle • W.H.G. Kingston



Words linked to "Pretext" :   gloss, pretence, color, putoff, stalking-horse, dissembling, feigning, semblance, pretense, colour, guise



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