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Retort   /rˈitˌɔrt/   Listen
Retort

noun
1.
A quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one).  Synonyms: comeback, counter, rejoinder, replication, return, riposte.
2.
A vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Retort" Quotes from Famous Books



... next morning. When he was fairly and ceremonially seated the archdeacon held out his practised palm for the customary fee (archdeacons are still fee-extracting creatures). He was astonished to hear the radical retort, "What I gave for my mitre" (it was a very cheap one) "that and no more will I give for my throne." Both Herbert and with him Simon Magus fell backward breathless at this blow.{4} But Hugh had a short way of demolishing his enemies, and the archdeacon appears ...
— Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln - A Short Story of One of the Makers of Mediaeval England • Charles L. Marson

... arriving at specific gravity in its densest form is to distil the "funny column" of a weekly newspaper. To arrive at the desired result in the speediest way, let the operation be performed in what is known among bucolic journalists as a "humorous retort." Density and closeness should not be spoken of as equivalent terms. The former is a common quality of the human skull, rendering it impervious; whereas a man may be very close and yet capable of being stuck,—with ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... idiosyncrasies in the slightest degree, the poet certainly makes himself out as the most insupportable of human companions. None the less did the publication of Elle et Lui, a quarter of a century later, provoke a savage retort from the deceased poet's brother, in Lui et Elle. Finally, in Lui, a third novelist, Madame Colet, presented the world with a separate version of the affair from one who imagined she could have made up to the poet ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... 1. Substitution of retort coke-ovens for beehive ovens, to save not only a larger quantity of coke but also valuable by-products (see pp. 118-119). Additional improvements in coking ovens may make possible the manufacture of some sort of coke from a much wider range of bituminous coals ...
— The Economic Aspect of Geology • C. K. Leith

... every one of which I was the object, that, though I can bear such attacks as well as most men, I yet found myself so much the sport of all the company, that I would gladly expunge from my mind every trace of this severe retort. ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... with many chips, and a handsome razor that had been used as a knife. There were bottles of soda-water, sugar, pieces of lemon, and the traces of an effervescent beverage. Two piles of books supported the tongs, and these upheld a small glass retort above an argand lamp. I had not been seated many minutes before the liquor in the vessel boiled over, adding fresh stains to the table, and rising in fumes with a disagreeable odor. Shelley snatched the glass quickly, and ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... replied the latter, who watched the first blow of his adversary to make a good retort; "I have nothing to say to your majesty, unless it be that you have caused me to be arrested, and ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... for me to defend General Buell against what I believed to be most unjust charges. On one occasion a correspondent put in my mouth the very charge I had so often refuted—of disloyalty. This brought from General Buell a very severe retort, which I saw in the New York World some time before I received the letter itself. I could very well understand his grievance at seeing untrue and disgraceful charges apparently sustained by an officer who, at the time, was at the ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... at once a savant, a politician, and an artist. Thus a large table covered with a green cloth, and loaded with papers, inkstand, and pens, occupied the middle of the room; but all round, on desks, on easels, on stands, were an opera commenced, a half-finished drawing, a chemical retort, etc. The regent, with a strange versatility of mind, passed in an instant from the deepest problems of politics to the most capricious fancies of painting, and from the most delicate calculations of chemistry ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... I find The Grand Hotel vehicle, and functionary. The latter is of gigantic stature; quite a "chucker-out;" in a uniform between that of a German bandsman and a Salvation Captain—"Certinly, Sar. Dis Grand Hotel; I see your Loggosh, Sar; gif me se empfangschein." "Do you speak English?" I retort.—"Certinly; spik Ingleese—empfangschein!"—"Empfangschein" baffles me, and I am about to hand my keys to the monster, when a good-natured Courier explains ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, September 17, 1892 • Various

... Tetchen. "That would be the best thing." Even this did not bring forth an angry retort from Madame Staubach. About an hour after that Peter came in. He had already heard that the bird had flown. Some messenger from Jacob Heisse's house had brought him the ...
— Linda Tressel • Anthony Trollope

... of fatality bound up in these words of defiant pretense, once they had escaped him...a fatality which the blazing contempt of his wife's retort had emphasized. Even now his cheeks burned with the memory of ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... brusque, and more conceited, arrogant, self-reliant, ostentatious, and unpolished than his northern neighbour. If remonstrated with for any fault, he is quite disposed to assume a tone of impertinent retort or sullen defiance. The Cebuano is more congenial ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... Americans find leisure, of late years, to travel and take notes, as well as their transatlantic brethren; and, in return for the polite attentions of our travellers, describe England and Englishmen in the bitter language of recrimination and retort; and thus the enmity between the mother and daughter is kept alive and perpetuated. A publication of this kind fell lately into my hands, entitled, "The Glory and Shame of England." The writer, said to be a Christian minister, with the malignity of baser ...
— Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory - Volume II. (of 2) • John M'lean

... kept her redolent of youth. She was still a bride, though she was a widow. She was of those who understood the things of the spirit. The essence of womanhood was in her—the elusive poetry of womanhood. To such implications of mystic beauty there was no retort. Kate saw in that moment that when women got as far as emancipation they were going to lose something infinitely precious. The real question was, should not these beautiful, these evanishing joys be permitted to depart in the interests of progress? Would ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... long and 8 in. diameter. Experience, however, goes to prove that there is a limit to the diameter of the retorts beyond which the results become less satisfactory. This limit is probably somewhat under 8 in. Each retort is closely packed with baryta in lumps about the size of a walnut. The baryta is a heavy grayish porous substance prepared by carefully igniting the nitrate of barium; and of this each retort having the above dimensions holds about 125 lb. The retorts so charged are closed ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887 • Various

... passed over Parson Dan's face, and a sharp word of retort sprang to his lips. He repressed this, however, and answered ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... sigh for men of muscle who could fight a fight like BENDIGO. He didn't fight in feather-beds, or spend his days in chattering, But faced his man, and battered him, or took his foeman's battering. He didn't deal in gas, or waste his time in mere retort at all; But now the "pugs" are interviewed, and journalists report it all. A man may call it what he will, brutality or bravery, I'd rather have the prize-ring back than give a purse to knavery. Knaves fight for points, the audience shouts and wrangles in allotting 'em; I hate their fancy-work, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, 13 June 1891 • Various

... quarrel. She knew well how opposite our sympathies were; she could not understand that our arguments were wholly lacking in personal animus. When I told him of the Allies' growing superiority in aircraft Rhubarb would retort by showing me clippings about the German trench fortifications, the "pill boxes" made of solid cement. I would speak of the deadly curtain fire of the British; he would counter with mysterious allusions to Krupp. And his conclusions were always the same. ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... but took no notice of it. Owen had again a good deal to endure from Ashurst, and his temper was sorely tried. Often a retort rose to his lips, though he refrained from uttering it. A month or more went by. The two frigates had come round to the northern ...
— Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs - A Tale of Land and Sea • William H. G. Kingston

... without the new spirit that was gradually taking hold upon Poketown people. One of his ungracious statements, when his store was well filled with customers, brought about the retort pointed from none less ...
— Janice Day at Poketown • Helen Beecher Long

... and successors, and seems to suggest that Mr. Asquith in his generous and difficult estimate may have exaggerated the purely Victorian element in the science of the age of Darwin. This only accentuates the difficulty, and he may perhaps retort that there is an extreme danger in suggesting what does and what does not form a part of so ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... to Laura that by complying with his wishes I might get him to come to my room where she and Frank would have an opportunity of seeing us enjoy each other, so that if at any future period he should accuse her of infidelity prior to her marriage, she might retort upon him. ...
— Laura Middleton; Her Brother and her Lover • Anonymous

... persuades Fandarus to violate the oaths by wounding Menelaus with an arrow— Agamemnon makes a speech and sends for Machaon—He then goes about among his captains and upbraids Ulysses and Sthenelus, who each of them retort fiercely—Diomed checks Sthenelus, and the two hosts then engage, with great slaughter on ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... had committed a fault in giving expression to his astonishment. Porthos had taken advantage of it, to retort with a question. "Why," said he, "you know I am a bourgeois, in fact; my dress, then, has nothing astonishing in it, since it conforms ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... With this mild retort and civil salutation John Henry Overholt rose and went towards the door, quite forgetting to shake hands with Mr. Burnside, though the latter made a motion to do so. Mr. Burnside always gave his hand in a friendly way, even when he had flatly refused to do what people had asked of ...
— The Little City Of Hope - A Christmas Story • F. Marion Crawford

... injurious to the Pope, and are frequently instilled into the King's mind."[586] On one occasion Clement confessed that, though the Pope was supposed to carry the papal laws locked up in his breast, Providence had not vouchsafed him the key wherewith to unlock them; and Gardiner roughly asked in retort whether in that case the papal laws should not be committed to the flames.[587] He told how the Lutherans were instigating Henry to do away with the temporal (p. 212) possessions of the Church.[588] But Clement could ...
— Henry VIII. • A. F. Pollard

... is somewhere about, I suppose," was the answer, and it was given in such a surly tone with such a churlish manner that Viola flushed with anger and bit her lips to keep back a sharp retort. ...
— The Golf Course Mystery • Chester K. Steele

... torment of knowing, however, that he was doomed to perdition. And, all at once, another memory flashed upon the young priest, the terrible memory of the day when his father had died, killed in his laboratory by an accident, the explosion of a retort. He, Pierre, had then been five years old, and he remembered the slightest incidents—his mother's cry when she had found the shattered body among the remnants of the chemical appliances, then her terror, ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... her with a scowl. She knew quite well that he had married her for the child's sake alone. A savage retort was on his tongue, ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... real enough at the time. The exchange in part two of The Merry-Thought is not, however, half so satisfactory. The woman takes umbrage at her admirer's suggestions that the glass on which he writes is "the Emblem" of her mind in being "brittle, slipp'ry, [and] pois'nous," and writes in retort: ...
— The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany - Parts 2, 3 and 4 • Hurlo Thrumbo (pseudonym)

... last days of October I was rudely treated, without cause, by the deputy warden. There was no means of redress, and it was not wise to seek relief by retort, since I knew, from the experience of my comrades, that it would result in my confinement in a dark dungeon, with bread and water for diet. I retired to my cell, and closed the door with the determination that I would neither eat nor sleep until I had devised some means of escape. ...
— Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War • Various

... round." Camporese had to utter the words first and no sooner had she done so than Ronzi di Begnis, in a whisper, loud enough to be heard by her companion, made the comment "E vero!" ("True!")—"a remark," says Mr. Ebers, "which produced a retort courteous somewhat more than verging on the limit of decorum, though not proceeding to the extremity asserted by rumor, which would have been as inconsistent with propriety as with the habitual dignity and self-possession ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... not mind my retort a bit, however. He seemed to think it beneath his notice; for, he only said "Thank you, Lorton!" and dropped back behind us again with Bessie Dasher, while Seraphine joined company with little Miss Pimpernell—Min and I being still together ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... the admission, however, that this is not quite a one-sided question. If we submit ourselves meekly to the Medicine Man and the Conjurer, and are not exalted by it, the savages may retort upon us that we act more unwisely than they in other matters wherein we fail to imitate them. It is a widely diffused custom among savage tribes, when they meet to discuss any affair of public importance, to ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... replied that the type was too rough and common: it was not Christ but a peasant. Christ, of course, was a peasant; but by peasant Brunelleschi meant a stupid, dull man. Donatello, chagrined, had recourse to what has always been a popular retort to critics, and challenged him to make a better. Brunelleschi took it very quietly: he said nothing in reply, but secretly for many months, in the intervals of his architecture, worked at his own version, and then one day, when it was finished, invited ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... literary facet of critical brilliance, once declared that he could not perceive the excellence of Francis Thompson's poetry. When someone suggested that it might be that he was not spiritual enough, the retort was laconic and crushing, "Or, perhaps, not ecclesiastical enough." Like most good retorts Taylor's had more wit than truth. He was obsessed by the notion, prevalent among a certain class of literary ...
— The Hound of Heaven • Francis Thompson

... means of disposing of the dead likely to become very popular, especially with women who are so fond of having the last retort. ...
— The Foolish Dictionary • Gideon Wurdz

... of presents, his reference to the cloak and the books with its anxious "but especially the parchments," and his excellent advice to Timothy about beverages, are all the purest and most genuine matter for mail-bags. So is St. Peter's very gentleman-like (as it has been termed) retort to his brother Apostle; and so are both the Second and the Third of St. John. Indeed it is not fanciful to suggest that the account of the voyage which finishes the "Acts," and other parts of that very delightful book, are narratives much more of the kind one finds in letters than ...
— A Letter Book - Selected with an Introduction on the History and Art of Letter-Writing • George Saintsbury

... his tones a sort of sullen admission that her retort was justified. "But even now your voice sounds ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... of one yourself," was the whimsical reply. Stacy pondered over the Professor's retort all the rest of that day. But when noon came and passed and no stop was made for a noonday meal, the fat ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Alaska - The Gold Diggers of Taku Pass • Frank Gee Patchin

... retort. "It simply means that in the attack on my brain the higher psychical centres are untouched. I can remember, I can think and reason. When that goes, I go. I am not. ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... the old rancher. He was just in that condition when it would take little to make him quarrel. He was about to rap out an angry retort when a knock came at the partition door. It was Thompson. He had come to say that the troopers had returned, and wanted to see the sergeant. Also to say that Rodgers was with them. Horrocks immediately went out to see them, and, before John ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... And at that retort a laugh was raised against Arthur, who was a little disposed to gasconade, and to an unmerited scorn of the valour of ...
— French and English - A Story of the Struggle in America • Evelyn Everett-Green

... stake did you offer in your wager with my cousin?" "Twenty she-camels," said Hadifah. "As for this first wager," answered Cais, "I cancel it, and propose another one in its stead: I will bet thirty camels." "And I forty," replied Hadifah, "I make it fifty," was the retort of Cais. "Sixty," quickly added the other; and they continued raising the terms of the wager, until the number of camels staked was one hundred. The contract of the bet was deposited in the hands of a man named Sabic, ...
— Oriental Literature - The Literature of Arabia • Anonymous

... as if the girl were going to flash out a bitter retort that might have betrayed her. Then she showed the same self-control as before, and went, without a word, into the next room. She was absent for a few minutes, and when she reappeared, carried what was unmistakably a bundle of soiled linen, ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... sensation tingling in his veins, and his head was hot, for times had altered now, and he was not quite the same lad as the one who had submitted to be tyrannised over in town. He was about to utter some angry retort, ...
— The Vast Abyss - The Story of Tom Blount, his Uncles and his Cousin Sam • George Manville Fenn

... delighted with the success of their scheme, laughed applause, and Mr. Jobson somewhat gratified at the success of his retort, sat down and attacked his breakfast. A short clay pipe, smoked as a digestive, was impounded by the watchful Mrs. Jobson the ...
— Ship's Company, The Entire Collection • W.W. Jacobs

... retort pleased the audience, and elicited general though faint applause, and several cries of "Shut up, Skim!" "Got your match, old boy!" "Oh! let the man go on!" The last remark issued from the gentlemanly conductor, and fell with peculiar pleasure ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... I do at once recall When good La Mutt did to my aid repair. And he so scared mine adversary then That I in pity did not e'en retort. For there are times when with a cold disdain One soars aloft and sees a pigmy not. Twere vain to argue with a half-fledged mind, Thus ...
— 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts • Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

... She tossed her head, opened her mouth to complete the retort, then changed her mind. "I shall go on with my history. Dad had practically nothing left, and he decided to return to the sea. He'd always loved it, and I half believe that he was glad things had happened as they did. He was ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... day he took up his abode in his lonely refuge on Lake Hanover, which he alternately dubbed his Diogenes tub, his Uncle Tom's Cabin, and his retort. It was no Diogenes tub, because the two friends brought wood and anthracite coal for a little American stove in the bedroom, which gave quite a good deal of heat and made a cosey appearance with the glow of the burning coal visible; and because the kitchen and pantry contained everything that is ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... This neat retort, which made the Marquise smile, gave the Prefet of la Charente a nervous chill. "You may tell her," Lucien went on, "that I now bear gules, a bull raging ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... horizontals. And yet how slight a thing in itself is involved! the preservation of a measure! When the great chemist wishes to find out whether traces of a substance can give a reaction he seems to be playing with his phials like a little boy; he takes a retort and fills it with the substance he wishes to study, and then empties it; afterwards he fills it with water, and watches for the reaction; the reaction takes place; then again he empties the retort, fills it anew with water, and sees whether there is a further reaction. Thus he establishes ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... to retort, when the door opened, and the spiritual adviser of the establishment, Dr Catton, entered. He was a small thin man, with sallow complexion, and that peculiar pucker about the mouth which seems a characteristic of those who hold his views. The two gentlemen were well ...
— Clara Maynard - The True and the False - A Tale of the Times • W.H.G. Kingston

... service glorious Made both of us victorious?" Cried out the much-elated ass. "Yes," said the lion; "bravely bray'd! Had I not known yourself and race, I should have been myself afraid!" The donkey, had he dared, With anger would have flared At this retort, though justly made; For who could suffer boasts to pass So ill-befitting ...
— A Hundred Fables of La Fontaine • Jean de La Fontaine

... no load from mine," was the angry retort. He stood considering. Then with an impatient gesture he seemed to dismiss his thoughts. "I can do nothing," he said, "nothing without being false to my duty and becoming as bad as you have been, O'Moy, ...
— The Snare • Rafael Sabatini

... did not lose my self-possession. I turned to the Emperor and said, 'Sir, the Queen and I have known each other for a few moments only, but already we have a secret between us!'" The Kaiser was very tickled by my retort ... very tickled ... and the Queen told me afterwards that it was very adroit of me to get out of it like that. She said it ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... Lauragais, and was a very singular and eccentric person. He was a great Anglomane, and was the first introducer into France of horseraces 'a l'Anglaise; it was to him that Louis XV.—not pleased at his insolent Anglomanie— made so excellent a retort. The King had asked him after one of his journeys, what he had learned in England? Lauragais answered, with a kind of republican dignity, "A panser" (penser).—"Les chavaux?" inquired the King. On the other hand, he was one of the first promoters of the practice of inoculation. stories ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... retort rose to her lips, but she repressed it, and her lip curled with scorn as she answered his sallies in the coolest terms that common civility allowed. He might as well have tried his cutting speeches on an iceberg for all the satisfaction ...
— Miss Dexie - A Romance of the Provinces • Stanford Eveleth

... An angry retort was on my lips, but a glance at his face prevented me from uttering it—it was, in its expression, the face of a wild animal worried ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... retort direct and no trafficker in the finer shades of sarcasm, cleared his throat and lifted up his voice. ''Ere, why don't you speak when you're spoke to, you lop-eared lager-beer barrel, you. Take your fice out o' ...
— Between the Lines • Boyd Cable

... going to ask you!" All this was done in such a loud and impudent tone and manner, as made Gammon still more uneasy for his young companion. But his sally had been received by the company as a very smart retort, and produced a roar of laughter, every one being glad to see Mr. Bluster snubbed, who bore it in silent dignity, though his face showed his chagrin and astonishment; and he very heartily agreed, for once in his life, with the worshipful person opposite to him, in his ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... handles the retort and decanter! Makes lightning and thunder would scare Tam O'Shanter; Makes feathers as heavy as lead, in a jar, And eliminates spirits from coal ...
— Memories and Anecdotes • Kate Sanborn

... shoulders of Kaahumanu, the most conspicuous person in the land, named by the dying Kamehameha for a conditional successor: "If Liholiho do amiss, let Kaahumanu take the kingdom and preserve it." The priests met in council of diviners; and by a natural retort, it was upon Kaahumanu that they laid the fault of the King's death. This conspiracy appears to have been quite in vain. Kaahumanu sat secure. On the day of the coronation, when the young King came forth from the heiau, clad in a red robe and crowned with his English diadem, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "hen-house" looked as if he wished very much to retort in kind. The glare he gave his visitor prophesied direful things. But he did not retort; nor, to her surprise, did he raise his voice or order her off the premises. Instead his tone, when he spoke again, was ...
— Thankful's Inheritance • Joseph C. Lincoln

... you'll both cast loose but the longer I keep you in suspense the longer you'll lay hold," was his quizzical retort. ...
— Peggy Stewart at School • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... at the extreme right the retorts, which correspond to our canister. These are usually long fire-brick tubes of D-section, the flat side at the bottom. Under each is a furnace, the flames of which play on the bottom, sides, and inner end of the retort. The outer end projecting beyond the brickwork seating has an iron air-tight door for filling the retort through, immediately behind which rises an iron exit pipe, A, for the gases. Tar, which vaporizes at high temperatures, but liquefies at ordinary atmospheric heat, must first be got rid ...
— How it Works • Archibald Williams

... of the public. What he said was plain, clear, striking. His illustrations were quaint and homely, sometimes even vulgar, but they never failed to tell. He was gifted also with an excellent humor which greatly enlivened his writing. In retort, especially when provoked, he was dangerous to his antagonist; and tho his reasoning might be faulty, he would frequently gain his cause by a flash of wit that took the public, and, as it were, hustled his adversary out of court. But he was not always a victorious ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. X (of X) - America - II, Index • Various

... to them at least," was her equivocal retort. "Has your Highness any preference as to ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... the Dean's Ernest mockingly waiting his retort. And he could not retort. No words would come, and he could only stand there, his cheeks flushed, aware that Ernest had grown and grown during those three months, that he wore a straw hat with a black-and-red ribbon upon it, that round his long ugly neck was ...
— Jeremy • Hugh Walpole

... retort. Rumbold and Fosdike looked at each other, and neither made the retort. Instead, Fosdike asked: "Are you employed in the ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... These writers would retort (if I take them properly) that this was very true; that it was the same with themselves and other persons of (what they call) the artistic temperament; that in this we were exceptional, and should apparently be ashamed of ourselves; but that our works must deal exclusively with (what ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to say truth, too late I thus contest; then should have been refused Those terms whatever, when they were proposed: Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good, Then cavil the conditions? And, though God Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son Prove disobedient, and reproved, retort, "Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not!" Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee That proud excuse? yet him not thy election, But natural necessity begot. God made thee of choice his own, and of his own To serve him; thy reward was of ...
— Paradise Lost • John Milton

... fingers from time to time, taking aim, boring the ceiling with his gaze, filing the prison bars. By his restlessness, he had tired out the soldiers who watched him through the little window, and who, several times, in despair, had threatened to shoot. Tsiganok would retort, coarsely and derisively, and the quarrel would end peacefully because the dispute would soon turn into boorish, unoffending abuse, after which shooting would have seemed absurd ...
— The Seven who were Hanged • Leonid Andreyev

... sal ammoniac, and place in a suitable vessel. Afterwards you must take a pound of alum, a pound of Hungary crystals, four ounces of verdigris, four ounces of cinnabar, and two ounces of sulphur. Pulverise and mix, and place in a retort of such size that the above matters will only half fill it. This retort must be placed over a furnace with four draughts, for the heat must be raised to the fourth degree. At first your fire must be slow so as to extract the gross phlegm of the matter, and when the spirit begins to appear, place ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... cause whether Radisson referred to Hudson Bay in this passage. The French claim that he did; the English that he did not. "The house demolished with bullets" was probably an old trading post, contend the English; but there was no trading post except Radisson's west of Lake Superior at that time, retort the French. By "cows" Radisson meant buffalo, and no buffalo were found as far east as Hudson Bay, say the English; by "cows" Radisson meant caribou and deer, and herds of these frequented the shores of Hudson Bay, answer the French. No river comes from the Saguenay to Hudson ...
— Pathfinders of the West • A. C. Laut

... only 2d., a sum which has been immortalized by Samuel Johnson's famous retort on his tutor: 'Sir, you have sconced me 2d. for non-attendance at a lecture not ...
— The Oxford Degree Ceremony • Joseph Wells

... time; and, to do him justice, arguing very well. These chapters are full not merely of exuberant satire on America in the sense that Dotheboys Hall or Mr. Bumble's Workhouse are exuberant satires on England. They are full also of sharp argument with America as if the man who wrote expected retort and was prepared with rejoinder. The rest of the book, like the rest of Dickens's books, possesses humour. This part of the book, like hardly any of Dickens's books, possesses wit. The republican gentleman who receives Martin on landing is horrified on hearing an English servant speak of the ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton

... oblige me to appropriate to myself, as my reward for a certain amount of labor bestowed on the investigation of a very important question of evidence, and a statement of my own practical conclusions. I take no offence, and attempt no retort. No man makes a quarrel with me over the counterpane that covers a mother, with her new-born infant at her breast. There is no epithet in the vocabulary of slight and sarcasm that can reach my personal sensibilities in such a controversy. Only just so far as a disrespectful ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... was saved the labour of framing a suitable retort, for the door of Mr. Beale's flat was flung open and Mr. Beale came forth. His grey hat was on the back of his head and he stood erect with the aid of the door-post, surveying with a bland and inane smile the little ...
— The Green Rust • Edgar Wallace

... certainly too abrupt... Probably very characteristic of her... Strange day! He had been suspected of theft. He had stood up to his father. He had remained away from the shop. And his father's only retort was to give him a rise of half a crown ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... maniacs laugh and screamed as maniacs scream, until the strange medley of insensate sounds went rocketing and skittering through the house and came back in echo, as the retort of the furies. ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... upon him quickly with an angry flash in his eyes, and he was about to burst out with some fierce retort; but in those brief moments it seemed to him that it was not Glyn's but the Colonel's masterful eyes that were gazing down into his, as, truth to tell, they had more than once looked down upon his father in some special crisis when in ...
— Glyn Severn's Schooldays • George Manville Fenn

... would take Susan's chair, and the two girls would be opposite. And then Dunn would read to them; not sermons, but passages from Shakspeare, and Byron, and Longfellow. "He reads much better than Mr. Beckard," Susan had said one night. "Of course you're a competent judge!" had been Hetta's retort. "I mean that I like it better," said Susan. "It's well that all people ...
— The Courtship of Susan Bell • Anthony Trollope

... contained himself, indeed, in public; but there was a deep-seated irritation visible underneath. With me, from whom he had less concealment, he was often grossly unjust, and even for his wife he would sometimes have a sharp retort: perhaps when she had ruffled him with some unwonted kindness; perhaps upon no tangible occasion, the mere habitual tenor of the man's annoyance bursting spontaneously forth. When he would thus forget himself (a thing so strangely out of keeping with the terms of their relation), ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... never," related his daughter, Mme. Laure Surville, in her article upon Balzac, "under any circumstances at a loss for a retort. One day, when a newspaper article relating to a centenarian was being read aloud (an article not likely to escape notice in our family, as may well be imagined) he interrupted the reader, contrary to his habit, in order to say enthusiastically, 'There is a man who has lived wisely ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... a materialist, yourself," was the bold retort. "Do as you please, but you can't drag me into your money calculations." The swift slam of the door ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... Syndicalists might retort that when the movement is strong enough to win by armed insurrection it will be abundantly strong enough to win by the General Strike. In Labor movements generally, success through violence can hardly ...
— Proposed Roads To Freedom • Bertrand Russell

... honourable gentleman has NOT had the courtesy to give him notice of that question (great cheering from the Wigsby interest), he must decline to give the honourable gentleman the satisfaction he requires. Mr. Magg, instantly rising to retort, is received with loud cries of 'Spoke!' from the Wigsby interest, and with cheers from the Magg side of the house. Moreover, five gentlemen rise to order, and one of them, in revenge for being taken no notice of, petrifies the assembly by moving that this ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... books that this copy of the Valdarfer Boccaccio came again into the sale-room in 1819, when the Blandford library was sold, and when it became the property of Earl Spencer for L918. 'I will have it when you are dead,' was the savage retort of a defeated book-lover at an auction sale, and such perhaps was Earl Spencer's mental determination when his rival carried off the bargain—by waiting seven years he saved L1,242, as well as possessing himself of one of ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... I had always detested brutal disputes, after the manner of Voltaire. I never combat but with dignity, and before I deign to defend myself I must be certain that he by whom I am attacked will not dishonor my retort. I had no doubt but this letter was fabricated by the Jesuits, and although they were at that time in distress, I discovered in it their old principle of crushing the wretched. I was therefore at liberty to follow ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... retort, and passed forth to his waiting cab. The day had commenced inauspiciously. The night before, smoking his final cigarette in his upper berth in the wagon-lit, he had tempted Providence by laying out for himself a programme ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... ground for hoping that outward things will arrange themselves for our pleasure. This argument is halting from every aspect. There is no force in the inference: one might grant the conclusion: the argument may be retorted upon the author. Let us begin with the retort, which is easy. For are men any happier or more independent of the accidents of fortune upon this argument, or because they are credited with the advantage of choosing without reason? Have they less bodily suffering? ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... generally, he refrained from the strictures with which succeeding governors and intendants freely interlarded their despatches. It was not his instinct to clash with the humbler classes, and he generally reserved his anger for those who could retort it. He had the air of distinction natural to a man familiar all his life with the society of courts, and he was as gracious and winning on some occasions as he was unbearable on others. When in good humor, his ready wit and a certain sympathetic vivacity made ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... this oxide is a dangerous explosive, great care must be taken in its preparation; the chlorate is finely powdered and added in the cold, in small quantities at a time, to the acid contained in a retort. After solution the retort is gently heated by warm water when the gas is liberated:—3KClO3 2H2SO4 KClO4 2KHSO4 H2O ClO2. A mixture of chlorine peroxide and chlorine is obtained by the action of hydrochloric acid on potassium chlorate, and similarly, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... process, though what, they could not imagine; or, something had been driven off that was in its nature light, namely, phlogiston. To decide between these hypotheses, Lavoisier hermetically sealed some tin in a glass retort, and weighed the whole. He then heated it; and, when the tin was calcined, weighed the whole again, and found it the same as before. No substance, therefore, either light or heavy, had escaped. Further, ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... like, till I ground my teeth, clenched my fists, and sat there bent over the exercises before me, seeing nothing but the interior of Lomax's cottage, and listening to his instructions how to stop that blow and retort with another, till in imagination I could fancy myself thrashing my enemies, and making for myself a ...
— Burr Junior • G. Manville Fenn

... blandishments, standing on the threshold, with its finger on its lips. I will not ask how it comes that those personal altercations, involving all the removes and definitions of Shakespeare's Touchstone—the retort courteous—the quip modest— the reply churlish—the reproof valiant—the countercheck quarrelsome—the lie circumstantial and the lie direct—are of immeasurably greater interest in the House of Commons than the health, the taxation, and the education, of a whole people. I will not ...
— Speeches: Literary and Social • Charles Dickens

... out of the show-room before a retort could formulate itself, so Morris struggled into his overcoat instead and made for the store door. As he reached it his eye fell on the clock over Wasserbauer's Cafe on the other side of the street. The hands pointed to two o'clock, ...
— Potash & Perlmutter - Their Copartnership Ventures and Adventures • Montague Glass

... passed since Madame Olenska's departure from New York. During those ten days Archer had had no sign from her but that conveyed by the return of a key wrapped in tissue paper, and sent to his office in a sealed envelope addressed in her hand. This retort to his last appeal might have been interpreted as a classic move in a familiar game; but the young man chose to give it a different meaning. She was still fighting against her fate; but she was going to Europe, ...
— The Age of Innocence • Edith Wharton

... that you don't understand your business, Swift!" was the instant retort. "You pretend to be a navigator, or have men who are, and yet when I give you simple and explicit directions for finding a sunken wreck you can't do it, and you cruise all around looking for it like a dog that has lost the scent! You don't know your ...
— Tom Swift and his Undersea Search - or, The Treasure on the Floor of the Atlantic • Victor Appleton

... atmosphere of the House of Lords, and the Duke, noticing the scarcely suppressed excitement, turned to one of his colleagues and whispered: 'What can I have said which seems to have made so great a disturbance?' Quick came the dry retort of the candid friend: 'You have announced the fall of your Government, that is all.' The consternation was almost comic. 'Never was there an act of more egregious folly, or one so universally condemned,' ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... Do not say upon my principle, unless you mean to deny that you too embrace it; if you give up that principle, you lay yourself open at once to the retort that your position is insecure; that you have taken your experience as a sufficient criterion of the possibilities of events, when it is in fact merely a measure of such as have fallen under ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... the memory of them, but since you demand it, I will repeat them just as they fell from her lips," was Mr. Brotherson's bitter retort. "She said, 'You of all men should recognise the unseemliness of these proposals. Had your letters given me any hint of the feelings you have just expressed, you would never have had this opportunity of approaching me.' That was all; but her indignation was scathing. Ladies ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... misfortune to be a hunchback, to be embittered by his deformity, and to be constantly engaged in personal quarrels with his rivals; but his attitude in these polemics is always dignified, and his crushing retort to Lope de Vega in Los pechos privilegiados is an unsurpassable example of cold, scornful invective. More than any other Spanish dramatist, Alarcon is preoccupied with ethical aims, and his gift of dramatic presentation is as brilliant as his dialogue is natural and ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... was one day walking the Strand in grand array with bag-wig and sword, he excited the merriment of two coxcombs, one of whom called to the other to "look at that fly with a long pin stuck through it." Stung to the quick, Goldsmith's first retort was to caution the passers-by to be on their guard against "that brace of disguised pickpockets"—his next was to step into the middle of the street, where there was room for action, half draw his ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... was the indignant retort. "What but push that board against my lily-pad and knock me in the water! I call that doing ...
— Bumper, The White Rabbit • George Ethelbert Walsh

... the other side, that no such persons are at the Helm, and that what he has assum'd is but precarious. But I retort upon him, that if some of his Party were the Ministers, the Protestant Religion would receive but very cold assistance from them, who have none at all themselves. And for the growth of the French Monarchy, I have ...
— His Majesties Declaration Defended • John Dryden

... she dealt her robust young admirer such a slap in the face, that it sounded like the report of a pocket-pistol. The blow was well meant, and admirably administered. It left the mark of every finger on the cheek of the sturdy little fellow. The lad clenched his fist, seemed much disposed to retort in kind, and ended by telling his beautiful antagonist that it was very fortunate for her she was not a boy. But it was the face of the girl herself that drew my attention. It was like a mirror which reflected every passing thought. When she gave the blow, it was red ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... see you often and get to know you better when this little scrap is over," Murk made bold to say, and then, chuckling at her retort, he started ...
— The Brand of Silence - A Detective Story • Harrington Strong

... made his remark in a watchfully advancing, and yet furtive and shy manner, very expressive of that peculiar air already noticed, of being at once hunter and hunted. Edwin has made his retort with an abruptness not at all polite. They stop and ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... Lindsley. But the trapper did not answer. He got out the retort, and in five minutes the oxygen was bubbling furiously through the wash bottle into the India-rubber receiver. Edwards stood at the window scanning the road toward Gager's with his telescope until it grew dark, which ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... example and behavior of a staff kept together around the same work by the same faith. The closer the atmosphere, the more powerful the action; the chances are that the latter will prove decisive on the child sequestered, sheltered and brought up in a retort, and that its intellect, faith and ideas, carefully cultivated, pruned and always under direction, will exactly reproduce the model aimed at.—For this reason, in 1876, 33,000 out of 46,000 pupils belonging to the 309 ecclesiastical ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 6 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 2 (of 2) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... the countenance of her husband, which was firm and resolved in its expression. In her confusion she could find no retort. The emperor waited awhile, and seeing that she did not speak, he turned toward the two followers, who stood, ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... at her last balance sheet as a result of it," was the prompt retort. "If a nation chooses to make herself a bankrupt by building war toys, no one in the world can help her. Legislation of that sort is foolish and simply an incitement to revolution. Look at the difference in our country. Our income tax is practically abolished, our industrial ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... of the retort drew no sign of attention from the Doctor; he was silently asking himself what this nonsense meant. Was it drink, or gambling, or a confidence game? Or was it only vanity, or a mistake of inexperience? He turned his head unexpectedly, and gave the stranger's facial lines ...
— Dr. Sevier • George W. Cable

... of sobriety on the part of their passenger had got to be a joke with the officers and men of the ship, Captain Truck had no difficulty in understanding his mate, and though nettled at a retort that was like usurping his own right to the exclusive quizzing of the vessel, he was in a mood much too sentimental and reflecting to be angry. After a moment's pause, he resumed the dialogue, as if nothing had been said to disturb ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper



Words linked to "Retort" :   answer, sass, alembic, lip, reply, sassing, response, mouth, back talk, backtalk, respond, vessel, still



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