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Caitiff   Listen
adjective
Caitiff  adj.  
1.
Captive; wretched; unfortunate. (Obs.)
2.
Base; wicked and mean; cowardly; despicable. "Arnold had sped his caitiff flight."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Caitiff" Quotes from Famous Books



... it I suppose I must obey," replied Sir Henry; "but I had rather not have stained my weapons with the blood of so foul a caitiff." ...
— Heiress of Haddon • William E. Doubleday

... the listening crowd Applaud his reasonings. O'er the watery ford, Dry sandy heaths, and stony barren hills, O'er beaten tracks, with men and beast distain'd, Unerring he pursues; till, at the cot Arrived, and seizing by his guilty throat The caitiff vile, redeems the captive prey: So exquisitely delicate ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3) • Walter Scott

... and her hateful brood of hell, Be heard amid this hall; once more befits The patriot, whose prophetic eye so oft 5 Has pierced thro' faction's veil, to flash on crimes Of deadliest import. Mouldering in the grave Sleeps Capet's caitiff corse; my daring hand Levelled to earth his blood-cemented throne, My voice declared his guilt, and stirred up France 10 To call for vengeance. I too dug the grave Where sleep the Girondists, detested band! Long with the shew of freedom they abused Her ardent sons. Long time the well-turn'd phrase, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... spoken by Ettore Cavalcanti, Lord of Pagliano, some hours before he died; and so will those others swear. And I charge your excellency, as Caesar's vicegerent, to accept that memorial as an indictment of that caitiff Cosimo d'Anguissola, who lent himself to so foul and sacrilegious a deed—for it involved the defilement of the ...
— The Strolling Saint • Raphael Sabatini

... Sorry am I to say the reverse has been the fact: fallen, proscribed, pre-judged, the cup of bitterness has been administered to him with an unsparing hand. It has almost been considered as culpable to evince toward him the least sympathy or support; and many a hollow-hearted caitiff have I seen, who basked in the sunshine of his bounty while in power, who now skulked from his side, and even mingled among the most clamorous of his enemies.... I bid him farewell with a heavy ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... sell his birthright indeed, and so do many besides, and by so doing exclude themselves from the chief blessing, as also that caitiff did; but you must put a difference betwixt Esau and Little-faith, and also betwixt their estates. Esau's birthright was typical, but Little-faith's jewels were not so; Esau's belly was his god, but Little-faith's belly was not so; Esau's ...
— The Pilgrim's Progress - From this world to that which is to come. • John Bunyan

... impossible But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground, May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute As Angelo; even so may Angelo, In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms, Be an ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... back with part of his old lightness, "I have borne a brave front before it all. I have looked the Cyclops in the face, even when he glowered the fiercest. But it all will pass. I presume Thersytes the caitiff and Agamemnon the king have the same sleep and the same dreams in Orchus. And a few years more or a few less in a man's life make little matter. But it would be sweeter to go out thinking 'I have triumphed' ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... caitiff a toss that sent him reeling against the wall, and dashed up-stairs for the papers. All was darkness, and I nigh broke my neck over a coffin-shaped rough box made for one of the trappers, who had died in the fort. ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... ever a chief was chosen To cover a cause with shame, And if ever there breathed a caitiff, Bolivar was ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 110, December, 1866 - A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics • Various

... where no one slept— Ten for family use were kept; Dogs eleven with bums to make free, With a bold thirteen[10] in the treasury— (Such its numerical strength, I guess It can't be more, but it may be less). Tar-barrels new and feathers old Are ready, I trow, for the caitiff bold Who dares to invade The stormy shade Of the grim O'Grade, In his ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... well,' answered Oberon, 'that this caitiff Huon should suffer pain for the evil that he has wrought, but if you love him so much that for his sake you shall endure to wear the shape of a fish for twenty years longer I will grant you your wish on two conditions. Carry ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... a dungeon deep, huge numbers lay Of caitiff wretched thralls, that wailed night and day, . . . . . . . Whose case when as the careful Dwarf had told, And made ensample of their mournful sight Unto his master, he no longer would There dwell in peril of like painful plight, But early ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... Myles, with the same angry bitterness in his voice, "either the Earl is a coward that feareth to befriend me, or else he is a caitiff, ashamed of his own flesh and blood, and of me, the son of his ...
— Men of Iron • Ernie Howard Pyle

... "Vile caitiff! I have a foreboding that you will not have your detestable wish. Away!—leave me! or you shall find, that although this head is blanched by misery, this arm has ...
— The Phantom Ship • Frederick Marryat

... thought him one of the most disagreeable fellows I had ever seen. His features were ugly, and, moreover, as dark as pepper; and, besides being dark, his skin was dirty. As for his dress, it was torn and sordid. His chest was broad, and his arms seemed powerful; but, upon the whole, he looked a very caitiff. "I am sorry that man has lost his wife," thought I; "for I am sure he will never get another." What surprises me is, that he ever found a woman disposed to unite ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... awakening, through the smoky air Of the dark city casts a sullen glance, Rousing each caitiff to his task of care, Of sinful man the sad inheritance; Summoning revelers from the lagging dance, 5 Scaring the prowling robber to his den; Gilding on battled tower the warder's lance, And warning student pale to leave his pen, And yield his drowsy ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... 1813 that Archie strayed one day into the Justiciary Court. The macer made room for the son of the presiding judge. In the dock, the centre of men's eyes, there stood a whey- coloured, misbegotten caitiff, Duncan Jopp, on trial for his life. His story, as it was raked out before him in that public scene, was one of disgrace and vice and cowardice, the very nakedness of crime; and the creature heard and it seemed at times as though he understood - as if at times he forgot the ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in air, Diest on a more ignoble tree, (For thou shall steal thy landlord's mare,) Then, bloody caitiff! think on me." ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... voice; and the poor invisible caitiff called on him by name, and poured forth out of the darkness an endless, garrulous appeal for mercy. A sense of danger, of daring, had alone nerved Carthew to enter the forecastle; and here was the enemy crying and pleading like a frightened child. His obsequious "Here, sir," his horrid ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... take to her, O gallant knight, This signet with my solemn plight To seek her presence straight, When varlets or a caitiff crew Resolved some evil deed to do— Besiege her ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... spurs into his steed's side! "Caitiff, thy taunts are little worth," he cried, and, pierced through shield and buckler, the ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) • Various

... you set too high a price upon it, Colonel Tarleton. If, for the mere swapping of a rope for a bullet, I could be the poor caitiff your offer implies, hanging would be too good ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... of my family (it was to a female too!) in the name of the Chairman of my Committee, to say, that I had fallen a sacrifice to the fury of the mob, whose rage had been turned against me by some circumstance. The caitiff described, in very pathetic language, the distress of my friends, and requested instructions for the funeral of the mangled corpse. This letter was written in the most plausible manner; the hand-writing and name of the Chairman of my Committee was forged, ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 3 • Henry Hunt

... dealt out in proportion to the whiteness of the skin. If Mason's bill passes, I might have some miserable postmaster from Texas or the District of Columbia, some purchased agent of Messrs. Bruin & Hill, the great slave-dealers of the Capital, have him here in Boston, take Ellen Craft before the caitiff, and on his decision hurry her off to bondage as cheerless, as hopeless, and as irremediable ...
— The Trial of Theodore Parker • Theodore Parker

... here, friend: without stop or stay, As you value your peace, make the best of your way. Though at present arrested by death's caitiff paw, If he stirs, he may still have recourse to the law. And in the King's Bench should a verdict be found, That by livery and seisin his grave is his ground, He will claim to himself what is strictly his due, And an action of trespass will straightway ensue, ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... ships alongside mine, King, close to this barricaded bridge," said the valorous boy, "and I will vow to break it down, or ye may call me caitiff and coward." ...
— Historic Boys - Their Endeavours, Their Achievements, and Their Times • Elbridge Streeter Brooks

... said Bertrand d'Aiguerra, "to any god of luck who will send that caitiff where he gets himself killed. If he were not one of us he would not be such a nuisance. His mercenaries will be the ruin of us. The people were touchy enough before, but now they begin to think we are all birds of the ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... by rights have been trembling, but her eyes blazed at me disdainfully. I felt almost like a caitiff, whatever that ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... the further end of the pass, was less favourable than we could wish, and those whose curiosity desired to see something which might be termed the rout of the rear of an army, beheld the Syrians pursued from the hill tops, overwhelmed, and individually cut down and made prisoners by the bands of caitiff Mussulmans. ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... colleague had recovered his presence of mind. Tell him, I pray you, that the elusive Pimpernel whom he knows so well never assumes a fanciful disguise. He discovered the real Paul Mole first, studied him, learned his personality, until his own became a perfect replica of the miserable caitiff. It was the false Paul Mole who induced Jeannette Marechal to introduce him originally into the household of citizen Marat. It was he who gained the confidence of his employer; he, for a consideration, borrowed the identity papers of his real prototype. He again who for ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... puffing 'Sir Danapalus (the Bart.)' in public, and taking all the odds he can get against him in private. Watchorn knows that it is easier to make a horse lose than win. The restless-looking, lynx-eyed caitiff, in the dirty green shawl, with his hands stuffed into the front pockets of the brown tarriar coat, is their jockey, the renowned Captain Hangallows; he answers to the name of Sam Slick in Mr. Spavin the horse-dealer's ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... the hound? where is the caitiff miscreant? Has he thrown himself into the river? Drowning is too good for such a dog as he!" shouted angry voices on the river's bank, and through the still air the sound of trampling footsteps could be heard up and down the little wharf which formed ...
— The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn - A Story of the Days of the Gunpowder Plot • Evelyn Everett-Green

... learn there is no power against the Lord. There stands a man, once of so high degree, Chief prelate of our Church, archbishop, first In Council, second person in the realm, Friend for so long time of a mighty King; And now ye see downfallen and debased From councillor to caitiff—fallen so low, The leprous flutterings of the byway, scum And offal of the city would not change Estates with him; in brief, so miserable, There is no hope of better left for him, No place for worse. Yet, ...
— Queen Mary and Harold • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... but now—"—Hero Giles' voice took on a ringing quality like the clash of steel—"there is work to be done. To rescue ye, oh Hero Nelson, I slew the guards at the lower gate, for this prison lies in the hands of a caitiff rogue, Hero Edmund, one who clings to the priestly party. We had best be off lest we be trapped and slaughtered like rats ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... fear, Whom cursed do bless; whose weakness virtues arm; Who others' woes and plaints can chastely bear: In whose sweet heaven angels of high thoughts swarm? What courage strange hath caught thy caitiff heart? Fear'st not a face that oft whole hearts devours? Or art thou from above bid play this part, And so no help 'gainst envy of those powers? If thus, alas, yet while those parts have woe; So stay her tongue, that she no ...
— A Defence of Poesie and Poems • Philip Sidney

... dame wax'd hotter—"Speak out, lad, say, Must we fall in that canting caitiff's power? Shall we yield to a knave and a turncoat? Nay, I had liever leap from our topmost tower. For a while we can surely await relief; Our walls are high and our doors are strong." This Kerr was indeed a canting thief— I know not rightly, some private wrong He had done ...
— Poems • Adam Lindsay Gordon

... and how King Pellinore and then Sir Palamides followed it; of Balin that gave the dolourous stroke unto King Pellam; of Sir Tor that sought the lady's brachet and by the way overcame two knights and smote off the head of the outrageous caitiff Abelleus,—of these and many like matters of pith and moment, full of blood and honour, told Sir Lancelot, and the people had marvel ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke

... make, for at the first little twinges of pain, premonishing the agonies to come, the caitiff chattered in terror promises to do all the doctor should order, and so was released. Cringing and fawning, the outlaw heard what he was required to do. He was to write a letter. In this, he was to tell of the method of his capture. He was to say he was confined in a second-story ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... knowest if this heart of flesh Quivers like broken entrails, when the wheel Rolleth some dog in middle street, or fresh Fruit when ye tear it bleeding from the peel; If my soul cries the uncomprehended cry When the red agony oozed on Olivet! Yet not for this, a caitiff, falter I, Beloved whom I must lose, nor thence regret The doubly-vouched and twin allegiance owed To you in Heaven, and Heaven in you, Lady. How could you hope, loose dealer with my God, That I should keep for you my fealty? ...
— New Poems • Francis Thompson

... send thee, caitiff, far beyond the seas, To the grim tyrant Echetus, who mars All he encounters; bane of human kind. Thine ears he'll lop, and pare the nose away From thy pale ghastly visage: dire to tell! The very parts, which modesty conceals, ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.) • Jacob Bryant

... for help," said the trembling caitiff, who felt at that moment all the bitterness of the mortal agony—"It was the law's act, not mine. What ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... good," said Ben; "but I liked it best where Alphonso says to Montmorency, 'Caitiff, beware, or, by the heavens above, my trusty sword shall drink ...
— Ben, the Luggage Boy; - or, Among the Wharves • Horatio Alger

... words that already existed in the language in their Norman-French form (for we must not forget that French is Latin "with the ends bitten off"— changed by being spoken peculiarly and heard imperfectly) were reintroduced in their original Latin form. Thus we had caitiff from the Normans; but we reintroduced it in the shape of captive, which comes almost unaltered from the Latin captivum. Feat we had from the Normans; but the Latin factum, which provided the word, presented ...
— A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2 (of 2) • John Miller Dow Meiklejohn

... thou wretch, Though hast within thee undivulged crimes, Unwhipped of justice: hide thee, thou bloody hand; Thou perjured, and thou simular man of virtue, Thou art incestuous: caitiff, to pieces shake, That under covert and convenient seeming Hast practised on man's life: close pent-up guilts, Rive your concealing continents, and cry These dreadful ...
— Alvira: the Heroine of Vesuvius • A. J. O'Reilly

... when one of them was going on, boys were scarcer around the office than hen's teeth. The object of the league, as I shook it out of the head leaguer by the ear, was to catch the head bookkeeper, whom the boys didn't like, and whom they called the black caitiff, alone in the vault some night while he was putting away his books, slam the door, and turn the combination on him. Tucked away in a corner of the vault, they had a message for him, written in red ink, on a sheep's skull, telling him to tremble, that he was in the hands of the Mysterious ...
— Old Gorgon Graham - More Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee? Decline all this, and see what now thou art: For happy wife, a most distressed widow; For joyful mother, one that wails the name; For one being su'd to, one that humbly sues; For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care; For she that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me; For she being fear'd of all, now fearing one; For she commanding all, obey'd of none. Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about And left thee but a very ...
— The Life and Death of King Richard III • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... was the cause of the quarrel! I need not ask who was in the right, when a man brings to the rivalry such odds as yon caitiff." ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... she gave me. I put it down to a curious, meddlesome nature. I grew vexed, too, with Eudora, because my cousin said she did not love me. I did not reflect that I had done nothing to excite love. I had drawn perpetually on a heart overflowing and grateful,—selfish caitiff that I was! This, however, I did not then understand,—so completely were my ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... hast within thee undivulged crimes, Unwhipp'd of justice: hide thee, thou bloody hand; Thou perjur'd, and thou simular of virtue, That art incestuous: caitiff, to pieces shake, That under covert and convenient seeming Hast practis'd on man's life: close pent-up guilts, Rive your concealing continents, and ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... refused until, at last wearied out, his wild nature yielded to one of those sudden impulses which were wont to sweep over it; and he exclaimed, "Is it that they need a man-servant, then? Let this insolent caitiff, Gosselin, be relieved of his irons and sent on shore. Let him be my niece's servant or, since a Huguenot marriage is as good as any in the presence of bears and buccaneers, let her call the hound her husband, if she likes. I have done with ...
— Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... mischief, mischief, And a nine-times killing curse, By day and by night, to the caitiff wight, Who shakes the poor like snakes from his door, And shuts up the womb of his purse. And ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... Castles, and a Canning, A Cobbett, and a Castlereagh; All sorts of caitiff corpses planning All sorts of cozening for trepanning 155 Corpses less ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... tendencies of the commercial character—yet is it not a first condition of our being able to substitute better machinery for the ordinary rules of self-interest, that we know scientifically how those rules do and must operate? Again, in another field, it is well to cry out: 'Caitiff, we hate thee,' with a 'hatred, a hostility inexorable, unappeasable, which blasts the scoundrel, and all scoundrels ultimately, into black annihilation and disappearance from the scene of things.'[2] But this is slightly ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 2: Carlyle • John Morley

... before you, and if you would arrive at honor you must pursue it steadily, turning neither to the right nor to the left. Opposition you will meet at each step. But fresh lights may be thrown upon this difficult case. It is in vain to hope for Checkley's evidence, even should the caitiff priest be living. He is himself too ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... drove his rival beyond the walls; having fled the city, he was discovered hiding in a marsh, cast into prison, and condemned to die; to the slave sent to execute the sentence he drew himself haughtily up and exclaimed, "Caitiff, dare you slay Caius Marius?" and the executioner fled in terror of his life and left his sword behind him; Marius was allowed to escape; finding his way to Africa, he took up his quarters at Carthage, but the Roman praetor ordered him off; "Go tell the praetor," he said to the messenger ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... "Vile caitiff, come not here," Abrupt cried Death; "shall flatt'ry soothe my ear?" "Hence, or thou feel'st my dart!" the Monarch said. Wild terror seiz'd me, & the ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... as Secretary Johnstone, son of the caitiff Covenanter, Waristoun, wrote to Baillie of Jerviswoode, the Whigs made party capital out of the proceedings against Green: they said it was a Jacobite plot. I conceive that few Scottish Whigs, to be sure, marched ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... the castle yard; There Randulph, wrapt in his skins, {f:15} kept guard: "Ho! Caitiff, ho! with shield and brand, What art thou doing in this my land?" Look ...
— Romantic Ballads - translated from the Danish; and Miscellaneous Pieces • George Borrow

... "What caitiff has dared!" he exclaimed, when his hat was knocked off by a well-aimed orange from a neighbouring orange-tree, ...
— Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia - being the adventures of Prince Prigio's son • Andrew Lang

... upon the murderer, Balthazar Gerard, a mere hired assassin, was carried out within ten days after commission of the crime. A contemporary writer, apparently an eyewitness of his execution, speaks of Gerard as one "whose death was not of a sufficient sharpness for such a caitiff, and yet too sore for any Christian." His description of the murderer' ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... "There, caitiff, is the lucre. Now, avaunt! begone! Thy bones are marrowless; and you have not a particle of speculation ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... there till he let go his hold. During this struggle we both disappeared under the water together, to the great consternation of the anxious beholders. Up we came together again, but I continued to grasp him firmly with my left hand by the throat, and I, for a short time, exhibited the caitiff in this state, with his mouth open and his tongue out; to shew how completely I had subdued him, I gave him one more ducking under water and let him go: I then continued my course without further interruption towards the stag, who had, meanwhile, drifted twenty or thirty yards down with the current, ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... the king, musingly, "when thou didst tell us that these caitiff Jews were waxing strong in the fatness of their substance. They would have ...
— Leila or, The Siege of Granada, Book II. • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... immediately ushered into Falcon's sitting-room. There she sat down; but was evidently ill at ease, restless, flushed. She could not sit quiet, and at last began to walk up and down the room, almost wildly. Her beautiful eyes glittered, and the whole woman seemed on fire. The caitiff, who was watching her, saw and gloated on all this, and enjoyed to the full her beauty and agitation, and his revenge ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... book, and read a page or two to himself. Then he said, "I see he knocked the skipper down 'cause he insulted him. Nice, spunky chap; I'd like to have had him aboard a vessel of mine. And he called the old man a 'caitiff hound'? Awful thing to call a feller, that is. I'll bet that skipper felt ashamed. Looks like a good book. I'll borrow it to-night to read while you're ...
— Cap'n Eri • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... Through all the gloomy circles of the' abyss, Spirit, that swell'd so proudly 'gainst his God, Not him, who headlong fell from Thebes. He fled, Nor utter'd more; and after him there came A centaur full of fury, shouting, "Where Where is the caitiff?" On Maremma's marsh Swarm not the serpent tribe, as on his haunch They swarm'd, to where the human face begins. Behind his head upon the shoulders lay, With open wings, a dragon breathing fire On whomsoe'er he met. To me my guide: "Cacus is this, who ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... fast leapt caitiff's sword, until my knight Sudden threw up his sword to his left hand, Caught it, and swung it; that was ...
— The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems • William Morris

... my neck, and here is my head." There is a tradition, of considerable trustworthiness, that Sciarra Colonna would have killed him, and did with his mailed hand strike him in the face. Nogaret, however, prevented the murder, and confined himself to saying, "Thou caitiff pope, confess, and behold the goodness of my lord, the King of France, who, though so far away from thee in his own kingdom, both watcheth over and defendeth thee by my hand." "Thou art of heretic family," answered the pope: "at thy hands ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... a violent effort, he turned to Maud and said, "By my faith, you should be thankful this day that you are not a Drury, to be disgraced by this traitor caitiff, who was my son. This must be the last time he is ever spoken of in this house, for I have renounced him—cast him off for ever; and you children must do the same," he said, turning ...
— Hayslope Grange - A Tale of the Civil War • Emma Leslie

... alas! ne will not han my lif. Thus walke I like a restless caitiff, And on the ground, which is my modres gate, I knocke with my staf, erlich and late, And say to hire, "Leve mother, let me in. Lo, how I vanish, flesh and blood and skin, Alas! when shall my bones ben at reste? Mother, with ...
— Lectures on the English Poets - Delivered at the Surrey Institution • William Hazlitt

... parted the fray. "Alas," said she, "O Caesar, is not this a great shame and reproach, that thou having vouchsafed to take the pains to come unto me, and hast done me this honour, poor wretch, and caitiff creature, brought into this pitiful and miserable estate: and that mine own servants should come now to accuse me, though it may be I have reserved some jewels and trifles meet for women, but not for me (poor soul) to set out myself withal, but meaning ...
— A Book of English Prose - Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools • Percy Lubbock

... the mount, but I had been aware the last few miles of the sound of a trot behind me, whose pace was marvellous like mine own. If I stayed a moment, the rider behind likewise stayed; if I went at a gallop, he galloped also. It gave me some concern to be followed by a caitiff, watching for my purse, as I had only a sheath-knife with ...
— The Fall Of The Grand Sarrasin • William J. Ferrar

... figures 'side o' truths We've bowt wi' childer' tears an' brokken lives? An' what are argiments o' cockered youths To set agean yon groans o' caitiff(3) wives? ...
— Songs of the Ridings • F. W. Moorman

... phrase, fishes off land; so there I stood on terra dura, amongst the rocks that dip down to the water's edge. Having executed one or two throws, there comes me a voracious fish, and makes a startling dash at 'Meg with the muckle mouth.'[10] Sharply did I strike the caitiff; whereat he rolled round disdainful, making a whirl in the water of prodigious circumference; it was not exactly Charybdis, or the Maelstrom, but rather more like the wave occasioned by the sudden turning of a man-of-war's boat. Being hooked, and having by this time set his nose peremptorily ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... if he had hesitated one moment, I really believe it would have come down; not heavily, perhaps—the lightning is not heavy. But there was no need. The towering threat and the flaming eye and the swift rush buffeted the caitiff away: he recoiled. She followed him as he went, strong, FOR A MOMENT OR TWO, as Hercules, beautiful and terrible as Michael driving Satan. He dared not, or could not stand before her: he writhed and cowered and recoiled all down the room, while ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... "how caitiff art thou, and cowardly, that canst see men assail thy goodliest castle and strongest. Know thou that if thou lose it, thou losest all. Son, go to, take arms, and mount thy horse, and defend thy land, and help thy men, ...
— Aucassin and Nicolete • Andrew Lang

... "'Caitiff!' she cries to your butler," his majesty went on; "'perjured knave, thou liest in thy throat! Gluckstein is a hundred leagues from here, and how say est thou that thou slewest the molester, and earnest hither ...
— Prince Prigio - From "His Own Fairy Book" • Andrew Lang

... to give notice to Jones to-day. There are more ways than one of getting even with a scurvy caitiff. In this case, I take old Jones's best waitress away from him, and, praise God, he'll never find another that will stick to him for eighteen years as she ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... is well known by the name of Ferret, an old, rancorous, incorrigible instrument of sedition. Happy it is for him that he has never fallen in my way; for, notwithstanding the maxims of forbearance which I have adopted, the indignation which the character of that caitiff inspires, would probably impel me to some act of violence, and I should crush him like an ungrateful viper, that gnawed the bosom which warmed it ...
— The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves • Tobias Smollett

... face, assured the company that "time was hup" and the "coach quite ready." Then out came the purses, brown, green, and blue, with the usual inquiry, "What's dinner, waiter?" "Two and six, dinner, beer, three,—two and nine yours," replied the knock-kneed caitiff to the first inquirer, pushing a blue-and-white plate under his nose; "yours is three and six, ma'am;—two glasses of brandy-and-water, four shillings, if you please sir—a bottle of real Devonshire cider."—"You must change me ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... pulses lag With the slow beat that doubts and then despairs; Some, caitiff, would have struck the starry flag That knits us with our past, and makes us heirs Of deeds high-hearted as were ever ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... people to go meet Cuchulain in encounter and combat [11]for the sake of the hosts.[11] "It will not be I," and "It will not be I," spake each and every one from his place. "No caitiff is due from my people. Even though one should be due, it is not I would go to oppose Cuchulain, for no easy thing is it to do ...
— The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tain Bo Cualnge • Unknown

... that ye came, or else these caitiff rogues Had wreaked themselves on me; good cause is theirs To hate me, for my wont hath ever been To catch my thief, and then like vermin here Drown him, and with a stone about his neck; And under this wan water many ...
— Idylls of the King • Alfred, Lord Tennyson

... away. You think I am a dead corps now, because Caesar is disposed to jest with a man of mark, or so. Hold your hook'd talons out of my flesh, you inhuman harpies. Go to, do't. What! will the royal Augustus cast away a gentleman of worship, a captain and a commander, for a couple of condemn'd caitiff calumnious cargos? ...
— The Poetaster - Or, His Arraignment • Ben Jonson

... she never had a clear idea of one before. "The Count sprang back, and, drawing from his belt a richly jeweled dagger, hissed between his teeth," or, more to the purpose: "'Take this,' said Orlando, handing her the ruby-hilted poignard which had gleamed upon his thigh, 'and should the caitiff attempt thy unguarded innocence—'" ...
— Openings in the Old Trail • Bret Harte

... and virtues we express By transient urn of emptiness, With apt inscription (to its past Relating-and to his): "Prime Mess." No honour had this infidel, That doth not appertain, as well, To altered caitiff on the drop; No wit that would not likewise pass For wisdom in the famished ass Who breaks his neck a weed to crop, When tethered in the luscious grass. And now, thank God, his hateful name Shall never rescued be from shame, Though seas of venal ...
— The Fiend's Delight • Dod Grile

... gloriously unfurled, Her statesmen, bards and warriors raised Before the nations of the World. He dreamed (alas, 'twas but a dream!) Of Liberty: but as he strove To clutch that idol, treachery Sundered him from the thing he loved. Shame on the coward, caitiff hands That smote their Lord or with a kiss Betrayed him to the rabble-rout Of fawning priests—no friends of his. May everlasting shame consume The memory of those who tried To befoul and smear the exalted name Of one who spurned them in his pride. He ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... heart, thou vile caitiff! How hast thou tortured me, by thy designed abruption! 'tis impossible that Miss Harlowe should have ever suffered as thou hast made me suffer, and ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... followed these words, broken in a moment, however, by Mr. Jinks, who stated that Mr. O'Brallaghan was a caitiff. ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... The caitiff Marquis de Ploermel perished, as she had said, in all things frustrated; for though his vengeance was in very deed complete, he believed that it had failed, and in his very agony that failure was his latest and his ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848 • Various

... wrong, To aid the damsel and destroy the caitiff; Opposing singly the united strong, From foreign yoke to free the helpless native:— Alas! must noblest views, like an old song, Be for mere Fancy's sport a theme creative, A jest, a riddle, Fame through thin and thick sought! And Socrates himself ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... Gods everlasting, Do they uphold him for that in the measureless railing of insult?" Him, with a sidelong glance, thus answer'd the noble Achilleus:— "Worthless I well might be call'd, of a surety, and cowardly caitiff, Yielded I all at a word whensoever it pleas'd thee to dictate. Such be thy lording with others, but not as to me, Agamemnon! Waste not thy masterful signs: they shall never command my obedience. This will I tell thee at once, let my fixt resolution be ponder'd— ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... the better furtherance of my desires confide my suspicions to no one not even to my niece, but take leave of this caitiff with all ceremony as though he were indeed him whom ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... bonnetless . . . doubletless—aye, naked, but for an outlaw's generosity . . . cut by my own weapon"—he held up his hand and looked at the abraded knuckles—"and that is all the credit I have to show—the mark of a caitiff's chin. . . Methinks I am fit only for the company ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... fled the maid, The hated match to shun. 'Ho! shifts she thus?' King Henry cried; 'Sir Marmion, she shall be thy bride, If she were sworn a nun.' One way remained—the King's command Sent Marmion to the Scottish land: I lingered here, and rescue planned For Clara and for me: This caitiff monk, for gold, did swear, He would to Whitby's shrine repair, And, by his drugs, my rival fair A saint in heaven should be. But ill the dastard kept his oath, Whose ...
— Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field • Walter Scott

... deafen a body, sure enough! Now then, speak, caitiff, and tell us what's ado with Mistress Benden. ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... later, on the printed narrative officially issued at the close of August 1600. He varied, when he did vary, in hopes of 'his Majesty's princely grace and favour,' and he naturally tried to make out that he was not a mere trembling expostulating caitiff. He clung to the incident of the garter which he snatched from ...
— James VI and the Gowrie Mystery • Andrew Lang

... the glen they came one moonless night, Goaded by tingling sneer of white-hair'd sire. They rest where Tarken pours his scanty tide, Then silently—nor moon nor star appearing— Launch forth upon the lake, and softly steal Towards the caitiff's fire gleaming through the dark Like blood-shot eye. All saving one, and he Was left to skirt the shore and give the foe Rough welcome should he 'scape to land. Who then Fair-hair'd and young stood there in melting mood, With all his mother in ...
— Chronicles of Strathearn • Various

... ever-visible testimony to Rome's enslavement of Britain,[173] and whence the lately-established veterans were wont, by the connivance of the Procurator, to treat the neighbourhood with utterly illegal military licence, sacking houses, ravaging fields, and abusing their British fellow-subjects as "caitiff slaves."[174] ...
— Early Britain—Roman Britain • Edward Conybeare

... the World, he exclaims against the pretensions of the critic. "If any choose to be critics, it is but saying they are critics; and from that time forward they become invested with full power and authority over every caitiff who aims at ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... recapturing those French shares. But he was ignorant of those truths; and, with confidence bred of ignorance, he summoned Mr. Harley. He, Storri, would browbeat and bleed him; he would teach the caitiff Harley to be more careful of the favor, not to say the fortune, of a ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... ridicule, and never indifference to praise. It is very convenient to the disappointed authorling; very effective, in the established writer; but it is mere vanity at the root, and equally contemptible in both. For my part, I confess that I came to my trial as tremblingly as any poor caitiff to the fiery ordeal, and finding myself miraculously clear of the burning ploughshares, was quite as full of wonder and thankfulness at my good fortune. For I found my purposes appreciated, and my best thoughts ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... Laura, I would perish in the struggle to be up to time, rather than be such a caitiff. I would do the journey on foot, like Jeannie Deans, rather than incur the odium of ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains, In durance strict detain him, till, in form Of money, Pallas sets the captive free. Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware, Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken The caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft Lies perdu in a nook or gloomy cave, Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch With his unhallowed touch. So, (poets sing) Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn An everlasting foe, with watchful eye Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap, Portending her fell claws, to ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... you, as Penny did. I could have throttled him with jealousy. Do you know, I almost wished the other boys had mobbed you a bit, so that I could have stuck by you." And Penny said: "You didn't really think I was going to throw the weight of my trade union on to the side of that foul, caitiff knave of a Carpet Slippers? Why, the man's a low fellow—the sort of person one simply doesn't know. He'd ...
— Tell England - A Study in a Generation • Ernest Raymond

... fierce the fire, it fills my veins. Spare me, Apollo, god of Lycia, spare. Yon lioness that, since her royal mate Departed, with a caitiff wolf has lain, Will slay me, and as one that poison brews Will in the caldron cast her jealousy, And while she whets the knife to slay her lord Say she takes vengeance for his lawless love. Why do I bear on me these mockeries, This prophet's ...
— Specimens of Greek Tragedy - Aeschylus and Sophocles • Goldwin Smith

... his voice—"know that this man whom you would have betrayed is our guide, whom we lost last night. Speak, then, in your defence, if you can. Say what you have to say why justice should not be done upon you, miserable caitiff, who would have sold a man's life, as you would sell a sheep's, for ...
— In Kings' Byways • Stanley J. Weyman

... peace with him, then, for his caitiff twist. Knights make ill tradesmen, I doubt not. Poor fool, to think he could do any such thing! ...
— The White Lady of Hazelwood - A Tale of the Fourteenth Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... mountain's side, Or yet within the glen, Stand he in martial gear alone, Or back'd by armed men— Face him, as thou would'st face the man Who wrong'd thy sire's renown; Remember of what blood thou art, And strike the caitiff down! ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... himself on a bench and covered his face with his mantle, while Rainulf de Ferrieres proceeded: "You know how in an evil hour our good Duke appointed to meet this caitiff, Count of Flanders, in the Isle of Pecquigny, the Duke and Count each bringing twelve men with them, all unarmed. Duke Alan of Brittany was one on our side, Count Bernard here another, old Count Bothon and myself; we bore no weapon—would that we had—but not so the ...
— The Little Duke - Richard the Fearless • Charlotte M. Yonge

... held in his hand, until my blood flowed copiously; and from that moment I vowed his destruction in my heart. But I chanced to have no weapon at that time, nor any means of inflicting due punishment on the caitiff, which would not have been returned double on my head by him and his graceless associates. I mixed among them at the suggestion of my friend, and, following them to their den of voluptuousness and sin, I strove to be admitted among them, ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... Now thou art caught and known! Shun men like these, I charge ye all! With solemn words they chase their prey, and in their hearts plot foul disgrace. My wife is dead.—"Ha, so that saves thee now," That is what grips thee worst, thou caitiff, thou! What oaths, what subtle words, shall stronger be Than this dead hand, to clear the guilt from thee? "She hated thee," thou sayest; "the bastard born Is ever sore and bitter as a thorn To the true ...
— Hippolytus/The Bacchae • Euripides

... favour of Fred," Wally said. "He looked murderous, and Sarah looked woe-begone, so it seemed the best plan. But she's mine for the next—and ill befall the caitiff that disputes my claim!" ...
— Mates at Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... is, they wrote him several threatening letters; and, at last, some caitiff put gunpowder into his forge; it exploded, and blew him out of a ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... been telling him that he owes us no little gratitude for getting up a hot controversy that will sell his second edition in a week. In his eyes at this present moment you are a spy, a scoundrel, a caitiff wretch; the day after to-morrow you will be a genius, an uncommonly clever fellow, one of Plutarch's men. Nathan will hug you and call you his best friend. Dauriat has been to see you; you have your three thousand francs; you have worked ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... understand, do you! Vile caitiff! advance one step at your peril—try to go and complete arrangements for a matrimonial engagement at the Bower of Nature, and ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... sword). Ha! caitiff! I have overheard you! You remind me, at the right moment, of the Bohemian forest! Were not you the coward that began to quail when the cry arose, "the enemy is coming!" I then swore by my soul—(They fight, SPIEGELBERG is killed.) To the devil ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... public company), that I lost all patience, rode at the urchin straight, wrenched him out of his saddle with all my force, and, flinging him roughly to the ground, sprang down to it myself, and administered such a correction across the young caitiff's head and shoulders with my horsewhip as might have ended in his death, had I not been restrained in time; for my passion was up, and I was in a state to do murder or any other crime. The lad was taken home and put to bed, ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... not heard of this marriage long since, and when I told her that folks for the most part had feared to speak the name of Master Ulman Pernhart in her presence, she again suddenly started up and cried in my face that in truth she forbade any mention of that villain and caitiff who had taken foul advantage of her son's youth and innocence to turn his heart from his parents and bring ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... entreat us, and would carefully go before to provide for us both meat and things necessary to the uttermost of his power. The other was a young man, who all the way travelled with us, and never departed from us, who was a very cruel caitiff, and he carried a javelin in his hand, and sometimes when as our men with very feebleness and faintness were not able to go so fast as he required them, he would take his javelin in both his hands and strike them with the same between the neck and the shoulders so violently ...
— Voyager's Tales • Richard Hakluyt

... these considerate days Has patience carried her submissive ways; Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek, To take one blow, and turn the other cheek; It is not written what a man shall do, If the rude caitiff smite ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... stubborn age, With laughing satire; or in rural scenes With shepherds sport; or rack his hard-bound brains For the unexpected turn. Arachne so, In dusty kitchen corner, from her bowels 140 Spins the fine web, but spins with better fate, Than the poor bard: she! caitiff! spreads her snares, And with their aid enjoys luxurious life, Bloated with fat of insects, flesh'd in blood: He! hard, hard lot! for all his toil and care, And painful watchings, scarce protracts a while His meagre, hungry days! ungrateful world! If with ...
— Poetical Works of Akenside - [Edited by George Gilfillan] • Mark Akenside

... all this they draw not a word from her. Then they threaten and frighten her and say that, if she does not speak, she will that very day find out the folly of her action; for they will inflict on her such dire treatment that never before was its like inflicted on any body of caitiff woman. "Well we know that you are alive and do not deign to speak to us. Well we know that you are feigning and would have deceived the emperor. Have no fear of us at all. But if any man has angered you, disclose your folly, before we have further wounded you, for you are acting very basely; ...
— Cliges: A Romance • Chretien de Troyes

... by this time entire confidence in our Scotchmen, and therefore regarded the caitiff with the same indifference that I should have viewed a caged wild beast, though with much ...
— American Prisoners of the Revolution • Danske Dandridge

... Poins he spied, ho, ho! he cried, The caitiff hither bring! We'll have a quick deliverance, Betwixt ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said; I'll have to smoke, or I'll be dead? If so, then let the caitiff dread! My wrath shall fall upon his head. 'Tis plain he ne'er the Plant hath read; But "goody" trash, perchance, instead. Dear Cope, good night!—Yours, ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... with the wildest inspiration of terror: "This one prayer you must—must listen to! At your command let a great fire spring up. Let the summit be surrounded by fierce flames, whose tongues shall lick up and whose teeth shall devour any caitiff venturing near to the formidable place!" So is her whole soul heard to cry aloud in this prayer, as she pleads for so much more than her life, that all by which Wotan had fortified himself against her, and which had been subjected to an assault so prolonged, ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... and with true heart Adored her, as the stateliest and the best And loveliest of all women upon earth. At last, forsooth, because his princedom lay Close on the borders of a territory, Wherein were bandit earls, and caitiff knights, Assassins, and all flyers from the hand Of Justice, and whatever loathes a law: He craved a fair permission to depart, And there defend his marches; and the King Mused for a little on his plea, ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5 • Charles Sylvester

... stop here, but made a hideous rout among the inventions and expedients of his learned predecessor, rooting up his patent gallows, where caitiff vagabonds were suspended by the waistband; demolishing his flag-staffs and windmills, which, like mighty giants, guarded the ramparts of New Amsterdam; pitching to the duyvel whole batteries of Quaker guns; and, in a word, turning topsy-turvy the whole philosophic, economic and windmill system ...
— Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor - Volume I • Various

... never forget they have borne C. R. upon their badges and bugle-horns, even as a dog bears his owner's name on his collar—a pretty emblem for Christian men! But the brute beast hath the better of him,—the brute weareth his own coat, and the caitiff thrall wears his master's. I have seen such a wag make a rope's end wag ere now.—Where was I?—Oh, rebuking you for your backslidings, men of Woodstock.—Yes, then ye will say ye have renounced Popery, and ye have renounced Prelacy, and then ye wipe your mouth like ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... "Ha! caitiff wretch, beware!" declaimed Worthington nobly. "Only across my prostrate corse shall you reach your innocent victims. Say, Charlie boy," he added in a hurried aside, "I didn't poke you in the eye by ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... whom He will! how He will and when He will! and as long as He will! and what temporal pain He will! and death! to the praising of His name, and to the edification of His Church. And I, that am most unworthy and wretched caitiff, shall now, through the special grace of GOD, make to Him pleasant sacrifice of my ...
— Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse • Various

... Joyce, "pray you, box my cousin's ears for me, as you sit convenient.—And what art thou thine own self, thou caitiff?" ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... guard on this caitiff," said Sir Thomas, "and you, Doubleday, see to the cellar. I ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... tongue for saying so!" replied Henry furiously. "I have a mind to pluck it from thy throat, and cast it to the dogs. What ho! guards, take this caitiff to the summit of the highest tower of the castle—the Curfew Tower—and hang him from it, so that all my loyal subjects in Windsor may see ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth

... children, and is closely akin to that which Irving so amusingly illustrates in his doughty general who struts through a field of cabbages or corn-stalks, smiting them to earth with his cane, and imagining himself a hero of chivalry conquering single-handed a host of caitiff ruffians. Of like origin are the fancies that the breaking of a mirror heralds a death in the family,—probably because of the destruction of the reflected human image; that the "hair of the dog that bit you" will prevent hydrophobia if laid upon the ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... with anger, and he thought in his heart, "Shall I arise and slay this caitiff, or shall I keep down the wrath in my breast?" And as he thought he laid his hand on his sword-hilt, and had half-drawn his sword from the scabbard, when lo! the goddess Athene stood behind him (for Juno, who loved both this chieftain and that, had sent her), and caught him by the long locks ...
— The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10) • Various

... forth a hideous grin, The giant strides in haste, And, stooping, aims a second stroke: Now, caitiff, breathe thy last! ...
— The Book of Brave Old Ballads • Unknown



Words linked to "Caitiff" :   cur, archaicism, archaism, fearful, cowardly



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