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Caitiff   Listen
noun
Caitiff  n.  
1.
A captive; a prisoner. (Obs.) "Avarice doth tyrannize over her caitiff and slave."
2.
A wretched or unfortunate man. (Obs.)
3.
A mean, despicable person; one whose character meanness and wickedness meet. Note: The deep-felt conviction of men that slavery breaks down the moral character... speaks out with... distinctness in the change of meaning which caitiff has undergone signifying as it now does, one of a base, abject disposition, while there was a time when it had nothing of this in it.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Caitiff" Quotes from Famous Books



... of Truth, Fearless in innocence, though leaguered round By Envy 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. ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... who takes up with philosophy like that, may write fine books, and review articles and such like, but at the bottom of him he is a poor caitiff, and there is no more ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... life, make way!" She cried, and raised the pistol. "No, you don't Fool us by tricks like that!" the foremost said: "And so, my lady—" But before the word Was out there was a little puff of smoke, With an explosion, not encouraging,— And on the turf the frightened caitiff lay. Her road now clear, reckless of torn alpaca, Over the scattered branches Linda rushed, Till she drew near the leader of the gang, Who, stopping, drew a pistol with one hand, While with the other he held Rachel fast, Placing her as ...
— The Woman Who Dared • Epes Sargent

... felt their 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 done 'Neath the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... 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 ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... finished; of the Questing Beast 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 ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke

... beds, 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, ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... against Mithridates, Sulla marched upon the city and 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 ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... daggerless . . . 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 ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... For 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 ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... 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

... when she goes her way Love casts a blight upon all caitiff hearts, So that their every thought doth freeze and perish. And who can bear to stay on her to look, Will noble thing become or else will die. And when one finds that he may worthy be To look on her, ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... generous bosom. 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 heart, and he expressed with peculiar warmth and feeling his sense of the interest I had taken in ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... 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

... 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 ...
— The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn - A Story of the Days of the Gunpowder Plot • Evelyn Everett-Green

... 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

... 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 ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... call 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 ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... queen?" Where be the bending peers 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 ...
— The Life and Death of King Richard III • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... injury, revenging 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 ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... 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 ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... answered a shaking 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 ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... 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, ...
— Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... come with murderous intent?" and he now advances in an approved offensive attitude. "Caitiff, come on, come on!" and he walks off with a tragic laugh, crying, "Ha, ha, ha, 'tis ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... since for 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 ...
— Cliges: A Romance • Chretien de Troyes

... 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

... as if he would tear it out by the roots. At last, overpowered by a frenzied impulse, he leaped from his seat, and plucking his sword from the scabbard, began cutting and thrusting at some invisible object, shouting in a voice of thunder: "Unhand the maiden, foul caitiff! Give place, I say, and let the princess go! What, wilt thou face me, vile robber? Have at thee, then, and take the wages of thy villainy." As he uttered the last words he aimed a tremendous thrust at his visionary opponent ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... king's blessing, and set forth a-riding with the maiden and the dwarf. Till the third day she railed at the young knight continually; and on the third day, when they came to a certain place, she said, "Caitiff, now is your pride undone. This vale before us is kept by a knight who will fight every man that comes; and his fame is gone far abroad. William Selebranche is he named, and he is a mighty warrior. ...
— The Junior Classics, V4 • Willam Patten (Editor)

... carelessness like this The brichtest heart would sadden, An' when he saw the caitiff deed It ...
— The Auld Doctor and other Poems and Songs in Scots • David Rorie

... 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 him ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... springing 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' than 'I have failed, and all the ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... 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

... is now The loon, thy tiresome lord, I trow; To all a jest amidst his clan He choler deals in Cardigan. Here, nestled nigh the sounding sea, In Ifor’s bush we’ll ever be. More bliss for us our fate propounds On Taf’s green banks than Teivi’s bounds; Thy caitiff wight is scarce aware Where now we lurk, my little fair. Ah! better here, in love’s sweet thrall, To hark the cuckoo’s hearty call, Than pine through ...
— The Brother Avenged - and Other Ballads - - - Translator: George Borrow • Thomas J. Wise

... the 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 ...
— Cap'n Eri • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... politicians were buried, being confined in a pen without shelter, exposed to all the elements could do, to all the disease herding animals together could create, and to all the starvation and cruelty an incompetent and intense caitiff government could accomplish. From the conversation and almost from the recollection of the northern people this place has dropp' d, but not so in the gossip of the Salisbury people, nearly all of whom say that ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... with a frown, "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 Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... to me, "This miserable measure the wretched souls maintain of those who lived without infamy and without praise. Mingled are they with that caitiff choir of the angels, who were not rebels, nor were faithful to God, but were for themselves. The heavens chased them out in order to be not less beautiful, nor doth the depth of Hell receive them, because the damned would have ...
— The Divine Comedy, Volume 1, Hell [The Inferno] • Dante Alighieri

... 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 ...
— The Fall Of The Grand Sarrasin • William J. Ferrar

... 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, and fare into the stour. ...
— Aucassin and Nicolete • Andrew Lang

... too dear; 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 ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... straightway Aegisthus contrived a cunning treason. He chose out twenty of the best men in the township, and set an ambush, and on the further side of the hall he commanded to prepare a feast. Then with chariot and horses he went to bid to the feast Agamemnon, shepherd of the people; but caitiff thoughts were in his heart. He brought him up to his house, all unwitting of his doom, and when he had feasted him slew him, as one slayeth an ox at the stall. And none of the company of Atreides that were of his following were ...
— DONE INTO ENGLISH PROSE • S. H. BUTCHER, M.A.

... 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 for her ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... Gaston. "Wherefore didst thou not cut the throat of the caitiff, and make in to the rescue of ...
— The Lances of Lynwood • Charlotte M. Yonge

... 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 ...
— The Little Duke - Richard the Fearless • Charlotte M. Yonge

... struck straight in the face of this malevolent caitiff with the powerful hand of a woman accustomed to handle the reins; and drawing herself up erect, waited till the wretch had disappeared before she ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... as well as for other help and counsel, I am indebted to Mr. Charles Firth, of Balliol College, Oxford, whose learning is always at the service of his friends, and who stands in no need of the old injunction—"not to be reserved and caitiff in this ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... thy lying 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

... "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

... 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 I ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... tendance: woful plight! Whom thou, erewhile, to head the impetuous fight, Sent'st forth, thy conquering champion. Now he feeds His spirit on lone paths, and on us brings Deep sorrow; and all his former peerless deeds Of prowess fall like unremembered things From Atreus' loveless brood, this caitiff brace of kings. ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... 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

... to say Sir Roger was, only that he was Lord of Wigmore and Ludlow, and son of the Lady Margaret that was born a Fienles, and husband of the Lady Joan that was born a Geneville; and the proudest caitiff and worst man that ever was, as shall be shown ere I lay down my pen. He was man that caused the loss of himself and of other far his betters, and that should have been the loss of England herself but for God's mercy. The friend of Sathanas ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... of night, By his own consecrated light: Then thus an awful voice was sent, As with the sacrilege he went: "Though all this gold and silver plate As gifts of evil men I hate; And their removal from the fane Can cause the Deity no pain; Yet, caitiff, at th' appointed time, Thy life shall answer for thy crime. But, for the future, lest this blaze, At which the pious pray and praise, Should guide the wicked, I decree That no such intercourse there be." Hence to this day all men decline To light their candle at the shrine; Nor from ...
— The Fables of Phdrus - Literally translated into English prose with notes • Phaedrus

... suspended high 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

... Enoch Wriggle stands beside them, dressed in the imposing style of a cockney sportsman. He has been 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 yard in Oxford ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... not speak for fear of thee. Thou art so dear, his lips refrain From words that might his darling pain. But thou, as duty bids, must still The promise of thy sire fulfil. He who to me in days gone by Vouchsafed a boon with honours high, Dares now, a king, his word regret, And caitiff-like disowns the debt. The lord of men his promise gave To grant the boon that I might crave, And now a bridge would idly throw When the dried stream has ceased to flow. His faith the monarch must not break ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... 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 ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.) • Jacob Bryant

... 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 most sinful ...
— Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse • Various

... 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 ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... heaven exiled, How hold'st thou her whose eyes constraint doth 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 ...
— A Defence of Poesie and Poems • Philip Sidney

... smiling 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

... and perish the caitiff base who would harbor it. Princess, you are sharper than I. Do you think I would be fool enough to try any tricks on you, when I should be found ...
— A Pessimist - In Theory and Practice • Robert Timsol

... 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 ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... a Tory, possessed a high independent spirit, and appears to have been a friend to the rights of man. His definition of the word Caitiff, in his Dictionary, may throw some light on this part of his character. "Caitiff. [cattivo, Ital. a slave; whence it came to signify a bad man, with some implication of meanness; as knave in English, and fur in Latin; so ...
— A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral Character of the late Samuel Johnson (1786) • John Courtenay

... 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 ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... peace, thou Christian caitiff, and attend to what I say! Thou art called the starkest rider of the Spanish cur's array If thy courage be undaunted, as they say it was of yore, Thou mayst yet achieve thy freedom,—yet regain thy ...
— The Bon Gaultier Ballads • William Edmonstoune Aytoun

... 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 ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... then, 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

... winter age, Alle torn and baudy, and full of lice creeping; But that if a louse could have leapen the better, She had not walked on the welt, so was it threadbare. 'I have been Covetise,' quoth this caitiff, 'For sometime I served Symme at style, And was his prentice plight, his profit to wait. First I learned to lie, a leef other twain Wickedly to weigh, was my first lesson: To Wye and to Winchester I went to the fair With many manner merchandise, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... 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 brood."—A sorry bargainer In the ills and goods of life thou makest her, If all her best-beloved ...
— Hippolytus/The Bacchae • Euripides

... "Bertha" to "Circassia," is not so. We did not do this at all. That was all a slip of the pen. What we did was this. John Blatchford pulled the bell-cord till it broke (they always break in novels, and sometimes they do in taverns). This bell-cord broke. The sleepy boy came; and John said, "Caitiff, is there never a barber in the house?" The frightened boy said there was; and John bade him send him. In a minute the barber appeared—black, as was expected—with a shining face, and white teeth, and in shirt-sleeves, and ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... 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 ...
— The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tain Bo Cualnge • Unknown

... an extremely red 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 a ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... 'Has the caitiff been insolent?' he exclaimed, in gallant tone, as he approached and seated himself before her. 'Has he dared to look too rebelliously upon so charming a mistress? If so, permit that I may chastise him ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... would not wear woman's dress in prison. We must remember that, as she was being tried by churchmen, she should have been, as she often prayed to be, in a prison of the church, attended by women. They set a spy on her, a caitiff priest named L'Oyseleur, who pretended to be her friend, and who betrayed her. The English soldiers were allowed to bully, threaten, and frighten away every one who gave her any advice. They took her to the torture-chamber, and threatened her with torture, but from ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... Kingswell Lees, in fishermen's 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 ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... of the blood which trickled freely from his fingers. "What have you to do here? By your dress you should be one of those cursed clerks who overrun the land like vile rats, poking and prying into other men's concerns, too caitiff to fight and too lazy to work. By the rood! if I had my will upon ye, I should nail you upon the abbey doors, as they hang vermin before their holes. Art neither man nor woman, young shaveling. Get thee back to thy fellows ere I lay hands ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... self-contained, And leave no living copies of its beauty To after ages. Ah! be less, sweet maid, Less than thyself! Yet no—my wife thou might'st be, If less than thus—but not the saint thou art. What! shall my selfish longings drag thee down From maid to wife? degrade the soul I worship? That were a caitiff deed! Oh, misery! Is wedlock treason to that purity, Which is the jewel and the soul of wedlock? Elizabeth! my saint! ...
— The Saint's Tragedy • Charles Kingsley

... The caitiff's face underwent a kaleidoscopic change as these terrible words rant? in his ears. With the bound of of a wounded antelope he sprang to the summit of the nearest mountain, and stood there with arms erect against the sky, ...
— Boycotted - And Other Stories • Talbot Baines Reed

... 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, where he lay ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... sun, 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 ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... DE TRACY, and others (flinging wisps of rushes). Ay, go in peace, caitiff, caitiff! And that too, perjured prelate—and that, turncoat shaveling! There, there, ...
— Becket and other plays • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... us, nor doing that which is expedient for the nation, in your way of educating your son. Letters and book-learning are very different from manly courage and fortitude, and to hand a lad over to the teaching of greybeards is generally the way to make him a coward and a caitiff. He who is to do daring deeds and win glory in the world must be emancipated from fear of the pedagogue and be practising martial exercises. Your father Theodoric would never suffer his Goths to send their sons ...
— Theodoric the Goth - Barbarian Champion of Civilisation • Thomas Hodgkin

... "That caitiff, Craven Le Noir, has slandered me! Oh, the villain! He is a base slanderer! Percy, get up this moment and challenge Le Noir! I cannot breathe freely until it is done!" exclaimed ...
— Capitola's Peril - A Sequel to 'The Hidden Hand' • Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth

... the wretched garret to which my mother had been reduced, and pictured the days and hours of fear and suspense through which she had lived; through which she must have lived, with that caitiff's threat hanging over her grey head! I thought of her birth and her humiliation; of her frail form and patient, undying love for me; and solemnly, and before heaven, I swore that night to punish the man. My ...
— A Gentleman of France • Stanley Weyman

... among them, which the children of Israel obeyed and accomplished, it was so that at midnight our Lord smote and slew every first-begotten son throughout all the land of Egypt, beginning at the first son and heir of Pharaoh unto the son of the caitiff that lay in prison, and also the first-begotten of the beasts. Pharaoh arose in the night and all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great clamor and sorrowful noise and cry, for there was not a house in all Egypt but there lay therein one that was dead. Then Pharaoh did do call Moses and ...
— Bible Stories and Religious Classics • Philip P. Wells

... learned guardians have banished therefor? Hast forgot my loved and faithful Mopsa that is truly the dearest, gentlest, wisest witch that e'er witched rogue or fool? But O Mopsa, wise mother—would'st thou might plague and bewitch in very truth yon base caitiff knight, Sir Agramore ...
— The Geste of Duke Jocelyn • Jeffery Farnol

... exudation dread— That hangs in robes of clammy white, Like clouds upon the inky night; Their very ghosts are in this place, I see them pass before my face; With frowning brows they whirl around Within this consecrated mound! Away—away, vile caitiff race, And give the ...
— The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians • Henry R. Schoolcraft

... outdone thy seed? I did not mark, 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 ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... foot he marks His winding way, while all 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

... afternoon, he might have been less sure of 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, ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... 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



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



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