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Venal   Listen
adjective
Venal  adj.  Capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration; made matter of trade or barter; held for sale; salable; mercenary; purchasable; hireling; as, venal services. " Paid court to venal beauties." "The venal cry and prepared vote of a passive senate."
Synonyms: Mercenary; hireling; vendible. Venal, Mercenary. One is mercenary who is either actually a hireling (as, mercenary soldiers, a mercenary judge, etc.), or is governed by a sordid love of gain; hence, we speak of mercenary motives, a mercenary marriage, etc. Venal goes further, and supposes either an actual purchase, or a readiness to be purchased, which places a person or thing wholly in the power of the purchaser; as, a venal press. Brissot played ingeniously on the latter word in his celebrated saying, " My pen is venal that it may not be mercenary," meaning that he wrote books, and sold them to the publishers, in order to avoid the necessity of being the hireling of any political party. "Thus needy wits a vile revenue made, And verse became a mercenary trade." "This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful muse."






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"Venal" Quotes from Famous Books



... slow to follow the same course; and two circumstances contributed to make that course easy. One was the great length of coast line on both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes over which a surveillance had to be exercised, making it difficult to catch the interlopers. The other was the venal connivance of the governors of the ports, who often tolerated and even encouraged the traffic on the plea that the colonists demanded it.[36] The subterfuges adopted by the interlopers were very simple. When a vessel wished to enter a Spanish port to trade, the captain, pretending ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... to sunder, so it must be: but there need be no pretext of unity when the reality of it is gone: nor do we drive those who well know that they are incapable of it to profess an undying sentiment which they cannot really feel: thus it is that as that monstrosity of venal lust is no longer possible, so also it is no longer needed. Don't misunderstand me. You did not seemed shocked when I told you that there were no law-courts to enforce contracts of sentiment or passion; but so curiously are men made, that perhaps you will be shocked when ...
— News from Nowhere - or An Epoch of Rest, being some chapters from A Utopian Romance • William Morris

... themselves submitting to specially inconsiderate treatment. The butcher and baker are not expected to feed the hungry unless the hungry can pay; but a doctor who allows a fellow-creature to suffer or perish without aid is regarded as a monster. Even if we must dismiss hospital service as really venal, the fact remains that most doctors do a good deal of gratuitous work in private practice all through their careers. And in his paid work the doctor is on a different footing to the tradesman. Although the ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... the unexhausted astonishment of times following, a charge was suddenly reported from the Committee to the Commons against the Lord Chancellor, not of straining the prerogative, or of conniving at his servants' misdoings, but of being himself a corrupt and venal judge. Two suitors charged him with receiving bribes. Bacon was beginning to feel worried and anxious, and he wrote thus to Buckingham. At length he had begun to see the meaning of all these inquiries, and to ...
— Bacon - English Men Of Letters, Edited By John Morley • Richard William Church

... have no herds, no fleecy care, No fields that wave with golden grain, No meadows green, or gardens fair, A damsel's venal heart to gain. Then all in vain my sighs must prove, For I, alas! have ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 13 Issue 364 - 4 Apr 1829 • Various

... Ohio, asserted that abortions occurred most frequently among those who are known as the better class; among church members, and those generally who pretend to be the most polite, virtuous, moral and religious. And, without mincing matters at all, this eminent physician boldly declares that "a venal press, a demoralized clergy, and the prevalence of medical charlatanism, are the principal causes of the fearful increase of this abominable crime." The paucity of children in the families of wealthy and well-to-do Americans ...
— Public School Education • Michael Mueller

... death of Placidia, infested the imperial palace; the youth of Italy trembled at the sound of the trumpet; and the barbarians, who, from fear or affection, were inclined to the cause of Attila, awaited with doubtful and venal faith the event of the war. The patrician passed the Alps at the head of some troops, whose strength and numbers scarcely deserved the name of an army. But on his arrival at Aries, or Lyons, he was confounded by the intelligence that the Visigoths, refusing ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... itself to be excluded by Robespierre's party. Moreover, since the 31st of May, zealous patriots had considered Danton's conduct equivocal. He had acted mildly on that day, and had subsequently disapproved the condemnation of the twenty-two. They began to reproach him with his disorderly life, his venal passions, his change of party, and untimely moderation. To avoid the storm, he had retired to his native place, Arcis-sur-Aube, and there he seemed to have forgotten all in retirement. During his absence, the Hebert faction made immense ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... is a most prominent doctrine, everywhere vehemently proclaimed and acted on: that is the meaning of the sacrament of extreme unction, whereby, on submission to the Church and confession to a priest, the venal sins of the dying man are forgiven, purgatory avoided or lessened, and heaven made sure. The ghost of the King of Denmark complains most of the unwarned suddenness of his murder, not of the murder ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... now took place between the doctor and the disease, the former relying on Pierrette's youth, one of those struggles which physicians alone comprehend,—the reward of which, in case of success, is never found in the venal pay nor in the patients themselves, but in the gentle satisfaction of conscience, in the invisible ideal palm gathered by true artists from the contentment which fills their soul after accomplishing a noble work. The ...
— Pierrette • Honore de Balzac

... It is not venal—that's the truth. Among our four thousand magistrates you might perhaps not find one—you hear me, not one—even among the poorest and most obscure—who would accept a money bribe in order to modify his judgment. That is the glory of our country's magistracy and its special ...
— Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe - Three Plays By Brieux • Eugene Brieux

... subsidiary British troops. For some time the history of the gaekwars was very much the same as that of most territorial houses in India: an occasional able minister, more rarely an able prince; but, on the other hand, a long dreary list of incompetent heads, venal advisers and taskmasters oppressive to the people. At last a fierce family feud came to a climax. In 1873 an English committee of inquiry was appointed to investigate various complaints of oppression against the gaekwar, Malhar Rao, who had recently succeeded to the throne after being ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... based on his other poems, and although his dramas have conduced scarcely at all to his fame, he did play a principal part in this department of literary work. Dryden made haste to answer the call, and his venal muse wrote to please the town. The names of many of his plays and personages are foreign; but their vitality is purely English. Of his first play, The Duke of Guise, which was unsuccessful, he tells us: "I undertook this as the fairest way which the Act ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... vassals of a great moneyed corporation, and to bow down to her pensioned and privileged nobility; if the patriots who shall dare to arraign her corruptions and denounce her usurpations are to be sacrificed upon her gilded altar,—such a country may furnish venal orators and presses, but the soul of national poetry will be gone. That muse will "never bow the knee in mammon's fane." No, the patriots of such a land must hide their shame in her deepest forests, and ...
— Literary Hearthstones of Dixie • La Salle Corbell Pickett

... care, all venal strife, To try the still, compared with active, life; To prove, by these, the sons of men may owe The fruits of bliss to bursting clouds of woe; That ev'n calamity, by thought refined, Inspirits and adorns ...
— Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift • Samuel Johnson

... in almost every instance: the reason why the excess of power is more destructive when in the hands of the people is, that either they, by retaining the power in their own hands, exercise a demoralising despotism, or if they have become sufficient venal, they sell themselves to be tyrannised over in ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... circulation of the blood. He says: "When I took notice that the valves in the veins of so many parts of the body were so placed that they gave a free passage to the blood towards the heart, but opposed the passage of the venal blood the contrary way, I was incited to imagine that so provident a cause as Nature has not placed so many valves without design, and no design seemed more probable than the circulation of the blood."[275] The wonderful discoveries in Zoology which have immortalized ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... of knaves; Nor yields up virtue at discretion, To villains of his own profession. Lindsay, you know what pains you take In both, yet hardly save your stake; And will you venture both anew, To sit among that venal crew, That pack of mimic legislators, Abandon'd, stupid, slavish praters? For as the rabble daub and rifle The fool who scrambles for a trifle; Who for his pains is cuff'd and kick'd, Drawn through the dirt, his pockets ...
— The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume I (of 2) • Jonathan Swift

... reply. Next, footing slow, comes the tutelary deity of Alma Mater, and in one sad cry mourns the promise of a life so soon cut short. Lastly, 'The Pilot of the Galilean lake,' with denunciation of the corrupt hirelings of a venal age, laments the loss of the church in the death of Lycidas. As his solemn figure passes by, the gracious fantasies of ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... palliate her offence by blaming the cruelty of her parents in marrying her by force to a man much older than herself. Madame Dobson at once showed a disposition to assist them; not that the little woman was venal, but she had a passion for passion, a taste for romantic intrigue. As she was unhappy in her own home, married to a dentist who beat her, all husbands were monsters in her eyes, and poor Risler especially ...
— Fromont and Risler, Complete • Alphonse Daudet

... themselves subjected to almost similar debasement before their imperial master. In some instances, especially at a distance from the capital, the acts of cruelty perpetrated by these cringing and venal nobles, as an offset to the arbitrary rule under which they themselves exist, are enough to make the blood curdle. The knout, a terrible instrument made of thick, heavy leather, and sometimes loaded with leaden balls, is freely used to punish the most trifling offense. ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... shame on me." She wrote him letters of tearful protest. They were ignored. She protested by word of mouth. Ludwig, in unbrotherly fashion, told her to "mind her own business." Caroline's next move was to take clerical counsel. "These creatures are always venal," said the Jesuits. "They only care for cash." An emissary was accordingly despatched to the Barerstrasse mansion, to convey an offer. Unfortunately, however, he had not advanced beyond "Gnaedige Frau, erlauben," when he himself capitulated to Lola's ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... servile imitating crew, What their vain blust'ring, and their empty noise, Ne'er seek: but still thy noble ends pursue, Unconquer'd by the rabble's venal voice. Still to the Muse thy studious mind apply, Happy ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... stricken in the field; True sons of England, who, unmov'd, Could hear their fears, their interest plead; Led by no lure they disapprov'd, Stooping to no unsanction'd deed! Spirits so finely tun'd, so high, That grovelling influences die Assailing them! The venal mind Can neither fit inducement find To lead their purpose or their fate— To sway, to probe, or stimulate! What knowledge can they gain of such Whom worldly motives may not touch? Those who, the instant they are known, Each generous mind springs forth to own! Joyful, as if in distant ...
— The Lay of Marie • Matilda Betham

... corruption inevitably. Venal men aspiring to place, avow themselves the friends of the Secretary, and if through such avowals they secure appointments, the offices will be used ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 2 • George S. Boutwell

... capital to the advantage of Gen. Jackson in the next presidential campaign. It implicated Mr. Adams equally with Mr. Clay. If the latter had been so corrupt as to offer his support on the promise of office, the former was quite as guilty in accepting of terms so venal. There never was a more base charge against American statesmen—there never was one more entirely destitute of foundation, or even shadow of proof! It was at no time considered entitled to the slightest particle of belief by those who were at Washington during these ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... could be trusted. For, in the minds of the most respectable men, the prejudice against standing armies was of too long growth and too deep root to be at once removed; and those means by which the Court might, at another time, have secured the help of venal politicians were, at that moment, of less avail than usual. The Triennial Act was beginning to produce its effects. A general election was at hand. Every member who had constituents was desirous to please them; and it was certain that no member would please his constituents by voting ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... made consul, expended money on his behalf among the tribes, and the voters came down to the gardens of Pompeius where they received the money, so that the thing became notorious and Pompeius had an ill name for making that office which was the highest of all and which he obtained for his services, venal for those who were unable to attain to it by merit. "These reproaches however," said Cato to the women, "we must take our share of, if we become allied to Pompeius." On hearing this the women agreed that he formed ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... and Isis have stolen in among them within our memory, and others will follow, until at last Saturn will not be the only one emasculated by his successor. What can be more august than our rites? The first dignitaries of the republic are emulous to administer them: nothing of low or venal has any place in them; nothing pusillanimous, nothing unsocial and austere. I speak of them as they were; before Superstition woke up again from her slumber, and caught to her bosom with maternal love the alluvial monsters of the Nile. Philosophy, ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... opposition to my reason and understanding, that Malcolm Fleming, who could pledge his all upon the service of his country, is incapable of nourishing the versatile affection of an ordinary, a coarse, or a venal character. Methinks, were the difference upon his part instead of mine, he would not lose his interest in my eyes, because he was seamed with honourable scars, obtained in asserting the freedom of his choice, but that such wounds would, in my opinion, add to ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... Rhimy pim'd on Missy-Miss; Tartaretta Tartaree From the Navel to the Knee; That her Father's Gracy-Grace Might give him a Placy-Place. He no longer writes of Mammy Andromache and her Lammy Hanging panging at the Breast Of a Matron most distrest. Now the Venal Poet sings Baby Clouts, and Baby Things, Baby Dolls, and Baby Houses, Little Misses, Little Spouses; Little Play-Things, Little Toys, Little Girls, and Little Boys: As an Actor does his Part, So the Nurses get by Heart Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes, Little ...
— A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) • Anonymous

... Utterly venal and unscrupulous, we find him at one time enjoying the patronage of Francis I. of France, and then abusing that monarch and basking in the favour of the Emperor Charles V., who paid him more lavishly. His death took place ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... be worse than himself. He had come over under a safe-conduct, and he was not detained. The Senate ordered him to leave Italy; and he departed with the scornful phrase on his lips which has passed into history: "Venal city, and soon to perish if only it can ...
— Caesar: A Sketch • James Anthony Froude

... by Lord John Russell and Charles Tennyson respectively could scarcely have been thrown out by the same house, but squabbles arose in the cabinet, partly on the comparative guiltiness of the two venal constituencies, but chiefly on the disposal of the seats to be vacated. It was agreed at last that Penryn should be merged in the adjacent hundred, and the majority of the cabinet, represented by Peel, ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... old fighter, grown a bit lazy, no diplomatist (the stories of his being venal, I take it, were simply abominable calumnies), unable to get anything out of the Cuban authorities but promises and lofty protestations, had made up his mind, under direct pressure from home, to take matters into his own hands. His boat attack had been a half-and-half ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... to superiority of talent, ignores the art of cringing; it is even impossible that merit can lead to fortune in a corrupted and venal country: on the contrary, it becomes a cause of exclusion. Virtue elevates the soul, and can neither fawn nor buy credit, nor flatter vice and incapacity. "If such is the military constitution of a State," says M. Gaubert, in his Treatise of Tactics, "of which the Sovereign ...
— The Campaign of 1760 in Canada - A Narrative Attributed to Chevalier Johnstone • Chevalier Johnstone

... man of wealth, to give him a helping hand; a few acts of munificence of this kind by rich nabobs, he breaks out, "would be more pleasing in the sight of Heaven, and more to the glory and advantage of their country, than building a dozen shingle church steeples, or buying a thousand venal votes at an election." This was in the ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... which sweep away the heaped-up wrongs of centuries; but they languish at times, while the love of self works on ceaselessly, unwearyingly, burrowing always at the very roots of life, and heaping up fresh wrongs for other centuries to sweep away. The state was at the mercy of venal and self-seeking politicians, bent upon regaining their ascendency at any cost, stultifying their own minds by vague sophistries and high-sounding phrases, which deceived none but those who wished to be deceived, and these but imperfectly; and dulling ...
— The Marrow of Tradition • Charles W. Chesnutt

... known to scarcely any in the world except themselves. These deeds they confessed, because they were plainly set forth, with every thought, intention, pleasure, and fear which occupied their minds at the time. [3] There were others who had accepted bribes, and had rendered venal judgments, who were similarly explored from their memory and from it everything they had done from the beginning to the end of their office was reviewed. Every detail in regard to what and how much they had received, as well as the time, and their ...
— Heaven and its Wonders and Hell • Emanuel Swedenborg

... good vote, he would have beaten both candidates and disfranchised the borough. As it is, it is probable the matter will be taken up and the borough disfranchised. The right of voting is as bad as possible in the freemen, who are the lowest rabble of the town and, as it appears, a parcel of venal wretches. Here comes the difficulty of Reform, for how is it possible to reform ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... was not, indeed, the same degree of turbulence and disorder as at Carthage, but the magnificence and ostentation of the Roman family and life, their splendid palaces and festive orgies, could not but prove very injurious to habits of study. The youth had imbibed the venal corruption everywhere prevalent. Hence it not seldom happened that Roman scholars conspired to rob their master of his salary and desert his class in a body. Roman vileness and baseness disgusted Augustine even more than Punic insubordination. ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 • Various

... with a proud modesty (Prag is not spoken of at all); and how the neighboring ravenous Powers, on-lookers hitherto, have opened their throats with one accord to swallow Prussia, thinking its downfall certain: "Poor mercenary Sweden, once so famous under its soldier Kings, now debased by a venal Senate;"—Sweden, "what say I? my own kindred [foolish Anspach and others], driven by perverse motives, join in the plot of horrors, and become satellites ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... a hand divine And wrote the judgment-sign, And Babylon fell!—So now, in that his place Of Tudor-Stuart pride, The golden gallery wide, 'Mid venal beauty's lavish-arm'd embrace, And hills of gambler-gold, a godless King Moved ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... another side of the question. If the king could buy, it was because there were plenty of people both able and willing to sell. Bubb Dodington, a typical example of the old system, had five or six seats at his disposal: subject only to the necessity of throwing a few pounds to the 'venal wretches' who went through the form of voting, and by dealing in what he calls this 'merchantable ware' he managed by lifelong efforts to wriggle into a peerage. The Dodingtons, that is, sold because they bought. The 'venal wretches' were the lucky ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... that a weak-walled native town lying right against the northern wall of Fort St. George was a serious danger. The houses offered convenient cover for any enemies that might attack the Fort; and, moreover, any disaffected or venal townsman was in a position to give the assailants valuable help. The French Governor set himself, therefore, to the deliberate destruction of Black Town. He first destroyed the Town Wall, and then—for a distance of 400 yards from the northern wall of White Town, or the present ...
— The Story of Madras • Glyn Barlow

... there is merchandise there will be money, little matter under what form. The source of all the abuses which centre around money lies in a lack of discrimination. People have confused under the term and idea of merchandise, things which have no relation with one another. They have attempted to give a venal value to things which neither could have it nor ought to. The idea of purchase and sale has invaded ground where it may justly be considered an enemy and a usurper. It is reasonable that wheat, potatoes, wine, fabrics, should be bought and sold, ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... "They have dared to proclaim such sentiments! to carry their impudence so far! See what venal creatures those men are! As long as fortune was faithful to me, they, who now call themselves the provisional government and senate, in the name of France, were my most sycophantic servants. A sign ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... pant for glory, If you sigh to live in story, If you burn with patriot zeal; Seize this bright, auspicious hour, Chase those venal tools of power, ...
— The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5, November 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... has become a fixed and certain fact, why may not New York disrupt the bands which bind her to a venal and corrupt master—to a people and a Party that have plundered her revenues, attempted to ruin her commerce, taken away the power of self-government, and destroyed the Confederacy of which she was the proud Empire ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... bystanders, that even the opposing counsel, even the judge on the bench, abstained from their prey because he was a member of Parliament. It was notorious to all the world that Griffenbottom had debased the borough; had so used its venal tendencies as to make that systematic which had before been too frequent indeed, but yet not systematized; that he had trained the rising generation of Percycross politicians to believe in political corruption;—and yet he escaped that utter turning inside out ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... for world-wearied men; a sanctuary undisturbed by the fears of the weak or the passions of the strong. All reasonable wants are gratified here; nothing is hoped for any more. The poor burglar burdened with unsaleable "grab" and the reproaches of a venal world sorrowfully seeks an asylum here. He brings nothing in his hand; he seeks nothing but rest. He whispers ...
— Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series • George Robert Aberigh-Mackay

... faults. The question of an anonymous press has been brought up. If you will glance over the files of the newspapers throughout the world, you will find in that country where the articles are signed the press is most corrupt, weakest, most venal, and has the least influence of any press in the world. To tell me that a reporter who writes an article is of more consequence than the editor, is to tell me a thing I believe you do ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... time. It followed naturally in this type of exposure that King should criticize some of the legal subterfuges, which in turn brought him to analysis of the firm's legal advisers, who had previously enjoyed a good reputation. From such subjects he drifted to dueling, venal newspapers, and soon down to the ordinary criminals such as Billy Mulligan, Wooley Kearny, Casey, Cora, Yankee Sullivan, Ned McGowan, Charles Duane, and many others. Never did he hesitate to specify names and instances. He never dealt in innuendoes. This was bringing him very close to personal ...
— The Forty-Niners - A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado • Stewart Edward White

... and that Mr. Rosewell was eminent for loyalty and devoted attachment to the Government. Alas! he was a Dissenting teacher of high standing, of extensive acquirements, and of great earnestness in seeking the salvation of sinners; and, under the direction of that brutal judge, the venal jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to be hung. This frightful sentence would have been executed but from a singular interposition of Providence. Sir John Talbot was present during the trial, and a stranger to Mr. Rosewell; but ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... with no prospect of reward save such as may be reckoned in the number of palkis and pletnis (whips and lashes); sons, whether rich or poor, to be exposed to cavil, cunning, and vindictiveness, to the practices of gambling judges and a profligate soldiery, to a venal police, to fraudulent employes, themselves badly paid for service, but whose extortions and abuses always meet with approval, a single complaint against whom would expose the complainant to be sent through that hopeless gate always open on the route to Siberia;—oh, for ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... collecting to hear news from the west, and learn the fate of their former favorite, Boone, and his family. As Mrs. Boone, in simple and backwood's phrase, related the thrilling story of their adventures, which needed no trick of venal eloquence to convey it to the heart, an abundant tribute of tears from the hearers convinced the bereaved narrator that true sympathy is natural to the human heart. As they shuddered at the dark character of many of the incidents related, it was an hour of triumph, notwithstanding ...
— The First White Man of the West • Timothy Flint

... the lace ends of my cravat. So he ran through the silly things one after another—shoes which he could not wear, a sword which he could not use, a coat which must exhibit him a monkey—he grovelled before me and would have kissed my foot, but that I shrank from him in disgust. "Horrible, venal Venetian," I said, "thou hast shown me one more degraded than I." He was out of sight with his bundle of treasures before I could finish my reproof, and I busied myself with my ...
— The Fool Errant • Maurice Hewlett

... It is because monarchy was beginning to be odious in the eyes of the European democracy, when contrasted with our antagonistical system of the divine right of the people. It is her policy and her purpose to render our institutions unstable by means of a suborned and venal press, and a band of mercenary, hireling, political and religious monarchical conspirators, parasites and traitors. These her gold can furnish. Her arms having repeatedly failed to subjugate the American democracy, she now has recourse to her diplomacy, her ...
— The Right of American Slavery • True Worthy Hoit

... watched anxiously the movements of the German diet, and finding that he had nothing to fear from the troops of the empire, having secured the investiture of Milan, prepared for the invasion of Naples. The venal pope was easily bought over. Even Ferdinand, the King of Arragon, was induced to loan his connivance to a plan for robbing a near relative of his crown, by the promise of sharing in the spoil. A treaty of partition was entered into by the two robber kings, ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... Freedom lives! Oppression falls—for France has felt her chains, Has burst them too. Who traitor-like stept forth Amid the hall of Jacobins to save 90 Camille Desmoulins, and the venal wretch D'Eglantine? ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... meditated a night attack on his raw troops, but Macnaghten's intrigues and bribes had wrought defection in their camp; and while Kohun-dil-Khan and his brothers were in flight to Girishk on the Helmund, the infamous Hadji Khan Kakur led the venal herd of turncoat sycophants to the feet of the claimant who came backed by the British gold, which Macnaghten was scattering abroad with lavish hand. Shah Soojah recovered from his trepidation, hurried forward ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... writers were nothing but venal hirelings, and changed sides readily enough when their own private interests seemed to render it desirable. One of the most famous—or infamous, according to Anthony a Wood, who describes him as 'a most seditious, mutable, and ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864 • Various

... peculations of a life. Our ears have rung with the noisy frothiness of those who have bought their fellow-men as beasts in the market-place, and found their reward in the sycophancy of a degraded constituency, or the patronage of a venal ministry—no matter of what creed, for party must ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... think, under those circumstances, his action was excusable. Protestants do not recognize the distinction between venial and mortal sins. Venial must not be confounded with the very different word VENAL. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... ancient unanimity was broken in upon. Jealousy had risen and grown.... Nor was even public morality altogether of its pristine tone. The prospect of material prosperity had introduced a degree of luxury; and luxury had brought ambition and mean longings. Venality had become possible; and clever and venal men had a motive for enlisting the selfish and the stupid, and ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... belonging to a race despised, and almost persecuted, by the people amongst whom they dwelt, was an additional guarantee against any compunctious scruples on his part; his occupation of a spy bespoke him at once daring and venal, and Colonel Villabuena doubted not that he should find him ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 364, February 1846 • Various

... meeting was held at the Prince of Wales Tavern in Philadelphia in 1793 to protest in round terms against the monopolistic character of the Lancaster Turnpike. Blackstone and Edward III were hurled at the heads of the "venal" legislators who had made this "monstrosity" possible. The opposition died down, however, in the face of the success which the new road instantly achieved. The Turnpike was, indeed, admirably situated. Converging ...
— The Paths of Inland Commerce - A Chronicle of Trail, Road, and Waterway, Volume 21 in The - Chronicles of America Series • Archer B. Hulbert

... Pyr'rhus and Hannibal, as much by their virtues as their arms. They were now only to be distinguished from the rest of the people by their superior luxuries; and ruled the commonwealth by the weight of an authority gained from riches and mercenary dependents. 19. The venal and the base were attached to them from motives of self-interest; and they who still ventured to be independent, were borne down, and entirely lost in an infamous majority. 20. In short, the empire at this period came under the government of a hateful aristocracy; the tribunes, who were formerly ...
— Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome • Oliver Goldsmith

... abuse by declaring that Scott has encouraged the lowest panders of a venal press, 'deluging and nauseating the public mind with the offal and garbage of Billingsgate abuse and vulgar slang;' and presently he calls Scott—by way, it is true, of lowering Byron—'one of the greatest teachers of morality ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... not exist, or presently disappears; because, in all his actions, it is ever the judgment of his fellow-man that man is obliged necessarily to regard. He never feels either shame or remorse for actions he sees approved, that are practised by the world. Under corrupt governments, venal souls, avaricious being, mercenary individuals, do not blush either at meanness, robbery, or rapine, when it is authorized by example; in licentious nations, no one blushes at adultery except the husband, at whose expence it is committed; ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... reformation of the papacy. His son and grandson succeeded him, Otto II. in 973, Otto III. in 983. In 996 died Pope John XV., a Roman whom the Frankish chronicler, Abbo of Fleury, declares to have been lustful of filthy lucre and venal in all his acts. To Otto the clergy, senate, and people of Rome submitted the election of his successor. He chose his own cousin Bruno, "a man of holiness, of wisdom, and of virtue,"—news, to quote the same saintly writer, more precious than gold and precious stones. His throne was insecure: the ...
— The Church and the Barbarians - Being an Outline of the History of the Church from A.D. 461 to A.D. 1003 • William Holden Hutton

... "'The most venal and sordid of all the superstitions that have swept and darkened our globe may, indeed, like African locusts, have consumed the green corn in very extensive regions, and may return periodically to consume it; but the strong, unwearied labourer who sowed it hath alway sown it in other ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... he was for a time extremely popular, and was distinguished for his firmness and even-handed justice. He succeeded in putting an end to slavery, and to the practice of slave-killing in the island, which at that time was of very common occurrence, and deemed by the planters a venal offence punishable only by a small fine of 15. In consequence of his humane proceedings in this matter he became obnoxious to many of the colonists, and, in 1806, he finally left the island. In 1808 he ...
— History Of The Mackenzies • Alexander Mackenzie

... will see no more of those sights which are shown you by one of those venal praters, who ten times a day, parrot-wise, repeat over the same dull lesson they have got by heart. The surly fellow, who for a shilling conducted me round the church, had nearly, with his chattering, destroyed the finest impressions. Henry VIII., Charles I., and Edward IV. are buried ...
— Travels in England in 1782 • Charles P. Moritz

... Unless its intent is honest, and its editors independent of influence from any self-interested source, the literary tournament of criticism becomes either a parade of the virtues with banners for the favorites, or a melee where rivals seek revenge. Venal criticism is the drug and dishonest criticism the poison ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... artists, men of action, princes, kings—historical figures—in whom courtesans had inspired immortal passion. He thought of the illustrious courtesans who had made themselves heroic in legend, women whose loves were countless and often venal, and yet whose renown had come down to posterity as gloriously as that of supreme poets. He thought of lifelong passionate attachments, which to the world were inexplicable, and which the world never tired of leniently ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... Most venal of a venal race, Who think you cheat the sky With every pharisaic face And simulated lie; Round Freedom's lair, with weapons bare, We greet the light divine Of those who throned the goddess there, And yet ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... their methods, as when, only a few years back, one or two of them seized an entire railroad under cover of what was the merest parody of purchase and opposed both to law and to public policy, afterward defending their outrage in the courts through the brazen aid of venal judges and bringing to Albany (headquarters of their attempted theft) a great carload of New York ruffians, each with a proxy in his soiled and desperate hand—an instrument almost as illegal as the pistol which those hands had doubtless too often fingered if not fired amid the squalor of their ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... the disgraceful scene of his cross-examination at Westminster, and the condemnation by his venal judges at the order of a paltry king. It became known, or shrewdly guessed, that Spain had sent to James I. a hectoring alternative that Raleigh must be executed in London or sent alive for a like purpose to Madrid. The trial was a cowardly and ignominious submission of the English ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... grinning circle with grotesque stories and obscene jests. Though not one of the hereditary chiefs, his influence was great. "He has the strongest head and the loudest voice among the Iroquois," wrote Lamberville to La Barre. "He calls himself your best friend.... He is a venal creature, whom you do well to keep in pay. I assured him I would send him the jerkin you promised." [Footnote: Letters of Lamberville in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. For specimens of Big Mouth's skill in drawing, see ibid., IX. 386.] Well as the Jesuit knew the Iroquois, ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... king's aversion to decisive measures, and well-known horror of civil war, made him the worst of colleagues for the only policy his tool could wield with effect; and the great demagogue himself, when obliged to discard the mask of democratic hypocrisy that still partly hid the subtle and venal traitor of his party, would have lost, like Strafford, many of the elements of his potency; and despoiled, especially, of the miraculous resources of his eloquence, must have contented himself with that lucid, common-sense, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... suffer for higher scoundrels. The mob is loudest against the Chancellor, who I doubt is not to blame for our unreadiness, having little power of late over the King. Oh, there has been iniquity upon iniquity, and men know not whom most to blame—the venal idle servants, or ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... they read out of nothing but first editions; every day shall be a debauch in large paper and tall copies; and crushed morocco shall be familiar to their touch as buckram. Meanwhile, though, books continue to flaunt their venal charms; it would be cowardice to shun the fray. In fine, one buys and continues to buy; and the promised Sabbath ...
— Pagan Papers • Kenneth Grahame

... curtsies before fine folk, who has always a long tale to tell about her sorrows, and who is periodically consoled by a "trifle;" the working man who is rather a scarce article, except upon special occasions; and the representative of the poorest class, living somewhere in that venal slum of slime and misery behind the church. A considerable number of those floating beings called "strags" attend the Parish Church. They go to no place regularly; they gravitate at intervals to the church, mainly on the ground that their fathers and mothers used ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... gradually falling away like a garment, laid bare the eternal monotony of passion, that has always the same forms and the same language. He did not distinguish, this man of so much experience, the difference of sentiment beneath the sameness of expression. Because lips libertine and venal had murmured such words to him, he believed but little in the candour of hers; exaggerated speeches hiding mediocre affections must be discounted; as if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... the venal pomp proceeds From echoing town to town! The clam'rous preacher and his train, Organ and bell with sound inane, The crimson cross, the book, the keys, The flag that spreads before the breeze, The triple-belted crown! It wends ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... if such a thing could be, is Mr. Trollope's comments upon American politicians. 'The corruption of the venal politicians of the nation stinks aloud in the nostrils of all men. It behoves the country to look to this. It is time now that she should do so. The people of the nation are educated and clever. The women are bright and beautiful. Her charity is profuse; her ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... for the rest of the World. Abounding in poignant and just Reflections; The Guardian of Freedom, and Scourge of such as do wrong. It is He checks the Frauds, and curbs the Usurpations of every Profession. The venal Biass of the assuming Judge, the cruel Pride of the starch'd Priest, the empty Froth of the florid Counsellor, the false Importance of the formal Man of Business, the specious Jargon of the grave Physician, and the creeping Taste of the trifling Connoisseur, are all ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... 'Republican' minority, gave their votes on that ballot to Drouet, the postmaster's son of Ste-Menehould, Mr. Carlyle's 'bold old dragoon,' who stopped the carriage of Louis XVI. at Varennes. He was one of the special adherents of Marat, and a most vicious and venal creature, as his own memoirs, giving among other matters an account of his grotesque attempt to fly down out of his Austrian prison with a pair of paper wings, abundantly attest. He escaped the guillotine, and naturally enough turned up under the empire as an obsequious ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... out of six to whom they might happen to be offered, would unhesitatingly reject them. Again, to absorb the gold would have been neither more nor less than partially to carry out the views entertained by the supporters of a metallic currency, and therefore surely, in their eyes, a venal, if not a meritorious, offence. But such was not the fact. In Scotland there was no such a thing known as a gold circulation. The fishermen, the cattle dealers, and the small traders, would not so much as take it; and the stranger who, through ignorance, had provided ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... coffers richly stor'd, And plenty smiling on thy board, In grandeur's costly garbs array'd, With servile homage basely paid From summon'd tribes of venal bands, That wanton luxury commands, Let thy untainted mind beware And shun corruption's ...
— The Flower Basket - A Fairy Tale • Unknown

... trade; let the government heed material interests more than the interests of four orders of friars; let it send out intelligent employees to foster industry; just judges, all well paid, so that they be not venal pilferers, and lay aside all religious pretext. This policy has the advantage in that while it may not lull the instincts of liberty wholly to sleep, yet the day when the mother country loses her colonies she will at least have the gold amassed ...
— The Indolence of the Filipino • Jose Rizal

... nothing. Members of Congress had to be paid to assist in such things. At least he could not reduce his little private bill for such assistance below 1600l. He had, he said, positively paid out so much to those venal members of Congress, and had made nothing for himself to compensate him for his own exertions. When this president came to be examined, he admitted that he had really made no payments to members of Congress. ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... as a corrective in the days of hired advocates, and a bench sometimes venal, and often with a tenure that made it dependent, but is needless now. No conceivable motive but ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... the reputation the Athenaeum had already acquired for impartiality at a time when puffery was more rampant than ever before or since, and when the only other London literary journal of any pretension was notoriously venal.' He also wrote several novels and dramas, which met with but little ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... Band it all in one, Stilt its decrepit strength, renew its age, Wipe out its debts, contract a loan to wage Its venal battles,—and, by yon bright sun, Our God is false, and liberty undone, If slaves have power to win your heritage! Look on your country, God's appointed stage, Where man's vast mind its boundless course shall run: For that it was your stormy coast He spread— A fear in winter; girded you about ...
— The Golden Treasury of American Songs and Lyrics • Various

... He was not venal, not corrupt, not a respecter of persons. But there is something bad besides venality, corruption, and personal partiality. The worst of motives is disposition to serve the cause of evil. The country knows, the world will declare, none served it so well. But was he conscious of serving it? ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 88, February, 1865 • Various

... Johnson that wisdom may make laws but it requires virtue to execute them. The Spanish sovereigns were more humane than their subjects, but the latter were ready with expedients for evading laws whose execution would have hindered their avaricious undertakings in the distant colonies, while venal officials lent their connivance to these violations, instead of administering the laws in the spirit in which their authors had conceived them. The statute books of the worst despotisms are adorned with the wisest and most liberal ordinances. From ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... the licentiousness of the young men, I exerted myself with all my might, and brought into play every power of my mind, not in hostility to an individual, but in the hope of correcting and healing the state. But a venal and profligate verdict in the matter has brought upon the republic the gravest injury. And see ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... bright mirror I beheld her charms And wish'd to tread the patriotic path And wear the laurels that adorn his fame; I walk'd a while and tasted solid peace With Cassius, Rusticus, and good Hortensius, And many more, whose names will be rever'd When you, and I, and all the venal herd, Weigh'd in Nemesis, just impartial scale, Are mark'd with infamy, till time blot out And in oblivion sink our hated names. But 'twas a poor unprofitable path, Nought to be gain'd, save solid peace of mind, No pensions, place or title there ...
— The Group - A Farce • Mercy Warren

... in the use of opium by his people, issued an edict forbidding its introduction into China. This did not check the trade, its only effect being to convert legitimate into smuggling traffic. The trade went on as briskly as before, the smugglers being openly aided by venal officials not only at Canton but at other points along the coast. By 1838 the disregard of the law, and the quantity of opium smuggled into the empire by small boats on the Canton River, had become so great that the Peking government determined to ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... truth. It was simply a trick, a fraudulent, venal imposition. Mrs. C. B. M. herself admitted that she had absolutely nothing to do with the conduct of the business, nor did her previous experience in any way fit her to give advice in such matters. Her husband established the business ...
— The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4) - A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies • W. Grant Hague

... carrying through the assembly a law by which all judicial functions were taken from the Senate and intrusted to the Knights. Heretofore all civil and criminal cases of importance had been tried before a jury chosen from the Senate. These juries were often venal and corrupt, and it was a notorious fact that their ...
— History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD • Robert F. Pennell

... twenty-five per cent. before the first payment had been made. Thus, the distribution of stock became a public scandal, deplored in the messages of the Governor and assailed by the press. "The unclean drippings of venal legislation," the New York Evening Post called it. But no remedy was applied. The Governor, in spite of his regrets, signed every charter the Legislature granted, and the commissioners, as if ignorant of the provisions to secure a fair distribution of the stock, ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... "if they will publish it at all, and at their own risk, I should not stand out for any other terms. 'Nothing great,' said Dryden, 'ever came from a venal pen!'" ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... such of them as remain here at the Chapelle. I was allowed, for about the equivalent of an American dollar, to measure the Occidental emperor's leg—they call it his arm. And then, as a makeweight in the bargain, the venal sacristan placed in my hands ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Vol. XV., No. 85. January, 1875. • Various

... the proprietor of this regenerated journal submitted without complaint and without reply to the cowardly insinuations with which a venal press insults all citizens who, strong in their convictions, refuse to pass beneath the Caudine Forks of power. Long enough has a man, who has already given proofs of devotion and abnegation in the important ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... most part the story of the land grants under this provision is an unfortunate one of speculation, misappropriations, and sale by venal Legislatures, whose only excuse was probably their inexperience and lack of vision; and the natural desire of the people to benefit at once from the endowment these lands represented. Michigan had her troubles in common with the other ...
— The University of Michigan • Wilfred Shaw

... consternation they found that Grant was not disposed to favor their arguments. The prospect looked very black for them. Gould met the situation with matchless audacity. By spreading subtle rumors, and by inspiring press reports through venal writers, he deceived not only the whole of Wall Street, but even his own associates, into believing that high Government officials were in collusion with him. The report was assiduously disseminated that the Government did not intend to release any of its hoard of gold for circulation. ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... foreign government, and a lavish expenditure, has demoralized sterner stuff than Greek politicians are made of, so that it is more to be regretted than wondered at, when it appears that the Greek court has an unusually large supply of venal political adventurers always ready to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... the old vaulted windows. We arrived at the high portal of the ancient manor, a genuine Roman construction of Aurelius Aquensis—a gateway with a round arch: it was obstructed by hired cabs, by whole herds of venal donkeys saddled and bridled, and by holiday-makers of Baden in Sunday clothes preserved for ten or fifteen years. The old pile itself is transformed into a hostelry. Gray was wrong: the paths of glory lead not to the grave, but to the gasthaus; and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... passionate by nature; for, among the same people in the older States, where justice is cheaply and strictly administered, the pistol and bowie-knife are almost unknown. Despotism and slavery nurse the passions of men; and wherever law is loose, or courts are venal, public justice assumes the shape of private vengeance. The farther south one goes in Italy, the more frequent is violence and the more unrepressed are the passions. Compare Piedmont with Naples, and the difference is immense. The dregs of vice and violence settle to the south. Rome is worse than ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... interior resented the extortionate fees and the poll tax, which bore with unequal weight upon the poor settlers of the back country. This tax had been continued after sufficient funds had been collected to extinguish the debt for which it was originally levied, but venal sheriffs had failed to pay it into the treasury. A report of 1770 showed at least one defaulting sheriff in every county of the province.[118:2] This tax, which was almost the sole tax of the colony, was to be collected in ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... have blushed to draw a sword in its behalf; and lastly, no money in the treasury to enlist new troops or to hire foreigners. The court at Brussels, as well as the three councils, not only divided by internal dissensions, but in the highest degree venal and corrupt; the Regent without full powers to act on the spot, and the King at a distance; his adherents in the provinces few, uncertain, and dispirited; the faction numerous and powerful; two-thirds of the people irritated against popery and desirous of a change—such ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1-20 • Various

... Oh, pray send the lady to me; she can't be all stone, and my misery might melt a stone." He listened for an answer, he prayed for an answer. There was none. Once in a mad-house, the sanest man is mad, however interested and barefaced the motive of the relative who has brought two of the most venal class upon the earth to sign away his wits behind his back. And once hobbled and strapped, he is a dangerous maniac, for just so many days, weeks, or years, as the hobbles, handcuffs, and jacket happen to be left upon him by inhumanity, economy, or simple carelessness. Poor Alfred's ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... public privileges. They were exempt from the most onerous taxes, and the best places under the government were reserved for them. Therefore every man who rose to eminence or to wealth in France strove to enter their ranks, and since nobility was a purchasable commodity, through the multiplication of venal offices which conferred it, none who had much money to spend failed to secure the coveted rank. Thus the order had come to comprise almost all persons of note, and a great part of the educated class. To describe ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... birth would prove, Nor worth or wit avail in love; 'Tis gold alone succeeds—by gold The venal sex is bought and sold. Accurs'd be he who first of yore Discover'd the pernicious ore! This sets a brother's heart on fire, And arms the son against the sire; And what, alas! is worse than all, To this the lover owes his ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... you in all that you have suffered, and we consider the persecution with which you have been pursued by a venal Court and an imperious and uncharitable priesthood, as an illustrious proof of your personal merit, and a lasting reproach to that Government from the grasp of whose tyranny you are ...
— Priestley in America - 1794-1804 • Edgar F. Smith

... melts into the tide—the invisible army that had obeyed his sourceless voice without being able to blackmail or rebel, the perfectly balanced tool in his hands that could be used for the bribing of venal politicians, with a limitless fund for the bribery, the growing secret control of the most venal of the political machines of Earth, that by the time he needed it it would have been an irresistible weapon in his hand for the single swift political blow that would ...
— The Man Who Staked the Stars • Charles Dye

... few days after, he himself departed, having been ordered by the senate to quit Italy. But, as he was going from Rome, he is said, after frequently looking back on it in silence, to have at last exclaimed, "That it was a venal city, and would soon perish, if it ...
— Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jurgurthine War • Sallust

... resistance, and again the streets ran with their blood. When, gorged with slaughter and booty, the ferocious conquerors had evacuated the city, Gregory and his attendants reentered Rome and occupied the Lateran palace. He lingered in the venal city only long enough to convoke a council and renew his anathemas against Henry and Guibert, and then retired ...
— The Truce of God - A Tale of the Eleventh Century • George Henry Miles

... said the campaign now in progress, fellow-citizens, marked the gravest crisis in the affairs of our grand old state that an intelligent constituency had ever been called upon to vote down, but that he felt they were on the eve of a sweeping victory that would sweep the corrupt hell-hounds of a venal opposition into an ignominy from which they would never be swept by any base act of his while they honoured him with their suffrages, because his life was an open book and he challenged any son-of-a-gun within ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... and all the great examples of our history; also a consciousness of power such as comes from the habit of power; a combination of energies found only in a hundred arms directed by a hundred eyes; a control of public opinion through venal pens and a prostituted press; an ability to subsidize crowds in every vocation of life—the politician with his local importance, the lawyer with his subtle tongue, and even the authority of the judge on the bench; and a familiar use of men in places high and low, so that ...
— American Eloquence, Volume III. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... ay, but what law? Is there nothing more divine Than the patched-up broils of Congress, venal, full of meat and wine? Is there, say you, nothing higher? Naught, God save us! that transcends Laws of cotton texture, wove by vulgar ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... her heart she made a gesture of appeal to each of her daughters—to Ethel who was immersed in love, to Rose who was absorbed by a vocation, and to this seductive minx whose venal lips would only smile to gain an end—and each seemed to throw her a glance indifferent or preoccupied, and to say, 'Presently, presently. When I can spare a moment.' And she thought bitterly how Rose had been content to receive ...
— Leonora • Arnold Bennett

... family circle. As I listened to what was said here, the words called to my mind the image of a woman of America, known as a religious and moral teacher, who bears a name of which this nation will one day be proud, but now slandered by a venal press, scorned by an arrogant pulpit, little appreciated by the mass of men and women, for whom the bearer of it is laboring night and day. The image of that woman rose before me. The world regards her ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... these deprived? I've learned your candid soul. The venal,— The sordid friend had scarce survived A ...
— Collected Poems - In Two Volumes, Vol. II • Austin Dobson

... wise did Pitt "blend Ireland with the industry and capital of Great Britain." Cupped by his finance she gave the venal blood of her industry to strengthen the predominant partner, and to help him to exclude for a time from these islands that pernicious French Democracy in which all states and peoples have since found redemption. Such was the first chapter in ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... his encroachments, but unfortunately for the nation, that the English parliament, at that period, was more corrupt, venal, base, and sycophantic than at any period under the Tudor kings, or at any subsequent period under the Hanoverian princes. The House of Commons made no indignant resistance; it sent up but few spirited ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... magazines are the result of their joint endeavours. In these circumstances the author bids adieu to fame, writes for bread, and for that only. Imagination is seldom called in. He sits down to address the venal muse with the most phlegmatic apathy; and, as we are told of the Russian, courts his mistress by falling asleep in her lap. His reputation never spreads in a wider circle than that of the trade, who generally value him, not for the fineness of his compositions, ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... We declare that to be President of the United States is the most honorable office a man can hold, and our elected candidates (except when they have the splendid self-abnegating courage of a Cleveland!) wade to Washington through a perfect bog of venal promises. We prate of our democratic institutions, and forget that free trade is one of the first proofs of a free people, and that protected industries are the feudalism of manufacture. We sneer at the corruption of a Jeffreys or a Marlborough in the past, ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 • Various

... the last century, and may cite with pride her Varela, Musquiz, Gabarrus, Ulloa, Jovellanos, &c., was little cultivated or encouraged in that decay of the Spanish monarchy which commenced with the reign of the idiotic Carlos IV., and his venal minister Godoy, and in the wars and revolutions which followed the accession, and ended not with the death of Fernando his son, the late monarch—was almost lost sight of; though Canga Arguelles, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... Ancient Spirit, and of Ancient Race. Who, when withdrawn from Business, and Affairs, Their Minds unloaded of tormenting Cares, With soothing Verse deceiv'd the sliding Time, And, unrewarded, Sung in Noble Rhyme. Not like those Venal Bards, who Write for Pence, Above the Vulgar were their Names and Sense, The Critick judges what the Muse indites, And Rules for Dryden, like a Dryden, Writes. 'Tis true their Lamps were of the smallest ...
— Discourse on Criticism and of Poetry (1707) - From Poems On Several Occasions (1707) • Samuel Cobb

... Stephen's Green were fragrant of rain and the rain-sodden earth gave forth its mortal odour, a faint incense rising upward through the mould from many hearts. The soul of the gallant venal city which his elders had told him of had shrunk with time to a faint mortal odour rising from the earth and he knew that in a moment when he entered the sombre college he would be conscious of a corruption other than that of Buck Egan ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... hard-earned savings of years into the venture; senators, deputies, men of high social rank in public life, shamelessly sold their votes and their voices to secure the moral aid and the money of the state to aid their gambling enterprise, and the newspaper press of Paris, at all times venal, betrayed for bribes the trust that ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 of 8 • Various

... having sold enough of his journals to be at any other expense than the impression, has ceased to pay the author of those pieces. I have obtained his address for the purpose of engaging him to assist me in refuting the Jew, Pinto, whose venal pen has been employed in the most insolent manner against the Americans. A certain person, whom you know, regrets having allowed himself to be dazzled by his financial system, so far as to approve it without reserve in a letter, or advertisement, at the head of the treatise on "Circulation;" ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... daily all the miseries which flow from despotism, from anarchy, from slavery, and from religious persecution. If any thing yet remains to heighten such a picture, let it be added, that every office in the government is not only actually, but professedly, venal,—the pachalics, the vizierates, the cadiships, and whatsoever other denomination may denote the depositary of power. In the whole world, Sir, there is no such oppression felt as by the Christian Greeks. In various parts of India, to be sure, the government ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... contain his rogues-gallery photograph. Times almost past counting he had been taken up on suspicion; more than once had been arrested on direct charges, and at least twice had been indicted. But because of connections with crooked lawyers and approachable politicians and venal police officials and because also of his own individual canniness, he always had escaped conviction and imprisonment. There was no stink of the stone hoosgow on his correctly tailored garments, and no barber other than one of his own choosing had ever ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... he destroyed party; without corrupting, he made a venal age unanimous. France sunk beneath him. With one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded in the other the democracy of England. The sight of his mind was infinite; and his schemes were to affect, not England, not the present age only, but Europe ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... and simpering maidens. What a dynamometer of happiness are these paltry toys, and what a rudimentary vertebrate must be the freckled adolescent whose yearning for the infinite can be stayed even for a single hour by so trifling a boon from the venal ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... be deranged; so that his large estate was his great misfortune, to enjoy which his enemies had recourse to fraud, and pretended to doubt of the mercy of Heaven in restoring him from the condition of a brute to that of a man. In short, he talked so plausibly that he made the rector appear venal and corrupt, his relations unnatural, and himself so discreet that the chaplain determined to take him immediately to the archbishop, that he might be ...
— Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... their will and pleasure. It is recorded (to the confusion of those who think primitive barbarism is virtue) that the corruption of those rude and brutal old times was great, that all classes were sunk in vice, and that the clergy were especially venal and abominable. After the death of Charlemagne, in the ninth century, wars broke out all over Italy between the factions supporting different aspirants to his power; and we may be sure that Mantua had some share in the common quarrel. As I have found no explicit ...
— Italian Journeys • William Dean Howells

... was badly carried out. That might be the case also; but the radical vice of the system was not that it was essentially incomplete in theory or faulty in practise, but that it was false. Its worst result was not poor scholars, but insincere and venal men. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... invaluable rule for myself, which was, Whenever you meet an important man, contradict him. If possible, insult him. But such a rule is one of the privileges of youth. I no longer live by rules. Yet there is one way in which you may possibly be insultable. It can be plausibly held that you are a venal ruffian, pouring forth great quantities of immediately saleable stuff, but altogether declining to lay up for yourself treasures in heaven. It may be that you cannot afford to do otherwise. Therefore I am quite ready to ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... political situation; he was only disheartened by the hollowness and pretense of office-seeking, and the methods of office-seekers in general. Grieved that Twichell should still pin his faith to any party when all parties were so obviously venal and time-serving, he wrote in outspoken and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... rejected because he was poor, goes away to curse woman's fickleness and to marry some one whom he can not love; and the thoughtless girls, by whom the glitter of fortune is taken for the real gold of happiness, follow the venal example, and flirt and jilt till they fancy that they have secured a ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

... and in spite of his bravado, arrested, imprisoned in the Louvre and sentenced to death, for having hanged three young fellows for poaching. The sale of the provostship of Paris was abolished and a man of integrity, Etienne Boileau, appointed with adequate emoluments. So completely was this once venal office rehabilitated, that no seigneur regarded the post as beneath him. Boileau was wont to sleep in his clothes on a camp bed in the Chatelet to be in readiness at any hour, and often St. Louis would be seen sitting beside the provost on the judgment seat, watching over the administration ...
— The Story of Paris • Thomas Okey

... how they would tremble, and clasp their hands in agony at the precipice on which they are disporting! Debt is the prolific mother of folly and of crime; it taints the course of life in all its dreams. Hence so many unhappy marriages, so many prostituted pens, and venal politicians! It hath a small beginning, but a giant's growth and strength. When we make the monster we make our master, who haunts us at all hours, and shakes his whip of scorpions for ever in our sight. The slave hath no overseer so severe. Faustus, when ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... modern writer says of it: "It bristles with keen, well-pointed satire on the corrupt and venal politicians and courtiers of the day" (W.H. Husk in Grove's ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... a venal race, Who think you cheat the sky With every pharisaic face And simulated lie; Round Freedom's lair, with weapons bare, We greet the light divine Of those who throned the goddess there, And yet ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... hostess that John Bull will bear a little more squeezing. I gave my attestation too, however, for the charges of the good lady resembled those elsewhere; and her anxiety to please was extreme. Folks must be harder-hearted than I am to resist the empressement, which may, indeed, be venal, yet has in its expression ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... them, "who boast they will get letters of recommendation from Signora Lodovico or his Commissioner of Works, Messer Ambrogio Ferrari, when not one of them is fit to undertake the task." And certain epigrams in the Windsor Sketchbook are plainly directed against the false and venal science of the astrologer Ambrogio da Rosate, whose name is given in the margin, and show how cordial was Leonardo's hatred of the ...
— Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497 • Julia Mary Cartwright

... obscurity, modestly announced themselves descended from a god, and who never visited a foreign country but what they told some cock-and-bull stories about their being kings and princes at home. This venal trespass on the truth, though it has been occasionally played off by some pseudo marquis, baronet, and other illustrious foreigner, in our land of good-natured credulity, has been completely discountenanced in this ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... trees," said the other, approaching the window, and directing the attention of his companion to the Cove: "'Tis the bark that has so often foiled the efforts of all thy cruisers, and which transports me and my wealth whither I will, without the fetters of arbitrary laws, and the meddling inquiries of venal hirelings. The scud, which floats above the sea, is not freer than that vessel, and scarcely more swift. Well is she named the Water-Witch! for her performances on the wide ocean have been such as seem to exceed all natural means. The froth of the sea does ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... at best they would only have admitted him to the homes of decent, semi-educated families, and for such society he was altogether unfitted. The licence of the streets but seldom allured him. After his twenty-fourth year he was proof against the decoys of venal pleasure, and lived a life of asceticism exceedingly rare in young and lonely men. When Christian Moxey returned to London and took the house at Notting Hill, which he henceforth occupied together with his sister, a possibility ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing



Words linked to "Venal" :   purchasable, corrupt, venality, corruptible, dishonest



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