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Retort   Listen
noun
Retort  n.  
1.
The return of, or reply to, an argument, charge, censure, incivility, taunt, or witticism; a quick and witty or severe response. "This is called the retort courteous."
2.
(Chem. & the Arts) A vessel in which substances are subjected to distillation or decomposition by heat. It is made of different forms and materials for different uses, as a bulb of glass with a curved beak to enter a receiver for general chemical operations, or a cylinder or semicylinder of cast iron for the manufacture of gas in gas works.
Tubulated retort (Chem.), a retort having a tubulure for the introduction or removal of the substances which are to be acted upon.
Synonyms: Repartee; answer. Retort, Repartee. A retort is a short and pointed reply, turning back on an assailant the arguments, censure, or derision he had thrown out. A repartee is usually a good-natured return to some witty or sportive remark.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Retort" Quotes from Famous Books



... its immense gas-holders, retort-houses, its own special canal and railway approaches, covers an area of about twenty-six acres, extending almost from Dartmouth Street to Aston Road. Though there can be no grand architectural features about such an establishment certain ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... which has been brought against me, I, in my turn, retort with the accusation that my accusers have this day brought upon Prussia the disgrace that now for the first time since the State came into existence scientific teaching is prosecuted before a criminal court. For what can the public prosecutor say to my accusation, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... for fear of] "overloading the boat." [But, on the other hand, there was great danger if education were not thrown open to all without restriction. If it be urged that a man should be content with the state of life to which he is called, the obvious retort is, How do you know what is your state of life, unless you try what you are called to? There is no more frightful] "sitting on the safety valve" [than in preventing men of ability from having the means of rising to the positions for which they, by ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2 • Leonard Huxley

... his air of tolerance; he changed his style of play. The contempt in his retort could not have been more measured, even had it been ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... as if at some bland satirical touch, delivered with such adroit garnish of apparent good breeding as to present no handle for retort. ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... retort. "D'you think I want to lose Jill? But she'll have to go some day. It's inevitable. And the only thing she could ever really love is a playmate. The finest lover in the world would never find the trick of Jill's heart. Only a child can do that. She might marry him easily—the lover, I mean. ...
— Jonah and Co. • Dornford Yates

... a very fair retort for his arrogance, and left him snorting and croaking to himself, and bullying some other little watches, whom, I suppose, he imagined would be more deferential to his ...
— The Adventures of a Three-Guinea Watch • Talbot Baines Reed

... and university professors. Why hold up Choricius to ridicule? He was no worse than others of his guild. It was not Choricius, it was another Byzantine historian who conveyed from Herodotus an unsavory retort, over which the unsuspecting Gibbon chuckles in the dark cellar of his notes, where he keeps so much of his high game. The Greek historian of the Roman Empire, the Roman historian of every date, are no better, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who has devoted many ...
— The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915 • Basil L. Gildersleeve

... hasn't been near our shanty for weeks," or the retort, "He was last seen comin' out of YOUR cabin," expressed the eagerness with which Rattlers Ridge washed its hands of any responsibility. Yet he was by no means a common dog, nor even an unhandsome dog; and it was a singular fact that his severest critics vied with each ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

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

... first, to the satisfaction of the company, taken order with the seneschal for that whereof there was need for the time of her governance, she said, "We have many a time heard how, by dint of smart sayings and ready repartees and prompt advisements, many have availed with an apt retort[290] to take the edge off other folks' teeth or to fend off imminent perils; and, for that the matter is goodly and may be useful,[291] I will that to-morrow, with God's aid, it be discoursed within these terms, to wit, OF WHOSO, ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... so sure of that. I had leisure to entertain the retort in my mind, while he slowly lifted his heavy glance from the pavement, up my legs ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... quite as tired of hearing you, I dare say," was the retort. "It seems to me you always stumble when you play to the doctor, and ...
— Jewel - A Chapter In Her Life • Clara Louise Burnham

... annoyed a blow might be expected. The loathed epithet was now very frequently used in reference to him by the emperor and others, and he was bent on showing Europe that he could be a very good Catholic without the Pope. It irritated him to think that Cromwell had laid him open to retort in this contention by a formal alliance with the Lutherans, who were undeniably heretics. It served his purpose very well to play them off against the emperor and even Francis I., but it was not his will to be bound irrevocably ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... lady's retort. "You're mighty polite, I must say. I suppose you were down at that old Castle again, and Adrien too! What were you ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... possible from all admixtures except the requisite amount of carbon. This is "tool" steel. [Footnote: It must not be understood that tool steel was always a cast metal. In manufacturing, iron bars were laid together in a box or retort, together with powdered charcoal, and heated to a certain degree for a certain time. The carbon from the charcoal was absorbed by the iron, and from the blistered appearance of the bars when taken out this product was, and is known as ...
— Steam Steel and Electricity • James W. Steele

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

... forenoon had been marked by a falling off in fire all along the line, but an increasing bombardment from the retreating Germans at certain points stimulated the Americans to a quick retort. From their positions north of Stenay to southeast of the town the Americans began to bombard fixed targets. The firing reached a volume at times ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... shust to be politeful to Mrs. Nelson," was Dutchy's quick retort. "I know, I know, and it is too pad. Why is he not here? Pecause he haf gone out. Why haf he gone out? For der defelopment of der appetite. How does he defelop der appetite? He walks barefoots in der snow. Ach! don't I know? It is der way der rich peoples chases after der appetite when ...
— Love of Life - and Other Stories • Jack London

... therefore not to be wondered at that Lincoln's single term in the House of Representatives at Washington added practically nothing to his reputation. He did not attempt to shine forth in debate by either a stinging retort or a witty epigram, or by a sudden burst of inspired eloquence. On the contrary, he took up his task as a quiet but earnest and patient apprentice in the great workshop of national legislation, and performed his share of duty with industry and intelligence, as ...
— A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History • John G. Nicolay

... window down, and keep a watch. If the driver forgot himself so far as to give a flick with his whip, Lady Burton would lunge at him with her umbrella from behind. Upon the cabby remonstrating at this unlooked-for attack, she would retort, "Yes, and how do you like it?" On one occasion though she was not consistent. She took a cab with her sister from Charing Cross Station, and was in a great hurry to get home. Of course she impressed as usual upon the Jehu that he was not to beat his horse. The horse, which was a wretched old screw, ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... men and women sent to foreign Courts, appointed because they had earned some recognition for political services. Those of us who have strong national pride and a sense of the eternal fitness of things, are obliged to hear such things in shamed silence, and offer no retort, for there can be no possible excuse for mortifying lapses of etiquette. And these things will continue until our government establishes a school of diplomacy and makes a diplomatic ...
— As Seen By Me • Lilian Bell

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

... insult, Rose-water gave May-day to understand that he utterly erred; for his mother, a black slave, had been one of the mistresses of a Virginia planter belonging to one of the oldest families in that state. Another insulting remark followed this innocent disclosure; retort followed retort; in a word, at last they ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... told him that possibly somebody might know of some thoughts of mine, I having borrowed some intelligence in this matter from them, but nobody could say they knew of the thing itself what I writ. This, I confess, however, do trouble me, for that he seemed to speak it as a quick retort, and it must sure be Will. Howe, who did not see anything of what I writ, though I told him indeed that I would write; but in this, I think, there is no great hurt. I find him, though he cannot but owne his opinion ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... the days of Whiggish prosperity shone forth, Shadwell did his best to retort upon our poet. In the prologue to "Bury Fair," we find the following lines of exultation, on his having regained ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... Tongue, and imagines herself no Fool, is easily persuaded that she has a very winning way of Talking; and thinking it sufficient, for the sake of Good Breeding, to disown her Merit, and in some witty Repartee retort the Compliment, he makes her swallow very contentedly the substance of every thing he tells her. The upshot is, that with the satisfaction of having bought, as she thinks, according to her expectation, she has paid exactly the same Price ...
— The Tricks of the Town: or, Ways and Means of getting Money • John Thomson

... notes. But, before we conclude, we are desirous ... to convey to Mr. Smith a little salutary advice ... to remind him that unmeasured severity of invective against others, will naturally produce, at the first favourable opportunity, a retort of similar harshness upon himself; and that unless he feels himself completely invulnerable, the conduct which he has hitherto pursued, is not only uncharitable and violent, but foolish. He should be told that, although he possesses some ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... compliment. Bonaparte listened coldly, and the conversation flagged. In despair she blurted out, "General, what woman could you love the most?" "My own," was the stinging reply. ("Quelle femme?" "La mienne.") Woman and wife being the same word in French, Napoleon's retort was a disdainful pun. "Very well; but which would esteem you the highest?" she persisted. "The best housekeeper." "Yes, I understand; but which one would be for you the foremost among women?" "She who should bear the most children, madame," was the ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... certain degree of heat will, therefore, dispose a metal to combine with oxygen, whilst, on the contrary, the former will be compelled to part with the latter, when the temperature is further increased. I have put some oxyd of manganese into a retort, which is an earthen vessel with a bent neck, such as you see here. (PLATE VII. Fig. 2.) —The retort containing the manganese you cannot see, as I have enclosed it in this furnace, where it is ...
— Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 • Jane Marcet

... husband with a steely eye. She saw opportunity for a shattering retort. " You don't mean, Harrison, to include Marjory and I in the same breath with those two ...
— Active Service • Stephen Crane

... imagine that I rise under some little feeling of irritation to reply to the personal reflections which have been introduced into the discussion. It would be easy to reply to these reflections. It would be still easier to retort them: but I should think either course unworthy of me and of this great occasion. If ever I should so far forget myself as to wander from the subject of debate to matters concerning only myself, it will not, I hope, be at ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... You have tried it." The words were scarce out of his mouth ere he repented the retort; for Darrell started as if stung to the quick; and his brow, before serene, his lip, before playful, grew, the one darkly troubled, the other tightly compressed. "Pardon ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... something about his having this time a new one; on which he had growled something indistinct but apparently in the tone and of the sort that the child, from her earliest years, had associated with hearing somebody retort to somebody that somebody was "another." "Oh I stick to the old!" Mrs. Beale had then quite loudly pronounced; and her accent, even as the cab got away, was still in the air, Maisie's effective companion having spoken no other ...
— What Maisie Knew • Henry James

... mountains or in reading Shakespeare. His munificent and gorgeous genius was as far above style as the statesmanship of Pericles or the sanctity of Joan of Arc was above good manners. The world has not endorsed Ben Jonson's retort to those who commended Shakespeare for never having "blotted out" a line: "Would he had blotted out a thousand!" We feel that so vast a genius is beyond the perfection of control we look for in a stylist. There may be badly-written scenes in Shakespeare, and pot-house jokes, and wordy ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... burner under a large glass retort. But he had no sooner done so than he sat down on a chair and, picking up a book which I surmised might be some work on toxicology, started ...
— The Exploits of Elaine • Arthur B. Reeve

... hearing Kriemhild's constant praise of her husband, who she declared was without a peer in the world, cuttingly remarked that since he was Gunther's vassal he must necessarily be his inferior. This remark called forth a retort from Kriemhild, and a dispute was soon raging, in the course of which Kriemhild vowed that she would publicly assert her rank by taking the precedence of Brunhild in entering the church. The queens parted in hot anger, but both immediately proceeded to attire themselves with the utmost magnificence, ...
— Legends of the Middle Ages - Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art • H.A. Guerber

... only with a savage glare. Then the bottle that he handed to Madame Jouval inspired him with an answer. "Madame is in error," he said with politeness. "For poisons it is possible to go variously elsewhere—as, for example, to Madame's tongue." Had he stopped with that retort courteous, but also searching, he would have done well. He did ill by adding to it the retort brutal: "But that old women of necessity come to me for their hair-dyes is another matter. That much I grant to Madame with ...
— Lords of the Housetops - Thirteen Cat Tales • Various

... his counsellor; "I might retort your accusation, and blame the inconsiderate levity which foiled my design, and misled your own better judgment. But this is no time for recrimination. De Bracy and I will instantly go among these shuffling cowards, and convince them they have gone ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... to retort, and I do not know how much longer we should have endangered the moral existence of the young dandies at home, had not P——, already at a distance from us, called out with the impatience of ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... forsworn journalism and would hereafter devote himself to literature. The editor had remarked, somewhat cynically, that it was a better day for journalism than for literature, the fine, inner meaning of the retort not having been fully evident to Harlan until he was some three squares away from ...
— At the Sign of the Jack O'Lantern • Myrtle Reed

... between Anglesey and O'Connell, to whom it is glory enough (of his sort) to be on a kind of par with the Viceroy, and to have a power equal to that of the Government. Anglesey issues proclamation after proclamation, the other speeches and letters in retort. His breakfasts and dinners are put down, but he finds other places to harangue at, and letters he can always publish; but he does not appear in quite so triumphant an attitude as he did. The O'Connell tribute is said to have failed; no men of property or respectability join him, and he is ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... status of the individual, we are not referring—at least, not directly—to the struggle between Individualism and Socialism. We know that individualists express the fear that under a socialist regime there would be an end to individual initiative, while socialists retort that the chief sin of the competitive system is {65} that it crushes and destroys individuality; but between the contentions of these rival schools of economics we are not attempting to adjudicate. Perhaps we cannot better indicate the ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... you care?" Marjie could not help the retort. She was stung to the quick in every nerve. Lettie's face ...
— The Price of the Prairie - A Story of Kansas • Margaret Hill McCarter

... may use the same phrase of acknowledgment, or similar; but the feeling that dictates it now will be gone. I shall send you a caput mortuum, not a cor vivens. Thy Watchman's, thy bellman's, verses, I do retort upon thee, thou libellous varlet,—why, you cried the hours yourself, and who made you so proud? But I submit, to show my humility, most implicitly to your dogmas. I reject entirely the copy of verses you ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... did with yet more terrible results; and the fourth captivity which Nova Roma had prepared for her mother, become in her mind a hated rival, was the hardest, the longest, the most destructive of all. It is doubtful whether the retort of the eunuch Narses to the empress Sophia, when she recalled him from his government to ply, as she said, the spindle, that he would spin for her such a thread as in her life she would not disentangle, is authentic, but it undoubtedly presents ...
— The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI - The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I • Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

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

... somehow or other, to have lost their point. For instance, a dull dog of a jester (played in a funereal fashion by Mr. SUGDEN) stopped the action of the piece, for what seemed to me (no doubt the time was actually less) some three-quarters of an hour, while he explained the difference between the "retort courteous" and "the reproof valiant." The plot was as thin as a wafer, but as it is, no doubt, generally known, I need not further refer to it. Mrs. LANGTRY was a most graceful and pleasing Rosalind. She acted with an earnestness worthy ...
— Punch, or, the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 8, 1890. • Various

... oxide, and this again with an acid to form a salt; if the heat applied be sufficiently intense, the bands belonging to the metal reveal themselves with perfect definition. Into holes drilled in a cylinder of retort carbon, pure culinary salt is introduced. When the carbon is made the positive electrode of the lamp, the resultant spectrum shows the brilliant yellow lines of the metal sodium. Similar experiments made with the chlorides of strontium, calcium, lithium, [Footnote: The vividness ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a curious gatehouse or porter's lodge. Note the banded mullions of the windows. On the arch by the road Judge Jeffreys hung two adherents of Monmouth's by way of retort to Lord Stawell for remonstrating with him for his cruelty. On the S. extremity of the Quantocks is Cothelstone Beacon. a round tower, which is a conspicuous object from the valley. The site affords a fine prospect over Taunton Dean ...
— Somerset • G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade

... which leapt to her brain. She remembered, too, the thought which came in its midst, and formulated her instant retort. ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... been engaging your individual attention, would be impossible. But I think there can be no doubt that, although at our last meeting we had a very full and interesting discussion on the different systems of regenerative retort settings, still we might very profitably spend a little time to-day in hearing the experience of those who have had some of the systems introduced into their works since then, or who may have gained further experience with ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 601, July 9, 1887 • Various

... for something about Liszt or Chopin, you may quote this; not forgetting the allusion to George Sand. To mention Chopin without Sand would be considered excessively inaccurate. I call the story, "Liszt's Clever Retort." ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... hint with a neatness of retort almost worthy of his mother. "You have your own merciful disposition to blame, if I return to the subject," he replied. "My cousin cannot forget ...
— Heart and Science - A Story of the Present Time • Wilkie Collins

... head, young Wetherby, unless you want it punched!" was Dennis's angry retort, but his fellow subaltern only laughed ...
— With Haig on the Somme • D. H. Parry

... and the phosphide and sulphide of calcium to produce a phosphorescent composition, as follows: One hundred parts, by weight, of the shells, prepared as above, are intimately mixed with twenty parts, by weight, of sulphur. This mixture is placed in a crucible or retort and heated to a white heat for four or five hours, when it is to be removed and forty parts more of sulphur, one and one-half parts of calcium phosphide, and one-half part of chemically pure sulphide of calcium added. The mixture is then heated for ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885 • Various

... ensues; the Furies reproach Apollo with taking the part of a matricide. He urges she had first slain her husband—they retort that husband is not kin, to which Apollo pleads the sanctity of the marriage tie; this authorized by the great example of Zeus and Hera, with its special patroness Cypris, this "assigned by Fate and guided by the Right is more than any oath." Neither party will give way; Apollo appeals to Pallas ...
— Story of Orestes - A Condensation of the Trilogy • Richard G. Moulton

... doubts and lamentations over a 'fratricidal war,' and regrets partitioned with strange impartiality between the sufferers in the cause of free America, and those who have, in their own audacious words,' founded their commonwealth on the institution of Slavery.' You retort our old appeal in the face of these things, and you say to us, 'Sisters, you have spoken well; we have heard you; we have heeded; we have striven in the cause, even unto death; we have sealed our devotion ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., April, 1863, No. LXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics. • Various

... synagogues and beating Jews to senselessness in all parts of the city, undisturbed by the presence of police and troops who did nothing to stop the atrocities. The appeal of representative Odessa Jews to Governor-General Kotzebue was met by the retort that the Jews themselves were to blame, "having started first," and that the necessary measures for restoring order had been adopted. The latter assertion proved to be false, for on the following day the pogrom was renewed ...
— History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II • S.M. Dubnow

... is, that words used in retort, although more violent and disrespectful than those first used, will not satisfy,—words being no ...
— The Code of Honor • John Lyde Wilson

... renounced by the greater part of his spiritual progeny. They alone persevere in the opinion, that the manhood of Christ was created, or existed without creation, of a divine and incorruptible substance. Their adversaries reproach them with the adoration of a phantom; and they retort the accusation, by deriding or execrating the blasphemy of the Jacobites, who impute to the Godhead the vile infirmities of the flesh, even the natural effects of nutrition and digestion. The religion of Armenia ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... instead of a retort. He appreciated her sharpness too much to get one ready in time. Turning away, he left the room with a quiet, steady step, taking his grin with him: it had drawn the clear, scanty skin yet tighter on his face, and remained fixed; so ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... seems to like the sport, And join the jovial cry; The woods, the hills the sound retort, And music fills the sky. When a ...
— Old Ballads • Various

... freedom of tongue." Then he would be amused by hearing one of them saying, "Turn your back to the sahib, and let him see it still wealed with the whipping Nikalseyn gave you!" Whereupon the other would retort, "You need not talk, for your back is ...
— John Nicholson - The Lion of the Punjaub • R. E. Cholmeley

... keen sense of humor but is swift on the retort. While speaking at a party rally in his district not many years after the Boer War he was continually interrupted by an ex-soldier. He stopped his speech and asked the man to state his grievance. The ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... withdrawn part, if he had not called her bride - with a roaring in his ears, he thus regretfully reviewed his declaration. He got to his feet tottering; and then, in that first moment when a dumb agony finds a vent in words, and the tongue betrays the inmost and worst of a man, he permitted himself a retort which, for six weeks to follow, he ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... himself to suppressing the temptingly obvious retort, and succeeded; but though he left it unspoken, the humor of it twitched the corners of his mouth; and Mrs. Hallam was observant. So that her next attempt to draw him out was edged ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... profaneness aimed at the negro man, and outrage every sense of decency in foul language addressed to the negro woman; but if one of the helpless creatures, goaded to resistance and crazed under tyranny, should answer back with impudence, or should relieve his mind with an oath, or retort indecency upon indecency, he did so at the cost to himself of one dollar for every outburst. The agent referred to in the statute was the well-known overseer of the cotton region, who was always coarse and often brutal, sure to be profane, and scarcely knowing the border-line ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... of retort, Delaney drove the spurs into the buckskin and passed the buggy in a single bound. Annixter gathered up the reins and drove on muttering to himself, and occasionally looking back to observe the buckskin ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... that should have all the appearance of an accident, and so perhaps not involve action on the part of those who hold the document—that is, if it should prove not to be in his own keeping—for he had always assured the council that no decisive step would be taken except as a retort to signs of violence on our part, whether directed towards himself ...
— The Ashiel mystery - A Detective Story • Mrs. Charles Bryce

... the man. I have done no good, and it prevents me from running over to Holdesbury to see Nevil, for if "shindy letters," as you call them, are bad, shindy meetings are worse. I should be telling him my opinion of Shrapnel, he would be firing out, I should retort, he would yell, I should snap my fingers, and he would go into convulsions. I am convinced that a cattle-breeder ought to keep himself particularly calm. So unless I have further orders from ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... trampled under foot" by "these enemies of our Government," including as "enemies" the Congress and Cabinet that supported and maintained the war for the Union. These and other unfortunate allusions, such as that to the "poison of Abolitionism," enabled General Hayes to effectively retort at Sidney, and at other points. So much of the Sidney speech as refers to Judge Thurman's Waverly speech is ...
— The Life, Public Services and Select Speeches of Rutherford B. Hayes • James Quay Howard

... Bosambo, resisting the temptation to retort in an alien tongue, and realizing perhaps that he would need all the strength of his more extensive vocabulary to convince ...
— Bones - Being Further Adventures in Mr. Commissioner Sanders' Country • Edgar Wallace

... I had no retort. There was no answering such logic; and with his murders of Spawn and Perona, and the deaths of some of the police guards at the mine, the murder of me would not put him in much ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930 • Various

... could retort, she seemed to realize the monumental irony of what she had just said, and ...
— The Stars, My Brothers • Edmond Hamilton

... flower-beds in front of the French barracks there—"but, of course, the French are an artistic people. You can allow them liberties like that." Every now and then in the papers one runs across some anecdote from France in which the Frenchman is permitted to make the retort at the expense ...
— Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts—and Behind Them • Arthur Ruhl

... she was his one resource, and the unfortunate man, rashly entering into a contest of wit, found himself badly worsted by her ready tongue. He declared that she was worse than her mother, at which the unabashed young woman replied that the superiority of parents was the last retort of the vanquished. He registered an inward vow that Miss Afflint should be used on the morrow as a weapon ...
— The Half-Hearted • John Buchan

... May had been in the schoolroom. Miss Bracy had ceased her tears before he came—they had been her retort on Ethel, and she had not intended the world to know of them. Half disconcerted, half angry, she heard the doctor approach. She was a gentle, tearful woman, one of those who are often called meek, under ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... hierarchy claiming supernatural authority, were not logically justifiable on the accepted principles. Never mind, was the English answer, they work very well in practice; let us leave them alone. Down with them to the ground! was Rousseau's passionate retort. Realise the ideal; force practice into conformity with theory; the voice of the poor and the oppressed is crying aloud for vengeance; the divergence of the actual from the theoretical is no mere trifle to be left to the ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... the preceding sentence: to this barbarism in the name of my native dialect, I must plead guilty!— if barbarism our metropolitan critics shall be pleased to term it. [Footnote: By the way I must just retort upon our polished dialect, that it has gone over to the other extreme in avoidance of the I, using me in many sentences where I ought most decidedly to be employed. It was me [Footnote: I am aware that some of our lexicographers have attempted a defence of this solecism by deriving it from ...
— The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire • James Jennings

... Lawrence, accompanied by Maj. Sedjwick, to make peace and negotiate an exchange of prisoners, He announced this as his last official act, and exhorted the people in a speech he made to them, to live in peace with each other, while they shouted in angry retort, "Give us back Barber and the men that have been murdered ...
— Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler • Pardee Butler

... recovered its nerve on the seats. Cobber yells floated forth on the air. Yet, for every sing-song taunt the visitors found that the home fans had an apt retort. This was where Dick Prescott's ready wit came in, for it was his task to call for all the cheers, ...
— The High School Freshmen - Dick & Co.'s First Year Pranks and Sports • H. Irving Hancock

... objector concludes, and never surely without great profit from his having been "drawn." His apparent triumph—if it be even apparent—still leaves, it will be noted, convenient cover for retort in the riddled face of the opposite stronghold. The last word in these cases is for nobody who can't pretend to an ABSOLUTE test. The terms here used, obviously, are matters of appreciation, and there is ...
— The Awkward Age • Henry James

... caused a general smile, made him colour: but, turning to the Captain with a look of conceit, which implied that he had a retort ready, he said, "Pray, Sir, give me leave to ask-What do you think of one Mr. Ben, who ...
— Evelina • Fanny Burney

... lips at Cordula's swift retort "O no! Malice meets us on every road, but in Germany we do not pull one another's hair on the highway over every venomous or ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... COLONEL TOWNLY. Col. Town. [Aside.] So? what's here—Berinthia and Loveless—and in such close conversation!—I cannot now wonder at her indifference in excusing herself to me!—O rare woman!—Well then, let Loveless look to his wife, 'twill be but the retort courteous on both sides.—[Aloud.] Your servant, madam; I need not ask you how you do, you have got so good a colour. Ber. No better than I used to have, I suppose. Col. Town. A little more blood in your cheeks. Ber. I have been walking! Col. Town. Is that ...
— Scarborough and the Critic • Sheridan

... had sent for the players, either that there might be no intermission in the diversions of the place, or, perhaps, to retort upon Miss Stewart, by the presence of Nell Gwyn, part of the uneasiness she felt from hers. Prince Rupert found charms in the person of another player called Hughes, who brought down and ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... adhere to this religion, which is formed on the earthly model of one king or God, his ministers or angels, and the rebellious spirits who oppose his government. As these tribes of the Volga have no images, they might more justly retort on the Latin missionaries the name of idolaters, (Levesque, Hist. des Peuples soumis a la Domination des Russes, tom. i. p. ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... forgot himself and in his excitement dared a retort—"It was one of the best preserved Raphaels extant." But the expression in the princess' straight-gazing eyes held his further speech in check, and though she said no ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... symphony, dry and barren wood: on the contrary, it contains many passages of rare beauty and feeling. There is little of the fairy-like in it. To Wagner's criticism of Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream overture, that here we had not fairies but gnats, one might retort that in his own opera we have not fairies but baby elephants at play. But throughout there is a quality almost or quite new in music, a feeling for light, a strange, uncanny light. It is worth noticing this, because ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... mouth for angry retort, checked himself. He stood a moment silent, shaken by the effort it cost him to maintain ...
— No Clue - A Mystery Story • James Hay

... all things what polite society most resolutely abhorred. The natural man in him must be bound in chains. The sturdy blow must give way to the honeyed word. A cold "Really!" was the most vigorous retort that the best ...
— The Gem Collector • P. G. Wodehouse

... better after I have asked her," was Elfreda's flippant retort. "I have an idea that she will feel dreadfully hurt if no one asks her ...
— Grace Harlowe's Second Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... The barman stopped the retort rising to the landlord's lips by whispering, "plenty of stuff," in his ear. Thereupon the latter asked where ...
— Australia Revenged • Boomerang

... retort a bit, however. He seemed to think it beneath his notice; for, he only said "Thank you, Lorton!" and dropped back behind us again with Bessie Dasher, while Seraphine joined company with little Miss Pimpernell—Min and I being ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... of Darrin tongue to retort that he didn't believe any true officer, being a man of honor, could stoop to making a false official report. Yet he instantly thought better of it, and forced back the sarcastic retort that ...
— Dave Darrin at Vera Cruz • H. Irving Hancock

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

... nettled," said Mr. B., "at this warm retort, and drew aside my mask: 'Nor would any man, who wore not a ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... merchant after his first voyage to an English sea-port. From an exclusive association together they had formed a kind of slang peculiar to themselves; and from the constant exercise of wit with the squatters on shore, and crews of other boats, they acquired a quickness and smartness of vulgar retort that was quite amusing. The frequent battles they were engaged in with the boatmen of different parts of the river, and with the less civilised inhabitants of the lower Ohio and Mississippi, invested them ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... commanded, sure that the approximate length of the previous dispute had now been taken up, whatever retort Carolyn Drake had made. Then he checked himself, again looking at his watch: "And just what did you answer to your husband's little ...
— Murder at Bridge • Anne Austin

... upon his crew, and he was not reluctant to follow terms of abuse by vigorous chastisement. He called Christian a "damned hound," some of the men "scoundrels, thieves and rascals," and he met a respectful remonstrance with the retort: "You damned infernal scoundrels, I'll make you eat grass or anything you can catch before I have done with you." Naval officers of the period were not addicted to addressing their men in the manner of a lady with a pet canary. Had Bligh's language been the ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

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

... An angry retort sprang to the lips of the Prince, but before he could give vent to it a terrible little shrill sound from the box struck his ears. In sudden dismay he unslung the baby-house, and opened it to discover what was the matter ...
— Prince Vance - The Story of a Prince with a Court in His Box • Eleanor Putnam

... always under his own control; and he frequently complained of the lack of presence of mind which would seize him on any conventional emergency not included in the daily social routine. In a real one he was never at fault. He never failed in a sympathetic response or a playful retort; he was always provided with the exact counter requisite in a game of words. In this respect indeed he had all the powers of the conversationalist; and the perfect ease and grace and geniality of his manner on such occasions, arose probably far more from his innate human and social qualities ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... a Dutch boss av any kind clane-shaved an' not hairy-faced?" was Kildare's just retort, "or see a crowd av Doppers gathered together that the blue smoke av the Blessed Creature was not curlin' out av their mouths an' ears an' noses, an' Old Square Face or Van der Hump makin' ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... said he, "I think I had better whip you now; you are sure to do something while I am out."—"I wish you would, sir!" said the boy; "it would be a letter of licence for the whole evening." The Doctor saw the force of the retort: my two tutelaries will see it by this time. They paid in advance; and I have given liberal interpretation ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... remarkable for goodness of heart and high principle: both possessed an ideality which showed itself with them in elevation of moral sentiments, and which passed into the imaginative qualities of their sons. From remoter relatives on both sides came a legacy of wit, promptness and point in retort, gayety and good spirits. Alfred de Musset was born on the 11th of December, 1810, in the old quarter of Paris, on the left bank of the Seine. The stories of his childhood—which are pretty, like all true stories about children—show a sensitive, affectionate, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... came, of necessity—the devil's grand luxury, Revenge. Say to yourself, "For what I suffer I condemn another man, or I accuse the Arch-Invisible, be it a Destiny, be it a Maker!" and the logical sequel is to add evil to evil, folly to folly—to retort on the man who so wrongs, or on the Arch-Invisible who so afflicts you. Of all our passions, is not Revenge the one into which enters with the most zest a devil? For what is a devil?—A being whose sole work on earth is ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... had the effect. As a bare matter of fact it hadn't. Wagner's soul knew no peace until he died.) It was the great gospel of Renunciation. After reading this, in his own way, Wagner realized, if you please, that both Tannhaeuser and Lohengrin preached the same doctrine; and one can only retort that, if they preach any doctrine at all—which they don't, thank heaven!—it is not that. But Schopenhauerism might easily have ruined Tristan—did not ruin it only because Wagner himself, when writing it, was consumed with a fervour ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... retort with so many things at once that he stuttered horribly, leaping from one idea to the other. To compare the reconquest of Alsace to a robbery. A German country! The race . . . the language . . . ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... Monroe Doctrine was originally proclaimed, it did unquestionably express a valid national interest of the American democracy. It was the American retort to the policy of the Holy Alliance which sought to erect the counter-revolutionary principles into an international system, and which suppressed, so far as possible, all nationalist or democratic agitation. The Spanish-American ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... we must choose a new Leader, and then, With a Man at our head we shall quit us like men: We shall always retort with a sting when we're stung, With the bees in our bonnet, the D's on our tongue. And the words that are honeyed shall fade like a myth, When an ATKINSON stands in the ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 1, 1891 • Various

... dinners must be taken with the contents of a well-filled salt-cellar, as Mr. SIDNEY COOPER was never present at any one of them. Inaccurately he attributes a repartee of THACKERAY's to DOUGLAS JERROLD; and the well-known retort of JERROLD to ALBERT SMITH he gives so incorrectly, that in this instance the Attic salt has lost its savour. There is too much soft-soapiness in his reminiscences of personal interviews with Royalty to please robust readers. Judging from the latter portion of ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., November 29, 1890 • Various

... no compunction in making this triumphant retort to his sneer. And here our dialogue ended. Though it was a kind of declaration of war; I mean a war of words; which, as we became more acquainted, was ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... himself on the edge of the table). Your lunch will be cold, Julia. (Julia is about to retort furiously when she is checked by the reappearance of Cuthbertson ...
— The Philanderer • George Bernard Shaw

... delight in passing jokes on our friend Jones's plumpness, ruddy cheeks, and smiling countenance, as little suited to a hermit living in the Vale of Meditation. We all thought there was ample room for retort on his part, so curious was the appearance of these ladies, so elaborately sentimental about themselves and their caro Albergo, as they named it in an inscription on a tree that stood opposite, the endearing epithet being preceded by the word Ecco! calling ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... is, however, overthrown by the retort that manifestly there are many persons who have experienced even in their early youth those very sexual influences, such as seduction, mutual onanism, without becoming inverts, or without constantly remaining so. Hence, one is forced ...
— Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex • Sigmund Freud

... frequent consultations with the wolf from Midian?" was the quick retort. "Thou art unskilled in the ways of war, my father. The king who would conquer treats not with his enemy. Thou dost risk the respect of thy realm for thee. Strengthen thy fortifications and exhaust the cunning of thy besieger. And if he invade ...
— The Yoke - A Romance of the Days when the Lord Redeemed the Children - of Israel from the Bondage of Egypt • Elizabeth Miller

... and other challenges, Senator Marcy of New York made his well-remembered retort that "the politicians of the United States are not so fastidious.... They see nothing wrong in the rule that to the victor belong the spoils ...
— The Boss and the Machine • Samuel P. Orth

... profound statesmanship, the enthusiasm of a noble nature,—these no practice could educe from the eloquence of Lumley Lord Vargrave, for he had them not; but bold wit, fluent and vigorous sentences, effective arrangement of parliamentary logic, readiness of retort, plausibility of manner, aided by a delivery peculiar for self-possession and ease, a clear and ringing voice (to the only fault of which, shrillness without passion, the ear of the audience had grown accustomed), and a countenance impressive from its courageous intelligence,—all ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... using the formula, "the self-determination of nationalities," as the basis of a propaganda to bring about the dismemberment of Russia and its reduction to a chaotic medley of small, helpless states. To Lenine's statements about the readiness of the German working class to rebel, Kerensky made retort that Lenine should have remained in Germany while on his way to Russia ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... arguments, my dear," replied Beroviero, quite at a loss for a suitable retort. "Of course, I have done my best to make ...
— Marietta - A Maid of Venice • F. Marion Crawford

... and which, even while he sat an object of compassion for the merciful, was beginning to stir and glow under his ashy paleness. Before the last words were out of Mr. Hawley's mouth, Bulstrode felt that he should answer, and that his answer would be a retort. He dared not get up and say, "I am not guilty, the whole story is false"—even if he had dared this, it would have seemed to him, under his present keen sense of betrayal, as vain as to pull, for covering to his nakedness, ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... was the laughter which burst from Villiers and Molineux, at this bitter retort upon their companion, which they vowed should be repeated at the mess table of either garrison, whenever he again attempted one ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... after having wedded the daughter of a king?" "How can I feel it so," he replied, alluding to the king's marriage with her, "when so illustrious an example has been set me!" Germaine, who certainly could not boast the magnanimity of her predecessor, was so stung with the retort, that she not only never forgave the constable, but extended her petty resentment to Gonsalvo, who saw the duke of Alva from this time installed in the honors he had before exclusively enjoyed, of immediate attendance on her royal person whenever ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... to pierce, are less to be admired than peace-loving souls. Any fool can 'show his teeth,' as the word for 'quarrelling' means. But it takes a wise man, and a man whose spirit has been made meek by dwelling near God in Christ, to withhold the angry word, the quick retort. It is generally best to let the glove flung down lie where it is. There are better things to do ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

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

... The retort struck home, still further humiliating him in the eyes of the woman he loved, Luisa Valverde. But he now knew she loved not him, and had made up his mind to humble her in a way hitherto untried. Stung by the ...
— The Free Lances - A Romance of the Mexican Valley • Mayne Reid

... but it was so obvious that I could not clear myself of the imputation cast upon me in that way that I surrendered the idea in the very instant in which it occurred to me. I searched in my own mind for a retort, but I searched in vain; and I spent a good part of that night in the invention of scorching phrases. But the exercise afforded me no relief, and on the following day I sat down and wrote my first newspaper article. We had ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... would come now! He saw Railsford's face flush and his eyes flash. But before the furious retort escaped from his lips, a wise whisper from somewhere fell between them and robbed ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... your royal highness. I should have had myself announced and craved an audience, I reckon," was Bucky's ironic retort; and swiftly on the heels of it he added. "You make me ...
— Bucky O'Connor • William MacLeod Raine

... in force at the Crossing, and by the light of flaring pine torches, cheered and applauded the rival speakers who from a rude platform addressed the excited multitude. Partisan spirit at that time ran high in the foot-hills; crimination and recrimination, challenge, reply, accusation, and retort had already inflamed the meeting, and Colonel Bungstarter, after a withering review of his opponent's policy, culminated with a personal attack upon the career and private character of the eloquent and chivalrous Colonel Culpepper Starbottle of ...
— Drift from Two Shores • Bret Harte

... could for three or four days breathe a little easier by having left her under the impression that he perhaps might. At the same time he couldn't not have said—what had conduced to bring out, in retort, her own last word, the word on which they had parted—"Do you mean to say you yourself would now be willing to marry and live with a man of whom you could feel, the thing done, that he'd be all the while thinking of you in the light of a hideous coercion?" "Never you mind about ...
— The Finer Grain • Henry James

... of, one would think I'd married a monkey—a hourang-howtang, instead of a man. There—now you're vexed! One can't open one's mouth." My mother knew where to strike; and this attack upon his pigtail was certain to provoke my father, who would retort in no measured language, till she, in her turn, lost her temper, and then out she would sing, ...
— Poor Jack • Frederick Marryat

... am speaking; on the contrary, I had my full share of the failing and short-comings common to my age, and often my own temper would rise when Aunt Lucinda found fault with me, or in some other way manifested a feeling of dislike, and the bitter retort would rise to my lips; but I believe I can say with truth that I never gave utterance to a disrespectful word. My mother's counsel to me before leaving home, recurring to my mind, often prevented the impatient and irritable ...
— Walter Harland - Or, Memories of the Past • Harriet S. Caswell

... that her "meddling" was unwelcome. "The idle women! We ought to be busy at something useful—you and I and the rest of 'em. Then we'd not be tempted to kill time doing things that cause gossip, and may cause scandal." Seeing that Adelaide was about to make some curt retort, she added: "Now, don't pretend, Del. You know, yourself, that they're always getting into mischief and getting ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

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

... none of your cheek,' was the shockingly feeble retort which alone occurred to him. The other said nothing. Harrison ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... indignant retort, but her mother stopped her. "If you are really brave, Gertrude, you can have an excellent opportunity to show it when the storm comes." Then to Harry, "Let your sister alone, or I'll send you ...
— Elsie's children • Martha Finley

... as an Abolitionist—or "nigger-stealer," as they phrased it—and, under the countenance and guidance of their elders, their worst passions were now at play; but for all that, they were not essentially wicked. They were rough backwoods' boys, and the spirit of my retort pleased them. After that they held back from ...
— The Quadroon - Adventures in the Far West • Mayne Reid

... strongly to the religious prejudices of the majority of the audience. He ended by a gibe which, under ordinary circumstances, might have passed simply as the rude humour of a popular orator, but which in that electric atmosphere stung Huxley into a retort that has become historical. He asked Huxley whether he was related by his grandfather's or grandmother's side to an ape. ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... to explain to the porter that he had no soul about him, having left that indispensable article behind in the person of his grandchild? "Then you had better go back and fetch it. There is no admission at this gate for people without souls." Such might very well be the porter's retort; and foreseeing it any man of ordinary prudence would take the precaution of recovering his lost spiritual property before presenting himself to the Warden of the Dead. This theory would sufficiently account for the otherwise singular behaviour of grandfather's ghost in Vanua-levu. At the same ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... continued: Twelve o'clock at night is a late hour to take up all your points, General; but the audience will have me talk. Miss Anthony gave you, General, a very sarcastic retort to your assertion that every woman ought to be married. (Laughter.) She told you that to marry, it was essential to find some decent man, and that could not be found among the Kansas politicians who had so ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... burned before the porch, by the common hangman. He was reminded that the instrument bore the great seal; to which he boldly answered, that the seal would help to make it burn the better. It was not thought politic to take notice of this revolutionary retort. ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... things, in the discipline of a ship, which he had not before understood. He said that when sailors came on board of a vessel they expected more or less harsh words, and that it was highly impudent, to say the least, for a man to retort, or even ...
— Work and Win - or, Noddy Newman on a Cruise • Oliver Optic

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

... worse for Scripture,' was the unguarded, yet honest, retort of Mr. Penrose; and Dr. Hale laid a kind hand on the young minister's shoulder ...
— Lancashire Idylls (1898) • Marshall Mather

... the sandbank. Aurora knew that he really meant to go this time, and at first she was rather glad of it, since he was in such a very bad temper. She felt that he had insulted her, and if he had stayed any longer she would doubtless have called him a brute, that being the woman's retort under the circumstances. She had not the slightest doubt of being quite reconciled with him before luncheon, of course, but in her heart she wished that she had not made him angry. It had been very pleasant to watch the storm together, and when they had come ...
— Whosoever Shall Offend • F. Marion Crawford

... under his breath at the opening of the tent): Come to my aid, you, who have the art of quick retort and gay jest. Come, hearten ...
— Cyrano de Bergerac • Edmond Rostand

... apt to make companions irritable one to another; but under hard circumstances, a traveller does his duty best who doubles his kindliness of manner to those about him, and takes harsh words gently, and without retort. He should make it a point of duty to do so. It is at those times very superfluous to show too much punctiliousness about keeping up one's dignity, and so forth; since the difficulty lies not in taking up quarrels, but in ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton



Words linked to "Retort" :   replication, response, backtalk, repay, comeback, respond, mouth, still, rejoinder, rejoin, vessel, back talk, alembic, lip, come back



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