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Irony   /ˈaɪrəni/   Listen
Irony

noun
1.
Witty language used to convey insults or scorn.  Synonyms: caustic remark, sarcasm, satire.  "Irony is wasted on the stupid" , "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own"
2.
Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.
3.
A trope that involves incongruity between what is expected and what occurs.



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"Irony" Quotes from Famous Books



... truths of experience, with an absence of self-consciousness truly amazing in the artistic temperament of either sex, she wrote exactly as she thought, saw and felt. Humour was not her strong point. She had an exultant joy in living, but laughter, whether genial or sardonic, is not in her work. Irony she seldom, if ever, employed; satire she never attempted. It was on the maternal, the sympathetic side that her femininity, and therefore her creative genius, was most strongly developed. She was masculine only in the deliberate libertinism of certain ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... dilate with keen irony on the fate of the first half of Israel's sin—the calf. It was thought a god, but its worshippers shall be in a fright for it. 'Calves,' says Hosea, though there was but one at Beth-el; and he uses the feminine, as some think, depreciatingly. 'Beth-aven' or the 'house of vanity,' ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Eliot's mental development would be to lose one of the connecting links in her history." Furthermore, "nothing in her fictions excels the style of these papers." Here is all her "epigrammatic felicity," and an irony not surpassed by Heine himself, while her paper on the poet Young is one of her wittiest bits of ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... reader's mind. All Goethe's work, whether poetry or prose, his plays, his novels, his letters, his conversations, are richly bestrewn with the luminous sentences of a keen-eyed, steadfast, patient, indefatigable watcher of human life. He deals gravely and sincerely with men. He has none of that shallow irony by which small men who have got wrong with the world seek a shabby revenge. He tells us the whole truth. He is not of those second-rate sages who keep their own secrets, externally complying with all the conventions of speech and demeanour, while privately nourishing unbridled freedom ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... grasps for salvation at whatever happens his way. All things are then loaded with ominous powers the strength of which is directly proportionate to the hope or fear that enthralls him. If the universe were lawless, the irony of man's fate would forever be what it was when he lived in abysmal ignorance: when in bitterest need of sane guidance, he would be most prone to trust to the feeblest and most irrational of aids. ...
— The Philosophy of Spinoza • Baruch de Spinoza

... A dismal irony seemed to lie in the words, and its effect was to irritate him. Downe, then, had spoken truly. He stuck his umbrella into the sod, and seized the post with both hands, as if intending to loosen and throw it down. Then, like one bewildered ...
— Wessex Tales • Thomas Hardy

... look of anxious indecision in Fabian's countenance, he added, with that bitter irony which formed a part of his character; "But after all, if this duty is so repugnant to you, I shall undertake it; for not having the least ill will against Cuchillo, I can bang him without a scruple. You will see, Fabian, ...
— Wood Rangers - The Trappers of Sonora • Mayne Reid

... to all men than himself, and so much the better to all men, as less to himself;[77] for no quality sets a man off like this, and commends him more against his will: and he can put up any injury sooner than this (as he calls it) your irony. You shall hear him confute his commenders, and giving reasons how much they are mistaken, and is angry almost if they do not believe him. Nothing threatens him so much as great expectation, which he thinks more prejudicial than your under-opinion, because it is easier to ...
— Character Writings of the 17th Century • Various

... all that was expected of it, but it was handicapped by unforeseen conditions of warfare. The heavy Teuton guns performed their mission in the very introductory stages of the war, then failed, and later, by the irony of fate, proved to be the very things required when the unforeseen ...
— Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights • Kelly Miller

... form one of those political groups, numerous enough in history, who at a crisis arrest our imagination because of the irony of their situation. Unsuspecting, these men went their way, during the last summer of the old regime, busy with the ordinary affairs of state, absorbed in their opposition to the Southern radicals, never dreaming of the doom that was secretly moving toward them through the plans of ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... of whom Hamilton has drawn so striking a picture, is said to have been of the house of Bourdeille, which had the honour to produce Brautome and Montresor. The combination of indolence and talent, of wit and simplicity, of bluntness and irony, with which he is represented, may have been derived from tradition, but could only have been united into the inimitable whole by the pen of Hamilton. Several of his bons-mots have been preserved; but the spirit evaporates in translation. ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... forget the two generals who were worth so much to the South. It would be fate's bitterest irony if Jackson and Stuart were killed in a small flanking movement, when, as was obvious to everyone, a battle of the first magnitude was just before them. And yet, while fragments of steel, hot and hissing, fell all around them, Jackson and Stuart and all the members of their ...
— The Star of Gettysburg - A Story of Southern High Tide • Joseph A. Altsheler

... gallant irony, bowing with a chivalrous humility that drove her nearly mad, but he never spoke ...
— Bird of Paradise • Ada Leverson

... of Mara, in this novel, though very pathetic, is felt by every male reader to be better than a long married life with Moses. The latter is "made happy" in the end with Sally Kittredge. Mrs. Stowe does not seem conscious of the intense and bitter irony of the last scenes. She conveys the misanthropy of Swift without feeling or ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... into my bag and from the piles of literature it contained picked up a book at random. It was a German brochure: Gott strafe England! by Prof. Dr. Hugo Bischoff, of the University of Goettingen. The irony of the thing appealed to my sense of humour. "So be it!" I said. "The worthy Professor's fulminations against my country shall have the honour of harbouring the document which is, apparently, of such value to his country!" And I tucked the little ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... Saturday just previous, and his purse contained only four thalers. There was only one prospect left, and he went to a rich money lender, and in response to his request for relief in money difficulties, was met with this reply of irony and sarcasm from one who loved to indulge his enmity to the Christian faith. "You in money difficulties, or any difficulties, Mr. Loest! I cannot believe it; it is altogether impossible! you are at all times and in all ...
— The Wonders of Prayer - A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer • Various

... understood that this letter came not to my knowledge until long after its writing. I knew not then either the deep affection of the writer for Raphael, or her aversion for myself. By an irony of fate we had begun our acquaintance by loving at cross purposes. The "prankish fop" and "graceless fellow"—whose affection had indeed been hitherto no great compliment to a woman, being lightly caught and as lightly lost—was to his own surprise falling ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... they were liberal in the matter of religious and philosophical thought. They were also skeptical as to the sincerity and usefulness of many current practises and institutions of the Catholic and Protestant branches of the church; their wit, irony, and satire were directed, however, not against religion, but against the obnoxious externals of ecclesiasticism. This attack was provoked by the obvious fact that the reaction employed the institutional state church as a ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... deep-set, eager eyes, his crooked face pathetically sad and drawn, but alive with a swift and meaning intelligence, while the thin and mobile lips expressed a sort of ready malice which could break out in bitterness or turn to a kindly irony according as the touch that moved the man's sensitive nature was cruel or friendly. He was scarcely taller than a boy of ten years old, but his full-grown arms hung down below his knees, and his man's head, with the long, keen face, was set far forward on his shapeless body, so that in ...
— In The Palace Of The King - A Love Story Of Old Madrid • F. Marion Crawford

... never possessed nor could hope to have any interest in. "Not one among many, many Romans," said he, "has a family altar or an ancestral tomb. They have fought to maintain the luxury of the great, and they are called in bitter irony the 'masters of the world' while they do not possess a clod of earth that they ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... I knew was ironically directed against myself, I did not care. So long as I was to be with my companions and of them, irony did not matter. I caught the twinkle in his eye and laughed. He was as joyous as Narcisse. The gladness of the July morning danced in his veins. He pulled the violin and bow out of the old baize bag and fiddled as we walked. It must ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... ridiculous stories of those who desire it; the king's authority will soon restore order." Then, as old M. de Guitaut, who had just come in, supported the coadjutor, and said that he did not understand how anybody could sleep in the state in which things were, the cardinal asked him, with some slight irony, "Well, M. de Guitaut, and what is your advice?" "My advice," said Guitaut, "is to give up that old rascal of a Broussel, dead or alive." "The former," replied the coadjutor, "would not accord with either the queen's piety or her prudence; the latter might stop the tumult." ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... glowing sun, a sky without a cloud, completed the bitter irony of the spectacle. All this ruin, desolation, and wretchedness were the outward and visible signs of a series of revolutions. At St. Catherine the French travellers had been witnesses of the declaration ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... probate, I believe,' said Lady Le Breton, in a slight tone of irony; for to her mind any departure from the laws or language she was herself accustomed to use, assumed at once the guise of a rank and offensive provincialism. 'Your poor Aunt WOULD go and marry a ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... unfrequently substantial reasons underneath for customs that appear to us absurd; and if I were ever again to find myself amongst strangers, I should be solicitous to examine before I condemned. Indiscriminating irony and faultfinding are just sumphishness, and that is all. Anne is now much better, but papa has been for near a fortnight far from well with the influenza; he has at times a most distressing cough, and his spirits ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... all the mistakes the poor countrified Backfisch makes the first morning. She actually gets out of bed before she puts on her clothes, and has to be driven behind the bed curtains by her aunt's irony. This is an incident that is either out of date or due to the genius and imagination of the author, for I have never seen bed curtains in Germany. However, Gretchen is taught to perform the early stages of her toilet behind them, and then to wash for the first time in her life in ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... and enlightened propagator of civilization among the peoples of the East. Lord Beaconsfield has said of us recently, that we ought to hope, because the future belongs to us. I know not whether these words are a biting irony of the author of "Coningsby," or whether they express his sincere opinion on the future of Greece in the East. Doubtless the future belongs to those who hope and work; but no nation can produce anything great by struggling on a soil so small, so barren, and so narrow, just as no individual ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... no intermediate course unbarred. Now prove thyself! saith Destiny; and Chance appends: Now prove thyself to be at bottom a god or else a beast, and now eternally abide that choice. And now (O crowning irony!) we may not tell thee clearly by which choice thou ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... moment a being that singularly resembled this description appeared before him, offering the reality of the imaginary picture he was drawing with so much irony and art. ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... and soon afterwards four "prudent and honest men" went out from it and founded Salem. John White procured a patent and royal charter for them also, which was sealed on March 4th, 1629. It seemed the irony of fate that on the same day 147 years afterwards Washington should open fire upon Boston from the Dorchester heights in ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... de Chauxville walked to the door in a cloak which had figured at many a Charity League meeting. Assuredly the irony of Fate is a keener thing than any poor humor we have at our command. When evil is punished in this present life there is no staying ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... Concession, and the other on Chinese soil, considering the different standards that obtained in each, so he stood now, figuratively, on the boundary line of an ethical problem and swayed mentally first towards one side and then the other. The irony of it, the humour of it, appealed to him. It seemed so insanely just—just what you might expect. He had been asked—that was too definite a word—to forego his activities for a few brief weeks. And during those few brief weeks ...
— Civilization - Tales of the Orient • Ellen Newbold La Motte

... that he could have stood still and struck straight from the shoulder; but when we remember how perfectly he saw through and through the faults and foibles of men, how his mischievous and genial irony, when it touched personal character, stamped and characterized it for life, and how keen was the edge and how fine the play of every weapon in his full armory of sarcasm and ridicule, (of which his speech in the Senate in reply to Mr. McDuffie's personalities ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... Sir Kasimir, with a shade of irony in his tone. "It would be a troublesome siege; but the League numbers 1,500 horse, and 9,000 foot, and, with Schlangenwald's concurrence, you would be ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... think of for the unknown children at Carlingford, the manner with which she was regarded in the great shop, her lavish liberality, her beautiful carriage, and all the fine things about her, had brought Ursula to this very thought, that it was extremely fine to marry a rich man. Sophy's irony was lost upon her simple-minded cousin, and so indeed was Mrs. Copperhead's pathos. That she was very kind, and that she was not very happy, were both apparent, but Ursula did not connect the unhappiness with the fact that she was a rich man's wife. ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... irony accompanied the words. As it curved her lips alluringly, Lord Hurdly felt himself touched with the sudden sense of her powerful charm. No one else on earth would have dared to say this to him, or anything remotely comparable ...
— A Manifest Destiny • Julia Magruder

... possess no others that might mystify and perplex their understandings on religious subjects. They seldom indulge in jokes or other kinds of levity; and Beechey says, they are so accustomed to take what is said in its literal meaning, that irony was always considered a falsehood in spite of explanation; and that they could not see the propriety of uttering what was not strictly true, for any purpose whatever. The Sabbath is wholly devoted to the church service, to prayer, reading, ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... ex post facto assailants of Wakefield's theory usually assume that he wished to keep labour divorced from the soil and in a state of permanent political and industrial inferiority. That is sheer nonsense. There are few more odd examples of the irony of fate in colonial history than that the man who warred against the convict system, fought the battle of colonial self-government, was ever the enemy of the land-shark and monopolist, who denounced low wages, and whose dream ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... superficial but rather subtle qualities by which he has achieved success, it seems a sort of irony to think what he might have done and did not do for the country of his birth. What did he ever do for Canada? Before the war—nothing. He made huge fortunes here. He created mergers here. He started consolidated ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... subsequently, as if the irony of that successful trickster had brought him bad luck, Claude only spoilt his original draught. It was the old story over again. He spent himself in one effort, one magnificent dash; he failed to bring out ...
— His Masterpiece • Emile Zola

... courtyards, the massive portals, where portcullises still threaten, of Fosdinovo to themselves. Over the gate, and here and there on corbels, are carved the arms of Malaspina—a barren thorn-tree, gnarled with the geometrical precision of heraldic irony. ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... affected the unfortunate cause of it, who added to our confusion by increased solicitude of service and—as if fearful of some fault, or having incurred our disfavor—by a deprecatory and exaggerated humility that in our sensitive state seemed like the keenest irony. At last, evidently interpreting our constraint before him into a desire to be alone, he retired to the door of a distant pantry, whence he surveyed us with dark and sorrowful Southern eyes. Tallant, who in this ...
— Colonel Starbottle's Client and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... pardon, grandfather! I beg your pardon, ladies," said Sylvanus, assuming so sudden and profound a gravity as to inspire a suspicion of irony in the minds ...
— For Woman's Love • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... said the negro; "and we three, hunters of men, made a better day's sport than he did. Kennedy, his horses, his elephants, and his numerous servants did not get their tiger—but we got ours," he added, with grim irony. "Yes; Kennedy, that tiger with a human face, fell into our ambush, and the brothers of the good work offered up their fine ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... whilst in succession the lower taste for animal sentiment is sorcerized by vivid flashes of captivating contrast, forked, as lightning, and left, as embers smouldering to glow in the crucible of memory's recesses. Specious instances of irony playing the manliest part: flashes of meteoric, mesmeric eloquence, fitfully flecking the embossed page, as one tier or set of ideas, in rhetoric orchestration, symphonizes with or eclipses another. Connection, an element of robust mesmeric cohesion with this prized author being the adamantine ...
— Original Letters and Biographic Epitomes • J. Atwood.Slater

... which made Acton the despair of the mere academic student, an enigma among men of the world, and a stumbling-block to the politician of the clubs. Beyond this, we find that certainty and decision of judgment, that crisp concentration of phrase, that grave and deliberate irony and that mastery of subtlety, allusion, and wit, which make his interpretation an adventure and ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... irony of your concluding words," Graham replied, "by saying that I know just enough about the game to be aware how much skill is required to play with such a ...
— His Sombre Rivals • E. P. Roe

... bitter irony and sarcasm, paraphrases our argument by saying: "The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... the irony. Whatever their friendship in days gone by, these two were clearly not on the most amiable terms at present. This was their first engagement in the same company, and it had needed but a week of association to put a jealousy and ill-feeling between them which proved fatal to ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... own sophism, and while they thought themselves crowned with enlightenment, it was naught but the Phrygian caps of their prejudices toward the material state?" I asked, with more than the average dose of irony and feeling, both for my subjects ...
— The Revolutions of Time • Jonathan Dunn

... hoards," etc.—merely a periphrasis for man, and scarcely fitting, except in irony, to a splitter ...
— The story of Burnt Njal - From the Icelandic of the Njals Saga • Anonymous

... irony Horace puts his fancies into the mouth of Alphius, a miserly money-lender. No one yearns so keenly for the country and its imagined peace as the overworked city man, when his pulse is low and his spirits weary with bad air and the reaction of over-excitement; no ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... find in the boy the echo of the objectionable sire. Perhaps the long dead mother, who was never a lawful wife, had, by some retributive turn of justice, endowed him wholly with her own qualities. Gard could almost find it in his breast to like the big, large-hearted, gentle boy, but for a final irony of fate—the son's blind adoration of his father, and that father's obvious but helpless dislike of the impending romance. Every element of contradiction seemed to be present in the tangle and to bind the older watchers to silence. What could anyone do or say? And ...
— Out of the Ashes • Ethel Watts Mumford

... equaled him, but not in his sense of beauty. Where he surpassed Hawthorne was in manliness, and in his broad humanitarian interests. Otherwise no two men could be more unlike than these, and it would seem to be part of the irony of fate that they should have lived on the same street, and been obliged to meet and speak with each other. One was like sunshine, the other shadow. Emerson was transparent, and wished to be so, he had nothing to conceal from friend or enemy. Hawthorne was simply impenetrable. Emerson ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... out in ridiculous uniforms, and as it were to brand in mass, not only convicts but military prisoners, and even the children in charity schools. I think some malignant genius had found his masterpiece of irony in the dress which we were condemned to wear: jacket, waistcoat, and trousers of a sulphur or mustard yellow, and a shirt of blue-and-white striped cotton. It was conspicuous, it was cheap, it pointed us out to laughter—we, who were old soldiers, used to arms, and some of us showing noble scars,—like ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to-day be considered a harmless piece of irony, The Shortest Way with Dissenters, in which Defoe, who was himself a dissenter, advocated banishment or hanging, he suffered the mortification of exposure for three days in the pillory and of imprisonment in the pestilent Newgate jail. His business ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... son of a new Irish baron, I suppose you fancy I shall be obliged to give my hand to the eldest son of an English baronet," said Anneke, smiling, so as to take off the edge of a little irony that I fancy just glimmered ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... between you and me; and your fate for all time, your future weal or woe is rather a costly shuttlecock to be tossed to and fro in a game of words. I do not come to bandy phrases, and in view of your imminent peril, I cannot quite understand your irony." ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... o'clock when, without knowing how he got there, he found himself on the familiar ground of Shy Street. In the dim lamplight he scarcely recognised it at first, but when he did it seemed like a final stroke of irony to bring him there, at such a time, in such a mood. What else could it be meant for but to remind him there was no escape, no hope of losing himself, no ...
— Reginald Cruden - A Tale of City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... Haughtily ignoring my irony, the leader of the posse drew from his pocket several papers, and first clearing his throat, said in an imperious tone, "I have a warrant here for the arrest of Tom Quirk, alias McIndoo, and a distress warrant for a herd ...
— The Outlet • Andy Adams

... responded, with a listless smile of irony; "but I am afraid twelve good men in a box—the jury, you know—would not be so incredulous. May I ask why you refuse to accept my plea of guilty? ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

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

... consideration to make use of the estates of the Jesuits which had reverted to the Crown on the extinction of the order. For several years the assigning of the revenues of these estates to educational and religious purposes under Protestant control had been advocated and by the strange irony of history this was in time brought about. Indeed, as early as February 10th, 1810, Sir Gordon Drummond, then administering the Government of Lower Canada, wrote from Quebec to the Colonial Office stating that the Anglican Cathedral ...
— McGill and its Story, 1821-1921 • Cyrus Macmillan

... fired the pistol a bout portant with deliberation; the flint, in the familiar irony of fate, missed fire, and there was nothing more to do with the treacherous weapon but to throw it in the face of the Highlander. It struck full; the trigger-guard gashed the jaw and the metalled butt spoiled the sight of ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... deputies were of this party. Brissot was their inspiration. Flattered by the title of statesmen, which they already assumed from vanity, and which was used towards them with irony, they were desirous to justify their pretensions by a bold stroke, which would change the scene, and disconcert, at the same time, the king, the people, and Europe. They had studied Machiavel, and considered the disdain of the just as a proof of genius. They little heeded the blood of ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... ladies," said the road agent, "that I have delayed you unnecessarily. It seems that I have called up the wrong number." He emitted a reassuring chuckle, and, fanning himself with his sombrero, continued speaking in a tone of polite irony: "The Wells, Fargo messenger is the party I am laying for. He's coming over this trail with a package of diamonds. That's what I'm after. At first I thought 'Fighting Bob' over there by the rock might have it on ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... would give me his casual and valuable advice on the minor frailties of the human, and they seemed as engaging and confusing in their directness as a child's; for Mr. Monk was large and bland, with a pale, puffy, and unsmiling face, and only betrayed his irony with a slow wink when he was sure you were not deceived. He knew much about the gentry around, those bored and weary youths in check coats, riding breeches, and large pipes, and the young ladies in pale homespun costumes who had rude and ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... the nurse betrayed his sense of the fine quick scene this want of confidence had ruined. Under no circumstances in life did English people really seem to know how to behave or what was expected of them. He answered with something bordering upon irony. "Madam," he said, with a slight bow, ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... you to get some more money, Simon," answered the old man with an ingenuousness that made the reply more stinging than any intended irony. ...
— Jacqueline of Golden River • H. M. Egbert

... conflict to work together for the making of a united state. In looking over the list of them and reflecting on the part that they played toward one another in the past, one realizes that we have here a grim irony of history. Among them is General Louis Botha, Prime Minister at the moment of the Transvaal, and now the first prime minister of South Africa. Botha, in the days of Generals Buller and the Dugela, was the hardest fighter of the Boer Republic. ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... German, she a mercurial Parisian, who at seventy sang the "Marseillaise" with all the spirit of the Commune in her cracked voice, and hated from the bottom of her patriotic soul the enemy with whom the irony of fate had yoked her. However, she improved the opportunity in truly French fashion. He was rheumatic, and most of the time was tied to his chair. He had not worked for seven years. "He no goode," she ...
— The Battle with the Slum • Jacob A. Riis

... estimate, but no more. He was selfish, immoral, barren of finer instincts, who was loved by his dog and by Penelope, though for no reason we can discover. Ten years he fought before Troy, and ten years he tasted the irony of the seas—in these episodes displaying bravery and fortitude, but no homesick love for Penelope, who waited at the tower of Ithaca for him, a picture of constancy sweet enough to hang on the palace walls of all these centuries. We do not think to love Ulysses, nor can we work ourselves up to ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... jealous keeping for ages before the era of Man. They braved sudden death, death from thirst and starvation, death from prowling savages, death from the wild creatures,—all that the works of man might flourish where they had not feared to tread. It is the irony of fate that these old pioneers, many of whom hated civilization and were fleeing from her guiles, should have been the advance-guard of the very ...
— Arizona's Yesterday - Being the Narrative of John H. Cady, Pioneer • John H. Cady

... she did not entirely approve of him—and she entirely approved of nobody—she loved him for his good company, his humour, and his common-sense. She liked it too that he did not mind when she chose to allow her irony to play upon him. He cared nothing ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... is going to blow up?" he inquired, with a tinge of irony. "Well, it isn't." He turned to me. "Here's where we shall stay for a while. You and the men are to cut a number of these pine trees for a house. Better pick out the little ones, about three or four ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... contributed very largely to her growing up. The sight of his work and his methods; the occasional talks she overheard between him and his scientific comrades; the tones of irony and denial in the atmosphere about him; his antagonisms, his bitternesses, worked strongly upon her still plastic nature. Moreover she felt to her heart's core that he was unsuccessful; there were appointments he should have had, but had failed to get, and it was the religious party, the "clerical ...
— Helbeck of Bannisdale, Vol. I. • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... 'to hold'—but it is a licentious construction, so also, in next line, 'themselves' for 'they themselves.' The stanza is on the whole the worst in the poem, its irony and essential force being much dimmed by obscure expression, and even slightly staggering continuity of thought. The Rooks may be properly supposed to have taught men to dispute, but not to write. The Swallow teaches building, literally, ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... premonitory drip, but all at once, as though someone had turned on a faucet. In ten seconds a very competent streamlet six inches wide had eroded a course down through the guano, past the fire and to the outer slope. And by the irony of fate that one—and only one—leak in all the roof expanse of a big cave was directly over one end of our ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... upon the piano, her reminiscences of Bonn and the Rhine Provinces, and, above all, to her anecdotes of life at The Hard and of its distinguished owner's habits and speech. Thus, by operation of the fundamental irony resident in things, did Theresa Bilson, of all improbable and inadequate little people, become to the Miss Minetts as a messenger of the gods; exciting in them not only dim fluttering apprehensions of the glories of art and delights ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... good one at Faversham to-morrow morning. There is a motor I can hire in the town to get there. It stands just by the post-office, where the road branches." He paused, looking into Malling's face as if in search of some sign of vexation or irony. "With a large parish on my hands," he went on, "I have a great responsibility. And if Benyon, my second curate, is ill, ...
— The Dweller on the Threshold • Robert Smythe Hichens

... towards Brent was in ancient times called St Edmunde's Weye from its leading to a Chapel dedicated to that saint situated near the middle of the upper churchyard." This chapel, of which nothing remains, Edward III. bestowed upon the Priory of Our Lady and St Margaret. On its site, such is the irony of time, a "martyr's memorial" has been erected to the unhappy and unfortunate folk burnt here in the time ...
— England of My Heart—Spring • Edward Hutton

... "It's an irony of fate, my being a rent-collector, when you come to think of it," remarked Mr. Clodd, writing out the receipt. "If I had my way, I'd put an end to landlordism, root and ...
— Tommy and Co. • Jerome K. Jerome

... attitude towards his own affairs. Betty sometimes wondered how she herself knew so much about them—how it happened that her thoughts so often dwelt upon them. The explanation she had once made to herself had been half irony, half serious reflection. ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... first wild Californian dream, his English visit, the revelation of Gray Eagle, the final collapse of his old beliefs, were whirling through his brain to the music of this clear young voice. And by some cruel irony of circumstance it seemed now to even mock his later dreams of expiation as it also called back his unhappy experience ...
— Tales of Trail and Town • Bret Harte

... called Adeodatus. There is a kind of irony in this name, which was then usual, of Adeodatus—"Gift of God." This son of his sin, as Augustin calls him, this son whom he did not want, and the news of whose birth must have been a painful shock—this poor child was a gift of Heaven which ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... afflicted youth into prison, it has been, and still is, equally ready to thrust into prison the half-educated, half-fed, and half-employed young people who break its laws or by-laws. It is true that the State in its irony allows them the option of a fine; but the law might as well ask the youths of the underworld to pay ten pounds as ask them to pay ten shillings; nor can they procure all at once the smaller sum, so to prison hundreds ...
— London's Underworld • Thomas Holmes

... the man homicidally for a moment, and then, smiling one of those smiles of simulated gayety which the novelists inform us are more tragic than tears, turned upon him with withering irony. ...
— Quite So • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... essence of discretion, and ask no awkward questions; but when a customer cannot look me in the eye, he has to pay for it." The dealer once more chuckled; and then, changing to his usual business voice, though still with a note of irony, "You can give, as usual, a clear account of how you came into the possession of the object?" he continued. "Still your uncle's cabinet? ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... the narrow south window, full in the smiling irony of Nature's sunshine; but only a moment. Then the mocking smile that had become an instinctive part of his nature spread ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... range the seas from the Yugon Strait to the Erebus volcano, and you will find no such landing-place for imps or men as that field of rocks on the southeast corner of Jersey called, with a malicious irony, the Bane des Violets. The great rocks La Coniere, La Longy, Le Gros Etac, Le Teton, and the Petite Sambiere, rise up like volcanic monuments from a floor of lava and trailing vraic, which at half-tide makes the sea a tender mauve and violet. The passages of safety between ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... assurances of those who say that right conduct will survive though religion be surrendered. It has perhaps not been generally observed that just as the virtuous agnostic is generally the child of Christian parents, so by a seeming irony he is {179} often found to be the father of Christian children: there is hardly a genuine case on record where "free-thought," Agnosticism, Rationalism, has descended from parents to children to the third or fourth generation without ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... have attended the outbreak, but it is a sad reflection that the governor who put it down and ruthlessly exterminated the rebels was none other than Tiberius Alexander, the nephew of Philo, who was in turn procurator of Judaea and Egypt. By another irony of history he had in the previous year been largely instrumental in securing for Vespasian, who was besieging Jerusalem, the imperial throne of Rome.[82] With him ends our knowledge of Philo's family, ...
— Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria • Norman Bentwich

... dying there of hunger—the pangs of which I was already beginning to feel—and some one, years hence, finding me there, a mouldering skeleton—some one who would break open those doors, uncover those gleaming hoards, and moralise on the irony of my end; condemned to die there of starvation, with the treasure I had so long sought on the other side of those unyielding doors. Old Tom's words suddenly flashed over me, and I could feel my hair literally ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... respectively, in the hope of thus obtaining salvation. When pressed to say what their next birth would be, he opined that if their penance was successful they would be reborn as dogs and cows, if unsuccessful, in hell. Irony and modesty are combined in his rejection of extravagant praise. "Such faith have I, Lord[392]" said Sariputta, "that methinks there never has been nor will be nor is now any other greater or wiser than the Blessed One." "Of course, Sariputta" is the reply, "you have known ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... touched by this story and whose nerves were rather highly strung, was drying her tears behind her open fan, suddenly the harsh and shrill voices of the fast women who were returning from the Casino, by the strange irony of fate, struck up an idiotic song which was then in vogue: "Oh! the poor, oh! the poor, oh! ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume III (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... kind of twist in it, like a tree that has had to force its way up surrounded by awkward environments. Fundamentally, the man is a thinking humorist; but his mode of expression is strange. The perpetual inversions, the habitual irony, the mingled tenderness and mockery, give a kind of gnarled surface to the style, which is pleasant when you get familiar with it, but which repels the stranger, and to some people even remains permanently disagreeable. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... no reason why you shouldn't," said Mrs. Morel, and she returned to her book. He winced from his mother's irony, frowned irritably, thinking: "Why can't I do as ...
— Sons and Lovers • David Herbert Lawrence

... for England he deeply felt the want of sympathy on the part of England for Prussia in her struggle to unite and regenerate the whole of Germany. "It is quite entertaining," he writes, with a touch of irony very unusual in his letters, "to see the stiff unbelief of the English in the future of Germany. Lord John is merely uninformed. Peel has somewhat staggered the mind of the excellent Prince by his unbelief; yet he has a statesmanlike good-will towards the Germanic nations, and even for ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... a crueler irony of fate than to be absolutely convinced of the widowhood of her you love and to be unable, practically, ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... of his reply, Mr. Bowles asserts that Pope "envied Phillips," because he quizzed his pastorals in the Guardian, in that most admirable model of irony, his paper on the subject. If there was any thing enviable about Phillips, it could hardly be his pastorals. They were despicable, and Pope expressed his contempt. If Mr. Fitzgerald published a volume of sonnets, or ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... the arrival of a messenger from Troy. Talthybius, the herald, enters as spokesman of the army and king, describing the hardships they have suffered and the joy of the triumphant issue. To him Clytemnestra announces, in words of which the irony is patent to the audience, her sufferings in the absence of her husband and her delight at the prospect of his return. He will find her, she says, as he left her, a faithful watcher of the home, ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... Theodore Roosevelt's coming into the Presidency as he did, but there was irony as well. An evil chance dropped William McKinley before an assassin's bullet; but there was a fitting irony in the fact that the man who must step into his place had been put where he was in large measure by the very men who would least like to see ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... justice; she greeted it with a smile and pronounced it most brilliant, while, in reality, she felt that the young girl's skepticism, or her charity, or, as she had sometimes called it appropriately, her idealism, was proof against irony. Bessie, however, remained meditative all the rest of that day and ...
— An International Episode • Henry James

... of other things, never seeing the reproachful irony in all this, would take it quite literally, assent sadly, and with little Fairy by the hand, set forth for Redman's Farm; and the good little body, to the amazement of her two maids, would be heard passionately weeping in the parlour in ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... with him back to his office a sense of the futile irony of life. A score of men would have liked to marry Mrs. Mallory. She had all the sophisticated graces of life and much of the natural charm of an unusually attractive personality. He had only to speak the word to win her, and his fancy had flown in pursuit of a little Puritan ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... life of pleasant alternation between town and country, because I am persuaded that the true piquancy and zest of all pleasures lies in contrast. But fate orders these things for us, and takes no account of our desires, unless it be to treat them with habitual irony. At five-and-twenty the plain fact met me—that I must needs live in London, because my bread could be earned nowhere else. No choice was permitted me; I must go where crowds were, because from the ...
— The Quest of the Simple Life • William J. Dawson

... coming Christmas. Herr ARTHUR VON GWINNER, director of the Deutsche Bank, is evidently something of a humourist. "More than ever," he says, "in the exercise of works of love and charity." We rather doubt whether the Herr Direktor's irony will be ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 30, 1914 • Various

... in nautical style, and assuming airs foreign to me," I thought to myself, though I could not help fancying that there was some quiet irony in the old man's tone. His plan did not at all suit my notions. I was already beginning to feel very uncomfortable, bobbing and tossing about among the ships; and I expected to be completely upset, ...
— James Braithwaite, the Supercargo - The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat • W.H.G. Kingston

... co-worker. Right on the threshold, then, of the great new German literature another mixture of styles sprang up, and we see, for example, Klopstock strangely transplanting his pathos into the field of theoretical researches on grammar and metrics, and Wieland not always keeping his irony aloof from the most solemn subjects. But beside them stood Gotthold Ephraim Lessing who proved himself to be the most thoughtful of the reformers of poetry, in that he emphasized the divisions—especially necessary for the stylistic development ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... prosperity of the islands increased by leaps and bounds, public order became better than ever before in their history, and the efficiency of the civil service reached its maximum. No other governor-general ever drew so heavily on his private means in promoting the public good, and it was the irony of fate that he should have been accused, by certain irresponsible anti-imperialists, of using his public office to promote his private interests. Near the end of his administration grossly and absurdly false charges were made against ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... himself at ease, in congenial society, he displayed his mastery of irony and banter, neither hesitating to air his opinion of persons nor shrinking from admissions which were candid to the verge of cynicism. At such times he had not veiled his intense dislike of the Administration. After Hayes's election his conversation discovered as aggressive a spirit ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... Crossley! I wonder why." She was so interested in this new phase that she did not see his outstretched hand, or the look of bitter irony that came into his eyes at this proof of the subordinate place love and he had in ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... she did not understand, but she knew that, while she detained him, Clo had indeed dared the great adventure. For a moment Beverley thought of the pearls almost with distaste. That they should come to her to-day, when she cared for nothing in the world but the lost papers, was an irony of fate. She did not return to the boudoir. She forgot the mystery of the open door, and neglected to close it. She was nervously anxious to excuse herself to Sister Lake. Above all, it was her duty to defend Clo. She must confess that it was upon her ...
— The Lion's Mouse • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... end of my wits now, Saxe," he said softly; and then, with grim irony, "There is no need to wet my ...
— The Crystal Hunters - A Boy's Adventures in the Higher Alps • George Manville Fenn

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

... of view, and express the results of many moods of mind. Now he is severe, and again he is indulgent; now he appears almost a cynic, and presently we find that his heart is tender; now he is grave, and in a moment mirthful; while for every purpose and in every mood he has irony at his command. He divines the working of the passions with a fine intelligence, and is a master in noting every outward betrayal or indication of the hidden ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... There was irony in the fact that Christabel, hinting at suspicions for which, in Rose's mind, there was at first no cause, had at last actually brought about what she feared, and if Rose had looked for justification, she might have found it there. But she did ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... boast of generation Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation. A true-born Englishman's a contradiction, In speech an irony, in ...
— Daniel Defoe • William Minto

... semi-detached villas; and yet feud had run so high between their owners, that one, from out of a window, shot the other as he stood in his own doorway. There is something in the juxtaposition of these two enemies full of tragic irony. It is grim to think of bearded men and bitter women taking hateful counsel together about the two hall-fires at night,[18] when the sea boomed against the foundations and the wild winter wind was ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... by Jeanne in an agony of doubts and fears. Then one evening, Julien watched her all through dinner with an amused smile on his lips, and evinced towards her a gallantry which was faintly tinged with irony. After dinner they walked up and down the baroness's avenue, and he whispered in ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... either does, or pretends to believe in devils, diabolical possession, and exorcism, but the exorcist, to be respectable, must be Protestant. Probably Wierus was not so credulous as he assumes to be, and a point of irony frequently peeps out. The story as told by Sleidan differs from that in the official record. In this document Adam Fumee counsellor of the king, announces that the Franciscans of Orleans have informed the king that they are vexed ...
— Cock Lane and Common-Sense • Andrew Lang

... a position to realize my second wish. I have space, air and quiet in the solitude of the harmas. None will come here to trouble me, to smile or to be shocked at my investigations. So far, so good; but observe the irony of things: now that I am rid of passers by, I have to fear my cats, those assiduous prowlers, who, finding my preparations, will not fail to spoil and scatter them. In anticipation of their misdeeds, I establish workshops in midair, whither none but genuine ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... certain that the Stuarts will never return that we actually play their most passionate tunes as a compliment to their rivals. And we do not even do it tauntingly. I examined the faces of all the bandsmen; and I am sure they were devoid of irony: indeed, it is difficult to blow a wind instrument ironically. We do it quite unconsciously; because we have a huge fundamental dogma, which the French have not. We really believe that the past is past. It ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... you want to see comfort,' said he, with an irony that seemed almost savage, from the laugh which accompanied it. 'Isn't that a sweet death-chamber for one who all her life has had every thing that money ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, June 1844 - Volume 23, Number 6 • Various

... Perhaps some day, when the May-fly is gone off, and the fish won't rise awhile, you could walk down and see. I beg your pardon, sir, though, for thinking of such a thing. They are not places fit for gentlemen, that's certain.' There was a staid irony in his tone, ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... with a world of irony packed into the syllable; "your inner consciousness, then, Mr. Chase, proves rather forcibly that in one case the influence is against refinement, while in the case of co-education it is all for it. You ...
— Stanford Stories - Tales of a Young University • Charles K. Field

... her father took from Cynthia all desire of irony. She came forwards, and again asked Molly what ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... aid; and here I was first taught jesuitical pride; God help the poor and honest man who shall need the assistance of Jesuits! They, like all other monks, are seared to every sentiment of human pity, and commiserate the distressed by taunts and irony. ...
— The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck - Vol. 1 (of 2) • Baron Trenck

... of anarchy with us when there is any talk of government transportation. The official who sold me tickets might have been training himself for a position on the municipal line, he was so civilly explanatory as to my voyage; so far from treating my inquiries with the sardonic irony which meets question in American ticket-offices, he all but caressed me aboard. He had scarcely ceased reassuring me when the boat struck out on the thin solution of dark mud which passes for water in the Thames, and scuttled down ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... as one of the greatest free lances of the world. His history is unique, brilliant, and commanding; his service for his country and the attack upon the Spanish Armada atoning, as it were, for his piratical crimes. What irony of fate, that this wonderful man, a knight of England, a member of Parliament, a warrior and sailor, a robber and conqueror, should now lie in a lead coffin at the bottom of the sea off Porto Rico, conquered by death while on his way to the islands ...
— Pirates and Piracy • Oscar Herrmann

... of Ariosto has already been mentioned.[4] But the stuff of the old Charlemagne epos is sophisticated in the brilliant pages of Ariosto, who follows Pulci and Boiardo, if not in burlesquing chivalry outright, yet in treating it with a half irony. Tasso is serious, but submits his romantic matter—Godfrey of Boulogne and the First Crusade—to the classical epic mould. It was pollen from Italy, but not Italy of the Middle Ages, that fructified English poetry in the sixteenth century. Two indeed of gli antichi, "the ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... chaos. The Mark 6 ticklers showed some purpose, though I couldn't tell you what, but as far as I could see the Mark 3s and 4s were just cootching their mounts to death—Chinese feather torture. Giggling, gasping, choking ... gales of mirth. People are dying of laughter ... ticklers!... the irony of it! It was the complete lack of order and sanity and that let me get topside. There were things I saw—" Once again his voice went shrill. He clapped his hand to his mouth and rocked back and forth on ...
— The Creature from Cleveland Depths • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... the door, furrowed by bullets; "Cabinets de societe—Absinthe—Vermouth—Vin a 60 cent. le litre"—encircling a dead rabbit painted over two billiard cues tied in a cross by a ribbon,—all this recalled with cruel irony the popular entertainment of former days. And over all, a wretched winter sky, across which rolled heavy leaden clouds, an ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... The indignant and bitter irony with which Talma delivers this speech, when he finds that resentment at Pyrrhus, and not affection for himself, has made her thus anxious to rivet the chains which her former cruelty had hardly weakened, is most striking, and he seems ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... however, there was who pleased her; and it was the final irony of her fate that this very fact should have been the last drop that caused the cup of her unhappiness to overflow. Horace Walpole had come upon her at a psychological moment. Her quarrel with Mademoiselle de Lespinasse and the Encyclopaedists ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... innuendos like pebbles into the depths of his master's suspicious soul, he knew that at last the waters of bitterness would overflow, but he turned an ever-smiling face upon those who were to be his victims. There was ever something in his irony like the bland request of the inquisitor to the executioner that he would deal with his prisoners gently. There was about the same result in regard to such a prayer to be expected from Philip as from the hangman. Even if his criticisms had been uniformly ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the figure of irony, all this hypothesis is starkly incredible. James was not a recklessly adventurous character to go weaponless with Ruthven, who wore a sword, and provoke him into insolence. If he had been ever so brave, the plot is of a complexity quite impossible; no sane ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... hands made by hand. The music-room resounded with five-finger improvisations and with vocalists who had little but their voices left. They howled, "Keep your head down, Fritzie boy," or, "We gave them hell at Neuve Chapelle, and here we are and here we are again," or moaned love-songs with a sardonic irony. ...
— The Cup of Fury - A Novel of Cities and Shipyards • Rupert Hughes

... how they can blame you for the trouble of last night," Bradley said, and Ned caught a tone of irony in ...
— The Boy Scout Camera Club - The Confession of a Photograph • G. Harvey Ralphson

... Nor was it "irony," as the new Commentators think; not at all; sincere enough, what you call sincere;—Voltaire himself had a nose for "irony"! This was what you call sincere Panegyric in liberal measure; why be stingy ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... sure, was a host in himself. And Mr. Thackeray, in his Journey from Cheapside to Cairo, proved himself a fit companion of that gentleman. But a certain sneering humor, a certain mephistophelian irony, in these persons, prevent one from feeling entirely at ease with them, or believing, in fact, in their complete sincerity. It is not so with the author of Nile Notes, than whom a June breeze is not more bland, and moonlight not less gairish or oppressive. This conviction, ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... at least one occasion, in the role of lawyer. A man charged with assault and battery was brought before the justice of the peace, Barnum's grandfather, for trial. A medical student, Newton by name, had volunteered to defend the prisoner, and Mr. Couch, the grand juryman, in irony, offered Phineas a dollar to represent the State. The court was crowded. The guilt of the prisoner was established beyond a doubt, but Newton, undaunted, rose to make his speech. It consisted of ...
— A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. • Joel Benton



Words linked to "Irony" :   humour, indeed, image, wit, figure, trope, humor, worth, unsarcastic, witticism, sarcastic, wittiness, ironist, ironic, incongruity, incongruousness, deserving, antiphrasis, ironical, pretty, figure of speech



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