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Retort   /rˈitˌɔrt/   Listen
Retort

noun
1.
A quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one).  Synonyms: comeback, counter, rejoinder, replication, return, riposte.
2.
A vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Retort" Quotes from Famous Books



... it clears again, whereas in truth you may blow into the stuff from the lime-water bottle until you are crimson in the face and painful under the ears, and it never becomes cloudy at all. And I knew, too, that in science if you put potassium chlorate into a retort and heat it over a Bunsen burner, oxygen is disengaged and may be collected over water, whereas in real life if you do anything of the sort the vessel cracks with a loud report, the potassium chlorate descends sizzling upon the ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... bearing on my aim in selection. Much admired modern work seems to me, in its lack of inspiration and its disregard of form, like gravy imitating lava. Its upholders may retort that much of the work which I prefer seems to them, in its lack of inspiration and its comparative finish, like tapioca imitating pearls. Either view—possibly both—may be right. I will only say that with an occasional exception for some piece of rebelliousness or even ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... interests of the Commonwealth. But, while striving to avert all possibilities of Caesarism, they now sinned against that elementary principle of strategy which requires unity of design in military operations. Bonaparte's retort was unanswerable, and nothing more was heard of the ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... the shadow projected by man, it follows his movements and impulses slavishly and mechanically, and leans therefore to matter without ever ascending to Spirit. It is only when the power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out and the "astral" has been reduced in consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the "Higher Self" can take place. Then when the ...
— Studies in Occultism; A Series of Reprints from the Writings of H. P. Blavatsky • H. P. Blavatsky

... the swift whisper in retort, and with so haughty a gesture that Geoffrey stepped back as if he had been struck, while Betty, with a slight inclination of her head, passed on to where Mrs. Seymour stood with Caesar on the other side of the coach. But if she expected him to follow she was swiftly made aware of her mistake, ...
— An Unwilling Maid • Jeanie Gould Lincoln

... received a "very impudent letter" from the young Commissioner, and that he had been "cruelly" called to account because he had tried to right a "great wrong" which the Commission had committed. Roosevelt's retort was to tell the whole story publicly, closing with this ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... With many vices and but few virtues, I do not yet think the Australian savage is more? vicious in his propensities or more virulent in his passions than are the larger number of the lower classes of what are called civilized communities. Well might they retort to our accusations, the motives and animus by which too many of our countrymen ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... "rats," in execrable taste, no doubt; this stung our Sylph to such an excess that he waited outside the Palais Royal and beat Roy with a stick when he came out. The poet was, perhaps, not much hurt; at all events, he had the presence of mind to retort, "Patte de velours, patte de velours, Minon-minet!" It was six years after this that Moncrif was elected into the French Academy, and then the shower of epigrams broke out again. He wished to be made historiographer; "Oh, nonsense," the ...
— Gossip in a Library • Edmund Gosse

... on the tip of his tongue to retort that if they didn't, the people would end by shedding theirs. Instead, ...
— Space Viking • Henry Beam Piper

... the memory of them, but since you demand it, I will repeat them just as they fell from her lips," was Mr. Brotherson's bitter retort. "She said, 'You of all men should recognise the unseemliness of these proposals. Had your letters given me any hint of the feelings you have just expressed, you would never have had this opportunity of approaching me.' That was all; but her indignation ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... House of Representatives, a member once took exception to a ruling of the "Czar," and having in mind Reed's supposed Presidential aspirations closed his protests with the thrust, "I would rather be right than President." "The gentleman will never be either," came the instant retort. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... of the mildest, was stung quickly to a retort, and I was about to order her to hold her tongue and return me my basket, when the door into the house opened and shut, and the little girl of the enchanted garden appeared in the flesh ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... she worked was extraordinary. Yet, before she moved an instrument, a retort, a book, its position was minutely studied, so that she could restore it to its former place without any one suspecting that ...
— The Master Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey

... 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 Siskiyou. That eloquent and ...
— Drift from Two Shores • Bret Harte

... 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 and preached his ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... Americans find leisure, of late years, to travel and take notes, as well as their transatlantic brethren; and, in return for the polite attentions of our travellers, describe England and Englishmen in the bitter language of recrimination and retort; and thus the enmity between the mother and daughter is kept alive and perpetuated. A publication of this kind fell lately into my hands, entitled, "The Glory and Shame of England." The writer, said to be a Christian minister, ...
— Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory - Volume II. (of 2) • John M'lean

... with a falsehood, into the bargain. Who are we, to judge whether people merit their bad name or not? No, no. The humiliating circumstance is, that if I had possessed the substance as well as the show, if I had really been a son of St. Ignatius, I should have found a retort that would have effected the ...
— The Cardinal's Snuff-Box • Henry Harland

... They have been deceived; therefore, (as they argue—and there is a sort of argument in it,) you are a deceiver. If you will deceive in one way, why shouldn't you in another? So they apply for the use of your trade-mark. You are amazed and affronted. You retort that you are not that kind of person. Then they are amazed and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... diameter. Experience, however, goes to prove that there is a limit to the diameter of the retorts beyond which the results become less satisfactory. This limit is probably somewhat under 8 in. Each retort is closely packed with baryta in lumps about the size of a walnut. The baryta is a heavy grayish porous substance prepared by carefully igniting the nitrate of barium; and of this each retort having the above dimensions holds ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 623, December 10, 1887 • Various

... came the dry retort. "I'll have a few good fights on my own account, then, for it's a personal grievance when the men turn down a man ...
— Uncle Sam's Boys as Sergeants - or, Handling Their First Real Commands • H. Irving Hancock

... own good of course) that as a matter of fact I didn't know anything about Malays. I was perfectly aware of this. I have never pretended to any such knowledge, and I was moved—I wonder to this day at my impertinence—to retort: "Of course I don't know anything about Malays. If I knew only one hundredth part of what you and Frank Swettenham know of Malays I would make everybody sit up." He went on looking kindly (but firmly) ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad

... revenge upon those people who were taking her daughter from her, and who thought themselves at liberty to jeer at all her friends: but as was perhaps inevitable it touched Elinor a little too. She restrained herself from some retort with a sense of extreme and almost indignant self-control: though what retort Elinor could have made I cannot tell. It was much "nicer" than anything else she had. None of Phil Compton's great friends, ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... heard his mother say as the Doctor came in, "I've always said that Christmas is a mother's day. Wasn't the first Christmas a mother's Christmas and the very first tree—a mother's tree?" and then the Doctor's scandalized retort—"Now—now, now, see here, Mother Ellen, it's a father's day, too, don't you ...
— When the Yule Log Burns - A Christmas Story • Leona Dalrymple

... vigilance, what profound skill did he show in the capture of Tarentum! It was indeed in my hearing that he made the famous retort to Salinator, who had retreated into the citadel after losing the town: "It was owing to me, Quintus Fabius, that you retook Tarentum." "Quite so," he replied with a laugh; "for had you not lost it, I should never have recovered it." Nor was he less eminent in civil life ...
— Treatises on Friendship and Old Age • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... stay poor," came the prompt retort, "it's because you won't let me change it. We're stayin' here an' slowly starvin' our hearts an' brains an' souls because Money's got us bluffed. I'm goin' to make money my slave an' not my master—an' if you'll trust me you can have ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... 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 with ...
— History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II • S.M. Dubnow

... should have no such dealings against "that wicked woman." To some Catholics, Elizabeth: to Knox, Mary was as Jezebel, and might laudably be assassinated. In idolaters nothing can surprise us; when persecuted they, in their unchristian fashion, may retort with the dagger or the bowl. But that Knox should have frequently maintained the doctrine of death to religious opponents is a strange and deplorable circumstance. In reforming the Church of Christ he omitted some ...
— John Knox and the Reformation • Andrew Lang

... and silently. He had, at first, responded to encouragement of this kind by a witty retort, but had found the consequences unfortunate. There was no use in wasting delicate satire on a dolt. Besides, it was a relief to feel he was getting better and was able ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... or you'll turn to be a Sorry-cus—tomer, old man," came the swift retort, with a portentous frown. "But, joking aside, why not? With such hunting and fishing, I'd be willing to sign a contract for a round year in ...
— The Lost City • Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

... instant, it seemed as if the girl were going to flash out a bitter retort that might have betrayed her. Then she showed the same self-control as before, and went, without a word, into the next room. She was absent for a few minutes, and when she reappeared, carried what was unmistakably a bundle of ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... in the frost, and he was certain it was the prettiest laughter he had ever heard. "And have you married and raised all those children you were telling me about?" Before he could retort, she went on. "How ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... rifles at a mark, Six rods, sixteen, twenty, or forty-five; Sometimes their wits at sally and retort, With laughter sudden as the crack of rifle; Or parties scaled the near acclivities Competing seekers of a rumored lake, Whose unauthenticated waves we named Lake Probability,—our carbuncle, ...
— Poems - Household Edition • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... 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 ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... their protests, the Powers frequently intervened.[34] Rumania then took the impudent course of resenting this interference in her internal affairs, on the ground that, by international comity, they were no concern of foreign States. In 1867, this provoked a notable retort from Great Britain. In a despatch sent to Bucharest in that year, the following sentence appears: "The peculiar position of the Jews places them under the protection of ...
— Notes on the Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question • Lucien Wolf

... The retort produced no effect on Miserrimus Dexter: it appeared to have passed by him unheard. He had changed again; he was thoughtful, he was subdued; his eyes were fixed on me with a sad and rapt attention. I took the nearest arm-chair, first casting a ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... still for perhaps half a minute, while a sense of dismay crept over her. There was no doubt that Gregory's retort was fully warranted. She had, as she admitted, insisted upon him carrying out an obligation which would cost him something, not because she took pleasure in seeing him do what was honourable, but to preserve the credit ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... showing me up, father, and it is but fair that I should be allowed to retort now and then. But to return to plants, Ernest; ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... at a shadow of hope, discontinued his reading. This drove the English mad; and one of Winchester's secretaries told Cauchon it was clear that he favored the girl—a charge repeated by the Cardinal's chaplain. "Thou art a liar," exclaimed the Bishop. "And thou," was the retort, "art a traitor to the King." These grave personages seemed to be on the point of going to ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... be better for yourself and your friends, Sir, if you were;" was the natural retort. Their common friends interfered, to ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... which he would have to pay in heaven (if he ever should come there) unless he did penance now. Here the barber thought it best to put an end to Sancho's communications, and offered him a place in the cage beside his master, but Sancho was quick to retort: "Mind how you talk, master barber, for shaving is not everything; and as to the enchantment of my master, God knows ...
— The Story of Don Quixote • Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... The latter is of gigantic 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 that it signifies ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, September 17, 1892 • Various

... for a time almost equal prominence with Sir Sam Hughes. His quite sensible speech criticizing the haphazard and costly methods of recruiting made Hughes retort that to raise the First Contingent was as great a task as building the C.P.R. Lord Shaughnessy earned that absurd retort because of his announcement to the Government that he meant to make the speech; as though the nation would be waiting ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... backed either of these horses he would be proving that, at any rate, I was not absolutely the biggest fool he knew. But he had begun to read racing guides and calendars, and every now and then made notes upon a piece of paper, so he treated my retort with contempt. ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... thus talked at. He ought to be, seeing he had known about thirteen years of it, on and off. But he did not like it any the better from force of habit. We doubt if anybody ever does. However, he had long ceased to take any notice, in the way of retort, no matter how acrid the tone, how biting the innuendo. Now, pushing back his chair from the breakfast-table, he got up, and, turning to the mantelpiece, proceeded to fill a pipe. His spouse, exasperated by his silence, continued to talk ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... of Strone (a Bhanntrach Ruadh). The delicate insinuation was resented by Alan in language probably more plain than polite. Mr Cameron was Alan's senior by some twenty years or so, but notwithstanding this, his high spirit could not brook the rough retort of the accused; and, much to Alan's confusion, the result was that he received a peremptory demand to apologise or arrange a meeting for personal satisfaction. As he declined to return the one, he was obliged to grant the desperate alternative. Reading this account of men going out ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, January 1876 • Various

... the elder man. He was riding leaning forward heavily; and the dust had trenched deep fatigue lines in the hollow beneath his eyes and from the nostrils to the mouth. Wayland didn't retort that the frontiersman's speech had sounded guttural and muffled. He was not sure it was not the fault of ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... war when one asks him to define war. In dealing with those gentlemen who tell us that the Boer War was fought under such abnormal conditions that it is useless as a ground-work for conclusions as to future wars, he uttered a memorable retort. "All wars are abnormal," he observed, "because there is no such thing as normal war."[16] There we have one of the axioms both of his theory and of his practice. There can be no fixed conditions, and so there can be no final theories as to the conduct of warfare. Theory ...
— Sir John French - An Authentic Biography • Cecil Chisholm

... that's too much," cried Mrs. Rushton, bristling in defence of her offspring. "It was an awful thing to do, of course, but Teddy didn't realize——" then, seeing the retort trembling on Aaron's lips, she went on hastily: "But go right up to your room now, and get a bath and change your clothes. Mansfield will get you some things of his to put on, and I'll have supper waiting for you when ...
— The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall - Or, Great Days in School and Out • Spencer Davenport

... a buckskin bag, all the mercury that comes through the bag being put into the barrel to serve again, and what remains in the bag is placed in a retort, if the miner has one, or if not, on a shovel, and heated until nearly all the mercury is vaporised. The gold then remains in a lump with some mercury still held in combination ...
— From Paris to New York by Land • Harry de Windt

... 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 was ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... think of a suitable retort they had entered the transmitting room, and he had to postpone his reply ...
— The Radio Boys at the Sending Station - Making Good in the Wireless Room • Allen Chapman

... 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 ...
— Lords of the Housetops - Thirteen Cat Tales • Various

... ages, ladies to look at, all of them,—suggested anew the question, Why should his daughter be shut off from the privileges of these? He felt ashamed when he asked. Yet the question would be answered; and without palliation, self-excusing, or retort, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... intercourse, of cultivated and polished minds. His victories, won easily by argumentative ability, tact, and intellectual keenness, unaided by passion, have strikingly contrasted with the costly victories of advocates less self-restrained. Though naturally witty and quick at retort, he has never used the weapon in a way to wound the feelings of an adversary. In examining and cross-examining witnesses, he has assumed their veracity, whenever it has been possible to do so; and though he has had the eye of a lynx and the scent of a hound for prevarication in all its ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... her father had been capable of calculations to match, of judging it important he shouldn't be brought to demand of her what was the matter with her. Why otherwise, with such an opportunity, hadn't he demanded it? Always from calculation—that was why, that was why. He was terrified of the retort he might have invoked: "What, my dear, if you come to that, is the matter with YOU?" When, a minute later on, he had followed up his last note by a touch or two designed still further to conjure away the ghost ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... in a retort, at a temperature above that of boiling water, or burned, as we burn it in a pipe, tobacco affords its third poison, the empyreumatic oil. This is acrid, of a dark brown color, and having a smell ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... Kernels without burning them, I ground them in a Marble Mortar, and afterwards put them in a Glass Retort well luted; I placed it in a Reverberatory Furnace, and fixed to it a large Receiver; and after having luted the Joints well, I gave it the first Degree ...
— The Natural History of Chocolate • D. de Quelus

... in diameter, and using hydrogen as a lifting factor. Few people saw any possibilities in aerostation, in spite of the adventures of the duck and sheep and cock; voyages to the moon were talked and written, and there was more of levity than seriousness over ballooning as a rule. The classic retort of Benjamin Franklin stands as an exception to the general rule: asked what was the use of ballooning—'What's the use of a baby?' he countered, and the spirit of that reply brought both the dirigible and ...
— A History of Aeronautics • E. Charles Vivian

... gone before she could form any retort. Where had she heard that voice before? With a little shudder—due to the thought of those cold strange fingers feeling about her throat—her hands went up. Instantly she cried aloud in dismay. ...
— The Voice in the Fog • Harold MacGrath

... Kate saw Rose's angry retort in her eyes, and hurried away from the coming storm. She kept her room until luncheon-time, and she found her father alone in the dining-room when she entered. The anxious look he gave her made her think of Father ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... work, replied, "Is not that Lorenzo there? Can he do nothing? And I marvel at you as well." Then the Wardens answered, "He will do naught without thee"; and Filippo retorted, "But I could do well without him." This retort, so acute and double-edged, was enough for them, and they went their way, convinced that Filippo was ill from nothing but the desire to work alone. They sent his friends, therefore, to get him out of bed, with the intention of removing Lorenzo from the work. Wherefore ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 2, Berna to Michelozzo Michelozzi • Giorgio Vasari

... unruffled serenity of your manner before the ladies advances you more in their estimation than does Mr. Jefferson's evident devotion to them all or my impartial compliments and gallantry. But beware! Madame de St. Andre is no woman if she does not try to retaliate for that retort of yours." ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... years!"—to which comes the proverbial answer, "Chien mien wan lao!"—"Must last for ten thousand." When there is a steep bit, one calls out, "Deo shan deo!"—"Steeper and steeper!" and the others retort, "Kuan shan kuan!"—literally, "Official upon official," but the meaning is plain, "As steep as the ladder of promotion." In the villages one hears constantly, "Yu ti kou yao!"—"There is a dog on the road,"—with the response, "Han lao-pan ...
— A Wayfarer in China - Impressions of a trip across West China and Mongolia • Elizabeth Kendall

... moved to escape from his presence; "Katherine secretly, you openly. Better that I had never had children. Look here, Eliza: let this matter remain in abeyance for six or twelve months, things resting as they are. By that time you may have come to your senses; or I (yes, I see you are ready to retort it) to mine. If not—well, we shall only ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 3, March, 1891 • Various

... isn't your brother," said Grace in retort. "How would you like it, Mollie Billette, if Paul should be missing ...
— The Outdoor Girls in Florida - Or, Wintering in the Sunny South • Laura Lee Hope

... over me, for I had not been conscious of a similar weakness since I was a child, but I was so mortified by this retort that my eyes pricked and filled with tears, as I continued ...
— New Arabian Nights • Robert Louis Stevenson

... But whatever retort he may have contemplated was checked by the accents of Authority and the tapping of an imperative ...
— Nobody • Louis Joseph Vance

... before she had made herself very uncomfortable because there was no meat for dinner, and said she couldn't live without it. Mrs. Harding might have reminded her of this, but the good woman was too kind and forbearing to make the retort. She really pitied Rachel for her unhappy habit of despondency. So she contented herself by saying that they must try to do ...
— Jack's Ward • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... of Dr. Surtaine and his associates as to the effects of publicity bade fair to be justified. Undeniably there was danger of the disease scattering, through the medium of runaways from the stricken houses. But the "Clarion" had its retort pat for the tribe of "I-told-you-so," admitting the prospect of some primary harm to save a great disaster later. More than one hundred lives, it pointed out, giving names and dates, had already been sacrificed to the shibboleth of secrecy; the whole city had been ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... necessary to obtain a battery with a constant current. It is known that the elements of modern batteries are generally composed of retort coal, zinc, and copper. Copper was absolutely wanting to the engineer, who, notwithstanding all his researches, had never been able to find any trace of it in Lincoln Island, and was therefore obliged to do without it. Retort coal, ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... judge others by yourself," was the unoffended retort. "Plenty of men know the value of a good ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... is disconcerting. By crossing the Danube, Serbia has become genuinely part of Europe; she has turned her back on the Balkans and the eternal strife on barren empty hills. The new Serbia can afford to forget and forgive Bulgaria, now a remote sort of country. She can retort to Greece concerning Salonica—We have no need of that port now, for we no longer aspire to be a power on the Aegean, we are a Central-European people. Jugo-Slavia is not a Balkan country. She is ashamed of the Balkans and of the Balkan past. She will loyally ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... That retort snapped the trigger on Kyle's inflamed temper. "You damnation squaw man!" he yelped, and drove a blow at the French Canadian; and Felix, following the fighting custom of his clan of the Laurentian Valley, ducked ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... which a convicted felon named Hog appealed for remission of his sentence on the ground that he was related to his lordship. "Nay, my friend," replied the judge, "you and I cannot be kindred except you be hanged, for hog is not bacon until it be well hung." This retort was not quite so coarse as that attributed to the Scottish judge, Lord Kames, two centuries later, who on sentencing to death a man with whom he had often played chess and very frequently been beaten, added after the solemn ...
— Law and Laughter • George Alexander Morton

... dining-room. Richard pointed out celebrities, bowed to many friends, talked charming personalities. A feast of Lucullus was served them. Music and wine and excitement bewitched Bambi. She sparkled and laughed. She capped his every sally with a quick retort. She was totally different from the girl-boy who had walked downtown ...
— Bambi • Marjorie Benton Cooke

... she would have answered nonchalantly to any one else; for him there woke from the depths of her nature a fierce retort: ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... retort. Fogg did, indeed, know his business, if he was only minded to attend to it. He was somewhat set and old-fashioned in his ways, and he had grown up ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... this stage that Danny Ward arrived. Quite a party it was. His manager and trainer were with him, and he breezed in like a gusty draught of geniality, good-nature, and all-conqueringness. Greetings flew about, a joke here, a retort there, a smile or a laugh for everybody. Yet it was his way, and only partly sincere. He was a good actor, and he had found geniality a most valuable asset in the game of getting on in the world. But down underneath he was ...
— The Night-Born • Jack London

... With that retort, Lady Montbarry approached Agnes. The presence of Henry Westwick seemed at once to relieve and embolden her. 'Permit me to ask my question, Miss Lockwood,' she said, with graceful courtesy. 'It is nothing to embarrass you. When the courier Ferrari applied to my late ...
— The Haunted Hotel - A Mystery of Modern Venice • Wilkie Collins

... replied the latter, who watched the first blow of his adversary to make a good retort; "I have nothing to say to your majesty, unless it be that you have caused me to be arrested, and ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... over by a King who was not yet crowned Emperor. If such a sentence was to be effective, Henry should have followed it up by a march to Rome with an adequate army. He merely courted defeat when he gave the Pope the opportunity for a retort in kind. Anathema was the papal weapon, and while the King's declaration might even be resented by other rulers as an attempt to dictate to them in a matter of common concern to all, the papal sentence on the King was regarded by all as influencing the fate, not ...
— The Church and the Empire - Being an Outline of the History of the Church - from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304 • D. J. Medley

... sharp quills sticking out 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 than ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... that her eyes were striving anxiously to see my face in the darkness,—that her suspicions were now fully aroused; yet her quick retort surprised me. ...
— My Lady of the North • Randall Parrish

... as I sat taking in all this, that the misfortune extended to some other members of that family besides Mrs. Gummidge. But Mr. Peggotty made no such retort, only answering with another entreaty to Mrs. Gummidge ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... of discouragement. The same old parable of the wise had evoked the same old retort from the deluded young. She was quite different from other women. She was misunderstood by the cynical and gross-minded world. A heart of virgin purity beat beneath her mercenary bosom. Her lurid past had been the reiterated martyrdom of ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... my fellow-men is, that we may present our souls undefiled to the judge in that day; my desire in life is to be able to meet death. And I exhort you, and retort upon you the reproach which you cast upon me,—that you will stand before the judge, gaping, and with dizzy brain, and any one may box you on the ear, and do ...
— Gorgias • Plato

... do you expect me to take?" was the retort in the listless voice. Yet, now, in the dullness ran a faint ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... near to him. "The proud man," says Sir Henry Taylor, "is of all men the most vulnerable. 'Who calls?' asks the old shepherd in As You Like It. 'Your betters,' is the insolent answer. And what is the shepherd's rejoinder? 'Else are they very wretched.' By what retort, reprisal, or repartee could it have been made half so manifest that the insult had lighted upon armour of proof? Such is the invincible independence and ...
— Bunyan Characters (Second Series) • Alexander Whyte

... explicit corroborative evidence for Ahone, but then I have no accessible library of early books on Virginia. Now it is clear that if I found and produced evidence for Ahone as late as 1625, I would be met at once with the retort that, between 1610 and 1625, Christian ideas had contaminated the native beliefs. Thus if I find Ahone, or a deity of like attributes, after a very early date, he is of no use for my purpose. Nor do I much expect to find him. But do we find Winslow's Massachusetts ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... her, do you approve of her?" cried Miss Tramore, who was inferior to her niece in capacity for retort and whose limitations made the girl ...
— The Chaperon • Henry James

... retort that rats carried bubonic plague, and to exit, carrying the sugar-bowl. I was ravenous, as are all convalescent typhoids, and one of the ways in which I eked out my still slender diet was by robbing the ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... 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 head and front of his offending, he would ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... read Bolingbroke's Philosophy. 'I have never read Bolingbroke's impiety,' he said (post, under March 1, 1758). In the memorable sentence that he, notwithstanding, pronounced upon the author, he exposed himself to the retort which he had recorded in his Life of Boerhaave (Works, vi. 277). 'As Boerhaave was sitting in a common boat, there arose a conversation among the passengers upon the impious and pernicious doctrine of Spinosa, which, as they all agreed, tends to the utter overthrow of all religion. Boerhaave ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... would retort. "Don't flatter yourself, old girl. I've got my eye on two or three fine young women who'll be glad of the job, I assure you;" but this, perhaps, proving too much for poor Mrs. Flower, whose tears were never far away, and ...
— Young Lives • Richard Le Gallienne

... of Ice towards which we are advancing is not a cheerful one.' He began to finger a glass retort which lay upon a table. 'By the way, it was very good of you to give me a look in last night. I am afraid you thought me ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... of this country. The war is wrong and incredibly foolish and can bring no advantage to the working man. Why should he go and be killed or maimed for life? Will it put an extra penny in his pocket or his widow's? No. Oh!"—he checked my retort—"I know everything you would say. I see the arguments every day in all your great newspapers. But the fact remains that I don't see eye to eye with you, or those you represent. You think one way, I think another. ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... gushes of humor, of which there was a precious fountain at the bottom of his heart. That he was capable of a sharp sarcasm, was also generally understood among his friends. Horry remarks, that few men ever excelled him at retort. But he was singularly considerate of the sensibilities of others, and had his temper under rare command. His powers of forbearance were remarkable. His demeanor, whether in triumph or despondency, was equally quiet and subdued. He yielded to few excitements, was seldom ...
— The Life of Francis Marion • William Gilmore Simms

... one day when the judge, under the misconception into which a deaf old person so easily falls, that the younger generation all speak hurriedly and indistinctly, cried out, "Mr. Parsons, I tell you once for all, take that glove off your tongue." "Certainly, Sir," was the quick retort, "and may I beg your honor to take the wool out of your ears?"[Footnote: "Memoir of ...
— The American Judiciary • Simeon E. Baldwin, LLD

... then added to the ethereal solution, forming bromide of potassium and bromate of potash. This solution is evaporated to dryness, and the salts being collected are heated in a glass retort with sulphuric acid and a little oxide of manganese. The bromine is distilled, and is condensed in a cooled ...
— American Handbook of the Daguerrotype • Samuel D. Humphrey

... then," was the sour retort, for the Marquise was bent upon disagreeing with her. "Have you a conscience, Suzanne, that you could have played such a Delilah part and never give a thought to the man you ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... his distillation under the old man's directions, the fire burning in the middle of the hut. As the drops began to fall from the narrow neck of his retort, a fault sweet aroma filled the hut. First the cat, then the monkeys began to show signs of extraordinary agitation. Cat and kittens crouched as near the fire as they could, their heads craned towards ...
— The Keepers of the King's Peace • Edgar Wallace

... This cruel retort aroused in the mind of Themistocles a strong feeling of indignation and anger against the Corinthian. He loaded his opponent, in return, with bitter reproaches, and said, in conclusion, that as long as the Athenians had two hundred ships in the fleet, they had ...
— Xerxes - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... you to learn that I meant to achieve that much, at any rate," was Elsie's quiet retort as she turned to select a volume from the queer miscellany in ...
— The Captain of the Kansas • Louis Tracy

... newspaper, one wife and one country, and the way to do that is to get out in the open and fight. If I've got as much sense as a rabbit I say that Ab Handy is the man, and whether I'm right or wrong I'm going to run him." He seemed to retort to some objector: "Yes, and the first thing you know he'd come charging up to the Speaker's desk with a maximum freight-rate bill, or a stock-yards bill—and where would I be? I tell you he won't stand hitched. He'll swell up like a pizened pup, and you couldn't handle him. Where'd any of us ...
— In Our Town • William Allen White

... TRAIN 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 gallantly ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... early had an opportunity of commending the book to the public. The reviewer of the Times, knowing nothing about the subject, was advised to entrust the work to him, adding only the opening paragraphs himself. But it was his retort to the Bishop of Oxford six months later which publicly proclaimed how boldly the challenge of authority was to be taken up. The story is well known; how the Bishop came down on the last day of the Association meeting to "smash ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... his half-muttered retort, "but what can you expect? Do you think I will see him steal her heart ...
— The Old Stone House and Other Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... hours; The drums are silent; fifes are mute; No tones are raised in high dispute; No hearty laughter's cheerful sound Announces fun and frolic round. Here's comic Alan's wit wants sport; And dark-eyed Bessie's quick retort Is spent on Nellie, mild and sweet; And dulness reigns along the street. The table's lessened numbers bring No warm discussion's changeful ring, Of hard-won goal, or slashing play, Or colours blue, or brown, or gray. The chairs stand round like rows of pins; No hoops entrap ...
— Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. - A Drama. And Other Poems. • Sarah Anne Curzon

... until you are asked, Miss Wren," replied Robinette, feeling he had better retire from the argument after this retort, for Jenny, like all females, would try to have ...
— The Story of a Robin • Agnes S. Underwood

... retort, accepting the fairness of that rebuke. He had no right to believe that he alone knew the best way of handling the enemy. Biting on the sourness of that realization, he lay quietly with the others, watching the riders enter the foothills ...
— The Defiant Agents • Andre Alice Norton

... truth is that it would be difficult to find anywhere a more shameful exploitation, intellectual and economic, than that which has been practised on the Ulster Orangeman by his feudal masters. Were I to retort the abuse, with which my own creed is daily bespattered, I should describe him further as the only victim of clerical obscurantism to be found in Ireland. Herded behind the unbridged waters of the Boyne, he has been forced to live in a very Tibet of ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... a hot retort. It was not in the scope of his character to turn back on a road which he had marked out for himself, and he waited now for Beatrice with the unshaken resolution of a man who believes absolutely in himself and his own code. He waited even with a certain impatience. ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... a special society would have to be started for the prevention of cruelty to any boy who ventured to talk of his "aunties." On the whole, however, she has a fine understanding of boy-nature, and if there are some improbabilities in these ingenious stories, she is armed with the crushing retort that the chief characteristic of any properly ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914 • Various

... way to preface his audacities by the assurance that he dared not utter them. But the retort pleased Borso. His eyes ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... bitter retort, but the traffic cop had gone to untangle two furious Fords from a horse-drawn mail wagon, so he did not hear. Which was ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower



Words linked to "Retort" :   lip, reply, alembic, still, response, backtalk, rejoin, respond, comeback, sass, answer, mouth, sassing, vessel, rejoinder, back talk



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