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Debasement   Listen
noun
Debasement  n.  The act of debasing or the state of being debased.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Debasement" Quotes from Famous Books



... are, to a great degree, results of inherited tendencies over which we have no control,—accidents of birthplace, in the choosing of which we had no voice. The high in the world do not shine altogether by their own light, not do the lowly grovel altogether in their own debasement,—I felt the excuse for humanity. I was overwhelmed with one feeling,—only God can weigh such circumstantial evidence; we, in our little knowledge of results, pronounce sentence, but final judgment is reserved for a higher ...
— Other Things Being Equal • Emma Wolf

... arts of mediaeval education carried the blending almost to the absorption of poetic by rhetoric, and the debasement of rhetoric itself to a ...
— Rhetoric and Poetry in the Renaissance - A Study of Rhetorical Terms in English Renaissance Literary Criticism • Donald Lemen Clark

... one-half silver, one-half alloy; in 1546, one-third silver, two-thirds alloy; and in 1550, one-fourth silver, three-fourths alloy. The gold coinage was correspondingly though not so excessively debased. The lowest point of debasement for both silver and gold was reached in 1551. In 1560 Queen Elizabeth began the work of restoring the currency to something like its old standard. The debased money was brought to the mints, where the ...
— An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England • Edward Potts Cheyney

... that would make honest impartial public action at least possible. And the purer the government of Florence would become—the more secure from the designs of men who saw their own advantage in the moral debasement of their fellows—the nearer would the Florentine people approach the character of a pure community, worthy to lead the way in the renovation of the Church and the world. And Fra Girolamo's mind never stopped short of that sublimest end: the objects ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... a razor to remove his beard; and the luxury of a barber to perform that essential part of his toilet was an expense which his foes could not incur. It was the studied endeavor of those who now rode upon the crested yet perilous billows of power, to degrade royalty to the lowest depths of debasement and contempt—that the beheading of the king and the queen might be regarded as merely the execution of a male and a female felon dragged from the ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... stated are for the awakening of parents and guardians of girls. If I were to presume to say anything to the possible victims of this awful scourge of white slavery it would be this: "Those who enter here leave hope behind." The depths of debasement and suffering disclosed by the investigation now in progress would make the flesh of a seasoned man of the world ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... logo kai dia logou], the true 'noumenon' or 'ens intelligibile' of Christ. To bow at hearing the 'cognomen' may become a universal, but it is still only a non-essential, consequence of the former. But the debasement of the idea is not the worst evil of this false rendering;—it has afforded the pretext ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... unquestioned: "A complete system full of coherence and consistency, well digested and composed in all its parts ... a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance; and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... I mean Rome. Its system was once prevalent in England, and, during the period that it prevailed there, was more prolific of debasement and crime than all other causes united. The people and the government at last becoming enlightened by means of the Scripture, spurned it from the island with disgust and horror, the land instantly after its disappearance becoming a fair field, in ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... it only in what they have forfeited and lost, but also in what they have retained or invented, that these languages proclaim their degradation and debasement, and how deeply they and those that speak them have fallen. For indeed the strange wealth and the strange poverty, I know not which the strangest and the saddest, of the languages of savage tribes, rich in words which proclaim their shame, poor in those which should attest the ...
— On the Study of Words • Richard C Trench

... content ourselves with relating this extraordinary transaction, but we cannot dissemble how much in its present form it appears to us inconsistent and incredible. The debasement of the coin is indeed well suited to the administration of Gallienus; nor is it unlikely that the instruments of the corruption might dread the inflexible justice of Aurelian. But the guilt, as well as the profit, must have been confined to a very few; nor is it ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... stooping, she lays off her womanhood to pander to the low aims of a sensual life. In every country and in all ages woman has been thus abased. The history of the world is all darkened by the awful shadow of woman's debasement. While man has admired and loved her, he has degraded her. Savage and civilized man are not very dissimilar in this respect. They both woo, cajole, and flatter woman to oppress and degrade her. They both load her with honeyed titles and flattering compliments, ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... Italians, Spaniards, Hungarians, Arabs, Jews, soldiers, Bohemians, jesters, poets, monks, courtesans, swarmed and clustered here, and hustled one another in the streets. There was confusion of tongues, customs, and costumes, an inextricable mixture of splendour and rags, riches and misery, debasement and grandeur. The austere poets of the Middle Ages stigmatised the accursed city in their writings under the name of the ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - JOAN OF NAPLES—1343-1382 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... diminution, abatement, minimization, decrement, debasement; subjugation, subjection, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... have left—which crouches beneath a window-ledge, to sleep where there is some shelter from the rain, have little to bind them to life, but what have they to look back upon, in death? What are the unwonted comforts of a roof and a bed, to them, when the recollections of a whole life of debasement stalk before them; when repentance seems a mockery, and ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... tail in the presence of the man of genius. His large water-dog was acquainted with the fact, and upon the approach of his master, betrayed his sense of inferiority by a sanctity of deportment, a debasement of the ears, and a dropping of the lower jaw not altogether unworthy of a dog. It is, however, true that much of this habitual respect might have been attributed to the personal appearance of the metaphysician. A distinguished exterior will, I am constrained to say, have its way even ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... we venture to define him) views all this with some regret, and more concern. He sees that fine traditions are withering, that fine things are being marred by ignorant handling. He fears debasement, he hates vulgarity, and his realist soul admits the high probability of both in a society whose standards are broader than they are high. But he also sees new energies let loose and new resources discovered; he recognizes ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... as the religion of the new empire. Then rose the mighty monuments that cumber the river-bank and the desert—obelisk, labyrinth, pyramid, and tomb of king, blent with tomb of crocodile. Into such deep debasement, O brethren, the sons of ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... tearing them from their homes, their families, and their friends; when he saw the unhappy victims carried away by force; thrust into a dungeon in the hold of a ship, in which the interval of their passage from their native to a foreign land was filled up with misery, under every degree of debasement, and in chains; and when he saw them afterwards consigned to an eternal slavery, he could not but contemplate the whole system with horror. It was inhuman in its beginning, inhuman in its progress, and inhuman ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... slavery," cried he, "it is slavery still. Its chains, though wreathed with roses, not only fasten on the body but rivet on the mind. They bend it from the loftiest virtue to a debasement beneath calculation. They disgrace honor; they trample upon justice. They transform the legions of Rome into a band of singers. They prostrate the sons of Athens and of Sparta at the feet of cowards. They make man abjure his birth right, ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... purpose of destroying non-Jewish civilization (Protocol 3). In the event of unfavorable action by any power or group of powers, it is to be met by resistance in the form of universal war (Protocol 7). Disorganization of the economic life of the world through the debasement and ruin of the credit and currency systems, of the principal nations, and the creation of "a universal economic crisis" are also to be used to the ...
— The Jew and American Ideals • John Spargo

... Delight; under so many Disquiets, and the Sport of such various Passions; let them answer, as they can, if the Pains they undergo, do not outweigh their Enjoyments. The Infidelities on the one Part between the two Sexes, and the Caprices on the other, the Debasement of Reason, the Pangs of Expectation, the Disappointments in Possession, the Stings of Remorse, the Vanities and Vexations attending even the most refined Delights that make up this Business of Life, render it so ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... in bondage, and make that provision for them which their circumstances require. They should make ample provision for their physical wants—enlighten their minds; and so far as is practicable under existing circumstances, they should elevate their characters above that debasement and degradation, in which, ignorance, prejudice and vice has involved them. It is clearly the duty of slaveholders to place their slaves in that condition, which will conduce most to their happiness here and hereafter. But ...
— A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin - or, An Essay on Slavery • A. Woodward

... jugglers", who went through the country or were attached to the lord's court to amuse the company, were a despised race because of their ribaldry, obscenity, cowardice, and unabashed self-debasement; and their newfangled dances and piping were loathsome to the old court-poets, who accepted the harp alone ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... friend, how mortifying are those proofs of thy excellence? How deep is that debasement into which I am sunk, when ...
— Jane Talbot • Charles Brockden Brown

... interrupted the jockey. 'How singular,' said I, 'is the fall and debasement of words; you talk of a gang, or set of shorters; you are, perhaps, not aware that gang and set were, a thousand years ago, only connected with the great and Divine: they are ancient Norse words, which may be found in the heroic ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... equally serious charge that can be laid against the existing electoral system—it is in no small measure responsible for that increasing degradation in the methods of warfare which has characterised recent political and municipal contests. This debasement of elections cannot fail to contribute to that undermining of the authority of the House of Commons, upon which stress has already been laid. Indeed, there is abundant evidence to show that in conjunction with the imaginary instability ...
— Proportional Representation - A Study in Methods of Election • John H. Humphreys

... Mahomet; and from that hour to this Islam has had sway within its walls. Not once since have its echoes been permitted to respond to a Christian prayer or a hymn to the Virgin. Nor was this the first instance when, to adequately punish a people for the debasement and perversions of his revelations, God, in ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... any scarcity of corn, nor, perhaps, any augmentation in the real quantity of silver which was usually paid for it, must necessarily have occasioned some augmentation in the nominal sum. This event was the great debasement of the silver coin, by clipping and wearing. This evil had begun in the reign of Charles II. and had gone on continually increasing till 1695; at which time, as we may learn from Mr Lowndes, the ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... and awful reality. From the centre of that world, the Divine Trinity, surrounded by a hierarchy of angels and saints, contemplated and governed the insignificant sensible world in which the inferior spirits of men, burdened with the debasement of their material embodiment and continually solicited to their perdition by a no less numerous and almost as powerful hierarchy of devils, were constantly struggling on the edge of the ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... cause in spite of obloquy and reproach, will be a source of inspiration to men struggling to recover lost rights. Massachusetts clings with the tenacity of profound conviction to the teachings of her own illustrious sons. She was taught by Benjamin Franklin that "slavery is an atrocious debasement of human nature;" by John Adams that "consenting to slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust;" by John Quincy Adams that "slavery taints the very sources of moral principle"—"establishes false estimates of virtue ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... kindle against Mejnour, who owned he had tempted, and who now abandoned him,—abandoned him to the presence of a spectre. The mystic's reproaches stung rather than humbled him. What crime had he committed to deserve language so harsh and disdainful? Was it so deep a debasement to feel pleasure in the smile and the eyes of Fillide? Had not Zanoni himself confessed love for Viola; had he not fled with her as his companion? Glyndon never paused to consider if there are no distinctions between ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... audience would bear, some modes of effective hostility to it in addition to those already commended. Premising the fact that Slavery in America now justifies itself mainly on the grounds that the class who live by rude manual toil always are and must be degraded and ill-requited—that there is more debasement and wretchedness on their part in the Free States and in Great Britain itself than there is in the Slave States—and that, moreover, Free laborers will not work in tropical climates, so that these must be cultivated by ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... to decay; the few roads and bridges formerly constructed rendered almost impassable; the population in general depressed by poverty; no public credit nor private confidence; the morals of the great mass of the population in the lowest state of debasement, and religious worship almost totally neglected.[128] Such was the state of New South Wales when I took charge of its administration on the 1st of January, 1810. I left it in February last, reaping incalculable advantages from my extensive and important discoveries in all ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... according to the caprice of abandoned women. They will dispose of administrations, lower politics to the level of their own minds, and even ecclesiastical dignities will depend on their patronage. As a consequence of that general debasement, an unmeasured disdain will arise in the inferior classes of all that is great in the state. Doubt will be applauded, and it will extend to the power of the king, the noblesse, and the clergy. The spirit ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... may, in the indulgence of unworthy passions, pursue what in its essence is only evil, error, and deformity; but, if all the rays of our true nature are not extinguished, a voice issues from the depth of our souls and protests against our debasement. Our aspirations toward these spiritual excellences are unlimited. Our thought sets out on its course: have we solved one question? immediately new questions arise, which press, no less than the former, for an answer. Our conscience speaks: have we come in a certain degree to realize what ...
— The Heavenly Father - Lectures on Modern Atheism • Ernest Naville

... Whatever difference exists between the two kinds of Indians, is decidedly in favour of the unconverted tribes, who display at least the virtues of valour and a love of liberty, while the poor neophytes of the missions have suffered a positive debasement, by their conversion to this so called "Christian religion." All these monkish settlements—not only on the Napo, but on the other tributaries of the Amazon—were at one time in a state of considerable prosperity. The missionary ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... and legal rights enjoyed by the whites, as to the protection of person and property; but they were disqualified from political rights and social equality. But ... it is always to be remembered that in their contact with white men, they did not assume that creeping posture of debasement—nor did the whites expect it—which has more or less been forced upon them in fiction. In fact, their handsome, good-natured faces seem almost incapable of despair. It is true the whites were superior to them, ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917 • Various

... pressed close to the limits of human endurance, and seemed almost to threaten the extermination of the population. The prosperity of the cities was crushed by war contributions, even when they escaped being plundered like Magdeburg; and the debasement of the coinage practised by the emperor and the princes bore hardly upon all who bought or sold. [Footnote: Gindeley, History of the Thirty Years' War (English trans.), II., 390-395] During the later campaigns of the war military operations in many regions ...
— European Background Of American History - (Vol. I of The American Nation: A History) • Edward Potts Cheyney

... received another note from Bouillon. Louis relies upon me to win from Charles his consent to the withdrawal of the British troops from Holland. This will insure the fall of Luxembourg—the key to our success. You see, Buckingham, I must not fail. England's debasement shall be won." ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... marching with her fellows under common conventions, common orders. Here, alone, slipping in and out among the crowd, she looked abandoned, the sight of her in her bare white feet and the travesty of her dress was a wound. Her humility screamed its violation, its debasement of her race; she woke the impulse to screen her and hurry her away as if she were a woman walking in her sleep. She had on her arm a sheaf of the War Cry. This was another indignity; she offered them right and left, no one ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... (perhaps when resolved to its ungrammatical elements, "I is a warranty to ye") proceeds through "I's-a-warnd-ye," "I's-warn-ye" (all English provincialisms,) to its remote transatlantic ultimatum of debasement in "I swanny." ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 63, January 11, 1851 • Various

... day on the hide of a rhinoceros. Socialism must be attacked in the derived propositions about which popular discussion centers, and the assault must be, not to prove that the doctrines are scientifically unsound, but that they tend to the impoverishment and debasement of the masses. These propositions are three, and I lay down as my thesis—for I abhor ...
— The Inhumanity of Socialism • Edward F. Adams

... Lowness. — N. lowness &c. adj.; debasement, depression, prostration &c. (horizontal) 213; depression &c. (concave) 252. molehill; lowlands; basement floor, ground floor; rez de chaussee[Fr]; cellar; hold, bilge; feet, heels. low water; low tide, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... anachronisms and superstitions. In fact, he is now more Hamlet than Don Juan; for though the lines put into the actor's mouth to indicate to the pit that Hamlet is a philosopher are for the most part mere harmonious platitude which, with a little debasement of the word-music, would be properer to Pecksniff, yet if you separate the real hero, inarticulate and unintelligible to himself except in flashes of inspiration, from the performer who has to talk at any cost through ...
— Man And Superman • George Bernard Shaw

... right," interrupted the smoker: "men excuse all their ordinary follies, however ridiculous; but when any one raises himself, by his ideas, knowledge, and observation, above others, he is a kind of reproach to them for the debasement into which they allow themselves to fall, and they endeavour to remove him from their sight. This is my history: I knew more than the vulgar, and therefore ...
— Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers • Various

... guard the sovereign's power from such debasement! 270 Far rather, Sire, let it descend in vengeance On the base villain, on the faithless slave Who dared unbar the doors of these retirements! For whom? Has Casimir deserved this insult? O my misgiving heart! If—if—from Heaven 275 Yet not ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... DEGRADATION. Debasement and disgrace. The suspension of a petty officer from his station; and also the depriving an officer or soldier of his arms previous to his being delivered over to the ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... the Declaration of Independence. His unmerciful logic made the black before the law less than a slave; it reduced him to the status of a horse or dog, a bale of dry-goods or a block of stone. Against such a debasement of any living image of the Divine Maker the resentment of the public conscience of the North was ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... stocks seem never to have had that period of enslaved womanhood, that polygamous harem culture; their women never went through that debasement; and their men have succeeded in preserving the spirit of freedom which is inevitably lost by a race which has servile women. Thus while it is admitted that roughly speaking the period of Androcentric Culture corresponds ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... fellow-traveller, always a coward, shrunk from him in positive fear. Instead of Jonas being his tool and instrument, their places seemed to be reversed. But there was reason for this too, Montague thought; since the sense of his debasement might naturally inspire such a man with the wish to assert a noisy independence, and in that licence to forget his real condition. Being quick enough, in reference to such subjects of contemplation, ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... company-keeping. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that temperance reformers appeal in vain on this question, and that their facts and arguments are viewed with plausible indifference, or insidious opposition, by persons whose appetites and instincts have been undergoing debasement, and perversion from the very dawn of their lives. My own deliberate conviction is that nothing but harm comes to nursing mothers, and to the infants who are dependent upon them, by the ordinary use of alcoholic ...
— Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why - What Medical Writers Say • Martha M. Allen

... determined by their personal interest, or even by their own opinion of their personal interest. I do not speak of the influence of a sense of duty, or feelings of philanthropy, motives never to be mainly relied on, though (except in countries or during periods of great moral debasement) they influence almost all rulers in some degree, and some rulers in a very great degree. But I insist only on what is true of all rulers, viz., that the character and course of their actions is largely influenced (independently of ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... blackened and crushed to the effacing of that glorious image in which he was created, his moral susceptibilities were not destroyed. The capacity of being restored, and of infinite improvement in knowledge and virtue, was left. In the lowest depths of ignorance and debasement, the human soul feels that it must have some religion, some support, some refuge 'when flesh and heart fail.' There is a natural dread of annihilation, a longing after immortality, a starting back from the ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... the sunshine, till to-day. PUNCH'S thermometer decides the question, and here we give a diagram of it. Owing a stern and solemn duty to the public, PUNCH has indignantly spurned the offers of the British Association to join in their mummeries at Plymouth—to appear at their dinners for the debasement of science. No; here in his own pages, and in them only, doth he propound his invention. But he is not exclusive; having published his wonderful invention, he invites the makers to copy his plan. Mr. Murphy is already busily ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 14, 1841 • Various

... strength and skill to build nobly for himself, could man find darkness, the mother of mystery and awe, in which he is reminded perforce of his own ignorance and weakness; in which he learns first to remember unseen powers, sometimes to his comfort and elevation, sometimes only to his terror and debasement; darkness; and with it silence and solitude, in which he can collect himself, and shut out the noise and glare, the meanness and the coarseness, of the world; and be alone a while with his own thoughts, his own fancy, his own conscience, ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... the next place, if not the words, certainly the very spirit of confession in this once profligate but now penitent woman. It is impossible to imagine a finer or more complete specimen of self-debasement than that which she exhibited upon this occasion. How easily could she have avoided such an exposure of herself, and spared those lamentations! She was under no necessity to introduce herself into the presence of that holy ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II • Francis Augustus Cox

... names are equally curious, when one attempts to follow the connection, which, for a fact, mostly cannot be done. Thus they stand in their modified form, either as an improvement or debasement. Hog Lane, St. Giles, is now Crown Street; Grub Street is now gloriously named Milton Street, and Shoreditch ...
— Dickens' London • Francis Miltoun

... that Italy of that date "presents some peculiarities that shed over her civilization a curious and deadly irridescence." How one thinks of Ingalls and his "honesty in politics is an iridescent dream." To resume our Morley. "Passions moved it in strange orbits. Private depravity and political debasement went with one of the most brilliant intellectual awakenings in the history of the western world. Another dark element is the association of merciless selfishness, violence, craft and corruption with the administration of sacred things. If politics ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... through their gardens to an uncultivated hill, for the purpose of viewing the country. I feel glad that this happened in the land of the Brazilians, for I bear them no good will—a land also of slavery, and therefore of moral debasement. A Spaniard would have felt ashamed at the very thought of refusing such a request, or of behaving to a stranger with rudeness. The channel by which we went to and returned from Olinda was bordered on each side by mangroves, which sprang like a miniature forest out of the greasy mud-banks. The ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... interest, or the moneyed interest, or the mercantile interest, or the manufacturing interest? Or, to speak in the fashionable language of the adversaries to the Constitution, will it court the elevation of "the wealthy and the well-born,'' to the exclusion and debasement of all the rest of the society? If this partiality is to be exerted in favor of those who are concerned in any particular description of industry or property, I presume it will readily be admitted, that the competition for it will lie between landed men and merchants. And ...
— The Federalist Papers

... in his life, deriving his feeling in this particular rather from the opinions of society than from any individual consciousness of debasement, he felt a sentiment of humiliation working in his breast. His mother he had little known, but his father's precepts and familiar conversation had impressed upon him, from his childhood, a feeling for her of the deepest and ...
— Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia • William Gilmore Simms

... 'nipoti,' was adjourned for centuries by the German Reformation. Just as this alone had made the expedition against Rome (1527) possible and successful, so did it compel the Papacy to become once more the expression of a world-wide spiritual power, to raise itself from the soulless debasement in which it lay, and to place itself at the head of all the enemies of this reformation. The institution thus developed during the latter years of Clement VII, and under Paul III, Paul IV, and their successors, in the face of the defection of half Europe, was a new, regenerated hierarchy, which ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... the exception of the Hebrew, is hardly less monotonous than art. The religion of the Semitic nations, the Hebrews excepted, so far from containing in it a purifying element, tended to degrade its votaries by feeding the flame of sensual and revengeful passion. What but debasement could come from the worship of ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... but of comparatively small account for the man, is absolutely false. Granted that, owing to social ostracism, the outward degradation of impurity to the woman is far greater, I contend that a deeper inner debasement is its sure fruition in the man. Cruelty and lies are its certain accompaniment. As Burns, with a poet's insight, has ...
— The Power of Womanhood, or Mothers and Sons - A Book For Parents, And Those In Loco Parentis • Ellice Hopkins

... which he would frequently throw a somerset, as expert as old Grimaldi, and all this under a burning tropical sun. These caboceers were dressed in robes of leopard skin, hung round with tassels and chains, and in a short time afterwards about twenty of them, in all their dirt and debasement, stretched at full length before the king, stripped to the waist, and vying with each other, which should have the most dust, and kiss the ground with the greatest fervour. When any one speaks to the king, it must be addressed ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... of course, in a large measure taken from Scripture, and from the hymns heard at church; and for this reason these religious songs do not by any means illustrate the full extent of the debasement of the dialect." Of words funnily distorted through failure to understand their meaning there are, however, many examples. "Paul and Silas, bound in jail," was often sung "Bounden Cyrus born in jail;" "Ring Jerusalem" appeared as "Ring Rosy Land," etc., etc. "I never fairly heard a secular song ...
— Letters from Port Royal - Written at the Time of the Civil War (1862-1868) • Various

... the choice of viands which cover the board of the wealthy, that inflame the passions of the covetous and the mercenary. Nature is easily satisfied in all her enjoyments. It is an opinion of eminence, connected with fortune; it is a sense of debasement attending on poverty, which renders us blind to every advantage, but that of the rich; and insensible to every disgrace, but that of the poor. It is this unhappy apprehension, that occasionally prepares us for the desertion of every duty, for a submission ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... this, but he remembered Miss Amabel and the two charming girls, all adoring Jeff, and his ever-present control bade him be civilised. Jeff did not answer. He was full of a choking rage and blind desire for them to get their hands off him. Not in his imprisonment even had he felt such debasement under control as when these lithe creatures hurried him along. Yet he knew then that his rage was not against them, innocent servitors of a higher power. It was against the ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... common to the enfranchised citizen—of the rights of an elector, and of eligibility to the office of a representative, of the people; in a word, that no person nor their posterity, may ever be debased beneath the level of the recognised basis of American citizenship. This debasement and degradation is "corruption of blood"; politically understood—a legal acknowledgement of inferiority ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... to the poetry by itself, anything good in that repels rather. I am not as blind as Romney, not to perceive this. He had to be blinded, observe, to be made to see; just as Marian had to be dragged through the uttermost debasement of circumstances to arrive at the sentiment of personal dignity. I am sorry, ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... commerce."—Bicknell's Gram., Part ii, p. 10. "The dialect of some nouns are taken notice of in the notes."—Milnes, Greek Gram., p. 255. "It has been said, that a discovery of the full resources of the arts, afford the means of debasement, or of perversion."—Rush, on the Voice, p. xxvii. "By which means the Order of the Words are disturbed."—Holmes's Rhet., B. i, p. 57. "The twofold influence of these and the others require the asserter to be in the plural form."—O. B. Peirce's Gram., ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... and most interesting specimens of ancient painting which have come down to us. The design is free and the colours applied with good effect, the whole presenting classical art in the period of decline, but before its final debasement." Whereas in the second MS., No. 3867, the style, though still classical, is greatly debased, and probably, in addition to this, by no means among the best work of its time. It is described as rough, inaccurate, ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... what has actually taken place in modern Europe through the introduction of Christianity. This sublime and beneficent religion has regenerated the ancient world from its state of exhaustion and debasement; it is the guiding principle in the history of modern nations, and even at this day, when many suppose they have shaken off its authority, they still find themselves much more influenced by it in their views of human affairs than they themselves ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... scarcely heard her; his being was possessed by the pitiable image of Hannah dying alone and dog poor. He had always pictured her—except in the fleet vision of debasement—as young and graceful and disturbing. Without further speech he left the kitchen and crossed the house to the shut parlor. It was screened against the day, dim and musty and damp. The orange plush of the chairs and the narrow uncomfortable sofa, carefully dusted, was as bright as ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... not from the ground merely, but from the universal air—the answer of kindred pulses, of confluent sympathies, of an inseparable humanity—though it swarms in rags, and riots in shame, and seems far off from you in its hell of debasement and despair. Nay, perhaps the answer comes very near to you. It may come from some one of your own household. You may ask—"Who has tempted even my very child?" Ask Yourself—"Need he have gone outside this very door to find temptation?" ...
— Humanity in the City • E. H. Chapin

... But the great debasement of the human mind is evidenced in the instance of attributing a merit to belief, which has come at last to be stiled a virtue, and is dignified by the name of faith, that most pitiful of all human qualities. When the apostle spoke of faith, hope and charity, he might as well have exclaimed the ...
— Answer to Dr. Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever • Matthew Turner

... that I think myself so entirely divested of partiality to my own case, that, as far as my judgment shall permit, I will never have that in view, when I am presuming to hint my opinion of general rules. For, most surely, the honours I have received, and the debasement to which my best friend had subjected himself, have, for their principal excuse, that the gentleman was entirely independent, had no questions to ask, and had a fortune sufficient to make himself, as well as the person he chose, ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... church history, his letters show him trying every practical question by the tests of ancient authority as well as instructive piety, and, on these principles, already deploring the undue elevation of the pulpit and debasement of the Altar to which exclusive preference of preaching had led. Missions had, since the days of Carey's first opening of the subject become so predominant a thought with the Nonconformist bodies, and were often conducted so irregularly, that there was certain dread and distrust of them among ...
— Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... the highest recommendation, the spirit of which was most in accordance with the spirit of the people. But, owing to the corrupt condition of human nature, this would not be the strict religion of Jehovah, which, as coming from God, did not bring God down to the level of human debasement, but demanded that man should be raised to His elevation,—which placed the holiness of God in the centre, and founded upon it the requirement that its possessors should be holy;—but it would be the soft, sensual, idolatrous doctrine ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg

... the immemorial enemy of mankind, which has wasted in the chase of chimeras very much of the world's best intellect, fatally perverted our moral sentiments, fomented discord and division, supported all the tyranny of privilege and sanctioned all debasement of the people. Far be it from me to argue this point with any dissident. I prefer to leave him to the logic of events, which has convinced me, and may ...
— Prisoner for Blasphemy • G. W. [George William] Foote

... Brass, who, in his deep debasement, really seemed to have changed sexes with his sister, and to have made over to her any spark of manliness he might have possessed. 'You think so, Sarah, you think so perhaps; but you would have acted quite different, my good fellow. You will not have forgotten that it ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... the times of royal debasement, of aristocratic degeneracy, of doubtful or disrupted succession, have always been the times of loudest poetic insistence on birth-rank and the occasion for the most frenzied utterance of high-sounding titles. This is a disease that has grown with ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... fable revived with added truth and conviction, the legend of the persicaria was as true to her as that other of the Lord's resurrection from death. Thus her views of Nature suffered some approach to debasement in a new direction, but this degradation, so to call it, brought mighty comfort to her soul, daily rounded the ragged edges of life, woke merciful trust and belief in a promised life of bliss beyond the grave, and embroidered thereupon a patchwork, ...
— Lying Prophets • Eden Phillpotts

... On every road of Spain, particularly those north of the mountains which divide the two Castiles, may be seen gangs of fives and sixes of these people lolling or sleeping beneath the broiling sun on their gigantic and heavily laden mutes and mules, the boast of Spain, but dearly purchased by the debasement and degeneration of a once noble breed of horses. In a word, almost the entire commerce of nearly one half of Spain passes through the hands of the Maragatos, whose fidelity to their trust is such that no one accustomed to employ them would hesitate ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... prepared to work on their minds and to direct the debates. The bull, nevertheless, if its exact tenor had been known, might well have produced in many respects a contrary effect to the wishes of the King. The reproaches of Boniface touching the debasement of the coinage and the royal exactions, reproaches which so irritated Philip, might have met with other sentiments from the townsmen. The chancellor, Peter Flotte, foresaw this; he distributed among the public, instead of the original bull, a species of resume in which he had ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... can be considered as little better than childish amusement; your soul, still rich in its primitive candor, and favored with an energy tempered in the love and habit of virtue, would revolt at the thought of such debasement. And, nevertheless, unless you apply your mind to acquire a love for serious matters you will not escape a disorder which you so justly deplore in others; you will be captured in those windings which have proved ...
— Serious Hours of a Young Lady • Charles Sainte-Foi

... Had not that been true of her from the very morrow of their marriage? Her life was cast away upon shoals of debasement; no sanctity of womanhood remained in her. Was not her indignation half a mockery? She could not even defend her honesty, her honour in the vulgarest sense of the word, without involving herself in a kind of ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... the dominant race was to fix in their minds, with the strength of an absorbing passion, the idea of their own innate and unimpeachable superiority, of the unalterable inferiority of the slave-race, of the infinite distance between the two, and of the depth of debasement implied by placing the two races, in any respect, on the same level. The Southern mind had no antipathy to the negro in a menial or servile relation. On the contrary, it was generally kind and considerate of him, as such. It regarded him almost precisely ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... jockey. "How singular," said I, "is the fall and debasement of words; you talk of a gang, or set, of shorters; you are, perhaps, not aware that gang and set were, a thousand years ago, only connected with the great and Divine; they are ancient Norse words, which may be found ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... and a purer air than their fellow citizens, whose location is somewhat nearer the level of the sea, so that their physical elevation gives them many advantages that serve to compensate them for what they lack through moral debasement. The part of the main-top that fronts the bay, is a sheer precipice of two hundred feet; but on another part, it is simply too steep for any animal but a monkey to make a highway of. Down this part Old Cuff, who was ashore on liberty, and who likewise had his "beer aboard," ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... in practices "full of austerity and rigour," by the love of righteousness and the fear of evil, without seeking for other compensation than that which flows from the gratification of such love and the consciousness of escape from debasement, they are in a bad case. For they will assuredly find that virtue presents no very close likeness to the sportive leader of the joyous hours in Hume's rosy picture; but that she is an awful Goddess, whose ministers are the Furies, and whose highest ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... and simple taste in the people, yet there is a system of social debasement throughout Japan, which was here so obvious that it cannot be passed without notice. It is no worse, perhaps, than in Vienna or Paris, where the law affords it certain sanction; but when realized ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... offer an impassable front of wood, and ears once attentive are deaf. And the pity is that they have closed not to the evil alone, but to the good. This is the crime of those who distort and degrade speech: they shake confidence generally. We consider as a calamity the debasement of the currency, the lowering of interest, the abolition of credit:—there is a misfortune greater than these: the loss of confidence, of that moral credit which honest people give one another, and which makes speech circulate like an authentic currency. ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... the subject, and I shall therefore hasten to a conclusion. And first, I ask the West Indians, whether they think that they will be allowed to carry on their present cruel system, the arbitrary use of the whip and the chain, and the brutal debasement of their fellow-creatures, for ever. I say, No; I entertain better hopes of the humanity and justice of the British people. I am sure that they will interfere, and that when they once take up the cause, they will never abandon it till they have obtained their object. And what is it, after ...
— Thoughts On The Necessity Of Improving The Condition Of The Slaves • Thomas Clarkson

... expose herself to hear contempt and blasphemy attached to the Holy Name and the holy things which she loves; to see on the stage an awful mockery of prayer itself, on the race-course the despair of the ruined gambler and the debasement of the drunkard? The choice of the scenes you frequent now, of the company you keep now, is of an importance involved in the very nature of things, and not dependent alone on the expressed will of God. It is only the pure in heart who ...
— The Young Lady's Mentor - A Guide to the Formation of Character. In a Series of Letters to Her Unknown Friends • A Lady

... have liked to feel completely alien to her. But what indeed was the girl really like? She seemed to have no scruples and a thousand delicacies. She had given herself to Darrow, and concealed the episode from Owen Leath, with no more apparent sense of debasement than the vulgarest of adventuresses; yet she had instantly obeyed the voice of her heart when it bade her part from the one ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... appealing to the imagination. There are only hogsheads, and barrels, and the appliances for serving out strong drink. And there, for one sole end, the swallowing of fiery stimulant, come the nightly thousands—from the gay and well dressed, to the haggard and tattered, in the last stage of debasement. The end is the same—by how different paths! Here, they dance along the path to ruin, with flowers and music; there, they cast themselves bodily, as it were, ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... restoration of the silver dollar at a rate which once was, but has ceased to be, its commercial value. Certainly the issue of our gold coinage, reduced in weight materially below its legal-tender value, would not be any the less a present debasement of the coinage by reason of its equaling, or even exceeding, in weight a gold coinage which at some past time had been commercially equal to the legal-tender value assigned to the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Rutherford B. Hayes • Rutherford B. Hayes

... the combative qualities, the argument forgets a darker moral phase. It forgets the moral wrecks which are the sad products of war; it forgets the effect of the loss of the refining influence of womanhood upon the soldier; it forgets the debasement of sinking men to the physical type of life. And the argument assumes that peace has no "equivalent for war," declared by a famous educator to be the greatest need of the age. Courage and endurance ...
— Prize Orations of the Intercollegiate Peace Association • Intercollegiate Peace Association

... affecting than that timorous debasement and self-humiliation of a woman. How she owns that it is she and not the man who is guilty; how she takes all the faults on her side; how she courts in a manner punishment for the wrongs which she has not committed ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... faithful to their words. And finally—an argument which appears unanswerable and insuperable—Mr. John O'Connell and his immediate followers had so solemnly abjured, denounced and cursed the principles of the great majority with whom they were asked to league, that they could not comply without such a debasement of character as to compel the scorn of all men, not only to themselves, but all those with whom they were united. It could not fail to strike any ordinary observer that materials so incongruous and repulsive were incapable of cohesion; and ...
— The Felon's Track • Michael Doheny

... these was, that it was much better to confess to a priest, a sin committed against the rules, because he would not require one of the penances I most disliked, viz.: those which exposed of me to the observation of the nuns, or which demanded self-debasement before them, like begging their pardon, kissing the floor, or the Superior's feet, &c., and, besides, he as a confessor was said to be bound to secrecy, and could not inform the Superior against me. My conscience being as effectually ...
— Awful Disclosures - Containing, Also, Many Incidents Never before Published • Maria Monk

... by instinct and the baser kinds of reason also, will be doing their best to check the rise in prices, stop and reverse the advance in wages, prevent the debasement of the circulation, and facilitate the return to a gold standard and a repressive social stability. They will be resisting any comprehensive national reconstruction, any increase in public officials, any "conscription" ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... could do it, and none but myself could gauge the depth of my debasement. No eye could discern the high level ground now on which I stood and the morass that swam before me. I should marry this girl and the world asks no more. This other lower life that lay in my power appealed to me in all its sweetness—this woman as ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... motive with which commerce was carried on the test of its legitimacy: 'Trade is justly deserving of blame, because, considered in itself, it satisfies the greed for gain, which knows no limit, and tends to infinity. Hence trading, considered in itself, has a certain debasement attaching thereto, in so far as, by its very nature, it does not imply a virtuous or necessary end. Nevertheless gain, which is the end of trading, though not implying, by its nature, anything virtuous or necessary, does not, in itself, connote ...
— An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching • George O'Brien

... that his own intimate familiarity with the details of the Bond of Virtue and the War of Freedom[7] of the glorious epoch when modern Germany headed and achieved the victorious movement against the world's debasement,—brought distinctly to Bismarck's mental vision the splendor of Cavour's impossibly unequal contest for Italian freedom! The situations were essentially much alike, but so much grander for the Italian statesman, ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891 • Various



Words linked to "Debasement" :   debase, vulgarisation, barbarization, degradation, abasement, profanation, demoralisation, change of state, humiliation, impairment, corruption, impurity, animalization, constipation, popularization, dehumanization



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