<Deny, contravene, controvert, refute, confute>.
It was doubtless the first method of divination, and probably prepared the mind of man for all the various methods since employed of searching into futurity; a brief view therefore of the rise of this pretended science cannot he improper in this place, especially as the history of these absurdities is the best method of confuting them.
Byron's garrulity with regard to those delicate matters on which men of more prudence or chivalry are wont to set the seal of silence, has often the same practical effect as reticence; for he talks so much at largeevery page of his Journal being, by his own admission, apt to "confute and abjure its predecessor"that we are often none the wiser.
As to Perkin Warbeck, who pretended to be the younger of the princes, Henry VII's neglect to confute his pretensions may have arisen from other causes than a suspicion that he was the true duke of York.
Now, Mr. Veal is more of a gentleman than to say she lies, but says a bad husband has crazed her; but she needs only present herself, and it will effectually confute that pretence.
Its theories are authoritatively stated in Pope's Essay on Criticism; they embrace principles of good sense and mature taste which are easier to condemn than to confute or supersede.
And such are the Platonic dogmas concerning ideas, which sophistry and ignorance may indeed oppose, but will never be able to confute.
In the way of controversy are carried on all such dialogues, as tend to eradicate false opinions; and that, either indirectly, by involving them in difficulties, and embarrassing the maintainers of them; or directly, by confuting them.
According to this division is framed the following scheme, or table: DIALOGUES Sceptical Disputative Embarrassing Confuting Inquisitive Exciting Assisting Dogmatical Demonstrative Analytical Inductional Authoritative Magisterial Traditional - We have, given us by Diogenes Laertius, another division of the characters, as he calls them, of Plato's writings, different from that exhibited in the scheme above.
But there are certain experiments and considerations which rather confute that easy explanation, or at least make clear that the mystery is not so simple.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute: The Sovereign Alchemist that in a trice Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute: The mighty Mahmud, Allah-breathing Lord, That all the misbelieving and black Horde Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword.
" She was right, somehow; there was no power to confute her.
There is not one honest man in the nation unconvinced, how weak an attempt it would be to endeavour to confute this insinuation; an insinuation which no party will dare to abet, and of so fatal and destructive a tendency, that it may prove equally dangerous to the author, whether true or false.
Boerhaave sat, and attended silently to this discourse for some time, till one of the company, willing to distinguish himself by his zeal, instead of confuting the positions of Spinosa by argument, began to give a loose to contumelious language, and virulent invectives, which Boerhaave was so little pleased with, that, at last, he could not forbear asking him, whether he had ever read the author he declaimed against.
He was always cheerful, and desirous of promoting mirth by a facetious and humorous conversation; he was never soured by calumny and detraction, nor ever thought it necessary to confute them; "for they are sparks," said he, "which, if you do not blow them, will go out of themselves.
He then engaged in the perusal of the Greek fathers, and councils of the first three or four centuries; and undertook, at his father's desire, to confute a treatise of Samuel Crellius, in which, under the name of Artemonius, he has endeavoured to substitute, in the beginning of St. John's gospel, a reading different from that which is at present received, and less favourable to the orthodox doctrine of the divinity of our Saviour.
It is evident that this conversation must have happened before his promotion to any degree in physick, because he himself fixes it in the interval of his absence from the university, a circumstance which will enable us to confute many false reports relating to Dr. Sydenham, which have been confidently inculcated, and implicitly believed.
His living, which was, I suppose, considered as forfeited by his absence, though he was not suffered to continue upon it, was given to a clergyman, of whom he says, that he would become a stage better than a pulpit; a censure which I can neither confute nor admit, because I have not discovered who was his successour.
About this time, many socinian writers began to publish their notions with great boldness, which the presbyterians, considering as heretical and impious, thought it necessary to confute; and, therefore, Cheynel, who had now obtained his doctor's degree, was desired, in 1649, to write a vindication of the doctrine of the Trinity, which he performed, and published the next year.
I, who claim no other title than that of an old soldier, cannot hope to prevail much by my oratory; it is enough for me that I am confident of confuting those arguments in the field, which I oppose in the senate.
But, sir, to endeavour to confute demonstration by a grin, or to laugh away the deductions of arithmetick, is, surely, such a degree of effrontery, as nothing but a post of profit can produce; nor is it for the sake of these men, that I shall endeavour to elucidate my assertion; for they cannot but be well informed of the state of our taxes, whose chief employment is to receive and to squander the money which arises from them.
But, my lords, as I cannot assume the province of disputing on this question, so I cannot, without longer consideration, form any resolution concerning it; for arguments may be fallacious, which, yet, I cannot confute, and to approve without knowledge is no less weak than to censure.
Should any man assert, my lords, that the army ought to be formed into a distinct and independent society, which should receive laws only from a council of war, and have no other governour than their officers, none should oppose such an assertion with more ardour or constancy than myself, but what was never advanced it is unnecessary to confute.
To repeat the particular topicks of accusation, and recapitulate the arguments which have been produced to confute it, would be a tedious and unnecessary labour; unnecessary, because it is well known that they once had the power of convincing this house, and that nothing has since happened to lessen their force, and because many of them now have been already repeated by the noble lords that have opposed the motion.
It is to no purpose, sir, that the magistrate disbelieves what he cannot confute; and if in one instance in a hundred he should be mistaken, and, acting in consequence of his errour, force a freeman into the service, what reparation may not be demanded?
Thus, my lords, it may be observed how quickly the clouds are dispersed with which interest or perverseness have endeavoured to obscure the truth, and how easily the strongest objections which the greatest abilities could raise against this bill are confuted, or how apparently, when they are closely examined, they confute themselves.
The papers which they cannot confute, and which they have not yet been able to obtain the power of suppressing, are asserted to border upon treason; and the authors are threatened with punishments, when they have nothing to fear from a reply.
Assertions which I cannot be supposed to favour, since I wish they might be false, and which I only produce in this place to give some, whom their stations make acquainted with publick affairs, an opportunity of confuting them.
That monarch will be most certainly and most permanently popular, who steadily pursues the good of his people, even in opposition to their own prejudices and clamours; who disregards calumnies, which, though they may prevail for a day, time will sufficiently confute, and slights objections which he knows may be answered, and answered beyond reply.
To confute the argument it is only necessary to observe, that this tax is not a tax upon drunkenness, but a tax laid upon strong liquors for the prevention of drunkenness; and, by consequence, such as falls within the compass of his own definition.
He was never soured by calumny and detraction, nor ever thought it necessary to confute them; "for they are sparks," said he, "which, if you do not blow them, will go out of themselves."...
'He observed to me afterwards, that the advantages authors derived from attacks, were chiefly in subjects of taste, where you cannot confute, as so much may be said on either side.
'M is preparing a whole pamphlet against G, and G is, I suppose, collecting materials to confute M.' M was Mickle, the translator of the Lusiad and author of the Ballad of Cumnor Hall (ante, ii. 182).
One after another the Frari chose out champions to confute the child-philosopher, but he was armed on every side; and the childish face, the boyish manner and voice lent a wonderful charm to the words he uttered, which were not eloquent, but absolutely dispassionate and reasonable, and the fewest by which he might prove his claim.
Most people probably thought him a nuisance, since he was always about with his questions, puzzling some, confuting others, and reproving all,careless of love or hatred, and contemptuous of all conventionalities.
So the voluptuous, infidel, elegant Popeaccomplished in manners and pagan arts and literaturesent one of the most learned men of the Church which called him Father, to argue with Doctor Luther, confute him, conquer him,deeming this an easy task.
I need not dwell on that exciting scene, where, in the presence of all that was illustrious and powerful in Germany, this defenceless doctor dares to say to supremest temporal and spiritual authority, "Unless you confute me by arguments drawn from Scripture, I cannot and will not recant anything ...
Augustine was the fountain, and the water that flowed from it in ten thousand channels could not rise above the spring; and as everybody appealed to and believed in Saint Augustine, it was well to construct a system from him to confute the heretical, and which the heretical would respect.
120 In play it never bears dispute; That doctrine these felled oaks confute.
'You might,' says Cupid, 'doubt my parts, My knowledge too in human hearts, Should I the power of gold dispute, Which great examples might confute.
The reasonableness of these sentiments can hardly be questionedbitter indignation would be aroused by the attempt to confute themand yet I feel that if I were too freely to assent to them, I might encourage recklessness, extravagance, and peculation.
If it did never begin to be, then have you always been a thinking thing from eternity; the absurdity whereof I need not confute, till I meet with one who is so void of understanding as to own it.
See in Xenophon's Symposium how many quarrels he settled, how further he endured Thrasymachus and Polus and Callicles; how he tolerated his wife, and how he tolerated his son who attempted to confute him and to cavil with him.
Adj. confuting, confuted, &c v.; capable of refutation; refutable, confutable^, defeasible. contravene (counter evidence) 468. condemned on one's own showing, condemned out of one's own mouth.
deny flatly, deny peremptorily, deny emphatically, deny absolutely, deny wholly, deny entirely; give the lie to, belie. repudiate &c 610; set aside, ignore &c 460; rebut &c (confute) 479; qualify &c 469; refuse &c 764.
At a later session, he forced himself ignominiously to confess that some of the arguments on the Copernican side had been put too strongly and to declare himself ready to confute the  theory.
And Vaniniwhom his contemporaries burned, finding that an easier task than to confute himputs the same thing in a very forcible way.
Slander is the only weapon by which honor can be attacked from without; and the only way to repel the attack is to confute the slander with the proper amount of publicity, and a due unmasking of him who utters it.
stiffly maintains, confuting Avicenna and the rest, referring it wholly to the quality and disposition of the humour and subject.
4. as that also de ruptura venarum ut sauguis fluat, copiously confute; 'tis no sufficient trial they contend.
Erasmus can do nothing but cavil and flout, he cannot confute.
As for the democratical conceit of them that say that the Parliament hath their governing power, as they are the people's representatives, and so have the members of the convocation, though those represented have no governing power themselves, it is so palpably self-contradicting, that I need not confute it.
That St. John wrote his Gospel with a view to confute Cerinthus, among other false teachers, is attested first by Irenæus, who was a disciple of Polycarp, and who flourished within less than a century of St. John's time.
But I fall into the same fault I am arraigning, by so often exposing and confuting the same blunder, which has no claim even at its first enunciation to the compliment of a philosophical answer.
From every side they will derive evidence, that a doctrine and society which were meant for mankind cannot depend upon, the partial views and apprehensions of men, must go on justifying, reconciling, confuting, those views and apprehensions by the demonstration of facts"
How can I confute them by opening it, when a note of yours might slip out, & we get in a hobble?
In all this, to be sure, I am illustrating, not confuting, Mrs. Craigie's maxim.
I have no wish to confute it, for, in the largest interpretation, it is true; but I suggest that it is true only when attenuated almost beyond recognition, and quite beyond the point at which it can be of any practical help to the practical dramatist.
And as many as disbelieved it did not venture to accuse him and confute him, some because they were afraid and others because they did not care to do so.
" Moore thus mentions the subject in his Memoirs: "May 28, 1820.Received a letter at last from Lord Byron, through Murray, telling me he had informed Lady B. of his having given me his Memoirs for the purpose of their being published after his death, and offering her the perusal of them in case she might wish to confute any of his statements.
Confuting her with her own words!
It has no means of testing and confuting even the wildest and maddest assertions.
The rational proofs brought forward for the existence of Godfrom the motion of matter in itself at rest, and from the finality of the worldare only designed, as he declares by letter, to confute the materialists, and derive their impregnability entirely from the inner evidence of feeling, which amid the vacillation of the reason pro and con gives the final decision.
There is no doubt that the falsehoods and exaggerations with which the Press here teems, in matters referring to England, are sufficiently glaring to be almost self-confuting; but if they can so warp the mind of an enlightened senator, how is it to be wondered at that, among the masses, many suck in all such trash as if it were Gospel truth, and look upon England as little else than a land of despotism; but of that, more anon.
But then, as if to confute the calumnies of the malevolent lady of Steinfeldt, with an air of sportive familiarity which was rather unwarranted by the time and place, he flirted on her beautiful forehead a drop or two of the moisture which remained on his own hand.
All the force of reason, and all the charms of language, are indeed necessary to support positions which every man hears with a wish to confute them.
Some ancestral Cromwellian trooper leaps to life again in Nathaniel Greene, and makes a general of him, to confute five generations of Broadbrims.
The best way for them to confute me is, as I before advised the Papists, to disclaim their principles and renounce their practices.
Then let us either think he meant to say This faith, where publish'd, was the only way; Or else conclude that, Arius to confute, 220 The good old man, too eager in dispute, Flew high; and as his Christian fury rose, Damn'd all for heretics who durst oppose.
But this opinion is not worth confuting; it is so gross and obvious an error, that common sense (which is a rule in every thing but matters of faith and revelation) must convince the reader, that equality of numbers in every verse which we call Heroic, was either not known, or not always practised in Chaucer's age.
"I have seen enough to confute all the boldfaced atheists of this age.
29.It must be obvious to every one who has much acquaintance with the history of our language, that this part of its grammar has always been quite as unsettled as it is now; and, however we may wish to establish its principles, it is idle to teach for absolute certainty that which every man's knowledge may confute.
And I shall by-and-by add othersenough, I hope, to confute those false critics who condemn all such phraseology.
"A position which the action itself will palpably confute."Id.
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
Among these, the "Character of the Good Parson" is introduced, probably to confute Milbourne, Blackmore, and Collier, who had severally charged our author with the wilful and premeditated contumely thrown upon the clergy in many passages of his satirical writings.
" "How you confute one with argument, lovely lady!
The Romans moved, as upon a stage, before her, unlit battling faces, clashing voices and armor; and the bearded Jews heavily collecting and confuting.
This is a paradox which all the principles of commerce and all the experience of policy concur to confute.
Even to confute an erroneous book will become more difficult, since it has always been a custom to abridge the author whose assertions are examined, and, sometimes, to transcribe all the essential parts of his book.
It has been objected, that the respondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it.
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted; not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
" ROMANTIC LOVE, GREEK STYLE The Greeks, instead of confuting my theory that romantic love is the last product of civilization, afford the most striking confirmation of it.
Without this Talent he is perpetually puzzled and perplexed amidst his own Blunders, mistakes the Sense of those he would confute, or if he chances to think right, does not know how to convey his Thoughts to another with Clearness and Perspicuity.
But as this Assertion is in reality an Encomium on what I have published, I ought rather to glory in it, than endeavour to confute it.
[Footnote 1: St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop of Pontus in the third century, was favoured by a vision of the Trinity, which enabled him to confute and utterly subdue the Sabellian hereticsthe Unitarians of his time.
I answer, that Harrington was simply anxious to set forth at the head of his argument, in the clearest and briefest form, the conclusions he believed Mr. Newman to hold, and which he was going to confute.
[Footnote 7: In the ninth edition, p. 104, I find that to cover the formal falsehood of these words, he adds: "what he calls his arguments are assertions only," still withholding that which would confute him.]
Lord Granville and his faction persist in persuading the King, that it is an affair of no consequence; and for the Duke of Newcastle, he is glad when the rebels make any progress, in order to confute Lord Granville's assertions.
If I cannot survive the Milles's, the What-d'ye-call-him's [Masters's], and the compilers of catalogues of Topography, it would comfort me very little to confute them.
The design of this excellent poem is to demonstrate the self-existence of an eternal mind, from the created and dependent existence of the universe, and to confute the hypothesis of the Epicureans and the Fatalists, under whom all the patrons of impiety, ancient and modern, of whatsoever denomination may be ranged.
His tenets on immateriality have always been rejected by "common-sense" philosophers; but it should be remembered that the whole work was written at a time when the English-speaking world was disturbed by the theories of sceptics and deists, whose doctrines the pious divine sought as best he could to confute.
I think it proper to finish this Chapter by confuting an Error as common, and more ridiculous, than the others; which is, of an infallible Thrust, which a great many People think that Masters reserve for dangerous Occasions, or to sell it at a dear Rate.
It need not be wrangling or disputing, or finding fault with other people, or maintaining and confuting.
But we may easily confute our sensual opponents.
But Cobham can these tales confute, As all the curious know; For he hath proved beyond dispute, That Paradise is STOWE.
790 They err, who for the fear of death dispute, Our gallant actions this mistake confute.
" The Viscount for some little time endeavoured mildly to confute her arguments, and convince her that in doing so, she was only forming her own misery; but still she pleaded, and ungoverned fury at length burst forth.
Many whose duty, by virtue of their office, is to give warning from Zion's walls, as watchmen entrusted with the city of God, neglect to discover, and from the scriptures to confute these errors, or to show their flocks by doctrine or writing the danger of being tainted with them.
A very slight knowledge, however, of ornithology, would be sufficient to confute the notion of any struthious bird constructing a nest of this kind, or of a wingless land bird of great size inhabiting an islet only a quarter of a mile in length.