His infernal cunning often defeated its own aims, checkmating him at the point of achievement by suggestions of duplicity or terror.
The cunning and stratagem of the fox have been proverbial for many ages, and he has figured as a central character in fables from the earliest times, as in Aesop, down to "Uncle Remus," most notably as Reynard (Raginohardus, strong in counsel) in the great medieval beast-epic "Reynard the Fox" (q.v.).
Other influences which may be traced in his writings are those of modern naturalism and of a somewhat misinterpreted Darwinism ("strength" is generally interpreted as physical endowment, but it has sometimes to be reluctantly acknowledged that the physically feeble, by their combination and cunning, prove stronger than the "strong").
With a madman's cunning, Makar Alexeevich eyed the Frenchman, raised his pistol, and took aim.
Xander gave her a familiar, cunning half-smile.
She had got to know the heart of the peasant - his superstitions, his suspiciousness and low cunning, no less than his shrewdness, his sturdy independence and his strong domestic attachments.
The cunning look on Darkyn's face did nothing to reassure her.
Mazarin was not a Frenchman, but a citizen of the world, and always paid most attention to foreign affairs; in his letters all that could teach a diplomatist is to be found, broad general views of policy, minute details carefully elaborated, keen insight into men's characters, cunning directions when to dissimulate or when to be frank.
But why, after displaying so much cunning, did he invariably betray himself the moment he came up by that loud laugh?
The tales passing from mouth to mouth at different ends of the army did not even resemble what Kutuzov had said, but the sense of his words spread everywhere because what he said was not the outcome of cunning calculations, but of a feeling that lay in the commander-in-chief's soul as in that of every Russian.
A hundred tales, for the most part probably mythical, are told of his powers and cunning during the years he spent among the mountains as a brigand leader.
Had she attempted concealment, or tried to extricate herself from her awkward position by cunning, she would have spoiled her case by acknowledging herself guilty.
The cunning and cruelty which marred his character were forgotten, and his services to his church and country remembered.
He substituted cunning and corruption for violence.
But no sooner was he dead than the essential weakness of an artificial state, built up by cunning and perfidious policy, with the aid of bought troops, dignified by no dynastic title, and consolidated by no sense of loyalty, became apparent.
He sets the Normans before us as a race specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness - that is, perhaps uniting, as they certainly did, these two seemingly opposite qualities.
As soon as the cunning, energetic despot died they reappeared.
Philosophers are "excessively cunning murderers of many wise saws" (v.
Cunning and ambitious, he soon made his mark, and his cousin having died during his embassy, Marillac was appointed his successor.
His courage was mingled with a mean sort of cunning, and his ambition loved the outward trappings of power as well as its reality; yet he never swerved from his.
With the stragglers who remained, he held a stronghold against the Romans by dint of his native cunning, and finally, when the place was taken, persuaded forty men, who shared his hiding-place, to kill one another in turn rather than commit suicide.
But when every allowance is made for the imperfections or the cunning of the workman, one need only examine any collection of antiquities to see that there was a distinct appreciation of foreign physical types (not so much for personal portraiture), costumes, toilet, armour and decoration, often markedly different from native forms, and that a single scene (e.g.
Rome, it is certain, deliberately favoured her ally's unjust claims with the view of keeping Carthage weak, and Massinissa on his part was cunning enough to retain the friendship of the Roman people by helping them with liberal supplies in their wars against Perseus of Macedon and Antiochus.
Indeed, he gloried in the inherent and divine unreasonableness of Christianity, and brutally denounced reason as a cunning fool, " a pretty harlot."
A deal of study has been devoted to the cunning Tubal Cains, the surprising productions of whose handiwork have been recovered in the art provinces of Mexico and the Cordilleras, especially in Chiriqui, between Costa Rica and Colombia.
In the capture of animals would be involved the pedagogic influence of animal life; the engineering embraced in taking them in large numbers; the cunning and strategy necessary to hunters so poorly armed giving rise to disguises and lures of many kinds.
The trickery and cunning of Hermes is a Prominent theme in literature from Homer downwards, although it is very rarely recognized in official cult.
Hephaestus gave her a human voice, Aphrodite beauty and powers of seduction, Hermes cunning and the art of flattery.
In all these stories his character is distinguished rather by wisdom and cunning than by martial prowess, and reference is very frequently made to his skill in poetry and magic. In Ynglinga Saga he is represented as reigning in Sweden, where he established laws for his people.
The object of the story is to establish the close connexion between Hermes, the god of theft and cunning, and the three persons - Sisyphus, Odysseus, Autolycus - who are the incarnate representations of these practices.
For the future avoidance of any such scenes a cunning workman of Cornwall offered to make a table which should seat 1600 knights and more, and at which all should be equal.