Phrases with "cannot"

Richard Hakluyt The citie of Rome, beinge sackt by Charles the Emperour, the Pope and Cardinalls taken and ymprisoned, cannot brooke their doinges in their hartes. A Discourse of Western Planting by Richard Hakluyt [1584]

Charles Dickens I cannot tell how much these dislikes cost me; for I had a dread that they were worldly. George Silvermans’s Explanation by Charles Dickens [1868]

H. G. Wells I cannot account for what he does. The War in the Air by H. G. Wells [1908]

G. K. Chesterton The second, as my colleague has urged, is the curious fact that we cannot find a single victim of these alleged outrages to speak for himself. Manalive by G. K. Chesterton [1912]

Robert Louis Stevenson Take this dross from your poor friend who loves you!’ ‘Madam, madam,’ babbled Otto, in the extreme of misery, ‘I cannot — I must go. Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson

Maria Edgeworth As to your being bound to her in honour, I cannot see how. Leonora by Maria Edgeworth [1806]

Walter Scott I thank you for your bounty, it is well intended undoubtedly; but I have all I want, and I cannot accept more at your lordship’s hand. The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott [1819]

Rudyard Kipling How long this panic lasted I cannot say. Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling [1888]

Rudyard Kipling If I cannot speak your language, that is no reason that I cannot think some of your thoughts. A Book of Words by Rudyard Kipling [1928]

You cannot put it behind you altogether. The Crime and the Criminal by Richard Marsh [1897]

Andrew Lang But it does not so turn; and, as physical causes are constant, it follows that the turning of the rod cannot be the result of a physical cause. Custom and Myth by Andrew Lang

And there before me was the finest room in all the world; indeed I abate not a jot of the phrase, for I cannot think of anything finer. Journey of Little Profit by John Buchan [1898]

Rudyard Kipling We cannot foretell in the multitude of words about us whose words are destined to survive, to rule, to delight, to persuade or accuse those that come after. A Book of Words by Rudyard Kipling [1928]

Walter Scott I cannot explain farther; but for this I will be bound, at the risk of my neck. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

Henry Handel Richardson Dear friend, I cannot but think you have always been aware how much I admired, how highly esteemed you — though doubtless still appraising you below your true worth. The End of a Childhood by Henry Handel Richardson

Olaf Stapledon The transfiguration I now know to be true, but I cannot describe it or even clearly think it. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Anthony Trollope A man who beats his wife is shocking to us, and a colonel who cannot manage his soldiers without having them beaten is nearly equally so. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

I cannot but have the vanity to think they might as well have inserted what I send them, gratis, as many things I have since seen in their papers. Daniel Defoe by William Minto [1879]

You cannot fail of being often put in mind of the great virtue of patience, and how necessary that may be for you to practise I leave to your own experience. The Life and Letters of John Gay by Lewis Melville

I held her in my arms, and took the bread from my own lips to feed her!” “She cannot know this,” said North in an undertone. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Elizabeth Gaskell I’m afraid I cannot stop today. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [1865]

H. G. Wells But we never saw her and I cannot judge between them. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells But, squeamish as I may seem, I cannot bring myself to describe what I could not endure even to continue watching. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells [1898]

He answered: ‘No, no — I cannot say that he ever attempted anything of the kind. The Purcell Papers by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

We will approach as near as we can, perhaps have a parley with the conductor, and if we cannot make terms with him, we will fall on with our whole party. The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier

Anthony Trollope All the world cannot change my heart, Kate. If you can not trust me for that, then you do not love me as I love you. An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope [1879]

G. K. Chesterton They cannot know each other by a smell, like dogs. A Miscellany of Men by G. K. Chesterton [1912]

Arthur Conan Doyle I cannot say that I was happy, but I was less unhappy than I could have believed it possible. The Fate of the Evangeline by Arthur Conan Doyle

O lady fine, fear not to lead     To Hymen’s shrine a clown: Love cannot level up, indeed,     But he can level down. Epigrams by Ambrose Bierce

Anthony Trollope She is so much in earnest about her work, that she cannot bring herself to be light and playful as he is. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope [1865]

Anthony Trollope The baby, as a baby, was all that was delightful, and I cannot foresee that it will be necessary for us to inquire into the facts of his after-life. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

You cannot hope to get rid of me at this time of day, I have my place in the affair, I cannot be shaken off; I am, if you will excuse a rather technical pleasantry, an encumbrance on the estate. The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

They must do so, because in their own bodies they always discover that the promises of Fascism cannot be fulfilled. Looking back on the Spanish war by George Orwell [1942]

Oliver Goldsmith I cannot tell whether it is from the number of our penal laws, or the licentiousness of our people, that this country should shew more convicts in a year, than half the dominions of Europe united. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

Jane Austen S. V. Edward Street I am grieved, though I cannot be astonished at your rupture with Mr. De Courcy; he has just informed Mr. Johnson of it by letter. Lady Susan by Jane Austen [1794]

We cannot be expected to turn our backs upon him all at once, because his conduct happens to appear somewhat mysterious. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

Rudyard Kipling But remember, Akela is very old, and soon the day comes when he cannot kill his buck, and then he will be leader no more. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling [1894]

I cannot believe it! It is too terrible,” she said to her lover, when he greeted her in the drawing-room. The Childerbridge Mystery by Guy Boothby [1902]

Olive Schreiner So wide is the hiatus between them often, that the lowest form of sex attraction can hardly cross it; and the more highly developed mental and emotional sex passion cannot possibly bridge it. Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner

G. K. Chesterton It was a laugh, the purport of which was direct and essential, and yet which one cannot exactly express. The Club of Queer Trades by G. K. Chesterton [1905]

This I take to he a humiliating confession, as it proves my own want of judgment in publishing, and the public’s in reading, things which cannot have stamina for permanence. Byron by John Nichol [1880]

Thomas Carlyle Peace on other terms he, for his part, cannot make with it; not he, while he continues able, or possessed of real intellect and not imaginary. Latter-Day Pamphlets by Thomas Carlyle

Tobias Smolle Agriculture cannot be expected to flourish where the farms are small, the leases short, and the husbandman begins upon a rack rent, without a sufficient stock to answer the purposes of improvement. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smolle

Thomas Hardy My foot has become jammed in a crevice of the rock, and I cannot get it out, try how I will. The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy [1897]

E. Phillips Oppenheim I cannot believe that she has ever seriously regarded you in that light. A Sleeping Memory by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1902]

William Morris I cannot call it less than that. Hopes and Fears for Art by William Morris [1882]

Leon Trotsky It was not that his uncle or aunt were especially stern masters that cannot be said under any circumstances. My Life by Leon Trotsky

You cannot conceive what ruinous, degenerate curs we looked, standing there in the merciless morning light. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

William Makepeace Thackeray Of course I cannot particularize the sum, but he had given too much for that hat. Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1860-63]

Edmund Burke They cannot proceed systematically. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke [1790]

Victor Hugo The rose of Jericho blooms on Christmas Eve. Serpents cannot endure the shadow of the ash tree. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Jack London You cannot steer night and day and for ever. The Sea-Wolf by Jack London [1904]

Arthur Conan Doyle Yet I cannot think that any large section of the critical public could maintain that Smollett was on the same level as the other two. Through the Magic Door by Arthur Conan Doyle [1907]

If I had only secured it! “We must manage to bring you something, Fred. You cannot stir from here. The Key of the Church by Ellen Wood [1875]

Algernon Blackwood It was a suggestive thing he said: “For human consciousness is different at different periods, remember, and ages remotely separated cannot understand each other. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

Edith Wharton New York had become a shadow, a mirage, the fermenting activities of his comrades of the Cocoanut Tree as meaningless as dancing to which one cannot hear the music. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton [1929]

E. Phillips Oppenheim There cannot be two opinions on such a point: give up this unwholesome business and make this man, and yourself too, happy. Mysterious Mr. Sabin by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1898]

Here, in her sister’s house, passionately loved by her sister’s husband! She calls him ‘brother,’ whose eyes cannot look at her without telling their story of wicked love. London Pride by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1896]

John Morley Burke had married—when and where, we cannot tell. Burke by John Morley [1879]

Of course he cannot feed or look after himself properly, and a man who pays six shillings a week for his room is not encouraged to be indoors more than is necessary. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell [1937]

Will its shadow so overwhelm the rest that her naturally pure spirit will shrink from me just at the moment when I think her mine? I cannot tell, and the doubt creates a hell within me. The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green

Do you wish to see the powder-room?” “No. When you return I will set the fuse myself, but be careful to conceal your face, so that you cannot be recognized by them. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas [1845]

Arnold Bennett She said to herself: “I cannot move, now. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

George Gissing You cannot understand me; you have never loved!’ ‘May such knowledge be far from me!’ said Marcian, with unwonted vehemence. Veranilda by George Gissing [1903]

Olaf Stapledon Naturally I cannot approve of a particular activity if it happens to be of a type that I am too obtuse to apprehend. Saints and Revolutionaries by Olaf Stapledon

Anthony Trollope Women cannot refuse to give that which is asked for with so much of the vehemence of true desire. The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

Arnold Bennett But it occurs to me that you cannot have dined yet, and might prefer to deal with minor questions after dinner. The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett [1902]

Ralph Waldo Emerson But I should be more unworthy, if I did not tell you why I cannot walk in your steps. The Conservative by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1841]

Theodore Dreiser If we decide that we cannot find out what you want to know, we are the first to say so. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Some of them even speak our tongue, though badly, as, for instance, the Tatars and the Mordovans. The Greeks cannot speak our language. In the World by Maksim Gorky

Arnold Bennett But I cannot help feeling that I have led you into a strange entanglement. The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett [1902]

H. Rider Haggard Now as always I live to do your will, but I pray you, hide your face from me as much as may be, for, Lady, my heart is broken with love for you and I cannot bear to look on that which I have lost. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

William Morris I want to be happy while I live; for as for death, I find that, never having experienced it, I have no conception of what it means, and so cannot even bring my mind to bear upon it. Signs of Change by William Morris [1888]

Robert Louis Stevenson The third part of the D.BAcle may be all very fine; but I cannot read it. Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson

From experience I cannot say how true this is; but certainly I failed to awaken any lively emotion in the booksellers of whom I tried to buy some modern plays. Familiar Spanish Travels by William Dean Howells

For we cannot draw; we can but daub the figures of Antiquity with a little sorry paint or soot. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

Arthur Conan Doyle What say you, Edricson?” “I cannot tell, my fair lord. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle [1891]

Thomas Carlyle We cannot but see that he would have loved privacy, quiet diligence in the shade; that it was against his will he ever became a notoriety. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

H. Rider Haggard Hurry, those doors cannot stand for long. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Anthony Trollope I cannot say that he understood the cause of the quarrel, but he had become aware that there was much in the lady very much on a par with her husband’s character. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope [1882]

I cannot say we quarreled upon this point, for she would not quarrel upon any. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Margaret Oliphant For Walter’s sake I would not lose sight of him,” said Mrs. Wynn. “You cannot lose sight of what you have never seen: besides, influence is of no consequence nowadays. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Sometimes we cannot hear the voice of the present for the whisperings of the past; sometimes the room is so full of ghosts that we can hardly breathe. The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton

Then Marx, or somebody like him, will come back with yet more dynamite, and so the process continues, to an end we cannot yet foresee. Charles Dickens by George Orwell [1940]

What am I to say to Peveril, Eliza?” “Say! Why, that you must hold him to his promise; that we cannot give up the house yet. The Silent Chimes by Ellen Wood

George Gissing Pain I cannot well endure, and I do indeed think with apprehension of being subjected to the trial of long deathbed torments. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing [1902]

But even were it so, the certain benefits are so immense, when laid in the balance with the possible evils, that they cannot be put in competition. Life in Mexico by Frances Calderon de la Barca [1843]

W. H. Hudson By taking thought I am convinced that we can make no progress in this direction, simply because we cannot voluntarily escape from our own personality, our environment, our outlook on nature. Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson

Anthony Trollope If you had remained with us, I could have discussed the matter with you from day to day; but, of course, I cannot do so while you are here. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope [1865]

Arthur Conan Doyle I regret exceedingly that I cannot help you in this matter, and any continuation of this interview would be a waste of time. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Virginia Woolf As it is, finding sequences everywhere, I cannot bear the pressure of solitude. The Waves by Virginia Woolf [1931]

I must punish you somehow, so I shall tell Professor Braddock, as you certainly cannot marry him. The Green Mummy by Fergus Hume

It is certain that we cannot keep together since I have received news that the police are after us. The Mystery Queen by Fergus Hume

George Borrow Oh! I cannot tell you all she was’— and here the old man drew his hand across his eyes. The Romany Rye by George Borrow

Figures cannot deceive, as I tell Mrs. Plumptree, my cook, when she shows me a result that I cannot understand or accept. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

Victor Hugo It cannot be that we shall always be unhappy. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

I am grieved for them all! I cannot understand it; but my heart turned softer when I recognized that there is truth in men, and that not all are to blame for their foulness and filth. Mother by Maksim Gorky

George Berkeley If by finite extension be meant something distinct from a finite idea, I declare I do not know what that is, and so cannot affirm or deny anything of it. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge by George Berkeley [1710]

As for “charmed circles” there is uncommonly good company outside them, where, as Beatrice says, we may “be as merry as the day is long,” so that the Comic Spirit cannot entirely disdain us. The English Novel by George Saintsbury [1913]

When A. has been looking up to B. for thirty years, he cannot look down on him all of a sudden, merely because he catches him falsifying accounts. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

I cannot tell whether I should have interfered, if he had had no beard. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

George Meredith Rose knew this, and her instruction to Evan was: ‘You cannot give me up—you will go, but you cannot give me up while I am faithful to you: tell him that. Evan Harrington by George Meredith [1861]

George Meredith I cannot tell you how I am, because my heart feels beating in another body. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

William Hazlitt Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death? It cannot be: it is impossible: Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt [1817]

H. G. Wells I cannot recall what we said, I think it was about the moorland to which we were going for your convalescence. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

Elizabeth Gaskell I cannot bear to see the sufferings of others. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell [1854]

H. G. Wells And least satisfactory of all is something that I cannot touch, somewhere — I cannot determine where — in the seat of the emotions. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells [1896]

Anthony Trollope But I cannot love you now — not in the manner you would have me. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope

What has she done that for?” “I cannot tell you. Her Father’s Name by Florence Marryat [1878]

George Meredith He ought to know it and feel it, and give his wife all the protection of his name, instead of—not that he denies: I have brought him to that point; he cannot deny it with me. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

She not here—I cannot keep it for her now, and send a gift to poor old Betty, who next to myself remembers her in life-long love and sacred sorrow. Carlyle by John Nichol [1892]

Rudyard Kipling You will understand that these foolish tales are introduced in order to cover the fact that this pen cannot describe the glories of the Upper Geyser basin. From Sea to Sea by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

Virginia Woolf But we are doomed, all of us, by the apple trees, by the immitigable tree which we cannot pass. The Waves by Virginia Woolf [1931]

For a little while, the blooming semblance of beauty may flourish round weakness; but it cannot bear a blast: it soon fades, even in serenest sunshine. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

Francis Bacon Therefore it is that we cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world, but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond. The New Organon by Francis Bacon [1620]

George Gissing Can you give me anything—a promise of kind thought—a hope—to live upon till I see you?’ ‘I cannot come back. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Robert Green Ingersoll In a little while a man may find that he cannot steal without robbing himself. Lectures by Robert Green Ingersoll

Virginia Woolf There is an ambiguity which is the mark of the highest poetry; we cannot know exactly what it means. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf [1925]

Wilkie Collins Margaret cannot give me much help, I am afraid. Basil by Wilkie Collins [1852]

Anne Bronte You cannot be so cruel as to deny me a favour so easily granted and yet so highly prized!’ pleaded he as ardently as if his life depended on it. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [1847]

Daniel Defoe You know and cannot but remember that these have been your own words to me. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe [1683]

For weeks I have noticed that both you and Mr. Tregaskis are strained in your behaviour towards one another; and I cannot help seeing that it is on my account. The Race of Life by Guy Boothby [1906]

You cannot believe, you can only laugh. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West [1933]

Sir Walter Scott But I cannot be thus connected with the Court, without hearing, even against my will, what wheels are in motion, and how they are checked or forwarded. The Fortunes of Nigel by Sir Walter Scott [1822]

Anthony Trollope Lord Trowbridge cannot really touch me; and could he, I do not know that he would. The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope [1870]

James Hogg I cannot conceive how you should come up here without asking my permission. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg [1824]

E. T. A. Hoffmann You cannot get a better picture of him than by turning over one of the Berlin pocket-almanacs3 and looking at Cagliostro’s4 portrait engraved by Chodowiecki;5 Spalanzani looks just like him. The Sand-Man by E. T. A. Hoffmann

I cannot take you to my house dressed as you are now. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green

H. G. Wells What they mean by a ‘scientist’ or ‘science’ per se, I cannot imagine. Babes In The Darkling Woods by H. G. Wells [1940]

The stars of the southern hemisphere are lauded by some: I cannot see that they surpass or equal those of the northern. A First Year in Canterbury Settlement by Samuel Butler

Arthur Conan Doyle Lieutenant Hawthorne, or Jack, as I cannot help calling him, had been very quiet since the day of the picnic, and given himself up to reverie. Our Derby Sweepstakes by Arthur Conan Doyle

George Meredith We can bear to fall; we cannot afford to draw back. Vittoria by George Meredith [1867]

Walter Scott But I, too, have some confidence in my own judgment; and, much as I honour the Church, I cannot altogether subscribe to passive obedience. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

E. Phillips Oppenheim I cannot imagine how you came to fall on your head with force enough to make you unconscious and yet get over it the way you seem to have done. The Man Without Nerves by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

George Meredith It cannot be overtaken unless we start nearly equal, father said. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Helen Zimmern You cannot conceive how much afraid I was myself to venture what had not his corrections and his sanction. Maria Edgeworth by Helen Zimmern

Arthur Machen I cannot say that it is not so, because I do not profess to understand the working of the universe. The Terror by Arthur Machen

H. G. Wells A dossier is merely a memorandum; it cannot be used as evidence without proper confirmation in open court. The New World Order by H. G. Wells

H.P. Lovecraft I cannot do better than transcribe in full, so far as is possible, the long letter in which Akeley introduced himself, and which formed such an important landmark in my own intellectual history. The Whisperer in Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft [1930]

H. G. Wells You cannot imagine the littleness of those former times; their naive, queer absurdities! And for the first time in my existence I thought of these things without bitterness. In the Days of the Comet by H. G. Wells [1906]

Anthony Trollope Of her of whom I am now speaking, I know well that I cannot say that. The Claverings by Anthony Trollope

Wilkie Collins I cannot grieve for her; but I can feel sorry for you. The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins [1876]

I have made the Don a young man, but — well, to tell the truth, I have made a mistake in my calculations — a mistake that I cannot explain and that I can in no way account for. Dr Nikola’s Experiment by Guy Boothby [1899]

Charles Kingsley I cannot deal with them as feras naturae. Two Years Ago by Charles Kingsley

Jules Verne That man is to be pitied the most who cannot wean himself from gloomy reflections by actual work, or some practical pursuit. Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne [1869]

Miles Franklin I cannot bear the touch of any one — it is one of my idiosyncrasies. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

James Hogg Who do you think the young man was who walked in his company to-night?” “I cannot for my life recollect, but am convinced I have seen the same fine form and face before. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg [1824]

A power that is above me urges me on; I cannot resist its influence. Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1842]

Walter Scott I cannot charge my spaniel with any perfidy; but for my mistresses — to confess truth, I must always be in a cursed hurry if I would have the credit of changing them before they leave me. Peveril of the Peak by Walter Scott [1822]

Maria Edgeworth I have done all that my reason and my dearest mother counselled; surely I cannot have done wrong. Leonora by Maria Edgeworth [1806]

Niccolo Machiavelli Therefore we say only this to you, that you cannot do a greater or more thankful benefit to us than to furnish us this discussion. The Art of War by Niccolo Machiavelli [1520]

Anthony Trollope She cannot be engaged to two persons. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope

Charles Dickens He cannot know that his own son may have to explain his father when folly or malice can wound his heart no more, and leave this task undone. Contributions to All the Year Round by Charles Dickens [1859]

William Makepeace Thackeray We humbler writers cannot create Fausts, or raise up monumental works that shall endure for all ages; but our books are diaries, in which our own feelings must of necessity be set down. Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1860-63]

Niccolo Machiavelli But we do not want to exercise at home, and we cannot do so in the field because they are not our subjects and we cannot obligate them to other exercises than they themselves want. The Art of War by Niccolo Machiavelli [1520]

Samuel Johnson The parts seem artificially disposed, with sufficient coherence, so as that they cannot change their places without injury to the general design. Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

Such a chapel will be builded in the New Kirk as Rome cannot equal. The Wife of Flanders by John Buchan

Andrew Lang After this they found that they were very hungry, for one cannot live on love, any more than on air, and then the old woman’s lamentations were louder than before. The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Isabella Bird The peasants are obliged to buy the water, for they cannot steal it, and the making of a kanaat is often a lucrative speculation. Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan by Isabella Bird [1891]

Thomas Carlyle No sympathy even with things; how much less with his fellow-men! He cannot unite with men; he is an anarchic man. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Andrew Lang We cannot understand the mechanism (see a young man putting on a corslet, on an amphora by Euthymides. Walter, vol. Homer and His Age by Andrew Lang

Jack London In this connection I cannot forbear relating my first experience with a boarding sea. The Sea-Wolf by Jack London [1904]

Guy de Maupassan These were in another handwriting, and the first ran thus: “I cannot live without your kisses. Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassan

H. Rider Haggard But there it is, I cannot change you, so let us change the subject. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Rudyard Kipling I cannot keep that pace,’ said the white man. Many Inventions by Rudyard Kipling [1893]

George Gissing There cannot be anything against your principles in what I ask. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

I cannot in the least imagine a man of his rank meditating and accomplishing so cowardly a crime. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

You must set whole nations moving, as the Zulu under Tchaka flowed over South Africa.’ ‘It cannot be done,’ said the Under–Secretary. ‘It can be done,’ I said quietly. Greenmantle by John Buchan

Virginia Woolf We cannot say “Brother” with simple conviction. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf [1925]

Anthony Trollope A pot or a pan may be an heirloom; but a diamond necklace cannot be an heirloom. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

H. G. Wells I cannot understand why you don’t question something now and then, if only for the fun of the thing. Babes In The Darkling Woods by H. G. Wells [1940]

You will accuse me of egotism, an imputation I cannot bear with equanimity and will not risk; modest depreciation of myself being one of the chief attributes of my character. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green

He clearly contemplated no very long absence from England. “When I have reaped the benefit of the winter at Toulouse, I cannot see I have anything more to do with it. Sterne by H. D. Traill [1882]

You cannot reason about it; there is no proposition involved in it. Science and Education by Thomas Henry Huxley

Washington Irving It is now finished; but when or how it will be acted, or whether it will be acted at all, are questions I cannot resolve. The Life of Oliver Goldsmith by Washington Irving [1840]

M. R. James But I am sorry to say I cannot read Hebrew writing. More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James

Right and wrong sunder more far apart, and we cannot mistake them as we do at other times. Sir Charles Danvers by Mary Cholmondeley [1889]

D. H. Lawrence At home you cannot live your own life. The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence

Gertrude Stein Henrietta. I cannot understand departure because if you are french you attend mass. Geography and Plays by Gertrude Stein

I am not accustomed to these strong emotions,” replied Mr. Sheldon, huskily; “I cannot stand them. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

Henry Kingsley Now, your haunch, on the other hand — ” but we cannot follow him into such a vast and important field of speculation. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

William Makepeace Thackeray Of what happened now I protest I cannot give an accurate account. Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1860-63]

Anthony Trollope We cannot stand an invasion here in the south. La Vendée by Anthony Trollope

Charles Stur At the present moment there cannot be far short of a million of sheep in the province, with an increase of 200,000 annually, at a moderate computation. An account of the sea coast and interior of South Australia by Charles Stur

You cannot meddle with a mob of lambing ewes without doing them mischief. A First Year in Canterbury Settlement by Samuel Butler

Samuel Johnson In the first stanza, “the azure flowers THAT blow” show resolutely a rhyme is sometimes made when it cannot easily be found. Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

Thomas Hardy I cannot go against my principles in this matter, and I cannot make my profession a mockery. Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy [1888]

George Meredith The truth is, I begin to feel that I cannot venture to mistrust my infallible judgement, or I shall have no confidence in myself at all. The Gentleman of Fifty and the Damsel of Nineteen by George Meredith

Margaret Oliphant That is one of the modern fashions I cannot make up my mind to. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

I am going far away to a new world, where the memory of my old life cannot follow me. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

T. H. Huxley Now I am not going to take you into these refinements of chemical theory, I cannot for a moment pretend to do so, but I may put the case before you by an analogy. Essays by T. H. Huxley

Francis Bacon Nay, I frankly declare that what I am introducing will be but little fitted for such purposes as these, since it cannot be brought down to common apprehension save by effects and works only. The New Organon by Francis Bacon [1620]

How much engaged people find to say about the future! Is it our love that makes it seem so bright, so different from all that has gone before? I cannot fancy life with Valentine otherwise than happy. Charlotte’s Inheritance by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Benjamin Disraeli But I cannot help hearing and reading things, and observing things, and they fill me with disquietude. Lothair by Benjamin Disraeli [1870]

George Meredith I cannot exist except through him. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

Let us see, now, if we cannot win the next. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Anthony Trollope I cannot think where you found the audacity to make such a proposal, or how you have taught yourself to imagine that I should listen to it. The American Senator by Anthony Trollope

John Morley We cannot precisely contend that this encyclopædic quality is an indispensable condition of such self-respect in every kind of temper. Voltaire by John Morley

G. K. Chesterton It cannot endure to be told that its opponent has his strong points, just as Mr. Chamberlain could not endure to be told that the Boers had a regular army. Varied Types by G. K. Chesterton [1903]

Anthony Trollope What the law would require from me I cannot say. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope [1882]