I am very miserable about Sir James Martin, and have no other way in the world of helping myself but by writing to you, for I am forbidden even speaking to my uncle and aunt on the subject; and this being the case, I am afraid my applying to you will appear no better than equivocation
, and as if I attended to the letter and not the spirit of mamma's commands.
This excellent method of conveying a falsehood with the heart only, without making the tongue guilty of an untruth, by the means of equivocation and imposture, hath quieted the conscience of many a notable deceiver; and yet, when we consider that it is Omniscience on which these endeavour to impose, it may possibly seem capable of affording only a very superficial comfort; and that this artful and refined distinction between communicating a lie, and telling one, is hardly worth the pains it costs them.
In this, however, Blifil was so well assisted by Western, that he succeeded without difficulty; for as Mr Allworthy had been assured by her father that Sophia had a proper affection for Blifil, and that all which he had suspected concerning Jones was entirely false, Blifil had nothing more to do than to confirm these assertions; which he did with such equivocations, that he preserved a salvo for his conscience; and had the satisfaction of conveying a lie to his uncle, without the guilt of telling one.
Besides, the notion of a city naturally precedes that of a family or an individual, for the whole must necessarily be prior to the parts, for if you take away the whole man, you cannot say a foot or a hand remains, unless by equivocation
, as supposing a hand of stone to be made, but that would only be a dead one; but everything is understood to be this or that by its energic qualities and powers, so that when these no longer remain, neither can that be said to be the same, but something of the same name.
Parker, who officiated, remarked, when all was over, to a few particular friends, and with some equivocation
, as it seems to me, that he 'buried her very willingly, and with much satisfaction.'"
The quick vision that his life was after all a failure, that he was a dishonored man, and must quail before the glance of those towards whom he had habitually assumed the attitude of a reprover--that God had disowned him before men and left him unscreened to the triumphant scorn of those who were glad to have their hatred justified--the sense of utter futility in that equivocation
with his conscience in dealing with the life of his accomplice, an equivocation
which now turned venomously upon him with the full-grown fang of a discovered lie:-- all this rushed through him like the agony of terror which fails to kill, and leaves the ears still open to the returning wave of execration.
"Did my brother beat out the dogs?" asked Magua, without adverting in any manner to the former equivocation
of the chief.
The disguise, equivocation
, mystery, so hateful to her to practise, might soon be over.
“Answer without equivocation
,” continued the Judge sternly.
I doubt whether I have not done wrong, even now; and today I will, without reserve or equivocation
, disclose my real reasons to Mr Cherryble, and implore him to take immediate measures for removing this young lady to the shelter of some other roof.'
As for equivocations
, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold out long.
"I will have no more of these equivocations
," he replied.