So that to Louis XV.s cynical and hopeless declaration: Apres moi le deluge, the setting 18th century responded by a belief in progress and an appeal to the future.
How far the extraordinary corruption of private morals which has gained for the restoration period so unenviable a notoriety was owing to the king's own example of flagrant debauchery, how far to the natural reaction from an artificial Puritanism, is uncertain, but it is incontestable that Charles's cynical selfishness was the chief cause of the degradation of public life which marks his reign, and of the disgraceful and unscrupulous betrayal of the national interests which raised France to a threatening predominance and imperilled the very existence of Britain for generations.
The first three represent the spirit of their age by exhibiting the power of the Stoic philosophy as a moral, political and religious force; the last is the most cynical exponent of the depravity of the time.
Similarly the cynical contempt which Nietzsche shows for morality and the conventional virtues is counterbalanced by the theory of the 0bermensch, 'the highest type of manhood.
I do not object so much to the cynical and satirical fables as to those in which momentous truths are taught by monkeys and foxes.
When we turn from the man to the author, the decadence of the age and race that could develop a political philosophy so arid in its cynical despair of any good in human nature forces itself vividly upon our notice.
An accomplished man of letters, a competent critic of art, a linguist of rare perfection and charming in manner, but cynical and pleasureloving, he was certainly one of the chief diplomatic personages in the reign of the last of the tsars.
Even while he utters his cynical wisdom in an indescribably droll voice, he makes you feel that his heart is a tender Iliad of human sympathy.
There was something repulsive as well in the enthusiastic nationalism of Pitt as in the cynical nationalism of Frederick.
The University of Sussex's Michael Bull remained cynical about the mobile sector's chances.