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Caprice   /kəprˈis/   Listen
Caprice

noun
1.
A sudden desire.  Synonyms: impulse, whim.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Caprice" Quotes from Famous Books



... of the ogee curve are infinite, as the reversed portion of it may be engrafted on every other form of arch, horseshoe, round, or pointed. Whatever is generally worthy of note in these varieties, and in other arches of caprice, we shall best discover by examining their masonry; for it is by their good masonry only that they are rendered either stable or beautiful. To this question, then, ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... and warp the natural progress of life. They paralyse all of it that is not devoted to their tyranny and caprice. This makes the difference between the laughing innocence of childhood, the pleasantness of youth, and the crabbedness of age. A load of cares lies like a weight of guilt upon the mind: so that a man of business ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... England. He spoke of one as controlling the destinies of the European continent, of the other as domineering upon the ocean, and of both as overleaping "the settled principles of public law, which constituted the barriers between the caprice, the avarice, or the tyranny of a belligerent, and the rights and independence of a neutral." But Jonas Platt, betrayed by his prejudices against Jefferson and France, went on with an argument well calculated to give his opponents an advantage. ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... are most anxious is not to be had, and just the thing which we most wanted is forgotten. We take to being domestic, only again to go out of ourselves; if we do not go astray of our own will and caprice, circumstances, passions, accidents, necessity, and one does not know what besides, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... Socialist party, have their turn of satire and appreciation, for Heine deals out both with an impartiality which made his less favorable critics—Borne, for example—charge him with the rather incompatible sins of reckless caprice and venality. Literature and art alternate with politics: we have now a sketch of George Sand or a description of one of Horace Vernet's pictures; now a criticism of Victor Hugo or of Liszt; now an irresistible caricature of Spontini or Kalkbrenner; and occasionally the predominant satire ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... dulcet-surprises, and mostly occur in highly-wrought situations, or they are used to convey a vivid sense of something exquisite in art or nature. We give one or two instances of these little eddies of song set like gems in the prose. Their introduction seems due to whim or caprice, but really is due to profound study of the situation, as if the tale-teller felt suddenly compelled to break into the rhythmic strain. The prose ripples and rises to dancing measure when the King of the Age, wandering in a lonely ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... hungry traveller. Formerly, when he reconsidered at night the behaviour of the family, he used to be able to account for all their actions, and could testify that their time was virtuously and wisely employed, without the least alloy from caprice, indolence, or inconsiderateness. Dr. Beaumont and Constantia went at their appointed hour to visit the villagers; Mrs. Mellicent sorted her simples, compounded her medicines, and examined her patients; Isabel superintended the domestic management.—Williams was caterer, gardener ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... unless in return you could give her your heart. Nor was she willing you should know that she made this request, but wished me to introduce you, as it were by stratagem. Confident, however, that you would thus far yield to the caprice of a lady, I chose to tell you the truth. She resides near by, and it ...
— Alonzo and Melissa - The Unfeeling Father • Daniel Jackson, Jr.

... mean the same if they were on the left-hand side? Plate I enables us to say that they would, since one of these inner ovals has been put by the artist on that side by accident or by an allowed caprice. It is by furnishing us with tests and criteria like these that the proof of the identity of these two plates is immediately important. In other ways, too, the proof is valuable and interesting, but we need not ...
— Studies in Central American Picture-Writing • Edward S. Holden

... observe that our SAVIOUR quotes from those very parts of Daniel which have been objected to. You cannot get rid of those parts of Daniel therefore. You are not to suppose that the Bible is like an old house, where a window may be darkened, or a door blocked up, according to the caprice of every fresh occupant. The terms on which men dwell there are that every part of the structure shall be inhabited; and that every part shall be retained in its integrity. What I am insisting upon is, that the sacred Writers plainly say,—We stand or we fall together. ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... for the orator so much authority and belief, if once departing from the character of a good man, he degenerates into a brawler and barker, conforming himself not to the disposition of the judge, but to the caprice ...
— The Training of a Public Speaker • Grenville Kleiser

... have rejected such illustrious and wealthy suitors to woo a lad hardly yet arrived at man's estate, and almost requiring a tutor still. And therefore men of sense prune the excessive wealth of their wives, as if it had wings that required clipping; for this same wealth implants in them luxury, caprice, and vanity, by which they are often elated and fly away altogether: but if they remain, it would be better to be bound by golden fetters, as in Ethiopia, ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... Athens once more, and thence to the Morea; but my stay depends so much on my caprice, that I can say nothing of its probable duration. I have been out a year already, and may stay another; but I am quicksilver, and say nothing positively. We are all very much occupied doing nothing, at present. We have seen every thing but the mosques, which we are ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... and commandment to every one of us professing Christians. Think of these men, dragged at the conqueror's chariot-wheels, abject, with their weapons broken, with their resistance quelled, chained, yoked, haled away from their own land, dependant for life or death on the caprice of the general who rode before them there. It is a picture of what you Christian men and women are bound to be if you believe that God in Christ has loved you as we have been saying that He does. For abject submission, unconditional surrender, the yielding up of our whole will to Him, the ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... been desired. At this moment he had just held a conference with his private tutor. It took the form of a remonstrance and an explanation. The remonstrance pointed out that his work was desultory and liable to be interrupted at any moment, for any caprice: that steady grind was incompatible with the giving away of whole mornings to musical dreams at the piano, or to rambles in the woods, a book of poetry in hand. The explanation was to the effect that the great prizes of the world are all within the reach of every clever lad ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... with perfect fairness among her own kin. In the matter of wills, personal qualities were subordinate to the great fundamental fact of blood; and to be determined in the distribution of your property by caprice, and not make your legacies bear a direct ratio to degrees of kinship, was a prospective disgrace that would have embittered her life. This had always been a principle in the Dodson family; it was one form if that sense of honor and rectitude which was a proud tradition in such families,—a ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... developed in the saddened home of her widowed mother. Ivan IV. was a man of ungovernable passions, and accustomed only to idleness, he devoted himself to the most gross and ignoble pleasures. Mercilessly he confiscated the estates of those who displeased him, and with caprice equal to his mercilessness, he conferred their possessions upon his favorites. He seemed to regard this arbitrary conduct as indicative ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... sprightly caprice prompted Denry to raise his hat to two young women who were crossing the road in front of them. Neither of the two young women responded to ...
— The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... You, the Town, are a Monstor, made up of Contrarieties, Caprice Steers— Steers your Iudgement— Fashion and Novelty, Your Affections; Sometimes so Splenitic, as to damn a Cibber, and, even a Congreve, in the Way of the World;— And some times so good-Natured as to run in Crowds after a Queen Mab, or a ...
— The Covent Garden Theatre, or Pasquin Turn'd Drawcansir • Charles Macklin

... representative assembly of all the classes and families of the world, that by disposition facilitate, and, by exciting curiosity, open the avenues to science? If by great permanent establishments, all these objects of expense are better secured from the inconstant sport of personal caprice and personal extravagance, are they worse than if the same tastes prevailed in scattered individuals? Does not the sweat of the mason and carpenter, who toil in order to partake the sweat of the peasant, ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... complete indifference shown to her wishes as to the furnishings of the Tower; these various happenings had at last brought her to an unwelcome commerce with the bare truth. She had married a selfish eccentric, who had chosen her for a caprice and was now tired of her. She had not a farthing, nor any art or skill by which to earn one. Her family was as penniless as herself. There was nothing for it but to submit. But her temper and spirits had ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... is distributed by favouritism. There were several others, all equally candidates for remunerative situations, but equally unfortunate in obtaining them: proving conclusively that life is indeed a lottery in which there may be a few prizes, usually going, by the caprice of Fortune, to the undeserving, while the blanks went ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... that morning very tired, very hungry, very down in the mouth, staring at the cork ball on the jet of water under the glass shade, and drearily likening it to my own mental condition, flung hither and thither, drenched, rolled over, lifted and dropped by a caprice beyond the power of resistance. It was at this mournful moment that I found my first friend in London. The story of that event shall be told hereafter. What I want to say now is that the sight of ...
— The Making Of A Novelist - An Experiment In Autobiography • David Christie Murray

... I tell you. He is bound to us as we are to him. Secondly: In the exercise of his authority he shall neither exert arbitrary power, nor exhibit caprice, himself, nor shall he, either directly or indirectly, ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... was, Peter succumbed. It was better that she should indulge her astounding caprice under his roof than elsewhere. It would not do for the sister of an Atherly to provoke scandal. He gave entertainments, picnics, and parties, and "Jinny" Atherly plunged into these mild festivities with the enthusiasm of a schoolgirl. She not only could dance with feverish ...
— Tales of Trail and Town • Bret Harte

... have seen, persevered in considering Mary's rejection of him as merely a "charming caprice." If she were at work, Sally Leadbitter was sure to slip a passionately loving note into her hand, and then so skilfully move away from her side, that Mary could not all at once return it, without making some sensation among the workwomen. She was even forced ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... Sinding's Violin Concerto in A major given by the Philharmonic Society in New York City, with Henri Marteau as soloist. Also Guiraud's "Caprice" for violin. ...
— Annals of Music in America - A Chronological Record of Significant Musical Events • Henry Charles Lahee

... of his power over the miller's wife, and was apt to indulge in caprice. So he only shook his head, and cuddled the kitten more ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... of purpose or will. His acts do not come from caprice, nor are done as experiments, but are the stable expression ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... quite guiltless in this respect, since it often happens that they refuse partners from simple caprice, and no gentleman likes to be refused, even for a quadrille. It may be added that these introductions necessitate no after acknowledgments on either ...
— Social Life - or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society • Maud C. Cooke

... McMurtagh for advice, he saw him holding, and in awkward yet tender manner trying to caress and soothe, the little lady with the yellow hair. The second pirate had sought to hand her, too, to Bowdoin, but some caprice had made the little maiden shy, and she had run and buried her face in the arms ...
— Pirate Gold • Frederic Jesup Stimson

... reefs upon the west coast of America, nor upon the west coast of Africa; and it is a general fact that the reefs are interrupted, or absent, opposite the mouths of great rivers. The causes of this apparent caprice in the distribution of coral reefs are not far to seek. The polypes which fabricate them require for their vigorous growth a temperature which must not fall below 68 degrees Fahrenheit all the year round, and this temperature ...
— Autobiography and Selected Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... first of all considered mankind; and the result of my thoughts has been, that amidst such an infinite diversity of laws and manners, they are not solely conducted by the caprice of fancy.[5] ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... an odd position, a heartless caprice of fate. I felt the full measure of its strangeness, yet the thought never occurred to me of shrinking back from duty, nor slightest dream of realizing a personal victory through any act of baseness. I was not there for his sake, or my own, but to redeem my pledged word to her ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... give of the changes of fashion in the outside world, and of the ruin of soul and body which the love of dress often works. Our own dress, for men and for women, is studied, in one ideal of use and beauty, from the antique; caprice and vagary in it would be thought an effect of vulgar vanity. Nothing is worn that is not simple and honest in texture; we do not know whether a thing is cheap or dear, except as it is easy or hard to come by, and that which ...
— A Traveler from Altruria: Romance • W. D. Howells

... no caprice of the belly that could not be gratified, no want of the naked body that could not be supplied in this huge bazaar of the poor, but its cost had to be counted in pence, for those who bought in the ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... honor, robs you of the applause of all posterity. For, if you now pronounce, that, as my public conduct hath not been right, Ctesiphon must stand condemned it must be thought that you yourselves have acted wrong, not that you owe your present state to the caprice of fortune. But it cannot be! No, my countrymen! it cannot be you have acted wrong, in encountering danger bravely, for the liberty and the safety of all Greece. No! by those generous souls of ancient times, who were exposed at Marathon! ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... was owing to the caprice of the bride, who would not have any one in the room with ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... his accomplishments could not fail to meet with a variety of subjects on which his gallantry would have been properly exercised; and this abundance distracted his choice, which at any time was apt to be influenced by caprice and whim. I have already observed, that he had lifted his view, through a matrimonial perspective, as high as a lady of the first quality and distinction: and now, that he was refused by Miss Gauntlet, and enjoyed ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... spring, but now Edna declares that nothing would induce her to marry him. She will have it that he is jealous and monopolizing, and that he distrusts her. Over and over again she told us both that she would be the slave of no man's caprice. Of course it is all her temper; she is just mad with him because he is always in the right, and she knows how ungenerously she has acted; but bye and bye she will repent, and break her heart, for she is certainly fond of him, and then it ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... matters. The faiths of the empire are manifold. Beside, Nero has enough on his hands, and knows better than to stir up the passions of the Ionian people for the sake of a woman who in no way interferes with his caprice. No, my dear fellow; I am afraid all will be settled by the Temple custom, and ...
— Saronia - A Romance of Ancient Ephesus • Richard Short

... the confessional, to explain the motives why I have so long persisted in disclaiming the works of which I am now writing. To this it would be difficult to give any other reply, save that of Corporal Nym—It was the humour or caprice of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, - Vol. 10, No. 283, 17 Nov 1827 • Various

... our remarks on this subject, we should remember with gentleness the order of society from which our nurses are drawn; and that those who make their duty a study, and are termed professional nurses, have much to endure from the caprice and egotism of their employers; while others are driven to the occupation from the laudable motive of feeding their own children, and who, in fulfilling that object, are too often both selfish and sensual, performing, without further ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... must confess that your evident restraint towards me, so different from what perhaps my vanity induced me to hope, has been to me a source of wonder as well as regret. May I flatter myself that this rumour has been the occasion of an apparent caprice, which I never could have imagined that Miss Etheridge would have ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat

... matter of carnal impulse or of emotional caprice.... Love is a kind of exalted but unspecialised Telepathy;—the simplest and most universal expression of that mutual gravitation or kinship of spirits which is the foundation of the telepathic law. ...
— Psychic Phenomena - A Brief Account of the Physical Manifestations Observed - in Psychical Research • Edward T. Bennett

... was soon to appear before the examining board, had little hope of the general's intervention because of the harm done to Les Aigues by all the members of the Tonsard family. His passion, or to speak more correctly, his caprice and obstinate pursuit of La Pechina, were so aggravated by the prospect of his immediate departure, which left him no time to seduce her, that he resolved on attempting violence. The child's contempt for her prosecutor, plainly shown, excited the ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... encroachments upon their liberties, and carrying out a successful resistance, aided by the wholly fortuitous assassination of the tyrannical emperor. We see, as a single instance of these oppressions, the arrogant caprice of the bailiff Gessler in demanding homage to the Austrian hat, his jealousy of the freeman Tell expressed in imposing as a penalty for neglected obeisance the shooting of an apple from his little son's head, the successful meeting of ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. III • Kuno Francke (Editor-in-Chief)

... sort. There was a great deal of laughter about it. It ended in Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch's making provision for her when he had to come here, and I believe he arranged to pay a considerable sum, three hundred roubles a year, if not more, as a pension for her. In short it was "all a caprice, a fancy of a man prematurely weary on his side, perhaps—it may even have been, as Kirillov says, a new experiment of a blase man, with the object of finding out what you can bring a crazy cripple to." (You picked ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... do not give the names of these two Jesuits, probably owing to the fact that the enterprise failed. They simply state that two priests set out, but were compelled to remain behind owing to the caprice ...
— Pathfinders of the West • A. C. Laut

... upon any thing except his own labor, is incessantly surrounded by rivals. He is in daily danger of being out-bidden; his very bread depends upon caprice, and he lives in a state of never ceasing fear. His is not, indeed, the dog's life, 'hunger and idleness,' but it is worse; for it is 'idleness with slavery;' the latter being just ...
— The Young Man's Guide • William A. Alcott

... press me no more for the disclosure of that, which in the face of day so soon must be revealed. Call it whim, humor, caprice, in me. Suppose, I have sworn an oath, never, till the ceremony of our marriage is over, to ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... energy by any forms of public opinion which bore hardly against the wanton expenditure of honestly got wealth. It would be hard if a man who has passed the greater part of his life at the desk or counter could not at last innocently gratify a caprice; and all the best and most sacred ends of almsgiving would be at once disappointed, if the idea of a moral claim took the place of affectionate gratitude in the mind of ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... by the passage of the so-called Change of Venue bill[74a]. This measure was introduced in the Assembly by Grove L. Johnson. Under its provisions a person charged with crime would have been permitted upon his whim or caprice to allege bias and disqualify the Judge before whom he was to be tried. The Legislature of 1907 was admittedly controlled by the machine, but even the Legislature of 1907 did not dare pass the Change of Venue bill. The reform Legislature of 1909, however, did pass it. The manner in which ...
— Story of the Session of the California Legislature of 1909 • Franklin Hichborn

... suddenly capricious with the caprice that is the armour of her kind, she wished to be taken home. After he had left her, he walked the streets moodily for an hour before ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... tragedy, supplied anecdotes for a lifetime. Every body was on the qui vive to see the "white fighter." Every body was crazy to feel the "white skin" she had healed. Then, with a sudden, childish freak of caprice, they ran off from me as if afraid, and at once rushed back again like a flock of glib-tongued and playful monkeys. I could not comprehend a word they said; but the bevy squealed with quite as much pleasure as ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... kinds, from the absolute hereditary monarchies of the Arab khans to the free communities or simple republics of Southern Daghestan. In the former the ruler could take the life of a subject with impunity to gratify a mere caprice, while in the latter a subject who considered himself aggrieved by a decision of the ruler could appeal to the general assembly, which had power to annul the decree and even to change the chief magistrate. Since the Russian conquest the mountaineers have altered to some extent both their forms of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... may fill the shadows with almost anything which caprice or desire may suggest. Our curiously inventive minds have always loved to fill in our ignorances with their creations. We formerly had the shadowed backgrounds of the universe to populate with the ...
— Modern Religious Cults and Movements • Gaius Glenn Atkins

... involved in it than have schools or churches. Business and industries alone might claim to be its rivals. In a despotism, all the events of public life are uncertain and seemingly accidental, depending as they do on the caprice of an individual. This discourages thought among the masses, paralyzes action, and breeds inertia and hopelessness. At best, it gives rise to periods of desperation and violence; at its worst, it gives us the ...
— Woman in Modern Society • Earl Barnes

... the excursion, to a desire to participate in its pleasures. She even ventured a proposition to that effect to her father, laughing at the same time at her own wish, and accusing herself of acting under a womans caprice. ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... therefore, to tell the truth, not without some lurking reluctance, or even shrinking, it may be, that Captain Delano, with apparent complaisance, acquiesced in his host's invitation. The more so, since, with an untimely caprice of punctilio, rendered distressing by his cadaverous aspect, Don Benito, with Castilian bows, solemnly insisted upon his guest's preceding him up the ladder leading to the elevation; where, one on each side of the last step, ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... they writ it; but 'tis evident, by the ridiculous mistakes and gross absurdities, which have been made by those poets who have taken their fancy only for their guide, that if this fancy be not regulated, it is a mere caprice, and utterly incapable to produce a ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... deals only with the present becomes local, and in the end is influenced by the constant caprice and change of fashion instead of by the deep, heart-stirring beliefs of a ...
— The Interdependence of Literature • Georgina Pell Curtis

... to my liberality. At Manon's side I was not master of myself; and it was no longer by the hour that time was measured; rather by the duration of whole days. At length, my funds being completely exhausted, I found myself exposed to the brutal caprice of these six wretches who treated me with intolerable rudeness—you yourself witnessed it at Passy. My meeting with you was a momentary relaxation accorded me by fate. Your compassion at the sight of my sufferings was my only recommendation to your generous nature. The assistance which you ...
— Manon Lescaut • Abbe Prevost

... A sudden caprice seized her. "Why, I think I'll wear it!" she answered. "Just help me on with it, Oskar. And thank you so much for helping me select it. Here comes Mr. Wentworth, now. I wonder whether he will like it. I'm crazy about it. What kind of a marten did you say it is? Everybody will be asking me, and I ...
— The Challenge of the North • James Hendryx

... compelled to inform the king that he had no force at his disposal sufficient to enable him to resist the demands of the mob. The king, seeing that he was entirely at the mercy of his foes, who were acting without leaders and without plan, as the caprice of each passing moment instigated, said, "You wish, my children, that I should accompany you to Paris. I can not go but on condition that I shall not be separated from my wife and family." To this proposal ...
— Maria Antoinette - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... inquiring: by what caprice the author was induced to throw the incident of the Bruce's heart entirely out of the story, save merely to say, that he found himself unable to fill up the canvass he had sketched, and indisposed to prosecute ...
— The Abbot • Sir Walter Scott

... by a woman's handclasp in the long line which had filed by him as he stood in the executive chamber surrounded by his glittering staff, it was the past which most absorbed him. It struck him as a wanton caprice of fate that they should have been flung together that day. Ruth, whom he had promised a share in these honors; Ruth, whom he had boasted that he would return and claim; Ruth, whom he had put away because he must, because of a loftier standard which—grimmest irony of all!—she ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... sanitary. If it can be the problem is solved, for entombment has ever been the best that the living could do for their dead, and, with the added advantage of promoting, or ceasing to be prejudicial to, the public health entombment will be the choice of all whom cost or caprice does not deter. ...
— The American Architect and Building News, Vol. 27, No. 733, January 11, 1890 • Various

... really operate, in the present constitution of Nature. We are subject, unquestionably, to certain "laws of thought," which we can neither repeal nor resist, and which impose upon us a logical necessity to conceive, to reason, and to infer, not according to our own whim or caprice, but according to established rules. We are equally subject to certain "conditions of existence,"—arising partly from our own constitution, partly from the constitution of external objects and the relations subsisting between the two,—which lay us under a moral necessity of using suitable means ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... they are entitled to a change in the form of Government because, in violation of the Convention entered into between this Republic and Her Majesty's Government, they will not conform themselves to the laws of the land, but claim alterations therein at their own caprice. ...
— A Century of Wrong • F. W. Reitz

... there is wealth which is not the product of labor, why is the possession of it a privilege? Where is the legitimacy of monopoly? Explain then, once for all, this theory of the right of unproductive consumption; this jurisprudence of caprice, this religion of idleness, the sacred prerogative of a caste of ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... moment most certainly several of the owners of Jublains are the opposite of foolish, and the most important monument of all is placed beyond the individual caprice of any man. The great fortress is diligently taken care of under the authority of the local Archaeological Society; the theatre is the property of M. Henri Barbe, a zealous resident antiquary and the historian of the place; and the other chief remains are easily accessible, ...
— Sketches of Travel in Normandy and Maine • Edward A. Freeman

... to be acted. Arranging the inmates of the fort, in two rows, with a space of about ten feet between them, two Indians were selected; who taking each his station at the head of a row, with their tomahawks most cruelly murdered almost every white person in the fort; some few, whom caprice or some other cause, induced them to spare, were carried into captivity,—such articles as could be well carried away were taken off by the Indians; the remainder was consumed, ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... of which the eye could not penetrate; in one place, large vaulted excavations presented a monumental aspect; in another, a crowd of columns, spires, and arches, such as no Gothic cathedral ever possessed. Every caprice of nature, still more varied than those of the imagination, appeared on this grand coast, which extended over a length of eight or ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... fool; put oneself out of court; lose control, lose control of oneself, lose one's head, lose one's cunning. begin at the wrong end; do things by halves &c. (not complete) 730; make two bites of a cherry; play at cross purposes; strain at a gnat and swallow a camel &c. (caprice) 608; put the cart before the horse; lock the stable door when the horse is stolen &c. (too late) 135. not know what one is about, not know one's own interest, not know on which side one's bread is buttered; stand in one's own light, quarrel with one's bread and butter, throw a ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... of his food amongst the withered leaves and marshy places of the woods and shrubberies which he frequents. Few birds possess a more varied melody. His notes are almost endless in variety, each note seemingly uttered at the caprice of the bird, without any perceptible approach ...
— Birds Illustrated by Color Photograph [March 1897] - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life • Various

... day he called for Marianna, who had spent the morning in arranging her dress,—a simple but decent outfit, on which she had spent all her little savings. The transformation would have destroyed the illusions of a mere dangler; but Andrea's caprice had become a passion. Marianna, diverted of her picturesque poverty, and looking like any ordinary woman of modest rank, ...
— Gambara • Honore de Balzac

... the advance of this desperate garrison, dispersing this way and that for their war upon the world—silent vessels, moving in the clouds, to Rome, to London, to Paris and Versailles, each capable of obliterating a city. Or he saw, again, the submission of the world to the caprice of these desperate children who feared nothing—not even death itself—who crouched like an ape in a powder-magazine, lighted match in hand, careless as to whether or no themselves died so long as the world ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... published no edition of his whole works. We do not reflect that a poet, always accustomed to labour immediately for the stage, who has often enjoyed the triumph of overpowering assembled crowds of spectators, and drawing from them the most tumultuous applause, who the while was not dependent on the caprice of crotchety stage directors, but left to his own discretion to select and determine the mode of theatrical representation, naturally cares much less for the closet of the solitary reader. During the first ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... read but don't read; and some neither read nor meant to read, but borrow to leave you an opinion of their sagacity. I must do my money-borrowing friends the justice to say that there is nothing of this caprice or wantonness of alienation in them. When they borrow my money they never fail to make ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... Mansard, wainscoted and furnished in the Watteau style, rocaille on the inside, old-fashioned on the outside, walled in with a triple hedge of flowers, had something discreet, coquettish, and solemn about it, as befits a caprice of love ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... sitting there, his eyes fixed with deep interest on her face, thrilled and exalted her. Oh! she certainly loved him! Alas! and it would be dreadfully difficult to say good-bye. But those three words in his sentence stung her pride—"for the moment." Yes, there was always this hint of caprice. Always he gave her the sensation of instability, there was no way to hold him. She must ever guard her emotions and ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... They 're an indispensable feature of the landscape, and immensely serviceable to the agriculturist. But one cares for other things as well. And I had always fancied that the crowning virtue of this bit of water (since you mention it) was its amenability to the caprice of man." ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... arise from great causes. A general break-down of liberties cannot be attributed to individual caprice nor to a particular ...
— The American Empire • Scott Nearing

... beautiful, circumstances had helped to make her proud. Her father, Lord L'Estrange, died when she was quite a child, leaving her an enormous fortune that was quite under her own control. Her mother, Lady L'Estrange, had but one idea in life, and that was indulging her beautiful daughter in her every caprice. Proud, beautiful, and wealthy, when she most needed her mother's care that mother died, leaving her sole mistress of herself. She was but seventeen then, and was known as one of the wealthiest heiresses ...
— Wife in Name Only • Charlotte M. Braeme (Bertha M. Clay)

... that cliff you doubtless would see over the tree-tops into the outer and airy world. With all its natural beauties is intermingled an agreeable quaintness, that shows the owner has occasionally been working in the spirit of fancy, almost caprice; the tool-house in the garden is not without its ornaments—the barn seems habitable, and the byre has somewhat the appearance of a chapel. You see at once that the man who lives here, instead of being sick of the world, is attached to all elegant ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... declined to kowtow before the emperor, he was not admitted to the imperial presence and the mission proved abortive. Destitute of all royal qualities, a slave to his passions, and the servant of caprice, Kia-k'ing died in 1820. The event fraught with the greatest consequences to China which occurred in his reign (though at the time it attracted little attention) was the arrival of the first Protestant missionary, Dr R. Morrison (q.v.), who ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... Europe was instantaneous and electrical. The irritation which had accompanied the excommunication by Clement had died away in the difficulty of executing the censures. The papal party had endeavoured to persuade themselves that the king was acting under a passing caprice. They had believed that the body of the people remained essentially Catholic; and they had trusted to time, to discontent, to mutiny, to the consequences of what they chose to regard as the mere ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... prodigious favourite with maiden aunts and side-table cousins. This was the individual whom fate had ordained to cross and thwart Terence in his designs upon the heart of Miss Biddy O'Brannigan, and upon whom that young lady, in sport or caprice, bestowed a large dividend of those smiles which Terence imagined should be ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 14, 1841 • Various

... from Gerty to Trent and from Trent to Adams. To the younger man, full of his enthusiasm and his ignorance, the physical details of her appearance seemed suddenly of no larger significance than the pale bronze gown she wore or the old coffee-coloured lace knotted upon her bosom in some personal caprice of dress. What she gave to him as she stood there, looking from Adams to himself with her ardent friendly glance, was an impression of radiant ...
— The Wheel of Life • Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow

... depended absolutely upon the caprice of the mysterious steersman who inhabited the ironclad, ...
— The Wizard of the Sea - A Trip Under the Ocean • Roy Rockwood

... neighbour might be,—which would be almost as bad. Let him be sent to Cayenne if he deserves it, but let a jury say that he has deserved it. My idea of government is this,—that we want to be governed by law and not by caprice, and that we must have a legislature to make our laws. If I thought that Parliament as at present established made the laws badly, I would desire a change; but I doubt whether we shall have them better from any change in Parliament ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... enjoyment or so few comforts. Taste and knowledge and tone were too little concentrated anywhere, too much diffused everywhere, to make head against the advances of an overwhelming mediocrity. Of society there was but little; for what it suited the caprice of certain people to call such was little more than the noisy, screeching, hoydenish romping of both sexes. The taint of provincialism was diffused over all feelings and beliefs. Of arts and letters the country possessed none or next to ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... Mr. John Effingham thinks less of his own work than you seem to think of it yourself, sir, for I have frequently heard him laugh at it, as a mere enlargement of the merits of the composite order. He calls it a caprice, rather than a taste: nor do I see what concern a majority, as you term them, can have with a house that ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... deduce another spiritual judgment as to the Bible's worth. Thus if our theory of revelation-value were to affirm that any book, to possess it, must have been composed automatically or not by the free caprice of the writer, or that it must exhibit no scientific and historic errors and express no local or personal passions, the Bible would probably fare ill at our hands. But if, on the other hand, our theory should allow that a book may well ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... were wont to turn when suffering from her caprice, was on very friendly terms with the young Earl. He used to come and stand by her, and talk to her about Wrangerton, and seemed quite amused and edified by her quiet enthusiasm for it, and for Helvellyn, and her intimacy with all the pictures which he had sent home and almost forgotten. His sister ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... for Pitt's recent message that his energy at the Admiralty had largely contributed to the triumph at Trafalgar. Melville's feelings further appeared in the postscript, that Nelson's death was "enviable beyond expression," as placing "his fair fame beyond the reach of caprice, envy, or malevolence."[710] Pitt did not live on to see the vindication of his old friend. On 12th June 1806, after a trial of twelve days in Westminster Hall, the Peers acquitted Melville on all the ten counts, the prosecution failing to prove that he had benefited by Trotter's irregular ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... luck that befall books. For it is well known to all who watch literature with vigilance, that books and authors have their fortunes, which travel upon a far different scale of proportions from those that measure their merits. Not even the caprice or the folly of the reading public is required to account for this. Very often, indeed, the whole difference between an extensive circulation for one book, and none at all for another of about equal merit, ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... however, to bend my temper to my new circumstances; but such was the agony which I internally experienced, that I have guarded against nothing more in the education of my own family, than against their acquiring habits of self-willed caprice and domination. I found much consolation during this period of mortification in the partiality of my mother. She joined to a light and happy temper of mind a strong turn to study poetry and works of imagination. She was sincerely devout, but her religion was, as became her sex, ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... mademoiselle," he said, "will you speak? Will you assign a reason for this change, this fickleness, for this caprice?" ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... that was in the past—heaven be praised for it! Just now she was her own mistress, at liberty—thanks to the fortune of war—to comport herself as she pleased and obey any caprice that took her. The position was ideal in its freedom, while the intrinsic value of it was enhanced by contrast with recent disagreeable experiences. For the alarms and deprivations of the siege of Paris ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... Mungo's candle. Mungo was despatched for Annapla, and speedily the silent abigail of visions was engaged upon that truly Gaelic courtesy, the bathing of the traveller's feet. The Baron considerately made no inquiries; if it was a caprice of Count Victor's to venture in dancing shoes and a borrowed jacket through dark snow-swept roads, it was his own affair. And the Count was so much interested in the new cheerfulness of his host (once so ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... particular advantages. But Horace Walpole panted with a secret desire for literary celebrity; a full sense of his distinguished rank long suppressed the desire of venturing the name he bore to the uncertain fame of an author, and the caprice of vulgar critics. At length he pretended to shun authors, and to slight the honours of authorship. The cause of this contempt has been attributed to the perpetual consideration of his rank. But was this bitter contempt of so early a date? Was Horace Walpole ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... government should be settled on principles favourable to liberty. All Protestant sects should be tolerated. The forfeited charters should be restored. Parliament should be held annually, and should no longer be prorogued or dissolved by royal caprice. The only standing force should be the militia: the militia should be commanded by the Sheriffs; and the Sheriffs should be chosen by the freeholders. Finally Monmouth declared that he could prove himself to have been born in lawful wedlock, and to be, by right of blood, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Indeed there was nothing to be said. Whatever her will or caprice there was no one with any right to gainsay it. Rivardi was inwardly seething with suppressed irritation—but his handsome face showed no sign of annoyance save in an extreme pallor ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... Then her caprice changed. "I've half a mind to drop it into the river. Would you jump after it?" she said, twirling it by the brim, and looking over the steep bank, near which she sat, into the deep, dark water almost ...
— Dr. Heidenhoff's Process • Edward Bellamy

... married life Alice Benden had experienced enough of her husband's constant caprice and frequent brutality; but this new development of it astonished her. She had not supposed that he would descend so far as to take the price of innocent blood. The tone of her voice, not indignant, but simply astonished, increased Mr Benden's anger. The ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... the fancies which since yesterday had been so absorbing her, she was in the right. Even apparently harmless hopes and wishes dependent on the caprice, or, if carried where they may lead to, contingent on the life or death of others, are better checked at once. Indulgence in such can do no good, ...
— Robin Redbreast - A Story for Girls • Mary Louisa Molesworth

... recollections of the evening before, if such a thing had been possible, so absolutely unaltered was Hetty's treatment of him. She had been absolutely honest in all she said: she did honestly believe that his fancied love for her was a sentimental mistake, a caprice born of idleness and lack of occupation, and she did honestly intend to forget the whole thing, and to make him forget it. And so they went back to the farm, where the summer awaited them with overflowing harvests of every thing, and ...
— Hetty's Strange History • Helen Jackson

... you may say perhaps—a relegation of style to the subjectivity, the mere caprice, of the individual, which must soon transform it into mannerism. Not so! since there is, under the conditions supposed, for those elements of the man, for every lineament of the vision within, the one word, the one acceptable word, recognisable by the sensitive, by others "who have intelligence" ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... that has his understanding blocked up on both sides, like a fore-horse's eyes, that he sees only straight-forwards and never looks about him, which makes him run on according as he is driven with his own caprice. He starts and stops (as a horse does) at a post only because he does not know what it is, and thinks to run away from the spur while he carries it with him. He is very violent, as all things that tend downward naturally are; ...
— Character Writings of the 17th Century • Various

... this church a blow was statistics. Away went special providence. We found by taking statistics that we could tell the average length of human life; that this human life did not depend upon infinite caprice; that it depended upon conditions, circumstances, laws and facts, and that those conditions, circumstances, and facts were ever active. And now you will see the man who depends entirely upon special providence gets his life insured. He has more confidence even in one of these companies than ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... reliable, rigidly just, free from any touch of caprice, he lacked no quality demanded by his arduous profession, and hence he whom even the youngest addressed as "Barop" never failed for an instant to receive the respect which was his due, and, moreover, had from us all the voluntary ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Mary's promises! They were as fixed and as unchangeable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, and there was a record of their fulfilment indelibly written in the memories of two hundred small personages—personages in whom adult caprice and flexibility of conduct had bred a tendency ...
— Marm Lisa • Kate Douglas Wiggin



Words linked to "Caprice" :   desire, capricious



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