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Cavil   Listen
Cavil

verb
(past & past part. caviled or cavilled; pres. part. caviling or cavilling)
1.
Raise trivial objections.  Synonyms: carp, chicane.



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"Cavil" Quotes from Famous Books



... took away all semblance of overweight; his saddle was well fitting and well placed, as also was his large and broad-reined snaffle; his own costume of black coat, leathers, and tops was in perfect keeping, and even to his heavy-handled hunting-whip I could find nothing to cavil at. As he rode up he paid his respects to the ladies in his usual free and easy manner, expressed some surprise, but no regret, at hearing that he was late, and never deigning any notice of Matthew or myself, took his place beside Miss Dashwood, with ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... with good will accept this small declamation, but take upon you the defense of it, for as much as being dedicated to you, it is now no longer mine but yours. But perhaps there will not be wanting some wranglers that may cavil and charge me, partly that these toys are lighter than may become a divine, and partly more biting than may beseem the modesty of a Christian, and consequently exclaim that I resemble the ancient comedy, or another Lucian, and snarl at everything. But I would have them whom the lightness or foolery ...
— The Praise of Folly • Desiderius Erasmus

... she wished she'd started half an hour earlier. Even her husband discovered it. He brought in a cigarette, left the door open behind him and stood smiling down at her with the peculiarly complacent look that characterizes a married man of forty when he finds himself dressed beyond cavil in the complete evening harness of civilization, ten minutes ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... had, would not prove him a truly visible saint; it would not tell me he had the grace of God in his heart; it is no characteristical note to another of my Sonship with God. But why did you not answer these parts of my argument? Why did you only cavil at words? which if they had been left out, the argument yet stands good. 'He that is not baptized [in water], if yet a true believer, hath the DOCTRINE of baptism; yea, he ought to have it before he be convicted, it is his duty to be baptized, or else he playeth the hypocrite. There is therefore ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... that the onus of proving that it was not right lay with those who disputed its being so. I have said more than once that he believed in his own depravity; never was there a little mortal more ready to accept without cavil whatever he was told by those who were in authority over him: he thought, at least, that he believed it, for as yet he knew nothing of that other Ernest that dwelt within him, and was so much stronger and more real than ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... side with its sighted companions, doing the same work as well, if not better, the later success of the young blind seeker after knowledge is practically assured; for, as I have said, in mental attainment, at least, the blind child is the peer of the child with eyesight,—here, beyond cavil, the ...
— Five Lectures on Blindness • Kate M. Foley

... Silence, such as is rarely met with amongst a numerous collection of amateurs, reigned throughout the crowd. Assuming the knowing and supercilious look of an acknowledged connoisseur, he approached the picture, prepared to cavil and find fault, or, at best, to damn with faint praise. But the canting phrase of conventional criticism died away upon his lips at the sight he there beheld. Faultless, pure, gracious, and beautiful ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... found nothing of which to disapprove. Yes, both the bay, the Assessor, and the skewbald accounted residence at Tientietnikov's a most comfortable affair, and voted the oats excellent, and the arrangement of the stables beyond all cavil. True, on this occasion each horse had a stall to himself; yet, by looking over the intervening partition, it was possible always to see one's fellows, and, should a neighbour take it into his head to utter a neigh, ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... by Buchanan, in virtue of whom James VI. claimed to rule his ancient kingdom, and whose portraits still frown grimly upon the walls of the gallery of Holyrood. Now Oldbuck, a shrewd and suspicious man, and no respecter of divine hereditary right, was apt to cavil at this sacred list, and to affirm, that the procession of the posterity of Fergus through the pages of Scottish history, was as vain and unsubstantial as the gleamy pageant of the descendants of Banquo through the ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... a very pretty woman. He thinks it adds to his prestige. Whereas, in point of fact, his fellow-men are saying merely "Who's that appalling fellow with her?" or "Why does she go about with that ass So-and-So?" Such cavil may in part be envy. But it is a fact that no man, howsoever graced, can shine in juxtaposition to a very pretty woman. The Duke himself cut a poor figure beside Zuleika. Yet not one of all the undergraduates felt she could have made ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... infusion, with as much ease and as little contradiction as communion under one kind was established, so that the same reason stood for retaining one as the other. It is a fact most certainly avowed in the Reformation, although some will cavil at it, that baptism was instituted by immersing the whole body in water. This fact, I say, is unanimously acknowledged by all the divines of the Reformation: by Luther, by Melancthon, by Calvin, by Casaubon, by Grotius, by all the rest." ...
— To Infidelity and Back • Henry F. Lutz

... important. The author must know his countryside, whether real or imaginary, like his hand; the distances, the points of the compass, the place of the sun's rising, the behaviour of the moon, should all be beyond cavil. And how troublesome the moon is! I have come to grief over the moon in Prince Otto, and so soon as that was pointed out to me, adopted a precaution which I recommend to other men—I never write now without an almanack. With an almanack, and the map of the ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to answer objections; yet in this reform, as in others which have preceded it, its enemies not being willing to take the burden of proof, we have undertaken to do their work as well as our own. We are willing, therefore, for the sake of meeting every cavil, for the sake of fighting every shadow of objection, to take the laboring oar which the other side should take, and to prove the objections unfounded which they have not yet attempted to ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... is beyond cavil, unless the attempt to explain scientifically how any designed result is accomplished ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... appearing as monstrous and unnatural in the poetry of the ancients as in that of John Milton. The charge appears very plausible and damaging at first sight. We notice it in order to exhibit De Quincey's marvellous sagacity in detecting the true relation of things: he utterly dissipated the force of the cavil by simply stating the actual bearings of the two classes of poetry. Ancient poetry was darkly austere and practical; the imagination was fettered by a grim austerity; the merely passionate—that which proceeds from the sphere of the sensibilities alone—finds no resting ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... drawbacks which would have terribly militated against the effective employment of the battalion as a first-class fighting unit. Individually, the men were all right, but the battalion record in certain respects was held to be very faulty. I have no wish to cavil at the War Office authorities' honest desire to serve the public and yet temper their judgment with mercy to individuals. But the case was one where they should not have temporised in any way. As matters turned out, the Royal Irish Fusiliers were ...
— Khartoum Campaign, 1898 - or the Re-Conquest of the Soudan • Bennet Burleigh

... believe it only sows the wind to reap the whirlwind, refreshing, but I argue nothing from it; there is nothing real in the freedom of thought at the West,—it is from the position of men's lives, not the state of their minds. So soon as they have time, unless they grow better meanwhile, they will cavil and criticise, and judge other men by their own standard, and outrage the law of love every way, just ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... proceso. cashier : kasisto. cast : jxeti, (metal) fandi. castle : kastelo. catch : kapti. caterpillar : rauxpo. cathedral : katedralo. cattle : bruto, brutoj. cauliflower : florbrasiko. cause : kauxz'i, -o; -igi; afero. caution : averti; singardemo. cave : kaverno. cavil : cxikani. caw : graki. ceiling : plafono. celebrate : festi, soleni, celery : celerio. cell : cxelo, cxambreto. cellar : kelo. censor : cenzuristo. censure : riprocxi. ceremony : ceremonio, soleno. ...
— The Esperanto Teacher - A Simple Course for Non-Grammarians • Helen Fryer

... entreating me to believe; but I saw the one flaw in the theory, and I refused to be convinced till the actual existence of Willie Hughes, a boy-actor of Elizabethan days, had been placed beyond the reach of doubt or cavil. ...
— Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories • Oscar Wilde

... are directly opposed to the so-called natural sciences. They say that it doesn't even relate historical events accurately. But, after all, the Bible is just the record of the unfoldment in the human consciousness of the concept of God. Why cavil at it when it contains, as we must see, a revelation of the full formula for salvation, which, as ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... manner obliged to acknowledge that the universe, that man, that the various phenomena, are the works of an agent, whose intelligence is more comprehensive, whose power far surpasses our own. Granted: who has ever doubted it? the proposition is self-evident; it cannot admit of even a cavil. Nevertheless we reply, in the first place, that it is not to be doubted that nature is extremely powerful; diligently industrious: we admire her activity every time we are surprised by the extent, every time we contemplate the variety, every time we behold those complicated effects ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 2 • Baron D'Holbach

... God is so little to be doubted, that it is almost the only Truth we are sure of, and such a Truth as we meet with in every Object, in every Occurrence, and in every Thought. If we look into the Characters of this Tribe of Infidels, we generally find they are made up of Pride, Spleen, and Cavil: It is indeed no wonder, that Men, who are uneasy to themselves, should be so to the rest of the World; and how is it possible for a Man to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every Moment of losing his entire ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... of his task was an ultimate certainty had been a consolation mighty and sustaining. Such an uninteresting undertaking could not last forever, he told himself over and over again; nothing ever did. And now with ironic conformity to law, his philosophy had turned on him, demonstrating beyond cavil that not only did the things one longed to be free of come to a sure finality but so did those ...
— Ted and the Telephone • Sara Ware Bassett

... bird-tracks of Dr. Hitchcock, but with less regularity or apparent design than is displayed by those remarkable geological monuments. These are rather the non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum. Resolved to leave no door open to cavil, I first of all attempted the elucidation of this remarkable example of lithick literature by the ordinary modes, but with no adequate return for my labour. I then considered myself amply justified in resorting to that ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... the ceremony to be carried out by a deputy, so the daintier Presidents before the sixteenth one eluded the handshaking when possible. But, on the contrary, "the man out of the West" continued to the last, and the latest visitor had no reason to cavil at the grip being less hearty to him than the first comer. On visiting the army hospital at City Point, where upward of three thousand patients awaited his passing with enrapt respect, he insisted on no one being neglected. A surgeon inquired if he did not ...
— The Lincoln Story Book • Henry L. Williams

... doctrine is rather of a puzzler; but you seem to think you've got the run on't. I should re'ly like to know what business you have to think you know better than other folks about it;" and, though he would cavil most courageously at all George's explanations, yet you might perceive, through all, that he was inly uplifted to hear ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... version of the fables, by Sir Roger l'Estrange, with its pleasant quaintness of language, lends itself, and how delightfully, to its setting of illustration; and it would surely be a child hard to please who would cavil at this book." ...
— A Hundred Anecdotes of Animals • Percy J. Billinghurst

... profited. The scholar and the patriot coalesced in the mind of Camden, prompting him to rescue and conserve the materials of English history and note the fading traditions,—a purely antiquarian service, which only those can appreciate who seek authentic data of the far past. Such as cavil at the legal tone and crude arrangement of Clarendon are none the less his debtors for specific memoirs, the personal element of history; and while Burnet has been vigorously repudiated by standard ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... awful!" said Nekhludoff to the lawyer, as they entered the waiting-room. "In the plainest possible case they cavil at idle forms. ...
— The Awakening - The Resurrection • Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy

... is Guinea?" said the man in gray; "where is he? Let us at once find him, and refute beyond cavil ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... candle" to the glaring halo about the head of two who could claim personal acquaintance with the great war chiefs Red Cloud and Spotted Tail?—who had actually been to ride and hunt with that then just dawning demigod of American boyhood,—Buffalo Bill? Sneer and scoff and cavil as did their little rivals for a time, calumny was crushed and scoffers blighted that wonderful March morning when, before the whole assembled school, there suddenly appeared that paragon of plainsmen, that idol of all well-bred young Westerners, he whom only on flaring posters ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... in Miss Johnson's nature, but free from sentimentality; and even a carping critic will find little to cavil at in her productions. If fault should be found with any of them it would probably be with such a narrative as "Wolverine." It "bites," like all her Indian pieces, and conveys a definite meaning. But, written in the conventional slang of the frontier, it jars with her other ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... soups, such sauce, such delicate and suggestive flavors. My entire existence has been revolutionized by the experience. I am no longer the lonely and unhappy man you discovered at this gate a short month ago. I can not cavil at an America that furnishes me with such food as ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... monotonous standard of formal propriety? Only let the image duly perform its task, and bring the divine idea with vividness and truth before the mental eye; if this be effected, whether by the art of Phidias, the poetry of Homer, the Egyptian Hieroglyph, or the Persian element, we need not cavil at external differences, or lament the seeming fertility of unfamiliar creeds, so long as the great essential is attained, THAT MEN ARE MADE TO REMEMBER, TO ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... of speedy reunion at Greycroft, and the packers had disappeared with the big canvas and the cartoons [Transcriber's note: cartons?], and Hannah Ann and Henry had reduced everything to a state of perfection that even the most critical Symons in the world could not cavil at, and Bruce had said his last farewells and was on the blue rug at the studio door with his hand on the knob to usher them out, that Patricia found utterance ...
— Miss Pat at School • Pemberton Ginther

... things thrown away beside bowls, to wit, time, money, and curses, and the last ten for one. The best sport in it is the gamesters, and he enjoys it that looks on and bets not. It is the school of wrangling, and worse than the schools, for men will cavil here for a hair's breadth, and make a stir where a straw would end the controversy. No antick screws men's bodies into such strange flexures, and you would think them here senseless, to speak sense to their bowl, and put their trust in intreaties for a good cast. The betters ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... be some babblers who, though ignorant of all mathematics, take upon them to judge of these things, and dare to blame and cavil at my work, because of some passage of Scripture which they have wrested to their own purpose, I regard them not, and will not scruple to ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... yet, when the task is well accomplished, an appreciative unanimity seems to prevail regarding the result. We all agree in praising Sir Frederick Burton's administration; and yet how easy it would be to cavil! Why has he not bought an Ingres, a Corot, a Courbet, a Troyon? Why has he showed such excessive partiality for squint-eyed Italian saints? Sir Frederick Burton would answer: "In collecting, like in everything else, you must choose a line. ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... ill to cavil each with each. I might retort. I only say to thee ITS slaves we are: ITS ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... austerity of the moment might be banished from domestic cookery. At an opportune moment, therefore, he sold out his interests in the article which had brought him in colossal wealth at a critical juncture, and placed his financial reputation beyond the reach of cavil. As for Leonore, who was now an heiress on a far greater scale than ever before, he naturally found her something a vast deal higher in the husband market than a two-hundred-a-year poster designer. Mark Spayley, the brainmouse ...
— The Chronicles of Clovis • Saki

... rather disposed to cavil at this picture, and was laying down her knitting to begin, but ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... cavil at the expression, "True Ghost Stories." For myself I cannot guarantee the genuineness of a single incident in this book—how could I, as none of them are my own personal experience? This at least I can ...
— True Irish Ghost Stories • St John D Seymour

... with observant grey eyes and a good deal of detached humour. Since the incubation of his first unsuccessful play, he had argued out every character and situation with her; when feminine psychology was in dispute, her ruling was accepted without cavil. More than once, as they splashed conversationally through the Lashmar woods, he had felt that she gave even a self-sufficient bachelor something that he lacked and would always lack; and, whenever the ubiquitous, dry ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... Miss Clinton, by saying it was necessary," said he steadily. "There are other distinguished men here who are further distinguishing themselves by toeing the mark without complaint or cavil. Mr. Landover was appealed to on three distinct occasions by Captain Trigger and the committee. He ignored all private appeals—and commands. The time had come for a show-down. It was either Landover and his little band of sycophants, or me and the entire company of men ...
— West Wind Drift • George Barr McCutcheon

... Bible cause and of himself. The incident did no good to the already bickering relations between Borrow and the Rev. A. Brandram, the Secretary. Evidently Borrow's character jarred upon Brandram, who took revenge by a tone of facetious cavil and several criticisms upon Borrow's ways, upon his confident masculine tone, for example, his "passionate" prayer, and his confession of superstitious obedience to an ominous dream. Brandram even took the trouble ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... No words could be caught, but the air ran trippingly, and if the higher notes broke in a crack which told of age or misuse, or both together, the lower ran clear and full, and the tune ran on with a rollicking, careless awing which showed that, whoever might cavil, the singer had at least ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... out, then, with the proposition that the bulky products of the West must be carried by water and not by rail, and will state a few facts that in our humble opinion will place this proposition beyond all cavil. So for as figures can be obtained, and correct calculations made, it has been demonstrated that freight cannot be moved on American railroads for less than one cent per ton per mile. This is actually the first cost, ...
— Old Mackinaw - The Fortress of the Lakes and its Surroundings • W. P. Strickland

... pedant, aukward, rude, and disputacious — He has had the benefit of a school-education, seems to have read a good number of books, his memory is tenacious, and he pretends to speak several different languages; but he is so addicted to wrangling, that he will cavil at the clearest truths, and, in the pride of argumentation, attempt to reconcile contradictions — Whether his address and qualifications are really of that stamp which is agreeable to the taste of our aunt, Mrs ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... to squar' himse'f. 'I'd as soon think of distrustin' that Laredo divorce of my former he'pmeet! An' as the sheriff drives off two hundred head of my cattle by way of alimony, I deems the fact of that sep'ration as fixed beyond cavil. No, Colonel, you has my fullest confidence. I'd go doubtin' the evenhanded jestice of Cherokee's faro game quicker than ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... utility and interest, of which every one partakes; and though this affection and regard be, in reality, gratitude, not self-love, yet a distinction, even of this obvious nature, may not readily be made by superficial reasoners; and there is room, at least, to support the cavil and dispute for a moment. But as qualities, which tend only to the utility of their possessor, without any reference to us, or to the community, are yet esteemed and valued; by what theory or system can we account for this sentiment from self-love, or deduce it from that favourite origin? ...
— An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals • David Hume

... for you to say, gentlemen," said the foreman. "I should n't want to have it go abroad that we had not acted formally, if there was any one disposed to cavil." ...
— Eli - First published in the "Century Magazine" • Heman White Chaplin

... where we have to run over a vast tract of space, the reader who wishes to learn and not to cavil—and for such alone this introduction is intended—must be content with results rather than processes and steps. To use a homely likeness, he must be satisfied with the soup that is set before him, and not desire to see the bones of the ox out ...
— Popular Tales from the Norse • Sir George Webbe Dasent

... eight we 'went in' to dinner, to the strains of the Roast Beef of Old England. It was a right jovial feast, and the most cordial good-fellowship prevailed. He would have been a cynical epicurean who would have criticised the appointments; the banquet itself was above all cavil. Rummaging among some old papers the other day, I found the menu, which deserves to be quoted: 'Soup—Julienne. Fish—Whitebait (from the Cabul River). Entrees—Cotelettes aux Champignons, Poulets a la Mayonaise. ...
— Christmas: Its Origin and Associations - Together with Its Historical Events and Festive Celebrations During Nineteen Centuries • William Francis Dawson

... Evans, Deputy-Surveyor of Lands, came forward at this stage as the most prominent figure in Australian exploration. To him is due the honour, without dispute or cavil, of being the first discoverer of an Australian river flowing into the interior. For some reason he has never received adequate recognition of his important explorations, and he is well-nigh forgotten by the people of New South Wales, the state that has benefited most by his ...
— The Explorers of Australia and their Life-work • Ernest Favenc

... of Pumpkinville, where I lived in my youth, was one of the metaphysical divines of the old school, and could cavil upon the ninth part of a hair about entities and quiddities, nominalism and realism, free-will and necessity, with which sort of learning he used to stuff his sermons and astound his learned hearers, the bumpkins. They never doubted that it was all true, but ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... of exclusion or ostracism served to wound my self-respect, it nevertheless had its special advantage for me, for in epochs less glorious or less brilliant (that is to say, in times of failure), they could never cavil at advice or counsel which I had given, nor blame me for the shortcomings ...
— The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete • Madame La Marquise De Montespan

... even the Papists in Montreal and Quebec, as their own existence; and judging from their declarations, they have no more doubt of the fact, than they have of the summer's sunshine, and the winter's frost and snow. Of what value, therefore, is the cavil of ...
— Awful Disclosures - Containing, Also, Many Incidents Never before Published • Maria Monk

... before the divine fire of his genius, and we still have the gold. Inconsistent, paradoxical, preposterous—why, yes, of course! Still he is the greatest poet of passion the world has ever seen—don't cavil—passion's consistency consists ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... 'Serviens ad Legem,' Mr. Sergeant Manning raises question concerning the antiquity of guineas and half-guineas, with the following remarks:—"Should any cavil be raised against this jocular allusion, on the ground that guineas and half-guineas were unknown to sergeants who flourished in the sixteenth century, the objector might be reminded, that in antique records, instances occur in which the 'guianois ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... odd stir on shore. A cab whirled up furiously and two more youths, shapely, handsome, and fashionable, twins beyond cavil and noticeably older than their twenty years, visibly rich in fine qualities but as visibly reckless as to what they did with them, sprang out, flushed and imperious, to wave the Votaress. One of her guards was still rubbing along the steamer beside her, but before the pair could dash ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... in effecting that determination," to establish this beyond the possibility of cavil or denial, we have told here once again his inspiring story. The fact that as late as 1913, the Legislature of California appropriated $10,000 to place a bust of Starr King in our National Capitol at Washington would seem to indicate that ...
— Starr King in California • William Day Simonds

... Miss Milner it was so united. Yet let not our over-scrupulous readers be misled, and extend their idea of her virtue so as to magnify it beyond that which frail mortals commonly possess; nor must they cavil, if, on a nearer view, they find it less—but let them consider, that if she had more faults than generally belong to others, ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... husband's pride did not choose that she should accept a gift; or watched the children's coloured shoes thrown on the fire, with no money in her purse to get new ones; or listened to her husband's cavil at the too frequent arrival of his children; or heard the firing of his pistol-shots at the out-house doors, the necessary vent of a passion not to be wreaked in words. She was patient, brave, lonely, and silent. But Mr. Wemyss ...
— Emily Bront • A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

... the books may induce us to consider them as reliable; or, if the latter points be lacking from the supernatural character of the occurrences related, yet the evidence of authenticity may be so overwhelming as to place the accuracy of the accounts beyond cavil. But if external evidence be wanting, and internal evidence be fatal to the truthfulness of the writings, then it will become our duty to remove them from the temple of history, and to place them in ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... for the gift blindeth the wise and perverteth the words of the righteous." Here we get Twentieth-Century Wisdom. And very many passages as fine and true can be found, which prove for us beyond cavil that Moses was right a part of the time, and to say this of any man, living or dead, is ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... brawlingly rude and vulgar, like the coarser set of his own countrymen, with whom he had occasionally been brought in contact, he was so manifestly uncivilized in many material points, as to put his claim to gentility much beyond a cavil, and that in a ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... feel inclined to cavil with this association on Elsie's part of "immortal beings," as they would style her parents, and the recollection she cherishes of a "dead brute," because, forsooth, they hold that her four-footed favourite had no soul; but were these gentry to broach the subject before her, being ...
— The Ghost Ship - A Mystery of the Sea • John C. Hutcheson

... preparation for war that Prussia has devoted its utmost energy for half a century—in fact, ever since Bismarck began to make ready for the seizing of unwilling Schleswig-Holstein. And so far as the art of music is concerned there is also no need to cavil. ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... of a swarm of more foul and noxious vermin than Moses inflicted upon the land of Egypt. It was made up of all the attorneys, and pettifoggers, with their clerks, scamps, and runners; every man, or rather every reptile, of them, being profusely fed to bark, to snarl, to cavil, and to bully; and all of them more ravenous and ferocious than sharks or wolves. It is, indeed, almost a libel upon the sharks and wolves to compare them with such creatures. I cannot, perhaps, give a better idea of them than in the forcible, though rather coarse language ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 2 • Henry Hunt

... the household serf becomes a clerk; he gets his liberty and a place as writer in some district court; as a writer in the government's service he disdains, in addition to the peasant, his late comrades in the household; he learns to cavil in business, and begins to take email bribes in poultry, eggs, corn, &c.; he studies roguery systematically, and goes one step lower; he becomes a secretary and a genuine tchinovnik. Then his sphere is enlarged; he gets a new existence: he disdains the peasant, the house serf, ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 5, July 29, 1850 • Various

... magnificent battle in its conception, in its execution, and in its glorious results; hastened somewhat by the supposed danger of Burnside, at Knoxville, yet so completely successful, that nothing is left for cavil or fault-finding. The first day was lowering and overcast, favoring us greatly, because we wanted to be concealed from Bragg, whose position on the mountain-tops completely overlooked us and our movements. The second day was beautifully clear, ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... of occupancy, and that this production is therefore illegitimate. Indeed, if labor is the sole basis of property, I cease to be proprietor of my field as soon as I receive rent for it from another. This we have shown beyond all cavil. It is the same with all capital; so that to put capital in an enterprise, is, by the law's decision, to exchange it for an equivalent sum in products. I will not enter again upon this now useless discussion, since I propose, in the following chapter, ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... twenty millions of people to a level of thought where they can appreciate this cardinal truth, and can believe no sacrifice too great for its defence and establishment, then democracy will have vindicated itself beyond all chance of future cavil. Here, we think, is a Cause the experience of whose vicissitudes and the grandeur of whose triumph will be able to give us heroes and statesmen. The Slave-Power must be humbled, must be punished,—so ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... inquiringly at the little old gentleman. Either the stranger was a relation—and not a popular one—or else the quacking expressions annoyed. For the Man-Who-Makes-Faces was scowling. And, "Cavil, criticism, correction!" he scolded, ...
— The Poor Little Rich Girl • Eleanor Gates

... at Argeles was spent without it, but on the evening of the following day a packet was brought into the drawing-room, where we were assembled, and at the magical word "bread" every eye brightened, and every face relaxed into a smile. Let no one cavil. This was one of the episodes that link Argeles to us with ...
— Twixt France and Spain • E. Ernest Bilbrough

... become my years and station not to admit without cavil certain errors which may justly be pointed out in these concluding "Tales of my Landlord,"—the last, and, it is manifest, never carefully revised or corrected handiwork, of Mr. Peter Pattison, now ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... council is specified and renewed by the Trent decrees. The church of Rome has declared, therefore, by her last council,—a council, too, by which all her doctrines were unalterably fixed,—that the Lateran council is to be received by all her members; and, as if to prevent all cavil on the subject, and also to prevent any Romanist from saying that this council was not a general one, and consequently not binding on the church, the council of Trent has expressly designated it a general council. ...
— Guy Fawkes - or A Complete History Of The Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605 • Thomas Lathbury

... the laws of the human mind, and, therefore, comprehensible to the extent to which these laws are known. No one disputes this, except in reference to his own religion. This, he is apt to assert, had something "supernatural" about its origin. If this word be correctly used, it may stand without cavil. The "natural" is that of which we know in whole or in part the laws; the "supernatural" means that of which we do not at present know in any degree the laws. The domain of the supernatural diminishes in the ratio of the increase of knowledge; and the inference ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... handwriting of the duke himself, partly in that of his secretary, Millet, insert the "Sommaire" precisely as it stands in the Memoires de Conde, without any denial of its authenticity. This would appear, at first sight, to settle the question beyond cavil. But it must be borne in mind that many of the memoires of the sixteenth century are compiled on the plan of including all contemporary papers of importance, whether written by friend or by foe. Frequently the most contradictory ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... wife's trunks, she having lately returned from Paris with a wardrobe calculated to last through the first half of the coming London season. Altogether Bangletop Hall is an impressive structure, and at first sight gives rise to various emotions in the aesthetic breast; some cavil, others admire. One leading architect of Berlin travelled all the way from his German home to Bangletop Hall to show that famous structure to his son, a student in the profession which his father adorned; to whom he is said to have observed that, architecturally, Bangletop Hall was "cosmopolitan ...
— The Water Ghost and Others • John Kendrick Bangs

... to cavil, only other folks will, and he may bring all the lambs of Jacob Behmen about his ears. However, I hope he will bring it to a conclusion, though Milton is in ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... the news of the day. As Africans are interminable speakers, they make excellent lawyers, and know how to spin out a case or involve it in a labyrinth of figures of speech. Mungo Park, who frequently heard these special pleaders, says that in the forensic qualifications of procrastination and cavil, and the arts of confounding and perplexing a cause, they are not easily surpassed by the ablest pleaders in Europe. The following may serve as an example of their talent:—An ass had got loose and broken into a field of ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal Vol. XVII. No. 418. New Series. - January 3, 1852. • William and Robert Chambers

... day a book on Shakespeare by a Norwegian—contain not a single contribution to Shakespearean criticism till 1880, when a church paper, Luthersk Ugeskrift[11] published an article which proved beyond cavil that Shakespeare is good and safe reading for Lutheran Christians. The writer admits that Shakespeare probably had several irregular love-affairs both before and after marriage, but as he grew older his heart turned to the comforts of religion, and in his epitaph he commends ...
— An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway • Martin Brown Ruud

... Bard perceiving his piece cavil'd at By partial critics, and his adversaries Misrepresenting what we're now to play, Pleads his own cause: and you shall be the judges, Whether he merits praise or condemnation. The Synapothnescontes is a piece By Diphilus, a comedy ...
— The Comedies of Terence • Publius Terentius Afer

... down the letter and stared out over the roof-tops. He couldn't afford to be a philanthropist. A rather sweeping idea had flashed into his mind as he read that missive. His horizon was continually expanding. Money, beyond cavil, was the key to many doors, a necessity if a man's eyes were fixed upon much that was desirable. If he could make money selling machines for Groya Motors Inc., why not for himself? ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... would cavil at portions of the first part of my work, I was fully convinced, and as there are many observations quite new to most of them, they are by them considered to be false; but the United States, as I ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... was not sensitive, and was too satisfied at having gained his object to cavil at Mark's manner of yielding. 'Very well; that's settled,' he said. 'I'm glad you've come to your senses, I'm sure. We'll have you on the Woolsack yet, and we'll say no ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... I wish to vie with Mr. Allen's unrivalled polemic amiability and be as conciliatory as possible, I will not cavil at his facts or try to magnify the chasm between an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Napoleon and the average level of their respective tribes. Let it be as small as Mr. Allen thinks. All that I object to is that he should think the mere size of a difference ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... leaves on it. As they do so they mention the names of all the sorcerers they can think of, and he at whose name the smouldering leaves burst into a bright flame is the one who has done the deed. Having thus ascertained the true cause of death, beyond reach of cavil, they proceed to light up the ghost to the door of his murderer. For this purpose a procession is formed. A man, holding the smouldering fire in the potsherd with one hand and a bundle of straw with the other, leads the way. He is followed by another who draws droning notes from a water-bottle ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... to go beyond. It is to attack the sceptre in the name of the throne, and the mitre in the name of the attar; it is to ill-treat the thing which one is dragging, it is to kick over the traces; it is to cavil at the fagot on the score of the amount of cooking received by heretics; it is to reproach the idol with its small amount of idolatry; it is to insult through excess of respect; it is to discover that the Pope is not ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... best to represent to himself what he hoped to be longest remembered for; and exactly what he felt as to this, his friend Jeffrey warmly expressed. "All the tribe of selfishness, and cowardice and cant, will hate you in their hearts, and cavil when they can; will accuse you of wicked exaggeration, and excitement to discontent, and what they pleasantly call disaffection! But never mind. The good and the brave are with you, and the ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... she allowed the custom-house officers to tumble out the contents of her little valise, and satisfied, without cavil, all their demands, and answered without hesitation all the questions put to ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... mind. She had made a great sacrifice for Guy in hope of doing him good, how great, no one knew, and yet withall she had failed in her object. He looked at her as the world always judges of Christians; not by profession but practise. However, it may sneer and cavil at doctrine, the world is not slow to recognize and respect the character that like pure gold carries with it not ...
— 'Our guy' - or, The elder brother • Mrs. E. E. Boyd

... short story of mine being published in a French translation, a Parisian critic—I am almost certain it was M. Gustave Kahn in the "Gil Blas"—giving me a short notice, summed up his rapid impression of the writer's quality in the words un puissant reveur. So be it! Who could cavil at the words of a friendly reader? Yet perhaps not such an unconditional dreamer as all that. I will make bold to say that neither at sea nor ashore have I ever lost the sense of responsibility. There is more than one sort of intoxication. ...
— A Personal Record • Joseph Conrad

... among vowels and consonants, and ill-spelt mediaeval legends, when the science, the history, the navigation, the atmospheric phenomena, and the impending volcanic changes of Western Europe fifteen hundred years ago, are all unveiled and detailed, with an accuracy and a minuteness beyond cavil or competition, in the matchless English translation before them. Will our most erudite grammarians never understand? Would they abandon Genesis, shall we say, because Elohim and Jehovah are sometimes interchanged in the text? Can they believe that any Jew, who could concoct ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, January 1876 • Various

... care; I'll give thrice so much land Away to any well-deserving friend; But in the way of bargain, mark ye me, I'll cavil on the ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... in the form in which it now stands, or indeed in any into which it could be thrown, so as to form part of the King's Speech, it would be of no advantage to us in Ireland, whilst it would afford ground of cavil and objection to our enemies. In this idea, I have written to Lord Shelburne, to desire to see him again; but as he may possibly appoint me for to-morrow, and you must be impatient to hear from England, I ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... acted on so vast a design without the instigation of his brethren, not only in Granada, but throughout all Andalusia,—would it not be right to obtain from him his confession, and that of the maiden, within the camp, so that we may have broad and undeniable evidence, whereon to act, and to still all cavil, that may come not only from the godless, but even from the too tender scruples of the righteous? Even the queen—whom the saints ever guard!—hath ever too soft a heart for ...
— Leila, Complete - The Siege of Granada • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... innocence was thus demonstrated beyond cavil, though nobody paid any particular attention to the demonstration. As for Allen, he had vanished; he was ...
— Angling Sketches • Andrew Lang

... furniture, old pictures, and objects of vertu. They are now, however, found everywhere in the city, and most of them are on the Grand Canal, where they heap together marvelous collections, and establish authenticities beyond cavil. "Is it an original?" asked a young lady who was visiting one of their shops, as she paused before an attributive Veronese, or—what know I?—perhaps ...
— Venetian Life • W. D. Howells

... too little generous in this. The record shows beyond any cavil that Goodrich was the first and most constant friend of Hawthorne in the way of helping him to get his work before the public; he was also interested in him, thoughtful for him, and gave him hack work to do, which, though it be ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... to cooperative and collective action has resulted in this particular case in thousands of the children's "Arbor Gardens" round about the city. It is an experience "en gros," one of such dimensions that cavil ceases ...
— Three Acres and Liberty • Bolton Hall

... or cavil that high ideals heretofore have prevailed in the Philippine Civil Service. Are they now to be substituted by the methods ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... critic of high renown, (the late Dr. Johnson,) who has severely scrutinized the epitaphs of Pope, might cavil in this sublime inscription at the words "repair to Maru," since the reader must already be at Maru before he could peruse ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... text-books, there is, to say the least, a strong presumption, not that the composer is wrong, but that the rule needs modifying. The great composer goes first and invents new effects: it is the business of the theorist not to cavil at every novelty, but to follow modestly behind and make his rules conform to the practice of the master. [Compare Professor ...
— Haydn • J. Cuthbert Hadden

... say—to admit of these invidious reservations. It is not as if some Apelles had picked out here a lip—and there a chin—out of the collected ugliness of Greece, to frame a model by. It is a symmetrical whole. We challenge the minutest connoisseur to cavil at any part or parcel of the countenance in question; to say that this, or that, is improperly placed. We are convinced that true ugliness, no less than is affirmed of true beauty, is the result of harmony. Like that too it reigns without a competitor. No ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... say that Mary was beautiful, or even handsome, for she was still a plain little creature, and persons who could not understand her might cavil at the assertion; yet, to aunt Hannah and uncle Nat—yes, and to the Judge also—one might venture to say that Mary was a very interesting girl, and, at times really pretty; but, then, these persons loved her very dearly, and affection is, proverbially, a great beautifier of the face. Yes, on ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... entirely at Mount Severn, under the charge of a judicious governess, a very small establishment being kept for them, and the earl paying them impromptu and flying visits. Generous and benevolent she was, timid and sensitive to a degree, gentle, and considerate to all. Do not cavil at her being thus praised—admire and love her whilst you may, she is worthy of it now, in her innocent girlhood; the time will come when such praise would be misplaced. Could the fate that was to overtake his child have been foreseen ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... shield of oxengut and, third, that they might take no hurt neither from Offspring that was that wicked devil by virtue of this same shield which was named Killchild. So were they all in their blind fancy, Mr Cavil and Mr Sometimes Godly, Mr Ape Swillale, Mr False Franklin, Mr Dainty Dixon, Young Boasthard and Mr Cautious Calmer. Wherein, O wretched company, were ye all deceived for that was the voice of the god that was in a very grievous rage that he would presently lift his arm up and spill their ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... angry with me, Coleridge. I wish not to cavil; I know I cannot instruct you; I only wish to remind you of that humility which best becometh the Christian character. God, in the New Testament, our best guide, is represented to us in the kind, condescending, amiable, familiar light of a parent; and, in my poor mind, 'tis best for us ...
— Biographical Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... circulated, in which the logic of a small sharp pettifogger was employed to prove that writs, issued in the joint names of William and Mary, ceased to be of force as soon as William reigned alone. But this paltry cavil had completely failed. It had not even been mentioned in the Lower House, and had been mentioned in the Upper only to be contemptuously overruled. The whole Magistracy of the City swelled the procession. The banners of England and France, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... I accept Lessing's words, but cavil at your interpretation of them. His reverence for Beauty embraced not merely physical and material types, but that nobler, grander beauty which centres in pure ethics and ontology; and a religion that seeks no higher forms than those of clay,—whether Himalayas or 'Greek Slave,'—whether ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... anything you please, But when I join the Muse's revel, Begad, I wish you at the devil! In vain my verse I plane and bevel, Like Banville's rhyming devotees; In vain by many an artful swivel Lug in my meaning by degrees; I'm sure to hear my Henley cavil; And grovelling prostrate on my knees, Devote his body to the seas, ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in behind him without cavil or question. He was in charge of the outfit, and that settled it. Pink, released from irksome inaction by the permission to shoot, turned and fired back at the first Indian his sights rested upon. He saw a spurt of sand ten jumps in advance of his target, and he swore and fired again without waiting ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... ceremony 'twere, Joconde replied, All cavil then we quickly could decide; Precedence would no doubt with you remain: But this is quite another case 'tis plain; And equity demands that we agree, By lot to settle which the man ...
— The Tales and Novels, Complete • Jean de La Fontaine

... holds the most distinguished position in the musical world. His art in bringing out from time to time such a splendid array of clever pianists is proof positive of his excellent qualities as a teacher and has fixed his reputation beyond cavil. Much more could be said in regard to his artistic reputation but it would be superfluous reiterations of facts that are known to all who have heard him or have the advantage of a personal acquaintance with him as I have. I feel honored ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson



Words linked to "Cavil" :   evasion, equivocation, object



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