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Cavil   Listen
Cavil

noun
1.
An evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections.  Synonyms: quibble, quiddity.



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"Cavil" Quotes from Famous Books



... 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, even in the coal regions of ...
— Old Mackinaw - The Fortress of the Lakes and its Surroundings • W. P. Strickland

... comprehension, for surely it is against all the rules one can conceive of justice that a virtuous action should be thus rewarded. Perhaps you will say that His ways are inscrutable, and, that as we have neither the power, nor have we the right to attempt to read them, so we should not venture to cavil at His ordinances, but humbly believe that the ultimate result will be for our benefit. I believe it is so, lady; or it may be for a punishment; but it is bitter, very bitter, oftentimes to bear. But I am wandering from my story. We could watch the progress of the fated ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... here I strongly suspect it so He was covered with confusion It was a just rebuke A pleasing instance of this It lends dignity to life She has a desultory liking for music It seems incredible A kind of detached ideal It blunts the finer sensibilities Beyond question or cavil A well-founded suspicion It has elicited great praise They are landmarks in memory Superhuman vigor and activity A venerable and interesting figure It is curious and interesting Gives the impression of aloofness Perfectly void of offence Regard with misgiving A stroke of professional ...
— Talks on Talking • Grenville Kleiser

... establishing his supremacy beyond cavil, should have satisfied the King, especially as this was not the mating season and there could be no question of rivalry. But his heart was bursting with injury, and his thirst for vengeance was raging to be glutted. ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... physical and moral frontier was less than they had imagined would be a humiliating confession of failure; and worse than a confession of failure; for God had appointed this refuge for them, and not to abide in it in all contentment would be to cavil at his purpose, to question his decree. With the instinct of true pioneers they therefore idealized the barren wilderness, pronouncing its air most healing, its soil most fertile; and with unfailing optimism proving, ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... object of discrediting our enlightened army in the eyes of neutral Powers. Any of these was good enough, but what now appears is better. Exact measurements have since demonstrated beyond all question of cavil that Rheims Cathedral had been built with mathematical accuracy to shield our contemptible enemy's trenches around Chalons from our best gun positions outside Laon. This act of treachery proves that, instead of Germany ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 21, 1914 • Various

... all the sweetness of the Devil, When he put on the Cherub to perplex[305] Eve, and paved (God knows how) the road to evil; The Sun himself was scarce more free from specks Than she from aught at which the eye could cavil; Yet, somehow, there was something somewhere wanting, As if she ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... wonders rest on the impregnable basis of complete demonstration, and instead of being witnessed by only a select few, may now, by the use of my hive, be familiar sights to any bee keeper, who prefers to acquaint himself with facts, rather than to cavil and sneer at the ...
— Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee - A Bee Keeper's Manual • L. L. Langstroth

... Tutt an' Cherokee an' Monte an' the rest of the Wolfville outfit is fallin' like November's leaves, them Red Dog bandits is fadin' jest as fast. If anything, they're fadin' faster. They're too p'lite or too proodent to cavil at the presence of Spellin' Book Ben, an' by third drink time after we starts thar's no gents left standin' except that Wells-Fargo book-keep sharp for Red Dog, an' Spellin' Book for us. It's give an' take ...
— Faro Nell and Her Friends - Wolfville Stories • Alfred Henry Lewis

... sometimes," answered Godolphin, "that seem to indicate that you think the world may cavil at your choice, and that some exertion on my part is necessary to maintain your dignity. Constance, need I say, again and again, that I adore the very dust you tread on? But I have a pride, a self-respect, beneath which I cannot ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... of the noble duke, which has been so much the subject of cavil, it is the offspring of a manly mind, pouring out its honest opinions with an earnestness characteristic of sincerity, and with a zeal too warm to stand upon nice and scrupulous expression. I am sure that it contains nothing but what the noble duke really thought. I am sure ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... the great evil of having in a formulary of worship too many things that have to be laboriously explained, it might be well if in the Litany the adjective "sudden," which ever since Hooker's day has given perpetual occasion for cavil, were to yield to "untimely," or some like word more suggestive than "sudden" of the thought clumsily expressed in the "Chapel Liturgy" by the awkward phrase, "death ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... centuries, with title sound? You know that people, the Miamies, well. Long ere the white man tripped his anchors cold, To cast them by the glowing western isles, They lived upon these lands in peace, and none Dared cavil at their claim. We bought from them, For such equivalent to largess joined, That every man was hampered with our goods, And stumbled on profusion. But give ear! Jealous lest aught might fail of honesty— Lest one lean interest or poor shade of right Should point ...
— Tecumseh: A Drama • Charles Mair

... landlords demanded, which was about every three months. There were three girls in the family—Mary, Everina and Eliza—all above the average in intelligence. Whether there is any such thing in Nature as justice for the individual is a question, but cosmic justice is beyond cavil. The stupidity of a parent is often a very precious factor in the evolution of his children. He teaches them by antithesis. So if a man can not be useful and strong, all is not lost: he can still serve humanity as a horrible example—like the honest hobo who volunteered ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we have it sealed in the New Testament. "As, it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah." They don't believe in Lot's wife, but He says, "Remember Lot's wife." So there is not a thing that men to-day cavil at but the Son of God indorses. They don't believe, in the swallowing of Jonah. They say it is impossible that a whale could swallow Jonah—its throat is too small. They forget that the whale was prepared for Jonah; as the colored woman said, "Why, God could prepare a man to swallow a whale, let ...
— Moody's Anecdotes And Illustrations - Related in his Revival Work by the Great Evangilist • Dwight L. Moody

... picnic depends for its success to quite a peculiar degree upon the weather. But on the day of the Admiral's merry-making, this was, beyond cavil, kind. Four boats started from the Town Quay; four boats—alas!—could by this time contain the cumeelfo of Troy; for everybody who was anybody had been invited, and nobody (with the exception of the Honourable Frederic, who could not leave his telescope) had refused. Sam Buzza did ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... you will express yourself unmistakably to that effect by returning a Democratic majority to both the Senate and the House of Representatives. I am your servant and will accept your judgment without cavil, but my power to administer the great trust assigned me by the Constitution would be seriously impaired should your judgment be adverse, and I must frankly tell you so because so many critical issues depend upon your verdict. No scruple of ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... country as it is must be to see it with all its traditions and recollections. It is, in fact, with the Bible as his guide that a traveller ought to visit the Holy Land. If we are determined to carry with us a spirit of cavil and contradiction, Judea is not worth our going so far to examine it. What should we say to a man who, in traversing Greece and Italy, should think of nothing but contradicting Homer and Virgil? Such, however, is the course adopted by too many modern travellers; evidently the effect of our vanity, ...
— Palestine or the Holy Land - From the Earliest Period to the Present Time • Michael Russell

... everyone will agree with Gilbert White that "not undelightful is the ceaseless hum, to him who musing walks at noon." The entomologist has laboured hard to show us that the insect has no voice, and that the "drowsy hum" is made by the wings; a fact which, being beyond all cavil, puts to the blush the old-world story of Plutarch, who tells us that when Terpander was playing upon the lyre, at the Olympic games, and had enraptured his audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm a string of his instrument broke, and a cicada or grasshopper ...
— The Strand Magazine: Volume VII, Issue 37. January, 1894. - An Illustrated Monthly • Edited by George Newnes

... you to listen to me, Elsie," he said, with a passionate intensity that stilled the rising storm in her bosom. "Doctor Christobal may have pleaded his own cause already. It is not for me to cavil at him for doing that. But I cannot lose you without a word. Whether you marry him or me, or neither of us, I shall love you for ever. I want you to know that. It is no new discovery to me. I think my heart went out to you ...
— The Captain of the Kansas • Louis Tracy

... accomplished, 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

... 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 and admiration ...
— Three Acres and Liberty • Bolton Hall

... 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, His correspondence to ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... produces what is termed organic dis- ease as certainly as it produces hysteria, and it must re- 177:3 linquish all its errors, sicknesses, and sins. I have demonstrated this beyond all cavil. The evidence of divine Mind's healing power and abso- 177:6 lute control is to me as certain as the evidence of ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... certain 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. Even before ...
— A Personal Record • Joseph Conrad

... rivulets, tributary to the Bitter Root River, that run through the valley, afford excellent and abundant mill-seats; and the land bordering these is fertile and productive, and has been found, beyond cavil or doubt, to be well suited to every branch of agriculture. I have seen oats, grown by Mr. John Owen, that are as heavy and as excellent as any I have ever seen in the States; and the same gentleman informs me that he has grown excellent wheat, and that, from ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... perhaps, not often that a map figures so largely in a tale, yet it is always 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 country, and the plan of every ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not perceive that he was in any way put out or moved by its reception. Claims for past services, whether upon the country or upon individuals, are seldom well received; like the payment of a tavern bill, after we have done with the enjoyments, we seem inclined to cavil at each separate ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... results of the vast upheaval of home life caused by this war; but of these women sitting for hours on end in a back room of Mlle. Javal's central establishment in Paris it is only necessary to state that they looked as intent upon making cigarettes in a professional manner, beyond cavil by the canny poilu, as if they were counting the family linen or superintending one of the stupendous facts of existence, a daughter's trousseau. Only the one to whom I was introduced raised her eyes, and I should not have been expected to distract her attention for a moment had not she told Mlle. ...
— The Living Present • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... 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, ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... students of kindred power and spirit. Researches and discussions in this department are still pushed with the greatest zeal; and it is confidently believed that in a few years the views adopted in the present writing will be established beyond all cavil from any fair minded critic. Then all the steps will have been clearly defined in the development of that doctrine of the great Day of the Lord, which, beginning with a poetic picture of a Jewish overthrow of the ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... Syndic's demand, he found himself helpless. And the demand was not so unreasonable. For it was true that he loved her, and that he had access to the house; and if the plan suggested seemed unusual, if it was not the course most obvious or most natural, it was hardly for him to cavil at a scheme which promised to save her, not only from the evil influence which mysteriously swayed her, but from the law, and the danger of an accusation of witchcraft. Apart from his promise he would have chosen this course; ...
— The Long Night • Stanley Weyman

... to make its pupils pious Roman Catholics. The parish priest at Brienne had administered the sacraments to a number of the boys, including the young Corsican, who appears to have submitted without cavil to the severe religious training of the Paris school: chapel with mass at half-past six in the morning, grace before and after all meals, and chapel again a quarter before nine in the evening; on holidays, catechism for new students; Sundays, catechism ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... not well complain of the regularity in itself, though she did cavil at the actual arrangements, and they were altered all round to please her, and she showed a certain contempt for her teacher in the studies she resumed with her mother; but after the dictionary, encyclopaedia and other authorities, including Mr. Ogilvie, proved ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... records of that time, or of the incomparable skill with which he has brought them into a clear continuous narrative. To glean after Macaulay is indeed a barren task. So far, then, from affecting to cavil at his work, I must acknowledge that without his help this little book would have been still less. Yet I do think he has been hard upon Claverhouse. Perhaps the scheme of his history did not require, or even allow him, to examine the man's character and circumstances so closely ...
— Claverhouse • Mowbray Morris

... necessary. To the ingenious mind of Fournier an elaborate one occurred. If he could perform it, not only would his hypothesis be established and confirmed beyond all cavil, but a, field of scientific research also be opened such as was yet undreamed of. However, for this experiment subjects were needed. Brutes, beasts of the field? Not so: that were easy to achieve. Human beings, two living, healthy men, one white, one black, were the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... they may be faithful guides to you, helping you to preserve safely that which in the gracious years of youth spring-time and love with exquisite throes bred in your unconscious heart, that you may store and treasure it, and it may not be lost!"—"But who—" Walther asks, inclined to cavil where anything is concerned which relates to the master-singers, "Who created these rules which stand in such high honour?"—"They were sorely-needy masters," Sachs in his moved tones continues the charming lesson, "spirits ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... converse held; Whom thus the godlike Paris first address'd: "Too long, good brother, art then here detain'd, Impatient for the fight, by my delay; Nor have I timely, as thou bad'st me, come." To whom thus Hector of the glancing helm: "My gallant brother, none who thinks aright Can cavil at thy prowess in the field; For thou art very valiant; but thy will Is weak and sluggish; and it grieves my heart, When from the Trojans, who in thy behalf Such labours undergo, I hear thy name Coupled with foul reproach! But go we now! Henceforth shall ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... 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 Ernest of which he was conscious. The dumb Ernest persuaded ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... is that I cannot, must not, will not, neglect him! As soon as he can bear visitors I must be admitted to his room, to do for him all that a young sister might do for her brother; no one could reasonably cavil at that. Papa, Ishmael believes in me more than anyone else in the world does. He thinks more highly of me than others do. He knows that there is something better in me than this mere outside beauty that ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... of General Grant's military career was his constant readiness to fight. He wished for no long periods of preparation, lost no opportunity which promptness could turn to advantage. He always accepted, without cavil or question, the position to which he might be assigned. He never troubled the War Department with requests or complaints, and when injustice was inflicted upon him, he submitted silently, and did a soldier's duty. Few men in any service would have acquiesced ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... gods! what do I want with this rubbish of ages departed, Things that Nature abhors, the experiments that she has failed in? What do I find in the Forum? An archway and two or three pillars. Well, but St. Peter's? Alas, Bernini has filled it with sculpture! No one can cavil, I grant, at the size of the great Coliseum. Doubtless the notion of grand and capacious and massive amusement, This the old Romans had; but tell me, is this an idea? Yet of solidity much, but of splendour little is extant: 'Brickwork I found thee, and marble I left thee!' their Emperor ...
— Amours de Voyage • Arthur Hugh Clough

... son Of Polybus. Oh, I was wroth! That one Day I kept silence, but the morrow morn I sought my parents, told that tale of scorn And claimed the truth; and they rose in their pride And smote the mocker.... Aye, they satisfied All my desire; yet still the cavil gnawed My heart, and still the story crept abroad. At last I rose—my father knew not, nor My mother—and went forth to Pytho's floor To ask. And God in that for which I came Rejected me, but round me, like ...
— Oedipus King of Thebes - Translated into English Rhyming Verse with Explanatory Notes • Sophocles

... be formed through the transformation of albuminous matters (meat) is an extremely important corollary, one established beyond cavil by Pettinkofer and Voit, in an indirect way, by first estimating the nitrogen and carbon ingested, and second the amount eliminated. Giving a dog meat that was wholly deprived of fat, they found it impossible to ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 • Various

... '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

... despair of having an heir, to cut entirely off the claim of so wicked a brother. Having once began to stir in the affair, it was soon brought to a conclusion.—The fact was incontestable, and proved by witnesses, whose credit left no room for cavil; a bill of divorce was granted on very easy terms, and the gallant fined in so large a penalty, that he was obliged to quit the kingdom, to ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... make the past seem! Poor Sainte-Beuve, that bust yonder is but a poor reward for a life of toil, a modest tribute to his encyclopædic brain! His works, however, are his best monument; he would be the last to repine or cavil. ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... throng. Whether mine host has to consult the taste of his client, or whether the latter has simply to accept what is proffered, is not absolutely decided; probably they are both imbued with a belief in the necessity of solid fare, regarding it as a solemn truth beyond all possibility of cavil. ...
— The Art of Living in Australia • Philip E. Muskett (?-1909)

... virtue. In 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

... yo'll easily guess. For th' mooast fascinatin an' lovable elves, Are all on 'em mortal, just th' same as ussels, An' show tempers 'at sometimes are net ovver pleasant, They find fault whear ther's room, an' sometimes whear ther isn't, An' to get there own way, why they'll kiss, coax, or cavil, They'll smile like an angel, or storm like the devil. But aw've monny times sed, an' aw say it ageean, 'At women are ofter i'th' reight nor are th' men, Just fancy gooin hooam to a bachelor's bed, All shudderin an' shakkin yo lig daan yor heead. There's ...
— Yorksher Puddin' - A Collection of the Most Popular Dialect Stories from the - Pen of John Hartley • John Hartley

... a stab the cruel cavil through his brain and pulses went; To his heart an icy coldness, to his ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... beyond cavil or dispute or reversion. One is that God's laws cannot be broken. We are not trying to say that they should not be broken; or that they cannot be broken with impunity; or that if broken we shall be punished. They simply ...
— Sex=The Unknown Quantity - The Spiritual Function of Sex • Ali Nomad

... at the party call; men who came in the temporary upblaze of enthusiastic patriotism, which is lighted with the opening of the campaign, and which goes out like a candle in a gust of wind the day after the election; men who came to applaud blindly, and a few who came to cavil and deride. Loring oriented himself in a leisurely eye-sweep, and so came by easy ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... by him, of from one to three columns in length, presenting, in his own terse, humorous, glowing, vigorous, convincing way, all sides of this chameleon-hued question; now analyzing the amendment and the laws to enforce it, turning aside here to answer the cavil of some carping critic, then to demolish and bury some blatant political defender of the whisky element; arraigning the Governor, Senate and House of Representatives for their gingerly treatment of the great question, and sending a trumpet-call ...
— Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler • Pardee Butler

... ever grateful to their preserver for the result. They had no eyes for the picture which the Spanish party painted of an imaginary triumph of De Thermos and its effects. However the envious might cavil, now that the blow had been struck, the popular heart remained warm as ever, and refused to throw down the idol which had so ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... you ever find the epithet 'good,' applied to the title of doctor? Had you called me 'learned doctor,' or 'grave doctor,' or 'noble doctor,' it might be allowable, because they belong to the profession. But, not to cavil at trifles, you talk of 'my spring-velvet coat,' and advise me to wear it the first day in the year, that is, in the middle of winter!—a spring-velvet coat in the middle of winter!!! That would be a solecism indeed! and yet to increase ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... energy in other parts as shall cause the roof to be forgotten, thrown off like an eschar from the living frame. Nevertheless, we must always admit that it may be forgotten, and that if the Gothic seal be indeed set firmly on the walls, we are not to cavil at the forms reserved for the tiles and leads. For, observe, as our definition at present stands, being understood of large roofs only, it will allow a conical glass-furnace to be a Gothic building, but will not allow so much, either of the Duomo of Florence, ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume II (of 3) • John Ruskin

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

... a brilliant commentator, and the slightest tinge of chemistry should have kept him from suggesting that the conversion of water into wine at Cana was but the acceleration of a natural process. A smattering of optics would have prevented Dr. Williams from repeating the old cavil of Voltaire, that light could not have been made before the sun. A moderate reflection upon the laws of speech and the method of Genesis would have restrained Huxley from sneering at the 'marvelous flexibility' ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... their object, the troopers wonder at these precautions, though not so much as might be expected. They are accustomed to receive mysterious commands, and obey them without cavil ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... 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 I get in ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... light" met 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. ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... 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 celibacy ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... 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 ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... thirsty by now to cavil at anything even remotely resembling water, so he drank his fill while Akut stood with raised head, alert for any danger. Before the ape drank he cautioned the boy to be watchful; but as he drank he raised his head from time to time to cast a ...
— The Son of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... to the core, thus in the nation's need You carp and cavil while your brothers bleed, And while on England vitriol you bestow You offer balsam to ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 25, 1914 • Various

... 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, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... 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 as they ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... as he would seat himself in his chair, and begin with, "George, that 'are 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 how his boy ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... from Jay—it then required from eight to ten weeks for the mail clippers to make a voyage across the Atlantic. Opposition to the general idea of such a treaty as the mass of Republicans and Anti-Federalists supposed Washington hoped to secure, grew week by week. The Silent Man heard the cavil and ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... synonymous. When one speaks of greatness, one speaks of greatness of soul, nobility of character, firmness of will, and, above all, balance of mind. I can understand how people deny the existence of these qualities in Berlioz; but to deny his musical genius, or to cavil about his wonderful power—and that is what they do daily in Paris—is lamentable and ridiculous. Whether he attracts one or not, a thimbleful of some of his work, a single part in one of his works, a little bit of the Fantastique or the overture of Benvenuto, reveal more genius—I ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... is such pain—such sinning." Yet look again—behold how much is right! And He who formed the world from its beginning Knows how to guide it upward to the light. Your task, O man, is not to carp and cavil At God's achievements, but with purpose strong To cling to good, and turn away from evil. That is the way to help ...
— Poems of Power • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... immediately signify: which reference is that which renders the signification of the names of substances naturally so perplexed, and gives occasion to so many disputes. Men that do not perversely use their words, or on purpose set themselves to cavil, seldom mistake, in any language which they are acquainted with, the use and signification of the name of simple ideas. WHITE and SWEET, YELLOW and BITTER, carry a very obvious meaning with them, which every one precisely comprehends, or easily perceives he is ignorant of, ...
— An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume II. - MDCXC, Based on the 2nd Edition, Books III. and IV. (of 4) • John Locke

... such was the actual opinion of the government of England at the present time, and the accuracy of this representation having been so confidently denied, I have chosen to put the matter beyond doubt or cavil, although at the expense of these tedious citations. I shall have occasion hereafter to refer more particularly to sundry recent British enactments, by way of showing the diligence and spirit with which that ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... 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 ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... 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 which Plautus, ...
— The Comedies of Terence • Publius Terentius Afer

... days exclusively upon milk; a healing diet, I dare say, but I have come to weary of the taste and sight of it, and its effect upon me is the reverse of stimulation. But I am in no wise inclined to cavil, for I am entirely free from pain at the moment; the weather is perfectly glorious, and my neighbours, Blades and his wife, are in their homely ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... 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 ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... movement of the hour-hand. When we say that rain comes from the condensation of moisture in the atmosphere, they demand of us a rain-drop from moisture not yet condensed. If they stickle for proof and cavil on the ninth part of a hair, as they do when we bring forward what we deem excellent instances of the transmission of an acquired characteristic, why may not we, too, demand at any rate some evidence that the unmodified beetles actually did always, or nearly always, get blown out to ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... the Dismal Swamp is to become the great centre of attraction there can be no reasonable doubt. Recent demonstrations in that direction go to prove beyond cavil the fact. The visit of John Boyle O'Reilly, editor of the Boston Herald, Mr. Mosely, of Washington, and several other distinguished persons, go to prove the fact. Contiguous as it is to the celebrated Magnolia Springs, with its vast hunting grounds, will be a sufficient ...
— The Dismal Swamp and Lake Drummond, Early recollections - Vivid portrayal of Amusing Scenes • Robert Arnold

... structure, high-raised, flat-roofed, and with small round windows in the sides. Quite likely the progressive ship-builders at Palos and Genoa would have termed the new feature a cabin. It was beyond cavil an improvement; and on this occasion the proprietor utilized it as he well might. Since the first gun off St. Stephano, he had held the roof, finding it the best position to get and enjoy a view of the capital, or rather of the walls ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... was sought for by every society and all eyes were turned on him alone when he appeared; but he was the son of a poor clergyman and Elinor was a rich heiress. Her guardian was not displeased with their mutual affection: the merit of Woodville was too eminent to admit of cavil on account of his inferior wealth; but the dying will of her father did not allow her to marry before she was of age and her fortune depended upon her obeying this injunction. She had just entered her twentieth year, and she and her lover ...
— Mathilda • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

... newly bound; That Bible, bought by sixpence weekly saved, Has choicest prints by famous hands engraved; Has choicest notes by many a famous head, Such as to doubt have rustic readers led; Have made them stop to reason WHY? and HOW? And, where they once agreed, to cavil now. Oh! rather give me commentators plain, Who with no deep researches vex the brain; Who from the dark and doubtful love to run, And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun; Who simple truth with nine-fold reasons back, And guard the point no enemies attack. Bunyan's famed Pilgrim rests ...
— The Parish Register • George Crabbe

... and a Malay who fell in the struggle were afterwards eaten. Thus the experience of later days is found to agree with the uniform testimony of old writers; and although I am aware that each and every of these proofs taken singly may admit of some cavil, yet in the aggregate they will be thought to amount to satisfactory evidence that human flesh is habitually eaten by a certain class ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... In these matters he who is right is safe; while he who is wrong must take the consequences of his own acts. Mr. Furlong, your steward-ship ceased with the life of your principal; if you have any keys or papers to deliver, I advise your placing them in the hands of this gentleman, whom, beyond all cavil, I take to be ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... and was so soothed to rest by his music, there was no room for cavil. It was natural that Alessandro came and went as a physician might. But after Felipe had recovered, why should this freedom and intimacy continue? More than once there had been sullen mutterings of this kind on the north veranda, when all the laborers and servants ...
— Ramona • Helen Hunt Jackson

... Without cavil, and with due praise from friend and antagonist alike, the success of the Siberians that year had been phenomenal and well deserved. And so, when the "Iron Man" John Johnson, driving a team entered by Colonel Charles Ramsay of London, and Fox Ramsay driving ...
— Baldy of Nome • Esther Birdsall Darling

... Mayor, announcing that the definitive treaty had been finally settled at Amiens, on the 27th of March, by the plenipotentiaries of England, France, Spain, and the Batavian Republic. The treaty, as it transpires, is the source of general cavil. It leaves to France all her conquests, while England restores every thing except Ceylon and Trinidad; the one a Dutch colony, and the other a Spanish; both powers having been our Allies at the commencement of the war. The Cape is to be given back ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 364, February 1846 • Various

... man dies out from among us, let critics cavil as they may about time wasted in memorial addresses. We should do violence to our own feelings did we not pause to honor his memory; we should do wrong to the American people, whose heritage they are, did we not spread before them the lessons ...
— Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character of William H. F. Lee (A Representative from Virginia) • Various

... it—he must have left it immediately and hurried to the telephone. Whatever later dissatisfaction I may have had with Great-grandfather, let me state it fairly and honestly, he is at least a punctual man. Every time I called he came right away without delay. Let those who are inclined to cavil at the methods of the Spiritualists reflect how impossible it would be to secure such punctuality on anything but a basis ...
— Frenzied Fiction • Stephen Leacock

... state, and used to go over the whole question day after day, 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

... that I am wholly against them neither; but because, by the reading of the one, I find myself become better; whereas, I rise from the other, I know not how coldly affected to Virtue, but most violently inclin'd to Cavil and Contention; therefore never fear to propose it, whatsoever ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... was mulled; the girl could not swallow it, emaciated as she was. Her condition need not be described in detail, but she was very near her death, as the medical evidence, and that of a midwife (who consoled Mrs. Canning on one point), proves beyond possibility of cavil. ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... have been much more disagreeable than it was. It showed, no doubt, that Gibberne has still much to learn before his preparation is a manageable convenience, but its practicability it certainly demonstrated beyond all cavil. ...
— Twelve Stories and a Dream • H. G. Wells

... volume by the mere enumeration of the diabolical and absurd nostrums offered by knaves to heal men who profess to hold in ridicule the Chinese doctors. I mention but a few, and when I tell you, as a truth beyond cavil, that the most extraordinary of these healers, the most impossible, have the largest following, you can see what I mean by the credulity of the people as a whole. Christian Science doctors have a following of tens of thousands. They ...
— As A Chinaman Saw Us - Passages from his Letters to a Friend at Home • Anonymous

... civil reverence more than fears In the well-mannered people; at that day, All was in common, every man bare sway O'er his own family; the jars that rose Were soon appeased by such grave men as those: This mine and thine, that we so cavil for, Was then not heard of; he that was most poor Was rich in his content, and lived as free As they whose flocks were greatest; nor did he Envy his great abundance, nor the other Disdain the low condition ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... "Don't cavil at a word when you know it to be true," said Barrington, energetically. "The constitution of the country requires that she should submit to dictation. Can it come safely from any other quarter than that of a majority ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... will disarm any cavil from old quarters on the score of national prejudice. The hero is a blundering fellow whom no English or other gentleman would like to have in his service; but still he has some redeeming natural traits: he is not made either a brute or a villain; yet his "twelve months' character," given in ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... 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 ...
— A Hundred Anecdotes of Animals • Percy J. Billinghurst

... she, in body, soul, and social aspects, satisfies his every requirement, a thrice perfect woman? And if this threefold perfection that flatters his pride is no argument for loving her, it is beyond cavil one of the great inducements to the sentiment. Love would soon be convalescent, as the eighteenth century moralist remarked, were it not for vanity. And it is certainly true that for everyone, man or woman, there is a wealth ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... the Oratory, issued his Universal Hebrew Glossary. In this, to use his own language, "the divinity, antiquity, and perpetuity of the Hebrew tongue, with its letters, accents, and other characters," are established forever and beyond all cavil, by proofs drawn from all peoples, kindreds, and nations under the sun. This superb, thousand-columned folio was issued from the royal press, and is one of the most imposing monuments of human piety and ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... spike them in a more concrete fashion pervaded the minds of hundreds. The cavil against the Colonel abated not a jot; the epithets hurled at his devoted head were as picturesque as of yore. But side by side with this domestic hostility there had developed a deeper, less noisy feeling ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... series of military successes brings to a nation the less obvious aspect of such a fortune may perchance be lost to view. The old navy in its last days earned a fame that no belittling malevolence dare cavil at. And this supreme favour they owe to their ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... answer it, 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, ...
— West Wind Drift • George Barr McCutcheon

... of his own or of his father's? Yet, in case there be a technical defect for the purposes of a name in France, in the fact that we unfortunately hold Repentigny of a foreign power, I am ready—and indeed from this time forth intend—to recur to another name about which no petty cavil can rise—for we are not so poor in titles as to be confined to one—the original illustrious name of my family—LeCour de Lincy. You, sir, have my attestation by the herald, in the strictest form, ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... Beyond cavil, this portly and handsome volume makes good the claim which is set forth on the title-page. The revision which the old edition has undergone is manifestly a most thorough one, extending to every department of the work, and to its minutest details. The enlargement it has received is very considerable, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... be simpletons that I trust they will not resent my calling them such. If however, they abandon all claim to the comradeship that has been so much prated about, swearing by the Three Kings of Cologne faithfully to follow me, and obey my every word without cavil or argument, I will pardon them, but the first man who rebels will show that my clemency has been misplaced, and I can assure them that it shall not be exercised again. Captain, your sailors are familiar with knotted ropes. ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... 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 ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... last six months gives us evidence sufficient on this point: an army of six hundred thousand men drawn together without an effort, every man a volunteer,—a spectacle never before exhibited to the world,—puts at rest all doubt upon it; and not only that, it settles beyond all cavil the superiority of self-government, based on the broadest principles of freedom and the broadest system of education, over any other form which has ever been adopted. Passing from this, however, as a fact which needs ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... the Constitution. I felt convinced in my own mind that I was not guilty of such a heinous offense; but I could never make out a legal justification of my course, nor has it ever been done, sir, until you, on the floor of Congress, at the late session, established it beyond the possibility of cavil or doubt. I thank you, sir, for that speech. It has relieved my mind from the only circumstance that rested painfully upon it. Throughout my whole life I never performed an official act which I viewed as a violation of the Constitution of my country; and I can now go down to the grave ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... no note of cavil in Marion's voice. Her eyes were earnest and serious; and she waited, as one waits in honest perplexity, to have a puzzle solved. But she was known as one who held dangerous, even infidel notions, and Mr. Pembrook, bewildered ...
— The Chautauqua Girls At Home • Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden

... for light as instinctively as young plants turn to the sun. But I must not forget that it is not I whom you have come to hear; and all I might say, if I had to vindicate the fame of our guest from disparagement or cavil, would seem but tedious and commonplace when addressed to those who know that his career has passed beyond the ordeal of contemporaneous criticism, and that in the applause of foreign nations it has found a foretaste ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O • Various

... have been well; but Griselda had a pernicious habit of recurring to any slight words of blame which had been used by her friends. Her husband had congratulated her upon having attained the perfection of the art of disputing, since she could cavil about straws. This reproach rankled in her mind. There are certain diseased states of the body, in which the slightest wound festers, and becomes incurable. It is the same with the mind; and our heroine's was ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... I must frankly confess, that we did not meet in pleasant relations, except now and then, when the lifting of a veil, as it were, revealed for a moment the true life of each. Yet I was fond of looking at her from a distance, and defending her when silly people were inclined to cavil at her want of feminine graces. Then I would say, 'I would like to be an artist now, that I might paint, not the care-worn countenance and the uneasy air of one seemingly out of harmony with the scene about her, but the soul that sometimes looks ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... exhibition determined to condemn as they afterwards acknowledged, deeming the thing impracticable; but all were convinced; for the demonstration was of that character which left no room for doubt or cavil in the ...
— Obed Hussey - Who, of All Inventors, Made Bread Cheap • Various

... casting everything aside, and retiring to the solitude of your old habitation, to look into the magic lantern of that unknown world. It is sinful of you to waste your hours in dressing out these apes to look more human, and teaching dogs to dance. One thing only I require—you must not cavil at the form; the rest I can leave to your own ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VIII (of X) - Continental Europe II. • Various



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



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