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  • My only cavil with...
  • A frequent cavil with Joan is that it’s hard to keep up with her.
  • ...the skin, which she had been used to cavil at, as wanting colour, had a clearness and delicacy which really needed no fuller bloom.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • ...all three of the lost men were accounted for, beyond cavil or question.
    Mark Twain  --  A Tramp Abroad

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  • Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.
    Shakespeare  --  Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • And for all her infectious lightness of heart, I knew it was an extremely petty cavil that Kitsey never seemed very moved by anything.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • The count appeared, dressed with the greatest simplicity, but the most fastidious dandy could have found nothing to cavil at in his toilet.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Miss Ophelia felt rather disposed to cavil at this picture, and was laying down her knitting to begin, but St. Clare stopped her.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • That’s but a cavil; he is old, I young.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Taming of the Shrew
  • Her eyes, a deep grey, with dark eye-lashes and eyebrows, had never been denied their praise; but the skin, which she had been used to cavil at, as wanting colour, had a clearness and delicacy which really needed no fuller bloom.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma

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  • Inexplicable Thy justice seems; yet to say truth, too late I thus contest; then should have been refused Those terms whatever, when they were proposed: Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good, Then cavil the conditions?
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • You will tell me, I know, that this may or may NOT have happened; but I will listen to no cavil, unless you can point out any other method of understanding the affair as satisfactory at this.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • ’tis love you cavil at: I am not Love.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • "What did we say Simpson’s was?" asked Morel; and the butties cavilled for a minute over the dayman’s earnings.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers
  • I am too gratified to get such a mark of your friendship at any price to cavil at the tone.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • 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 sufficiently papish, that the King is not sufficiently royal, and that the night…
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • After some little cavil at the word ’sincere,’ and asking him if I had ever given him any answers which were not sincere, I promised him I would.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
  • Nor do I fear that my sensible reader, though most luxurious in his taste, will start, cavil, or be offended, because I have named but one article.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • I actually reached a point where I said to myself, right out loud, like a lunatic, If I hear just one more picky, cavilling, unconstructive word out of you, Franny Glass, you and I are finished—but finished.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • Now that the refusal came, and that in terms so decided as to put all cavilling out of the question; if not absolutely dumbfounded, he was so much mortified and surprised as to feel no wish to attempt to change her resolution.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • Mr. Glegg’s unmistakable kind-heartedness was shown in this, that it pained him more to see his wife at variance with others,—even with Dolly, the servant,—than to be in a state of cavil with her himself; and the quarrel between her and Mr. Tulliver vexed him so much that it quite nullified the pleasure he would otherwise have had in the state of his early cabbages, as he walked in his garden before breakfast the next morning.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • They ought not to have wandered into inflammatory declamations and unmeaning cavils about the extent of the powers.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • The Writer of this, is one of those few, who never dishonours religion either by ridiculing, or cavilling at any denomination whatsoever.
    Thomas Paine  --  Common Sense
  • I do not care: I’ll give thrice so much land To any well-deserving friend; But in the way of bargain, mark ye me, I’ll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
    William Shakespeare  --  Henry IV, Part 1
  • Next for thy cavilling Of wrath at mine alliance with a king, Here thou shalt see I both was wise, and free From touch of passion, and a friend to thee Most potent, and my children ….
    Euripides  --  Medea
  • No opposition was made, therefore, and before morning Jasper had apparently dropped quietly into all his former authority, issuing his orders freely, and meeting with obedience without hesitation or cavil.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • For weeks he would lounge around the taverns of the county, in a state of perfect idleness, or doing small jobs for his liquor and his meals, and cavilling with applicants about the prices of his labor; frequently preferring idleness to an abatement of a little of his independence, or a cent in his wages.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • In very terror I at morn awake, Upon the verge of bitter weeping, To see the day of disappointment break, To no one hope of mine—not one—its promise keeping:— That even each joy’s presentiment With wilful cavil would diminish, With grinning masks of life prevent My mind its fairest work to finish!
    Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)  --  Faust
  • "Cavilling, not gravelling," said Don Quixote, "thou prevaricator of honest language, God confound thee!"
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • 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.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Anne, far from wishing to cavil at the pleasure, replied, "I can easily believe it.
    Jane Austen  --  Persuasion
  • Where are your cavils about the soul now?
    Walt Whitman  --  Leaves of Grass
  • I have been surprized that Horace should cavil at this art in Homer; but indeed he contradicts himself in the very next line: _Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus; Verum opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • They cavilled about sharing the twenty guineas.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers
  • The answer is, that it could only have been done for greater caution, and to guard against all cavilling refinements in those who might hereafter feel a disposition to curtail and evade the legitimate authorities of the Union.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • DOGMATIST I’ll not be led by any lure Of doubts or critic-cavils: The Devil must be something, sure,— Or how should there be devils?
    Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)  --  Faust
  • And yet, beyond a cavil, Like "the Gods of Greece," must he Also be a devil.
    Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)  --  Faust
  • Whatever it was, it satisfied the landlord for his bodily hurt; but he lamented he had not known before how little the lady valued her money; "For to be sure," says he, "one might have charged every article double, and she would have made no cavil at the reckoning."
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • Except some cavils about the power of convening EITHER house of the legislature, and that of receiving ambassadors, no objection has been made to this class of authorities; nor could they possibly admit of any.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • It might even have occurred to them, that where a disposition to cavil prevailed, their neglect to execute the degree of power vested in them, and still more their recommendation of any measure whatever, not warranted by their commission, would not less excite animadversion, than a recommendation at once of a measure fully commensurate to the national exigencies.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • …and loving them, observing characters and absorbing them, My soul vibrated back to me from them, from sight, hearing, touch, reason, articulation, comparison, memory, and the like, The real life of my senses and flesh transcending my senses and flesh, My body done with materials, my sight done with my material eyes, Proved to me this day beyond cavil that it is not my material eyes which finally see, Nor my material body which finally loves, walks, laughs, shouts, embraces, procreates.
    Walt Whitman  --  Leaves of Grass
  • …of what I have felt "—the youth paused a moment, as if suddenly recollecting that he was overstepping prescribed limits, and concluded with a good deal of embarrassment—" what I have felt at this danger to Miss—Grant, and—and your daughter, sir," But the heart of Marmaduke was too much softened to admit his cavilling at trifles, and, without regarding the confusion of the other, he replied: "I thank thee, thank thee, Oliver; as thou sayest, it is almost too horrid to be remembered.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • …it should be said that defects in the State constitutions furnish no apology for those which are to be found in the plan proposed, I answer, that as the former have never been thought chargeable with inattention to the security of liberty, where the imputations thrown on the latter can be shown to be applicable to them also, the presumption is that they are rather the cavilling refinements of a predetermined opposition, than the well-founded inferences of a candid research after truth.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • It sounded to her cavilling and bitchy, and she felt a wave of self-hatred that, quite literally, made her forehead begin to perspire again.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
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