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Captious   Listen
adjective
Captious  adj.  
1.
Apt to catch at faults; disposed to find fault or to cavil; eager to object; difficult to please. "A captious and suspicious age." "I am sensible I have not disposed my materials to abide the test of a captious controversy."
2.
Fitted to harass, perplex, or insnare; insidious; troublesome. "Captious restraints on navigation."
Synonyms: Caviling, carping, fault-finding; censorious; hypercritical; peevish, fretful; perverse; troublesome. Captious, caviling, Carping. A captious person is one who has a fault-finding habit or manner, or is disposed to catch at faults, errors, etc., with quarrelsome intent; a caviling person is disposed to raise objections on frivolous grounds; carping implies that one is given to ill-natured, persistent, or unreasonable fault-finding, or picking up of the words or actions of others. "Caviling is the carping of argument, carping the caviling of ill temper."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Captious" Quotes from Famous Books



... indeed! Why, here it all was in Japanese farce! From the passivity of the passengers to the pantomime of the driver and guard, it could hardly have been done better; and the actors all kept their countenances, too, in such a surprising manner. A captious critic might have suggested that they looked a thought too much at the audience; but, on the whole, I think that rather added to the effect. At all events, they were excellently good, especially the guard, whose consequential airs ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... her tendency to self-assertion had been considerably developed. The force and decision with which she gave her opinion about everything seemed to Madam Garvloit sometimes (although she said nothing) rather like a reversing of their relative positions; and on days when she was in a captious humour—and those were her days of most feverish activity—she would even go so far as to set aside her mistress's orders altogether. In a general way her moods were very uncertain: one day she would be in tearing spirits, racing up and down the stairs ...
— The Pilot and his Wife • Jonas Lie

... his eagle glance from one feature to another of the obsequies with the comprehensive yet swift perception of an artist. An experience of three years on the staff had made him an expert on ceremonies, and, captious as he could be when the occasion merited his scorn, his predilection was for praise, as he was an optimist by instinct. This time he could praise unreservedly, and he was impatient to transfer to the pages of his note-book ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... which he had to endure from her, sometimes, as he says, on occasions when he appeared to himself deserving rather of thanks than of censure. The earl of Shrewsbury often complains to his correspondents of her captious and irascible temper; and we find Walsingham taking pains to console sir Henry Sidney under some manifestations of her displeasure, by the assurance that they had proceeded only from one of those transient gusts ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... multifarious as to confuse the mind of God, we are content to let it refute itself in every mind which has any just sense of divine knowledge and wisdom. The second objection, that some things are beneath God's notice, if it be not a captious cavil, must result from pushing too far the analogy between earthly kings and the King of kings. It is an imperfection in human potentates that they need vicegerents; let us not then attribute such a weakness to God, fancying him altogether such a one as ourselves. Again, ...
— Conversion of a High Priest into a Christian Worker • Meletios Golden

... importance, as the other hands improv'd in the business; and, when Keimer paid my second quarter's wages, he let me know that he felt them too heavy, and thought I should make an abatement. He grew by degrees less civil, put on more of the master, frequently found fault, was captious, and seem'd ready for an outbreaking. I went on, nevertheless, with a good deal of patience, thinking that his encumber'd circumstances were partly the cause. At length a trifle snapt our connections; ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... that you dress your hair in such an unbecoming manner, that your management of your household is not what it should be, she takes an unwarrantable liberty. If traced back, the source of these remarks would be found in a large percentage of instances, in a disagreeable temper, captious humors, and a spirit that is anything but Christian. One may be entirely truthful without bestowing gratuitous ...
— The Secret of a Happy Home (1896) • Marion Harland

... would be more plainly expressed were the sentence punctuated and pointed as follows: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham, was I AM;" which means the same as had He said—Before Abraham, was I, Jehovah. The captious Jews were so offended at hearing Him use a name which, through an erroneous rendering of an earlier scripture,[90] they held was not to be uttered on pain of death, that they immediately took up stones with the intent of killing Him. The Jews regarded Jehovah as an ineffable ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... having sidled up to him. On any other occasion Brand would have resented the touch, the invitation, the mere presence of this theatrical-looking albino. But he was not in a captious mood. How could he refuse when he heard Natalie say, in her soft, ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... de fair sex am so captious 'bout us gemmen; but Vic is up dar, and you can ask her, she knows all 'bout de 'prieties. Smart gal, dat Vic, I tell you; loves Miss Elsie, too, ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... occurrence found Mabel very dull, and very captious. She was of course glad to know that the brooch had been found, but very uneasy at the manner of finding it. She was not, in truth, sorry for the fault that she had committed, but her proud spirit chafed at the idea of being talked about in the Maitland family, especially as ...
— Aunt Mary • Mrs. Perring

... Reader, that in that which is the more useful part of this Discourse, that is to say, the observations of the nature and breeding, and seasons, and catching of fish, I am not so simple as not to know, that a captious reader may find exceptions against something said of some of these; and therefore I must entreat him to con. eider, that experience teaches us to know that several countries alter the time, and I think, almost the manner, ...
— The Complete Angler • Izaak Walton

... more ardent men. In 1808, his absence, from illness, was regretted by Mr. O'Connell in an eloquent speech addressed to the Committee on the necessity of united action and incessant petitions. "Had he been present," said the young barrister, "his powers of reasoning would have frightened away the captious objections" to that course, "and the Catholics of Ireland would again have to thank their old and useful servant for the preservation of their honour and the support of their interests." It was a strange anomaly, ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... consent. Polk conquered the Californians, and Pierce bought the New Mexicans. Seward bought the Russians and Alaskans, and we have governed them ever since, without their consent. Is it easy, in the face of such facts, to preserve your respect for an objection so obviously captious as that based on the phrase from the Declaration ...
— Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses • Whitelaw Reid

... known to sputter violently and vehemently. Upon this production—now abiding as a memory only, yet a memory bitter as aloes—he had spared neither expense nor pains, even going so far as personally to direct the filming of all the principal scenes. And to what ends? Captious critics, including those who wrote for the daily press and those who merely sent in offensive letters—college professors and such like cheap high-brows—had raised yawping voices to point out that Paul Revere galloping ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... inclinations led him to the society of the green-room. Of western critics and reviewers he was the first favorite among dramatic people. Helpful, kind, and enthusiastic, he was rarely severe and never captious. Though in no sense an analyst, he was an amusing reviewer and a great advertiser. Once he conceived an attachment for an actor or actress, his generous mind set about bringing such fortunate person more conspicuously into public notice. Emma Abbott's baby, which she never had, and ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... for Mr. Secretary was slow, captious, and argumentative, though the matter of the dispatch was only as to where the army should halt for a day's rest. At last Preston was decided on, and the dispatch written accordingly. I bowed myself out, jumped on the sorrel, and started for the ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... has been given to the important technological development that cleared the way for him. Without it he could not have emerged so startlingly; without it there would have been no modern wood engraving. It is not captious to point out the purely industrial basis for his coming to prominence. Even had he been a greater artist, a study of the technical means at hand would have validity in showing the interrelation of industry and art although, of course, the aesthetic ...
— Why Bewick Succeeded - A Note in the History of Wood Engraving • Jacob Kainen

... the Provost." This was quite enough—no further questions were asked, and the head of the University preferred a merciful course towards the offender, to repudiating his wife and disowning his children. Now for the application. Certain captious and incredulous people have doubted the veracity of the adventures I have recorded in these pages; I do not think it necessary to appeal to concurrent testimony and credible witnesses for their proof, but I pledge myself to the fact that every tittle I have related is as true as that my name ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Vol. 1 • Charles James Lever

... together with the circumstances of the time, the season, the climate, and the military difficulties. Conscious of what their obligations were, they would continue to use their best endeavours to fulfil them, unmoved by the threats and the captious criticisms of the Opposition." The ...
— The Grand Old Man • Richard B. Cook

... three times, repeating to him the words already quoted, "I have made myself anathema for the sake of all, like Moses and St. Paul." A painful mixture of the frivolous and the serious, of sincerity and captious reservations, of resolution and weakness, at which nobody has any right to be shocked who is not determined to be pitiless towards human nature, and to make no allowance in the case of the best men for complication of the facts, ideas, ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... children (principally their daughters) from marrying, in order to retain them around them at home. Certainly matches are now and then projected which it is the duty of a parent to oppose; but there are two kinds of opposition, a conscientious and sorrowful opposition, and an egotistical and captious opposition, and men and women, in their self-deception, may sometimes mistake the one for the other. 'Marry your daughters lest they marry themselves, and run off with the ploughman or the groom' is an axiom of worldly wisdom. Marry your daughters, if you ...
— The Golden Censer - The duties of to-day, the hopes of the future • John McGovern

... inward tremors at the certain knowledge that only a scant quarter-inch of frail wood and canvas stood between him and a watery grave. He regarded a canoe with distrust. Nor could he understand the careless confidence with which his guides embarked in so captious a craft upon the swirling bosom of that wide, swift stream they had followed from Athabasca Landing down to the lake of the same name. To Thompson—if he had been capable of analyzing his sensations and transmuting them into words—the river seemed inexplicably sinister, a turbid monster writhing ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... Certain captious correspondents like "O. T." and "Disgusted" have pointed out that my selections during this period show a loss of L104 9s. 11-1/2d. on a flat stake of L1. All I can say is that people who bet increasing stakes are increasing, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, December 1, 1920 • Various

... all—wife, children, clerks and servants—under an almost savage despotism. I could—I speak for myself only—I could have accommodated myself to this life if the power thus exercised had had an equal repression; but, captious and vacillating, he treated us all with intolerable alternations. We were always ignorant whether we were doing right or whether he considered us to blame; and the horrible expectancy which results from that is torture ...
— The Village Rector • Honore de Balzac

... in a very captious mood, and declaring she was weary and had a pain in her head; she said she needed no supper, and went up to her little attic chamber in the ...
— Penshurst Castle - In the Days of Sir Philip Sidney • Emma Marshall

... Whetstone of Reproofe, or a Reproving Censvre of the misintitled Safe Way: declaring it by Discourie of the Authors fraudulent Proceeding, and captious Cauilling, to be a miere By-way, drawing pore Trauellers out of the royalle and common Streete, and leading them deceitfully into a Path of Perdition. With a Postscript of Advertisements, especially touching the Homilie and Epistles attributed to Alfric: and a compendious ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 45, Saturday, September 7, 1850 • Various

... that the governor of Nova Scotia, Sir Richard Graves Macdonnell, was opposed to Confederation. The veiled hostility of his speech in Halifax has already been noted; and he followed it with another at Montreal, after the conference, which revealed a captious mind on the subject. Arthur Hamilton Gordon (afterwards Lord Stanmore), the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, also hampered the movement; although the Imperial instructions, even at this early stage of the proceedings, ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... face was stranger, more mysterious, to an artistic or an imaginative mind; but youth, and intense life, and endless variety usually carry the day with a man's captious heart, and ...
— Mae Madden • Mary Murdoch Mason

... in every individual case. It may be that in the great majority of cases the harm is insignificant in comparison with the good. However that may be, the question is there, and it is of itself fatal to the conclusiveness of the argumentum ex machina. That this is not a captious criticism, that it is based on substantial facts of life, ordinary experience sufficiently attests; but it may not be amiss to point to a conspicuous contemporary phenomenon which throws an interesting light on the matter. The Christian Scientists regard the ignoring ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... who had the hardihood to defend him against them! In private, the author of Political Justice at one time reminded those who knew him of the metaphysician engrafted on the Dissenting Minister. There was a dictatorial, captious, quibbling pettiness of manner. He lost this with the first blush and awkwardness of popularity, which surprised him in the retirement of his study; and he has since, with the wear and tear of society, from being too pragmatical, become somewhat too careless. He is, at present, as easy ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... always found him too good to be argued with—too kind, I mean, and large of heart, and wedded to his own peculiar turns. There was nothing about him that one could dislike, or strike fire at, and be captious; and he always proceeded with such pity for those who were opposed to him that they always knew they must be wrong, though he was too polite to tell them so. And he had such a pleasant, paternal way ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... long and acrimonious controversy, to result in the expulsion of the society from almost every nation of Catholic Europe, in its being stigmatized by Pope Benedict XIV., in 1741, as made up of "disobedient, contumacious, captious, and reprobate persons," and at last in its being suppressed and abolished by Pope Clement XIV., in 1773, as a nuisance to Christendom. We need, indeed, to make allowance for the intense animosity of sectarian strife among ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... language, invented the expressions negro peasants of the West Indies, black vassalage, and patriarchal protection: that is profaning the noble qualities of the mind and the imagination, for the purpose of exculpating by illusory comparisons or captious sophisms excesses which afflict humanity, and which prepare the way for violent convulsions. Do they think that they have acquired the right of putting down commiseration, by comparing* the condition ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... himself became a disciple. The triumph of the good cause was hastened by the result of a formal disputation between the prophet and the wise men of the court: for three days they essayed to bewilder him with their captious objections and their magic arts, thirty standing on his right hand and thirty on his left, but he baffled their wiles, aided by grace from above, and having forced them to avow themselves at the end of their resources, he completed his victory ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... He had delivered his speech with the evident satisfaction of a man entitled to claim the appreciation of the most captious critics. ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... observations upon what had passed. Delia gently blamed her for having so strangely occasioned the interview, though in reality she was by no means displeased by the event it had produced. "Bless us, child, you are as captious as any thing. Why I would not but have seen it for ever so much. Well, he is a sweet dear man, and so kind, and so polite, for all the world I think him just such another as Mr. Prattle. But then he is grave, and makes such fine speeches, it does one's heart ...
— Damon and Delia - A Tale • William Godwin

... no breakfast yet," said Mr. Winkleman, as he drew out his watch, on completing his own toilet. Mrs. Winkleman was in the act of dressing the last of five children, all of whom had passed under her hands. Each had been captious, cross, or unruly, sorely trying the mother's patience. Twice had she been in the kitchen, to see how breakfast was progressing, and to enjoin the careful preparation of a favourite dish with which she had purposed ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... the expected but long-deferred speech. Certain though he had been that she would not say him nay, he was thrilled with joy at the completeness and sweetness of her surrender. Here was surely a heart made for love and steadfastness. Here was no caprice or questionings or captious standards of convention. ...
— Cabbages and Kings • O. Henry

... not of this world." This declaration contained a truth to which even the favored disciple had been partly blind. Was he not ready to ask with Pilate, though with different spirit and purpose, "Art thou a King then?" The Lord's answer must have meant more to the listening Apostle than to the captious and heedless Governor. It was a declaration of the true kingship of the Messiah-King,—"To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should ...
— A Life of St. John for the Young • George Ludington Weed

... him. It almost seemed to her that he was shallow, lacking in comprehension, and once she found herself comparing him with another man. She, however, broke off that train of thought abruptly, and once more endeavoured to find the explanation in herself. Weariness had induced this captious, hypercritical fit, and by and bye she would become used to ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... appeared the pink of courtesy, the perfection of gentlemanlike ease and good-humour; whilst I, unable to suppress symptoms of indignation, of contempt, and perhaps of jealousy, appeared, in striking contrast, captious, haughty, and at best incomprehensible. Mr. Montenero looked at me with much surprise, and some concern. In Miss Montenero's countenance I thought I saw more concern than surprise; she was alarmed— she grew pale, and I repented of some haughty answer I had made to Lord Mowbray, in ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... prodigious age, his stoop, and his wealth, could still scramble up two pairs for a fee of six livres. More than is the case with most medical patients, however, should we suspect Smollett of being unduly captious. The point as to how far his sketch of the French doctor and his diagnosis was a true one, and how far a mere caricature, due to ill health and prejudice, has always piqued my curiosity. But how to resolve a question involving so many problems ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... architects felt the awkwardness so strongly that they avoided it wherever they could. In the beautiful facade of Laon, one of the chief beauties is the setting of the rose under a deep round arch. The western roses of Mantes and Paris are treated in the same way, although a captious critic might complain that their treatment is not so effective or so logical. Rheims boldly imprisoned the roses within the pointed arch; but Amiens, toward 1240, took refuge in the same square exterior setting that was preferred, in 1200, ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... do not wish to seem captious and always sticking my nose into what is none of my business, but as a logical and zoological fact, I desire, in my cursory way, to coolly take up the subject of the buffalo tail. Those who have been in the habit of killing ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... abundant; much of it intelligent and helpful, and by no means so much of it as might have been expected captious. Of what may be called official reviews there have been three, one from the Diocese of Central New York, one from the Diocese of Wisconsin, and one from the Diocese of Easton. The subject has also been dealt with in carefully prepared essays published from time to time in The Church Review ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... certain of it, and from this moment his features wore a calm and contemptuous smile, an unchangeable expression of scorn. With an ironic curiosity he followed his judges through the labyrinth of artfully contrived captious questions by which they hoped to entangle him; occasionally he gave himself, as it were for his own amusement, the appearance of voluntarily being caught in their nets, until he finally by a side spring tore their whole web to pieces ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... his confreres, he supposed it was the old sing-song protest, possibly on this occasion because they had recently directed that the boys attending the schools of the Board should come in "Eton" suits, the cost of which naturally fell upon the rates, or some captious objection of that kind, which it really was a waste of breath to discuss. However, whatever it was, he added, he was willing ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. February 14, 1891. • Various

... talent, and predicted a brilliant future for her. Andreas Doederlein accepted the congratulations in the spirit of a seasoned patron of the arts; Herr Carovius was in the seventh heaven of joy. He who had formerly been so captious never uttered a critical word. He had taken to worshipping the Dorothea cult, and this ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... seemingly equal ardor, each to be superseded in its turn by some new attraction. Where, on the other hand, the union is the result, not of love, but of mutual esteem and confidence, aided by motives of convenience, the very possibility of an easy divorce would render each party captious and suspicious, so that confidence could be easily shaken, and esteem easily impaired; while in those who expect always to have a common home the tendency is to those habits of mutual tolerance, accommodation, and concession, through ...
— A Manual of Moral Philosophy • Andrew Preston Peabody

... time there was a very visible alteration in Miss Betty's behaviour. She grew reserved to her sister as well as to me. She was fretful and captious on the slightest occasion; nay, she affected much to talk on the ill consequences of an imprudent marriage, especially before her mother; and if ever any little tenderness or endearments escaped me in public towards Amelia, she never ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... themselves upon Rieka.... For the first and solitary time Rieka fell into the hands of the Croats. It was, wrote the contemporary Giacich, an enemy invasion." Mr. Susmel sails merrily ahead, for he knows that Truth is mighty and that it is said to prevail; but in order to convince the most captious he calls on Mr. Giacich to testify. I know nothing about Mr. Giacich except that he was a contemporary—and yet it seems that one ought not to wish that Mr. Susmel had rather put his faith in Cavour, who was ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... wonderful title page, constructed apparently on the same lines as an obituary, or the inscription on a tombstone, save for the quantity and variety of information contained in it. Much of the matter would seem to the captious critic better adapted to the body of the book than to the title page, but Rebecca was apparently anxious that the principal personages in her chronicle should be well described at ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... more coolly and veraciously, and ere long some of them begin to pick holes in the affair. The men of the hunt run it up, while those of the next hunt run it down. Added to this there are generally some cavilling, captious fellows in every field who extol a run to the master's face, and abuse it behind his back. So it was on the present occasion. The men of the hunt—Charley Slapp, Lumpleg, Guano, Crane, Washball, and ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... the Earl for a few minutes during the rest of the day, and with him the statesman was so captious, irritable, and sneering, that, reading his feelings by the key his son had given, Wilton had every reason to believe himself to be in high favour. Various matters of business, however, occurred to keep him late at the Earl's house, and night had fallen when ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... bunch of aromatic leaves and burst into a song; and Mahony. ... Good God! With a cloudless sky overhead, a decent bit of horseflesh between his knees, and the prospect of a three days' holiday from storekeeping, his name would not have been what it was if he had for long remained captious, downhearted. Insufficient sleep, and an empty stomach—nothing on earth besides! A fig for his black thoughts! The fact of his being obliged to spend a few years in the colony would, in the end, profit him, by widening his experience of the world and his fellow-men. It was possible to lead a ...
— Australia Felix • Henry Handel Richardson

... heard in one loud din: The monkey-mimics rush discordant in; 'Twas chattering, grinning, mouthing, jabbering all, And noise and Norton, brangling and Breval,[322] Dennis and dissonance, and captious art, And snip-snap short, and interruption smart, 240 And demonstration thin, and theses thick, And major, minor, and conclusion quick. 'Hold' (cried the queen) 'a cat-call each shall win; Equal your merits! equal ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... are sure to be hurl'd at your Face or Cloaths; and if you appear concern'd or angry, they rejoyce at it, pleas'd the more, the more they displease; for all other Resentment is at that time out of Season, though at other times few in the World are fuller of Resentment or more captious. ...
— Military Memoirs of Capt. George Carleton • Daniel Defoe

... "tackless," as Fanny called it, but however kindly Emily had been told of her carelessness she would have been certain to fly into a rage; and they had put up with so much from her without complaining, that no one could accuse them of being fidgety or captious. ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... staked on this case, that all his resources were embarked in it, that it had fallen, as it were, from heaven into his hands—wherefore the greater the pity if things went amiss—rendered him peculiarly captious and impracticable. After this every day, nay, every hour, that passed without bringing him to Lord Chatham's presence augmented his suspense and doubled his anxiety. To be put off, not one day, but two days, three days—what might not happen in three days!—was a ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... to think of Raleigh administering rough justice from the granite judgment-seat on some windy tor of Dartmoor, than to picture him squabbling for rooms at Court with 'Pecora Campi,' or ogling a captious royal beauty of some fifty summers, Raleigh's work in the West has made little noise in history; but it was as wholesome and capable as the most famous of ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... was to be kept secret. When secrecy was no longer possible a commercial treaty was made between the United States and the allies, February 6, 1778, but was not signed until Arthur Lee, of Virginia, one of the commissioners, had made a good deal of mischief by his captious opposition to Franklin, whom he envied and hated. The treaty becoming known to the English government in a few days, Lord North, who saw breakers ahead, was now anxious for conciliation with America. It was too late. There could be no conciliation short ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... half stamp must have done duty as a whole one, because it certainly took two 3d stamps to make up the 10 cents rate. The puzzle remains a puzzle to us, but we are grateful to Messrs. Morgenthau for their courteous reply to what may have appeared a captious criticism. ...
— The Stamps of Canada • Bertram Poole

... and not invalidate him. Even if he should come to life in a way one can scarcely anticipate, his proceedings will have to be carefully watched. He cannot claim the reticences of a "party truce." He will be all the better for a candid, though I hope not captious, Opposition. ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... avenue, as if expecting the post-chaise; and between whiles busied herself in adjusting the blankets, so as to protect her father from the cold, and in answering inquiries, which he seemed to make with a captious and querulous manner. She did not trust herself to look towards the Place, although the hum of the assembled crowd must have drawn her attention in that direction. The fourth person of the group was a handsome and genteel young ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... behind it works of art which betray no personal agitation. On the contrary, her revolt, her passion, all the violence of her sensibility, are present on her written page, and we cannot read it with serenity or with a merely captious curiosity, because her own eager spirit, immortal in its active force, seems to ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... rattled on. (Nikolay Vsyevolodovitch had said nothing at all.) "Of course, of course. I assure you I'm not here to compromise you by my company, by claiming you as my comrade. But do you know you're horribly captious to-day; I ran in to you with a light and open heart, and you seem to be laying up every word I say against me. I assure you I'm not going to begin about anything shocking to-day, I give you my word, and I agree beforehand ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... intended uses—the age it is designed to meet being that of the lowest classes in the primary schools, or say from four to seven or eight years—than any of its predecessors. It will not, we hope, therefore, be understood as in a captious spirit, that we take ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... for work, he had played truant with a keener delight than any of his school-fellows. His was an eminently contemplative nature, kindly and indolent, but proud and almost savage in its love of independence; religious, yet opposed to all authority; somewhat captious, very suspicious, and inexorable with hypocrites. The observances of the cloister inspired him with but little awe; and as a result of once or twice speaking his mind too freely to the monks he was expelled from the school. ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... it appeared that Sir Henry Harcourt had already learned how to assume the cross brow of a captious husband; that the sharp word was already spoken on light occasions—spoken without cause and listened to with apparent indifference. Even before Adela such words were spoken, and then Caroline would ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... extraordinary successes which place an author suddenly at the top of the ladder, she was steadily climbing upward, and was well known for her good and conscientious work. The books she wrote were clever, though cynical and captious; yet here and there they contained passages of pathos and beauty which insured a fair amount of favor. Her work was always welcome and well paid, so well that she could live comfortably on the income ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... I describe the closing scene of this eventful story? I will imagine nothing; I will exaggerate nothing; for, during the whole progress of the story, it has been my constant care not to give the most captious critic the opportunity of saying that I have exaggerated a single incident. I will relate faithfully what I saw in my dream, and that only; diminishing nothing, ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... to an account of her Continental wanderings and her bloodless encounters with various foreigners and their ridiculous un-English customs from which she had emerged triumphant and victorious. Mrs. Hubbard's precarious state of health had led her into being unusually captious, it seemed. Miss Pringle was more than ever content to be back in Tunbridge Wells, where all the world was, by comparison, sane and ...
— The Land of Promise • D. Torbett

... houses are nearly always charmingly kind and obliging without ever descending to familiarity; in fact, I believe that, if England be taken all round, it will be found that female post-office clerks are the only servants who are positively offensive. They are spoiled by the hurried, captious, tiresome persons who haunt post-offices at all hours, and in self-defence they are apt to convert themselves into moral analogues of the fretful porcupine. Perhaps the queenly dames in railway refreshment-rooms ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... and drove towards his hotel. He was wearied and cynical. A drive of a dozen miles through unpicturesque outlying villages, past small economic farmhouses, and hideous villas that violated his fastidious taste, had, I fear, left that gentleman in a captious state of mind. He would have even avoided his taciturn landlord as he drove up to the door; but that functionary waylaid him on the steps. "There's a lady in the sittin'-room, waitin' for ye." Mr. Prince hurried up stairs, ...
— Tales of the Argonauts • Bret Harte

... happy effect upon the weak side of his adversary's merriment. There too might be seen the wayward and the talented George Cook, gentlemanly in conduct, and full of anecdote when sober, but ever captious and uproarious in his cups. Then might be heard a strange encounter of expressions between the queen of Covent Garden and the voluptuary, Lord Barrymore,{8} seconded by his brother, the pious Augustus. In one corner might be seen poor Dermody, ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... atmosphere slightly affected the moral and political, for men's minds were much unsettled, and their tempers very captious. The King, with his usual fickleness and love of novelty, had thrown himself completely into the arms of the horde of poor relations whom the new Queen brought over with her, particularly of her uncle, Guglielmo of Savoy, the Bishop of Valentia, whom he ...
— Earl Hubert's Daughter - The Polishing of the Pearl - A Tale of the 13th Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... called "a sure little junto,"—Pitt, Ryder, and Jenkinson. He further accused them of taking the corn trade out of the hands of the merchants and then dropping State management prematurely. Over against this captious comment may be placed the undoubted fact that, early in the year 1796, wheat sold at six guineas the quarter, and by the month of May was down nearly to normal prices. In that month Pitt deemed the crisis ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... bitterly, "is to be treated, as usual, like a child, and told nothing of her husband's danger till it's over. As for Peter—well, devoted mother as she is, she must be pretty well accustomed by this time to the captious indifference of her spoilt boy. She won't be surprised, though she may be hurt, that he should coolly propose to set off without ...
— Peter's Mother • Mrs. Henry De La Pasture

... dresses And a course of quiet cramming will supply us with the rest. We've a choir hyporchematic (that is, ballet-operatic) Who respond to the choreut of that cultivated age, And our clever chorus-master, all but captious criticaster Would accept as the choregus of the early Attic stage. This return to classic ages is considered in their wages, Which are always calculated by the day or by the week— And I'll pay 'em (if they'll back ...
— The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan - The 14 Gilbert And Sullivan Plays • William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

... children would be pleased to be able to render their new instructer some service, and would go to the school-room on the next morning with a feeling of acquaintance with him, and a predisposition to be pleased. And if by chance any family should be thus called upon, that had heretofore been captious or complaining, or disposed to be jealous of the higher importance or influence of other families,—that spirit would be entirely softened and subdued by such an interview with their new instructer at their own fireside, on the evening ...
— The Teacher - Or, Moral Influences Employed in the Instruction and - Government of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... of fact, Massachusetts seems to have taken no detriment from this foolish and captious bit of chicanery. All the papers and arguments which she had occasion to have presented always found their way to their destination as well as they would have done if Franklin had been acknowledged as the quasi public minister, which he conceived ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... inviting subject for tete-a-tetes and confidential dialogues, thought the young man, could not well exist; but so it was; woman's caprices are inexplicable; and not only Rose and her aunt, but even the captious and somewhat distrustful Biddy, manifested on all occasions not only friendship, but ...
— Jack Tier or The Florida Reef • James Fenimore Cooper

... and, when it is insufficient, is content to suspend judgment without resorting to conjecture; or that his views both on points of conduct and literary questions, if not marked by any striking originality, show clear and vigorous thinking and are stated in a way that provokes no impatience or captious dissent. The interest of the narrative is well sustained, and the general impression left by it that of a report made by an expert on documents that needed to be thoroughly sifted in order that the issues which had been raised might be succinctly set forth and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... 'A captious, long-tongued, short-witted sluggard,' said the soldier of fortune. 'The expedition was doomed from the first with such men at its head. Yet I had thought that could they have done nought else, they might at least have flung themselves into ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... unrelenting in her demands on those she loves. Many of her letters are in a strain of exhortation that rises into rebuke. The impression at first is unpleasant. We are tempted to feel this unfailing candour captious; to resent the note of authority, equally clear whether she write to Pope or Cardinal; to suspect Catherine, in a word, of assuming that very judicial attitude which she constantly deprecates as unbecoming to ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... was an expert swimmer, a rather unusual accomplishment for a sailor. He was always on the lookout for an opportunity to dive overboard, disrobing in the air, and rescuing the perishing. There is even a legend of his having saved a washer-woman from drowning when he was but eight years old. A captious critic has remarked that probably the old lady fell into her washtub. Thereupon, a kinsman of the great man comes forward to give the facts, which are that the woman was doing laundry-work by the riverside, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... muttered Mrs Moss as she turned, and occupied herself with some mysterious—we might almost say captious—operations before the looking-glass. "The mountain air seems to have increased her spirits wonderfully. Perhaps love has something to do with it! ...
— The Eagle Cliff • R.M. Ballantyne

... war, were specially interested in promptly securing all the conditions of a magnanimous peace. It could not anticipate that quibbles would be made by the defeated and lately suppliant parties, that captious objections would be interposed, that carping criticism would be indulged, that gross outrages would be perpetrated, that absurd conditions would be demanded, and that finally a postponement of the whole procedure ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... composed of men capable, on the one hand, of judging of the expediency of the general policy involved, and willing, on the other hand, to trust for details to the official in charge of the measure, without any desire for captious interference with details. It consisted largely of men, each of whom had important duties to discharge, and was anxious to facilitate the discharge of duties by his colleagues. It was emphatically a body which meant business, and had no temptation to practise ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... be haughty, I will remember she is a Douglas, and hath right, as being such, to entertain as much pride as may become a mortal; if she be fretful, I will recollect that she is unfortunate, and if she be unreasonably captious, I will not forget that she is my protectress. Heed no longer for me, my lord, when you have placed me under the noble lady's charge. But my poor father, to be exposed amongst these wild ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... adopted in his last memoir. In his history he asserts with great confidence, and somewhat broadly, that 'le monotheisme resume et explique tous les caracteres de la race Semitique.' In his later pamphlet he is more captious. As an experienced pleader he is ready to make many concessions in order to gain all the more readily our assent to his general proposition. He points out himself with great candour the weaker points of his argument, though, of course, only ...
— Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I - Essays on the Science of Religion • Friedrich Max Mueller

... clever "Captious Critic" of later days, followed "W. G."—a contributor of a couple of trifles—and worked for Punch from 1870 to 1874, making seven-and-twenty drawings, "socials" chiefly, in his well-known style. It was in the latter year that Tom Taylor succeeded to the editorship, ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... very captious, Mr. Glenarm. I had to learn to satisfy him, and I believe I did it, sir, ...
— The House of a Thousand Candles • Meredith Nicholson

... plentifully, that they need not be very anxious to get Law into their Heads for the Service of their Country at the Bar; but are of those who are sent (as the Phrase of Parents is) to the Temple to know how to keep their own. One of these Gentlemen is very loud and captious at a Coffee-house which I frequent, and being in his Nature troubled with an Humour of Contradiction, though withal excessive Ignorant, he has found a way to indulge this Temper, go on in Idleness and Ignorance, and yet still give himself the Air of a very learned and knowing Man, by the Strength ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... holy men; but I misdoubt if either were perfect man apart from his priesthood—my Lord of Winchester more in especial. Against my Lord of Exeter have I but little to say; he was fumish [irritable, captious] man, but no worse. But my Lord of Winchester did I never trust, nor did I cease to marvel that man could. As to King Edward, betray him to his enemies to-day, and he should put his life in your hands again to-morrow: never saw I man like to him, that no experience ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... particular and captious when not properly addressed. When an order is given by a commanding officer, it is not unusual to say, "Very good, Sir;" implying that you perfectly understand, and are going cheerfully to obey it. I had adopted this answer, and gave it to his lordship when I received an order from him, ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... the sonnets of both poets as criterion, the careful Daniel uses twice as many rhyme colours as Shakespeare, while Shakespeare repeats rhymes twice as often as Daniel. If double rhymes find less favor with the captious, we admit that Daniel has a third more than Shakespeare has, but again Shakespeare uses twice as many rhymes on syllables with secondary stress as does Daniel, and Shakespeare's bad rhymes are as bad as ...
— Elizabethan Sonnet-Cycles - Delia - Diana • Samuel Daniel and Henry Constable

... There's plenty of good in a girl who can laugh like that! After the grimacing genius there followed a short drama of stage mother-love, in which the angel-child dies strenuously in his little white bed. Nancy dabbled her eyes, and blew her nose with what her captious companion ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... best, For my company possesses all the necessary dresses, And a course of quiet cramming will supply us with the rest. We've a choir hyporchematic (that is, ballet-operatic) Who respond to the CHOREUTAE of that cultivated age, And our clever chorus-master, all but captious criticaster, Would accept as the CHOREGUS of the early Attic stage. This return to classic ages is considered in their wages, Which are always calculated by the day or by the week - And I'll pay 'em (if they'll back me) all in OBOLOI and ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... impresario named Maurice Strakosch, of whom I had heard that he was hard to deal with and irritable. I forget now who the prima donna in his charge was, but there had appeared in our paper a criticism which might be interpreted in some detail unfavourably by a captious critic. One afternoon there came into the office, where I was alone, a gentlemanly- seeming man, who began to manifest anger in regard to the criticism in question. I replied, "I do not know, sir, what your position in the opera troupe may be, but ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... your way out of the difficulty," said Blondet, after some thought. "Say that the envy that fastens on all good work, like wasps on ripe fruit, has attempted to set its fangs in this production. The captious critic, trying his best to find fault, has been obliged to invent theories for that purpose, and has drawn a distinction between two kinds of literature—'the literature of ideas and the literature of imagery,' as he calls them. On the heads of that, youngster, say that ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... holiday were visible the next morning. The children were all a little tired and out of sorts. It was difficult for the schoolroom party to get into harness again, and even Eric and the nursery children were somewhat captious and discontented. ...
— The Children of Wilton Chase • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... infected with, your reflections, however general and unapplied, will, by being applicable, be thought personal and leveled at those people. This consideration points out to you, sufficiently, not to be suspicious and captious yourself, nor to suppose that things, because they may be, are therefore meant at you. The manners of well-bred people secure one from those indirect and mean attacks; but if, by chance, a flippant woman ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... with which WE are concerned, in which we have to fear and love, this almost invisible, inaudible world of delicate command and delicate obedience, a world of "almost" in every respect, captious, insidious, sharp, and tender—yes, it is well protected from clumsy spectators and familiar curiosity! We are woven into a strong net and garment of duties, and CANNOT disengage ourselves—precisely here, we are "men of duty," even we! Occasionally, ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... all happened in the earliest chapters, I readily foresaw an ultimate end of the happiest nature and a solution of all difficulties worked out in defiance of the probabilities. A disappointed prophet is a captious critic and, the story turning out quite otherwise, I was very much on the alert for latent faults. Of these I found none. True, I did not altogether like Jim Westfield, but then I doubt if I was altogether meant to. Furthermore I give many extra marks to the author ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 3, 1914 • Various

... as in this I have considered the affections themselves. I only desire one favor,—that no part of this discourse may be judged of by itself, and independently of the rest; for I am sensible I have not disposed my materials to abide the test of a captious controversy, but of a sober and even forgiving examination; that they are not armed at all points for battle, but dressed to visit those who are willing to give ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... The captious say "dessert means the fruit and candy which come after the ices." "Ices" is a misleading word too, because suggestive of the individual "ices" which flourished at private dinners in the Victorian age, ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... the expense of a small fortune in presents to captious and rapacious chiefs, he succeeded in making his way from point to point along a course roughly corresponding to that of the St. Paul's River. The route lay through dense forests, along paths worn by many generations of native feet. The ascent was steady; at 100 miles from the coast ...
— History of Liberia - Johns Hopkins University Studies In Historical And Political Science • J.H.T. McPherson

... of the authorship of the Homeric poems. To deny that many corruptions and interpolations disfigure them, and that the intrusive hand of the poetasters may here and there have inflicted a wound more serious than the negligence of the copyist, would be an absurd and captious assumption, but it is to a higher criticism that we must appeal, if we would either understand or enjoy these poems. In maintaining the authenticity and personality of their one author, be he Homer or Melesigenes, quocunque nomine vocari eum jus fasque sit, I feel conscious that, ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... another path, and Colonel Vaughan saw no more of Gladys that day, though he peeped into various stray corners of the house in the hope of doing so. Moreover, he found Freda captious and cross, and particularly annoyed at his and her father's visit to Pentre. He punished her by playing chess with her father nearly all the evening, and leaving her to a variety of reflections that were anything but satisfactory ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... He made captious inquiries, and took down the statement of the maidservant, whom he tried to confuse, now looking at her fiercely, now threatening her, now attributing to her things that she had not said, so much so that she, ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... my sweet-toned voice had been a lion's roar! A year ago she would have flung herself into my arms, and sat upon my knee and begged for stories. But now she wears the veil, she is a woman, and therefore must be captious like the rest of them. In thy grace I depart, having much to put ...
— The Valley of the Kings • Marmaduke Pickthall

... guessed why she and Lance were left so completely in charge of the ranch. Sometimes, when the invalid was captious and showed too plainly that she preferred Belle's playing and singing to the musical efforts of her own daughter, and scrawled impatient questions about Belle's return, Mary Hope would wonder if Tom Lorrigan ...
— Rim o' the World • B. M. Bower

... Alphonse; it was a captious offering by the crew, which, on this yacht, never went further than to tolerate the addition of a foreigner to their mess. He had signed a day or two before sailing; he had even begged for the honor to ship with Captain Flanagan; and he ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... observer be blessed with the happy combination of good eyesight, a good instrument, and favourable atmospheric conditions, and publishes writings and drawings showing that he has seen something which has not previously been observed, he at once becomes a target for captious critics who seem to be under the impression that all astronomical knowledge begins and ends with themselves, and that anything they cannot see does not exist. It matters not that the observer attacked may have given months to particular observations where his critics ...
— To Mars via The Moon - An Astronomical Story • Mark Wicks

... this means permanent employment during the evenings for about three hundred friends all summer long. In fact the demand for ballast is often greater than the supply. As a result, we have become hideously spoiled. I have passed up as many as six automobiles in an evening on various captious pretexts, waiting all the time for Sim Bone's car, whose tonneau is long and exactly fits my legs. Once or twice Sim has failed to come around after I have waved the rest of the procession by, and we have had to stay at home. I have spoken to him ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... whimsical mind. This old dame had once been young—astonishing fact! In her youth, in '93, she had married a monk who had fled from his cloister in a red cap, and passed from the Bernardines to the Jacobins. She was dry, rough, peevish, sharp, captious, almost venomous; all this in memory of her monk, whose widow she was, and who had ruled over her masterfully and bent her to his will. She was a nettle in which the rustle of the cassock was visible. At the Restoration she had turned bigot, and ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... all this while suspected that we are acting in a somewhat captious manner towards M. Comte; they have, perhaps, concluded that this author could not have here required their assent, strictly speaking, to a law, but that he used the term vaguely, as many writers have done—meaning nothing more by it than a course of events which has frequently been observed ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... Arab is too picturesque," he thought; for Owen, always captious, was at that moment uncertain whether he should admire or criticise; and the Arabs sat grandly upright in their high-pummelled saddles of red leather or blue velvet their slippered feet thrust into great stirrups. He liked the high-pummelled ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... of Abe Potash's vacation he had traveled by local train one hundred and twenty miles to Dotyville, and unpacked and packed two trunks under the shrill and captious supervision of Mrs. Potash. Then followed a tiresome journey to Pittsburgh with two changes of cars, and finally, on the morning of the fourth day, at seven-thirty sharp, he accompanied Hyman Margolius to the latter's place ...
— Potash & Perlmutter - Their Copartnership Ventures and Adventures • Montague Glass

... heel and strode across the deck. From a white heaven the moon still shone benignantly down, mocking him. He had spoken bravely: the most captious critic could not but have admitted that he had made a good exit. But already his ...
— Three Men and a Maid • P. G. Wodehouse

... "Prayer and Penitence and Praise"—that has put words into the mouth of the whole Church of God from the days of David to the present time, which is used by every Church (however else divided) in common—and rejected by no sect however captious! ...
— Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books • Horatia K. F. Eden

... green tea in much that Margaret said, and very ungallantly pronounced her a humbug. But as he did this only upon the paper of his own private diary, with no thought of it ever being paraded before a critical and captious world, we should not blame him too severely. And if he was mistaken in what he wrote concerning her husband and her life in Rome, as seems to be the fact, no doubt he was deceived by gossip-loving friends in Rome concerning ...
— Home Life of Great Authors • Hattie Tyng Griswold

... A captious friend once suggested to Socrates this: "If you prize the female nature so highly, how does it happen that you do not instruct Xantippe?"—a rather indelicate proposition to put to a married man. And Socrates, quite ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... fix their minds upon those things which are evident, so as to be able to understand how great the light is with which they are surrounded. The second is, that some men, being deluded and deceived by fallacious and captious interrogatories, when they cannot clear them up, abandon the truth. It is right, therefore, for us to have those answers ready which may be given in defence of the evidentness of a thing,—and we have already spoken of them,—and to be armed, in order to be able to ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... men standing breathless and unmoved on some unknown wharf on the left bank of the Hudson might fairly be described as superlatively honest persons, nor had they done any act which could be construed as wrongful by the most captious critic; yet McCulloch's concealment of the lamp suggested something thievish and illicit, and, though he alone could give a valid reason for exercising extreme discretion, because he realized, better than the others, what a choice morsel this adventure would supply to the ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... of confidantes," said Richard, "I want my cousin Ada to understand that I am not captious, fickle, and wilful about John Jarndyce, but that I have this purpose and reason at my back. I wish to represent myself to her through you, because she has a great esteem and respect for her cousin John; and I know you will soften the ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... considering anything in any light but that of Peggy's welfare. Dr. Denbigh used to have a little tendresse for Peggy—it was never anything more, I am convinced. She is too young for him. A doctor sees so many women; he grows critical, if not captious. Character goes for more with him than with most men; looks go for less; and poor little Peggy—who can deny?—up to this point in her development is ...
— The Whole Family - A Novel by Twelve Authors • William Dean Howells, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Mary Heaton Vorse, Mary Stewart Cutting, Elizabeth Jo

... verily, the common school catechisms which were given to the lads for their instruction, contained such foolish and ill-conceived matters, that any sage heathen would have been ashamed of them. The highest exercise consisted of disputations on all manner of subtle and captious questions, and the Latin verses which the scholars hammered out under the rule of Father Jodocus were so vile as to rouse Magister Peter to great and righteous wrath. Each morning, before the day's tasks ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... describes, and who more than believe that all which the Apostle spoke of was of Divine inspiration, and a blessing intended for as many as are in communion with the Spirit through all ages. And I freely confess that my whole heart would turn away with an angry impatience from the cold and captious mortal who, the moment I had been pouring out the love and gladness of my soul—while book after book, law, and truth, and example, oracle, and lovely hymn, and choral song of ten thousand thousands, ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... could enlighten us. Now as far as the enemy is concerned, it doesn't matter, but it does matter to the organization. The project was abused beyond all reason—though that is neither here nor there. Whatever the captious may call it, the thing has become an organization measure, and as such a test ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... be captious and unjust to push this criticism home. The architectural setting provided for the figures and the pictures of the Sistine vault is so obviously conventional, every point of vantage has been so skilfully appropriated to plastic uses, every square ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... deeply interesting book is dedicated to four sorts of readers—the godly, the learned, the captious, and to the mother of harlots. To her he says, 'I have nothing here to please your wanton eye, or voluptuous palate; no paint for thy wrinkled face, nor crutch to support thy tottering kingdom.' It is ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... at a time, counting my strokes and forgetting the hundreds. I flatter myself the beasts that perish could not underbid that, as a low form of consciousness. And what a pleasure it was! What a hearty, tolerant temper did it bring about! There is nothing captious about a man who has attained to this, the one possible apotheosis in life, the Apotheosis of Stupidity; and he begins to feel dignified and longaevous ...
— An Inland Voyage • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Sunday! Somewhat at a disadvantage during the week, in the presence of working-day interests and lay splendors, on Sunday the preacher becomes the cynosure of a thousand eyes, and predominates at once over the Amphitryon with whom he dines, and the most captious member of his church or vestry. He has an immense advantage over all other public speakers. The platform orator is subject to the criticism of hisses and groans. Counsel for the plaintiff expects the retort of counsel for the defendant. The honorable gentleman on one side of the House ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... England."[11] He appeared to have great command of temper; for, though no man could have had greater trials than fell to his lot during the time he remained on board the Bellerophon, he never, in my presence, or as far as I know, allowed a fretful or captious expression to escape him: even the day he received the notification from Sir Henry Bunbury, that it was determined to send him to St Helena, he chatted and conversed with the same cheerfulness as usual. It ...
— The Surrender of Napoleon • Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland

... Whether I should have found the same excellent service had I not spoken pleasantly to him I, of course, cannot say, but I have never been so well cared for elsewhere. The captious reader may ask how anything so essentially worldly as a silver dollar ever crept into Olympus. I can only say that one of the magic properties of the garment I wore was that whatever I put my hand into ...
— Olympian Nights • John Kendrick Bangs

... tragic aspect of its meaning. A weightier objection than any which can be brought against the conduct of the play might be suggested to the minds of some readers—and these, perhaps, not too exacting or too captious readers—by the sudden vehemence of transformation which in the great preceding act seems to fall like fire from heaven upon the two chief criminals who figure on the stage of murder. It seems rather a miraculous retribution, a judicial violation of the laws of nature, than a reasonably credible ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... is to be sure infinitely removed from all those human weaknesses which we express by the words, captious, apt to take offence, &c. But an unthinking world does not consider what may be absolutely due to Him from all Creatures capable of considering themselves as His Creatures. Recollect the idea, inadequate as it is, which we have of God, and the idea of ourselves, and carelessness with regard to ...
— Some Remains (hitherto unpublished) of Joseph Butler, LL.D. • Joseph Butler

... Esmond family. The worthy prelate came out from the conference with an air of great satisfaction; he was a man full of resources, and of a most assured fidelity, and possessed of genius, and a hundred good qualities; but captious and of a most jealous temper, that could not help exulting at the downfall of any favourite; and he was pleased in spite of himself to hear that the Esmond ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... I say, just behind Mellish. St Austin's, you must know, is composed of three blocks of buildings, the senior, the middle, and the junior, joined by cloisters. We left the senior block by the door. To the captious critic this information may seem superfluous, but let me tell him that I have left the block in my time, and entered it, too, though never, it is true, in the company of a master, in other ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... the same year in which he retired from his church at Boston, Emerson had lost his young wife. Though we may well believe that he bore these agitations with self-control, his health suffered, and in the spring of 1833 he started for Europe. He came to be accused of saying captious things about travelling. There are three wants, he said, that can never be satisfied: that of the rich who want something more; that of the sick who want something different; and that of the traveller who says, Anywhere but here. Their restlessness, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 1, Essay 5, Emerson • John Morley

... were still more decidedly prohibited from naming any living person in terms either of praise or censure, as well as from any captious allusion to the circumstances of the times. In the whole repertory of the Plautine and post-Plautine comedy, there is not, so far as we know, matter for a single action of damages. In like manner—if we leave out of view some wholly harmless jests—we meet hardly any ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... was a marked change in her manner. She was not the less submissive and dutiful in her bearing to her grandmother, whom she both loved and feared; but there were moments of fretfulness and impatience which she could not conceal. She was captious and sullen in her manner to Mary and the Fraeulein. She would not walk or drive with them, or share in any of their amusements. Sometimes of an evening that studious silence of the drawing-room was suddenly broken by Lesbia's weary sigh, breathed unawares as ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... affairs of government it is certain that this is the most difficult office that is known. For the greater the obligation, and the less the means for fulfilling it, so much greater is the labor and so many more are the demands; and the less there is to give them, the more captious and more numerous are the complaints and discontents, which they both utter and write, that they have never seen a worse governor. Nor are there lacking friars to help them, who preach the same thing with great effect—all the ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XX, 1621-1624 • Various

... without criticism or demur, as fast as they could be tabled, was the desire, above all, of Holles, Glynn, and the other Presbyterian Commissioners. To their surprise, even to their horror, Charles had never been more captious or guarded in his highest kingliness than he was now found in the depths of his doubled ruin. Over the Proposition first presented—that for annulling all declarations and acts against Parliament—he was so dilatory that not till Sept. 25 was it completely passed, ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... that she repaired at last to the I Hung court. The gate was already closed. Tai-y, however, lost no time in knocking. But Ch'ing Wen and Pi Hen had, who would have thought it, been having a tiff, and were in a captious mood, so upon unawares seeing Pao-ch'ai step on the scene, Ch'ing Wen at once visited her resentment upon Pao-ch'ai. She was just standing in the court giving vent to her wrongs, shouting: "You're always ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... him, "and despised him in her heart." She was one of your cold-blooded people, with no enthusiasm in her, with no zeal for God, no heart for God's glory. Better David dancing for joy of heart, than captious Michal with a contemptuous ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... livelihood. Ned is marooned on Spider Island, and while there discovers a wreck submerged in the sand, and finds a considerable amount of treasure. The capture of the treasure and the incidents of the voyage serve to make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the most captious ...
— Ralph Gurney's Oil Speculation • James Otis

... has already been expressed that much of this annoyance was due to the offended pride of Napoleon's attendants, who were at first certainly far more captious than himself. He admitted as much himself on one occasion in a conversation with O'Meara. He said, "Las Cases certainly was greatly irritated against Sir Hudson, and contributed materially towards forming the impressions existing in my mind." He attributed this to the sensitive ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... if Doris would be quite lost to them. They would see her every day or two. And when it was decided that Aunt Priscilla would come he was really glad. Aunt Priscilla's captious talk did not always ...
— A Little Girl in Old Boston • Amanda Millie Douglas

... depended, was deprived of all its important attributes. For two years the opposition called the attention of Parliament to these destructive changes, but Parliament and the nation were alike insensible. Full of other business, they could not give a thought to what they looked upon merely as captious criticism. It requires a great disaster to command the attention of England; and when the Captain was lost, and when they had the detail of the perilous voyage of the Megara, then public indignation demanded a complete change ...
— The World's Best Orations, Vol. 1 (of 10) • Various

... final preparations against Rome. In the interval Wurmser made a proposition even more favorable to himself. Bonaparte petulantly rejected it, but with the return of his generous feeling he determined that at least he would not withdraw his first offer. Captious critics are never content, and they even charge that when, on the tenth, Wurmser and his garrison finally did march out, Bonaparte's absence was a breach of courtesy. It requires no great ardor in his defense to assert, on the ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... jedge o' this hyar matter like we-uns do. Andy an' me know more 'bout the law, an' 'bout folks too, than ye does. These hyar Griggs folks hev always been misdoubted ez a fractious an' contrary-wise fambly. Ef enny Griggs ain't aggervatin' an' captious, it air through bein' plumb terrified by the t'others. They air powerful hard folks—an' they'll land ye in the State Prison yet, I'm thinkin'. I wonder they hain't started at ye a'ready. But thar's no countin' on 'em, 'ceptin' that they'll do all ...
— Down the Ravine • Charles Egbert Craddock (real name: Murfree, Mary Noailles)

... mistress and her mother's angry scoldings,—even Dinah submitted without a murmur to Tira's wholesome authority, and abandoned all her evil courses. Bildad Royce, a crotchety hired-man, whom the Doctor kept to do the chores and till the garden, albeit at first inclined to be captious, accorded to the new housekeeper ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... with excitement. "I care not under what conditions, only get me in the army. Don't speak to the duke or to any of the generals, only get me into some subordinate command. Your name, your kinship to the reigning house will make your recommendation of great value. They will not be captious when Prince Adelsberg solicits a place ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... gifts,—centrality, penetration, strong understanding,—he proceeds to say, "all his resources of wit and invention are lost to me, in every experiment, year after year, that I make to hold intercourse with his mind. Always some weary captious paradox to fight you with, and ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... be captious indeed to object to this, did it arise from that patriotic feeling so common in the English; but here it is all vanity, downright vanity: a Frenchman must have his country and his mistress admired, though he does not often care much for either one or the other. ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... Hoke Smith[14]—German hands and accomplish nothing here. We make as much fuss about points which we have silently to yield later as about a real principle. Hence they all say that the State Department is merely captious, and they pay less and less attention to it and care less and less for American opinion—if only they can continue to get munitions. We are reducing English regard to this purely ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... intermixing many things which were true, and such as they knew others could testify, for the credit of the rest, but still making them to hang together with the part he was to play. She taught him likewise how to avoid sundry captious and tempting questions which were like to be asked of him. But, this she found him so nimble and shifting as she trusted much to his own wit and readiness, and therefore ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... moreover, the gallery respects. Rastignac has quite as much intelligence as is needed at a given moment, as if a soldier should make his courage payable at ninety days' sight, with three witnesses and guarantees. He may seem captious, wrong-headed, inconsequent, vacillating, and without any fixed opinions; but let something serious turn up, some combination to scheme out, he will not scatter himself like Blondet here, who chooses these occasions to look at things from his neighbor's ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... are grievous and provoking evils, which will justly offend all the observers of them. 2. Sullen, sour, and churlish language and behavior, which is offensive unto all sorts of persons; for this is an evil altogether unbecoming the followers of Jesus Christ. 3. A cross, captious, and contradictive spirit and conduct, delighting in opposition to the judgment of the church and her rulers. This is very scandalous to the brethren, and very reproachful unto themselves. 4. Speaking evil of ...
— The Divine Right of Church Government • Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

... song, his sweet tenor voice delighting his auditors, after which the old quartette of the mountain camp was formed again and sang familiar pieces in such a manner as to win the heartiest of commendation from all—even that captious ...
— Dorothy's Triumph • Evelyn Raymond

... the beverage, and supposing the great house he was in to be Montezuma's, he expressed his sense of that person's hospitality by saying that "his wine-cellar was open to all." And really, is it not rather a captious criticism which in one breath chides Cortes for calling the beverage "wine," and in the next breath goes on to call it "beer"? The pulque was neither the one nor the other; for want of any other name a German might have called it beer, a ...
— The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) - with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest • John Fiske

... I seem to hear some captious critic exclaim. I do not attribute Scottish birth to the particular sprig of shamrock which is to figure in these pages, dear reader. Like all true shamrock, it was grown in the Emerald Isle. Nevertheless, it was by its means that the subject of this story migrated to ...
— Up in Ardmuirland • Michael Barrett

... harms; supply what is lacking in my charities; politically, socially, authorially, think that I bigotize in theoretic fun, but am incarnate Tolerance for practical earnest. And so, giving your character fairer credit than if I feared you as one of those captious cautious people who make a man offender for an ill-considered word; commending to the cordial warmth of Humanity my unhatched score and more of book-eggs, to perfect which I need an Eccaleobion of literature; and scorning, as heartily as ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... Verses, 'The Translator to his Muse'. Address to the reader, signed. 'Epistles', each preceded by a verse Argument. The answers are translated from Angelus, not Aulus, Sabinus. At the end are verses headed 'The Translator to the captious sort of ...
— Catalogue of the Books Presented by Edward Capell to the Library of Trinity College in Cambridge • W. W. Greg

... wished for a wife who, instead of indulging the caprice of indolence would have awakened him to energy, and have taught him to be just not captious, his desires would have been more rational: but, to a man who had formed a system of obedience to authority, and not to reason, the arguments he used were irrefragable. To a woman who imagined that obedience, in all cases, was the badge of abject ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft



Words linked to "Captious" :   faultfinding



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