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Discerning   Listen
adjective
Discerning  adj.  Acute; shrewd; sagacious; sharp-sighted.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Discerning" Quotes from Famous Books



... same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days." [92:1] It is quite possible that even daemons have the power of discerning certain classes of future events with the quickness of intuition; [92:2] and if, as the Scriptures testify, they have sometimes entered into human bodies, we can well understand how the individuals thus possessed have obtained credit for divination. ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... There were discerning observers who were dismayed to see the wings of the army made up of foreigners, who, in the event of a reverse, could form two hostile armies in our rear, while the centre was embroiled in the heart of Russia. Not only that, Austria who had an army of 200,000, placed only 30,000 at the disposal ...
— The Memoirs of General the Baron de Marbot, Translated by - Oliver C. Colt • Baron de Marbot

... for God, when they were covetously withholding a portion for themselves. The Spirit of truth revealed to the apostles the real character of these pretenders, and the judgments of God rid the church of this foul blot upon its purity. This signal evidence of the discerning Spirit of Christ in the church was a terror to hypocrites and evil-doers. They could not long remain in connection with those who were, in habit and disposition, constant representatives of Christ; and as trials and persecution ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... pass unnoticed. Sylvia saw nothing to be ashamed of in her mother's unaccented and neutral costume, but there was no denying that she looked exactly like any one else. What was most apparent to the discerning eye was that her garb had been organized in every detail so as to consume as little thought and effort as possible. Whereas Aunt Victoria—Sylvia's earnest and thoughtful efforts at home-dressmaking had fitted her, if for nothing else, for a full appreciation of Mrs. Marshall-Smith's ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... m -1.58. The magnitude of the faintest visible star evidently depends on the penetrating power of the instrument used. The telescope of WILLIAM HERSCHEL, used by him and his son in their star-gauges and other stellar researches, allowed of the discerning of stars down to the 14th magnitude. The large instruments of our time hardly reach much farther, for visual observations. When, however, photographic plates are used, it is easily possible to get impressions of fainter stars, even with rather modest instruments. The large 100-inch ...
— Lectures on Stellar Statistics • Carl Vilhelm Ludvig Charlier

... be repeated—have awakened some little vague mistrust in a man more worldly-wise than the Golden Dustman. On the other hand, the Secretary was discerning, discreet, and silent, though as zealous as if the affairs had been his own. He showed no love of patronage or the command of money, but distinctly preferred resigning both to Mr Boffin. If, in his limited sphere, he sought power, it was the power of knowledge; the power derivable ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... admitted that the discerning public does judge a merchant's stock by the way he treats it, so that the store with New Way Wardrobes as a feature is not only the most progressive store, but in practically every instance the most prosperous in the clothing trade ...
— Sam Lambert and the New Way Store - A Book for Clothiers and Their Clerks • Unknown

... the century, there inditing his history of all that concerned the Jews, it is apparent that, had there been a sect flourishing in the city who were proclaiming the risen Jesus as the Messiah in his time, the circumstance was one this careful and discerning writer could not have failed to notice and to comment on" ("Portraiture and Mission of Jesus," p. 15). It is, indeed, passing strange that Josephus, who tells us so much about false Messiahs and their followers, should omit—as he must have done if this passage of ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... composition, of every kind, were almost wholly left to the vulgar; all, who aimed at literary eminence, wrote in the Latin language. Some discerning spirits became sensible that the German language was susceptible of great improvement, and excited their countrymen to its cultivation. Among these was Otfroid; he translated the Gospel into German verse. He describes, in strong terms, the difficulties which he had to encounter: "The ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... his elephant, and his guard marched proudly before him. The cat, with his hands tied together, stood weeping. Upon arriving at the execution grounds and discerning that the cat was not yet executed, the King said angrily to the hangman: "Why is it this prisoner is still ...
— The Cat and the Mouse - A Book of Persian Fairy Tales • Hartwell James

... Adonais is a composition which has retorted beforehand upon its actual or possible detractors. In the poem itself, and in the prefatory matter adjoined to it, Shelley takes critics very severely to task: but criticism has its discerning and temperate, as well as its ...
— Adonais • Shelley

... difficult," complained the anxious missionaries, "as the enemy uses all his ingenuity to blind the poor people, and knows how to employ their fear and distress to harden their hearts, and to prevent them from discerning their sins and repenting. It appears as if he exerted every power to destroy this little congregation, but we hope that God will shortly bruise Satan under our feet, and not ...
— The Moravians in Labrador • Anonymous

... good from a higher motive than the dread of punishment; for they are inspired with the sincere desire to make their dear mother as happy as they can; and it would not surprise me at all if Santa Claus, who is a very discerning old gentleman, were to put something very nice indeed in both socks and stockings this Christmas—in spite of ...
— Neighbor Nelly Socks - Being the Sixth and Last Book of the Series • Sarah L. Barrow

... previsions, so as to mislead and bewilder, while inspiring and intoxicating the hearer or reader. He recorded, in regard to himself, that "history and particular facts lost all interest" in his mind after his first launch into metaphysics; and he remained through life incapable of discerning reality from inborn images. Wordsworth took alarm at the first experience of such a tendency in himself, and relates that he used to catch at the trees and palings by the roadside to satisfy himself of existences out of himself; but Coleridge encouraged this subjective exclusiveness, to the destruction ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 43, May, 1861 • Various

... the Father Sends radiantly down All-marvellous responses, His ministers to crown; The incense-cloud returning As golden blessing-showers, We in each drop discerning Some feeble prayer of ours, Transmuted into wealth unpriced, By Him who giveth thus The glory all to Jesus Christ, The ...
— The Ministry of Intercession - A Plea for More Prayer • Andrew Murray

... son, Xerxes, Saying that when black night shall fall in gloom, The Hellenes would no longer stay, but leap Each on the benches of his bark, and save Hither and thither by stolen flight their lives. He, when he heard thereof, discerning not The Hellene's craft, no, nor the spite of heaven, To all his captains gives this edict forth: When as the sun doth cease to light the world, And darkness holds the precincts of the sky, They should dispose the fleet ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... His fantastic story was certainly a strain upon one's credulity, I must confess; yet, I had sat face to face with him, and I am not without skill—nor was I at the time—in penetrating a man's outward aspect and discerning the sincerity of his purpose. In justice to him, I can not emphasize too strongly how convincing had been every utterance of his, the which I have been at some pains to record. And then, I could not attribute the freshly oiled hinges nor the rifled safe ...
— The Paternoster Ruby • Charles Edmonds Walk

... by his ravings. RITSON, the late antiquary of poetry (not to call him poetical), amazed the world by his vituperative railing at two authors of the finest taste in poetry, Warton and Percy; he carried criticism, as the discerning few had first surmised, to insanity itself; the character before us only ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... well express astonishment at the rash and groundless statement in "Blackwood" (Dec. 1839), that the third part of Christabel which Dr. Maginn sent to that magazine in 1820 "perplexed the public, and pleased even Coleridge." How far the "discerning public" were imposed upon I know not; the following extract will show how far the poet-philosopher was "pleased" with ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 237, May 13, 1854 • Various

... lies in the word of God. Dear friends! let me beseech you to take heed lest, while you are only conscious of your hearts expanding with the genial glow of liberality, by little and little you lose your power of discerning between things that differ, your sense of the worth of the Scripture as the depository of divine truth, and from your slack hand the hem of the vesture in which its ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... suggestion, and Mr. Schmidt appeared. His verdict was anxiously awaited, but especially by the owner of the cheque, whose future movements must depend on the decision, and his relief was great when the good, the discerning, the up-to-date Mr. Schmidt pronounced in his favour. He declared that, certainly he had seen such cheques before, and generously offered to cash it himself. Thus the situation was saved, and the stranger was able to carry out his arrangements and pay his debts. Good Mr. Schmidt! that stranger ...
— From Jungle to Java - The Trivial Impressions of a Short Excursion to Netherlands India • Arthur Keyser

... upon him the impression of a man on foot laden with gold passing through some evil-haunted wood, in the dark and unarmed. And he reflected that it would be well for the protege to watch, without seeming to do so, over the protector, to become the discerning Telemachus of the blind Mentor, to point out to him the quagmires, to defend him against the highwaymen, to aid him, in a word, in his combats amid all that swarm of nocturnal ambuscades which he felt were prowling ferociously around the Nabob ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... to have been a very fortunate circumstance for Captain Nelson; and, perhaps, on the whole, little less so for Sir John Jervis. The new commander in chief was much too shrewd and discerning a character not to see the full value of such an officer as Captain Nelson. Himself a man of the highest bravery, and of the first professional knowledge, he could not fail to recognize, in every act, ...
— The Life of the Right Honourable Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) • James Harrison

... peculiar liking for salt and may be regularly attracted to a given spot by its aid. A salted cotton string is sometimes extended several yards from the trap for the purpose of leading them to it, but this seems a needless precaution, as the rabbit is seldom behind hand in discerning a tempting bait when it ...
— Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making • William Hamilton Gibson

... much above the little vanity that seeks its gratification in the praises of the million, but you must be pleased with the applause of the discerning,—with the tribute I may say of affection paid to the goodness of your heart. People love your character as much as they admire your talents. My father is, in a degree that I did not expect, gratified with the general attention you have excited here: he seems truly pleased that men ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... are truly spoken "in the Life," then when such words cease the uninterrupted silence and worship continue, for silence and words have been of one texture, one piece. Second and third speakers only continue the enhancement of the moving Presence, until a climax is reached, and the discerning head of the meeting knows ...
— An Interpretation of Friends Worship • N. Jean Toomer

... Discerning nothing more in that quarter inviting interest, I asked myself if I had nerve to descend into the cellar. Finally concluding that that was more than could be expected from any man in my position, I gave one look of farewell ...
— A Strange Disappearance • Anna Katharine Green

... indifferent to luxury; but Boultby and Helstone both liked good cookery. The recherche supper consequently put them into excellent humour. They did justice to it, though in a gentlemanly way—not in the mode Mr. Donne would have done had he been present. A glass of fine wine was likewise tasted, with discerning though most decorous relish. Captain Keeldar was complimented on his taste; the compliment charmed him. It had been his aim to gratify and satisfy his priestly guests. He had succeeded, and was ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... and petulances of the people, and their talk of equality, are not irreverence in them in the least, but mere blindness, stupefaction, and fog in the brains,[62] the first sign of any cleansing away of which is, that they gain some power of discerning, and some patience in submitting to, their true counsellors and governors. In the mode of such discernment consists the real "constitution" of the state, more than in the titles or offices of the discerned person; for it is no matter, save ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... Miss Gardner's should appeal powerfully to English readers because its subject has the provocations of novelty; because the work is gracefully and sympathetically written, with discerning and intimate knowledge of fact and of character, and yet discriminating and just; and because it embodies once more the story, especially dear to our hearts, of the struggle of a patriotic race for freedom and national existence." ...
— Kosciuszko - A Biography • Monica Mary Gardner

... it really necessary, Rufus?" whispered Garside, who alone had overheard, and whose paler face and tremulous figure betrayed fears which his swarthy senior partner would have scorned to feel. "This Carter is a most artful and discerning man. I am so afraid you have barked up the wrong tree. Was it necessary, really ...
— With Links of Steel • Nicholas Carter

... Government dreaded. They had been stunned by the unexpected blow struck by the people in asserting the independence of the legislature: for whatever credit the Parliament of that day may assume for the part which they acted in that business, it requires no argument to prove to a discerning man, that they were passive instruments in the people's hand—they only re-echoed the voice of an armed nation which they conceived too loud to be smothered, and were hurried on irresistibly by that enthusiastic sentiment for national independence, which the ability ...
— The Causes of the Rebellion in Ireland Disclosed • Anonymous

... seen that our Meditation on the Custom House, as well as that on the Bed, has already revealed certain means of discerning the thought of a woman; but we make no pretence in this book of exhaustively stating the resources of human wit, which are immeasurable. Now here is a proof of this. On the day of the Saturnalia the Romans discovered more features ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part II. • Honore de Balzac

... without exception [165] of the playthings of a past age, which to those who succeed it are always full of a pensive interest—old manners, old dresses, old houses. For what is called fashion in these matters occupies, in each age, much of the care of many of the most discerning people, furnishing them with a kind of mirror of their real inward refinements, and their capacity for selection. Such modes or fashions are, at their best, an example of the artistic predominance of form over matter; of the manner of the doing of it over the thing done; and have a beauty ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... 'Whatever was written, either in rhetoric or logic, geometry, music, and arithmetic, by myself without much difficulty or any instruction, I understood, Thou knowest, O Lord my God; because both quickness and understanding and acuteness in discerning is Thy gift.' Or, again, speaking of the youthful excellences ('excellently hadst Thou made him') of that son who was the son of his beloved mistress: 'I had no part in that boy, ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... wait for chances, For luck he does not look; In faith his spirit glances At Providence, God's book; And there discerning truly That right is might at length, He dares go forward duly In quietness and strength, Unflinching and unfearing, The flatterer of none, And in good courage wearing, ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... filled her brain, prevented her from discerning in any corner of her mind the thought of Rouletabille. ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... is imperfectly defined, its influence is of course less powerful; for it is difficult to apply with certainty and firmness a law which is not distinctly known. Public opinion, the natural and supreme interpreter of the laws of honor, not clearly discerning to which side censure or approval ought to lean, can only pronounce a hesitating judgment. Sometimes the opinion of the public may contradict itself; more frequently it does not ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 2 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... maintained, was the first characteristic of an honest mind; the main element in all honest, intellectual work. His own special talent was the gift of insight, the power of looking into the heart of things, piercing to essential facts, discerning the real characters of men, their true measure of genuine, solid worth. Creeds, professions, opinions, circumstances, all these are the externals or clothes of men. It is necessary to look behind them and beyond them if we would reach the genuine human ...
— Historical and Political Essays • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... for appealing to natural law for that which is good for men, and to reason for the power of discerning that same good—if man cannot find truth by that method, by what method ...
— The Ancien Regime • Charles Kingsley

... English language. His wife, Sarah Austin, distinguished for her early importation and unveiling of German literature to the English mind, was every thing to him that a tender, wise, and strong friend could be. In the prefaces to her publications of his posthumous works, the discerning reader may trace, through the modest concealment, something of one of the purest, deepest, most steadfast of those friendships which adorn while they enrich the ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... adorable things she saw, and the growing hunger she felt as she began to notice with a more discerning eye the women in shops and on the streets—just why they were so dashing and how they got this and that effect—all swept aside her caution, the easier because of the fact that everything she bought ...
— His Second Wife • Ernest Poole

... of life is no longer an easy matter: a man may become a hermit or a monk—and what is thereby denied! This conception has now become deeper . it is above all a discerning denial, a denial based upon the will to be just; not ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... an opening door, he was hastily escaping; but perceiving Cecilia, and discerning her situation, he more hastily turned back, saying, "Is it possible?—To me were ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... such wrong method. A student who should undertake the task of ordering his thought would need to possess, in addition to the highest musical and dramatic qualifications a metaphysical habit of mind such as is rare at the present day, and a sympathetic capacity for discerning the grains of golden truth amidst the dross. He must construct anew. Wagner's theoretical edifice will not stand as it is; it is too loosely jointed; but the materials are valuable. That there will ever be a real science of aesthetics I do not believe; art would cease to be art ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... seems the first author that specially attracted them was Mrs. Browning; and she attracted them simply because she had recently eloped with the man she loved. This fact proved to Morris that she was a worthy woman and a discerning. She had the courage of her convictions. To elope with a poor poet, leaving a rich father and a ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... the inn fire, or surrounded by his "children" as he called his parishioners vying "with each other in demonstrations of duty and love," fully justifies John Forster's comment on Fielding's manly habit of "discerning what was good and beautiful in the homeliest aspects of humanity." Before the true dignity of Abraham Adams, whether he be publicly rebuking the Squire and Pamela for laughing in church, or emerging ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... (The discerning reader can hardly fail to trace in the foregoing unvarnished account of our subject's ancestry and environment many of the factors which have contributed to the unique success he has attained as a writer. Nor can he fail to trace a certain likeness, of which our author seems unconscious, ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... unreasonable. When one throws off a subtly philosophic obiter dictum one looks to the discerning critic to supply the meaning. By the way, I am going to introduce you to the gentle art of photography this afternoon. I am getting the loan of all the cheques that were drawn by Jeffrey Blackmore during his residence at New ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... what is known as the Timourid age—the age beloved above all others by discerning connoisseurs—and it is tempting to assign to this famous period the illustrations in a manuscript belonging to Mr. Herramaneck, now in the possession of Mr. Arthur Ruck, from which are drawn the paintings reproduced on Plate I. This temptation is strengthened by ...
— Pot-Boilers • Clive Bell

... convince you scarce, His Grace of Bucks has made a farce, And you, whose comic wit is terse all, Can hardly fall below rehearsal. Then finish what you have began; But scribble faster, if you can: For yet no George, to our discerning, 80 Has writ ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol II - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden

... unfading garlands, unstained with dust, and staying without touching the ground. And Naishadha stood revealed to his shadow, his fading garlands, himself stained with dust and sweat, resting on the ground with winking eyes. And, O Bharata, discerning the gods and the virtuous Nala the daughter of Bhima chose Naishadha according to her truth. And the large-eyed damsel then bashfully caught the hem of his garment and placed round his neck a floral wreath of exceeding grace. And when that fair-complexioned maiden had ...
— Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1 • Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

... Russell Lowell and Mr. Carl Becker's subtle and discriminating analysis of The Education of Henry Adams. Both writers attack subjects of considerable complexity and difficulty, and both succeed in clarifying the thought of the discerning reader and inducing in him an exhilarating sense ...
— Modern American Prose Selections • Various

... walk every day; with whose sights and sounds you have been familiar, perhaps, all your lives; is it all so common-place that it yields you no deep lessons,—deep and fresh, it may be, if you would only look around with discerning eyes? Engaged with your own special interests, and busy with monotonous details, you may not heed it; and yet there is something finer than the grandest poetry, even in the mere spectacle of these multitudinous billows of life, rolling down the long, ...
— Humanity in the City • E. H. Chapin

... schoolboy as a discerning master delights in—keen about everything, bright, docile, popular, excellent at games. He was in the sixth, moreover, as soon as his age allowed: that is to say, as soon as he was sixteen; and his pride in everything connected with the great body in which he had already a marked and important place ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... a congenial intellect;—faithful and loving to her and she to him, amid all the crimes of their following years;—pious with exceeding devotion and orthodoxy, and yet with a piety utterly divorced from, unconscious of, the commonest morality;—discerning and using the greatest men, Belisarius and Narses for example, and throwing them away again, surely not in weak caprice, whenever they served him too well;—conquering Persians, Vandals, Goths; all but re-conquering, in fact, the carcase Roman Empire;—and then trying ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... interpret. And this, after all, is possibly the most fruitful proof. The best proof of a thing is that we see it; if we do not see it, perhaps proof will not convince us of it. It is the want of the discerning faculty, the clairvoyant power of seeing the eternal in the temporal, rather than the failure of the reason, that begets the sceptic. But secondly, and more particularly, a significant circumstance has to be taken into account, ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... had grown a little calmer, Mrs. Nairn came in; and Mrs. Nairn was a discerning lady. It was not difficult to lead Evelyn on to speak of her visitors, for the girl's pride was broken and she felt in urgent need of sympathy; but when she had described the interview she felt impelled to avoid any discussion ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... Brotherhood. Soon after his arrival in Sydney he abandoned the idea of digging for gold, and began to practise again as a solicitor. Later on he removed to Grafton on the Clarence River; there in 1857 Henry Kendall, a boy of 16, found work in his office, and Michael, discerning his promise, encouraged him to write. Most of the boy's earliest verses were sent from Michael's office to Parkes, who printed them in his paper 'The Empire'. When Kendall left Grafton, Michael gave him a letter of ...
— An Anthology of Australian Verse • Bertram Stevens

... originator of the oilcloth carpet was not to be outdone. Discerning good returns from a plant established close to a big center of consumption, Mr. Bailey entered into a deal with New Jersey capitalists, and a big factory was set a-going in that State. A trusted employe of the Bailey concern, Levi Richardson (who still lives ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1157, March 5, 1898 • Various

... neglecting, to defer the matter to your better judgment. Thus it is only right that whatever praise may be bestowed upon this book should be accorded to you; my shoulders alone must bear the censure of the discerning reader. ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... terror will at any time prop a tottering argument. The worthy Obed had gone over the whole subject, with commendable diligence, and had just arrived at the consoling conclusion, that there was nearly as much glory in discerning the hidden sources of so considerable a stream, as in adding a plant, or an insect, to the lists of the learned, when the Pawnee reached the shore for the second time. The old man took his seat, with the utmost deliberation, in the vessel of skin (so soon ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise, to know what might be said, and not, what should be thought. Some have certain common places, and themes, wherein they are good and want variety; which kind of poverty is for the most part tedious, and when it is once perceived, ridiculous. The ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... approaching carriage, when being carried across the street in her father's arms, that she seemed to be incapable of hearing or heeding his reassuring voice. It may be that there are some diseases that for the time prevent the sufferer from discerning the reassuring witness of the Heavenly Father. Dr. Asa Mahan told me of an experience of this kind which he had in a very dangerous sickness. And Dr. Daniel Steele had a similar experience while lying at the point of death with typhoid fever. But some of the happiest Christians the world has ...
— When the Holy Ghost is Come • Col. S. L. Brengle

... relative, discerning her, stopped and smiled. And the smile was as a banderilla to ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... Latin Quarter, but its victory over the older schools was still recent; and Carolus-Duran, Bouguereau, and their like were set up against Manet, Monet, and Degas. To appreciate these was still a sign of grace. Whistler was an influence strong with the English and his compatriots, and the discerning collected Japanese prints. The old masters were tested by new standards. The esteem in which Raphael had been for centuries held was a matter of derision to wise young men. They offered to give all his works for Velasquez' head of Philip IV in the National Gallery. Philip ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... yet in full possession of reality. His mind was sunk in the stupor that follows after torture. It kept its hold by one sense only, the vague discerning of profound responsibility, and of something profounder still, some tie binding him to Kitty, immaterial, indestructible, born of their ...
— The Immortal Moment - The Story of Kitty Tailleur • May Sinclair

... organs of vision. What would it do with sight in the murky thickness of a tree-trunk? Hearing is likewise absent. In the never-troubled silence of the oak's inmost heart, the sense of hearing would be a non-sense. Where sounds are lacking, of what use is the faculty of discerning them? Should there be any doubts, I will reply to them with the following experiment. Split lengthwise, the grub's abode leaves a half-tunnel wherein I can watch the occupant's doings. When left alone, it now gnaws the front of its gallery, now rests, fixed by its ambulacra ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... may then be greater or less, either in relation to different times, or in different men. Because one man is better disposed than another to attain to the mean of virtue which is defined by right reason; and this, on account of either greater habituation, or a better natural disposition, or a more discerning judgment of reason, or again a greater gift of grace, which is given to each one "according to the measure of the giving of Christ," as stated in Eph. 4:9. And here the Stoics erred, for they held that no man should be deemed virtuous, unless he were, in the highest degree, ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... had disappeared after the dreadful scene in the garden at Les Iles, how I had not seen him again for five years. Here I hesitated, little knowing how to tell the Vicomtesse of that affair in Louisville. Though I had a sense that I could not keep the truth from so discerning a person, I was startled to find this to ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... not long maintained. All discerning persons were convinced of the necessity to face and drive back an aggressive rival on the high seas. It was recognized that ironclads were needed for this, since the aggressor would have them at his disposal. But this policy, it was thought, could be satisfied by half-measures. The so-called ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... master for the week, was not a bad man, but of very moderate attainments, and he lacked the tact which is indispensable for discerning the different characters of children, and graduating their punishment to their powers of resistance. Father Haugoult, then, began very obligingly to communicate to his pupils the wonderful events which were to end on ...
— Louis Lambert • Honore de Balzac

... family, to the corps of the Hetairoi; and how the vigorous old man's eyes sparkled as, with youthful enthusiasm, he spoke of the divine vanquisher of the world who had at that time condescended to address him, gazed at him keenly yet encouragingly with his all-discerning but kindly blue eyes, and ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... moment Toinette was unable to take in the situation, but her wits got into working order pretty quickly, and only her quivering lips would have betrayed her to a more discerning person. Mrs. Stone, however, saw nothing but an inclination to weep, and, stooping over Toinette, said, soothingly: "There, there, dear, don't hurry to rise, you are a little nervous this morning ...
— Caps and Capers - A Story of Boarding-School Life • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... appreciated by an enlightened and discerning public, that I am as competently qualified to conduct the duties of a Schoolmaster as any Teacher in Munster. (Here I pause, stimulated by dove-eyed humility, and by the fine and exalted feelings of nature, ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton

... [Applied to persons], quick of apprehension, keen, acute, alive, brainy, awake, bright, quick, sharp; quick witted, keen witted, clear witted, sharp-eyed, sharp sighted, sharp witted; wide- awake; canny, shrewd, astute; clear-headed; farsighted &c 510; discerning, perspicacious, penetrating, piercing; argute^; quick-witted, nimble-witted, needle-witted; sharp as a needle, sharp as a tack; alive to &c (cognizant) 490; clever &c (apt) 698; arch &c (cunning) 702; pas si bete [Fr.]; acute ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... productions and conduct, not to discern the sequences of statements, the coherence of propositions, nor the consistency of actions, thereby entangling him in expressions and declarations that have the aspect of untruthfulness—his language often actually bearing that character, without his discerning it. His writings present many instances of this infirmity. Some have already been incidentally adduced. In his Life of Phips, avowing himself the author of the document known as the Advice of the Ministers, he uses this language: "By Mr. Mather ...
— Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather - A Reply • Charles W. Upham

... no doubt of his being a sensible man. Ten minutes were enough to certify that. His tone, his expressions, his choice of subject, his knowing where to stop; it was all the operation of a sensible, discerning mind. As soon as he could, he began to talk to her of Lyme, wanting to compare opinions respecting the place, but especially wanting to speak of the circumstance of their happening to be guests in the same inn at the same time; to give his own route, understand something ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... trade on my political influence, because I haven't any. You have all the politics on your side. I propose to do the best I can with the little stock in trade I have brought." He walked to the table and flapped on it his hand, palm up. "You are two almighty keen and discerning gentlemen. I don't need to itemize the stock in trade I have laid down here. You see what ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... shyness, too, took possession of her at the possibility of meeting Kearn Thode beneath his sister's discerning eye, and as soon as she could courteously do so, she tore herself away from her disappointed hostess and went over the bridge ...
— The Fifth Ace • Douglas Grant

... was sayin' when this unnecessary interruption occurred, I realized right from the moment when I opened the door and saw him standing there in front of me, grinning, and his chin cut wide open, that there was something wrong. I am a discerning man—and I knew! And it didn't take me long to convince him—not very long!—that there were other communities which would find him more welcome than this one. Maybe I was harsh—maybe I was—but harsh cases ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... though they indeed may be of the number of them that shall be saved, yet they shall not have much, nor do much, for Christ and his name, in this world. Now the unskilful, that are so in the word of righteousness, finding this method, and not discerning to whom it belongs, forthwith apply it to all; and forgetting that faith must go before, they press them as duties preparatory to faith, or else so call that which is not so; and so the blind leading of the blind, both fall into the ditch, and are smothered. But do thou, O child of God, distinguish, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... blended with their joy. In such sorrow however, where it is a simple tribute of natural regrets to the images of vanished things, and the fleeting records of poor transitory man, there is often an overbalance of pleasure. But the merest stranger, who read the features of Sir Morgan Walladmor with a discerning eye, might see a history written there of a sorrow that went deeper than that—a sorrow not tempered by any pleasure. On ordinary occasions this was the predominant expression of his countenance—mixed however at all times with something of a humorous ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... her old place in the room, the comfortable sofa which she had taken from Lady Randolph, and where Sir Tom, leaning upon the mantelpiece, as an Englishman loves to do, could talk to her in the easiest of attitudes. Jock, though he was not discerning, thought that Sir Tom looked aged and changed too. The people in general had a tired afternoon sort of look about them. They were not like people exulting to get out of town, and out of darkness and winter ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... or its representation or equivalent, has been, during many centuries, the sole medium through which the majority of mankind have supplied their wants, or ministered to their luxuries. It is high time that a sage should arise to expound how the discerning few—those who have the wit and the will (both must concur to the great end) may live—LIVE—not like him who buys and balances himself by the book of the groveller who wrote "How to Live upon Fifty Pounds a Year"—(O shame to manhood!)—but live, I say—"be free and merry"—"laugh ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 7, 1841 • Various

... nourishment, and is disposed to defend its possessions. It is a social insect, lives in colonies, chastises trespassers, fights its enemies, and defends its home. It manifests a degree of intelligence, but its sagacity is instinctive. Reason, though not so acute as instinct, becomes, by education, discerning and keenly penetrative, and reveals the very secrets of profound thought. We recall the aptness of Prof. Agassiz's remark: "There is even a certain antagonism between instinct and intelligence, so that instinct loses its force and peculiar characteristics, whenever intelligence becomes ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... they are, in this matter, densely ignorant. They can tell you by heart everything which has happened in the past, back to the most remote period, but they are, or seem to be, ignorant of what is being done in these later days, of what is passing under their very eyes. Incapable of discerning that the thing which was formerly suitable would be wholly out of place to-day, they would have everything arranged in exact imitation of what they find ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... of pure genius and of discerning simplicity. It is the most simple picture of a refined and ingenious idea; a masterpiece of art in him in ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... packed burros driven by three superbly mounted men. Had Venters met these dark-clothed, dark-visaged, heavily armed men anywhere in Utah, let alone in this robbers' retreat, he would have recognized them as rustlers. The discerning eye of a rider saw the signs of a long, arduous trip. These men were packing in supplies from one of the northern villages. They were tired, and their horses were almost played out, and the burros plodded ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... former city, the eye wanders upon the interminable ocean, its blue rolling waves occupying three-fourths of the scene, and beyond them, on the verge of the horizon, a dense bank of fog sweeps along with the prevailing S.W. wind, precluding all hopes of discerning any vista beyond that curtain. Turning landwards towards the south-west, over the spacious bog that lies at the foot of the walls, the sight is met by a range of low wood in the direction of Gabarus, and can penetrate no further. The harbour is the only prospect to the northward, and immediately ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... of Muenster, the child of poor peasants. From her infancy she had conversations with the Virgin, and possessed the gift which also was given to Saint Sibylline of Pavia, Ida of Louvain, and more recently to Louise Lateau, of discerning, when she looked at, or touched them, objects which had been blessed from those which had not. She entered, as a novice, the Augustinian convent at Dulmen, made her profession when she was twenty-nine; her health failed ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... heart is not inspired, and the inward eye enlightened by the Spirit, we are incapable of discerning the mystery of God in these things. Individuals creep into the church that are unregenerate, and after they have been there awhile, they fancy that they have got the grace of God, while they are destitute of it. They may have a degree of ...
— Memoir of Old Elizabeth, A Coloured Woman • Anonymous

... is not a little that to me, piteously inclined towards you as I am, yet appeareth obnoxious to the edge of this woman's reproaches. But think not, O bewildered and not-with-sufficient-distinctness-discerning-the-nature-of-things Titmouse! that she hath only a sharp and bitter tongue. In this woman behold a mother, and it may be that she will soften before you, who have plainly, as I hear, neither ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... a bit of work in the nature of secret service, Captain Prescott," he continued, "and it demands a wary eye and a discerning mind." ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... read. How agonized the turning, In those my earlier days of loss and pain,— Of eyes to space and night as though by yearning— Some wall might yield and I behold again A certain angel, fled beyond discerning; In vain I chafed and sought—alas, in vain, From spurring though my heart's dark world returned To Dante's page, those wearied thoughts of mine; Again I read, again my longing burned.— A voice melodious spake in every line, But from sad pleasure sorrow fresh I learned: Strange ...
— Thoughts, Moods and Ideals: Crimes of Leisure • W.D. Lighthall

... Chaldaean population, and were lost, as far as Israel was concerned, as completely as were the earlier exiles of Ephraim under Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon. The greater number of the Jews, however, remained faithful to their hopes of future greatness, and applied themselves to discerning in passing events the premonitory signs of deliverance. "Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been before Thee, O Lord.... Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... succession to the Numidian kingdom, and had been rebuked by Scipio, who told him he should cultivate the friendship, not of individual Romans, but of the State. But in Jugurtha's heart a noble sentiment found no echo. Brave, treacherous, restless, an able commander, a crafty politician, adroit in discerning and profiting by other men's bad qualities, wading to the throne through the blood of three kinsmen, he in some respects resembles Shakspeare's Richard III.,—his 'prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous,' his 'age confirmed, proud, ...
— The Gracchi Marius and Sulla - Epochs Of Ancient History • A.H. Beesley

... successors. The firm friend of freedom, he was on that very account the resolute opponent of democracy, the insidious enemy which, under the guise of a friend, has in every age blasted its progress and destroyed its substance. Discerning the principal cause of the distress which had occasioned these convulsions, his last act was one that bequeathed to his country a currency adequate to its necessities, and which he alone of his Cabinet had the honesty ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... adapted to this touch system of life: flat-bottomed, with rather narrow, paddle-shaped tail-fins which, beginning well back of the body, interfere in no way with the pollywog's instincts, he can thigmotact to his heart's content. His eyes are also adapted to looking upward, discerning dimly dangers from above, and whatever else catches the attention of a bottom-loving pollywog. His mouth is well below, as best suits ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... combined in their compositions all that the great previously existing schools had taught. Bach was never weary of learning if perchance he could attain a more lucid or more beautiful expression of his thought. We have, then, this enthusiasm, this capacity for at once discerning what was best. Add to it one more quality—the religious, in its best sense, which young Bach possessed to the uttermost, the feeling that his art was but the medium of expression for the deep things of God—and we have the equipment with ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... counsel, of fair, upright, and generous deportment. Whatever may be said of English mobs and English demagogues, I have never met with a people more open to reason, more considerate in their tempers, more tractable by argument in the roughest times, than the English. They are remarkably quick at discerning and appreciating whatever is manly and honourable. They are, by nature and habit, methodical and orderly; and they feel the value of all that is regular and respectable. They may occasionally be deceived by sophistry, and excited into turbulence by public distresses and the ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... Esther very near to them and made them delightful to her, but that she knew very well they desired no such approach. Whether it were simply because she and her father were 'dissenters' Esther could not tell; whatever the reason, her sensitive nature and discerning vision saw the fact. They made visits of neighbourly politeness to the one English family that was within reach; but more than politeness they desired neither to give nor receive. I suppose it was this perception which made ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... in where angels fear to tread, yet of a vigorous babbling vitality which bustles him into the thick of things. He is just now boiling with vexation, attributable by a superficial observer to his impatience at not being promptly attended to by the staff of the inn, but in which a more discerning eye can perceive a certain moral depth, indicating a more permanent and momentous grievance. On seeing Napoleon, he is sufficiently taken aback to check himself and salute; but he does not betray by his manner any of that prophetic consciousness ...
— The Man of Destiny • George Bernard Shaw

... who have recently sold their European patents here at high figures) as a final answer to those who croak that our country is disgraced, and regret that any American ever came near the Exhibition. Had these discerning and patriotic gentlemen been interested in these patents, they might have taken a different view of the matter. Even my New-York friend, whose toadyism in exhibiting a capital pair of Oars inscribed "A present ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... the characters, stiffness and affectation in the dialogue, and a pedantic ring in the sentences of new-fangled philosophy.[251] Even in the three critical dialogues that Diderot added to the play, Lessing cannot help discerning the mixture of superficiality with an almost pompous pretension. Rosenkranz, it is true, finds the play rich in fine sentences, in scenes full of effect, in which Diderot's moral enthusiasm expresses itself with impetuous eloquence. But even he admits that the hero's servant is ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... that in the Abbe Robin's discerning remarks, concerning the effect of drama on the pupils of Harvard in 1781, and on the general appeal of drama among the American Patriots, he mentions "The Fall of British Tyranny" without giving ...
— The Fall of British Tyranny - American Liberty Triumphant • John Leacock

... thought for Micheline; she had been the stepping-stone to fortune for him; he knew that she was gentle and thought her not very discerning. He could easily deceive her; with a few caresses and a little consideration he could maintain the illusion of his love for her. Madame Desvarennes alone inconvenienced him in his arrangements. She was sagacious, and on several occasions he had seen her unveil plots which he thought ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... bewitched a time as this, it would have been looked on as an high usurpation, and breach of privilege. He indeed sat still, for the most part, and interposed very little; sometimes a word or two. But the most discerning opinion was, that he did herein as he rowed for having had his face first to the Conventicle Bill, he turned short to the Lord Ross's. So that, indeed, it is credible, the King, in prospect of diminishing the Duke of York's influence ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... Carinus. [4] It is not improbable that motives of prudence might assist the humanity of the artful Dalmatian; of these servants, many had purchased his favor by secret treachery; in others, he esteemed their grateful fidelity to an unfortunate master. The discerning judgment of Aurelian, of Probus, and of Carus, had filled the several departments of the state and army with officers of approved merit, whose removal would have injured the public service, without promoting ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... feeling of pleasure the foundation of his practical judgements would call that good which is a means to the pleasant, and evil, what is a cause of unpleasantness and pain; for the judgement on the relation of means to ends certainly belongs to reason. But, although reason is alone capable of discerning the connexion of means with their ends (so that the will might even be defined as the faculty of ends, since these are always determining principles of the desires), yet the practical maxims which would follow from the aforesaid principle of the good being merely a ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... mother of mankind. Your friend Asmodeus—albeit not the quondam friend of that name for whose especial amusement he unroofed so many houses in the last century, when he was suffering from severe lameness—has a discerning eye to pierce his many disguises. He does not walk our streets now-a-days in red tights or with tinsel eyes; he does not limp about with a sardonic laugh; nor could you see the cloven hoof which is said to betray his identity. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... many weeks, O discerning reader! for before the golden harvest was gathered in, we ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... discerning. He had come across an iridescent glass jar, and was edging around for an opportunity to ask Kling the price without letting Felix overhear him—it being an occasion, he knew, in which Mr. O'Day would feel offended if business were mentioned. "Might do to put in my ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... depreciate with the currency." Parties were divided into debtors and creditors, and a New England writer in 1749 noted: "The Debtor side has had the ascendant ever since anno 1741 to the almost utter ruin of the country."[6] To this writer belongs the credit of discerning, at a time when even Benjamin Franklin was in error, that "the repeated large emissions of Paper Money" were responsible ...
— The Paper Moneys of Europe - Their Moral and Economic Significance • Francis W. Hirst

... to be about again, her pale face was harder than ever; and, had there been about her any one discerning enough to notice it, there was a subtle change in her bearing and manner. A certain nervous expectancy, a fluttering restlessness was gone. Isabella had ceased to hope secretly that her husband would yet come ...
— Further Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... of the shark, her valour first I sing Who on the lone seas quickened of a King. She, from the shore and puny homes of men, Beyond the climber's sea-discerning ken, Swam, led by omens; and devoid of fear, Beheld her monstrous paramour draw near. She gazed; all round her to the heavenly pale, The simple sea was void of isle or sail— Sole overhead the unsparing sun was reared— When the deep ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 14 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... nobles in parti-coloured hose; humble abbates, uncured and incurable; a monk crowned with laurel for a sonnet; and a Knight of the Holy Ghost in retirement;—these were some of the company among whom Duchess Molly was paraded by her discerning lord, to carry her smiles of welcome and her pretty ways. Grifone, grave, attentive, in black, was there, be sure, waiting his turn. It came, and with it Molly, blushing and overwrought, new from the very kindly salutations of ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... the whole tone of public life.[68] But he kept in touch with the middle classes, was honest personally, and had a large amount of tact and good sense. His power in the House of Commons endured because he understood the management of parliamentary affairs, and had a genius for discerning the men whose support he could buy, and whose ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... stream on each hand, And with to-morrow's light will bend Our steps to yonder strand. Here let us bathe, and free from stain To that pure grove repair, Sacred to Kama, and remain One night in comfort there." With penance' far-discerning eye The saintly men beheld Their coming, and with transport high Each holy bosom swelled. To Kusik's son the gift they gave That honored guest should greet— Water they brought his feet to lave, And showed him honor meet. Rama and Lakshman next obtained In due degree their share— Then ...
— Hindu Literature • Epiphanius Wilson

... Argentan to Caen I found myself seated between a stout motherly person from Auvergne, and a little dark man from whose direction was wafted so strong an odour of garlic that I had no difficulty discerning from what region he hailed. Next to him were a bourgeois couple whose mourning attire, red eyes and swollen faces bespoke plainly enough the bereavement they had just suffered. Silent, indifferent to everything and ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard



Words linked to "Discerning" :   discreet, discriminating, clear-eyed, clear, clear-sighted, perspicacious, apprehensive



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