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Discernment   Listen
noun
Discernment  n.  
1.
The act of discerning.
2.
The power or faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes one thing from another; power of viewing differences in objects, and their relations and tendencies; penetrative and discriminate mental vision; acuteness; sagacity; insight; as, the errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.
Synonyms: Judgment; acuteness; discrimination; penetration; sagacity; insight. Discernment, Penetration, Discrimination. Discernment is keenness and accuracy of mental vision; penetration is the power of seeing deeply into a subject in spite of everything that intercepts the view; discrimination is a capacity of tracing out minute distinctions and the nicest shades of thought. A discerning man is not easily misled; one of a penetrating mind sees a multitude of things which escape others; a discriminating judgment detects the slightest differences.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Discernment" Quotes from Famous Books



... been a student of men rather than of machinery, he would have found few nobler companies on whom to exercise his discernment, than he might have seen in the little terrace bowling-green behind the Pelican Inn, on the afternoon of the nineteenth of July. Chatting in groups, or lounging over the low wall which commanded a view of the Sound and the shipping far below, were gathered ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... dear Lord, you will perceive that whatever has been done relating to Hobart in the conclusion of this arrangement for India, has received the sanction of his nearest relations, of persons whose affectionate friendship for Hobart, and just discernment of his interests, will readily be acknowledged by you. In a situation of peculiar delicacy and embarrassment, it has been a great satisfaction to me to have been able to submit every step which I have taken in this affair to the judgment of such a ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... symmetry of the rooms, and the richness of the furniture and ornaments. Afterward, a magnificent repast was served up, and the emperor made them sit with him, and was so much pleased with the wit, judgment, and discernment shown by the two princes that he said, "Were these my own children, and I had improved their talents by suitable education, they could not have been more accomplished or ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments • Anonymous

... estimate of the theatrical profession. Shallow, empty-headed creatures some of them might be, no doubt, but there were exceptions. Here was a girl of real discernment—a thoughtful student of character—a girl who understood that a man might sit at a supper-party without uttering a word and might still be ...
— A Man of Means • P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill

... not a heathen native in the whole island. There were churches always regularly attended, school houses, printing presses, lecture halls, a well-constituted government, and a perfectly educated native ministry. Not only were there no heathen, but, as far as human discernment could discover, true Christian principles were professed and practised by a large majority of the population. Few islands were in a more satisfactory state than this one; at the same time Charley heard that the inhabitants of a very considerable number had become Christians by the instrumentality ...
— Washed Ashore - The Tower of Stormount Bay • W.H.G. Kingston

... dead leaves and gray inquiring eyes. But whatever it was that I was to find I was conscious that I would see it with new appreciation of values. For if my eight years of medical work abroad had sharpened my discernment, even more had my intimacy with Jim Shepherd swept my mind clean ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... more of a mineralogist than biologist. Tall, powerfully built, black-bearded, and abrupt, he gave an impression of volcanic force, and at the same time of great keenness. A scientist of remarkable discernment, he possessed with all his broad views a marvelous capacity for detail, and Colin soon learned that the somewhat slipshod methods of a college laboratory would not be ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... carrying conviction into my auditors' very souls, I rammed home my charges with an oath, at which my father looked grave, my mother held up her finger, the gentlemen laughed, and the ladies all said with a smile, "Sweet boy!—what animation!—what sense!—what discernment!" Thinks I to myself, "You are as complete a set of gulls as ever picked up a bit ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... the devil was it in history was so particularly magnanimous? Well, never mind! And now,' he continued, with melancholy triumph, uncovering a third rather large mass of clay, 'you shall behold something which will show you the humility and discernment of your friend. You will realise that he, like a true artist again, feels the need and the ...
— On the Eve • Ivan Turgenev

... she expects no kindness from you, and so, from diffidence and restraint of tenderness, her face has set hard into coldness. But that is only a mask. How you treat each other, you women! And you are as wanting in discernment, too, as you are in kindness and sympathy. She has had to put on that mask of coldness to hide what you make her suffer, and it will take long loving to melt it now, and make her look human again. You misinterpret ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... rob me of my eyes, if it is to darken the day, I will have none of it. It should be expansive and inconceivably liberalizing in its effects. True Friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance. A want of discernment cannot be an ingredient in it. If I can see my Friend's virtues more distinctly than another's, his faults too are made more conspicuous by contrast. We have not so good a right to hate any as our Friend. Faults are not the less faults because they are invariably balanced by corresponding ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... maintain the morale and discipline of his troops, and thus watching the flowing tide of misrule and embroilment, he calmly made the best preparations in his power to meet the storm the sure and early outbreak of which his clear discernment prognosticated. ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... often dogged the footsteps of the virtuosi. Like Scott or Mark Twain at a later date Smollett was perfectly ready to admire anything he could understand; but he expressly disclaims pretensions to the nice discernment and delicate sensibility of the connoisseur. He would never have asked to be left alone with the Venus de Medicis as a modern art-critic is related to have asked to be left alone with the Venus ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... magnificent art which the Vandals produced. To centuries, to revolutions which at least laid waste with impartiality and grandeur, are conjoined the host of scholastic architects, licensed and sworn, degrading all they touch with the discernment and selection of bad taste, substituting the tinsel of Louis XV. for Gothic lace-work, for the greater glory of the Parthenon. This is the donkey's kick at the dying lion. It is the old oak, decaying at the crown, pierced, ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... a natural outburst of his leading quality. In truth no previous act or word of Baumgartner's had inspired such confidence as this unerring piece of insight. It seemed to the boy a perfect miracle of discernment. He was not old enough to know that what he would have done, in his weakness, most grown-up men and women of his temperament would ...
— The Camera Fiend • E.W. Hornung

... infinitely sad one. It was the utterance of an experienced man; and in many ways true, for one of the most singular gifts, or, if abused, most singular weaknesses, of the human mind is its power of persuading itself to see whatever it chooses;—a great gift, if directed to the discernment of the things needful and pertinent to its own work and being; a great weakness, if directed to the discovery of things profitless or discouraging. In all things throughout the world, the men who look for the crooked will see the crooked, and the men who look for the straight will see the straight. ...
— Modern Painters, Volume IV (of V) • John Ruskin

... the words of a critic of discernment, as he passed from drawing to drawing, "Frank Reynolds is right, right—right every time." This is praise to which ...
— Frank Reynolds, R.I. • A.E. Johnson

... "Was Clancy right after all?" she began to ask herself in a sort of dread and presentiment of trouble. Instinctively, and almost involuntarily, she grew slightly reserved and distant in manner, ceasing to meet his gaze in her former frank, affectionate way. With quick discernment he appreciated the change, and thought, "She is not ready yet, and, indeed, may never be ready." His manner, too, began to change, as a cloud gradually loses something of its warmth of color. Mara was grateful, and in her thoughts paid homage ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... the harvest time, which is in September and October, the Indians examine the trees with keen discernment, and inasmuch as the cones require two years to mature from the first appearance of the little red rosettes of the fertile flowers, the scarcity or abundance of the crop may be predicted more than a year in advance. Squirrels, and worms, and Clarke crows, make haste ...
— Steep Trails • John Muir

... too, is his lack of discernment regarding men. I have known him speak glowingly, and with unabated enthusiasm, of 'a most interesting chap' he has met at his club, referring to him as 'altogether delightful,' 'a charming conversationalist,' and so on, until I have felt ...
— Our Elizabeth - A Humour Novel • Florence A. Kilpatrick

... several times with Tony, and left him completely nonplussed by her uncanny discernment when, after he had stumbled through the revelation of his engagement to Doreen Neville, during one of the intervals, she promptly told him she had anticipated it long ago and ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... it upon Ellen's up-turned face! His brow is lofty, and pale, and stern, but partially covered with long dark hair, with which lady's finger had never toyed. His cheek was as if chiselled from marble, so perfect had the hand of nature formed it. His mouth—another space of Ellen's unpenetrating discernment, would have been ...
— The Wedding Guest • T.S. Arthur

... Mr. Wickham has shown much good taste, patience, and discernment. Further, he has written a very sensible introductory chapter on the use and authority of the Fathers".—Church and ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 48, Saturday, September 28, 1850 • Various

... in her employer's letter. "If at the end you come upon a perfectly blank wall—" Well, she had come upon this wall. Did he expect her to make an opening in it? Or had he already done so himself, and was merely testing her much vaunted discernment. ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... sufficient discernment to read the truth of this assertion in Maude's crimson cheeks, but Mrs. Kelsey had, and very sarcastically she said: "Miss Remington, I think, might be better employed than in ...
— Cousin Maude • Mary J. Holmes

... is very wonderful, dear Mary. Certainly our new neighbour is a most earnest and useful man; and he has shown his discernment, too, in getting hold of yourself to work for him in Bridgepath. But I am afraid you will find it very up-hill work; you'll want the strength of a horse, the patience of Job, and the zeal of an apostle in such ...
— Working in the Shade - Lowly Sowing brings Glorious Reaping • Theodore P Wilson

... religious scholars constitutionally charged with determining the succession of the Supreme Leader, reviewing his performance, and deposing him if deemed necessary; 2) Expediency Council or Council for the Discernment of Expediency is a policy advisory and implementation board consisting of permanent and temporary members representing all major government factions, some of whom are appointed by the Supreme Leader; the Council exerts supervisory ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... the "golden mean," or mediocrity. We hear that he is honest and diligent, that he reads every word of every play sent for his inspection. These are the virtues of the capable clerk, not of the penetrating judge. Now the position, if it is to be taken seriously, must require delicate discernment as well as inflexible uprightness. Is Mr. Redford capable of discriminating between what is artistically fine and what is artistically ignoble? If not, he is certainly incapable of discriminating between what is morally fine and what is morally ignoble. It is useless for him to ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... engaged, and had suffered loss both in rank and file; none doubting that their head was in the number of the slain, the whole family grat aloud, and came to the manse, bewailing him as no more; and it afterwards turned out to be the case, making it plain to me that there is a farseeing discernment in the spirit, that reaches beyond the scope of our ...
— The Annals of the Parish • John Galt

... liberty of beginning any conversation. Therefore, to give them an opportunity, he furnished them with subjects all dinner-time. But whatever subject he introduced, they shewed so much wit, judgment, and discernment, that he was struck with admiration. "Were these my own children," said he to himself, "and I had improved their talents by suitable education, they could not have been more accomplished or better informed." In short, he took such great pleasure in their ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... while they found themselves on safe and familiar ground again. Jimmie's new position was a very satisfactory one. He found himself associated with men of solidity and discernment, and for the first time in his business career he felt himself appreciated and stimulated by that appreciation to do his not inconsiderable best. Gertrude was the one woman—Eleanor had not yet attained the inches for that classification—to whom ...
— Turn About Eleanor • Ethel M. Kelley

... was given the English viewpoint as to Western manners and conditions. She perceived that the Enderbys, notwithstanding their heavy-set prejudices, were persons of discernment and right feeling. It certainly was impertinent of the neighbors to ride through the grounds as if they were public, and Mrs. Enderby was ...
— Cavanaugh: Forest Ranger - A Romance of the Mountain West • Hamlin Garland

... deportment, when his spirits were so calm that himself could have laughed merrily at his own angry feigning, for his natural temper was careless and easy; the boisterous airs he assumed when he became the husband of Katharine being but in sport, or more properly speaking, affected by his excellent discernment, as the only means to overcome, in her own way, the passionate ways of the ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... blacksmith could reply, Mother Bunch, who had more discernment, exclaimed: "Goodness, Agricola—how pale you ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... for beauty will answer all the purposes of beauty; the subtle relation between all kinds of truth and fitness in our life forbids that bad taste should ever be harmless to our moral sensibility or our intellectual discernment; and—more than that—as it is probable that fine musical harmonies have a sanative influence over our bodily organization, it is also probable that just coloring and lovely combinations of lines may be necessary to the complete well-being of our systems apart from any conscious delight in them. ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... perceive, as was his will to act, or his hand to do. He saw at once through all sham and artifice. He could be almost said to perceive what was passing through one's mind, so quick was his discernment, so penetrating his thought. He might have been a Jesuit, nor fallen a whit behind the most polished and profound of ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... Johnson was vain, loquacious, and offensively egotistic: Jackson, on the other hand, was proud, reserved, and with such abounding self-respect as excluded egotism. The two men, instead of being alike, were in fact signal contrasts in all that appertains to the talent for administration, to the quick discernment of the time for action, and to the prompt execution of whatever ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... of man, considered as a free agent, endowed with discernment to know good from evil, and with power of choosing those measures which appear to him to be most desirable, are usually summed up in one general appellation, and denominated the natural liberty of mankind. This ...
— Commentaries on the Laws of England - Book the First • William Blackstone

... particularity frequently tend to give an air of truth to a piece, and to interest the spectator in an extraordinary manner. Such circumstances, therefore, cannot wholly be rejected; but if there be anything in the art which requires peculiar nicety of discernment, it is the disposition of these minute circumstantial parts which, according to the judgment employed in the choice, become so useful to truth or ...
— Seven Discourses on Art • Joshua Reynolds

... be the most exacting of all the Arts, the cultivation of which presents the greatest difficulties, for a consummate interpretation of a musical work so as to permit an appreciation of its real value, a clear view of its physiognomy, or discernment of its real meaning and true character, is only achieved in relatively few cases. Of creative artists, the composer is almost the only one who is dependent upon a multitude of intermediate agents between the public ...
— The Orchestral Conductor - Theory of His Art • Hector Berlioz

... appeared exactly as I had written them, boxed and doubleleaded on page one. Though the matter was really trivial and in confessing it I don't mind admitting all of us are subject to petty vanities I was gratified to notice too that Le ffacase had the discernment to realize how much the public appreciated my handling the news about the grass, for he advertised ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... being.—Our author describes the natural ridicule of vice in his MEASURE for MEASURE in the strongest terms, where, after having made the angels weep over the vices of men, he adds, that with our spleens they might laugh themselves quite mortal. Indeed if we had a perfect discernment of the ends of this life only, and could preserve ourselves from sympathy, disgust, and terror, the vices of mankind would be a source of perpetual entertainment. The great difference between Heraclitus and Democritus lay, it seems, in their spleen only;—for a wise and good man must either ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... line south from this place. It is concealed there, and before it is carried off to a distance, as it will be at close of day, go quickly and bring it." When they heard that, many men ran and brought the horse quickly, praising the discernment of Harisarman. Then Harisarman was honoured by all men as a sage, and dwelt there in ...
— Indian Fairy Tales • Collected by Joseph Jacobs

... this to Christ. That He was sinless and full of love made it all the worse to bear. Not the physical pain, but the consciousness that He was encompassed by such an atmosphere of evil, was the sharpest pang. We should think with reverent sympathy of His perfect discernment of the sinful malignant hearts from which the sufferings came, of His pained and rejected love thrown back on itself, of His clear sight of what their heartless infliction of tortures would end in for the inflicters, of His true human feeling which ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... at breakfast time. Fred, having been an editor, can boil down the news very rapidly, and so put its essence into our coffee-pot. The foreign journals, however, have so much in them that is dissimulative and latent, they require more care and discernment. Mr. Hunter aids ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... anything that points to her in your discernment by your five senses, Miss Ames?" Stone asked, very gravely. "Has Mrs, Embury a ...
— Raspberry Jam • Carolyn Wells

... and envious Persons bestow the sincerest Marks of Esteem when they least design it. Such afford a greater Pleasure, as extorted by Merit, and freed from all Suspicion of Favour or Flattery. Thus it is with Malvolio; he has Wit, Learning, and Discernment, but temper'd with an Allay of Envy, Self-Love and Detraction: Malvolio turns pale at the Mirth and good Humour of the Company, if it center not in his Person; he grows jealous and displeased when he ceases to be the only Person admired, and looks upon the Commendations paid to another ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... attention from the casual visitor as this slab of black basalt on its telescope-like pedestal. The hall itself, despite its profusion of strangely sculptured treasures, is never crowded, but before this stone you may almost always find some one standing, gazing with more or less of discernment at the strange characters that are graven neatly across its upturned, glass-protected face. A glance at this graven surface suffices to show that three sets of inscriptions are recorded there. The upper one, occupying about one-fourth of the surface, ...
— A History of Science, Volume 4(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... complimentary to the discernment of Viennese publishers and musicians of that period that, eleven years after Schubert's death, another composer had to come from Leipsic and give to the world the works of a colleague who not only had genius of the purest water, but the gift of giving utterance ...
— Chopin and Other Musical Essays • Henry T. Finck

... evident that Mrs. Arlington was a woman of much more discernment and courage than Patsy had been given to expect. There was nothing of the jill-flirt about her. She treated the boys whom she drew about her as if they had been her sons in need of scolding. She ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... christening of whom, among divers friends and relations, forbye the minister, we had my father's cousin, Mr Alexander Clues, that was then deacon convener, and a man of great potency in his way, and possessed of an influence in the town-council of which he was well worthy, being a person of good discernment, and well versed in matters appertaining to the guildry. Mr Clues, as we were mellowing over the toddy bowl, said, that by and by the council would be looking to me to fill up the first gap that might happen therein; and Dr Swapkirk, the then minister, who ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... maintained that there were human beings without language. Now all we want to know are facts, let the conclusions be whatever they may. It is by no means easy to decide whether savage tribes have a religion or not; at all events it requires the same discernment, and the same honesty of purpose as to find out whether men of the highest intellect among us have a religion or not. Icall the Introduction to Spencer's "First Principles" deeply religious, but I can well ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... died at Paris a little after midnight on the night between Easter Sunday and Monday, the last of March and first of April, and in his seventy- sixth year. No man had ever more ability of all kinds, extending even to the arts and mechanics more valour, and, when it pleased him, more discernment, grace, politeness, and nobility. But then no man had ever before so many useless talents, so much genius of no avail, or an imagination so calculated to be a bugbear to itself and a plague to others. Abjectly ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... place for a general to show his ability. The military art would not be so difficult in practice, and those who have become so distinguished in it would not have acquired their renown, had it been a thing of invariable rules. To be really a great general, a man must have great tact and discernment in order to adopt the best plan in each case as it presents itself; he must have a ready coup d'oeil, so as to do the right thing at the right time and place; for what is excellent one day may be very ...
— Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... soon demonstrated that the manager's discernment was not in error. There was not only abundance but quality, and the landlord's daughter waited on the guests, thereby subjecting herself to the very open advances of the Celtic Adonis. The large table was laden with heavy crockery, old-fashioned and quaint; an enormous ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... principles never lend themselves to very strict definition. Yet he may be credited with a certain measure of discernment in pardoning the indelicacy of Fletcher and Massinger, while he condemns that of Dryden, Etherege, or Sedley. Indelicacy in the older dramatists does not ignore worthier interests. Other topics attracted the earlier writers besides conjugal infidelity and the frailty ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... palsy-stricken churchyard thing; Shut her pure sorrow-drops with glad exclaim—such lines were to him a constant and exhilarating excitement. In the very simplicity and unsophistication of his approach to the poet was a virgin naivete of discernment that an Edinburgh Reviewer would rarely attain. Here, he dimly felt, ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... vice, and profligacy increased to a shocking degree; the adventurers, intoxicated by their imaginary wealth, pampered themselves with the rarest dainties and the most costly wines. They purchased the most sumptuous furniture, equipage, and apparel, though with no taste or discernment. Their criminal passions were indulged to a scandalous excess, and their discourse evinced the most disgusting pride, insolence, and ostentation. They affected to scoff at religion and morality, and even ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... along the shore. The first time I saw this method in practice I ran to the brink of the river to save, as I thought, the life of a poor man. He no sooner raised his head out of the water, however, than down it went again; and I was laughed at for my want of discernment by a crowd of people who shouted ...
— The Awakening of China • W.A.P. Martin

... distrust and jealousy of money power which seem inherent in democracies. The exercise of state jurisdiction over the existence of the Bank of North America suggested possible embarrassments, which could not escape the discernment of Hamilton, whose policy, as it was also that of the Federal party, was to strengthen the powers of the government in every vital branch ...
— Albert Gallatin - American Statesmen Series, Vol. XIII • John Austin Stevens

... and plant surly porters at their gates, to deny admittance to the worthy, and to lay violent hands upon the collars of the elect, and say: 'There is nobody at home'; and verily they tell what is true:—When the master has not reason or judgment, understanding or discernment, the porter reported right of him, saying: 'There is nobody ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... "sufficient price." He saw the immense latent value of the fertile deserts of the Empire. He grasped the full meaning of the truth that the arrival of a population with money and industry instantly gives good land a value. His discernment showed him the absurdity of giving colonial lands away in indefinite areas to the first chance grabbers, and the mistake of supposing that wage labour would not be required in young countries. His theory, ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... of the day contains few things more interesting than these confessions. They relate to railroad accidents, and the confessor is manifestly a man not only of remarkable discernment, but likewise of rhetorical skill."—Stone and Webster Public ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... pay homage to the ruler of the universe. As inventions are developed which make the worker more effective, which broaden the field of usefulness, there come responsibilities and problems which require education and discernment to meet and solve. Under the softened touch of Christianity, religion and education there should come about a universal brotherhood of man broad enough in scope to embrace all humanity. In all the work of the world, in all that is for the ...
— New York at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis 1904 - Report of the New York State Commission • DeLancey M. Ellis

... herself on the back for the discernment she had evinced in making certain relaxations of her stringent rules in favour of this particular boarder. It was quite evident that before long Miss Quentin would be distinctly a "personage," shedding a delectable effulgence upon her immediate surroundings, ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... instance of our discovery, found the slightest resemblance between mesmerism and metaphysics. No especial idiosyncrasy is requisite to acquire a knowledge of metaphysical healing; spiritual sense is more important to its discernment than the intellect; and those who would learn this science without a high moral standard of thought and action, will fail to understand it until they go up higher. Owing to our explanations constantly vibrating between the same points, an ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... convicts, and 17,238 Roman Catholics,) and the number of clergymen was fifteen, besides the archdeacon and four catechists. Archdeacon Scott was succeeded, in 1829, by the Rev. W. G. Broughton, whose zeal and activity reflect honour alike upon himself and upon the discernment of the noble patron, the Duke of Wellington, who, it is believed, first recommended him to that office. After enduring labour, and toil, and anxiety, such as those only know who have to bear the heat and burden of the day in the Lord's vineyard, at length the archdeacon was made, by permission ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... this fact hopeful that we will not fail to seize our opportunities by setting up obstacles whereby we may become persona non grata through lack of discernment. ...
— Laugh and Live • Douglas Fairbanks

... self-graduating power of a clever machine, in the other, the delicateness of the sensitive-plant. Mrs. Carleton herself was not without some sense of this distinction; she confessed, secretly, that there was something in Fleda out of the reach of her discernment, and consequently beyond the walk of her skill; and felt, rather uneasily, that more delicate hands were needed to guide so delicate a nature. Mrs. Evelyn came nearer the point. She was very pleasant, ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... own discernment?' said he, taking the words out of her mouth. 'My dear, such an affair as this would be ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... degree of these absolute qualities visible in living creatures; and that the divinity of the Mind of man is in its essential discernment of what is [Greek: kalon] from what is [Greek: aischron], and in his preference of the kind of creatures which are decent, to those which are indecent; and of the kinds of thoughts, in himself, which are noble, ...
— Proserpina, Volume 1 - Studies Of Wayside Flowers • John Ruskin

... is nothing if not practical. He is very simple and direct in his nature, and is very likely to be equally so in his mental view. Edward's father was distinctly interested—very much amused, as he confessed to the boy in later years—in his son's discernment of the futility of the Spencerian style of penmanship. He agreed with the boy, and, next morning, accompanied him to school and to the principal. The two men were closeted together, and when they ...
— The Americanization of Edward Bok - The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward William Bok

... polity which, since they go with strength, presumably represent the better adjustment to natural conditions, and therefore the better ideal. Though the substance of ideals is the will, their mould must be experience and a true discernment of opportunity; so that while all ideals, regarded in vacuo, are equal in ideality, they are, under given ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... Somehow or other, your wits seem befogged. You hesitate to undertake important interviews. Your interest lags. And though crises arise in your business, you feel weighted down and unable to meet them with that shrewd discernment and decisiveness of action of which you ...
— Initiative Psychic Energy • Warren Hilton

... thought a very great deal of his poem, and what I thought I said; and he, on the other hand, evidently regarded me as a lad of extraordinary taste and discernment for my years. There was another mechanic in the neighbourhood,—a house-carpenter, who, though not a poet, was deeply read in books of all kinds, from the plays of Farquhar to the sermons of Flavel; and as both his ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... moment I receive your packet of poems, and Shee's letter. I perceive that he is impressed by your attentions and your ability. It will always afford me one of my best pleasures to forward your views; I claim no merit from this, but my discernment in discovering your talents, which, under the genius of Prudence (the best of all Genii for human affairs), must inevitably reach the goal. The literary productions of I.D['Israeli] and others may not augment the profits oL your trade in any considerable degree; but to get ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... no great portion of discernment to foretel that while the present prohibitory system remains in force; while the colony is alike prevented from profiting by its natural productions, and from calling into life the artificial ones of which it is capable, that it must continue an increasing burthen ...
— Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land • William Charles Wentworth

... respected for his sound discernment in matters of business, as well as for his benevolent disposition. Every dispute in the vicinity was submitted to his adjudication, and his counsel checked all differences in the district. He was regularly ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel , Volume I. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... you God, that you are able to judge what God should be? Through Christ, in very deed, have we won to know God; but that is by reason of the knowledge and authority of Him that revealed Him, not by the clear discernment and just judgment of us that received that revelation.' I do tell thee, Lettice—what with this man o' the one side with his philosophical follies, and Parson Turnham on the other, with his heathenish fooleries, I am at times well-nigh like old Elias, ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... of quicker discernment than their fellows, did not fail to perceive the material advantages to be reaped from a religious system, quite apart from the religion itself, in the power of union and its pecuniary potentiality. As a result thereof there came into existence, at the close of Spanish rule, the Philippine Independent ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... common weal, was at least but feebly parried by the temperate divines, who, while they were so reasonably referring everything to God, wanted the vulgar curiosity to inquire, or the philosophical discernment to discover, that Felton's imagination was driving everything at the duke. Could they imagine that these were but subtle cobwebs, spun by a closet speculation on human affairs? In those troubled times did they not give a thought to the real object of these ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... the reign of Philip the Second; and the large proportion of Ferdinand and Isabella's laws, admitted into that famous compilation, shows the prospective character of their legislation, and the uncommon discernment with which it was accommodated to the peculiar genius and wants ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... silence among the Indians when Accomba had finished speaking. An Indian has great discernment, and not only can soon discover where the pathos of a story lies, but he will read as by intuition how much of it is true or false. Moreover, Michel's character was well known among them all, and his eccentricities had often ...
— Owindia • Charlotte Selina Bompas

... wird gegessen (and in the evening there is eating); und Andere werden gelastert (and others are abused) (392. V. 114). This side of the linguistic inventiveness of childhood, with its double-entendre, its puns, its folk-etymologies, its keen discernment of hidden resemblances and analogies, deserves more study than it ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... especially when the disciples were already gathered around and attached to Him, and attentive to what was going on around them. Hence it is added: 'And His disciples believed in Him,'" not because they then believed in Him for the first time, but because then "they believed with greater discernment and perfection." Or they are called "disciples" because "they were to be disciples later on," as Augustine observes (De ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... and, if mankind's old foe, My "Lord Harry" himself—who's the leader, we know, Of another red-hot Opposition below— If that "Lord," in his well-known discernment, but spares Me and Lyndhurst, to look after Ireland's affairs, We shall soon such a region of devilment make it, That Old Nick himself for his own may mistake it. Even already—long life to such Bigwigs, say I, For, as long as they ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... bound to submit. In this spirit he acted as a practical statesman, and wrote his history. If in his youth he had done homage to the honourable but impracticable local patriotism of the Achaeans, during his later years, with a clear discernment of inevitable necessity, he advocated in the community to which he belonged the policy of the closest adherence to Rome. It was a policy in the highest degree judicious and beyond doubt well-intentioned, but it was far from being high-spirited or proud. Nor was Polybius able wholly ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... a while, for she was troubled by a certain sense of wholesome confusion. It seemed to her that Sally had the clearer vision. Love had given her discernment as well as charity, and, not expecting perfection, it was the man's strong points upon ...
— Masters of the Wheat-Lands • Harold Bindloss

... is shown a just insight into the nature of man, and a discernment of the uses and limits of human knowledge. Although John Yeardley's talents were not brilliant, and his opportunities were scanty, he possessed that intellectual thirst which cannot be slaked but at the fountain of knowledge. At the same time he was sensitively alive to the necessity of having all ...
— Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel • John Yeardley

... story confidently before you, my reader, trusting in the justice of my case and in your judicial discernment, but for one other thing. What will the Goddess Clio say, or the well-deserving knight, if I offend History? She has stated her case, Sir Bartimeus has written it, and then so late in the day I come with a different story, a truer but different story. What will they do? Reader, ...
— Don Rodriguez - Chronicles of Shadow Valley • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, Dunsany

... exceeded all bounds; Neither did I set any to the expressions of gratitude which I heaped upon Theodore. In fact his address and attention merited my warmest praise. You will readily believe that I had not entrusted him with my passion for Agnes; But the arch Youth had too much discernment not to discover my secret, and too much discretion not to conceal his knowledge of it. He observed in silence what was going on, nor strove to make himself an Agent in the business till my interests required his interference. I equally admired his ...
— The Monk; a romance • M. G. Lewis

... the priests for their great kindness, and congratulated himself that this most remarkable event, which completely put to blush all the other events of his life, had in no way damped his ardor for great military exploits. "I have great discernment, Tickler," said the general, rubbing his haunches, "and unless the fates come against me, rely upon it this envy of the king will cost him dearly. A little more strength at our backs, and I had made him dance to the tune of this sword of mine." "If your ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... his own expense: on the 3rd of August his house is forced open at two o'clock in the morning, and he takes refuge in a steeple; the mob follow him, cut his throat and drag his head along the streets.—Not only do the people execute, but they pardon—and with equal discernment. On the 11th of August, at Versailles, as a parricide is about to be broken on the wheel, the crowd demand his release, fly at the executioner, and set the man free.[1409] Veritably this is sovereign ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 1 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... had called it, was the outcome of Flavia's more exalted strategies. A woman who made less a point of sympathizing with their delicate organisms, might have sought to plunge these phosphorescent pieces into the tepid bath of domestic life; but Flavia's discernment was deeper. This must be a refuge where the shrinking soul, the sensitive brain, should be unconstrained; where the caprice of fancy should outweigh the civil code, if necessary. She considered that this much Arthur owed her; for she, in her turn, had made concessions. ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... understanding and nicety of discernment were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... the almost too bold gallant who had been mine; and lo! when he suddenly comes on me with all his pristine assurance and seeming contempt for the weepful things I mentioned above, I don't like it at all. I feel as if two men in the same mask are courting me, and I without discernment enough to tell one ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... men are intended, without excessive difficulty, and by use of their general common sense, to know good things from bad; and that it is only because they will not be at the pains required for the discernment, that the world is so widely encumbered with forgeries and basenesses. I found the work simpler than I had hoped; the reasonable things ranged themselves in the order I required, and the foolish things fell aside, and took themselves away ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... for taking this party. I have been deceived, say they, by Titius and Maevius; I have been the dupe of this pretender or of that mountebank; and I can trust appearances no longer. But my credulity and want of discernment cannot, as I conceive, amount to a fair presumption against any man's integrity. A conscientious person would rather doubt his own judgment, than condemn his species. He would say, I have observed without ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... behind her, and strolled back towards the fireplace. "A woman of great discernment is your aunt, Joan." He turned towards her, and suddenly stood very still. "What is it, my dear? . . . ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... angle into the water, but I not unfrequently wandered by the banks of the pleasant rivulet. It seems singular to me, on reflection, that I never availed myself of his kind invitation. I say singular, for the extraordinary, under whatever form, had long had no slight interest for me; and I had discernment enough to perceive that yon was no common man. Yet I went not near him, certainly not from bashfulness, or timidity, feelings to which I had long been an entire stranger. Am I to regret this? perhaps, for I might have learned ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... alarmed, and Jesus was looked on as a person dangerous to the state; and he had discernment enough to see that his death was determined and inevitable. What does he do then? Why, to make the best of a bad case, and to save the benefit of his undertaking to those who were to succeed him, he pretends to prophecy of his death, which he knew could not ...
— The Trial of the Witnessses of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ • Thomas Sherlock

... found to exist in France, and terrible the danger which it at once brought upon the neighbouring states. It was rendered the more formidable in the time of Louis XIV., from the extraordinary concentration of talent which his discernment or good fortune had collected around his throne, and the consummate talent, civil and military, with which affairs were directed. Turenne, Boufflers, and Conde, were his generals; Vauban was his engineer, Louvois and Torcy were his statesmen. The lustre of the exploits of these ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... and good taste must allow that, even in the Lest of the compilations we have mentioned, there is a great want of critical discernment, and that they are wholly deficient in elegance, and the artificial beauties of composition, justice requires that their defects should not be exaggerated. Still less should an intention to deceive, even on the pretence of edification, ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... avail to assoil me, and to throw into a distant retrospect my boyish trespasses; but as yet Oxford had not arrived. I committed, besides, a great fault in taking often a tone of mock seriousness, when the detection of the playful extravagance was left to the discernment or quick sympathy of the hearer; and I was blind to the fact, that neither my mother nor my uncle was distinguished by any natural liveliness of vision for the comic, or any toleration for the extravagant. My mother, for example, had an awful sense of ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... some minutes in my chamber. He departed without haste or interruption. If Pleyel marked him as he left the house, (and it is not impossible that he did,) inferences injurious to my character might suggest themselves to him. In admitting them, he gave proofs of less discernment and less candor than I ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... could have been spent in the shelter of the library Jeffreys would have had little to complain of. But it was not, and out of it it needed no great discernment to perceive that he had anything but a friend in Mrs Rimbolt. She was not openly hostile; it was not worth her while to wage war on a poor domestic, but she seemed for all that to resent his presence in the house, and to be possessed of a sort of nervous desire to lose ...
— A Dog with a Bad Name • Talbot Baines Reed

... Frederick II. who rises at four o'clock in the morning, a Napoleon who dictates half the night in his bath, and who works eighteen hours a day, would scarcely suffice for its needs. Such a regime cannot operate without constant strain, without indefatigable energy, without infallible discernment, without military rigidity, without superior genius; on these conditions alone can one convert twenty-five millions of men into automatons and substitute his own will, lucid throughout, coherent throughout and everywhere present, for the wills ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine



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