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Observant   Listen
adjective
Observant  adj.  
1.
Taking notice; viewing or noticing attentively; watchful; carefully attentive; as, an observant spectator; observant habits. "Wandering from clime to clime observant stray'd."
2.
Submissively attentive; obediently watchful; regardful; mindful; obedient (to); with of, as, to be observant of rules. "We are told how observant Alexander was of his master Aristotle."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Observant" Quotes from Famous Books



... that it should be so, for can man ever be sufficiently thankful for the great gift of a Saviour, whose birth was heralded by the songs of angels on that day? All nations observe their peculiar ceremonies, but perhaps none are more faithfully observant of them than the Germans in the little community of M——, most of whose inhabitants at the time of which we write were descendants of the original Dutch settlers. Many ceremonies and customs, relics of a ruder age, and now nearly forgotten, were ...
— Watch—Work—Wait - Or, The Orphan's Victory • Sarah A. Myers

... bears the attractive title of The House of Courage (DUCKWORTH); when it begins in the Spring of 1914 with a number of pleasantly prosperous people whose faith in the continuance of this prosperity is frequently emphasised ("as if they had a contract with God Almighty" is how an observant character phrases it); and when, in the first chapter, the hero has an encounter with two Germans in a Soho restaurant—well, it requires no great guessing to tell what will happen before we are through with it. And, in fact, Mrs. VICTOR RICKARD'S latest is yet another war-story; though ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, March 12, 1919 • Various

... first became clear to medical men within comparatively recent years. The development of our knowledge of the nature of infection forms one of the most entertaining chapters in obstetrics, and provides a simple way of showing the genuine need of preventive measures. Several observant physicians had previously suspected the character of "child-bed fever" (as infection of the mother was once called), but convincing proof of its contagious nature was not forthcoming until the middle of the nineteenth century, when signal facts were pointed out by three men, each working ...
— The Prospective Mother - A Handbook for Women During Pregnancy • J. Morris Slemons

... particular mimicry of us by an unknown power, a power which was alarmingly interested in our doings; and in a frenzy over its partial failure it had attempted to demolish its laborious semblance of what we do. Was this power still observant of its work, and conscious of intruders? All this was a sinister warning of something invisible and malign, which brooded over our affairs, knew us too well, though omitting the heart of us, and it was ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... and honoured friend, the Lord de Wichehalse, these from his most observant and most grateful Aubya Auberley,—Under command of his Majesty, our most Royal Lord and King, I have this day been joined in bands of holy marriage with her Highness, the Duchess of B——, in France. At one time I had hope of favour with your good Lordship's ...
— Frida, or, The Lover's Leap, A Legend Of The West Country - From "Slain By The Doones" By R. D. Blackmore • R. D. Blackmore

... a floor, and, the doors by which they communicated being put open that the air might pass freely through them all, Mr. Lorry, smilingly observant of that fanciful resemblance which he detected all around him, walked from one to another. The first was the best room, and in it were Lucie's birds, and flowers, and books, and desk, and work-table, and box ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... above his horizon, and her orbit seemed so eccentric that as yet he could not calculate it; but this element of uncertainty made observation all the more interesting. The wide old hall, without the embarrassment of observant eyes, was just the place to learn something more definite of one who thus far had dazzled and puzzled, while she gained his strong interest. True, Addie and Mr. Harcourt were walking before them, but seemed so absorbed in each other as not to notice ...
— From Jest to Earnest • E. P. Roe

... only the helpless dead man and the contrasting figure of the alert young woman to restore the picture. The body was gone, it was true, but as he turned he beheld Miss Porter, at a few paces distant, sitting her horse as energetic and observant as on the first morning they had met. A superstitious thrill passed over him and awoke ...
— Frontier Stories • Bret Harte

... hunter sat down on a fallen tree trunk and inspected the others with a quiet but observant gaze. Each in his own way had the best of manners. Tayoga, as became a forest chief, was dignified, saying little, while Willet cut more slices from the deer meat and offered them to the guests. But it was the Onondaga and not St. ...
— The Hunters of the Hills • Joseph Altsheler

... his own dinner, instead of for his hungry nestlings, he adopted different tactics. For them he was a hunter, sly, silent, crafty, stalking his game by approved still-hunting methods; for himself he was the true fisherman, quiet, observant, endlessly patient. He seemed to know that for himself he could afford to take his time and be comfortable, knowing that all things, especially fish, come to him who waits long enough; while for his little ones he must hurry, else their croakings ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... 'But,' the observant reader may possibly exclaim, 'there is nothing new about this. Woman has ever been man's favourite grumble-vent, from the day when the first man got out of his first scrape by blaming the only available woman!' True enough, age cannot stale the infinite variety ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... ain't a sign of him," said Mrs. Dax, returning to the house after straining the landscape through her all-observant eye, and not detecting him in any of the remote pin-pricks on the horizon, in which these plainsfolk invariably decipher a herd of antelope, an elk or two, ...
— Judith Of The Plains • Marie Manning

... at Adowa in 1894 by the Abyssinians—a backward African people scarcely known except for the ease with which a British expedition had chastised them not thirty years before—was perhaps the first of these events to awaken observant Indians to the fact that European arms were not necessarily invincible. The resistance put up for nearly three years by two small South African Republics, strong chiefly in their indomitable pride of nationhood, seemed to have strained the resources even ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... equal external advantages; but their characters were very different. Sarah Corbin, who was a few months older than her friend and almost constant companion, Harriet Wieland, was quiet, thoughtful, and observant; while Harriet, who had great personal attractions, never appeared to look beneath the surface. She believed every thing to be true that bore the semblance of truth, to her all that glittered was gold. Like you, and most other young ladies, we sometimes talked ...
— Married Life; Its Shadows and Sunshine • T. S. Arthur

... times, to justify his ways and tastes, his fancies and even his appearance, to boys and masters alike. Bullying is indeed practically extinct in well-managed schools; but small boys are inquisitive, observant, extremely conventional, almost like savages in their inventiveness of prohibitions and taboos, and perfectly merciless in criticism. The instinct for power is shown by small boys in the desire to make themselves felt, which is most easily accomplished by minute ridicule. Hugh made friends there, ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... magic of method. Philippon was preparing a sauce; Dumoreau, in another quarter of the spacious chamber, was arranging some truffles; the Englishman, Smit, was fashioning a cutlet. Between these three generals of division aides-de-camp perpetually passed, in the form of active and observant marmitons, more than one of whom, as he looked on the great masters around him, and with the prophetic faculty of genius surveyed the future, exclaimed to himself, like Cor-reggio, 'And I also will be ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... watched him saw him go into school and out as usual, except that he seemed less listless and more observant. He glanced aside now and then at the groups of boys who stood and looked after him, and his face had a cloud on it which was ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... must record the complete satisfaction with which I heard the substantial whack on the drum so descriptive of Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert-sans-Sullivan's heavy fall "at the ropes." This last effect, being as novel as it is effective, attracted the attention of the wily and observant DRURIOLANUS, who mentally booked the effect as something startlingly new and original for his next Pantomime. The combat between the Saxon Slogger, very much out of training, and the Norman Nobbler, rather over-trained as the result proved, is decidedly exciting, and the Nobbler ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. February 14, 1891. • Various

... and the negotiation made no way. It struck the observant tradesman that all was not right. Old Marguerite several times refused to admit him, declaring her master was asleep: there was something mysterious and forbidding in her manner that seemed to Monsieur Ramin very ominous. At length a sudden thought occurred to him: the housekeeper—wishing ...
— The International Weekly Miscellany, Volume I. No. 8 - Of Literature, Art, and Science, August 19, 1850 • Various

... and all versions with fierce attention, he repaired to his dinner and consumed it in a silence which his observant wife knew betokened affairs of unusual weight. But it was not until he finished his dessert and pushed back from table that he ...
— The Brass Bound Box • Evelyn Raymond

... De Consid. ad Eugen., iii. 4. 18., the Bibliotheca Juridica, &c., of Ferraris observes, under the head of Dispensatio: "Hinc dispensatio sine justa causa non dispensatio sed dissipatio dicitur communiter a doctoribus, ut observant et tenent Sperell;" then referring to several Romish canonists, &c., the last being Reiffenstuel, lib. i., Decretal, tit. 2., n. 450., of which I give the full reference, his volumes being accessible in the British Museum, ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 50. Saturday, October 12, 1850 • Various

... encroachment of his rule upon that old, that true England whose strength and virtue were so differently manifested. This fair broad land of the lovely villages signifies little save to the antiquary, the poet, the painter. Vainly, indeed, should I show its beauty and its peace to the observant foreigner; he would but smile, and, with a glance at the traction-engine just coming along the road, indicate ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... beauty, except the unassailable beauty of her eyes and her hair, had been nipped under the frosty superintendence of her maternal aunt. Her cheeks were hollow, her delicate lips were pale; her shabby dress lay flat over her bosom. Observant people, meeting her when she was out walking with the girls, were struck by her darkly gentle eyes, and by the patient sadness of her expression. "What a pity!" they said to each other. "She would be a pretty girl, if she didn't look ...
— The Evil Genius • Wilkie Collins

... it, and without a slip for which he could be held responsible. It was a wire from the chief office of the Transcontinental in New York, a telegram inspired by sundry leakages from Pacific Southwestern sources, that gave him a silent and observant follower in all of his dodgings. Of this, however, he was in blissful ignorance. Twice, indeed, he sat in the same Pullman section with his "shadow," quite without suspecting it; and once he was saved from disaster—also without ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... pockets when I washed before supper was top-heavy. It had two big coins at the top and sixpences and shillings beneath. Now it is one of my oddities that ever since I was a small boy I have arranged my loose coins symmetrically, with the smallest uppermost. That made me observant and led me to notice a second point. The English classics on the top of the chest of drawers were not in the order I had left them. Izaak Walton had got to the left of Sir Thomas Browne, and the poet Burns was wedged disconsolately between ...
— Mr. Standfast • John Buchan

... and sufficient; and there the description should end. But Browning, driven by some small demon, adds to it three lines of mere observant fancy. ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... many times unto my mind, and beholding you not with the inquisitive eye of presumption, to discover that which the Scripture telleth me is inscrutable, but with the observant eye of duty and admiration, leaving aside the other parts of your virtue and fortune, I have been touched—yea, and possessed—with an extreme wonder at those your virtues and faculties, which the ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... three of your own patrol saw you down there a week ago, Hervey; saw you run out of a candy store to follow a runaway horse. You know, Hervey, horses' tracks aren't the kind you're after. Those boys were observant. They were on their way to the post office. I heard them telling Tom Slade ...
— Tom Slade on Mystery Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... its character and appearance, and prudent, but decisive in the exercise of its powers over the people; and united with the clergy, who are shrewd, and tolerant, and sincere, and respectable in general conduct, studiously observant of their ecclesiastical duties, and managing with great ...
— The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, • Murat Halstead

... the prisoner both when I entered the witness-box and when I left it. The lowering brutality of his face was unchanged, but his faculties seemed to be more alive and observant than they were at the police-office. A frightful blue change passed over his face, and he drew his breath so heavily that the gasps were distinctly audible while I mentioned Mary by name and described the mark or the blow on her temple. ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... architecture of the city. Its wealth had grown larger as its houses had grown higher; and mediaeval London, such as we are apt to picture it to ourselves, seems to have derived those leading features which it so long retained, from the days when Chaucer, with downcast but very observant eyes, passed along its streets between Billingsgate and Aldgate. Still, here as elsewhere in England the remembrance of the most awful physical visitations which have ever befallen the country must have long lingered; and, after all has been said, it is wonderful ...
— Chaucer • Adolphus William Ward

... over with some coffee-coloured preparation, for the second time in the evening his lordship swore. He was, in fact, in some dudgeon about to replace the lamp, when the torn edge of paper, showing between two boards, caught his observant eye.... ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... other games which we simply mention without describing. There are three games played by the hands, which every observant foreigner long resident in Japan must have seen played, as men and women seem to enjoy them as much as children. In the Stone game, a stone, a pair of scissors, and a wrapping-cloth are represented. The stone signifies the clenched fist, the parted ...
— Child-Life in Japan and Japanese Child Stories • Mrs. M. Chaplin Ayrton

... light companionship of common usage, however, it is exactly the costume which comes closest to us, and bad taste in that is most jarring and least easily forgiven. There is a certain stage in an observant person's experience of the heedlessness, indolence, and native folly of men and women—and if his observation be conducted in a catholic spirit, he will probably see something of this not merely in others—when the tolerable average ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... strike any observant traveller in the Himalaya. One is the comparative absence of running or still water, except in the height of the rainy season, away from the large rivers. The slope is so rapid that ordinary falls of rain ...
— The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir • Sir James McCrone Douie

... every-day clothes, which lost him a point in Mrs. Lunn's observant eyes; but Captain Crowe had paid her the honor of putting on his best coat for this evening visit. She thought at first that he had even changed his shirt, but upon reflection remembered that this could not be taken as a special recognition of her charms, it being Wednesday night. On the ...
— The Life of Nancy • Sarah Orne Jewett

... safely steered the front wheels through the dangerous pass, although a grin of delight covered the face of Plez as he noticed that the hub of one of the hind wheels almost grazed a post. Then the observant boy ran on to open the other gate, and with many jerks and clucks, Miss Annie induced the sorrel to break ...
— The Late Mrs. Null • Frank Richard Stockton

... books from damp and vermin, as well as from the hands of trifling, ignorant, dirty, and tasteless persons. To those of authority and learning, he ought himself to exhibit them with all facility, courteously explaining their beauty and remarkable characteristics, the handwriting and miniatures, but observant that such abstract no leaves. When ignorant or merely curious persons wish to see them, a glance is sufficient, if it be not some one of considerable influence. When any lock or other requisite is needed, he must take care that it be promptly provided. He ...
— The Private Library - What We Do Know, What We Don't Know, What We Ought to Know - About Our Books • Arthur L. Humphreys

... magnificent possibilities of a brilliant life, a competence, for one chance in a thousand at the gambling table;" "for exchange, bright prospects, a brilliant outlook, a cultivated intelligence, a college education, a skilled hand, an observant eye, valuable experience, great tact, all exchanged for rum, for a muddled brain, a bewildered intellect, a shattered nervous system, poisoned blood, a diseased body, for fatty degeneration of the heart, for Bright's disease, for ...
— How to Succeed - or, Stepping-Stones to Fame and Fortune • Orison Swett Marden

... was the founder and Chuang-Tze the chief apostle, was displaced by Confucianism, yet the spirit of this fable has penetrated deeply into Chinese life, making it more urbane and tolerant, more contemplative and observant, than the fiercer life of the West. The Chinese watch foreigners as we watch animals in the Zoo, to see whether they "drink water and fling up their heels over the champaign," and generally to derive amusement from their curious habits. Unlike the ...
— The Problem of China • Bertrand Russell

... dress, with a pale, gentle, and withal firm face, resting lightly on the palm of one white hand, while the other supports the elbow—a position which gives to her countenance a keen, enquiring expression which is very marked. Standing thus in repose, and yet keenly observant, was Florence Nightingale—that Englishwoman whose name shall never die, but sound like music on the lips of British men until ...
— Noble Deeds of the World's Heroines • Henry Charles Moore

... your vocabulary. Of course you must become observant of words and inquisitive about them. For words are like people: they have their own particular characteristics, they do their work well or ill, they are in good odor or bad, and they yield best service to him who loves them and tries to understand them. Your curiosity about them must ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... nonsense," he told himself, "all fancy, all a world created, peopled, endowed with life by my desirous mind, which longs for a new sensation. I will not encourage this absurdity. I will be calm, cold, observant, discriminating. This is the same darkness in which every night I sleep, with no sense of being surrounded by forms which I cannot see, pressed upon by the denizens of some other sphere, not that in ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... his wife's sacrifice of herself in every respect, and long before he grew accustomed to it and felt easy under it, he was touched by it. He liked her company too, for he was fond of society, and had been lonely since his father and mother died. She was an observant, intelligent woman, high-minded and pure-hearted, and vastly superior to his late satellites. She was eager to suit herself to him, and made herself as free with him as she could be, as far as he knew, with any one. At this season ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... morning. It is twenty-five minutes to three when the Royal train will start, and Windsor will not be reached till five minutes after the hour mentioned by RYMUND. It is crass inaccuracies like these that lower the weekly press in the estimation of an observant public. ...
— Punch, Or the London Charivari, Volume 101, November 21, 1891 • Various

... father, was a stern but observant man who, seeing his bent, threw him with soldiers to his heart's content, glad to have it so, for it was a warlike age. From his tenth year he let him sit in council with him and early delegated to him the duty ...
— Hero Tales of the Far North • Jacob A. Riis

... not observant in the matter of health, but they had grown sensitive about Dr. MacLure, and remarked in the kirkyard all summer that he ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... seek her mistress. There were one or two books on the tables. One table was rather untidy; it was Desiree's. A writing-desk stood in the corner of the room. It was locked—and the lock was a good one. De Casimir was an observant man. He had time to make this observation, and to see that there were no letters in Desiree's work-basket; to note the titles of the books and the absence of name on the flyleaf, and was looking out of the window when the door opened and ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... An observant traveller, homing to England by the Ostend-Dover packet in the April of some five years ago, relished the vagaries of a curious couple who arrived by a later train, and proved to be both of his acquaintance. He had happened to be early ...
— Rest Harrow - A Comedy of Resolution • Maurice Hewlett

... all observant human beings will admit that in this world there are disagreeable people. Probably the distinction which presses itself most strongly upon our attention, as we mingle in the society of our fellow-men, is the distinction between agreeable people ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... very little one in this case. We find each other true, and have learnt to esteem and trust each other. I should, for instance, go out of this room leaving this book open on the table, knowing that the men would not read my letter. They are discreet, reticent, observant, and on many subjects well informed, but they are of a type which has no antitype at home. All women work in this region, so there is no fuss about my working, or saying, "Oh, you mustn't do that," or "Oh, let me ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... exposures that we ourselves have." They build retiring places over the water, "but their language is quite unlicensed."[1500] In Micronesia reserve as to natural functions is lacking.[1501] Amongst central African negroes the king alone had a hut for retirement. "The heathen negroes are generally more observant of decorum in this respect than any Mohammedan."[1502] In Lhasa, Tibet, there are no latrines either public or private. The street is used.[1503] The Andamanese women are modest and very careful about decency of dress and conversation. For the unmarried ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... Massachusetts with its Lawrence race issues of a different character, I feel a sense of satisfaction in discussing here in South Carolina this question and issue in a spirit the reverse of dogmatic, a spirit purely scientific, observant and sympathetic. And in this connection let me say I well remember repeatedly discussing it with your fellow-citizen and my friend, Colonel Alexander Haskell, to whom I have already made reference. Rarely have I been more impressed by a conclusion reached and fixed in the mind of one who ...
— 'Tis Sixty Years Since • Charles Francis Adams

... the Prince waited deferentially, but very observant. He was confident of the impression made; he even thought he could follow the young Turk's reflections point by point; still it was wisest to let him alone, for the cooling time of the sober second thought would come, and then how much better if there were ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... more objectionable than the English one, because he is under less restraint, and knows no precincts forbidden to him. Generally intelligent and observant, he is here, there, and everywhere; nothing escapes him, nothing is sacred to him. Of course his further development draws its form and shape from his previous caterpillar condition, and when ...
— Town Life in Australia - 1883 • R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny

... when he was proposing some colossal impossibility, the observant novelist would naturally seize on, for Dickens was always on the lookout for exaggerations in human language and conduct. It was at Procter's table I heard Dickens describe a scene which transpired after the publication of the "Old Curiosity Shop." It seems ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... preconceptions. It was, doubtless, no more the real Boston we know and love, than either of the others: and it perplexed her more than it need, even if it had not been mere phantasm. It made her suspicious of Mr. Arbuton's behavior towards her, and observant of little things that might very well have otherwise escaped her. The bantering humor, the light-hearted trust and self-reliance with which she had once met him deserted her, and only returned fitfully when some accident called her out of herself, ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... an instant rush for the door, and squeezed themselves in behind the poor old women of the neighborhood for whom festivals were perquisites, and who, maimed or deformed, knelt on the stone floor close to the entrance, while with keenly observant, ubiquitous eyes they proffered their aves and their petitions for alms with the same exemplary patience and fervor—"Per l'amor ...
— A Golden Book of Venice • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... and through what agency has this rock been lifted above the surface of the water to form new continents? Hutton looks about him for a clew, and soon he finds it. Everywhere about us there are outcropping rocks that are not stratified, but which give evidence to the observant eye of having once been in a molten state. Different minerals are mixed together; pebbles are scattered through masses of rock like plums in a pudding; irregular crevices in otherwise solid masses of rock—so-called veinings—are ...
— A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... his curls against the black jowl. Tyr gave a perfunctory lick, and stretched with a sleepy sigh. Rol growled and rolled and shoved invitingly, but could only gain from the old dog placid toleration and a half-observant blink. "Take that then!" said Rol, indignant at this ignoring of his advances, and sent the puppy sprawling against the dignity that disdained him as playmate. The dog took no notice, and the child wandered off to ...
— The Were-Wolf • Clemence Housman

... JONES, the writer, has much that is fresh to say, and a very fresh and vigorous way of saying it. His book and himself are both American of the best kind—which is to say, wonderfully resourceful, observant, sympathetic and alive. From a newspaper flung away by a stranger on the Broadway Express, Mr. JONES first became aware that men were wanted for relief work in Serbia, and "in an hour I had become part of the expedition." That is a phrase characteristic of the whole book. Though the matter ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 152, Feb. 7, 1917 • Various

... changing purposes of life. The grading of the pupils in a class usually expresses this differentiation of the intelligence; and while the differences of industry or of mere memory and similar secondary features may sometimes interfere, it remains after all not difficult for an observant teacher to grade the pupils of his class, whom he knows well, according to their general intelligence. The psychological experiments carried on in the schoolroom have demonstrated that this ability can be tested by the measurement of some very simple mental activities. The ...
— Psychology and Industrial Efficiency • Hugo Muensterberg

... blows to me, Daphne," Mr. Withers groaned, covering his face. After a while he said, "All I have in the world would have been yours and your mother's had you come to me, or had I suspected the trouble you were in. I ought to have been more observant. My prepossessions must be very strong; doubtless some of the readier faculties have been left out in my mental constitution. I hear you say these words, but even now they are losing their meaning for me. I can see that your ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... Doctor's talks, many of which I can but barely mention, had opened my eyes a little to the possibility of accurate inferences, that is to say, his philosophy of cause and effect, or purpose, as he liked better to call it, had been urged upon me so frequently and so profoundly that I had become more observant; he had made me think of the relations of things. Philosophy, he had said, should be carried into everyday life and into the smallest matters; that was what made a good fisherman, a good farmer, ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... long intimacy, had learned to read Artois more clearly, more certainly than he realized. Although often impulsive, and seemingly unconscious of the thoughts of others, she could be both sharply observant and subtle, especially with those she loved. She had noticed the difference between his manner when first they spoke of Vere's hidden occupation and his manner when last they spoke of it. In the interval he had found out ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... drowned; and therefore, so far from being a superstitious man, who refuses to inquire into facts, but puts vain dreams in their stead, the sailor is for the most part a very scientific-minded man: observant, patient, accurate, truthful; conquering Nature, as the great saying is, because ...
— Discipline and Other Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... each other, was highly characteristic. Chingachgook, a noble, tall, handsome and athletic young Indian warrior, first examined his rifle with care, opening the pan to make sure that the priming was not wet, and, assured of this important fact, he next cast furtive but observant glances around him, at the strange habitation and at the two girls. Still he spoke not, and most of all did he avoid the betrayal of a womanish curiosity, ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... her, without effusion. Mrs. France presently began to feel conversation an effort, and to realise that the girl's wonderful eyes were very observant and very critical. Yet she chose the very obvious and appropriate topic of Lady Blanchflower, her strong character, her doings in the village, her relation to ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... my lot to pore O'er ancient tomes of Classic lore, Or quaff Castalia's springs; Yet sometimes the observant eye May germs of poetry descry In ...
— Yorkshire Lyrics • John Hartley

... silence—passing along one of the beautiful walks on the outskirts of the town, yet not observant of scene or situation. Her shoulder and his were close together, and he clasped his fingers round the small of her arm—quite lightly, and without any attempt at impetus; yet the act seemed to say, 'Now I hold you, and my will ...
— A Changed Man and Other Tales • Thomas Hardy

... how much more disagreeable they were to Mr. Lewisham, trudging meditative to the schools. You will understand his slipping out of the laboratory, and betaking himself to the Educational Reading-room, and how it was that the observant Smithers, grinding his lecture notes against the now imminent second examination for the "Forbes," was presently perplexed to the centre of his being by the spectacle of Lewisham intent upon a pile of current periodicals, ...
— Love and Mr. Lewisham • H. G. Wells

... such names of fame as Nansen and the latter day dramatists of Norway, Ibsen and Björnsen.... Many of our authoress's chapters are immensely entertaining.... The pages from start to finish are really a treat; her book of travel is altogether too racy, too breezy, too observant, too new, to let us part from her with anything ...
— A Girl's Ride in Iceland • Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

... when James re-entered the room, but awoke promptly at the sound of his voice. In a few moments he had rearranged his scarcely disordered toilette, and stepped out refreshed and observant into the hall. The guests were still absent from that part of the building, and he walked leisurely past the carelessly opened doors of the rooms they had left. Everywhere he met the same glaring ornamentation and color, the same garishness of treatment, the same inharmonious extravagance of furniture, ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... introduced, and the evening was drifting away in the ordinary fashion. She soon began to talk well in her own bright way, and had all the attention a young debutante could desire, but she was always conscious of Houghton's presence, and also aware that he was quietly observant of her. She saw that he met with very little cordiality, and that from but a few. Womanlike, she began to take his part in her thoughts, and to feel the injustice shown him. She had an innate sense of fair play, and she resented the manoeuvring of her chaperon to keep him away from her. ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... aesthetics, as he betrays them in his instances, are of a flabbiness which does not impart conviction. Word for word, I should take Zola's word as to the fact, not because I have the means of affirming him more reliable, but because I have rarely known the observant instinct of poets to fail, and because I believe that every reader will find in himself sufficient witness to the veracity of Zola's characterizations. These, if they are not true to the French fact, are true to the human fact; and I should say that in these ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... home-thrust. If truth-telling has become a habit, one gets slowly off the mark when the moment arrives for the prudent lie. Quite against my will, I hesitated. Observant Mr MacGinnis perceived my hesitation and ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... observant in the society of his fellow-creatures; but his observation became almost painfully eager in the case of Marjory. He listened to all she uttered, and read her eyes, at the same time, for the unspoken commentary. Many kind, simple, and sincere speeches found an echo in his heart. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... physical as well as mental, for over one eye rose a hideous, plum-coloured swelling, which her maid, a tall, austere woman, was bathing assiduously with vinegar and water. The lady lay back exhausted upon a couch, but her quick, observant gaze, as we entered the room, and the alert expression of her beautiful features, showed that neither her wits nor her courage had been shaken by her terrible experience. She was enveloped in a loose dressing-gown of blue and silver, but a black sequin-covered dinner-dress ...
— Victorian Short Stories of Troubled Marriages • Rudyard Kipling, Ella D'Arcy, Arthur Morrison, Arthur Conan Doyle,

... this question; but Mrs. Pringle, who was as prudent as she was observant, affecting not to notice this, turned round to Miss Mally Glencairn, and said softly in her ear,—"Rachel was Bell's confidante, and has told us all about what's going on between her and Mr. Snodgrass. We have agreed no to stand in their ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt

... very humble Servant, dear Cos. she is as much too young as her eldest Sister is too old. Is it so indeed, quoth she, good Mr. Pert? You who are but barely turned of twenty two, and Miss Fiddy in half a Year's time will be in her Teens, and she is capable of learning any thing. Then she will be so observant; she'll cry perhaps now and then, but never be angry. Thus they will think for me in this matter, wherein I am more particularly concerned than any Body else. If I name any Woman in the World, one of these Daughters has certainly the same Qualities. You see by these few Hints, Mr. ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... explained by the frontispiece, which represents a flinty heart glowing under the lightning stroke of God's call. Vaughan's chief traits are a very fine and calm philosophic-religious spirit and a carefully observant love of external Nature, in which he sees mystic revelations of God. In both respects he is closely akin to the later and greater Wordsworth, and his 'Retreat' has the same theme as Wordsworth's famous 'Ode ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... MAYORALTY OF DETROIT.—A shrewd and observant correspondent writes: "John R. Williams has been elected mayor, after a close election, disputed by Chapin. The enemy practised a good thing on him. During one of the delegate elections, when his ambition seemed to tower higher than it now does, he published ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... on. At every station the attentive guard walked by, turned an observant eye, touched his cap. The old girl was good for two-and-six at the journey's end, perhaps; also, perhaps, she would thank him and give him nothing. A guard ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... naturally into groups and classes,' remarked Somerset. 'To an observant person they often repeat themselves; though to a careless eye they seem ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... had not been there for several years; but as it had been a long time since they had ceased to visit regularly Northwest River Post, we thought we had reason to believe that the poles marked what had been a permanent trail rather than the course of a hunting expedition. Hubbard was particularly observant of these old Indian signs. He was anxious to find them, and delighted when he did find them. "Here are the signs," he would say, "we are on the right trail." But we were not on the right trail. ...
— The Lure of the Labrador Wild • Dillon Wallace

... he is or is not. Unfortunate as we are, we have a thread in one, known as Jaratkaru. The unfortunate one has gone through the Vedas and their branches and is practising asceticism alone. He being one with soul under complete control, desires set high, observant of vows, deeply engaged in ascetic penances, and free from greed for the merits or asceticism, we have been reduced to this deplorable state. He hath no wife, no son, no relatives. Therefore, do we hang in this hole, our consciousness lost, like men having none to take care of them. If thou ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... pardon, sir. I should have been more observant and thoughtful. I was very much like you when I was a boy. It was a long time before I had ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... and observant a man not to know all this. His residence in England and intercourse with so many distinguished politicians and philosophers had taught him something. He feared that with all his successes his throne would be overturned unless he could amuse the people and ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume X • John Lord

... not very often," said Crosbie, smiling. Who can tell, who has not felt it, the pain that goes to the forcing of such smiles? But Sir Raffle was not an acutely observant person, and did not see that anything ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... one to the other, amused, observant, and perceiving that they were all under that form of shyness which brings up family wit to hide embarrassment ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... producing no crop at the expected time, but which have borne fairly in the following spring or summer. But in the event of the first effort failing outright there is no great loss. The manure, which is the most costly item, will still be available for the garden, and an observant man will pretty well understand in what respect he must amend his course ...
— The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition • Sutton and Sons

... realism. It conveys to us the matter-of-fact monotony of the long, hot days, and the women and the animals with which they are beguiling their idle hours are painted with the greatest intelligence. It carries us back to another phase of life in Carpaccio's Venice, seen through his observant, humorous eyes, and if there is nothing in his colour distinctive of the impending Venetian richness, it is still arresting in its brilliant limpidity; it seems drawn straight from the ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... epistles recalling the fervid style and thought of the Nouvelle Heloise. They are substantial letters, concise and interesting, such as a good husband might write after ten years of marriage, but not at all a lover's letters. Josephine, who was quite observant, must have noticed the difference, but she had enough tact and prudence to avoid complaint. 1805 was not 1796; Napoleon still loved Josephine, but from habit, gratitude, and a sense of duty, not with mad passion. He paid her much attention, held her in high regard, ...
— The Court of the Empress Josephine • Imbert de Saint-Amand

... to speak it; and Charlotte, who was most observant, noticed that she never lifted her eyes to the picture as she passed it. There were reasons for these things which the children did not understand. They had been too young at her death to estimate the bondage in which she had kept her daughter-in-law, who, for her husband's sake, ...
— The Squire of Sandal-Side - A Pastoral Romance • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... footing, and to buy only strict necessaries; but what could two lovers refuse to a brother who watched his sister at her work, and said in tones that came from the heart, "How I wish I could sew!" The sober, observant David had shared in the devotion; and yet, since Lucien's triumph, David had watched him with misgivings; he was afraid that Lucien would change towards them, afraid that he would look down upon their homely ways. Once or twice, to try his brother, ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... his conversation with Headland, had been more observant than usual of May's behaviour. A blush suffused her cheeks as Miss Mary said this, and as her eyes met Harry's he was convinced that she had no disinclination to do what Miss ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... thin. He wore a long garment like a frock-coat, a velvet cap, and high, well-cleaned boots. He had a thin face with prominent cheek-bones, a wedge-shaped grayish beard, and a high forehead seamed with wrinkles from beneath which shone two narrow, blinking, and observant gray eyes . . . a sharp, gristly nose, a small mouth with thin lips . . . altogether his appearance was ...
— Creatures That Once Were Men • Maxim Gorky

... immediate answer. It would have been a natural impulse for her to wish to inquire for the girl's business with the man that the Greek as hostess was expected to conceal. But Amaryllis had her own explanation for this visit. It had been plain to less observant eyes than hers that the newly arrived Philadelphus was not delighted with the bride he ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... around him, leading them astray from the gods of his country, the flimsy veil of his hypocrisy being too transparent to conceal his infidelity. Nevertheless, he was a very brave soldier, as those who served with him testify. It does not appear that he was observant of those cares which by most men are probably considered as paramount, giving himself but little concern for the support of his children and wife. The good woman Xantippe is, to all appearance, one of those characters who are unfairly ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... important to translate as adequately as possible the positive side of Mr. Abbey's activity. None to-day is more charming, and none helps us more to take the large, joyous, observant, various view of the business of art. He has enlarged the idea of illustration, and he plays with it in a hundred spontaneous, ingenious ways. "Truth and poetry" is the motto legibly stamped upon his pencil-case, for if he has on the one side a singular sense of ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... wonder where the painters came from, and where the brutes of students went to. A similar mystery hangs over the intermediate stages of the medical profession, and must have perplexed the least observant. The ruffian, at least, whom I now carried Pinkerton to visit, was one of the most crapulous in the quarter. He turned out for our delectation a huge "crust" (as we used to call it) of St. Stephen, wallowing in red upon his belly in an ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... both life-size, stand in an arched recess, and show to the best advantage. Just above the arch the more observant visitor will catch sight of a small medallion, modestly displaying, about half life-size, the face of an ordinary-looking man, who may have been a prosperous linendraper or a cheesefactor with whom the markets had gone well. This is presumably the deceased, and it is ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... council or in private; for he knew no fear. With him there was no need for writing which might fall into the hands of the enemy. If he died on the way the message would die with him. He had also the gift of getting at the sense of any situation and an observant eye. He was distinctly one of those men from whom trustworthy information can be obtained by the leaders of great enterprises. Lingard did put several questions to him, but in this instance, of course, Jaffir could have only very little to say. Of Carter, whom he called the ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... not somebody else's house," he smiled, his eyes observant of her quick glance and look of confusion. "I am ...
— The Palace of Darkened Windows • Mary Hastings Bradley

... of these three, Tom, Rachel, and Susy, as well as of three more girls and another stalwart son, is a stout, comfortable-looking man of forty-five or fifty. A glance at his close, thin lips and keen gray eyes would convince an observant person that he would make it very uncomfortable for any one in his power who might differ from him in opinion or dispute his authority. Just now he is chatting pleasantly with his hired man, and pays no attention to the children, who pass him on the ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 1896 • Various

... Willis spoke no word, but I could see that her soul was full of joy. I chanced to glance at Robin, and observed that that waif had retired to the window, and was absolutely wiping his eyes, while Dumps sat observant in the middle of the room, evidently much surprised at, but not much pleased with, the sudden calm which had succeeded ...
— My Doggie and I • R.M. Ballantyne

... basking luxuriously on the seaward ledges of one of the outermost islands, while half a dozen of the more energetic were amusing themselves with their game of tag in the deep water. Pausing for a moment to take breath, after a sharp wrestling-match far down among the seaweeds, the Pup's observant eyes caught sight of a small, black triangular object cutting swiftly the smooth surface of the swells. He stared at it curiously. It was coming towards him, but it did not, to his uninitiated eyes, look dangerous. Then he became conscious of a scurrying of alarm all about him; and cries ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... Assher seemed to carry herself with unusual haughtiness, and was coldly observant of Caterina. There was unmistakably thunder in the air. Captain Wybrow appeared to take the matter very easily, and was inclined to brave it out by paying more than ordinary attention to Caterina. ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... Maggie Oliphant, but did not know Prissie, was observant of the silent young stranger through all the delights of her pleasant talk. Almost imperceptibly she got Prissie to say a word or two. She paused when she saw a question in Prissie's eyes, and her timid and gentle ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... which a piece of coal possesses within itself, and which in obedience to processes of man's invention it is always willing to exhibit to an observant enquirer, is not so widespread, perhaps, as it should be, and the aim of this little book, this record of one page of geological history, has been to bring together the principal facts and wonders connected ...
— The Story of a Piece of Coal - What It Is, Whence It Comes, and Whither It Goes • Edward A. Martin

... religious, and to keep on an equality with one another, that equality might induce stability and concord (as disparity produces confusion and ruin), made their dress a matter of conscience, ...; and our ancestors, observant lovers of religion, upon which all their acts were founded, and desiring that their young men should direct themselves to virtue, the true soul of all human action, and above all to peace, invented a dress conformable to their gravity, such, that in clothing themselves with it, ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume II (of 3) • John Ruskin

... two lads, eagerly observant and with the doctor to back them, needed no showing, their guide pointed to the many brilliantly-tinted birds of the thrush family, at the barbets and trogons, not so brilliant as those of the Western world, but each lovely ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... 1870 no tenant could be turned out without being paid a sum averaging a fourth of the fee-simple in addition to being paid for his improvements, and there the most observant of us thought the worst ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey



Words linked to "Observant" :   attentive, perceptive, observance, law-abiding, observe, lawful, observing



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