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Proficiency   Listen
noun
Proficiency, Proficience  n.  The quality of state of being proficient; advance in the acquisition of any art, science, or knowledge; progression in knowledge; improvement; adeptness; as, to acquire proficiency in music.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Proficiency" Quotes from Famous Books



... is at present taught, is almost inseparable from its abuse. Music has been so generally cultivated, and to such perfection, that it now ceases to delight the ear, unless it comes from the fingers of the proficient. But great proficiency cannot be obtained in this science, without great sacrifices of time. If young females are to be brought up to it, rather as to a profession, than introduced to it as a source of occasional innocent recreation, or if their education is thought most perfect, where their musical attainments ...
— A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume I (of 3) • Thomas Clarkson

... of the Lute kind may be assumed. Both in Spain and southern France accompanying instruments struck with plectra or twanged with the fingers were adopted at a very early period, and the people of those parts attained to a high state of proficiency—so much so indeed as to have rendered the cultivation of this description of music a national characteristic with them in the use of such instruments. The usage of the bow, however, does not appear to have been cultivated sufficiently, ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... so little active exercise that it is always a treat," said he. "You are aware that I have some proficiency in the good old British sport of boxing. Occasionally it is of service. To-day, for example, I should have come to very ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... a threesome reel, what good does it do ye?" asked Susan, looking askance at Michael, who had just been vaunting his proficiency. "Does it help you plough, reap, or even climb the rocks to take a raven's nest? If I were a man, I'd be ashamed to give in to ...
— Half a Life-Time Ago • Elizabeth Gaskell

... alas, saving souls is precisely what we are not doing. Thank God! there is here and there a man who stands out as a soul-saver. But the average minister is not distinguished for revivalism so much as proficiency in making a ...
— The Heart-Cry of Jesus • Byron J. Rees

... and lappets, in ludicrous contrast to the features of the animals. The animals which represented gentlemen were judiciously equipped; some as youthful and others as aged beaux, regulated by their degrees of proficiency, since those most youthfully dressed were most attentive to the ladies. The frequent bow and return of curtsey produced great mirth in the audience. On a sudden the master of the ceremonies appeared; he wore ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... special materials are selected on account of their plasticity and their appeal to the more highly developed senses. Fine arts that employ one medium are now separated and perfected through the cultivation of expert proficiency. {179} Thus there arise such arts as painting and music, one of which gives form to light and appeals to the eye, while the other gives form to sound and appeals to the ear. In this way society comes to acquire and accumulate objects which are ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... proficiency in knowledge of the world. It is sufficient to our present purpose to indicate three. One class live to the utility of the symbol, esteeming health and wealth a final good. Another class live above this mark to the beauty of the symbol, as the poet and artist and the naturalist and man of science. ...
— Essays, First Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... painting for an example, are we to say that the proficiency which such a student as was supposed above will certainly attain, is not due to design, merely because it was not until he had already become three parts excellent that he knew the full purport of ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... eminently the case in the Hindoo, and in the Mahometan Religion, in that of China, and, for the most part, in the various modifications of ancient Paganism. In systems which proceed on this principle, it is obvious that the bulk of mankind can never make any great proficiency. There was accordingly, among the nations of antiquity, one system, whatever it was, for the learned, and another for the illiterate. Many of the philosophers spoke out, and professed to keep the lower orders in ignorance for the general good; plainly suggesting that the bulk of mankind ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... of living is service, therefore the business of religion must be the cultivation of proficiency in service. The work of Christianity is to teach men how to be most valuable and useful as children and parents, as neighbours and citizens, how to make the most of their lives and to do the most with them. It aims to bring the race to its ...
— Levels of Living - Essays on Everyday Ideals • Henry Frederick Cope

... century, it is hardly too sweeping an assertion to say that, with a single exception, there was little that was important in the way of painting outside of France and England. There were local reputations in all the other countries, practitioners of the art who joined to a respectable proficiency in painting an adhesion to the traditions which had been handed down to them. These men, in their time and place, were notable; and in the museums of their respective countries their works remain of chronological ...
— McClure's Magazine, March, 1896, Vol. VI., No. 4. • Various

... "His proficiency in study, and his exemplary deportment, engaged the notice and esteem of the rector and instructors, and the love of the students. He and his future brother-in-law, the late Rev. Doctor Pomeroy of Hebron, in Connecticut, were the first who received the interest of ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... of Moab and Ammon, but also Armenia, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Chaldea. Travelers from these countries would all enter Judea from the east, and they were considered Orientals. These nations were also distinguished for their proficiency in science and learning. The Magi, or wise men of the East, came to worship the infant Jesus at Jerusalem. They were eminent in the science of astrology, which was considered the greatest science of that day. The East, therefore, was looked to for wise men; and it ...
— The Revelation Explained • F. Smith

... and uncultured often mistake politeness for effeminacy, sensibility for weakness. Shad was a rough and tumble artist of a high proficiency, and he had a reputation for strength and combativeness. He was going to make ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... there would have been an uninteresting blank but for a little circumstance which will presently be related. It was the custom then at this very excellent foundation to give mainly a classical education, and doubtless I attained a very fair proficiency in my studies. Had I cultivated them, however, with the same assiduity as I did many of my pursuits in after-life, I might have attained some eminence as a professor of the dead languages, and arrived at the dignity of one of the ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... hard to find his superior in that respect throughout that broad stretch of sparsely settled country. Those who live on the American frontier are trained from their earliest youth in the management of quadrupeds, and often display a proficiency that ...
— The Story of Red Feather - A Tale of the American Frontier • Edward S. (Edward Sylvester) Ellis

... any other sanitary method. The un- biased Christian thought is soonest touched by Truth, x:27 and convinced of it. Only those quarrel with her method who do not understand her meaning, or dis- cerning the truth, come not to the light lest their x:30 works be reproved. No intellectual proficiency is req- uisite in the learner, but sound morals are ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... soon shown that he was one of the best in the form. Two prizes were given half-yearly to each remove; one for "marks," indicating the boy who had generally been highest throughout the half-year, and the other for the best proofs of proficiency in a special examination. It was commonly thought in the form that Owen would get the first of these prizes, and Eric the other; and towards the approach of the examination, he threw his whole energy into the desire to win. The desire was not selfish. ...
— Eric, or Little by Little • Frederic W. Farrar

... favorite amusement, and he developed a dexterity which mystified the simple folk of the country. This diversion, and his proficiency in it, gave rise to that mysterious awe with which he was regarded by the common people of his home region; they ascribed to him supernatural powers, and refused to believe that he was really dead even ...
— Lineage, Life, and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot • Austin Craig

... Ilchester, England, in 1214. He studied at Oxford, and afterwards became professor at that great University. He was familiar with every branch of human knowledge, but was especially distinguished for his extraordinary proficiency in the natural sciences. To him we owe the invention of the telescope; that of gunpowder is ascribed to him, as stated above, although we have no evidence to show whether he discovered its ingredients himself, or whether he derived the knowledge from some ancient manuscripts. Bacon suffered ...
— A Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery • Benziger Brothers

... copied on the paper, with the object he intends to represent, he finds out what circumstance has deceived him in its appearance; and hence he at length acquires the habit of observing much more at one view than he could ever have done without his practice and proficiency in drawing. ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... individuals nor nations become corrupt all at once, nor are they enlightened in a moment. Thomson was an inspired poet, but he could not work miracles; in cases where the art of seeing had in some degree been learned, the teacher would further the proficiency of his pupils, but he could do little more; though so far does vanity assist men in acts of self-deception, that many would often fancy they recognised a likeness when they knew nothing of the original. Having shown ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... I think we must have graduated at the same institution. Perhaps we had as well try each other's skill and proficiency, and the one that shall prove the aptest scholar be declared victor in the contest between us. Do you accept ...
— Eveline Mandeville - The Horse Thief Rival • Alvin Addison

... the courses in medicine and philosophy, but a fact of even more consequence than his proficiency in his regular work was his persistent study of languages and his omnivorous reading. He was associated with the other Filipinos who were working in a somewhat spectacular way, misdirected rather ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... capabilities of both boys and girls, and have established the fact that, with equal opportunities, the girls were fully equal to the boys in mental ability and attainments. Grudgingly, girls have been allowed to enter the grammar and higher schools; and here, too, by their proficiency, they have proved their right ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... hundreth and upwards.... The horsemen were armed for most part with suord and pistoll, some onlie with suord. The foot with musket, pike, sith (scythe), forke, and suord; and some with suords great and long." He admired much the proficiency of their cavalry, and marvelled how they had attained to it in so ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... delicacy—bearing always steadily in view the cost as well as desirability of the viands. Boodle had no shame in not having this or that because it was dear. To dine with the utmost luxury at the smallest expense was a proficiency belonging to him, and of which he ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... They are of two sorts: Beylik or Government slaves, and those belonging to private persons. When a Corsair has taken a prize and has ascertained, by the application of the bastinado, the rank or occupation and proficiency of the various captives, he brings them before the governor to be strictly examined as to their place in the captured vessel, whether passengers or equipage: if the former, they are claimed by their consuls, who attend the examination, and as a rule they are set ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... Frissell, under whose direction the school's influence and usefulness have steadily increased, and along lines that General Armstrong would approve; but had Hampton been founded and brought to its present state of proficiency by a Negro, and its dominating force been of the African race, it would be a more wonderful and interesting institution. In other words, the white race has long since passed its experimental period. ...
— Tuskegee & Its People: Their Ideals and Achievements • Various

... his name. The musician seemed confused, and muttering some unintelligible reply, left the house in haste. What renders it probable that this was Bernard is, that he had a great natural talent for music, and at the time he left home, had already attained considerable proficiency ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... different," thought Norcross, and yet she lost something by reason of the display of her proficiency as a clerk. "I wish she would leave business to some one else," he inwardly grumbled as he ...
— The Forester's Daughter - A Romance of the Bear-Tooth Range • Hamlin Garland

... yet lies on the surface, remains as unseizable to their wits as a high flight of metaphysics - namely, that the business of life is mainly carried on by means of this difficult art of literature, and according to a man's proficiency in that art shall be the freedom and the fulness of his intercourse with other men. Anybody, it is supposed, can say what he means; and, in spite of their notorious experience to the contrary, people so continue to suppose. Now, I simply open the last book I have been reading ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in winter for fun, and because they had nothing else to do. There were six young men four years older than myself. These older pupils thought they knew their school books well enough, and had no occasion to study them again. They were much inclined to match their proficiency with that of their teacher, which was a good way of putting him on his mettle. A few appeared to be present only to make trouble, and to try their pugilism against that of the master. I was not especially athletic; yet, when my temper was up, I was a dangerous antagonist. ...
— Confessions of Boyhood • John Albee

... made me acquainted with Tasso and Ariosto, I learned from his notes on the latter, that the Italian language contained a fund of romantic lore. A part of my earnings was dedicated to an Italian class which I attended twice a week, and rapidly acquired some proficiency. I had previously renewed and extended my knowledge of the French language, from the same principle of romantic research. Tressan's romances, the Bibliotheque Bleue, and Bibliotheque de Romans, were already familiar to me, and I now acquired ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... and yet so liberally, that in society there is no danger of either a surplus or a scarcity of special talents; and that each laborer, by devoting himself to his function, may always attain to the degree of proficiency necessary to enable him to benefit by the labors and discoveries of his fellows. Owing to this simple and wise precaution of Nature, the laborer is not isolated by his task. He communicates with his fellows through the mind, before he is united ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... too many never learn this thrift, whilst others learn it late. . . . . Few intellectual men have the art of economising the hours of study. The very necessity which every one acknowledges of giving vast portions of life to attain proficiency in anything, makes us prodigal where we ought to be parsimonious, and careless where we have need of unceasing vigilance. The best time-savers are a love of soundness in all we learn or do, and a cheerful acceptance of ...
— The Private Library - What We Do Know, What We Don't Know, What We Ought to Know - About Our Books • Arthur L. Humphreys

... day was at that moment superintending the placing of one of his pictures over an altar. The proficiency which I had acquired in his art during my residence in the convent had made me an enthusiastic amateur. I was struck, at the first glance, with the painting. It was the face of a Madonna. So innocent, so lovely, such a divine expression of maternal tenderness! ...
— Tales of a Traveller • Washington Irving

... solitary existing perfection, among the inhabitants of the earth. Civilized nations allow that foreigners have their specific excellences, and such excellences as are a lesson to themselves. They may think too well of their own proficiency, and may lose by such blindness; but they admit enough about others to allow of their own emulation and advance; whereas the barbarian, in his own estimate, is perfect already; and what is perfect cannot be improved. Hence he cherishes ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... intercourse between the different courts. There was also a great deal of intercourse with the pope, in which the Latin language was the medium of communication. Lady Jane devoted a great deal of time to all these studies, and made rapid proficiency ...
— Queen Elizabeth - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... punished. On the contrary, the Director was so enamoured of his progress and blue eyes that he entered him as a fox long before the regular three years' course was up, and offered to tattoo the symbol of proficiency, a cross, on the back of ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... would be a sight indeed to see you matched with an equal.' The king would strengthen Laertes' confidence in his proficiency.] ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... for bold chords of music held the assembly still, and I saw Harry seated at the piano, which apparently had escaped serious damage in its long transit across the prairie. This was a surprise, for I had not suspected Harry of musical proficiency. There was power in his fingers, hardened as they were, and when the ringing prelude to an English ballad filled the room more than his partner felt that he could call up a response to his own spirit from the soul of the instrument. The lad beside him ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... out at his own charge, and accompany him in person to the place of his destination. In less than a twelvemonth the boy was remarkable for the brightness of his parts, and the Commodore received with transport an account of his proficiency, and forthwith communicated the ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol VIII • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... is good, a little too good," said Ethel, making a little face. "Isn't it splendid about Larry Gwynne getting the Proficiency, and the first in Engineering? Now he is what I call a sport. Of course he doesn't go in for games much, but he's into everything, the Lit., the Dramatic Society, and Scuddy says he helped him tremendously with the Senior class in the Y. ...
— The Major • Ralph Connor

... his little schoolhouse amid a waste of sand might have gained him a diploma from any college in New England. In truth, I dreaded him.—When our children were old enough to claim his care, you remember, Susan, how I frowned, though you were pleased at this learned man's encomiums on their proficiency. I feared to trust them even with the alphabet: it was the key to a fatal treasure. But I loved to lead them by their little hands along the beach and point to nature in the vast and the minute—the sky, the sea, the green earth, the pebbles ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... proof of proficiency in magic, and in the symbol of the lightning, which brings both fire and water, which in its might controls victory in war, and in its frequency, plenteous crops at home, lies the secret of the serpent symbol. As the "war ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... were "at rest", McClellan and myself quietly, but earnestly, congratulated him upon his successful debut as drill officer of an Infantry Company. He kindly attributed to our instruction in his house, whatever proficiency he had acquired in the new tactics which had then ...
— Company 'A', corps of engineers, U.S.A., 1846-'48, in the Mexican war • Gustavus Woodson Smith

... his approval in his Descent of Man. It is perhaps one of those doctrines which are partially true, or which do not contain the whole truth; and it is possible to believe that, while many singing birds do so learn their songs, or acquire a greater proficiency in them from hearing the adults, in other species the song comes instinctively, and is, like other instincts and ...
— The Naturalist in La Plata • W. H. Hudson

... part of the day the scholars are divided into classes, according to their proficiency in particular branches of study, and they resort to their recitations for instruction. They now are divided into six sections as we call them, and placed under the care of superintendents not for instruction, but for what may be called supervision. Teaching a ...
— The Teacher - Or, Moral Influences Employed in the Instruction and - Government of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... each other statements of his proficiency in Latin. This must be balanced by noting that the only texts which he could have read were probably not classic. In the inventory of the various Burgundian libraries of the period, there are not six Greek and ...
— Charles the Bold - Last Duke Of Burgundy, 1433-1477 • Ruth Putnam

... Accepting this definition, can we say that Harvard College, as at present constituted, is a University? Must we not rather describe it as a place where boys are made to recite lessons from text-books, and to write compulsory exercises, and are marked according to their proficiency and fidelity in these performances, with a view to a somewhat protracted exhibition of themselves at the close of their college course, which, according to a pleasant academic fiction, is termed their "Commencement"? This description ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... to obviate the Objection of some to sending their Children on Account of their small Proficiency in English, a proper Person has been provided, who attends at the Grammar School an Hour a Day, and teaches Reading, Writing and Arithmetic with becoming Accuracy—It is hoped that the above Considerations, together with the ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... and learned the other absurd stories, which he related, from the Arabs, some of whom profess to be acquainted with the art themselves, and all of whom are, it is believed, firmly persuaded of its existence, and of the peculiar proficiency of the negroes ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... crowds were attracted by Sen's manner of conducting the enterprise, none actually engaged to purchase even the least expensively-valued of the ducks, although several publicly complimented Sen on his exceptional proficiency, and repeatedly urged him to louder and more frequent cries, suggesting that by such means possible buyers might be attracted to the spot from remote and inaccessible ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... "disappointment" may be considered to describe an unconsciousness of failure to realize the expected) was in the matter of language. No one on board, not even Harley and Villa, talked Nalasu's talk. All Jerry's large vocabulary, all his proficiency in the use of it, which would have set him apart as a marvel beyond all other dogs in the mastery of speech, was wasted on those of the Ariel. They did not speak, much less guess, the existence of the whiff-whuff ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... of the art is an essential factor in the causes that lead to the popularity of our modern type of stage entertainment. To have acquired proficiency in their chosen profession the dancers have labored strenuously and long, and now the reward of years of effort is theirs. They love their art as well as its emoluments. By industry and perhaps frugality they have acquired an independent ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... of an inherent propulsive power. These misconceptions, which, be it observed, are more or less equally participated in by the scientific as by the ignorant, when devoid of that practical experience which is the basis of all aeronautical proficiency, are of a very vague and general character, and consequently not very easy accurately to define. In order, therefore, to make sure of meeting all the objections and removing all the doubts to which they are calculated ...
— A Project for Flying - In Earnest at Last! • Robert Hardley

... upon my speech pained even more than it nettled me. Mr. Stewart had been at great pains to teach me English, and I had begun to hope that he felt rewarded by my proficiency. Years afterward he was wont to laughingly tell me that I never would live long enough to use English correctly, and that as a boy I spoke it abominably, which I dare say was true enough. But just then my childish pride was grievously piqued ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... teacher giving instruction for wages, and liable to reproach, if those whom he undertakes to inform make no proficiency, he must have the power of enforcing attendance, of awakening negligence, and ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... paint; and the general effect was very bright. It was odd though to see a vase of historic shape done over with such brand new labels. He had done this work for some years in spare time, so he had acquired considerable proficiency. ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... had a more delicate, and perhaps a weaker, nature than her gay, sensible sister, had become passionately fond of drawing and painting, which she had learnt at first simply by way of accomplishment. She had ended, however, by painting miniatures very prettily, and, as her mother remarked, her proficiency might prove a resource to her in the event of misfortune. Certainly there was some of the bourgeois respect and esteem for a good education in the fairly cordial greeting which Constance extended to Charlotte, who had painted a miniature portrait ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... the Persian princes call the "opera of the horse") was the Khan's next resort; and as the feats of horsemanship there exhibited did not require any great proficiency in the English language to render them intelligible, he appears to have been highly amused and gratified, and gives a long description of all he saw there, which would not present much of novelty to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... a widowed sister had come to preside over his household—a deaf old woman, who had much to be thankful for in her infirmity, for Joel Quimbey in his youth, before he acquired religion, had been known as a singularly profane man—"a mos' survigrus cusser"—and something of his old proficiency had returned to him. Perhaps public sympathy for his troubles strengthened his hold upon the regard of the community. For it was in the second year of Evelina's marriage, in the splendid midsummer, when all the gifts of ...
— His "Day In Court" - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... being a second incipient artistic impulse, contrasting itself with the one which a work embodies, may to some extent modify the next performance. If life is drawn largely into this deepening channel, physical proficiency and its ideal sanctions will develop more or less harmoniously into what is called a school ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... were who tried to draw her from memory! for she would not be photographed. It became a common pastime to draw her profile; some attained the greatest proficiency in the art. With a broomhandle in the snow, with a match in cigar ashes, with ...
— Captain Mansana and Mother's Hands • Bjoernstjerne Bjoernson

... him for an age. "Because when I wish to see you, I wish to see no one but you. What do you want me to do in the midst of your society? I should cut a sorry figure in a circle of mincing tripping coxcombs; they do not suit me." We cannot wonder that on some occasion when her son's proficiency was to be tested before a company of friends, Madame d'Epinay prayed Rousseau to be of them, on the ground that he would be sure to ask the child outrageously absurd questions, which would give gaiety to the affair.[219] As it happened, the father ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... scraping of fiddles, the chattering of women, and the squalling of children; he cannot sleep at night for the horrible melodies of some amateur, who chooses to serenade the moon, and display his terrible proficiency in execution on the clarionet, hautboy, or some other soft-toned instrument; nor can he leave the street door open, but his house is defiled by the unsavory visits of a troop of pug dogs, who even sometimes carry their loathsome ravages into ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... the next stand, where Mr. Mangan was displaying an altogether different standard of proficiency. The Duchess came up to Dominey ...
— The Great Impersonation • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... well-conducted men, possessed of excellent literary abilities; but this expatriated ruffian and abandoned profligate, being aware of the marked and unremitting attention which I have heretofore invariably paid to the scholars committed to my care, and the astonishing proficiency which, generally speaking, will be an accompaniment of competency, instruction, assiduity and perseverance, devised this detestable and fiendish course in order to tarnish and injure my unsullied character, ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton

... were family livings to which younger sons might hope to be presented, and were presented, as vacancies occurred; but, in the face of the sudden and widely extended mortality, it was inevitable that appointments should be made with very little reference to a man's social grade or intellectual proficiency. Patrons had to take whom they could get. This of itself would tend to a deterioration in the character of the clergy; but this was not all. The clergy died; but other holders of offices, civil and ecclesiastical, were not spared. There was a sudden opening out of careers in ...
— The Coming of the Friars • Augustus Jessopp

... per day, because of his proficiency and immense working power, the American laborer has been known to scab upon scabs (so called) who took his place and received only $0.90 per day for a longer day. In this particular instance, five Chinese coolies, working longer hours, gave less value for the price received ...
— War of the Classes • Jack London

... running, wrestling, boxing, jumping, discus hurling, and javelin casting. They are not expected to become professional athletes, but their parents will be vexed if they do not develop a healthy tan all over their naked bodies,[*] and if they do not learn at least moderate proficiency in the sports and a certain amount of familiarity with elementary military maneuvers. Of course boys of marked physical ability will be encouraged to think of training for the various great "games" which culminate at Olympia, although enlightened opinion is against the promoting of professional ...
— A Day In Old Athens • William Stearns Davis

... Painter—his Fame, i, 201; his Proficiency in the Art, ii, 214; his Idea of the Practicability of Dinocrates' Plan of cutting Mount Athos into a Statue of Alexander the ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) • S. Spooner

... Head a little recovered himself, than we find him cheated again by the syren alurements of pleasure and poetry, in the latter of which, however, it does not appear he made any proficiency. He failed a second time, in the world, and having recourse to his pen, wrote the first part of the English Rogue, which being too libertine, could not be licensed till he had expunged some of the most luscious descriptions out ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... nothing in the world so precious as her hopeful Barnabas. Every thing must give way to his accommodation and advantage; every one must yield the most servile obedience to his commands. He must not be teased or restricted by any forms of instruction; and of consequence his proficiency, even in the arts of writing and reading, was extremely slender. From his birth he was muscular and sturdy; and, confined to the ruelle of his mother, he made much such a figure as the whelp-lion that a barbarian might have given for a lap-dog to ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... in connection with their proficiency in gesture speech and their meager graphic art, the Siouan Indians had become masters in a vaguely understood system of dramaturgy or symbolized conduct. Among them the use of the peace-pipe was general; among several and perhaps all of the tribes the definite use of insignia was common; among ...
— The Siouan Indians • W. J. McGee

... pleasant, and his talk a thousand times more entertaining. He had many questions to ask me, I remember, of Edinburgh College, where I had just received my mastership of arts, and of the various professors, with whom and their proficiency he seemed well acquainted; and thus, talking of things that I knew, I soon got liberty of speech in ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... published fifty years later;[25] Joseph Rosensohn, the promising Talmudist who became rabbi of Pyosk at the age of nineteen;[26] and Kusselyevsky of Nieszvicz, a stipendiary of a Polish nobleman and a great favorite with Professor Frank. Because of his proficiency, he was exempted from serving as a vratch (interne), and for his piety and learning he was addressed by Jews ...
— The Haskalah Movement in Russia • Jacob S. Raisin

... his own country, because the small remains of it which were in Scotland at this time, were under the yoke of oppression which we have already shown in the close of the introduction.—He made an amazing proficiency in this most important study, and became soon as zealous in the profession of the true faith, as he had been diligent to attain the knowledge of it.—This drew the eyes of many upon him, and while they were waiting with impatience to ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... offences of foulness and violence, and so many iniquities, are sins of men, who are on the whole making proficiency; which by those that judge rightly, are, after the rule of perfection, discommended, yet the persons commended, upon hope of future fruit, as in the green blade of growing corn. And there are some, resembling ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... on the field of battle, and the great proportion of lives preserved after the terrible wounds inflicted by deadly fragments of shell and the still more deadly rifle bullet. Military surgery has attained a degree of proficiency during the experiences of the past three years which a layman cannot adequately describe; its results ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 6, No. 1, July, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... that since liberation would depend in a measure upon proficiency in the trade-school and school of letters, that some criminals whose criminality might be of a lesser degree, would be at a greater disadvantage than others. That is not so. The system is obviously a very complicated one, ...
— A Plea for the Criminal • James Leslie Allan Kayll

... First of all he must go through the formative period, which means years. Nothing, even genius, springs without preparation into full bloom. No matter how good the idea, how big the thought, it must be moulded by a mastery of technique and a proficiency that only experience can give. And meanwhile he must live. How? No matter. The suggestion is mundane. Let him settle that for himself. At last, perhaps, if he has the divine spark, he gets a hearing. We'll suppose he accomplishes his purpose,—pleases them, makes them think, or laugh, or forget ...
— The Dominant Dollar • Will Lillibridge

... then took the flavour out of these refreshments. Her lover—he leaped to that verbal position in her thought in this moment of crisis—was ordered off in haste to Afghanistan. The geographical proficiency which had won her so many marks served her only too well, but she hastened to extract her atlas from the fatal niche, and to pore over her geographical misery. She felt she ought to withdraw her own letter for revision, but she could not get at Marcelle or ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... Indians in which he had had experience; and he worked in both of them, and wrote much to the great advantage of those who came after him." [114] It is surprising that no previous writer has emphasized the presence of Domingo de Nieva, whose proficiency in Tagalog we have already noted, at San Gabriel during the years when the printing of the Doctrinas must have been planned and executed. His works are cited by Fernandez, [115] and after giving a summary ...
— Doctrina Christiana • Anonymous

... a work for the vivacity of my temper to polish bears into men. I should have died of the spleen before I had made any proficiency in it. My desire was to shine among those who were qualified to judge of my talents. At Paris, at Rome I had the glory of showing the French and Italian wits that the North could produce one not inferior to them. They beheld me with wonder. The homage I had received in my palace ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... Besides, he is a business man who has to give up so much of his time to the earning of his daily bread that it is impossible he should ever devote himself to the game with that single-mindedness which alone can ensure proficiency. He must take himself as he finds himself, and be satisfied with his 18 handicap. These are the somewhat pathetic excuses that he makes in this mood of resignation. Of course he is wrong—wrong from the beginning to the end—but there is little ...
— The Complete Golfer [1905] • Harry Vardon

... keeping the distance between the hands, and also the speed of rotation, constant. Nothing but long practice can give this facility, but it is essential that it be acquired to some extent, or no progress can be made. Some people acquire a moderate proficiency very quickly, others, of whom the writer is one, only become reasonably proficient by months, or even ...
— On Laboratory Arts • Richard Threlfall

... my duty and neglect my deep conviction if I did not declare that in my day there was no better place to educate a young man. Most of them came with a realization that their coming meant a sacrifice at home. They may have lacked a proficiency in the arts of the drawing room which sometimes brought a smile; but no competitor met the Amherst men of that day on the athletic field or in the postgraduate school with a smile that did not soon come off. They had their pranks and sprees, but they had the ideals of a true ...
— Have faith in Massachusetts; 2d ed. - A Collection of Speeches and Messages • Calvin Coolidge

... has been proved so much superior to the analytic mode of instruction? In female education, the modern languages are taught without all this preparation; nor do I find that our fair rivals are at all inferior to the generality of our sex in their proficiency. With the youth of sense and spirit of both sexes, the learning of French is usually considered, rather as a pleasure, than a burden. Were the Latin communicated in the same mild and accommodating manner, I think I may venture to pronounce, that thus taken in the second place, there will ...
— Four Early Pamphlets • William Godwin

... educated under considerable disadvantages, yet he acquired the elements of classical literature, and was initiated into all the learning of the times. Music, drawing, and painting were the occupations of his leisure hours; and such was his proficiency in these arts, that he was reckoned a skilful performer on several musical instruments, especially the lute; and his knowledge of pictures was held in great esteem by some of the best ...
— The Martyrs of Science, or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler • David Brewster

... he looked also at the photo of the lady now his 1440 legal wife who, he intimated, was the accomplished daughter of Major Brian Tweedy and displayed at an early age remarkable proficiency as a singer having even made her bow to the public when her years numbered barely sweet sixteen. As for the face it was a speaking likeness in expression but it did not do justice to her figure which came in for a lot of notice ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... great fluency to one of the passengers, a young woman with a baby, and to as many others as could understand her. It has a strange, wild sound, like a language half blown away by the wind. The lady's English was very good; but she probably prided herself on her proficiency in Welsh. My excursion to-day had been along the valley of the Clwyd, a very rich ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... not wanting in humor. Some of the hymns are not destitute of merit. It can not be doubted that there were important mathematical writings. Astronomical observations were very early made. In medicine, we have writings which prove that considerable proficiency was attained in this department. But here, as in other branches, the spirit was empirical rather than scientific in the higher sense; and the result was to petrify knowledge in an unalterable form. At length rules of medical treatment, ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... the reward of this plan. The treasure-house of his memory was well stored, and his reputation as an orator gave promise of future excellence. His classical attainments, if not florid, were liberal, and free from pedantry. His proficiency in English literature was universally acknowledged, and his love of the poets amounted to enthusiasm. He was formed for all the bustle of variegated life, and his conversation was crystallized with the sparkling ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... philosophy were presented to the young aspiring soul in narrow, prejudiced text-books, which have long since been consigned to that bourn from which no literary work ever returns. As already stated, Hawthorne's best study was Latin, and in that he acquired good proficiency; but he was slow in mathematics, as artistic minds usually are, and in his other studies he only exerted himself sufficiently to pass his examinations in a creditable manner. We may presume that he took the juice and left the rind; which was the sensible thing to do. As might be expected, ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... of mathematicians, philosophers, and scientific men are Frenchmen and Parisians; but such is the fact. The French are fickle, love pleasure, and one would think that these qualities would unfit men for coolness, perseverance, and prolonged research; and I am sometimes inclined to think that the proficiency of the French in philosophy, the arts, and sciences, is not so much the result of patient investigation and laborious and continued study, as a kind of intuition which amounts to genius. The French mind is quick, and does not plod slowly toward ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... introduction to such an establishment was under peculiar and contradictory circumstances. When my "rating," or graduation in the school, was to be settled, naturally my altitude (to speak astronomically) was taken by my proficiency in Greek. But here I had no advantage over others of my age. My guardian was a feeble Grecian, and had not excited my ambition; so that I could barely construe books as easy as the Greek Testament and the Iliad. This ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... there was dancing to be done, or an opportunity afforded to show themselves in their best clothes. They were second and third-rate people, after all—people who get a cheap position in society through their proficiency in dancing, which they accept as the highest object a man or woman has to ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... expressive powers are developed, what they have felt most deeply and known best at this age, and not those who in the late twenties, or still later, have gone to new environments and sought to depict them. All young people draw best those objects they love most, and their proficiency should be some test of the contents of their minds. They must put their own consciousness into a picture. At the dawn of this stage of appreciation the esthetic tastes should be stimulated by exposure to, and instructed in feeling for, the subject-matter of masterpieces; ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... madam, with the musical proficiency of the pupil to whom you refer. I don't even know (which adds to my perplexity) whether you are speaking of a ...
— Heart and Science - A Story of the Present Time • Wilkie Collins

... men. Rags and dirt could not conceal that fact. Theirs was not the dirt of sloth and sluggard. The essentials were bright and clean. There was not a man of the 150 attempting to represent two service squadrons who had not at some period balanced his life against his proficiency with the rifle, and who had not realised that on service his firelock was the soldier's best and staunchest friend. Nor were the officers easy to distinguish from the men. A shade cleaner, perhaps; but they, too, were rough-bearded, ...
— On the Heels of De Wet • The Intelligence Officer

... Alas, mere proficiency would not prevail against force of numbers. Well within the hour Otah knew it, knew with a raging despair that time was not with him, he had deployed too late with too little. Now he knew with consuming clarity, that despite the lulling pretense ...
— The Beginning • Henry Hasse

... had in the preparation of rolls, buns, and biscuits there are given here several recipes that can be worked out to advantage, especially after proficiency in ...
— Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 1 - Volume 1: Essentials of Cookery; Cereals; Bread; Hot Breads • Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

... English, like the Greek language, possessed some definite word to express, simply and generally, intellectual proficiency or perfection, such as "health," as used with reference to the animal frame, and "virtue," with reference to our moral nature. I am not able to find such a term;—talent, ability, genius, belong distinctly to the raw material, which is the subject-matter, not to that excellence ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... or target practice is very different from shotgun shooting, or even the kind of shooting required of a large-game hunter; therefore we should begin with the most elementary instruction and drills, if proficiency is to be obtained. Our "Small Arms Firing Regulations" says, "The sole purpose of rifle training for the soldier is to make of him a good shot ...
— The Plattsburg Manual - A Handbook for Military Training • O.O. Ellis and E.B. Garey

... to honest men? I could not. In soul and heart she was mine; I was her man, and she was my woman. With her there were no reserves in love. She was mine, yet I fled from her with never a word, even of good-bye. I made my plans, obtained certificates of my proficiency in the Vernon, kissed my dear love quietly, almost coldly, without a trace of the passion that I felt, and fled. It was the one thing left me to do. My friend, that was two years ago. She knows not whether I am alive or am dead; I know not whether she is ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... which we were allowed to inspect the scientific classification and analysis of provisions and to test the appetizing results of numerous ladylike pupils in various stages of proficiency, impressed us with the ...
— In and Around Berlin • Minerva Brace Norton

... was the son of a man of the same name, viz., Lumley Davis, who was, it seems, in circumstances good enough to procure his sons being brought up in one of the greatest and best schools in England. There his proficiency procured him an election upon the establishment, and he became respected as a person whose parts would do honour even to that remarkable seminary of learning where he had been bred. But unaccountably growing fond, all on a sudden, of going to some trade or employment and absolutely ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... more about "the patient." You will say, perhaps: "Have I had all this training, and must I yet be told how to treat a patient?" I answer that you have been taught how to watch the progress of disease, how to follow intelligently the doctor's orders, also certain manual arts, your proficiency in which is unquestionably most necessary, but there is much more comprehended in the meaning of the term "a good nurse" than this. How often do we hear stories of nurses who were good—but—who were ...
— Making Good On Private Duty • Harriet Camp Lounsbery

... language has been evolved; and on this his wonderful advancement has mainly depended. As Mr. Chauncey Wright remarks (66. Limits of Natural Selection, 'North American Review,' Oct. 1870, p. 295.): "a psychological analysis of the faculty of language shews, that even the smallest proficiency in it might require more brain power than the greatest proficiency in any other direction." He has invented and is able to use various weapons, tools, traps, etc., with which he defends himself, kills or catches prey, and otherwise obtains food. He has made rafts or canoes for fishing ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin



Words linked to "Proficiency" :   competency, skillfulness, competence, musketry



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