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






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Discerning" Quotes from Famous Books



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

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

... the cloud which was yellow, said that the seven beasts were like leopards; whereas Philip deemed that the beasts were not leopards, for him they were bears; and they began to dispute one with the other, some discerning the Father Almighty in a chariot, describing him to be a man garmented in white; his hair is like wool, they said. And seated beside him Matthew saw the Son of Man with an open book on his knees. But these visions, to their great trouble, did not seem to interest Jesus; or ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... Michael had been his friend for years, and Planner liked the boy who had ever regarded him with awe and veneration. The youth had been taught by his parent to note the faults and inconsistencies of his character; but these had not rendered him insensible to the talents which had commanded even that discerning parent's respect and admiration. It was this personage, for some years the hanger-on at the bank, and the traveller and negotiator of many things for Allcraft senior, whose name suggested to Michael ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... [11:27]So that whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. [11:28]But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup; [11:29]for he eats and drinks judgment to himself, who eats and drinks not discerning the body. ...
— The New Testament • Various

... spiritually discerning things, there can be no difficulty in regarding goodness, however limited and mated with weakness, as infinitely above all natural power. Divinity will be known to consist, not in any senseless might, however majestic and miraculous, ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... was highly respected in Worcester, both as a man of honor and a man of wealth; consequently, every possible attention was paid to Theo, who was petted and admired, until she began to wonder why neither Maggie nor yet her all-discerning grandmother had discovered how ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... variety than this one of the water-persicaria. The var. terrestris sports into the var. natans, and as often as the changing life conditions may require it. It is-true that ordinary sports occur without our discerning the cause and without [435] any relation to adaptation. This however is partly due to our lack of knowledge, and partly to the general rule that in nature only such sports as are useful are spared by natural selection, and what is useful we ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... tints and roselit radiance, gradually filling that eager young soul to the brim with the greater joys of life? Or would it be fiery and terrible, a blinding, relentless burst of light, from which she would shrink appalled, discerning the wrath of the gods before ever she had ...
— The Rocks of Valpre • Ethel May Dell

... expectations; but in this he was deceived; Desdemona loved the Moor, though he was black, and devoted her heart and fortunes to his valiant parts and qualities; so was her heart subdued to an implicit devotion to the man she had selected for a husband, that his very colour, which to all but this discerning lady would have proved an insurmountable objection, was by her esteemed above all the white skins and clear complexions of the young ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... nature, all together!" The painter, reddening with despite, Whispers, "My friend, by Jove, you're right. 'Tis not enough our art to know, Till less of it we learn to show; My picture must be done again I see, to please discerning men." ...
— Aesop, in Rhyme - Old Friends in a New Dress • Marmaduke Park

... to us as one of those splendid stars that are so far away they are seen only at rare intervals. She never posed as a "literary person"—reading her productions at four-o'clocks, and winning high praise from the unbonneted and the discerning society editor. She never even sought a publisher. Her first volume of verses was issued by her grandfather Polidori unknown to her—printed by his own labor when she was seventeen and presented to her. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 2 of 14 - Little Journeys To the Homes of Famous Women • Elbert Hubbard

... by the royal African company in 1726, assures us, "that the discerning natives account it their greatest unhappiness, that they were ever visited by the Europeans. They say that we Christians introduced the traffic of slaves; and that before our coming they lived in peace. But, say they, it is observable, wherever Christianity ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808) • Thomas Clarkson

... point of the spear in the hand with blood, pointed towards the elephant's face in the left-hand. These effigies and offerings take and offer in the burying-place,—discerning well the sickness by ...
— The Ethnology of the British Colonies and Dependencies • Robert Gordon Latham

... knowledge of the French language, I could not long keep up the conversation in that manner. Our turn for dancing had not yet arrived, and silence again ensued between us. I kept looking anxiously at her in the hope both of discerning what impression I had produced and of her coming to ...
— Childhood • Leo Tolstoy

... up, and discerning his sweet-flavoured brother, nodded and grinned in the dim light in a way that made him seem to David like a triumphant demon. If he had been of an impetuous disposition, he would have snatched the pitchfork from the ground and impaled this fraternal demon. But David was by no means impetuous; ...
— Brother Jacob • George Eliot

... children were careless, 'twas a wonder how eagerly the mother learned from her young tutor—and taught him too. The happiest instinctive faculty was this lady's—a faculty for discerning latent beauties and hidden graces of books, especially books of poetry, as in a walk she would spy out field-flowers and make posies of them, such as no other hand could. She was a critic not by reason but by feeling; the sweetest commentator of those books ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

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

... its essence the discerning of beauty; and that beauty is not only the beauty of things heard and seen, but may dwell very deep in the mind and soul, and be stirred by visions which seem to have no connection ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the hills of Retz for his son, who has gone over to Rennes to pay the Breton tribute to the Franks. Many chariots drawn by horses has he taken with him, but although a considerable time has elapsed there is no indication of his return. The chieftain climbs to an eminence in the hope of discerning his son in the far distance, but no sign of his appearance is to be seen on the long white road or on the bleak moors ...
— Legends & Romances of Brittany • Lewis Spence

... biting hard on his pipe-stem. Ignorance, and the helplessness of a limited man who is more a good animal than a discerning soul; time, the slow transmission of news, his fixed state as a voyageur—all these things were against him. He could not adjust himself to any facts, and his feelings sometimes approached the melting state. It was no use to war with Owen Cunning, whom he was ashamed of handling roughly. ...
— The Cobbler In The Devil's Kitchen - From "Mackinac And Lake Stories", 1899 • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... the craft approaching, he traced its course by sound, and when the man stepped ashore Slim was only a few yards away. Discerning a shadow just ahead of him, the youth threw himself at it with his whole weight, only to grunt his pain and disgust as he came into violent contact with the trunk of ...
— The Brighton Boys in the Radio Service • James R. Driscoll

... other leading to worldly pleasure. He who follows one inevitably goes away from the other; because, like light and darkness they conflict. One leads to the imperishable spiritual realm; the other to the perishable physical realm. Both confront a man at every step of life. The discerning man distinguishing between the two, chooses the Real and Eternal, and he alone attains the highest, while the ignorant man, preferring that which brings him immediate and tangible results, misses the true purpose of his existence. ...
— The Upanishads • Swami Paramananda

... have intended to use it, Webster defines the word taste to be "the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence; style; manner with respect to what is pleasing." With this understanding, therefore; a fitness to the purpose for which a thing is intended—got ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... great deal both in prose and in verse; he wrote the Histoire universelle of his times, personal Memoires, tales, tragedies, and theological and satirical essays; and he wrote with sagacious, penetrating, unpremeditated wit, rare vigor, and original and almost profound talent for discerning and depicting situations and characters. It is the writer which has caused the man to live, and has assigned him a place in French literature even more than in French history. We purpose to quote two fragments ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... his eyes, that he should have greater pleasure hereafter in discovering his mistake; but like a man suddenly awaking in some desert isle, to which his sea-mates have transported him in his sleep, he looked around, and discerning no known objects, he cast his hands to heaven for pity, and complained on those ruthless men who had beguiled him with a promise of conveying him home to this country, and perfidiously left him to perish in an unknown land. But then the rich presents of gold and silver ...
— THE ADVENTURES OF ULYSSES • CHARLES LAMB

... great influence', and by leaving home early she could contrive to make a call upon Mrs. Abbott before lunching at Putney. This she did. She saw little Minnie Wager, scrutinised the child's features, and had no difficulty whatever in discerning Harvey's eyes, Harvey's mouth. Why should she have troubled herself to come? It was very hard to control her indignation. If Mrs. Abbott thought her rather strange, rather abrupt, what did ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... sometimes rather free, and I felt somewhat disturbed at the idea of entering a house so serious as yours—a house peopled by dignified lawyers and young ladies. But I was so fond of your brother, I found him so full of novelty, so gay, so wittily sarcastic and discerning, under his assumed levity, that not only did I go everywhere with him, but I followed him to the extent of meeting you. And I never cease to thank him for it. Do you remember when I entered the drawing-room ...
— A Comedy of Marriage & Other Tales • Guy De Maupassant

... the means used of discerning a recondite truth in a particular sign lying close at hand, in order to attach to this particular sign the law of action directed upon the whole truth. Of this kind are all the rules of games of play, all abridged processes ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... it having one's day, or doing one's duty, or realising one's ideal, or saving one's soul. The task in any case is definite and imposed on us by nature, whether we recognise it or not; therefore we can make true moral progress or fall into real errors. Wisdom and genius lie in discerning this prescribed task and in doing it readily, cleanly, and without distraction. Folly on the contrary imagines that any scent is worth following, that we have an infinite nature, or no nature in particular, that life begins ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... a new country and so were without applicable precedents for their solution. What was chiefly demanded of an attorney in this situation was a capacity for attention, the ability to analyze an opponent's argument, and a discerning eye for fundamental issues. Competent observers soon made the discovery that young Marshall possessed all these faculties to a marked degree and, what was just as important, his modesty made recognition by his elders ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... execution and "intimate" importance of theme. Nothing had been done in that line from the point of view of art for art. That served me as a fond formula, I may mention, when I was twenty-five; how much it still serves I won't take upon myself to say—especially as the discerning reader will be able to judge for himself. I had been in England, briefly, a twelve-month before the time to which I began by alluding, and had then learned that Mr. Ambient was in distant lands- -was making ...
— The Author of Beltraffio • Henry James

... able to prevent it. I glanced around for aid or hope; but there was neither. I could see nothing but waves, and hear nothing but the roaring blast. The shore was close to me, but the high waves, and the darkness of the hurricane, prevented my discerning even the tops of the trees. As the boat capsized, I kicked off my shoes and threw off my coat and waistcoat, and seizing the main-sheet, let myself down in the water, trying to find bottom, but there was none ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

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

... the top of the Theresa Order, and of military renown in Vienna circles;—of Lieutenant-Colonel Benkendorf I never heard that he got the least pension or recognition;—continued quietly a military lion to discerning men, for the rest of his days. ["Died at Dresden, General of Cavalry," 5th May, 1801 (Rodenbeck, i. ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... The discerning reader has probably noticed that we have already smuggled into our introduction the notion that the book beautiful is a printed book; and, broadly speaking, so it must be at the present time. But we should not forget that, while the printed book has charms and ...
— The Booklover and His Books • Harry Lyman Koopman

... profession of the law, and decorated with all the elegance of classical literature; if a spirit imbued with the sensibilities of a lofty patriotism, and chastened by the meditations of a profound philosophy; if a brilliant imagination, a discerning intellect, a sound judgment, an indefatigable capacity, and vigorous energy of application, vivified with an ease and rapidity of elocution, copious without redundance, and select without affectation; if all these, united with ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... know him best there exists the consciousness that Mr. Gaston is not only an exceedingly cautious man, but consistently conscientious. Bringing such lofty principles, together with a discerning mind and sound judgement, into activity in the discharge of his duty, his administration was, it was generally conceded, a wise one. It should be borne in mind that he occupied a somewhat novel position, there having been no ...
— Bay State Monthly, Vol. II. No. 5, February, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... forbidden to wait for the clear and lawful perception? Is it the calling of man to surrender his knowledge and insight, For the mere venture of what may, perhaps, be the virtuous action? Must we, walking o'er earth, discerning a little, and hoping Some plain visible task shall yet for our hands be assigned us,— Must we abandon the future for fear of omitting the present, Quit our own fireside hopes at the alien call of a neighbor, To the mere possible shadow of Deity offer the victim? And is all this, my friend, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

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

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

... with her all the white winter evening, on one of those errands of discerning charity that occupied so many of her hours and thoughts—dangerously many, as we who loved her would often say, considering that she spent herself unnecessarily upon much for which others might well ...
— In the Border Country • Josephine Daskam Bacon

... the beach; my eyes were fixed upon it, in happy vacancy, until the shades of night prevented my discerning the nets which were spread upon its gunnel. I turned round at the soft voice of my Etana, who was seated near me with her infant in her arms, and watching the little one's impatience, as it would demand a more rapid flow of milk from that snowy breast, and the fond smile ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... by the streams of fire that flew from their rapidly striking hoofs on the gravelly and frozen ground. All, indeed, seemed to be in silent commotion through the town. Bart's object in coming for his gun, at such an hour of the night, was now sufficiently explained; for the quick and discerning mind of Miss Haviland at once told her that the country was indeed rising in arms to avenge the atrocities just committed by the party among whom were all her relatives and friends; and she shuddered at the thought ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... might be depths, leading down, all men now ask: Whitherwards? A much-admired invention in its time, that of letting go the rudder, or setting a wooden figure expensively dressed to take charge of it, and discerning that the ship would sail of itself so much more easily! Which it will, if a peculiarly good seaboat, in certain kinds of sea,—for a time. Till the Sinbad "Magnetic Mountains" begin to be felt pulling, or the circles of Charybdis get you in their ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume V. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... birth and their complexion, a correct written delineation of their character, and a statement of their past, present and future lives. All questions regarding love, marriage, absent friends, business, or any subject within the scope of her clear, discerning spiritual vision, will be promptly and definitely answered ... so far as she with her great and wonderful prophetic and perceptive powers, can see them." No. 4.—"Prof. A.F. Huse, seer and magnetic physician. The Professor's ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... an assistant right here on the premises," he said. "Delivered by the Atlantic express right at your door. Far be it from me to toot my horn, Mr. Atkins, or to proclaim my merits from the housetops. But, speaking as one discerning person to another, when it comes to an A1, first chop lightkeeper's assistant, I ask: 'What's the matter with ...
— The Woman-Haters • Joseph C. Lincoln

... improved. For a number of years the statues from the Cerro de los Santos were swallowed whole by all learned Europe. But the watchmaker's imagination began to get the better of him; forms became more and more fantastic, Egyptian, Assyrian, art-nouveau influences began to be noted by the discerning, until at last someone whispered forgery and all the scientists scuttled to cover shouting that there had never been any native ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... discerning, penetrating, sharp, clear-sighted, discriminating, penetrative, shrewd, crafty, keen, perspicacious, subtile, cunning, knowing, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... one primary element of a powerful mind, Dr. Chalmers used to say, when a man of activity and public mark was mentioned, "Has he wecht? he has promptitude—has he power? he has power—has he promptitude? and, moreover, has he a discerning spirit?" ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... John Pettit of Indiana, all the Democratic representatives from the four North-western States (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan) voted for the anti-slavery proviso offered by Mr. Wilmot. Mr. Douglas, discerning the future more clearly than his party associates, realized that the chief strength of the Democracy must continue to lie in the South, and that an anti-slavery attitude on the part of the North-western Democrats would destroy the National ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... O grace of faith My God! how can it be That Thou who hast discerning love, Shouldst give that gift ...
— Stepping Heavenward • Mrs. E. Prentiss

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

... for Leonardo and delicately urged him to work, contriving nevertheless to show him that he was doing all this because of the importunity of the Prior. Leonardo, knowing that the intellect of that Prince was acute and discerning, was pleased to discourse at large with the Duke on the subject, a thing which he had never done with the Prior: and he reasoned much with him about art, and made him understand that men of lofty genius sometimes ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 04 (of 10), Filippino Lippi to Domenico Puligo • Giorgio Vasari

... without strict sequence, answer our many questions interestingly. They have been written, very evidently, by an inmate of the household. They give, in addition, much of the secret history of the Court at this important period, and point out, to the discerning reader, a few of the chief causes which were to make possible the French ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... I was choking with laughter in my bed-room, for one of my cousins, who was a good musician, had helped me to add sharps, flats, and quavers, and we had done it with such care that even a trained eye would have had difficulty in discerning the fraud immediately. As Mlle. Clarisse had been sent off, I had no lesson that day. Mamma gazed at me a long time with her mysterious eyes, the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen in my life, and then she said, ...
— My Double Life - The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt • Sarah Bernhardt

... which I shall never willingly be without, one of my minor classics, is Idlehurst. Published in 1898, its author John Halsham, it has a touch upon country things, the penetrating, pitiful and tant soit peu condescending touch upon them of one who is both scholar and recluse, fastidious but discerning. He reads our earth, cloudscape, landscape, season, foison, man and beast of the field, with the same wistfulness which women who have known sorrow exhibit for children who have not. Reading him again, however, last night, after the long interval of fever and unrest which the war has ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... this lonely dwelling, as if you were in the midst of a crowd. Hence a vague project occurred to me, to put this courage to the test. A woman capable of recollection in danger, of warding off groundless panics, of discerning the true mode of proceeding, and profiting by her best resources, is a prodigy. I was desirous of ascertaining whether ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... pretty pickle! The world is wondrous fickle; But lately it would stickle For Progress by Exam. And now, in Trade and Learning, Against me they seem turning, Deliberately discerning ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, May 30, 1891 • Various

... buckskin covered by Father Vincent's capote stepped out into the starlight and turned his cowled face toward the fort. He intended to tell the sentinels that D'Aulnay had sent him with a message to the commandant of St. John. The guards, discerning his capote, would perhaps obey a beckoning finger, and believe that he had been charged with silence; for not having heard the churchman's voice he dared not try to imitate it, and must whisper. But that unforeseen element which the wisest cannot rule out of their fate halted him before ...
— The Lady of Fort St. John • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... are discerning the shallow inconsistency between the ideal so long preached of motherhood as woman's chief if not her only contribution to normal life and genuine social usefulness and the abnormal economic conditions and double ethical standards which doom so many ...
— The Family and it's Members • Anna Garlin Spencer

... R. B. Hassell, on "Money at Cost," and then tell the Editor with a straight face that they are not "clear enough to be clearly discussed!" The facts, laws, and arguments are definitely there, and clearly discussed. Why have we not the discerning eyes and impartial brains of Mr. Savage to ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... her heroines, the young recluse author puts on paper what she would herself like to be, and what she thinks she might be if only her eyes were bluer, her purse longer, or men more wise and discerning. In painting the slights offered to her favorite ideal, she conceives the slights that might possibly be offered to herself, and the triumphant way in which she would (under somewhat more auspicious circumstances) delight to live them down and trample ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... added; but to avoid brawls With the poet's friends I'll quote no more; but entre nous, Those who write correctly about the sea are exceeding few. Young DANA with us, and MARRYAT over the water,[1] Are all the writers that I know of, who appear to have brought a Discerning eye to bear on that peculiar state of existence, An ocean life, which looks so romantic at a distance. To succeed where every body else fails, would be an uncommon glory, While to fail would be no disgrace; so I am resolved to try my ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... beautiful spirit, of saintly life, "courageous and discerning," "concerned not so much over self-sufferings as that truth should not in any way be obstructed through him," and he belongs in the list of those who saw through the veil of the outward, through the parable of the letter, and found the inward and ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... enabled to behold further wonders. On returning, the fairy passed her hand over the woman's eye and restored its normal powers; but the woman had sufficient address to secure the wonder-working balm. By its means she retained for many years the gift of discerning the earth-visiting spirits; but on one occasion, happening to meet the fairy lady who had given her the child, she attempted to shake hands with her. "What ee d' ye see me wi'?" whispered she. "Wi' them baith," answered the matron. The fairy accordingly ...
— The Science of Fairy Tales - An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology • Edwin Sidney Hartland

... perfect ideal, the most exquisite, the most beautiful and the most lovable creature ever endowed with form and sent into the world by the powers of good. He believed all this in his heart, with the certainty of absolute knowledge. But he was quite incapable of discerning the motives of her conduct towards him, and when he tried to understand them, it was not his heart that felt, but his reason that argued, having very little knowledge and no experience at all to help it; and since his erring reason demonstrated something ...
— Marietta - A Maid of Venice • F. Marion Crawford

... affection; she played the comedy so well that Philippe guessed some immediate danger, merely from the solicitude thus displayed in his presence. Gilet, whose policy it was to avoid all collision with Philippe, did not appear. After watching his uncle and Flore for a time with a discerning eye, the colonel judged that the time had come to strike his ...
— The Celibates - Includes: Pierrette, The Vicar of Tours, and The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... strength. Now, if we substitute either of the two latter meanings, we shall have an assertion that "Mercy is not weakened by too much violence (or put to its utmost strength), but droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven," &c., where it would require a most discerning editor to explain the connexion between the two clauses. If, on the other hand, we take the first two meanings, the passage is capable of being understood, if nothing else. Beginning with to squeeze through ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 71, March 8, 1851 • Various

... yard, stopped; twisted his mustache, resting his left hand on his hip. His discerning inspection was soon completed. He was fully aware of the desperate and reckless light ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

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

... scale. We were quickly harnessed to our task as members of the editorial committee. Our literary contributions were confined to a part of the "Notes on Current Events," the portion of the paper that naturally attracted least outside notice, and was rarely singled out for praise. It is true that a discerning schoolmaster from another school remarked that these notes displayed "restrained strength even more remarkable in boys than the qualities of the other parts of the paper." I am ashamed to say we smiled and ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... had been allowed to do exactly as she liked; for she was her grandfather's pet, and no one might cross her will. We had to go very gently; but eventually she understood and became a dear little girl, reserved but very affectionate, and scampish to such a degree that Chellalu, discerning a congenial spirit, decided to ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... the hut is well named "Woodbine," and others might be called "Rose," "Violet," "Lily." The discerning eye sees the flowers through the mist of steaming tea. We catch the perfume while we choke in the reek of tobacco smoke, damp clothes, ...
— A Padre in France • George A. Birmingham

... Wilkes is still in this town, where he intends to stay until you give him leave to return to his native country. We have had the pleasure of seeing Mr Chanquion, your friend, who seems to be a very discerning gentleman and to whom in favor of your friendship I have shown all the politeness I could. I hear that Sr James Macdonald has been ill at Parma, but is now recovered and in Rome. Abb Galliani is still at Naples and stands a fair ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... called she all flowers that grew in field, Discerning all their fashions and properties; Upon the awful Thistle she beheld, And saw him keeped* by a bush of spears; Considering him so able for the wars, A radiant crown of rubies she him gave, And said, 'In field go forth, and ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... may mention That this erudition sham Is but classical pretension, The result of steady "cram.": Periphrastic methods spurning, To my readers all discerning I admit this show of learning Is the fruit of ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... think it must also be very agreeable to a company like this to know that the President of the night is not ceremoniously pretending, "positively for this night only," to have an interest in the drama, but that he has an unusual and thorough acquaintance with it, and that he has a living and discerning knowledge of the merits of the great old actors. It is very pleasant to me to remember that the Lord Mayor and I once beguiled the tedium of a journey by exchanging our experiences upon this subject. I rather prided myself on being something ...
— Speeches: Literary and Social • Charles Dickens

... generalising heads comes all the knowledge of the savant, for the truth about tapestries is most elusive. Knowledge is to be gained only by a lover of the objects, a lover willing to spend long hours in association with his love, prowling among collections, comparing, handling, studying designs, discerning colours, searching for details, and indulging withal a nice feeling for textures, a vision that feels them even without touch ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... only to indicate that the resemblance to Michael Angelo, found by so many persons in such works as the Dante doors, is only of the loosest kind—as one might, through their common lusciousness, compare peaches with pomegranates—and that to the discerning eye, or the eye at all experienced in observing sculpture, M. Rodin's sculpture is far more closely related to that of Donatello and the Greeks. It, too, reveals rather than constructs beauty, and by the expression of character rather than by ...
— French Art - Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture • W. C. Brownell

... was not more astonished than delighted at meeting, in the character of Sir Walter's daughter, the young lady who had so strongly struck his fancy at Lyme. He stopped an hour, and his tone, his expressions, his choice of subject, all showed the operation of a sensible, discerning mind. ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... her in silence for some moments as she looked up lovingly into his face; then gravely, and in silence, unclasped her arms from his neck. For the first time, he had gazed upon his favourite child without discerning beauty in her countenance, or finding ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... to the remark of a discerning critic, every growth in Nature has but an instant of truly complete beauty, we may also say that it has, too, only an instant of full existence. In this instant it is what it is in all eternity; besides this, it has only a coming into and a passing ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

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

... way to climb out of it," said Judge Saxon, advisedly, for it was the Judge who had the closest and most discerning eyes upon Neil Donovan's career. Listlessly at first, because he had looked on at too many uphill and losing fights against the world, but later with interest, forced from him almost against his will, he ...
— The Wishing Moon • Louise Elizabeth Dutton

... revised form, Mr. Bryce's noble and discerning book deserves to hold its preeminent place for at least twenty years more."—Record-Herald, ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... ever known; so skinless in sensibility as respected himself, and so distrustful in his universal apprehensions of human nature, as respected others. It was, indeed, a wild, though a beautiful, error of nature, to endow a spirit with such discerning faculties, and yet render it unfit to deal with mankind. But these reflections belong more properly to a general estimate of his character, than to the immediate purpose before me, which was principally to describe the happy effects which the ...
— The Life of Lord Byron • John Galt

... it looked more like masonry than sculpture. The eyes of all were attracted by the first, and turned away in contempt from the second. That, therefore, was adopted, and the other rejected, almost with resentment, as though an insult had been offered to a discerning public. The favored statue was accordingly borne in triumph to the place for which it was designed, in the presence of applauding thousands, but as it receded from their upturned eyes, all, all at once agaze upon it, the thunders of applause ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... you pass by throngs of men in that rank every day without recognizing a single person. Then reflect that a number of people as great as the whole of this class may be found in one town exhausting the dregs of destitution. When we have once appreciated the matter rightly, the difficulty of discerning, from casual inspection, the amount of distress, will only seem to us an additional element of misfortune. We shall perceive in this quiescence and obscurity only another cause of regret and another incitement ...
— The Claims of Labour - an essay on the duties of the employers to the employed • Arthur Helps

... peace and war, of tribute and homage, with ability worthy of Halifax and Caermarthen, and that, at the Highland banquets, minstrels who did not know their letters sometimes poured forth rhapsodies in which a discerning critic might have found passages which would have reminded him of the tenderness of Otway or of the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields—like those of old Sought in the Atlantic main, why should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was? For the discerning intellect of man, When wedded to this goodly universe In love and holy passion, shall find these A simple produce of the ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... Hebrew. His parents weren't called Leslie, but never mind. Leslie rolls. He also bounds, but not aggressively high. One can quite stand him; in fact, he has his good points. He's rich but eager. Also he doesn't know a good thing when he sees it. He lacks your discerning eye, Margery. But such is his eagerness that he is determined to have good things, even though he doesn't know them when he sees them. He would like to be a connoisseur—a collector of world-wide fame. He would like to fill ...
— The Lee Shore • Rose Macaulay

... any honour or promotion for his Crimean services. He was included in Sir Harry Jones's list of Engineer Subalterns who had specially distinguished themselves during the siege. The French Government, more discerning than his own, awarded him ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume I • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... 'tis ill apply'd, It makes the Breach more dangerous and wide. For tho' it may at first appear more bright, And something dazling to a weaker light. Yet being view'd with more discerning thought, What seem'd real good, is found to be stark nought. For this base Woman grows from bad to worse, And proves her Husband's Plague, as well as Curse; Consumes his Stock, on some sad Lustful Knave, And makes her Spouse a Cuckold ...
— The Fifteen Comforts of Matrimony: Responses from Men • Various

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

... dear," she said, taking the hand the younger woman offered her. In the instant of feminine appraisement, she had noted the perfectly tailored black gown, the immaculate shirtwaist and linen collar, and the discerning taste that forbade plumes. The fresh, cool odour of violets persisted all the way up-stairs, as Madame chattered along sociably, eager to put the guest at ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... quarter of the world he had hailed. He had been overseer for Duncan Lisle during seven years, and no one had ever heard him allude to any antecedents. He was a silent, reserved man of fifty years, perhaps, possessed good judgment, discerning sense of right and wrong, was inflexibly just, and invariably ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... destiny, but more than all else just now he was thinking of the woman before him and the issue to be faced by him regarding her. His thoughts were not so clear nor so discerning as Detricand's. No more than he understood Guida did he understand this clear-eyed, still, self-possessed woman. He thought her cold, unsympathetic, barren of that glow which should set the pulses of a man like himself bounding. It never occurred to him ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Leslie nor his mamma said anything about Fanny's garden, and he himself was not inclined to introduce the subject. His grandmamma did not speak to him, for she was anxious if possible to make him ashamed of his conduct. Discerning as she was, she was little aware of the obstinacy of his disposition, and that all he cared for, ...
— Norman Vallery - How to Overcome Evil with Good • W.H.G. Kingston

... Thou, whose Own the way we fare hath trod, Give to thy children quick, discerning eyes To see in life upspringing from the sod All the divineness that within it lies, Till humble service lift us to the skies Who, "doubting nothing," seek thy will, ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... events are those which cast their shadows, so to speak, within the circle of the cup. In this way the tea-leaves may be consulted once a day, and many of the minor happenings of life foreseen with considerable accuracy, according to the skill in discerning the symbols and the intuition required to interpret them which may be possessed by the seer. Adepts like the Highland peasant-women can and do foretell events that subsequently occur, and that with remarkable accuracy. ...
— Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves • 'A Highland Seer'

... found that between the hours of eleven and four every sixth man is an author. They are seldom to be seen very early in the morning or late in the evening, but about dinner-time they are all in motion, and have one uniform eagerness in their faces, which gives little opportunity of discerning their hopes or fears, their pleasures or their pains. But in the afternoon, when they have all dined, or composed themselves to pass the day without a dinner, their passions have full play, and I can perceive one man wondering at the ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... "Most discerning of women!" he cried, with an elaborate bow. "Those are but a few of my admirable traits." He was relieved to see that she had no suspicion of his feelings, for she was extremely quick of wit and her intuition was keen. No doubt, her failure to read him was due to her absorption ...
— The Net • Rex Beach

... through one of the widest of the channels for near two miles unless disturbed by currents, and that, when at its southern end, he should be far enough to windward to fetch the inlet, but for the banks of sand that might lie in his way. The distance had prevented his discerning any passage through the reef at the farther end of this channel; but, the boat drawing only two feet of water, he was not without hopes of being able to find one. A chasm, that was deep enough to prevent the passage ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... world of things must curiously be sought: A world of things must be together brought To make up charms which have the power to make, Through a discerning eye, true love; That is a master-piece above What only looks and shape can do; There must be wit and judgment too, Greatness of thought, and worth, which draw, From the whole world, respect ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... enquiry, my dear children, concerning my state, I would say, that exteriorly, I am open, simple, childlike. My interior resembles a drop of water, mingling and lost in the ocean, and no more discerning itself,—the sea not only surrounding, but absorbing it. In this divine immensity, the soul discerns and enjoys all objects in God. All is darkness and obscurity in respect to itself; all is light on the ...
— Letters of Madam Guyon • P. L. Upham

... The most difficult discerning of a mans Dream, from his waking thoughts, is then, when by some accident we observe not that we have slept: which is easie to happen to a man full of fearfull thoughts; and whose conscience is much troubled; and that sleepeth, without the circumstances, of ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... the paper-mill Watching together the curving thunderous fall Of frothing amber, bemused by the roar until My mind was as blank as the speckless sheets that wound On the hot steel ironing-rollers perpetually turning In the humming dark rooms of the mill: all sense and discerning By the stunning and dazzling oblivion ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... Danny and Ben. They were discerning, and capable of grasping a dog man's point of view. "Then there's Queen, for one wheeler. You know we're only allowed three dogs, an' we ...
— Baldy of Nome • Esther Birdsall Darling

... preliminary from a portion of the press, prompt to recognize the merit of a gentleman who had something to sell, and consequently something to be advertised. The "advance notices,"—so he calls them,—thus obtained, are made part of his book, and may there be read alike by discerning and undiscerning readers. With equal ingenuity he has prefixed to it a title-page, the grammar of which is questionable and the punctuation vile, but in which he has contrived to represent his opinions as identical with those of Las ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 - [Date last updated: August 7, 2005] • Various

... of Buffon's work, and that he intended to convey, one meaning to one set of readers, and another to another; indeed, it is often impossible to believe that he is not writing between his lines for the discerning, what the undiscerning were not intended to see. It must be remembered that his 'Natural History' has two sides,—a scientific and a popular one. May we not imagine that Buffon would be unwilling to debar himself from ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... its drawling note. Percival Channing was a sincere admirer of beauty in all its forms, and he had without doubt a right to his claim of a discerning eye. There was something that set him apart from the other young men who had come with Professor Thorpe to Storm, aside from his English-cut clothes and a certain ease and finish which they lacked. It was an effect of keenness, of aliveness to the zest of the passing moment. ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly



Words linked to "Discerning" :   perspicacious, tactful, prescient, discreet, apprehensive, discriminating, undiscerning



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