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Perspicacity

noun
1.
Intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings).  Synonyms: astuteness, perspicaciousness, shrewdness.
2.
The capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions.  Synonyms: judgement, judgment, sound judgement, sound judgment.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Perspicacity" Quotes from Famous Books



... and yet—unless—? Pshaw! impossible——!" upon which lucid commentary he stopped, gazing with anxious inquiry into Captain Jack's smiling eyes. "Ah, I believe you have just a glimmer of the truth with that confounded perspicacity of yours," saying which the sailor laughed and blushed not unbecomingly. "This is how it came about: I had transactions with old John Harewood, the banker, in Bristol, transactions advantageous to both sides, but perhaps most to him—sly old dog. At any rate, the old fellow took a monstrous ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... what a base! An official Supreme Being, and a regulated Terror. The one was to fill up the spiritual void, and the other to satisfy all the exigencies of temporal things. It is to the credit of Robespierre's perspicacity that he should have recognised the human craving for religion, but this credit is as naught when we contemplate the jejune thing that passed for religion in his dim and narrow understanding. Rousseau had brought a ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... of hostility in you mewards, and had I hearkened to you, my regret had been prolonged and I had died miserably of sorrow." Quoth the prince, "O my father, but for the fairness of thy thought and thy perspicacity and thy longanimity and deliberation in affairs, there had not betided thee this great joy. Hadst thou slain me in haste, repentance would have been sore on thee and longsome annoy, and on this wise whoso ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... Weight, Locality, Calculation, and Memory of various sorts are manifest. The signs of Language in the eye and mouth denote fluency, while the practical faculties, being dominant, would give clearness, perspicacity, and directness to his style of expression, either oral or written. Time, Order, Reason, and Intuition are well developed. The long-continued observation and experiments of this noble physician in his endeavor to protect humanity from the ravages of small-pox by his discovery ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... majestic hypocrisy of the court, and knew that France was on the road to ruin. The revolt of conscience began with him before the glory of the monarchy was clouded over. His views grew from an extraordinary perspicacity and refinement in the estimate of men. He learnt to refer the problem of government, like the conduct of private life, to the mere standard of morals, and extended further than any one the plain but hazardous practice of deciding all things by the exclusive precepts ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... anything else and no one sells them out here. Our landlady has one eye that looks up the chimney and another that goes cellar wards and Carlton says that she always regards him obliquely—never mind, she is a good stupid soul and I can forgive a landlady anything but perspicacity. I don't see how our intimacy has escaped her,—to me it looks like the first foreign sticker on an American ...
— Letters of a Dakota Divorcee • Jane Burr

... be treated thus with contumely, and then later to see her suggestions acted upon—a feminine consolation which men would do well to take unto themselves. As soon as they entered the ball-room, Mrs. Ingham- Baker, with that supernatural perspicacity which is sometimes found in stupid mothers, saw that Agatha was refusing her usual partners. She noted her daughter's tactics with mingled awe and admiration, both of which tributes were certainly deserved. She saw Agatha look straight through one man at the decorations on the wall behind; she saw ...
— The Grey Lady • Henry Seton Merriman

... so calmly and serenely; she wore pretty dresses, and helped to serve tea, and was graceful and sweet—and with never an idea that there was anything in life beyond these things. So Thyrsis pondered as he went his way, complacent over his own perspicacity; and got not even a whiff of smoke from the volcano of rebellion and misery that was seething deep down ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... happiness, and whose companionship through life would become a curse. Be it so; Piers knew it, dwelt upon it as a perilous fact; it had no application to his love for Irene Derwent. Indeed, Piers was rich in that least common form of intelligence—the intelligence of the heart. Emotional perspicacity, the power of recognising through all forms of desire one's true affinity in the other sex, is bestowed upon one mortal in a vast multitude. Not lack of opportunity alone accounts for the failure of men and women to mate becomingly; only the elect have eyes to see, even where the ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... credit of the perspicacity of the memorialists that they discern the real nature of the Controverted Question of the age. They are awake to the unquestionable fact that, if Scripture has been discovered "not to be worthy of unquestioning belief," ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... in no wise! I here, by the unexampled favour you stand in with our Sage, send not a Biography only, but an Autobiography: at least the materials for such; wherefrom, if I misreckon not, your perspicacity will draw fullest insight: and so the whole Philosophy and Philosopher of Clothes will stand clear to the wondering eyes of England, nay thence, through America, through Hindostan, and the antipodal New Holland, ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... Then he looked long, hesitatingly at Pargeter, and the millionaire, with most unusual perspicacity, read and answered the question contained in ...
— The Uttermost Farthing • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... letter. Gerald wanted her to be attached to the household at Shortlands, he was using Winifred as his stalking-horse. The father thought only of his child, he saw a rock of salvation in Gudrun. And Gudrun admired him for his perspicacity. The child, moreover, was really exceptional. Gudrun was quite content. She was quite willing, given a studio, to spend her days at Shortlands. She disliked the Grammar School already thoroughly, she wanted to be free. If a studio were provided, ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... heard some one. If it was Mabel! (With a perspicacity that comes of knowledge of her sex.) Jack, if she saw us she will think ...
— Dear Brutus • J. M. Barrie

... Audrey credit for great perspicacity in pairing these two off together. "Poor fellow," he said to himself; "to preserve him from the temptations of the world and the flesh, she's considerately sent him in with the devil." For his own part, he devoted himself to Audrey and his dinner. From time to ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... authority, and the same self-willed preference for his own not too well-educated opinion, which brought him to grief in his encounter with Wallis. But when he had once left his starting points, his sureness of reasoning, his extreme perspicacity, and the unerring clearness and certainty with which he kept before him, and expressed exactly what he meant, made him at once one of the greatest thinkers and one of the greatest writers of England. Hobbes never "pays himself ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... exclaimed, beaming with satisfaction at his own perspicacity. "I thought there was something suspicious about the fellow. I believe I can almost smell out a heretic or ...
— By Pike and Dyke: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic • G.A. Henty

... present hour. Many are chosen, as you see, with little deference to the opinions of Virtu. They are all, however, fitting tapestry for a chamber such as this. Here, too, are some chefs d'oeuvre of the unknown great; and here, unfinished designs by men, celebrated in their day, whose very names the perspicacity of the academies has left to silence and to me. What think you," said he, turning abruptly as he spoke—"what think you of this ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... the perspicacity of his views, I turned homeward. Temple had been previously warned by me to avoid speaking of my father at Riversley; but I was now in such a boiling state of happiness, believing that my father would certainly appear as he had done at Dipwell farm, brilliant and cheerful, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... the north of it, I once stopped and had a talk with a farmer whom I had asked for work. Although he had none to give me he was very civil, and we talked of tramps and tramping. He looked at me keenly. "I can see you are not of the regular professionals," said he. "Thank you for your perspicacity," I answered, and though perspicacity fairly floored him, he saw it was not an insult, and went on talking. "Now look here, my boy, they say we're hard on tramps, and perhaps some of us are, but I reckon we sometimes get enough to ...
— A Tramp's Notebook • Morley Roberts

... and the punctured places ceased. The Comte de la Fere puzzled his brains for some time, to divine what the musketeer could be going to do at Cannes, and what motive could have led him to examine the banks of the Var. The reflections of Athos suggested nothing. His accustomed perspicacity was at fault. Raoul's researches were not more ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... little, but without loss of time, her perspicacity penetrated the disguises, although not to the motives that impelled the plotters. She centered her thoughts on the old, white-locked pianist, who silently listened to all the parties and was tolerated even ...
— The Son of Clemenceau • Alexandre (fils) Dumas

... as extreme as the other," again declared the discoverer of this fact, feeling that his perspicacity had not ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... the perspicacity of the heart to that of the brain, knew his daughter's whole past; he knew, or he had guessed, the history of the hidden love that united her with Emmanuel: he now showed this delicately, and sanctioned their affection by taking part in it. It was the sweetest flattery a father could bestow, and ...
— The Alkahest • Honore de Balzac

... perspicacity to guess what had just taken place, he did not in any way show it. He sat down; and it was only after conversing for a few moments upon indifferent subjects, that he asked how ...
— Other People's Money • Emile Gaboriau

... expression of quick intelligence on his florid features, the trooper backed out of the room. With his hands behind him, his shoulders bent forward, the duke long pondered, his look, keen and discerning; his perspicacity clear, in spite of Francis' wine, or the intoxication of the princess' eyes. Although the noble's glance seemed bent on vacancy, it was himself as well as others he was studying; weighing the memorable events of the evening; recalling to mind every word ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... Tsz-kung and Yen Yu he answered similarly, pronouncing Tsz-kung to be a man of perspicacity, and Yen Yu to be one versed in ...
— Chinese Literature • Anonymous

... you have enlightened without dazzling me; you have given me the experience of the old, without depriving me of the graces of youth; but it is not with impunity that you have whetted the edge of my intellect, expanded my view, roused my perspicacity. Tell me, what is the source of your wealth, is it an honorable one? Why do you forbid me to confess to you the sufferings of my childhood? Why have you given me the name of the village where you found me? Why do you prevent me from searching out my father and mother? Why do you ...
— Vautrin • Honore de Balzac

... see—I see it plainly enough—that Mr. Digby is going to marry Althea.' He actually didn't add, 'If she'll have him.' Helen wondered how far his perspicacity went; had he seen what Gerald had seen, and what she ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... fetch her down, Tom," said Mr. Tulliver, rather sharply,—his perspicacity or his fatherly fondness for Maggie making him suspect that the lad had been hard upon "the little un," else she would never have left his side. "And be good to her, do you hear? Else I'll ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... attributes, were quite gone, and now I saw a face dressed in graces; smile, dimple, and rosy tint, rounded its contours and brightened its hues. I had been accustomed to nurse a flattering idea that my strong attachment to her proved some particular perspicacity in my nature; she was not handsome, she was not rich, she was not even accomplished, yet was she my life's treasure; I must then be a man of peculiar discernment. To-night my eyes opened on the mistake I had made; I began to suspect that it was only my tastes which were unique, ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... what they said to themselves as one adventure followed another now in the career of Billy Breckenbridge you who read these words can judge, if you be blessed with ordinary perspicacity. For many things took place and many months went by before he reached down along his lean right thigh toward the butt of his ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... received one of these despatches, they went to the King, and besieged his Majesty with entreaties for the castle upon the same terms as he had granted it to me. The King, who was a man of great goodness and perspicacity, would never consent to the presumptuous demands of those scoundrels, since he scented the malignity of their aims. Yet, wishing to keep them in expectation, and to give me the opportunity of coming back, he caused an angry letter to be written ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... untroubled contemplation, it would, I am confident, have ceased long ago to be matter of controversy; but the dust of prejudice and passion, which so distempers the intellectual vision of theologians and politicians, is seen to make, with ruthless impartiality, no exception of the perspicacity of philologists. ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... the perspicacity to discern the drawbacks to such a revolution in the conditions of social climate. "Commerce, like enlightenment, lessens ferocity, but also, just as enlightenment takes away the enthusiasm of self-esteem, so perhaps commerce takes away the enthusiasm of virtue. ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... am now receiving from my friends (more especially from my Liberal friends) congratulations upon my perspicacity, and, although I am no Schnadhorst, I must now regard myself in the light of a Parliamentary prophet. Having in that capacity chanted my incantations and calculated the number of square feet of Irish linen in one of Mr. Gladstone's collars to be ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... too sophisticated to entertain aught but the most contemptuous disbelief in her pretensions of special foresight and mysterious endowment. They did not fear her discrimination, and told their story, through an interpreter, with a glib disregard of any uncanny perspicacity on her part. She was one of the many Indians of the reservation who speak no English. Her cabin was far from Quallatown, and indeed at a considerable distance from any other dwelling. With her and her few associates, the moonshiners thought the child would soon ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... island chieftain would end in becoming the Demiurgus. Ganymede (who possibly gave rise to the old Lat. "Catamitus") was probably some fair Phrygian boy ("son of Tros") who in process of time became a symbol of the wise man seized by the eagle (perspicacity) to be raised amongst the Immortals; and the chaste myth simply signified that only the prudent are loved by the gods. But it rotted with age as do all things human. For the Pederastia of the Gods ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... at present in a train which some months ago I should indeed very little have expected. But such are the energies of virtue! How changed at present do all surrounding objects seem! To me they were never dark; but they were not always pleasant. They are now all cheerfulness and perspicacity. We have the most charming walks and the most delightful conversations, Louisa; and on subjects so expansive, so sublime—! Often do I say—'Why is my friend not with us? Why does she not come and bear her part in discussion? She whose ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... into which he fell, the explanation must be that two sentiments of such absorbing magnitude cannot exist simultaneously in one heart. The danger of that other and unconscious comedian robbed him of his vision, of his perspicacity, of his judgment. Indeed, it did at first rob him of his self-possession. But he regained that through the necessity—as it appeared to him imperiously—to do something at once. To do what? Why, to get her out of the house as ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... indeed! Well, that was a proof of your perspicacity. You may recall that in my book I referred to the battle ...
— Kathleen • Christopher Morley

... from the perspicacity of the astute Annas? You have pierced to the very heart of Judas. Yes, they insulted poor Judas. They said he had stolen from them three denarii—as though Judas were not the most ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... Majesty's perspicacity. You do not know, but you suspect, what I am about to disclose to you. My hope is that, when I am done, your Majesty will throw Kant and the rest of your philosophers out of the window. The people are sullen at the mention of your name, while ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... "perhaps you have found a prince of the church, pale as alabaster, sitting in his red robe, who put together the indicatory evidence of the crime that baffled you with such uncanny acumen that you stood aghast at his perspicacity?" ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... must put on one side when it came to judgments. She didn't seem to belong to any of the usual categories. One didn't want to judge her. One was thankful for the haze she made about herself and her motives. That Jack understood her was, Mary felt sure, the result of some peculiar perspicacity of Jack's, for she didn't believe that Mrs. Upton had ever explained or exculpated herself to Jack, either. It even dawned on her that his perspicacity perhaps consisted mainly in the sense of trust that she herself was experiencing. She trusted Mrs. Upton, were she right, ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... English. He declares (February 1st) that "the best English regiments are already disintegrated," that "the immensity of the cost will frighten the English shopkeepers," that "the ministerial majority will likely soon be dissipated." In giving these proofs of perspicacity, Dr. Kuyper charitably adds, concerning England, "her reverses may be her salvation." And in order to ensure her this salvation, he looks forward to "those projected alliances, whose tendency it is ...
— Boer Politics • Yves Guyot

... of the curtain stopped short these discussions, which displayed so much good-nature and perspicacity. But some laid the blame on the influence of that little bigot of a Talbrun, who had secretly blown up the fire of religious enthusiasm in Jacqueline, when Madame d'Avrigny's energetic "Hush!" put an end to the discussion. It was time to come back to more immediate interests, ...
— Jacqueline, v2 • Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc)

... stating briefly some discovery he had made, or some observation which he thought necessary to record. He had been asked now and again to make reports to the Foreign Office upon matters pertaining to the countries he knew; and Lucy had heard his perspicacity praised in no measured terms by those ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... was both too clever and too shrewd an observer, as well as, to me at least, too frank to pretend any of the assurance which was then de mode. She saw what was coming, and was fully persuaded that it must come. I hope that her eye may rest on this testimony to her perspicacity, though I know not whether she still graces this planet with her very pleasing presence. For as, alas! in so many scores of other instances, our lives have drifted apart, and it is many years since I ...
— What I Remember, Volume 2 • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... depends from a roof whose outlines are merged in the gray dusk of dreams. There is cruelty, horror, and a sense of the wickedly magnificent in the ensemble. What crimes were committed to merit such atrocious punishment? The boldness and clearness of it all! With perspicacity George Saintsbury wrote of Flaubert's Temptation of Saint Anthony: "It is the best example of dream literature that I know—most writers who have tried this style have erred, inasmuch as they have endeavoured to throw a portion of the mystery with which the waking mind invests ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... of Louisa and her mother may be easily imagined. It might be a subject of more deep and curious interest to trace the influence of such a catastrophe on the mind of Mildred; but this also we must leave to the reflection and perspicacity of the reader. Mr. Bloomfield and his sister soon after left Italy, embarking in the steam-boat direct for Marseilles: they had grown weary of travel. Colonel Willoughby and his daughter Mildred took the route by ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... Mr. Booth to say that he is not the peer of Francis of Assisi. But if Francis's judgment of men was so imperfect as to permit him to appoint an ambitious intriguer of the stamp of Brother Elias his deputy, we have no right to be sanguine about the perspicacity of Mr. Booth ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... Aniela, and the truth began to dawn upon me why it was the ladies were not staying with my aunt. This had been Pani P.'s idea; she and my aunt had been plotting together. I suppose Aniela had not been taken into confidence, but thanks to female perspicacity could not ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... references inserted, and the printer got the book on payment of two hundred pounds. The transaction turned out so well that Thomas Stevenson said, "I told you so," and Robert Louis saw the patent fact that hindsight, accident and fear sometimes serve us quite as well as insight and perspicacity, not to mention perspicuity. We aim for one target and hit the bull's-eye on another. We sail for a certain port, where, unknown to us, pirates lie in wait, and God sends His storms and drives us upon Treasure Island. There we load up with ingots; the high ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... behind the pictures for the hiding place of the famous diamond. In his time he had seen so many secret drawers, double-seated chairs, and numerous contrivances of a similar sort, that it would be a cunning hand that could baffle his perspicacity and experience. ...
— A Royal Prisoner • Pierre Souvestre

... highest art. Concerning the Age which has just passed, our fathers and our grandfathers have poured forth and accumulated so vast a quantity of information that the industry of a Ranke would be submerged by it, and the perspicacity of a Gibbon would quail before it. It is not by the direct method of a scrupulous narration that the explorer of the past can hope to depict that singular epoch. If he is wise, he will adopt a subtler strategy. He will attack his subject in ...
— Eminent Victorians • Lytton Strachey

... gift of seeing things in a roseate hue. On the contrary, from his habit of profound observation, he too often saw them enveloped in sombre colors. But, on the other hand, he had received such a great gift of perspicacity and exactness that things false and fictitious could no more resist his glance than fog can resist the rays of the sun. La Rochefoucault is certainly an admirable painter, but he never takes a likeness otherwise than ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... his habitual perspicacity: "It is the widespread belief in the Great Spirit, whatever his precise nature and origin, that has long and deservedly drawn the attention of European thinkers to the native religions of the North American tribes". Now while, in recent times, Christian ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... Personage persono. Personal persona. Personality personeco. Personate reprezenti. Personate personigxi, imiti. Personification personigxo. Perspective perspektivo. Perspicuous sagaca. Perspicacity sagaceco. Perspiration sxvito. Perspire sxviti. Persuade konvinki. Persuasive konvinka. Pert malrespekta. Pertinacious trudpeta. Pertinacity obstineco, persisteco. Perturb konfuzi, turmenteti. Perturbation turmentado. Peruke peruko. Perusal ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... the universal feeling of western people regarding the matter of "quakes," he chuckled, in contemplation of his own perspicacity, and calmly resumed his ...
— Crossing the Plains, Days of '57 - A Narrative of Early Emigrant Tavel to California by the Ox-team Method • William Audley Maxwell

... retort by saying something extremely uncomplimentary about your lack of perspicacity," ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... all men, not excepting themselves, until it was detected by Messrs. Sumner, Chase, and company. But these have, at last, discovered it, and now see it as in a flood of light. Indeed, they see it with such transcendent clearness, with such marvellous perspicacity of vision, as to atone for the stupidity and blindness of the ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... to sigh again, and Lady Alicia, with a boldness that surprised herself, and a perspicacity that would have surprised her friends, asked, "How could they—I ...
— The Lunatic at Large • J. Storer Clouston

... unable to decide whether the sun revolved about the earth, or the earth about the sun, [13] Pre Labat was, nevertheless, no more credulous and no more ignorant than the average missionary of his time: it is only by contrast with his practical perspicacity in other matters, his worldly rationalism and executive shrewdness, that this superstitious navet impresses one as odd. And how singular sometimes is the irony of Time! All the wonderful work the Dominican accomplished has ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... the perspicacity of the Governor, a naked, pock-marked child strode forward to the earth, and stood on one leg, unconcerned ...
— Actions and Reactions • Rudyard Kipling

... never worked so brilliantly as it was working now. The problems involved in his clients' affairs were child's play to him. He took them apart and put them together again with a careless, confident, infallible perspicacity that amazed his colleagues and his opponents. And, as Frank Crawford had pointed out, he took a savagely contemptuous pleasure in making those ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... was thirty-four; he was of brutal temperament and intelligent perspicacity, having, moreover, had much to do with women, and knowing them well. This one had seemed pretty to him; so he was thinking ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher 128:18 realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity. ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... in knowing an earthquake, though one has never felt one before. He saw the double file of men stretching up one street, and stretching down the other from the corner of the bakery where the loaves were to be given out on the stroke of twelve, and he hugged himself in a luxurious content with his perspicacity. ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... been living Roderick's intellectual life the past three months, as well as his own. As he looked back on these full-flavored weeks, he drew a long breath of satisfaction, almost of relief. Roderick, thus far, had justified his confidence and flattered his perspicacity; he was rapidly unfolding into an ideal brilliancy. He was changed even more than he himself suspected; he had stepped, without faltering, into his birthright, and was spending money, intellectually, as lavishly as a young heir who has just won an obstructive lawsuit. ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... other actors who were to play in his drama. So, to give himself a countenance, he had attached himself to the jealous Amelie, the better to lull suspicion in Lucien and in Mme. de Bargeton, who was not without perspicacity. In order to spy upon the pair, he had contrived of late to open up a stock controversy on the point with M. de Chandour. Chatelet said that Mme. de Bargeton was simply amusing herself with Lucien; ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... and his daughter were old hands; they had gone through all this before. Scarce an article in their trunks was disturbed. There was a slight duty of some twelve dollars (Warburton's memory is marvelous), and their luggage was free. But alas, for the perspicacity of the inspectors! I can very well imagine the god of irony in no better or more fitting place than in ...
— The Man on the Box • Harold MacGrath

... sight &c 443; clear sight, sharp sight, quick sight, eagle sight, piercing sight, penetrating sight, clear glance, sharp glance, quick glance, eagle glance, piercing glance, penetrating glance, clear eye, sharp eye, quick eye, eagle eye, piercing eye, penetrating eye; perspicacity, discernment; catopsis^. eagle, hawk; cat, lynx; Argus^. evil eye; basilisk, cockatrice [Myth.]. V. see, behold, discern, perceive, have in sight, descry, sight, make out, discover, distinguish, recognize, spy, espy, ken [Scot.]; get a sight of, have a sight ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... the governor's questions quite natural, and was waiting in much curiosity for the answer of Montignac, of whose perspicacity I was now beginning to lose my high opinion, when the inn-maid entered the kitchen, and the secretary repressed the reply already on his lips. She took from the spit a fowl that had been roasting, ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... eyes of his fellow-students rest on him, and he cursed himself because he could not help blushing. He felt the sweat start up in the palms of his hands. The surgeon spoke with the fluency due to long practice and with the admirable perspicacity which distinguished him. He was tremendously interested in his profession. But Philip did not listen. He was only wishing that the fellow would get done quickly. Suddenly he realised that ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... Street and the Statue of Liberty, in the year 1649, from an Indian chief for a quart of passementerie and a pair of Turkey-red portieres designed for a Harlem flat. I have always admired that Indian's perspicacity and good taste. All this is merely to convince you that the Von der Ruyslings were exactly the kind of poor aristocrats that turn down their noses at people who have money. Oh, well, I don't mean that; I mean people ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... tendency than when he seemed to be ploughing the same old furrows in the same old fields. Such a critic would be alert to detect those fine differences of situation which distinguish a later from an earlier predicament. He would note with unfailing perspicacity the shades of variance which constitute Florindo an essentially novel character when presented under the name of Lindoro, or Floribella a fresh delight when she reappears as Doralinda. Even when he ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... the Viceroy of Egypt, Ismail I., a prince whose superior intelligence is ever anxious to develop the resources of his country. His Highness was perhaps the only man in his own dominions who, believing in the buried wealth of Midian, had the perspicacity to note the advantages offered by its exploitation. For the world around the Viceroy pronounced itself decidedly against the project. My venerable friend, Linant Pasha, suggested a comparison with the abandoned diggings of ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... all the essential points of a good dictionary,—in the amplitude and selectness of its vocabulary, in the fulness and perspicacity of its definitions, in its orthoepy and (cum grano salis) its orthography, in its new and trustworthy etymologies, in the elaborate, but not too learned treatises of its Introduction, in its carefully prepared ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... William Halket—to whom for his merits we accord the full Christian name—do any discredit to the perspicacity of his master, if it was not that he rather exceeded the hopes of his benefactor, for he was attentive to the horses, civil to the farmers, and handy at anything that came in his way. Then, to render the connection reciprocal, William was gratefully alive to the conviction ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Vol. XXIII. • Various

... leaving us that false trail to Munich. It took me in to the extent that I dispatched an emissary to hunt you down in that delightful capital, but, for myself, I have a certain flair in these matters, and I thought you would sooner or later come to Bellevue. You will admit that I showed some perspicacity?" ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... of an alliance with the Romanoffs was coldly received. In the Emperor's opinion this, however, was a really splendid match. The Rhine princes and subsidiary monarchs hastened to Paris, and one of them showed his want of perspicacity by marked attentions to Josephine, which he hoped would secure her husband's favor. When men of such lofty and undisputed lineage were joining what was apparently an irresistible movement, the recusant nobility of France ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... sentence for the first time. Or, again, with reference to her propensity to get exceedingly worked up upon a subject of very little general interest, she would say, "The great point is, not to start her off, and not to give her a chance to start herself off. A little perspicacity will soon tell you what subject to nip in the bud, or when to talk as hard and fast as ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... had read Bailly's work pen in hand, and he proposed to the illustrious astronomer some queries, which proved both his infinite perspicacity, and wonderful variety of knowledge. Bailly then felt the necessity of developing some ideas which in his History of Ancient Astronomy were only accessories to his principal subject. This was the object of the volume that ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... as she rose from the table might have been taken for assent. It was in reality satisfaction at her own perspicacity. She had not supposed for one moment that he had been ill but in no other way could she express what she wanted to know. It was in itself an innocuous and natural remark, but the sudden gloom that fell on him warned her that her ingenuity was, perhaps, ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... say again, it is in what I called Portrait-painting, delineating of men and things, especially of men, that Shakespeare is great. All the greatness of the man comes out decisively here. It is unexampled, I think, that calm creative perspicacity of Shakespeare. The thing he looks at reveals not this or that face of it, but its inmost heart, and generic secret: it dissolves itself as in light before him, so that he discerns the perfect structure of ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... politicians always clearly saw what the Germans were aiming at. Dr. Kramar, for instance, foresaw the present situation with remarkable perspicacity. In the Revue de Paris for February, 1899, he wrote on "The Future of Austria," declaring that her subject nationalities should be on guard lest she should become a vassal of Germany and a bridge ...
— Independent Bohemia • Vladimir Nosek

... instructive. It was not till after many designs and many trials that I preferred the method of grouping my picture by nations; and the seeming neglect of chronological order is surely compensated by the superior merits of interest and perspicacity. I was now straining for the goal, and in the last winter many evenings were borrowed from the social ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... depends on character; a cheerful heart In one, a buoyant imagination in another, and the sweet self-oblivion which Faith imparts in a third, sentiment here and will there, work the same miracle. Foresti belonged to that class of Italians who combine perspicacity and force of reasoning with a frank, affectionate, and trustful disposition,—types of the manly intellect, the childlike heart; incarceration, while it failed to enfeeble the former, by seclusion from life's game and the world's encroachments from early youth ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... started for Widewood. He had to stop and shake hands with Parson Tombs over his front palings, and make an honest effort to feel annoyed by the old man's laughter-laden compliments on his energy, enterprise, and perspicacity. At the Halliday cottage he saw Fannie clipping roses from the porch trellis for Martha Salter, who stood by. She ...
— John March, Southerner • George W. Cable

... how German Republicans thought, as far back as 1832. In 1868-69 they made us swallow once again ideas of brotherhood from beyond the Rhine, by lulling our perspicacity, by enervating the courage we used to display towards foreigners, and it was several weeks before we realised in 1870 that all Germany, from one end to the other, was of the same type of honesty, the same character ...
— The Schemes of the Kaiser • Juliette Adam

... southward to Cape Colony itself, till the idea of "Africa for the Dutch, and the English in the sea," would have been a war-cry that might have dazzled hundreds of to-day's so-called loyal colonists. He even asserted that those at the head of affairs in England had shown great perspicacity and a clear insight into the future. If at the Bloemfontein Conference, or after, Kruger had given the five years' franchise, and the dispute had been patched up for the moment, it would have been the greatest misfortune that could have happened. The intriguing ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... interpret the sudden look he gave her, but her perspicacity warned her that she was on the wrong tack with this man of ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... qualities, not only her fear of God, her benevolence to the poor, and her kindness toward her relatives, but also her ability as a ruler, saying that she made an excellent regent, whose sound opinions and perspicacity were greatly admired by the burghers. Even if we make allowances for the flattery, there is still much truth in what ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... with whom the boy had played all his life! No doubt it was true: and Phil Compton would probably charm the inexperienced boy with his handsome, disreputable grace, and the unknown ways of the man of the world. And yet, he thought to himself, there is a perspicacity about children which is not always present in a man. Philip had no precocious instincts to be tempted by his father's habits; he had the true sight of a boy trained amid everything that was noble and pure. ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... inference and synthesis. Much of it, to be sure, can be divined from the acts and conversations, from the dress and manners of the characters, but there is always more that has to be directly expounded. The writer cannot rely upon the reader's perspicacity to make the right inferences, or upon his knowledge to supply sufficient data; nor can he make his characters tell all that he may want told about their past and the life of the world in which they live, and ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... to my friend and former pupil, Mr. E.J. Harding, of Hertford College, for the ungrudging labour which he has bestowed on the proofs of the whole of this volume. Many improvements in the form of the work are due to his perspicacity ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... embassy, arrived, and was exhibited in the absence of the lady herself, to every one of the lodgers, in proof of the aristocratic character of the customer of the Tete Noire, I began to doubt my own perspicacity, and to imagine that I had now a far more interesting object of study than M. Jerome and his diamond ring. Madame de Mourairef was an exceedingly affable person; and the English family aforesaid, whom I have reason to believe were Cockney tradesfolks, pronounced ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 435 - Volume 17, New Series, May 1, 1852 • Various

... "The class denominated the people is most certainly, taking it in the aggregate, favorably disposed to Bonaparte. Any tale of distress from the Revolution was among this class always ended with this, 'but now, we are quiet, thanks to God and to Bonaparte.'"—Mallet-Dupan, with his accustomed perspicacity, ("Mercure Britainnique," Nos. for November 25 and December 10, 1799), at once comprehended the character and harmony of this last revolution. "The possible domination of the Jacobins chilled all ages and most conditions.... Is that nothing, to be preserved, even for one year, against the ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... the King. "I have never seen a more despicable creature than you. The admirable perspicacity inherent in your tribe seems to have deteriorated in you to a hyperbolated insousancy." Then he reached out his arms and slapped the king four times, twice on one side of his face and twice on ...
— The Woggle-Bug Book • L. Frank Baum

... this first interview the magistrate saw to the depths of Dinah's soul. This perspicacity in a man so much in love was a superhuman effort. He saw that Didine meant to be the journalist's guardian spirit and lead him into a nobler road; she had seen that the difficulties of his practical life ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... Scales, bronzed, plump, and very full in the eye, having looked the newcomer over, decided against him, and gave him a shoulder. "Foreign beggar," was the conclusion he came to, which does credit to his perspicacity, because the Pole had a very English appearance, and Scales himself the look of ...
— Rest Harrow - A Comedy of Resolution • Maurice Hewlett

... disperse, and M. de Vaudrey enters his nephew's house, where an amusing scene occurs between him and Madame de Bonvalot. Then come a robbery and a fire, and abundance of incidents—some tolerably new in conception, all very pleasant in narration. The good sense, perspicacity and straightforward dealing of the baron, subjugate every one. He unmasks the fictitious viscount, cures his nephew of his electioneering ambition, and the painted dowager of her longing for an invite to the Tuileries; and adopts Froidevaux—whose father had saved his life ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... room. So beautiful she was, that in spite of her faults I felt sorry for her. There was a terrible storm of anguish in her heart; her haughty, proud features were drawn and distorted with pain which she strove in vain to disguise. The young man had come to be her evil genius. I admired Gobseck, whose perspicacity had foreseen their future four years ago at the ...
— Gobseck • Honore de Balzac

... rooms, to which they were conducted by Miss Comstock with an arm around the waist of Adelle and another about Irene Paul, the girls agreed that "Pussy" was "all right" and congratulated themselves upon the perspicacity of their choice. ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... is a Heretical Hypocrite, in whom the conceit of his own perspicacity, by which he seems to himself to have observed certain errors in a few Church dogmas, has disturbed the balance of his mind, so that, excited vehemently by a sacred fury, he fights frenzied against civil authority, in the belief that he ...
— Discoveries and Some Poems • Ben Jonson

... from the Cafe de l'Echiquier, after treating the valet, he saw in the gate-way of the Lion d'Argent the lady and the young man in whom his perspicacity at once detected customers, for the lady with outstretched neck and anxious face was evidently looking for him. She was dressed in a black-silk gown that was dyed, a brown bonnet, an old French cashmere shawl, raw-silk stockings, and low shoes; and in her hand she carried ...
— A Start in Life • Honore de Balzac

... Mme. de Bargeton made no interruption. She was struck with his perspicacity. The queen of Angouleme had, in fact, counted ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... Fet in his reminiscences describes the character of all the three Tolstoy brothers with extraordinary perspicacity: ...
— Reminiscences of Tolstoy - By His Son • Ilya Tolstoy

... don't perceive the silly smiles and grimaces that provoked me at first; and the senseless incapability of discerning that I was in earnest when I gave her my opinion of her infatuation and herself. It was a marvellous effort of perspicacity to discover that I did not love her. I believed, at one time, no lessons could teach her that! And yet it is poorly learnt; for this morning she announced, as a piece of appalling intelligence, that I had actually succeeded in making her hate me! A positive labour of Hercules, I ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... charm which he may almost persuade himself that he alone perceives, since this softly gracious creature seems so little to insist upon it—seems, indeed, to be herself unaware of its presence. Whereupon the man conceives a new idea of his own perspicacity in detecting a thing at once so agreeable and so little advertised. He may, with a woman of this kind, go long upon the third 'tack'—may, indeed, never know it was she who gently 'shunted' him, still unenlightened, and left him side-tracked, but cherishing to the end ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... missives than Kate did herself. While the writer didn't precisely say that he counted on Kate to supply the woof of the fabric of life, that expectation made itself evident between the lines to Mrs. Barrington's sentimental perspicacity. ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... deal of esprit, to whom forty years' experience of the great world had given a prodigious perspicacity of judgment, the Duchess of Chalux, arbitress of the opinion to be held on all new comers to the Faubourg Saint Germain, and of their destiny and reception in it;—one of those women, in a word, who make or ruin a man,—said, in speaking of Gerard de Stolberg, whom ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... government, of religion, of right, of wealth, a man must be a historian beforehand, a jurisconsult and economist, and have gathered up myriad of facts; and, besides all this, he must possess a vast erudition, an experienced and professional perspicacity. If these conditions are only partially complied with, the result will only be a half finished product or a doubtful alloy, a few rough drafts of the sciences, the rudiments of pedagogy as with Rousseau, of political economy with Quesnay, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... had always an admirable perspicacity in discerning what was false; and it may be said that in everything and always truth was the sole object of his mind. From his childhood he could only yield to what seemed to him evidently true; and when others spoke ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... chaff in a light breeze and he flattered himself that it had taken his own perspicacity to detect them. A less capable diagnostician might have passed them by unobserved. But to him they marked ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck



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