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Shrewd   /ʃrud/   Listen
Shrewd

adjective
(compar. shrewder; superl. shrewdest)
1.
Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence.  Synonyms: astute, sharp.  "An astute tenant always reads the small print in a lease" , "He was too shrewd to go along with them on a road that could lead only to their overthrow"
2.
Used of persons.  Synonyms: calculating, calculative, conniving, scheming.



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"Shrewd" Quotes from Famous Books



... against American influence; men who too often lend themselves to the purposes of the ward heeler, the district leader in controlling the people, who too often keep silence when the poor are the victims of the shrewd Italians who have grown rich on the ignorance of their countrymen. One man made $8,000 by supplying 1,000 laborers to a railroad. He collected $5 from each man as a railroad fare, though transportation was given by the road, and $3 from each man for the material to build a house. ...
— Aliens or Americans? • Howard B. Grose

... "Very shrewd!" said his friend approvingly. "Palmer, you are a credit to our profession. I shall be content to take lessons ...
— The Erie Train Boy • Horatio Alger

... know. Also, it may have been dark enough to use the search-light and yet light enough so that a car could be distinguished at a hundred feet. If there was any light at all, that big Peckwith-Pierce car could be recognized by any one." He was impressed. I could see it by the thoughtful, shrewd look that, came into his eyes. Already, he was making arrests by the ...
— 32 Caliber • Donald McGibeny

... almost inaccessible. The escort was twice attacked by the Indians, who were as often repulsed; but these rencounters cost the English about forty men killed and wounded, including some officers. Some shrewd objections might be started to the general's choice of ground on this occasion. He could not act at all without passing the river Montmorenci at a very great disadvantage, and attacking an enemy superior to himself in number, secured by redoubts and intrenchments. ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... Proverbs might almost be called a treatise on Friendship, so full is it of advice about the sort of person a young man should consort with, and the sort of person he should avoid. It is full of shrewd, and prudent, and wise, sometimes almost worldly-wise, counsel. It is caustic in its satire about false friends, and about the way in which friendships are broken. "The rich hath many friends," with an easily understood ...
— Friendship • Hugh Black

... put the money away until his granddaughter came of age. If we had that letter you would learn that was the reason of his strange trust in you. He was preparing against all contingencies. He was evidently a very shrewd man; he desired to cover all trace ...
— Two Wonderful Detectives - Jack and Gil's Marvelous Skill • Harlan Page Halsey

... commendable programme, despite frequent urgings to depart from it. Yet observe what pitfalls beset the path of the popular fictionist. There came a breezy, shrewd-eyed young woman of beguiling tongue who announced ...
— Quaint Courtships • Howells & Alden, Editors

... tray of chewing gum and candy on the arm of a vacant chair beside Jack, and observed tentatively that it was fine, and that Jack must be going fishing. Jack confessed that such was his intention, and the vender of things-you-never-want made a shrewd ...
— The Lookout Man • B. M. Bower

... the form in which we make them involve very grave fallacies, the realization of which will shortly become essential to the wise direction of this country's policy. If our policy, in other words, is to be shrewd and enlightened, we must realize just how both the views of international relationship that I have indicated ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... the monarch turned was Bishop Brask. It appears that there had been some dispute between the bishop and one of the hospitals in his diocese as to the tithes from certain lands. The shrewd monarch conceived the notion that the simplest mode of settling the dispute was to hand the disputed property over to the crown. He wrote, therefore, to both parties to send him at once the original documents on which they based their claims. "And meantime," he said, "we forbid you positively to ...
— The Swedish Revolution Under Gustavus Vasa • Paul Barron Watson

... out laughing in such a hearty fashion that it set them off too, as I remarked, "Ah, John, I had a shrewd idea that there was something more behind your anxiety than the fact that ...
— To Mars via The Moon - An Astronomical Story • Mark Wicks

... one shrewd dowager, "that Oliphant would make a catch with that daughter of his. He has done it, evidently. This boy will be worth five or ten thousand a year, ...
— Roger Ingleton, Minor • Talbot Baines Reed

... they might better remain on their thrones, even though the powers remaining to them were merely nominal, and accept the titles, honors and generous pensions which the Dutch offered them, than to resist and be ruthlessly crushed. In pursuance of this shrewd policy, every province in the Indies has as its nominal head a native puppet ruler, known as a regent, usually a member of the house which reigned in that particular territory before the white man came. Though ...
— Where the Strange Trails Go Down • E. Alexander Powell

... to his own tastes and manners. She died young, leaving a son and three daughters, of whom the noble Margaret Roper most resembled More himself. His second wife was Alice Middleton, a widow, some seven years older than More, not beautiful—for he characterized her as "NEC BELLA, NEC PUELLA"—but a shrewd worldly woman, not by any means disposed to sacrifice comfort and good cheer for considerations such as those which so powerfully influenced the mind ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... emerged from the crowd in January, 1901. A young lawyer named J.C. Smuts, who had received his legal education in England, and whom Delarey entrusted with a command, soon showed, and not for the first time, that a shrewd, resourceful, energetic and determined civilian was, at least in guerilla, more than a match for ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... And here my books—my life—absorb me whole. Here too I visit, or to smile, or weep, The winding theatre's majestic sweep; The grave or gay colloquial scene recruits My spirits spent in Learning's long pursuits. 30 Whether some Senior shrewd, or spendthrift heir, Wooer, or soldier, now unarm'd, be there, Or some coif'd brooder o'er a ten years' cause Thunder the Norman gibb'rish of the laws. The lacquey, there, oft dupes the wary sire, And, artful, speeds th'enamour'd son's desire. There, virgins oft, unconscious what they ...
— Poemata (William Cowper, trans.) • John Milton

... first to disembarrass himself. "A tolerably shrewd night, Monsieur," he said with ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... keep them waiting. Although Rapp lacked that power of appealing to the imagination which has survived Napoleon's death with such astounding vitality that it moves men's minds to-day as surely as it did a hundred years ago, he was shrewd enough to make use of his master's methods when such would seem to serve his purpose. He was not going to creep into Dantzig like a whipped ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... had told him that men were sometimes stricken with a strange fever of the wilderness, when the seduction of the uninhabited wastes caught them so fiercely that they went forth, half fascinated, half deluded, to their death. And he had a shrewd idea that his companion held something in sympathy with that queer type. He led the conversation on to other topics, on to Hank and the doctor, for instance, and the natural rivalry as to who should get ...
— The Wendigo • Algernon Blackwood

... active part in extirpating their idolatrous belief. From his accounts, it seems they were much addicted to fortune-telling. Their gods were made to give out oracles and their temples became renowned just in proportion as their priests were shrewd in ...
— The Prehistoric World - Vanished Races • E. A. Allen

... great party, that of privilege, divided into two factions, labelled Whig and Tory, or Liberal and Conservative. Both do much the same things in office. The mimic warfare which they wage with each other, no shrewd observer takes seriously. It is merely a pleasant game of which the stakes are the spoils of office and patronage. An 'organised hypocrisy' is but a mild description of an English Government, whether Liberal or Conservative. The Liberal and the Conservative are the two thieves ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... Israel, conceived it his duty to "make a note" of sundry young members of his flock who had met for a drive and a supper, with a dance fringed upon the outskirts. The fame thereof being noised abroad, a sturdy old farmer, with a good deal of shrewd sense and mother-wit in his brains, and a fine, indirect way of hitting the nail on the head with a side-stroke, was questioned in a neighboring village as to the facts of the case. "Yes," he said, surlily, "the young ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... A shrewd old gipsy, seeing him evidently on the search for some one, assured him before he had asked any questions, that she had seen those whom he was ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... the certificate on the table as he spoke, and for a moment Maxwell sat staring at it, speechless. He knew Hubbard—a rich, shrewd financier, and no leader of forlorn-hopes. If Hubbard was in the thing the thing was all right. But a hat-pin! Maxwell looked at the certificate and thought of the hat-pin, and reviewed the Harrington of the past two ...
— Many Kingdoms • Elizabeth Jordan

... a tall and splendid man, a 'black Celt' from Merionethshire, with coal-black hair, and eyes deeply sunken and lined, with fatigue or ill health. Beside him, his comrade, Philip Cuningham, had the air of a shrewd clerk or man of business—with his light alertness of frame, his reddish hair, and sharp, small features. A pleasant, serviceable ability was stamped on Cuningham's whole aspect; while Watson's large, lounging way, and dishevelled or romantic good looks suggested yet another perennial type—the ...
— Fenwick's Career • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the wretch who, while he layed Snares for another, wrought his proper doom; And turn we to the damsel he betrayed, Who had nigh found at once her death and tomb. She, after rising from the rock, dismayed At her shrewd fall, and gazing through the gloom, Beheld and passed that inner door, which gave Entrance to other and ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... The shrewd Lincoln took notice of the qualifying clause, "if my men are equal to the emergency," and sighed a little. Already this general, so bold in design and so great in preparation was making excuses for possible failure ...
— The Sword of Antietam • Joseph A. Altsheler

... profiteer by this astonishing discovery, the owner of the ground where the slabs were found clung tenaciously to his holding until he had forced the price up to the incredible figure of 100 dollars. He sold with the joyous satisfaction of a man making a shrewd deal. ...
— Westward with the Prince of Wales • W. Douglas Newton

... development the conquest of the Greeks brought to Rome the religion, art, paintings, and philosophy of the conquered. The Romans were shrewd and acute in the appreciation of all which they had found that was good in the Greeks. From the time of this contact there was a constant and continued adoption of Grecian models in Rome. The first Roman writers, Fabius ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... When a shrewd but genial editor called me up on the telephone and asked me how I should like to write an article on the above lurid title, I laughed in his—I ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... letters. Thrums had a high respect for the school-master; but among themselves the weavers agreed that, even if he did write to the Government, Lizzie Harrison, the post-mistress, would refuse to transmit the letter. The more shrewd ones among us kept friends with both parties; for, unless you could write "writ-hand," you could not compose a letter without the school-master's assistance; and, unless Lizzie was so courteous as to send ...
— Auld Licht Idyls • J.M. Barrie

... he learn?" Villa Kennan asked. "If he is shrewd enough not to fight you, and merely sits and listens to your English law, it will be no more than a huge joke to him. He will no more than pay the price of listening to a lecture for any atrocity ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... remembered with joy that once I had thrashed him soundly at the prep school for bullying a smaller boy; but our score from school-days was not without tallies on his side. He was easily the better scholar—I grant him that; and he was shrewd and plausible. You never quite knew the extent of his powers and resources, and he had, I always maintained, the most amazing good luck,—as witness the fact that John Marshall Glenarm had taken a friendly interest in him. It was wholly like my grandfather, who was a man of ...
— The House of a Thousand Candles • Meredith Nicholson

... was a spare, bony old fellow, in leathern jacket and calzoneros (breeches), with a keen, shrewd eye, that took in our situation at a single glance, and saved the Frenchman a great deal of explanation. Notwithstanding the cordiality with which his friend received him, I noticed that Raoul seemed uneasy about something as he glanced around the room; for the rancho, a small cane structure, ...
— The Rifle Rangers • Captain Mayne Reid

... it is well to possess one's soul in patience. A more unbusinesslike set of people is hard to be found, yet in driving a bargain they are remarkably shrewd, ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... things," which had been the butt of her shrewd old father, had brought upon Anne a customary air of half-readiness, so that going in suddenly, she might be found with her bonnet on and her handkerchief on the table, but one perceived she was still in her petticoat, and was making ...
— Women of the Country • Gertrude Bone

... the doctor who attended to the needs of the people of Mount Pleasant and the surrounding district. Fortunately he was at home. Lucy looked at him closely as he entered the room and took his seat. He was a middle-aged man with a shrewd face, and she at once felt that she ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... remarkable man, Dr. Thomas Cooper, replete with all sorts of knowledge, a living encyclopaedia,—"Multum ille et terris jactatus et alto"—good-tempered, joyous, and of a kindly disposition. There was Judge Nott, who brought into the social circle the keen, shrewd, and flashing intellect which distinguished him on the bench. There was Abram Blanding, a man of affairs, very eminent in his profession of the law, and of most interesting conversation. There was Professor Robert Henry, ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... despised war, and the trade of war, in his heart. To him war showed only in its vulgar, practical, and repulsive features; the soldier was a man who got paid for the {167} trade of killing. Walpole might be likened to a shrewd and sensible steward who is sincerely anxious to manage his master's estate with order and economy, and who, for that very reason, is willing to indulge his master's vices and to sanction his prodigalities ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... they had reached the object of their wishes. Tupia's death, indeed, cannot be said to be owing wholy to the unwholesome air of Batavia; the long want of a Vegetable Diet, which he had all his life before been used to, had brought upon him all the Disorders attending a Sea life. He was a shrewd, sensible, ingenious man, but proud and obstinate, which often made his situation on board both disagreeable to himself and those about him, and tended much to promote the diseases which put a Period to his Life.* (* It is rather ...
— Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World • James Cook

... Johnson's saying that smoking had gone out, said: "The taste for smoking, however, has revived, probably from the military habits of Europe during the French wars; but instead of the sober sedentary pipe, the ambulatory cigar is chiefly used." Croker's shrewd suggestion was probably not far wide of the truth. It is quite likely, if not highly probable, that the revival of smoking in the shape of the cigar was directly connected with the experiences of British officers in Spain and Portugal ...
— The Social History of Smoking • G. L. Apperson

... evils we have enumerated. Publicity, pitiless publicity, alone can lead to redress. These large- scale, impersonal sins must not be so nonchalantly tolerated; instead of applauding and envying the shrewd financier who rakes in unearned profits by clever manipulation, by unscrupulous use of inside information, and disregard of the welfare of workers, competitors, and public, we must brand him as a selfish scoundrel, turn him ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... please," said Chip, "I do not see that the mere finding of this paper in Fotheringham's trunk should fasten suspicion on him. If he was shrewd enough to capture the money, he would certainly not leave such damaging evidence as this paper would be. It seems to me that it would be a very plausible theory to advance, that the real robbers placed this in his trunk to direct suspicion against him. In fact, it was the first thing ...
— Jim Cummings • Frank Pinkerton

... decorum; and what so likely as that such a woman had been deceived in the past? He said to himself, in a mood of the bitterest cynicism: 'The suspicious discreet woman who imagines dark and evil things of all her fellow-creatures is far too shrewd to be deluded by man: trusting beings like Elfride are the women ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... into the dark, shrewd and thin countenance of the little one with a smile of recognition. It was Inez, the little flower-girl, whom she had so fortunately pulled out of ...
— Nan Sherwood's Winter Holidays • Annie Roe Carr

... activity which he enjoyed. And the enjoyment, which she felt, increased her sense of her own value. Conversation ran easily between them. He discovered, what he had already half suspected, that, though not strictly intellectual—often another name for boring—she was far more than merely shrewd. But her mentality seemed to him hard as bronze. And as bronze reflects the light, her mentality seemed to reflect all the cold lights in her nature. But he forgot the stagnant town, the bald-headed man ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... Du Puys, vaguely wondering why the Chevalier wished to see him. His shrewd glance traveled from the Chevalier to Victor, and he saw that ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... freedom." A graduate of Yale, he became a multi-millionaire in the American insurance industry, introducing brilliant innovations within that industry. He also, unlike a few composers, found the time and the money (being a shrewd and practical businessman) to ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... own hand which hangs on the wall of the Collegio dell' arti del Cambio in Perugia, the walls of which are covered with immortal frescoes by him. It is a broad, bluff, open face, with abundance of brain-development, with plenty of shrewd intelligence, and not a little of strong volition—the presentation of a strong, highly-gifted and thoroughly self-radiant character, but the last face in the world to have belonged to a man accustomed to sacrifice much to the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... present manners and opinions, and apparently so impossible, naturally gave rise to objections; and your brother put many shrewd and pertinent questions, which would have silenced a mind less informed and less comprehensive than that ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... Every common, academic conception of such a monk he distinctly negatived. He impressed me, instead, as possessing the ultimate qualities of clever diplomacy—the subtle ambassador of some new Oriental power, shrewd, suave, accomplished. ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... January, "An arrowy and acceptable preacher in the prime of his manhood while his bow abode in strength. Genial critic, shrewd diviner of motive, and ...
— Chronicles of Strathearn • Various

... return. They did not believe her, although they would have been only too glad to do so. And so, when it was known that he had returned, there was a general sigh of relief: there were many who almost believed that their fears had been baseless, and that the Jeannins were much too shrewd not to get out of a hole by admitting that they had fallen into it. The banker's attitude confirmed that impression. Now that he no longer had any doubt as to what he must do, he seemed to be weary, but quite calm. He chatted quietly to a few friends whom he met in the ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... only function in the story was to say that one man saved another man's life. The boy, now a man in middle life, read Hugo's masterpiece a third time. Story and description were now secondary in interest, but the author's deep insight into human nature, his brilliant style and shrewd, kindly philosophy held the old reader more closely than had anything before. So will it be with many of the books in the list. If we are to make friends, let us meet them as early as we can, see them as often as we can, and cling to them as ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... She was shrewd enough to see that the best way to capture Alce was to make herself as unlike her sister as possible. With him she was like a little soft cat, languid and sleek, or else delicately playful. She appealed to his protecting ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

... Ahasuerus to be shrewd in all respects save one. For he desires trivialities. A wise man knows that woman are the sauce and not the meat of life; Ahasuerus, therefore, is not wise. And in consequence I do not lack a handsome bribe for this ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... analytical observer to determine the actualities of her loveliness. Her form was disguised by the droop of exhaustion. Her complexion showed the pallor of sorrowful vigils. Her face was no more than a mask of misery. Yet, the shrewd observer, if a lover of beauty, might have found much for delight, even despite the concealment imposed by her present condition. Thus, the stormy glory of her dark hair, great masses that ran a riot of shining ripples and waves. And the straight line of the nose, ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... did not come, either that day or the next, and on the morning of the next, which was Saturday, feigning some trivial errand to Mrs. Leah, she went herself to Rose Hill, casting anxious glances towards the windows of his room to see if he were in sight. Dame Leah was a shrewd old woman, and readily guessing that Eugenia's visit was prompted from a desire to see her master, rather than herself, she determined to tantalize her by saying nothing of him unless she were questioned. Continually hoping he would appear, Eugenia lingered until there was no longer a shadow ...
— Dora Deane • Mary J. Holmes

... as I believe with the object of diverting and amusing me, for she was a shrewd old soul who knew how important it was that I should be kept in an equable frame of mind at this ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... sky, of a uniform grey, has appeared to be brewing a storm. In spite of the threatened downpour, my neighbour, who is a shrewd weather-prophet, has come out of the cypress-tree and begun to renew her web at the regular hour. Her forecast is correct: it will be a fine night. See, the steaming-pan of the clouds splits open; and, through the apertures, the moon peeps, inquisitively. I too, lantern ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... captains ship their own crews on board the ship, and do away with the system of advances. But, at any rate, do learn to treat the sailor as if he were not altogether a fool. He has sense, plenty of it, shrewd, strong, common sense, and more real gentlemanly feeling than we on shore generally suppose, a good deal of faith, and certain standing principles of sea-morality. But at the same time he has prejudices ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... of sharp bargains and shrewd trading, like Matthew, felt His pull upon their hearts equally with men of pure heart and lofty ideals like Nathanael. By special effort, for a special purpose He drew high-bred, high-strung, scholarly, intense Paul, out of his mad enmity into ...
— Quiet Talks with World Winners • S. D. Gordon

... at the street door Evans stopped again. "Or, I'll tell you what. Make it a simple study of Barker's mind—a sort of psychological interview, and then with what I've been able to get from him we can present the impression that Boston makes upon a young, fresh, shrewd mind. That would be something rather new, wouldn't it? Come! the Afternoon would make it worth your while. And then you could work ...
— The Minister's Charge • William D. Howells

... historical background in so far as it is set in the time of Haraldr the Hard-ruler, King of Norway (1046-66), and Sveinn lfsson, King of Denmark (1047-76), when the two countries were at war (c. 1062- 64). Both monarchs are depicted as generous, magnanimous men, but Audunn was shrewd enough to see which would give the greater reward for his precious bear. For all his generosity, King Haraldr was known to be ruthless and grasping. What the writer had in mind may have been a character-comparison of the two kings and the description of "one of the luckiest of men", about ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... and raised his hat. At the first sight of his face Miss Palliser had a shrewd idea of the cause and ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... am something of a prophet, and I repeat it, you will witness it. . . . Do you know the result of this revolution, for all of you, so long as you remain here?'—'Ah!' exclaims Condorcet with his shrewd, simple air and smile, 'let us see, a philosopher is not sorry to encounter a prophet.'—'You, Monsieur de Condorcet, will expire stretched on the floor of a dungeon; you will die of the poison you ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... and twisting the ends of his small, black, waxed moustache. The second was Purvis, the publican, owner of the chief beer-shop, and well known as the local bookmaker. He was a coarse, clean-shaven man, whose fiery face made a singular contrast with his ivory-white bald head. He had shrewd, light-blue eyes with foxy lashes, and he also leaned forward in silence from his chair, a fat, red hand upon either knee, and stared critically at the young assistant. So did the third visitor, Fawcett, the horse-breaker, who leaned back, his long, thin legs, with their boxcloth ...
— The Green Flag • Arthur Conan Doyle

... her, but she gave him a smack in the face, for she was as strong as he, and he was shrewd enough to beg her pardon; so they sat down side by side and talked amicably. They spoke about the favorable weather, of their master, who was a good fellow, then of their neighbors, of all the ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... lawyers and the land speculators were too shrewd for the pioneer. Colonel Boone was sued; the question went to the courts which he detested, and Boone lost his farm. It was indeed a very hard case. He had penetrated the country when no other white man trod its soil. He discovered its wonderful resources, and proclaimed them to the world. He ...
— Daniel Boone - The Pioneer of Kentucky • John S. C. Abbott

... circumstances became considerably prosperous. He died in 1832, leaving a family. He is remembered as a person of somewhat singular manners, and of undaunted enterprise and decision of character. He was shrewd and well-informed, without much reading; he purchased no books, but was ingenious and successful ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... any sister State in the Northwest, and an undeveloped wealth that will far exceed any one of those named. This is not a random statement, originating in State pride or self-interest, but the simple truth which is slowly being found out by the shrewd among men. We propose to speak of some of the advantages which we possess in the northern half of our lower peninsula, as yet ...
— Old Mackinaw - The Fortress of the Lakes and its Surroundings • W. P. Strickland

... there was a hush, agreeably filled with the fragrance of the delicious fruit: even my uncle Popworth, from long habit, turned off his talk at that suggestive moment: when I did what I thought a shrewd thing. I knew too well my relative's long-windedness at his devotions, as at everything else (I wonder if Heaven itself isn't bored by such fellows!)—I had suffered, I had seen my guests suffer, too ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... forgot to mention the portraits of Luther's father and mother, which are in his cell. They show that his mother was no common woman. She puts me in mind of the mother of Samuel J. Mills—a strong, shrewd, ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... reducing the prerogatives of the nobles had been begun. They had been forbidden to coin money, to maintain armies, and to tax their subjects, and the powers of the king's judges had been extended over all the realm. But the task of consolidating France was reserved for the son of Charles VII, the shrewd and treacherous Louis ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... it," interrupted Mrs. Futvoye, brusquely, while her shrewd, light-grey eyes took him in with a cool stare that was humorously observant without being aggressive. "We heard how shamefully my husband abused your good-nature. Really, it was too bad of him to ask a busy man like you to put aside his work ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... hospitable invitation, requested him to abstract from the dame's house, and lodge within his own until called for, such articles of linen and clothing as belonged to Paul and could easily be laid hold of, during one of the matron's evening siestas, by the shrewd Dunnaker. The merchant promised that the commission should be speedily executed; and Paul, shaking hands with him, proceeded ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... "Thou art a shrewd knave, I see," replied Varney. "Mark me—I do indeed propose to introduce thee into a nobleman's household; but it is upon my person thou wilt chiefly wait, and upon my countenance that thou wilt depend. I am his master of horse. Thou wilt soon know ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... was Marya Dmitrievna Kalitin. Her husband, a shrewd determined man of obstinate bilious temperament, had been dead for ten years. He had been a provincial public prosecutor, noted in his own day as a successful man of business. He had received a fair education and had been to the university; but having been born in narrow circumstances ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... there in the sunless, sweltering heat, reflected on these things. Of course she did not know all the story, but most of it had come under her observation in one way or other, and being shrewd by nature, she could guess the rest, for she who was companionless had much time for reflection and for guessing. She sympathised with her father in his ideas, understanding vaguely that there was ...
— The Ghost Kings • H. Rider Haggard

... of boys may be very shrewd, but it often happens that their parents are a good deal shrewder, a fact which my young readers will do ...
— Two Boys in Wyoming - A Tale of Adventure (Northwest Series, No. 3) • Edward S. Ellis

... face was gloriously radiant, and he was just about to turn around and promise her anything under the sun, when a shrewd expression flashed into his eyes, and composing his countenance, he said, in a somewhat independent, yet nervous tone, as he faced her and adjusted his now disturbing spectacles: "Er—er, Mary, think o' the trouble I'd likely get into if I intrigued for the maister ...
— A Lover in Homespun - And Other Stories • F. Clifford Smith

... must be the most trustworthy man of his kind in the country; and so set forth early this morning to seek him,—a tedious, long journey, and the roads exceedingly foul. By good luck I found Mr. Pearson at home,—a very civil, shrewd man, as I think. Having laid my business before him, he tells me there will be no difficulty in dividing the estate according to the wish of Mr. Godwin and Moll, which may be done by a simple deed of agreement; and this he ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... Jamaica, the theatre of accumulated miseries, both moral and physical, they set sail for Hispaniola. Arrived in harbour, after a prosperous voyage, Columbus, to his no small surprise, found himself at first received with much respect, the governor Ovando, as a shrewd man not willing to go against public opinion, doing him honour. But this happy temper did not last. Soon the quarrels recommenced, and then Columbus, unable as well as unwilling to hear more, humiliated, and even maltreated, freighted two ships, of which he shared the command with ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... nature which it passed the wit of man—Eskimo man at least—to unravel. A few of these, like the watch, had some light thrown on them by Nazinred, who had either seen something like them in use among the fur-traders, or whose sagacity led him to make a shrewd occasional guess. ...
— The Walrus Hunters - A Romance of the Realms of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... dome-like forehead, his little, dark grey eyes, and an immense white moustache, which drooped and spread below the level of his strong jaw, he had a patriarchal look, and in spite of lean cheeks and hollows at his temples, seemed master of perennial youth. He held himself extremely upright, and his shrewd, steady eyes had lost none of their clear shining. Thus he gave an impression of superiority to the doubts and dislikes of smaller men. Having had his own way for innumerable years, he had earned a prescriptive right to it. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... and assume the air of conquerors. As the Igorots drove the Negritos to the forest and thence to the wild interior, so the Moros drove the Igorots. They are largely pure Malay, warlike and cruel, but shrewd and capable of culture. They assume an over-lordship over all other tribes and their Dattos ...
— The Boy With the U.S. Census • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... approval of Freewill, who, however, takes the opportunity to ask after Imagination's father in such unmannerly terms as at once to rouse his friend's quick temper. In a moment a quarrel is assured, nor does Hick Scorner's attempted mediation produce any other reward than a shrewd blow on the head. At this precise instant, however, old Pity, who has remained unnoticed, and who is unwarned by the fate of Hick Scorner, pushes forward with an idea of intervention. As might have been foreseen, the three rascals promptly unite in rounding upon him. They ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... concern! How it takes at once both the joy out of holiness and the spirit out of human effort! It is as dreary as the professional sympathy of the secluded student for the news of athletic contests, as the tolerance of the shrewd man of science for the ...
— The Child of the Dawn • Arthur Christopher Benson

... and meant to stick to him, but although rash and extravagant, he was sometimes shrewd, and admitted that there might perhaps be some ground for Dick's suspicions. He was entitled to lose his own money, but he must run no risk of injuring his father's business. However, since Kenwardine had a share in the coaling wharf, he would learn that they had been to Adexe, and to try to ...
— Brandon of the Engineers • Harold Bindloss

... squarely upon the hearth, was beset by the desire to kick Master Kenneth, or Master Jocelyn, into the street. His lip curled into a sneer of ineffable contempt, for his shrewd eyes read to the bottom of the lad's mean soul and saw there clearly writ the confidence that emboldened him to voice that insult to the man he must know for his father. Standing there, he compared the two, marvelling deeply how they came to be father ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... long time to prepare that package. Mr. Meyrick, a cool, shrewd man of the world, was taking a mental inventory of me, I felt all the time. I was conscious that I talked incoherently and like a school-boy of the treaty. Every American in London was bound to have his special opinion thereupon, and Meyrick, I found, was of the English party. Then ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... shrewd enough to turn what some persons might call his ill fortune, in one way, into gain in another. He was one of those happily constituted, thrifty philosophers who hold that even misfortune should ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... came near Quisante himself, Jimmy Benyon seized on her and introduced her to Aunt Maria. In reply to politely expressed phrases of concern the old lady's shrewd ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... real underlying cause, I am in grave doubts, Carnes, although I can make a pretty shrewd guess. As to the reason for the unnatural lengthening of the day, the explanation is simplicity itself. As you doubtless know, the earth revolves daily on its axis. At the same time, it is moving in a great ellipse about ...
— The Solar Magnet • Sterner St. Paul Meek

... patches, till she gained a hold of them and made herself their master by main force of personality. Monsieur Vaucher, the manager, was still a connoisseur of art. Years of feeling the public pulse through the box-office had not stripped him of a certain shrewd perception of what was fine and what was mean in drama; and he chuckled and wagged his head in the wings as minute by minute the spell of Truda's genius strengthened, till there came that tenseness of silence in the great theatre which few actors live to know, ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... the ex-magistrate, celebrated for his shrewd judicial humour, which, however, he had the good sense not to attempt to carry into private life. Although well on the wrong side of seventy, his eyes were still disconcertingly bright. With the selective skill of an old man, he immediately ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... stood silently there, the lordly maple seemed to reach out its great branches over their young united heads and beam its happy benediction. The ubiquitous squirrels appeared to know that something unusual was taking place. They cocked their shrewd little heads in a listening attitude, stared impudently, and then sent the news abroad to their feathered and furry comrades of the forest. Of all this, however, the lovers were unconscious, so lost were they ...
— The King's Arrow - A Tale of the United Empire Loyalists • H. A. Cody

... thinks 'twas a great thing for our family to have a family like theirs next place to. Well—so 'twas, for we've had no time for the things their family was brought up on. Old Mrs Fejevary (with her shrewd smile)—she weren't stuck up—but she did have an awful ladylike way of feeding the chickens. Silas thinks—oh, my son has all kinds of notions—though a harder worker never found his bed ...
— Plays • Susan Glaspell

... support, by which disposition the strength of the Bengal marching force was cut down to about 9500 fighting men. After its junction with the Bombay column, the army would be 14,500 strong, without reckoning the Shah's contingent. There was an interlude at Ferozepore of reviews and high jinks with the shrewd, debauched old Runjeet Singh; of which proceedings Havelock in his narrative of the expedition gives a detailed account, dwelling with extreme disapprobation on Runjeet's addiction to a 'pet tipple' strong enough to lay out the hardest drinker ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... King's who had behaved well at Eton, and held it till 1816. A witty companion, with "a dry caustic manner, and an irresistible stammer" ('Life of Rev, F. Hodgson', vol. i. p. 204), Davies was, during the Regency and afterwards, a popular member of fashionable society. A daring gambler and shrewd calculator, he at one time won heavily at the gaming-tables. On June 10, 1814, as he told Hobhouse, he won L6065 at Watier's Club at Macao. Captain Cronow, in his 'Reminiscences' (ed. 1860, vol. i. pp. 93-96), sketches him among "Golden Ball" Hughes, "King" Allen, ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... two gray eyes rayed with green lines starting from the pupils, and speckled with brown spots,—two implacable eyes, full of resolution, rectitude, and shrewd calculation. Graslin's nose was short and turned up; he had a mouth with thick lips, a prominent forehead, and high cheek-bones, coarse ears with large edges discolored by the condition of his blood,—in short, he was an ancient satyr in a black satin waistcoat, ...
— The Village Rector • Honore de Balzac

... country and its language. There were few to care for their souls. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was promptly in the field, with its diligent missionaries and its ignoble policy of doing the work of Christ and humanity with a shrewd eye to the main chance of making proselytes to its party.[140:1] With a tardiness which it is difficult not to speak of as characteristic, after the lapse of twenty-one years the classis of Amsterdam recognized its responsibility for this multitude ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... The Spider glanced at one another. Evidently Pete was more shrewd than they had suspected. And evidently he ...
— The Ridin' Kid from Powder River • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... times when he had met her at balls. Mrs. Miller said to herself that Sir John, not being a very young man, did not set much store upon mere personal beauty; that he probably valued mental qualities in a woman more highly than the transient glitter of beauty; and that Beatrice's good sense and sharp, shrewd conversation had evidently made a favourable ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... it," he said. "But do you like it?" he put in, with a shrewd gleam in his eyes, which could be keen as well as brilliant and genial. "I fancy you think it too fine—eh, Stafford?" He laid his hand on Stafford's knee with a somewhat appealing gesture and glance. ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... Tories; but take her on her own politics, ask her about other men or women and the chicanery of everyday existence - the rubs, the tricks, the vanities on which life turns - and you will not find many more shrewd, trenchant, and humorous. Nay, to make plainer what I have in mind, this same woman has a share of the higher and more poetical understanding, frank interest in things for their own sake, and enduring astonishment ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and main-top-bowlines and poop-down-hauls in a manner that, to put it mildly, is confusing, and would, if you read it, make you jump as if all your strings were pulled at once! Are financial matters under discussion—behold even JAMES FISK, Jr., is not so keen and shrewd, nor Commodore VANDERBILT so full of "corners." And only the other day, it discussed the Medical Convention which lately met here, and lo! we are amazed by the amount of knowledge displayed by the omniscient journal! In a ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 14, July 2, 1870 • Various

... woman of some education, while Mistress Kent had been to France and Holland, and could both write and speak French. Patty's advantages had been rather limited, but she was quick and shrewd and made the most of them, though the feeling between her and Janice Kent rather amused Madam Wetherill. Janice was always trying to "set her down in her proper place," but what that was exactly it would have been hard to tell. Janice ...
— A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... Adelaide that Florian thought: of the tall, impulsive, and yet timid, fair girl who was both shrewd and innocent, and of her tenderly colored loveliness, and of his abysmally unmerited felicity in having won her. Why, but what, he reflected, grimacing—what if he had too hastily married somebody else? For he ...
— The Line of Love - Dizain des Mariages • James Branch Cabell

... his harsh experience had deprived him of all faith in man or woman. He had made up his mind upon the numberless complexities of the social world, and the whole system with him was an imposture. This conviction gave a direction to his shrewd and naturally unamiable character. Still, though he regarded society as composed altogether of villains, the sharpness of his intellect was not of that kind which enabled him to cope with villany, while it continually caused him by overshots to fail of the success ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... not always see eye to eye with her spouse in respect of his female parishioners, more particularly, perhaps, the unmarried ones. Mrs. Horniblow loved, honoured, and—within reasonable limits—obeyed her James; but this neither prevented her being shrewd, nor knowing her James, after all, to be human. Remembrance of Theresa, heading the Deadham procession during the inspection of Harchester Cathedral, sandwiched in between him and the Dean, still rankled in her ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... that Tam Armstrong was not asleep, but was listening and watching with his keen gray eyes under their grizzled brows. Presently, when Ulysse was dropping to sleep again, the ex-merchant began to ask questions with the intelligence of his shrewd Scottish brains. ...
— A Modern Telemachus • Charlotte M. Yonge

... vulgar cares That belong to common household affairs— Nocturnal annoyances such as theirs, Who lie with a shrewd surmising, That while they are couchant (a bitter cup!) Their bread and butter are getting up, And the coals, confound ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... morning the troop transport stopped for refreshments at the French village of X, and here a funny phenomenon was witnessed. From all sides the shrewd inhabitants of the village came running, scores of them, with bottles of wine. The laughing German soldiers got out and, negotiating over a picket fence, returned with the refreshments while the inhabitants made off with German coin. I saw bottles of champagne ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... comparison with the river of that precious metal, soon to flow into his coffers. But alas! the goddess, being blind, not only failed to discern his peculiar claims upon her regard, but was cheated herself! A shrewd Virginian dreamed the ticket which drew the hundred thousand dollars, into his own pocket; the manager failed, and thereby turned all the prizes into blanks;—and Mr. Daniel Wheelwright found himself flat on his back, at the bottom ...
— Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman • William L. Stone



Words linked to "Shrewd" :   conniving, smart, hard



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