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Discreet   Listen
adjective
Discreet  adj.  (compar. discreeter; superl. discreetest)  
1.
Possessed of discernment, especially in avoiding error or evil, and in the adaptation of means to ends; prudent; sagacious; judicious; not rash or heedless; cautious. "It is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to society." "Satire 's my weapon, but I 'm too discreet To run amuck, and tilt at all I meet." "The sea is silent, the sea is discreet."
2.
Differing; distinct. (Obs.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Discreet" Quotes from Famous Books



... the respectable farmers and young men of the country, of tried patriotism, fidelity, and courage. These also served as aids and confidential persons for the transmission of orders. To this corps I attached myself as a volunteer, but did not receive pay. He employed discreet and faithful persons, living near the enemy's lines, to watch their motions, and give him immediate intelligence. He employed mounted videttes for the same purpose, directing two of them to proceed together, so that one might be despatched, ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... would, under such circumstances, assume a serious character; and no open fight would ensue except under exceptional conditions and in the event of grave and essential differences of opinion. Moreover, the state could make them still less likely to happen by a policy of discreet supervision. Through the passage of a law similar to the one recently enacted in the Dominion of Canada, it could assure the employers and the public that no strike would take place until every effort had been made to reach ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... a clear line can be drawn between them; criticism does not hope to be mathematically exact. But everybody sees the diversity between the talkative, confidential manner of Thackeray and the severe, discreet, anonymous manner—of whom shall I say?—of Maupassant, for a good example, in many of his stories. It is not only the difference between the personal qualities of the two men, which indeed are also as ...
— The Craft of Fiction • Percy Lubbock

... and figures. As a word-artist, possibly he was not the equal of Dante, but as a man, an educated man, sane and useful, he far surpasses Dante. He met princes, popes and kings as equals. He was at home in every phase of society; his creations were greater than his poems; and as a diplomat, wise, discreet, sincere, loyal to his own, he was almost the equal of ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... the old Spanish chronicles, permitted a marvellous intimation of the wrath with which it intended to visit the monarch and his people, in punishment of their sins; nor are we, say the same orthodox writers, to startle, and withhold our faith, when we meet in the page of discreet and sober history with these signs and portents, which transcend the probabilities of ordinary life; for the revolutions of empires and the downfall of mighty kings are awful events, that shake the physical as well as the moral world, and are often announced by forerunning marvels and prodigious ...
— Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, March 1844 - Volume 23, Number 3 • Various

... public, ought in prudence to be previously submitted to these ministers, in order to avoid disputes and troublesome and humiliating explanations. If the principle be submitted to, neither dignity nor independence is left to the nation. To submit even to a discreet exercise of such a privilege would be troublesome and degrading, and the inevitable abuse of it could not be borne. It must therefore be resisted at the threshold, and its entrance forbidden into the sanctuary of domestic consultations. But whatever may be ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 3: Andrew Jackson (Second Term) • James D. Richardson

... extremely obliged to you, Mr. Manderton," she said, "for the able and discreet way in which you have handled this case. I sometimes meet the Chief Commissioner at dinner. I shall write to Sir Maurice ...
— The Yellow Streak • Williams, Valentine

... combatants narrowed. A few discreet exclamations of admiration greeted Droulde's most successful parry. De Marny was getting more and more excited, the older man more ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... James Street, Marcella had met in discreet succession a few admiring and curious persons, and had tasted some of the smaller sweets of fame. But the magnet that drew her to the Lanes' house had been no craving for notoriety; at the present moment she was totally indifferent to what perhaps ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... war is to be found in the wrath of the Germans, who, at the time we write, have assumed a very hostile attitude towards France, and wish to be led from Berlin; but the government of Prussia is discreet, and will not be easily induced to incur the positive loss and probable disgrace that would follow from a Russian invasion, like that which took place in 1759. As to England, the Emperor would be mad to attempt her conquest; and he knows too well what is ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... you,—having you perfectly, knowing you perfectly everywhere, everyhow, near, far, in the sunshine, in the dark!" And when a man wants to talk like that "how-do-you-do" is as good a catchphrase as the next to keep his tongue discreet. ...
— Sally of Missouri • R. E. Young

... are a good child, and I have always trusted you. I am sure you mean no harm. But you must be more discreet. I have just heard that you and that young man are looked upon as engaged lovers. They say it is all over the village. Of course a father is the last to hear these things. Does ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... cowboys knew the Ramblin' Kid was in one of his "moods," and experience had taught them that at such times argument was neither discreet nor safe. The thing they did not know was that his heart was torn by memory of the agony of Old Blue in the quicksand and his mind tortured by the picture of dumb suffering a bullet from his own gun had, that ...
— The Ramblin' Kid • Earl Wayland Bowman

... between the old superstition and Christianity, and to imagine that Christ had enjoined the very same thing which had long been represented by the pagan priests under the envelope of their ceremonies and fables. Of these views were Ammianus Marcellinus, a very prudent and discreet man; Chalcidius, a philosopher; Themistius, a very celebrated orator, and others, who conceived that both religions were in unison, as to all the more important points, if they were rightly understood, and therefore held that Christ was neither to be contemned nor ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 • Various

... much, as she was larger than the Charles, in which we came over. We bespoke a berth in the gunner's room, on the starboard side. The ship was said to be a good sailer, and the captain to be one of the most discreet navigators of this country. All that was agreeable to us. In the evening Ephraim's wife's sister and her husband called upon us, but they were not much in a state to be spoken to, in regard to what was most necessary for them, nor ...
— Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680 • Jasper Danckaerts

... see a fond Admirer of Company, and a discreet Lover of himself, who would enjoy as much of the World as is possible, without forfeiting the good Opinion of it: And a rich Man, of an even Temper, might perform all this in a Christian Country, from no better Principles than Pride and worldly Prudence, tho' he had very ...
— A Letter to Dion • Bernard Mandeville

... his own feelings about himself at that triumphant moment? Fain would his dogs have known, as breathing heavily and wiping their cutlasses, they gathered at a discreet distance from his hook, and squinted through their ferret eyes at this extraordinary man. Elation must have been in his heart, but his face did not reflect it: ever a dark and solitary enigma, he stood aloof from his followers ...
— Peter and Wendy • James Matthew Barrie

... sheet of paper is almost nothing, velvet is a downy, discreet material, but, no matter, these precautions are in vain. The male devil is fairly matched by the female devil: Tophet will furnish them of all genders. Caroline has Mephistopheles on her side, the demon who causes tables to spurt forth fire, and who, with his ironic finger points ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... is just sixteen gone; one of the prettiest lads and sprightliest; his homage, clearly enough, is not disagreeable to the baggage. Wherefore jealous August, the Beelzebub-Parent, takes his measures; signifies to Fritz, in direct terms, or by discreet diplomatic hints and innuendoes, That he can have the Cabinet Venus (Formera her name, of Opera-singer kind);—hoping thereby that the Orzelska will be left alone in time coming. A "facon assez singuliere" for a Sovereign Majesty and Beelzebub Parent-Lover, ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. VI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... night, when she had a theatre party, she understood that some young married woman was along. But Molly's a fool. What on earth am I to do with Janet? There were no such girls in my young days. Some of them were bad uns, but as discreet as you make 'em. Didn't disgrace their families. Some of them used to drink, right enough, but they were as smooth as silk in public, and went to a sanitarium to sober up when it got the best of 'em. But these girls appear to be about as discreet as street-walkers. You ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... laurel for Apollo; myrtle for Aphrodite (and is not the Love-Goddess the favorite?). To have a social gathering without garlands, in short, is impossible. The flower girls of Athens are beautiful, impudent, and not at all prudish. Around their booths press bold-tongued youths, and not too discreet sires; and the girls can call everybody familiarly by name. Very possibly along with the sale of the garlands they make arrangements (if the banquet is to be of the less respectable kind) to be present in the evening themselves, perhaps in the capacity ...
— A Day In Old Athens • William Stearns Davis

... dear," said more than one discreet matron to her daughter, as they attired themselves,—"I would much prefer that you would remain near me during the earlier part of the evening, before we know how this young lady may turn out. Let your manner toward her be kind, but not familiar. ...
— A Fair Barbarian • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... Quentin did not speak much of Lady Channice. He early saw that he would need to be discreet. One day at Lady Elliston's her beauty was in question and someone said that she was too pale and too impassive; and at that Quentin, smiling a little fiercely, remarked that she was as pale as a cowslip and as impassive as a young Madonna; the words ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... the rest of the day he was decidedly absent-minded and thoughtful. Angela forebore to question him, but she saw that something lay upon his mind, and she became anxious to hear what it was. Mr. Fane preserved a discreet silence. It was not until after dinner that Rupert seemed to awake to a consciousness of his unwonted ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... for a HOUSE-KEEPER, A Discreet elderly WOMAN that can be well recommended, who understands dressing victuals, and the oeconomy of a large family where there are no children.—Such a person will meet with good encouragement, by applying to MEIN ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements • Henry M. Brooks

... who came in or went out was watched by the outlying sentries. 'Twas lucky that we had a gate which their Worships knew nothing about. My lord and Father Holt must have made constant journeys at night: once or twice little Harry acted as their messenger and discreet little aide-de-camp. He remembers he was bidden to go into the village with his fishing-rod, enter certain houses, ask for a drink of water, and tell the good man, "There would be a horse-market at Newbury next Thursday," and so carry the same ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... summer nights, on balconies, in their vague, loose, white garments,—men are not balcony sitters,—with their sleeping children within easy hearing, the stars breaking the cool darkness, or the moon making a show of light—oh, such a discreet show of light!—through the vines. And the children inside, waking to go from one sleep into another, hear the low, soft mother-voices on the balcony, talking about this person and that, old times, old friends, old experiences; and it seems to them, hovering a moment in ...
— Balcony Stories • Grace E. King

... somewhat roughly. There was no use in getting excited, he had advised calmly; there were other ways of taking care of this young man. Whereupon they had shut him inside the vault while they discussed the matter of his discreet disposal. ...
— Every Man for Himself • Hopkins Moorhouse

... he, "a discreet officer would not trouble the gentleman any more, and would be very careful not to mention that he had made such a silly mistake. Indeed, if questioned, he would answer without hesitation that he hadn't seen anybody even like the king, much ...
— Rupert of Hentzau - From The Memoirs of Fritz Von Tarlenheim: The Sequel to - The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... such. These are the feelings rather than the opinions of the most Protestant of Irish Protestants, and it is intelligible that they should have been produced by the close vicinity of Roman Catholic worship in the minds of men who are energetic and excitable, but not always discreet or argumentative. ...
— Castle Richmond • Anthony Trollope

... down to a tailor's bodkin. Therefore, the gloom is to be charged to my bad luck. Then, as to the noise, never did I sleep at that enormous Hen and Chickens [2] to which usually my destiny brought me, but I had reason to complain that the discreet hen did not gather her vagrant flock to roost at less variable hours. Till two or three, I was kept waking by those who were retiring; and about three commenced the morning functions of the porter, or of "boots," or of "underboots," ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... with a tirade against female follies in these words: "It were a good deed to tell men also of mealing their heads and shoulders, of wearing fardingales about their legs, etc.; for these likewise deserve the rod, since all that are discreet do but hate and scorn them for it." A Loyal Litany ...
— At the Sign of the Barber's Pole - Studies In Hirsute History • William Andrews

... Indian corn was surreptitiously snapped at the head of an unwary neighbor, and many a sly word was whispered and many a furtive but audible "snicker" elicited when the dread tithingman was "having an eye-out" and administering "discreet ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... chance that a specialist, a professional, might find traces of Ruth where Bonbright's untrained eyes missed them altogether. So, convinced that he could do nothing, that he did not in the least know how to go about the search, he retained a firm of discreet, well-recommended searchers for missing persons. With that he had to be content. He still searched, but it was because he had to search; he had to feel that he was trying, doing something, but no one realized the uselessness of it more than himself. ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... undeniably a handsome woman. As they sat over the remains of their dinner,—a deux, by the Duke's request,—she seemed to her husband quite incredibly beautiful. She exhaled the effects of a water-color in discreet and delicate tinctures. Lithe and fine and proud she was to the merest glance; yet patience, a thought conscious of itself, beaconed in her eyes, and she appeared, with urbanity, to regard life as, upon the whole, a countrified performance. De Puysange ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... army was ready for battle, the King again addressed them saying: "O young men, an ambassador must be sent to the cat, one who is able, discreet, and eloquent." Then they all shouted: "The King's orders shall be carried out! Upon our ...
— The Cat and the Mouse - A Book of Persian Fairy Tales • Hartwell James

... succeeded his frivolous earthly passion, and a desire to explore and develop unknown fastnesses continually possessed him. In his flashing eye and sombre exterior was detected a singular commingling of the discreet Las Casas ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 • Various

... long road. That day when I first heard of Bill Purdy I was going to the tavern hoping to meet Macandrew, Chief of the Medea. His ship was in again. But there was nobody about. There was nothing in sight but the walls, old, sad, and discreet, of the yards where ships are repaired. The dock warehouses opposite the tavern offered me their high backs in a severer and apparently an endless obduracy. The Negro Boy, as usual, was lost and forlorn, but resigned ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... Gertie in the presence of the discerning compatriots, as she was at first inclined to do, she made it a point to be seen with her, championing the sisterhood of loneliness. There were moments when this association might not have been discreet; but they were also moments in which—so it seemed to Edith—discretion was not a part of valor. Once or twice she accompanied her friend to Nice; once or twice to Monte Carlo. On each of these occasions she found herself ...
— The Letter of the Contract • Basil King

... The discreet Norgate retreated silently; and ten minutes later Leroy started for his morning canter in the Row. Here, meeting and chatting with his numerous friends, the morning passed quickly enough; and when Leroy returned to his chambers again, Norgate was putting the finishing ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... privilege and pickings under the table, and were jealous and overbearing as became a captain's favorites, snubbing and bullying their more accomplished and versatile guests, the circus dogs, with skipper-like growls and snarls and snaps. And there was our own true Bessy,—a Newfoundland, great and good,—discreet, reposeful, dignified, fastidious, not to be cajoled into confidences and familiarities with strange dogs, whether official or professional. Very human was her gentle countenance, and very loyal, I doubt not, her sense of ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... be given. I have quoted an example in speaking of George Pelham, when James Howard asked him to tell something which only they two knew. George Pelham, preparing to do so, begins by asking Dr Hodgson to leave the room. How oddly discreet for secondary personalities! On other occasions certain persons are asked to go out temporarily, because, say the controls, "You have relations and friends who want very much to communicate with you, ...
— Mrs. Piper & the Society for Psychical Research • Michael Sage

... notes unto the voice attempered sweet; The angelical soft trembling voices made To the instruments divine respondence mete; The silver-sounding instruments did meet With the base murmur of the water's fall; The water's fall with difference discreet, Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call; The gentle warbling wind ...
— Among My Books • James Russell Lowell

... whereas she used to be, I may almost say, the favorite of the school. She scarcely speaks to any one now. When she walks she walks alone. Even her dear little sisters are anxious about her; I can see it, although they are far too discreet to say a word. Poor Betty's little face seems to me to grow paler every day, and her eyes more pathetic. Mrs. Haddo, can you not ...
— Betty Vivian - A Story of Haddo Court School • L. T. Meade

... important business, the safe progress of which would be interrupted, and the whole large result endangered, were your father to know of my visit at Woodbine Lodge at a time when he thought me hundreds of miles distant. So, for his sake, as well as my own, be discreet for a brief period. I will not long permit this burden of secrecy to lie upon your dear young heart—oh no! I could not be so unjust to you. Your truest, best, wisest counsellor is your mother, and she should know all that is in your heart. Keep your secret ...
— The Good Time Coming • T. S. Arthur

... Myrtle in the name of Clement Lindsay. Since the adventure which had brought these two young persons together, and, after coming so near a disaster, had ended in a mere humiliation and disappointment, and but for Master Gridley's discreet kindness might have led to foolish scandal, Myrtle had never referred to it in any way. Nobody really knew what her plans had been except Olive and Cyprian, who had observed a very kind silence about the whole matter. The common version of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... most discreet, Who left us ignorant to spare us pain: We went our ways with too forgetful feet And missed the chance that would not come again, Leaving with thoughts on pleasure bent, or gain, Fidelity unattested And services unrendered: ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... laughed. "If the emperor were to hear you, he would take lodgings with someone more discreet than yourself. He travels ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... d'Anquetil. "That damned monk makes her believe any imbecility he chooses to dish her up. Thieves would be more polite, or at least more discreet. I rather think it is ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... Catesby. "Good Mr Percy, you miss the cushion [make a mistake]. A good tale, well tinkered, should serve that companion, and draw silver from his pockets any day. What we lack is two or three men of good estate, and of fit conditions and discreet years, that may safely be sworn—and I think I know where ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... destined to reach this ultimate stage on the present occasion. With a preliminary cough—for the discreet Smith was well versed in his master's peculiarities—his servant announced the appearance of the Earl ...
— The Albert Gate Mystery - Being Further Adventures of Reginald Brett, Barrister Detective • Louis Tracy

... absorbed in your own affairs to think about mine, missy," I said. "Now, will you be modest and grateful for the rest of your life, since you see that my Mr. Winthrop has brought your young man to St. Thomas in a discreet manner that you never could have achieved by yourself? Take me to your sister, Clive; I want her to know without a moment's delay how I appreciate ...
— Ladies-In-Waiting • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... listen to that lewd reviler; I wager ten groats I prove him to be wrong in his scent. Joseph Carnaby is righteous and discreet." ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... working at the Racket store, helping to support her folks. They've had sickness, and the girl doesn't get big wages. So mother asked me to look her up. Mother can't get about very easily, you know, and since I'm studying medicine she seems to think I'm the original Mr. Fix-It. I made a few discreet inquiries, discreet, that is, for me, and can you guess who that girl is? You can't, I know. Well, she's Alma Wetherell, and that's the identical girl who gave me such a dressing down one day at the Cartwright Institute four years ago. Remember? Say, J.W., that day she told me so ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... with the Prime Minister, Count Pievepelago, a small feeble mannikin covered with gold lace and orders. The deference with which the latter followed the Dominican's discourse excited Odo's attention; but it was soon diverted by the approach of a lady who joined herself to the group with an air of discreet familiarity. Though no longer young, she was still slender and graceful, and her languid eye and vapourish manner seemed to Odo to veil an uncommon alertness of perception. The rich sobriety of her ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... too discreet to put his question directly to Saxon, yet dividing it between her and Billy, and cocking his eye at ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... the kind is quite likely," drawled Sir Lucien, "if you draw attention to our presence in the neighborhood so deliberately. Walk ahead, Kilfane, with Mollie. Rita and I will follow at a discreet ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... the intended voyage to Guiana. This warrant, although Raleigh used it to leave his confinement, was only provisional; and was confirmed by a minute of the Privy Council on March 19. Raleigh took a house in Broad Street, where he spent fourteen months in discreet retirement, and then ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... fact, I wrote a letter to the librarian, the day after my visit, proposing to give 2000 florins in specie for the volumes above described. My request was answered by the following polite, and certainly most discreet and commendable reply: "D....Domine! Litteris a Te 15. Sept. scriptis et 16 Sept. a me receptis, de Tuo desiderio nonnullos bibliothecae nostrae libros pro pecunia acquirendi, me certiorem reddidisti; ast mihi respondendum venit, quod tuis votis obtemperare non possim. Copia ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... a discreet eye on the crew. Drunks, rich men or Arabian millionaires were all familiar. But a group out of the Sixteenth Century was ...
— Brain Twister • Gordon Randall Garrett

... pictures and ruffled lace and calico hangings? It's worth your while to think it over, and then to summon Mrs. Opdyke to think it over with you. We men want space, not gimcracks. But, about his temper, do be discreet and forget that I told tales. I supposed of course you knew it, knew it was bound to come out now and then. He's got to have some sort of escape valve; now all the more, since your father has shut down upon his smoking. Really, Olive, that was beastly mean of ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... detective is wanted at once at The Evergreens. He can not be too clever or too discreet. A valuable jewel has been lost, which must be found before the guests disperse for home. Large reward if the matter ends successfully ...
— The House in the Mist • Anna Katharine Green

... perfect. By great good fortune I have found a housekeeper no less to my mind, a low-voiced, light-footed woman of discreet age, strong and deft enough to render me all the service I require, and not afraid of solitude. She rises very early. By my breakfast-time there remains little to be done under the roof save dressing of meals. Very rarely do I hear even a clink of ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... capable of philosophy at all (and there are not many such) is a born Platonist or a born Aristotelian. [9] Hooker, as may be discerned from the epithet of arch-philosopher applied to the Stagyrite, 'sensu monarchico', was of the latter family,—a comprehensive, vigorous, discreet, and discretive conceptualist,—but ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... graced, So musical and fair and wise, That while one captivates the mind, One works her witcheries with the wind, And one, the fairest, charms our eyes. The one who sings, it seems a duty, Trusting her sweet voice, to think sweet, The one who reads, to deem discreet, The third, we judge but by her beauty: And so I fear by act or word To wrong the three by judging ill, Of one her charms, of one her skill, And the intelligence of the third. For to choose one does wrong to two, But if I so presumed to dare . ...
— The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria - A Drama of Early Christian Rome • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... see! still young art thou, Art not discreet enough, I trow, Thou dost thy matters ill; Let this in confidence be said: Since thou the path of shame dost tread, Tread ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... that little, daily littles (for whoso despiseth little things shall fall by little and little), she had fallen into such a habit as greedily to drink off her little cup brim-full almost of wine. Where was then that discreet old woman, and that her earnest countermanding? Would aught avail against a secret disease, if Thy healing hand, O Lord, watched not over us? Father, mother, and governors absent, Thou present, who createdst, who callest, who also by those set over us, workest something towards ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... in so much that according to our weake accustomed dispositions (which euer loues strange things best) it was held so worthy, both for generall profit and perticular ease, that very fein (except the discreet) but did not alone put it in practise, but did euen ground strong beleifes to raise to themselues great common-wealthes by the profits thereof; some not onely holding insufficient arguments, in great places, of the invtilitie of the ...
— The English Husbandman • Gervase Markham

... getting dark, and ladies in morning costumes were thinking that if they were to appear by candle-light they ought to readjust themselves. Some young gentlemen had been heard to talk so loud that prudent mammas determined to retire judiciously, and the more discreet of the male sex, whose libation had been moderate, felt that there was not much more left ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... general society. She had been so used at one time to be accosted and to accost without thinking of the ceremony of an introduction, that she probably forgot the absence of it in the present case, more than another equally discreet girl ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... which the artificers of old Hellas contrived to impress upon every one of the rare surviving bronzes of its period. It was perhaps the finest of the whole group. No wonder the statue had created wild excitement among the few, the very few, discreet amateurs who had been permitted to inspect the relic prior to its clandestine departure from the country. And much as they might deplore the fact that it was probably going to adorn the museum of Mr. Cornelius van Koppen, ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... you who seek to give and merit fame, And justly bear a Critic's noble name, Be sure yourself and your own reach to know, How far your genius, taste, and learning go; Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet, 50 And mark that point where sense ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... careful father, and a more discreet and affectionate mother, than Mr. Washington and his wife Mary, perhaps never lived. So earnest and watchful were they to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord, and in the practice of every noble virtue, that their ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... to add this as an after-thought, and the faintest smile curled Monsieur Urbain's lips as he heard her. "No danger, dear Comtesse," he felt inclined to say. "My boy's heart is in the woods and fields—and he is discreet, too. You might even trust him for five minutes with that ...
— Angelot - A Story of the First Empire • Eleanor Price

... insanity, he was so overwhelmed with mortification and horror that he threatened to destroy himself. Satisfied that he was more 'sinned against, than sinning,' I yet endeavoured to deal justly with the unprincipled authors of the stain upon my family, and employed a discreet agent to negotiate with them, and to try to effect some compromise. The old woman went out to California; the young one refused all overtures, and for a time disappeared, but, as I am reliably ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... "that some of our own precisians have been spinning this coil for us over there, and if the civil authority can be thus countermined, things will go as in Flanders in your time. Pray continue to be observant, discreet, and moderate." ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... or two discreet glances at Thyrza. As she did so her smile subdued itself a little; a grave thought seemed to pass through her mind. She at once gave an order to the coachman in compliance ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... intercepted the fire, remarked that he looked very tired, and rang for some tea. She made no inquiry about his affairs, never asked if he had been busy and prosperous; and this reticence struck him as unexpectedly delicate and discreet; it was as if she had guessed, by a subtle feminine faculty, that his professional career was nothing to boast of. There was a simplicity in him which permitted him to wonder whether she had not improved. The lamp-light was soft, the fire crackled pleasantly, everything that surrounded him betrayed ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... and other liberal studies and pursuits. He is sobered, but not overpowered or oppressed by the new responsibilities cast upon him. He suffers himself to be—as he ever has been—natural. Moderate, discreet, and wise in all things as he has been in the past and is in the present, he is conspicuously one who grows wiser each day that ...
— The Life, Public Services and Select Speeches of Rutherford B. Hayes • James Quay Howard

... a while in silence. As Rene lifted his mistress in his arms to carry her over the licking hissing foam, she resumed: "It is well, Rene, you are discreet, but I am not such a fool as people seem to think. As for her, you were right in thinking that she might easily be frightened. She was afraid even to ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... a card to Mr. Allen, that I might have a discreet friend at hand, to act as occasion should require. In penning this note, I had some difficulty; my hand, I knew not how nor why, made wrong letters. I then wrote to Dr. Taylor to come to me, and bring Dr. Heberden; and I sent to Dr. Brocklesby, who is my neighbour. My physicians are very friendly, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... was discreet; and it was no business of his.... But it was certainly in his mind to say that Esteban need not have been the robber, nor Manvers' portmanteau the booty. However, he was silent, until the Englishman muttered, ...
— The Spanish Jade • Maurice Hewlett

... turning with a view perhaps to finding some employment, she was intercepted by a woman who was so broad and so thick that to be intercepted by her was inevitable. The discreet tentative way in which she moved, together with her sober black dress, showed that she belonged to the lower orders; nevertheless she took up a rock-like position, looking about her to see that no gentry were near before she delivered her message, which had ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... extraordinary enterprise is concerned, fully entitled to rank with Parry, Franklin, and Richardson. Few men, indeed, were ever placed for so long a period in a more trying, distressing, and perilous situation than he was; and it may safely be pronounced, that, to his discreet management of the men and their scanty resources, and to his ability as a thorough seaman, eighteen souls were saved from imminent and otherwise inevitable destruction, it was not alone the dangers of the sea, in an open boat, crowded with people, that ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... the good lady related to Helena, highly praising the virtuous principles of her discreet daughter, which she said were entirely owing to the excellent education and good advice she had given her; and she further said, that Bertram had been particularly importunate with Diana to admit him to the visit he so much ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... length, through the efforts of discreet persons, it was worked out that, certain things being done to meet the situation as required by the faults on both sides, peace was made up between the clerks and citizens and the whole body of scholars ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... forbear from quietly smiling at this discreet coat-turning rhetoric. With his drawn sword he motioned to his soldiers to lower their weapons, and return to the barracks, simply leaving the usual ...
— The Day of Wrath • Maurus Jokai

... us, that the King caused two tents to be pitched, one for the English Commissioners, and the other for the French. On the English side were appointed the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Salisbury, the Lord Fitzhugh, and Sir Walter Hungerford, and on the French side, twelve discreet persons were chosen to meet them. Then ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... discreet manipulations from above the door loosened and it became possible to work it back. But even this the tramp did with considerable care. He took advantage of the lurching of the train, and every time the car jerked he forced the door to ...
— Gunman's Reckoning • Max Brand

... in birth, for, at their backs, came a discreet cough of warning, and, both heads turning as one they saw Bonbright, the assistant secretary, with a sheaf of notes on yellow sheets in ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... highly complimentary, only a very small number of which may here be reprinted. To properly arrange and give them all would be an easy and most pleasing task, since the collection forms an unbroken, a delightful series of musical descriptions, interspersed with high but always discreet praise of the artist whose performances, in the main, called them forth; but to be compelled, from want of space, to endeavor to select, from among these many encomiums, only those which, while they do justice ...
— Music and Some Highly Musical People • James M. Trotter

... find out whatever I wanted to know. Possibly in the delirium of fever a name had escaped me; however, the doctor never alluded to anything I may have said. His charity was not only generous; it was discreet. ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... of Prussia was to honor her with a gold medal, and several learned societies elected her an honorary member. When Herschel reached the discreet age of fifty he married the worthy Mrs. John Pitt, former wife of a London merchant. It is believed that the marriage was arranged by the King in person, out of his great love for both parties. At any rate ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... not merely pock-marks, but pock-pits. Indeed, his countenance put you in mind of a vast tract of gravelly soil on a sunny day, dug over with holes; it was so red, so cavernous, and withal, so bright. I need not mention that he was a bon vivant, a most joyous, yet a most discreet one. Even on board of ship he contrived to make his breakfasts dinners, his dinners feasts, and his suppers, though light delicacies. He was no mean proficient in the culinary art, and as refined a gourmand as the dear departed Dr Kitchener—a man, to whose honour I have a great ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... the miseries of private life, nor the secret sorrows which must prey upon souls too ardent not to be frequently wounded, can diminish the wonderful vivacity of their emotions, which they know how to communicate with the infallible rapidity and certainty of an electric spark. Discreet by nature and position, they manage the great weapon of dissimulation with incredible dexterity, skillfully reading the souls of others with out revealing the secrets of their own. With that strange pride which disdains ...
— Life of Chopin • Franz Liszt

... can obtain, but only the power of lying with men, they begin to decorate themselves, and to place all their hopes in this. It is worth our while then to take care that they may know that they are valued (by men) for nothing else than appearing (being) decent and modest and discreet. ...
— A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus With the Encheiridion • Epictetus

... senatorial commission of the liberty of the Press, were sent for, and remained closeted with Napoleon, his Minister Portalis, and Cardinal Caprara for two hours. What was determined on this occasion has not transpired, as even the Cardinal, who is not the most discreet person when provoked, and his religious zeal gets the better of his political prudence, has ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... of the session, to check and that with great severity, those feeble efforts of liberty which had appeared in the motions and speeches of some members. The lord keeper told the commons, in her majesty's name, that though the majority of the lower house had shown themselves in their proceedings discreet and dutiful, yet a few of them had discovered a contrary character, and had justly merited the reproach of audacious, arrogant, and presumptuous: contrary to their duty, both as subjects and parliament men; nay, contrary to the express injunctions given ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... Bertha, greatly discomfited, found their influence over the late Stars was at an end. The threat of telling Rachel had frightened Mabel; she was uncertain how much the Camellia Buds really knew, and judged it discreet to drop her clandestine correspondence. She had no wish for the matter to meet the ears of Miss Rodgers, who, she was well aware, would take the most serious view of it. Though she cherished a grudge against her late inquisitors, she submitted to their ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... she fond him so discreet in al, So secret, and of swich obeisaunce, That wel she felte he was to hir a wal Of steel, and sheld from every displesaunce; 480 That, to ben in his gode governaunce, So wys he was, she was no more afered, I mene, as fer as ...
— Troilus and Criseyde • Geoffrey Chaucer

... at home?' The discreet man-servant in sober black clothes eyed me suspiciously. 'No, miss,' he answered. 'That is to say—no, ma'am. Her ladyship is still at Mr. Marmaduke Ashurst's—the late Mr. Marmaduke Ashurst, I mean—in Park Lane North. You ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... landlord were renewed with such vigour that I called a council of war to discuss the situation. Retreat being out of the question, Mabel suggested a levy of our last reserves, and the charwoman (who is a discreet person of considerable experience in such matters) was mobilised. In this way we secured a sufficient force to rout the landlord on his ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 16, 1914 • Various

... communication with the officers here, and the latter are out for the $10,000 reward. As you suspected, we have been shadowed from New York. More than once I threw the shadows off the track, but they landed again. There are most unusual conditions around us, and we must be very discreet. After we get across the Rio Grande ...
— Boy Scouts in Mexico; or On Guard with Uncle Sam • G. Harvey Ralphson

... which was marked less by vociferous calls before the curtain than by the deeper and more discreet approval of discriminating playgoers. She had revealed qualities with which she had not hitherto been credited; purity of diction, nobility of pose, and a proud, ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... Stillings had a long conference, and when Stillings hastened away he could not forbear cutting a discreet pigeon-wing as he rounded the corner. He had been promised the backing of the whole Southern delegation ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... about noon, when the Court majestically rose, Sir Jee retired to the magistrates' room, where the humble Alderman Easton was discreet enough not to follow him, and awaited William Smith. And William Smith came, guided thither by a policeman, to whom, in parting from him, he made a ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... and tremble, the blood must flash like fire through my veins, and the most glowing wishes and ardent longings, be it love or be it hate, must be stirring within me in order to poetize successfully. And this cannot be comprehended by delicate and discreet people; this low Roman populace even venture to call me a coquette, only because I constantly need a new glow, and because I constantly seek new emotions and new inspirations for ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach



Words linked to "Discreet" :   tactful, prudent, circumspect



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