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Acuteness   /əkjˈutnəs/   Listen
Acuteness

noun
1.
A sensitivity that is keen and highly developed.
2.
A quick and penetrating intelligence.  Synonyms: acuity, keenness, sharpness.  "I admired the keenness of his mind"
3.
The quality of having a sharp edge or point.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Acuteness" Quotes from Famous Books



... according with those when human vitality is at its lowest and death most frequently takes place. It is, doubtless, the ebb of human vitality and the possibility of death that attracts the earth-bound brains and other varying types of elemental harpies. They scent death with ten times the acuteness of sharks and vultures, and hie with all haste to the spot, so as to be there in good time to get their final suck, vampire fashion, at the spiritual brain of the dying; substituting in the place of what they extract, substance—in the shape of foul and lustful thoughts—for the material ...
— Byways of Ghost-Land • Elliott O'Donnell

... Noctes can make him. Lockhart gives a delightful account of his first visit to Walter Scott in Castle Street—his first visit, mind you. He is shown into the drawing-room and finds Mrs. Scott, disposed, a la Madame Recamier, on a sofa. His acuteness comes to the aid of his bewilderment, and he is quick to extend himself in similar fashion upon the opposite sofa. In the dining-room he was much more at his ease. Before the end of the meal he ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... sharp, unseen contact had been, but nothing of pain followed it. Instead it created an extraordinary acuteness of sight and hearing, an abnormal keying up of the observational faculties, as though the energy so mysteriously drawn from our motor centers had been thrown back ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... States came into the Union." Still thinking of the sanction which the Constitution gives to slavery, he says, "Because it was a part of the original compact—let it stand." Notwithstanding his special acuteness and ability, he is unable to take a fact out of its merely political relations, and behold it as it lies absolutely to be disposed of by the intellect—what, for instance, it behooves a man to do here in America to-day with regard to slavery, but ventures, or is driven, ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... which he did not mean. The Greeks' feelings were not dulled or sophisticated by the damnosa hereditas of the past. Neither their life nor their mental atmosphere was complicated. They had not 'thought themselves into weariness'. They were the children of the world, and they united the startling acuteness, directness, and simplicity of children to ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... speedy and unembarrassed judgments that have so injured him with the profession. If he followed his course, he would see him, soon after the opening of the House of Lords, addressing their Lordships on some intricate question of Law, with an acuteness that drew approbation even from his opponents, or, on some all-engrossing political topic, casting firebrands into the camp of the enemy, and awakening them from the complacent repose of conviction to the hot contest with ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... distinguished when the difference is any way considerable, but not when it is minute, for want of some common measures, which perhaps may never come to be discovered. In these nice cases, supposing the acuteness of the sense equal, the greater attention and habit in such things will have the advantage. In the question about the tables, the marble-polisher will unquestionably determine the most accurately. But notwithstanding this want of a common measure for settling many ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... previous day, or whether others had joined that tooth; Ben-Tovit's entire mouth and his head were filled with terrible sensations of pain, as though he had been forced to chew thousands of sharp, red-hot nails, he took some water into his mouth from an earthen jug—for a minute the acuteness of the pain subsided, his teeth twitched and swayed like a wave, and this sensation was even pleasant as compared with ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... himself: "You have heard the latest theories about old age, that it is due to microbic poisons secreted in the intestines and penetrating the intestinal walls? Well, in premature senility the symptoms are the same as in senility, only mental acuteness is not so impaired." ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... and one son, who, when I first came here, was about twelve years old. Of the acuteness of that woman's sufferings, of the gentle and enduring manner in which she bore them, of the agony of solicitude with which she reared that boy, no one can form an adequate conception. Heaven forgive me the supposition, if it be an uncharitable one, ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... times gone by. When at last his joints grew too stiff, and other troubles of age came upon him, he settled ashore in some little cottage and devoted himself to quiet meditation of a pessimistic kind. Every morning he rolled down to the quay and criticised with cruel acuteness the habits of the younger generation of mariners; every evening he took his place in the tavern parlour and instructed the assembled skippers. At last the time came for him to go: then the men whom he had scored with ropes'-ends in his day were the first to mourn ...
— The Romance of the Coast • James Runciman

... every plan for her improvement suggested by her new mamma, (for she never called her by any other name,) she engaged with docility and eagerness; and her behaviour and her progress exceeded the most sanguine hopes that I had formed as to the softness of her temper and the acuteness of her genius. ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... as the crew settled down into the well-known long sweep, what we may call consciousness returned; and, while every muscle in his body was straining, and his chest heaved, and his heart leaped, every nerve seemed to be gathering new life, and his senses to wake into unwonted acuteness. He caught the scent of wild thyme in the air, and found room in his brain to wonder how it could have got there, as he had never seen the plant near the river, or smelt it before. Though his eye never wandered from the back of Diogenes, he seemed to ...
— The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book • Various

... clergymen even then avowed their desire, that the next time they were brought up to Oxford to give a vote, it might be in order to put down the Popery of the Movement. There was another reason still, and quite as important. Monsignore Wiseman, with the acuteness and zeal which might be expected from that great Prelate, had anticipated what was coming, had returned to England by 1836, had delivered Lectures in London on the doctrines of Catholicism, and created ...
— Apologia Pro Vita Sua • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... those figures and metaphors in the original poets, which, stripped of their justifying reasons, and converted into mere artifices of connexion or ornament, constitute the characteristic falsity in the poetic style of the moderns; and as far as he has, with equal acuteness and clearness, pointed out the process by which this change was effected, and the resemblances between that state into which the reader's mind is thrown by the pleasureable confusion of thought from an unaccustomed train of words and images; and that ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... of the Son, and of the ever-present Comforter; of creation, redemption, and sanctification, and all the deep truths of the faith, receiving them with the belief that is born rather of love than of reason; for though the acuteness of the boy's questions and remarks often obliged Reginald to bring his own strong intellect to bear on them, they arose from no spirit of antagonism, but were the natural outcome of a thoughtful, inquiring mind. Sometimes, however, Wikkey was too tired ...
— Wikkey - A Scrap • YAM

... Thus the revolution was completed. Edward, Gaveston, Lancaster, and Pembroke had each in their turn been tried and found wanting. Thanks to the jealousies of the barons, his own spasmodic energy, and the acuteness of the Despensers, Edward was still to have another chance, under the guidance of his new friends. We shall see how the restored rule of the Despensers was blighted by the same incompetence and selfishness which had ruined their predecessors in power. The ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... himself back in the corner of the wide sofa and crossing his long legs. He had thought more deeply on a good many subjects than the majority of his acquaintance supposed; with the consequence that he occasionally surprised his fellow-peers by the acuteness of his observations in debate. Lord Fallowfeild, it may be added, took his recently acquired office of hereditary legislator with a commendable mixture of ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... and acuteness of this analysis! In what a superior style is this struggle between spirit and the suffering of nature developed! How correctly the author has seized each of the phenomena in which the animal element and the human element manifest themselves, the constraint of nature and ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... a man turning away in weariness from the controversies, the insincerities, and the pretentiousness of the intellectualists around him, has exclaimed, "Give me my Horace." But Horace with all his bonhommie, his common sense, and his acuteness, is but the representative of a narrow Roman coterie of the Augustan age. How thin, flimsy, and unspiritual does he appear in comparison with the marvellous depth, the spiritual insight, the tenderness and power of expression ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... the decanter out of which Lord De Vayne drank?" said one of the seniors after a pause, and with an intense belief in the acuteness of the suggestion. ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... friend. This was not the only occasion on which of late Durrance had surprised his friends by an unusual acuteness. Calder glanced uncomfortably at the letter which he was still ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... Brahmans in the country of Anga, called Vrikshaghata. In it there lived a rich sacrificing Brahman named Vishnusvamin. And he had a wife equal to himself in birth. And by her he had three sons born to him, who were distinguished for preternatural acuteness. In course of time they grew up to be young men. One day, when he had begun a sacrifice, he sent those three brothers to the sea to fetch a turtle. So off they went, and when they had found a turtle, the ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... Thus it became the typically American region. Even the New Englander, who was shut out from the frontier by the Middle region, tarrying in New York or Pennsylvania on his westward march, lost the acuteness of his ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... wrong, he always had the best of the argument with them. His reasoning powers were striking. I have had harder work maintaining an argument with him in a watch, even when I knew myself to be right, and he was only doubting, than I ever had before, not from his obstinacy, but from his acuteness. Give him only a little knowledge of his subject, and, among all the young men of my acquaintance at college, there is not one whom I had not rather meet in an argument than this man. I never answered ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... could but die. His mind was wanting in the stamina for self-support; it was a plant that would twine beautifully round something stronger than itself, but if repulsed, or torn away, it had no choice but to wither on the ground. Dorothy's acuteness taught her that severity would crush the spirit of the child, and she nurtured him with the gentle care of one who handles a butterfly. Her husband manifested an equal affection, although it grew daily ...
— Bible Stories and Religious Classics • Philip P. Wells

... developed by austerity of life, was of the highest acuteness. Sight, touch, and taste in him acquired the most exquisite delicacy. He was wont to say that he feared no poison in his food, since he could discriminate the least adulteration of natural flavors. His mental perspicacity was equally subtle. As a boy he could recite thirty lines ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... acute keenness of any sense, by reason of age or experience should be conserved.[14] Such acuteness is often the result of some need, and, unless consciously preserved, will ...
— The Psychology of Management - The Function of the Mind in Determining, Teaching and - Installing Methods of Least Waste • L. M. Gilbreth

... must not be forgotten that at a place for action like Petersburg, the Minister will chiefly have to look to his instructions from home, while at a place of observation, as Lord Palmerston justly calls Frankfort, everything depends upon the acuteness and impartiality of the observer, and upon the confidence with which he may be able to inspire those from whom alone accurate information can be obtained. Lord Cowley possesses eminently these qualities, and Sir H. Seymour has at all times shown himself equal to acting ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 • Queen Victoria

... But this very acuteness of apprehension induces a caution in not resenting the assaults of wit, unless the wounded can retort with success by a similar weapon, or that the attack has been so obvious that he is justified in resenting it by a less ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... since,—lovely, smiling, enchanting,—and then the sombre brain-wave, reminding of the hopelessness, the mockery of life's inexorable circumstance, would roll in upon his mind; and heart would seem tightened, crushed, strangled with a pain that was actually physical—of such acuteness indeed, that, had that organ been weak, he would be in danger of falling dead on the spot. And this was a part of the penalty he had to pay for his ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... skin beside her father. He smiled faintly and stretched a hand for hers, and her fingers slipped between his, cool and strong against the lifeless dryness of his palm. She gave back his smile bravely, her eyes steadfast. She had no desire for tears, no acuteness of sensation. A weight as heavy as the world lay on her, crushing out struggle and resistance. She knew that he was dying. When they told her there was no doctor in the camp her flickering hope had gone out. Now she was prepared to sit by him and wait with a lethargic patience beyond ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... employed himself again in reading the public journals of France and of foreign countries; he read assiduously all periodical works of a political tendency; he studied these productions; he investigated them with acuteness, and he could well divine the meaning of a writer who was compelled to be silent, and conjecture the nature of intelligence which an editor was forced ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... society, with its long and deep-hidden processes of growth, its innumerable intricacies and far-off historic complexities, be as an open book to any reader of its pages who brings acuteness and passion, but no patience nor calm accuracy of meditation? Objects of thought and observation far simpler, more free from all blinding and distorting elements, more accessible to direct and ocular inspection, are by rational consent reserved for the calmest and most austere moods ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 2: Carlyle • John Morley

... the greatest questions of strategy were discussed by those who carried their packs as common soldiers in the ranks. Movements and manoeuvres were criticised, attacked, defended, ridiculed, and condemned, with a degree of acuteness and knowledge that showed the enormous progress the nation had made in military science, and with what ease the republic could recruit her officers from the ranks ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... year 1819. There are, indeed, few books in the English language which contain passages of greater power, feeling, and eloquence than this work, which delineate frailty and vice with more energy and acuteness, or describe historical scenes with such bold imagery and such glowing language. We remember the opinion of a writer in the Edinburgh Review, soon after the publication of Anastasius. With a degree of pleasantry and acumen peculiar to northern criticism, he asks, "Where has ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 17, No. 476, Saturday, February 12, 1831 • Various

... noble. (It may seem improbable to the unthinking reader that a timid and alarmed maiden should be able to read the character of a foe by his features under such circumstances. But those very circumstances tended to produce such acuteness. And this is not only the case with human beings, but even with dumb brutes—for, at the moment they are about to be assailed, they invariably and instinctively look the assailant in the eye, mercy being the only remaining hope.) Again the young warrior turned ...
— Wild Western Scenes • John Beauchamp Jones

... two ways of settling these questions—adjudication and compromise. The difficulties of adjudication were great; I think insuperable. Whatever acuteness and diligence could do has been done. One person in particular, whose talents and industry peculiarly fitted him for such investigations, and of whom I can never think without regret, Mr Hyde Villiers, devoted himself to the examination with an ardour and a perseverance, which, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... uniformity of the institutions and customs. "I opposed him occasionally," says Mueller, "and he entered into discussion. Quite impartially and truly, as before God, I must say that the variety of his knowledge, the acuteness of his observations, the solidity of his understanding (not dazzling wit), his grand and comprehensive views, filled me with astonishment, and his manner of speaking to me with love for him. By his genius and his disinterested ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... race, has remarked their intense keenness of vision. Their eyes, for acuteness, and capability of discerning distant objects, resemble those of the eagle or the lynx; and their cat-like tread among the grass and leaves, seems so light as scarcely to shake off the dew drops. Thus they advance on their expedition rapidly and in profound silence, unless some ...
— The First White Man of the West • Timothy Flint

... several times set forth, and several times answered. Mr. Lowe has seen these answers, but does not allude to them, far less attempt to meet them. There are, no doubt, individuals, who show in their public speaking the outward and visible signs of a greater degree of acuteness than they can summon to guide their private thinking. If Mr. Lowe be not one of these, if the power of his mind in the closet be at all comparable to the power of his tongue in the House, it may be suspected that his reserve with ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) • Augustus de Morgan

... when sight is lost the sense of touch and hearing increase to almost unbelievable acuteness—Rush knew that. The blind often also develop a sense almost like radar which allows them to perceive an object ahead of them and gives them the ability to ...
— Now We Are Three • Joe L. Hensley

... man, as a rule, that they are growing better, because he hopes to turn them to account. It is, however, always a purely empirical question; and in the solution of it, the observer's eye may acquire a singular acuteness by the comparative study of as many nations as possible, especially of those which have ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... Jew, once taunted Mendelssohn with being a Jew and yet conducting a "Passion Play." The gibe was a home-thrust and a cruel one, since Mendelssohn had neither the wit nor the mental acuteness to avoid the pink of the man who was hated by Jew and Christian alike. Towards the exiled Heine, Mendelssohn had only a patronizing pity—"Why should any man offend the people in power?" he ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... examining and registering a lady's features one after another, like the articles of a bill of lading; but the cold and systematic gallantry of a Frenchman is not so scrupulous.—The officer, however, who is employed for this purpose here, is civil, and I suspected the infinity of my nose, and the acuteness of Mad. de 's chin, might have disconcerted him; but he extricated himself very decently. My nose is enrolled in the order of aquilines, and the old lady's chin pared off to a "menton ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... that there are many among the despised slaves as amiable and accomplished as herself. Such, at least, was the account she gave us of their condition, that we felt convinced of the superiority possessed by many, in moral worth and intellectual acuteness, above their oppressors."—E. S. Abdy, Journal of a Residence and Tour in the United States of America from April, 1833, to ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 • Various

... that it may well seem incredible. Yet we cannot think that we have misrepresented the tendency of the argument; though, of course, we have given no ideas of the acuteness and flexibility of the reasoning, the extent of the knowledge, and mastery of logic, in this work. That such a position should be taken by a religious man, in the supposed interest of Christianity, is ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... purpose, conscientious maintenance of opinion, and pursuit of public objects with disregard of self, was one of very high example. So averse was Mr. Dilke to every kind of display that his name appears to none of the literary investigations which were conducted by him with an acuteness wonderful as his industry, and it was in accordance with his express instructions that the literary journal which his energy and self-denial had established kept silence ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... whistling of the golden orioles, which are plentiful in the park. I started at last a conversation. I directed it to suit my plans, for however much my mind is closed against influences that have no bearing upon my feeling, within their sphere I have a well-nigh redoubled presence of mind,—an acuteness of perception, as have those plunged into a hypnotic trance, and in a given direction see more clearly than people in their normal state. We passed speedily on to personal topics. I spoke about myself in the confidential tone in which one speaks to those nearest, who alone ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... am sure I often cover my face, or turn it away, for it seems as if she saw one change colour, though she has been blind these twenty years. She is worth visiting, were it but to say you have seen a blind and paralytic old woman have so much acuteness of perception and dignity of manners. I assure you, she might be a countess from her language and behaviour. Come, you must go to see Alice; we are not a quarter of a mile from ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... the Euthydemus and Gorgias, by Dr. Routh, president of Magdalen College, Oxford. This last editor has enriched his edition of these two dialogues with very valuable and copious philological and critical notes, in which he has displayed no less learning than judgment, no less acuteness than taste. He appears indeed to me to be one of the best and most modest of philologists; and it is to be hoped that he will be imitated in what he has done by ...
— Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato • Thomas Taylor

... of the theory of evolution) of the first man; but we can get a very tolerable idea of the Paulo-prehistoric man, if I may so say—of man as he existed some short time (as we now reckon shortness), some ten thousand years, before history began. Investigators whose acuteness and diligence can hardly be surpassed—Sir John Lubbock and Mr. Tylor are the chiefs among them—have collected so much and explained so much that they have left a fairly ...
— Physics and Politics, or, Thoughts on the application of the principles of "natural selection" and "inheritance" to political society • Walter Bagehot

... into sympathy; his thin, long nose, ran out as if it was eager to bore into the nature of things in general; his sleek, thin, black hair was stuck eagerly forward, and all his motions and evolutions expressed a dry, cautious acuteness. The great man poured out a big tumbler half full of raw spirits, and gulped it down without a word. The little man stood tiptoe, and putting his head first to one side and then the other, and snuffing considerately in the directions of the various bottles, ordered at last a mint julep, in ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... Paltravi still alive, but very low and very much troubled because he had not heard from Jaqui. The latter soon perceived it would be utterly useless to try to deceive or in any way to mislead the old man, who, although in sad bodily condition, still preserved his acuteness of mind. Jaqui had to tell him everything, and he began with Florino and ended with himself, not omitting to tell how the lady had recognized the situation, and what she had said. Then, fearing the consequences of ...
— John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein • Frank R. Stockton

... "The acuteness of animal senses has its drawbacks. These dogs must have heard some sound in the street that is entirely inaudible to us. Well, Rupert, what is it? Lie down again and go ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... inherent attribute of all savages to be far in advance of the whites in the alertness and acuteness of two or three of the senses, the baby Pawnee was wonderfully so. He could hear the footsteps of a bear or the scratching of a panther, or even the tramp of a horse's hoof on the soft sod, long before the old trapper could make out the slightest sound. ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... about to perform an action of doubtful propriety, he is never at a loss to find arguments to defend the course he is about to pursue, and though he may not be able to satisfy his conscience, he can, at least to some extent, deaden the acuteness of its pangs. Richard Ashton endeavored to justify his present action to himself, in the moment which intervened between his new-formed resolution and its consummation. The reader is no doubt aware, from experience, ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... the originals in his valuable collection. Mr. Pinkerton was born at Edinburgh, in February 1758, and died at Paris in May 1826. "He was," says Mr. Dawson Turner, "a man of a capacious mind, great acuteness, strong memory, restless activity, and extraordinary perseverance: the anecdotes contained in this correspondence afford a striking proof of the power of talent,, and industry to raise their possessor in the scale of society, as ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... be a witness of her humiliation; and accordingly he rang the bell, and ordered the negro to be sent up. Nero entered the room, and observing the triumphant chuckle of the Dead Man, and the dejected look of his mistress, with his natural acuteness instantly comprehended the true state of affairs. The contempt with which Julia had treated him was still fresh in his memory, and led him to view that lady with hatred; he therefore determined to add to her chagrin and hatred on the present occasion, ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... shrewdest plungers and manipulators, men to whom the tape yields up its secrets as the penitent to the priest; to whom the ticker babbles the inner mysteries of directors' meetings and deep-down deals—these men whose eyes, ears, and noses decades of stock-play had trained to supernatural acuteness were as impotent to track the truth as the veriest tyro. All admitted that the conditions were unusual, that the subscriptions had far exceeded expectation, that time would be required to get them straightened out. Because of this it was natural that the market should be slow ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... I have since found that my greatest service at the beds of the sick is as an interpreter of symptoms rather than a vender of drugs. The friends of the sick read indications for good or bad with wonderful acuteness, as a rule; and I have rarely found myself mistaken in my ability to read the condition of patients in the faces of the friends, even before I enter the rooms ...
— The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure • Edward Hooker Dewey

... I was dreaming when I heard a young woman in her position reasoning with more acuteness than Minerva displays in her colloquies with Telemachus. She had captured not only my esteem but ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... to be so obvious. She thought of no funeral garments for the old man but one shroud [Greek: speiron] (Odyssey, II. 102; XIX. 147); yet, being, by the theory, a character of late Ionian, not of genuine old AEolic epic, she should have known better. It is manifest that if even the acuteness and vast erudition of Helbig can only find such invisible differences as these between the manners of the genuine old epic and the late Ionian innovations, there is really no difference, beyond such trifles as ...
— Homer and His Age • Andrew Lang

... The acuteness and the significance of the Captain's eye as he cocked it in reply, no words short of those unutterable Chinese words before referred ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... remained throughout the war. This unhappy remnant constantly looked to the American ministry for aid to subsist and to escape violence. Mr. Hoffman ventures to place the banishment of the Germans, for acuteness if not mass of suffering, by the side of the ejection of the Huguenots and the Moors. This exaggeration serves at least to show the impression it ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877 • Various

... "O yes! O yes!" outside in the street proclaiming the Resolution of the Council. Young though he was, my Grandson—who was unusually intelligent for his age, and bred up in perfect reverence for the authority of the Circles—took in the situation with an acuteness for which I was quite unprepared. He remained silent till the last words of the Proclamation had died away, and then, bursting into tears, "Dear Grandpapa," he said, "that was only my fun, and of course I meant ...
— Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Illustrated) • Edwin A. Abbott

... being confident he would have attained to great eminence. And, indeed, I cannot conceive a man better qualified to make a distinguished figure as a lawyer; for, he would have brought to his profession a rich store of various knowledge, an uncommon acuteness, and a command of language, in which few could have equalled, and none have surpassed him[379]. He who could display eloquence and wit in defence of the decision of the House of Commons upon Mr. Wilkes's election for Middlesex[380], and of the unconstitutional taxation of our fellow-subjects ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... Then came Mrs. Stephen Colfax; after her Mr. Endsleigh Jarrott, who had on his right Mrs. Reginald Pole. Mrs. Pole's neighbor was Charles Conquest, whom she shared with Mrs. Rodney Wrenn. Now and then Wayne himself would give proof of that increased acuteness in his hearing of which he had spoken more than once since his blindness had become total. "Colfax Yorke is here," he observed at one time. "I hear his voice. He's sitting on our side of the table." "Mrs. Endsleigh Jarrott is next but one to you," he said at another time. ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... impulse of this idea, the closing portions of his twelve-paged letter became a fierce tirade against the existing state of society; but the last sentence was so astonishing to me individually, that I blushed with the acuteness of my feelings. "Believing as I do," he wrote, "in the expansion and overflow of the human soul, I would fain have saved you from the cramped and bloodless nature to which you are about to ally yourself in preference to mine. He has robbed me of you, and thereby ...
— A Romantic Young Lady • Robert Grant

... welcomes you. She notes the Impenetrable Placidity of the old one, and the Imperceptible Acuteness of the youth." ...
— A Tangled Tale • Lewis Carroll

... there we have a most unjustifiable account both of Shakespeare and his age. "Born in a rude age, and educated in the lowest manner, without any instruction either from the world or from books." How could a man of Hume's acuteness suppose for a moment that a poet, whose characters display such an intimate acquaintance with life, who, as an actor and manager of a theatre, must have come in contact with all descriptions of individuals, had no instruction from the world? But this is not the worst; he goes even so far as to ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... vehement protestations of the ship's captain, he stamped his foot and tapped the handle of his sword. "Aha! I have unmasked you," he cried, triumphantly. "You are tearing your hair from despair at my acuteness. Am I a child to believe that a light in that brass box can show you where the harbour is? I am an old soldier, I am. I can smell a traitor a league off. You wanted that gleam to betray our approach to your friend the Englishman. A thing like that show you the way! What a miserable ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... behind his old master's counter, that he and Belinda shall marry before long. Mr. Richard Sidebottom is one of the 'reformed drunkards,' and eschews Madeira especially. He is now an attorney, in embryo, and gives ample promise of carrying into his profession all the acuteness and cunning which distinguished his exploits on the memorable night that opened this chapter in the biography ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... outward indifference and inward surprise; for while unwilling, through jealousy of an amateur, to flatter the barrister by a visible compliment, yet he silently admitted that Denzil had made his discoveries and profited by them with much acuteness. What annoyed him, however, was that the young man had pushed his inquiries to the uttermost limit; and that there was no chance of any glory accruing to himself by prosecuting them further. Still, on the possibility that something might ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... every endeavour. He succeeded, and gained the treasure almost at the expense of life. He was not mistaken in his supposition. In the box were deposited documents of the highest importance to his master; and the latter, delighted with the boy's acuteness, and grateful for the service, was eager to remunerate him. My father made known his wishes, and his acquaintance with accounts, and in less than six months as soon, indeed, as the house was rebuilt—he had his foot on the first step of the ladder, and took his place amongst the clerks in the counting-house. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... Colonel Brandon, a grave but sensible bachelor on the wrong side of thirty-five. Marianne, however, scorned and laughed at the idea, being reasonable enough to allow that a man of five-and-thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and every exquisite power of enjoyment; and having met with an accident which led to her being carried home by a handsome and vivacious young gentleman called Willoughby, who had a seat called Combe Magna in Somersetshire, she rapidly developed ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... Schutze, the brother-in-law of poor George Ellis. We conversed about our mutual friend, and about the life Canning was to have written about him, and which he would have done con amore. He gave me two instances of poor George's neatness of expression, and acuteness of discrimination. Having met, for the first time, "one Perceval, a young lawyer," he records him as a person who, with the advantages of life and opportunity, would assuredly rise to the head of affairs. Another gentleman is briefly characterised ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... spoken with M. de Crillon's usual acuteness," replied the baroness. "Isidore is more likely in his anger and disappointment to betake himself anywhere else than to Beaujardin, and in any case you know that he is now married, and ...
— The King's Warrant - A Story of Old and New France • Alfred H. Engelbach

... handsome bright-eyed fellow, with a soldier's frame and a smile as broad and beaming as laughter, indicating much of that mixture of acuteness, and simplicity which is a characteristic of the South, and means no more than that the extreme vivacity of the blood exceeds at times ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... and with a tender hand righted the structure, while the powder flew about in light puffs at her touch, readjusting a curl here and a cleverly wrought wave there. The valet's pious aspiration from the doorway, "Bress de Lord!" betokened the acuteness of the danger over-past. ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... man, with an expression of acuteness, and a trick of rubbing his head with a circular motion, as if he were trying to effect a tonsure by force of friction. He nodded a recognition of Wilder and his men, and sent a look of surprise at Von Rittenheim, whose appearance was not what was ...
— A Tar-Heel Baron • Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton

... expedition to the Torres Straits have shown that in acuteness of vision, hearing, smell, etc., these peoples are not noticeably different from our own. We conclude that the remarkable tales adduced to the contrary by various travelers are to be explained, not by the acuteness of sensation, but ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... a distant hill, trickled into his ears. Ordinarily he would have given up such a station in disgust, and waited for the air to clear. Now he wanted to establish his ability, to demonstrate the acuteness of hearing for which ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... by the gypsies, nor otherwise done away with. Cousin Rachel was so glad that she would not have to return to Polotzk empty-handed that she would not let anybody scold me. She made me tell over and over what I had seen on the way, till they all laughed and praised my acuteness for seeing so much more than they had supposed there was to see. Indeed, I was made a heroine, which was just what I intended to be when I set out on my adventure. And thus ended most of my unlawful escapades; I was more petted ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... they would be raised to the rank of philosophers by the possession of leisure. In those countries where nature is the most redundant in spontaneous produce the inhabitants will not be found the most remarkable for acuteness of intellect. Necessity has been with great truth called the mother of invention. Some of the noblest exertions of the human mind have been set in motion by the necessity of satisfying the wants of the body. Want has not unfrequently given ...
— An Essay on the Principle of Population • Thomas Malthus

... the artist's well of happiness. But it was noticed of Charles Lamb that the very fact of possessing the little pleasures of everyday life only under a lease, as it were, which Fate at any moment might refuse to renew, caused him to be the very poet of such pleasures, experiencing them with an acuteness that became to him an inspiration. With du Maurier the enjoyment of social life, so manifestly evident in his art at one time, may well have been entered into with something of the fierce delight with which we take our sunshine in a rainy summer. In later years he became home-staying ...
— George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians • T. Martin Wood

... after it rose he published "An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," which was, in effect, a popular defense of the work of the Convention, especially as regards the division of the legislature into two houses. The paper shows rather zeal and fervor than acuteness, and seems to have been hastily written to serve some special and temporary purpose. It has a magniloquence not elsewhere found in his writings, as when he says: "This western world now beholds an aera important beyond conception, and which posterity will number with the age ...
— Noah Webster - American Men of Letters • Horace E. Scudder

... where such things are indigenous, that a very good duke of Argyle was to arise having red hair, and that the present duke had verified the prediction by uniting both requisites. They say that he is quite a young man, with a small, slight figure, but with a great deal of energy and acuteness of mind, and with the generous and noble traits which have distinguished his house in former times. He was a pupil of Dr. Arnold, a member of the National Scotch Kirk, and generally understood to be a serious and religious man. He is one of the noblemen who have been willing to ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... distinguishes at first sight the different passions of mankind, which seizes upon the different forms they assume, and, remarking the objects of their notice, discovers at the same time the means by which they are attained." If this be a true statement, the acuteness of feminine observation has gained but little in the progress of the centuries, and her literary sisters of the present era can hardly hope to eclipse the penetration of Marie ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... letters of Cowper, or of Lamb. They are just the common-sense epistles of a man who to his last day remained too modest to believe in the extent of his own genius. The letters in this collection which show most acuteness on literary matters are not Scott's, but Lady Louisa Stuart's, who appreciated the Novels on their appearance (their faults as well as their merits) with a judiciousness quite wonderful in a contemporary. Scott's ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... seated outside of a flower is rarely utilised as a means for cross-fertilisation by the aid of insects; but this occurs with the bracteae of the Marcgraviaceae, as the late Dr. Cruger informed me from actual observation in the West Indies, and as Delpino infers with much acuteness from the relative position of the several parts of their flowers. (10/51. 'Ult. Osservaz. Dicogamia' 1868-69 page 188.) Mr. Farrer has also shown that the flowers of Coronilla are curiously modified, so that bees may fertilise them whilst sucking ...
— The Effects of Cross & Self-Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom • Charles Darwin

... was rather tall, slender, and remarkable for the easy grace of her movements. Her complexion was very fair, while her eyes were dark and her hair like ebony. Her glance and her smile showed a union of goodness and acuteness which it was almost impossible to conceive; it was as if Heaven had given her two souls, one wholly of intellect, the other wholly of feeling. She was naturally cheerful and brave—an angel, indeed, whom the sorrows of humanity had not yet dared ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... had Cecil to do with the plot, except that he hit upon the clue to the dark allusions in the letter to Monteagle, of which he was courtier enough to let the king take the credit? James's admirers have always reckoned this, as he did himself, a vast proof of sagacity: yet there seems no great acuteness in the discovery, even if it had been his own. He might have recollected the circumstances of his father's catastrophe, which would naturally put him on the scent ...
— Guy Fawkes - or A Complete History Of The Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605 • Thomas Lathbury

... forbidding countenance, sat next us; and, in the course of the conversation, he mentioned the fact that he had once passed a year in New York, of which place he conversed with interest and vivacity. B—— was anxious to know who this gentleman might be. I could only say that he was a man of great acuteness and knowledge, whom I had often met in society, but, as to his name, I did not remember ever to have heard it. He had always conducted himself in the simple manner that he witnessed, and it was my impression that he was the private secretary of the master of the house, who was a dignitary ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... time destroyed all hopes of coming up with our game; for the Kamtschadales assured us, that it was in vain to expect to meet with bears, whilst we were to the windward, owing to their being possessed of an uncommon acuteness in scenting their pursuers, which enabled them, under such circumstances, to avoid the danger, whilst it is yet at a very great distance. We returned therefore to the boat, and passed the night on the beach, having brought a tent with us for that purpose, and the next day, by the ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 • Robert Kerr

... say, into the literary chit-chat and un with holding frankness of a rich genius whose sands are seed-pearl. Of his controversies, those against Popery are the most powerful, because there he had subtleties and obscure reading to contend against; and his wit, acuteness, and omnifarious learning found stuff to work on. Those on Original Sin are the ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... I believe, has never been recorded in history than the fate of William Lyon Mackenzie, a man possessing an acuteness of mind, powers of reasoning, and great persuasiveness, with indefatigable research and industry, such as rarely fall to ...
— Canada and the Canadians, Vol. 2 • Richard Henry Bonnycastle

... briefly a test which it is customary to apply, but which is not so much an estimate as it is a measure. I refer to the various respects in which an individual or community may be said to be more or less religious. Thus, for example, certain religious phenomena surpass others in acuteness or intensity. This is peculiarly true of the phenomena manifested in conversion and in revivals. In this respect the mysteries of the ancients exceeded {219} their regular public worship. Individuals and communities vary in the degree to which they are capable of enthusiasm, ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... originally bestowed upon Jude, in recognition of his success in swindling a mining partner; but, with an acuteness of perception worthy of emulation, the miners determined that the length of the appellation detracted from its force, so ...
— Romance of California Life • John Habberton

... but most remarkable to us because the test of direct comparison with our own sense was permitted us, was their acuteness of hearing. Often while "jumping" a roaring rapids in two canoes, my companion and I have heard our men talking to each other in quite an ordinary tone of voice. That is to say, I could hear my Indian, ...
— The Forest • Stewart Edward White

... acuteness, felt that Archie even in his present rehabilitated condition would be an object of suspicion to the keen eyes of Pussy Comstock, whom she was beginning to find troublesome. And she felt quite inadequate to explaining Archie plausibly. So it was decided between ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick



Words linked to "Acuteness" :   sensitiveness, obtuseness, steel trap, intelligence, sensitivity, sensibility, acute



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