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Observer   /əbzˈərvər/   Listen
Observer

noun
1.
A person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses.  Synonyms: beholder, perceiver, percipient.
2.
An expert who observes and comments on something.  Synonym: commentator.



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"Observer" Quotes from Famous Books



... illusions; he had a hard way of looking at things; and yet—and yet—might not this chance speech of Lord Evelyn have been something more than a bit of good-humored raillery? Lord Evelyn was Natalie's intimate friend; he knew all her surroundings; he was a quick observer; he was likely to know if this thing was possible. But, on the other hand, how was it possible that so beautiful a creature, in the perfect flower of her youth, should be without a lover? He forced ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... there was life and movement. Every little while the surface would be softly broken, and a tiny ripple would set out in widening circles toward the shore, starting from a small dark nose thrust up for a second. The casual observer would have said that these were fish rising for flies; but in fact it was the apprehensive beavers coming up to breathe, afraid to show themselves on account of the Boy. They were all sure that he had not really gone, but was in ...
— The House in the Water - A Book of Animal Stories • Charles G. D. Roberts

... I was made a full Corporal, and commenced to receive double pay. Now I felt a hero, and no mistake. All this time I had been a keen observer of both men and manners, and I had really seen all there was to be seen in Edinburgh and neighbourhood. It was, therefore, with pleasurable feelings that I heard that No. 7 Company, to which I belonged, was to be sent to the military garrison at ...
— Adventures and Recollections • Bill o'th' Hoylus End

... is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of the bees, will often be ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... insulting bigotry on their part. The class of society to which the Christians belonged was closely associated in the Roman mind with the rabble and the slave, if not with criminals. What the pagan observer saw in the new religion was "a pestilent superstition," "hatred of the human race," "a malevolent superstition." He thought its practices to be connected with magic. The intransigeant Christian refused to take the customary oath in the law courts, and therefore ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... detailed description of the game is given by Nicolas Perrot who from 1662 to 1699 spent the greater part of his time as coureur de bois, trader, or government agent, among the Indians of the far West. It is of him that Abbe Ferland says, "Courageous man, honest writer and good observer, Perrot lived for a long time among the Indians of the West who were very much attached to him." His accounts of the manners and customs of the North American Indians have been liberally used by subsequent writers and as the part treating of games is not only very full but also covers a very ...
— Indian Games • Andrew McFarland Davis

... glass of wine. She was so pretty and so graceful in her deep mourning, that even her hurry in eating, as if she was afraid of some one coming to surprise her in the act, did not keep her little observer from admiring her in all ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... Hawaiian sun. One-eighth and one-sixteenth Hawaiian were they, which meant that seven-eighths or fifteen-sixteenths white blood informed that skin yet failed to obliterate the modicum of golden tawny brown of Polynesia. But in this, again, only a trained observer would have known that the frolicking children were aught but pure-blooded white. Roscoe Scandwell, grandfather, was pure white; Martha three-quarters white; the many sons and daughters of them seven-eighths white; the grandchildren graded up to ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... farther off than it really was because of the darkness, gave one a sense of wonderful security: to feel her so steady and still was like standing on a large rock in the middle of the ocean. But there were now more evidences of the coming catastrophe to the observer than had been apparent when on deck last: one was the roar and hiss of escaping steam from the boilers, issuing out of a large steam pipe reaching high up one of the funnels: a harsh, deafening boom that made conversation difficult ...
— The Loss of the SS. Titanic • Lawrence Beesley

... amulet, on which his luck depended, began to be seriously concerned, and awaking to the fact, deliberately cultivated his alarm as a psychological study, till he found himself, even with his eyes wide open as an observer in terrible fear, or a semi-monomaniac. The recovery of his lost charm at once relieved him. This was a diversion of Attention for a deliberate purpose, which might have been varied ad infinitum to procure very useful ...
— The Mystic Will • Charles Godfrey Leland

... termination than it had been before. Paul came and went, and his face betrayed no emotion when he met Hermione or parted from her. They were sometimes alone together, but not often, and it did not seem to me that they showed any very great anxiety to procure themselves such interviews. A keen observer might have noticed, indeed, that Hermione was a shade less cordial in her relations with Alexander, but he himself did not relax his attentions, and was as devoted to her as ever. He followed her about, always tried to ride by her side in the ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... not the very essence of human destiny, stripped of the details that bewilder us, to be found in the most ordinary lives? The mighty struggle of morality on the heights is glorious to witness; but so will a keen observer profoundly admire a magnificent tree that stands alone in a desert, and, his contemplation over, once more go back to the forest, where there are no marvellous trees, but trees in countless abundance. The immense forest ...
— Wisdom and Destiny • Maurice Maeterlinck

... named from having been first observed in 1780 on the Brocken), an enormously magnified shadow of an observer cast upon a bank of cloud when the sun is low in high mountain regions, reproducing every motion of the observer in the form of a gigantic ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... charming—of their favorite Italian pictures. He and Mary began now to talk of Florence with much enthusiasm and many caressing adjectives. For Harman most things were "sweet"; for Mary, "interesting" or "suggestive." She talked fast and fluently; a subtle observer might have guessed she wished it to be seen that for her Lady Kitty Bristol's flirtations, be they in or out ...
— The Marriage of William Ashe • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... think best," replied Johnson, who was besides a very strict observer of discipline. "Are we to muster the crew ...
— The English at the North Pole - Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... in all respects an ordinary carful of human beings, and it was perhaps the more worthy to be studied on that account. As in literature the true artist will shun the use even of real events if they are of an improbable character, so the sincere observer of man will not desire to look upon the heroic or occasional phases, but will seek him in his habitual moods of vacancy and tiresomeness. To me, at any rate, he is at such times very precious; and I never perceive him to be so much a man and a brother as when I feel the pressure of his vast, ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... entered Parliament a contemporary observer wrote: "It would be difficult to imagine a more complete beau-ideal of aristocracy. His whole countenance has the coldness as well as the grace of a chiselled one, and expresses precision, prudence, and determination in no common degree." The stateliness of bearing, ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... he decided upon a cattle-range in Colorado. Then, "I should like to know," he said, after one of the pauses, "how two young men of our form strike that girl's fancy. I haven't any personal curiosity about her impressions, but I should like to know, as an observer of the human race. If my conjectures are right, she's never met people of our ...
— The Lady of the Aroostook • W. D. Howells

... up with an air of innocent surprise; but a keen observer might have been tempted to regard it as one ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... it was the boy's face that was most noticeable. Frank, open, of singular beauty in feature and outline, there was also upon it unmistakable evidences of intelligence, resoluteness and honesty of purpose. A close observer might also have detected traces of suffering or of sorrow—possibly of some great burden ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls - Volume XIII, No. 51: November 12, 1892 • Various

... though silently admitted that, while Charles Cotton came of a school of fishermen renowned for accomplishment even now, his master and friend was not in the modern or Cottonian sense a fisherman at all. There was in him, indeed, a vast deal of the philosopher and the observer of nature and still more, perhaps, of the artist in English; but there was also not a little of the cockney sportsman. He never rose above the low-lived worm and quill; his prey was commonly those fish that are the scorn of the true ...
— Views and Reviews - Essays in appreciation • William Ernest Henley

... Ernest Shackleton on his method of detecting icebergs—to place a lookout man as low down near the water-line as he could get him. Remembering how we had watched the Titanic with all her lights out, standing upright like "an enormous black finger," as one observer stated, and had only seen her thus because she loomed black against the sky behind her, I saw at once how much better the sky was than the black sea to show up an iceberg's bulk. And so in a few moments the Titanic ...
— The Loss of the SS. Titanic • Lawrence Beesley

... be bestowed upon any work, depends on the number and kind of ideas which the artist wishes to convey, much more than on the amount of realization necessary to enable the imagination to grasp them. It is true that the differences of judgment formed by one or another observer are in great degree dependent on their unequal imaginative powers, as well as their unequal efforts in following the artist's intention; and it constantly happens that the drawing which appears clear to the painter ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... reduced her. In short she was a little run down nervously and suffered from fits of depression. Cowperwood had noticed this. He tried to be gentle and considerate, but he was too much of a utilitarian and practical-minded observer not to realize that he was likely to have a sickly wife on his hands later. Sympathy and affection were great things, but desire and charm must endure or one was compelled to be sadly conscious of their loss. ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... he were fatter! but I fear him not: Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid 200 So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much; He is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays, As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music: Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort 205 As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... disembarkation. He resolved to meet the approaching storm. At the head of all the forces he could muster he advanced toward Andalusia, and encountered Yussef on the plains of Zalaca, between Badajoz and Merida. As the latter was a strict observer of the outward forms of his religion, he summoned the Christian King by letter to embrace the faith of the Prophet or consent to pay an annual tribute or prepare for immediate battle. "I am told," added the writer, "that thou wishest for vessels to carry the war into my kingdom; I spare ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 5 • Various

... life often seems to the casual observer to be bounded by her schoolroom walls. As a matter of fact, however, school work appeals to her much less than it has probably done earlier or than it will do in her college days. Dress is becoming an absorbing subject. "The boys," however little you may think it, are seldom far from her thoughts. ...
— Vocational Guidance for Girls • Marguerite Stockman Dickson

... population which they will produce, will be, in the highest degree, memorable. They have already supplied new and copious materials for reflection to the physician and the political economist. They have not been less fertile of instruction to the moral observer, to whom they have furnished new displays of the influence of human ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... and her restlessness made her seem less alien to Undine. She had turned on Marvell a gaze at once pleading and possessive; but whether betokening merely an inherited intimacy (Undine had noticed that they were all more or less cousins) or a more personal feeling, her observer was unable to decide; just as the tone of the young man's reply might have expressed the open avowal of good-fellowship or the disguise of a different sentiment. All was blurred and puzzling to the girl in this world of half-lights, half-tones, eliminations and abbreviations; and she felt a violent ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... people may have been perfectly original in their constitution, but in most other respects they are particularly imitative. An observer, at a first glance, wonders that so much cleverness should be wasted in mere imitation; but it is, after all, the simple result of the position of the country. An intelligent people, we are furnished by books with more ideas than we have models on which ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... the ministers of the foreign ambassador, theatrical representations retracing the incidents of the coronation. The cities of the provinces imitated the example of Paris. All this movement stimulated business, and France appeared happy. But to an acute observer it was plain that the pomps of the coronation and the fetes that followed it pleased the people of the court more than the bourgeoisie. The Count d'Haussonville says, apropos of the nobility ...
— The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... expected, his passion often led his gaze from the path he was pursuing, still it made him doubly alive to the responsibilities resting upon him, and increased his vigilance and watchfulness to a degree that would have appeared absurd to an ordinary observer. Most of the time, he kept a step or two in advance of Edith, trailing his rifle in his left hand, while his form was half bent, and his head projected forward, giving him the attitude of constant and intense attention. His eyes were flitting constantly from tree-top to ground, from side to side, ...
— The Riflemen of the Miami • Edward S. Ellis

... immediately under review, however, the world-wide pandemic of "Spanish Influenza," there can remain no shadow of doubt in the mind of any unbiased observer who follows the question fairly along the lines of electro-chemical biology, but that the general emotional disturbances incident upon the war conditions of the world, combined with the chaotic dietetic position with its anxieties and privations under strenuous and unwonted ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... become a shrewd observer under the stress of her evil destiny; and the moment of rejoicing once past she began to wonder what had brought about the change. She judged Mr. Hazlewood to be one of those weak and effervescing characters who can grow more obstinate in resentment than any others if their pride ...
— Witness For The Defense • A.E.W. Mason

... apart at the floor, which was paved with small boulders, but sloped so much toward each other that at the top their distance was less by about two and a half feet. Kirsty was, as I have said, a keen observer, and her power of seeing had been greatly developed through her constant conscientious endeavour to ...
— Heather and Snow • George MacDonald

... the Observatory so conspicuous from without is the portion least used within. When it was designed by Christopher Wren, the general belief was that such buildings should be lofty, that the observer might be raised toward the heavenly bodies whose motions he was to watch. More modern science has taught its disciples better; and in Greenwich—which is an eminently practical Observatory—the working part of the building is found crouching behind the ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... worldly reverses—of difficulty and distress! In manner Mr. Aubrey is calm and gentlemanlike; in person he is rather above the middle height, and of slight make. From the way in which his clothes hang about him, a certain sharpness at his shoulders catching the eye of an observer—you would feel an anxiety about his health, which would be increased by hearing of the mortality in his family; and your thoughts are perhaps pointed in the same direction, by a glance at his long, thin, delicate, white hands. His countenance has a serene manliness about it when in repose, ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... the southward current of the western shore," says a writer exact in knowledge, "naturally made the St. Joseph portage a return route to Canada, and the Chicago portage an outbound one." But though La Salle was a careful observer and must have known that what was then called the Chekago River afforded a very short carrying to the Desplaines or upper Illinois, he saw fit to use the St. ...
— Heroes of the Middle West - The French • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... philosophy of Machiavelli. The Imperialist out to "civilise the barbarians" is, of course, shocked by such wickedness; but we are beginning to open our eyes to the wickedness and hypocrisy of both. To us this book reads as if a shrewd observer of the English Occupation in Ireland had noted the attending features and based these principles thereon. We have reason to be grateful to Machiavelli for his exposition. His advice to the prince, in effect, lays ...
— Principles of Freedom • Terence J. MacSwiney

... are the developments of human character, and dissimilar as they may appear to the careless observer, there are peculiar characteristics of men that render them similar to one another, and unlike every other being. In their natures, original susceptibilities, and ultimate destinies, they are alike. They are material, intellectual, and spiritual; animal, ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... legend, that the appearance of a comet foretold four certain events—heat, wind, war, and the death of princes. At the same time, not being superstitious, he held aloof from the crazy science of astrology and all the fraud connected with it. Indeed, as an observer of Nature, and still more as a follower and furtherer of the scholastic Aristotelian natural philosophy, he shewed a leaning towards the theory of development, for, according to him, the more highly organized structures proceed from those of lower organization, and ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... soldiers were expert with their fighting-tools, knew their field-exercise well; had fine artillery, and were stout hardy fellows: but the guidance of them was wonderful. 'They had no field-commissariat,' says one Observer, 'no field-bakery, no magazines, no pontoons, no light troops; and,' among the Higher Officers, 'no subordination.' [Archenholtz, i. 158.] Were, in short, commanded by nobody in particular. Commanded by Senator Committee-men in Stockholm; and, on the field, by Generals anxious to avoid ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... observer on the rock, "we'd play hob helpin' him out. He don't need help, that feller don't. If I ever saw a man that ...
— The Plunderer • Roy Norton

... loosely-knit federation—a more or less united Evangelical Church upon an exclusively Protestant basis. Between the two stands the Church of England, reaching out a hand in both directions, presenting to the superficial observer the appearance of a house divided against itself; representing nevertheless, according to her true ideal, a real attempt to synthesize the essentials of Catholicism with what is both true and ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... performances of Sir Robert Peel, and they had at last found such in Lord George. But although his whole mind had apparently been given up to the turf, it was not actually so. He had been a member of parliament for eighteen years, and was a shrewd observer of party, as he was of men and things in general life. Before entering parliament he had for three years served as private secretary to Mr. Canning, whose sagacity was seldom at fault in the selection of persons ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... arrowhead was attached to the wooden shaft. When the actor pretended to swallow this he merely held the stone point firmly between his teeth and forced the upper or plumed shaft down on the lower or wooden shaft. It was an excellent deception, and presented to the ordinary observer all the appearance of ...
— The Mountain Chant, A Navajo Ceremony • Washington Matthews

... vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinising observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... Catholic servant woman, who had concealed some of her sins at confession, acted so hypocritical a part as to make her mistress believe her a decote, or a strict observer of her duty. She even imposed upon her confessor, to such a degree, that he gave her a scapulary. After he had given it, however, one of the saints in heaven informed him in a vision, that the holy scapulary must not remain on the neck of so ...
— Awful Disclosures - Containing, Also, Many Incidents Never before Published • Maria Monk

... a curious scene in the darkness of that great stone-floored echoing place, where an observer who watched would have seen a round glass eye shedding a bright light on a particular part of the big dirty door, and in the golden ring the bull's-eye made, a pair of large white hands busy at work fixing, turning ...
— Patience Wins - War in the Works • George Manville Fenn

... scarcely a year passes over our heads without bringing some new astronomical discovery to light, which we must fain receive at second hand from Europe, are we not cutting ourselves off from the means of returning light for light while we have neither observatory nor observer upon our half of the globe and the earth revolves in perpetual darkness ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... and then, after a grave bow to Marcus Wilkeson, who returned it with more than the usual inclination of head, the old gentleman had taken a few whiffs at his pipe, looked out of the window with a troubled air, and vanished from the sight of his sympathizing observer, as if the quiet old sitting place had lost its charm for him. The young man—the disturbing element of the old gentleman's life, as Marcus Wilkeson regarded him—was not again seen in the room where he had made his first appearance, but was discovered, ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... probe could be passed, alone represents the external meatus." In the dried museum specimen this slit is wholly invisible, and even in the live or freshly killed animal it is by no means readily apparent. Keen observer of natural objects, as savage and barbaric man certainly is, it is going too far to suppose him capable of representing an earless animal—earless at least so far as the purposes of sculpture are concerned—with prominent ears. If, then, it can be assumed ...
— Animal Carvings from Mounds of the Mississippi Valley • Henry W. Henshaw

... up Gipsy life in some of its brightest aspects, have, unwittingly, no doubt, thoroughly substantiated and backed up the cause of my young clients—i.e., the poor Gipsy children and our roadside arabs—so far as they have gone, as a reperusal of the letters will show the most casual observer of our hedge-bottom heathens of Christendom. At the same time, I would say the tendency of some of the remarks of your correspondents has special reference to the adult Gipsies, roamers and ramblers, and, consequently, there is a fear that the ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... closely related to the first, is the inherent complexity of Industry, the continual and close interaction of a number of phenomena whose exact size and relative importance is continually shifting and baffles the keenest observer. ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... herd." Such is the reply historians who assume that the collective will of the people is delegated to rulers under conditions which they regard as known. (With this method of observation it often happens that the observer, influenced by the direction he himself prefers, regards those as leaders who, owing to the people's change of direction, are no longer in front, but on one side, or even in ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... but it was upon her nose. Being a friendly and capable sort of wart, it held her steel-bowed spectacles at the proper angle for reading or knitting. During conversation, she peered over her spectacles, and sometimes, to the discomfort of a sensitive observer, the steel frame appeared to divide ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... mercifully strikes up, and the big drum drums the garrulous monologue of the veteran theatrical observer. We have another act of the opera, sung far better than any opera has been sung at the Academy for years. Pretty ROSE HERSEE—when have we had a voice as pure, or a manner as charming as hers?—sings in this act, and her tones so closely resemble those of NILSSON ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., No. 34, November 19, 1870 • Various

... now the sole observer of the stupendous spectacle that spread out around and above me the most sublime feature in this imposing scene appeared to be the silence which reigned supreme over all. The heavens were as mute as the sea. It looked as if the earth had ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Marryat

... Judy's appearance that her business rather lay with the thorns than the flowers, but she has in her time been apprenticed to the art and mystery of artificial flower-making. A close observer might perhaps detect both in her eye and her brother's, when their venerable grandsire anticipates his being gone, some little impatience to know when he may be going, and some resentful opinion that it is ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... that was finest in the intellect and character of England. Page himself attributed the popularity of his house to his wife. Mrs. Page certainly embodied the traits most desirable in the Ambassadress of a great Republic. A woman of cultivation, a tireless reader, a close observer of people and events and a shrewd commentator upon them, she also had an unobtrusive dignity, a penetrating sympathy, and a capacity for human association, which, while more restrained and more placid than that of her husband, made ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... covered by a thin shell of siliceous or sandy material. They are visible only through the microscope, and are so small that thousands of them might be gathered together on the head of a pin. They are so like chemical crystals that it requires a shrewd and careful observer to distinguish them. And yet they are alive, and perform ...
— A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... fast chutes upon the farther side. After this smart water the commodore of the little fleet pulled in to portage the Cassette Falls, that tremendous cascade of the Slave River which so terrifies the ordinary observer when first he sees its enormous display of power. There are perhaps few more terrifying spectacles of wild water, even including the Whirlpool ...
— Young Alaskans in the Far North • Emerson Hough

... forehead, clear eye, and firm mouth, showed that he was far his superior in intellect. Dona Leonor no longer turned away her head when he approached her, as she had done when Don Francisco drew near, but received him with a friendly smile, while an acute observer might have discovered that a blush suffused her cheek while he spoke. Don Francisco watched him at a distance, and an expression denoting angry jealousy came over his countenance as he saw the intimate terms ...
— The Last Look - A Tale of the Spanish Inquisition • W.H.G. Kingston

... observer of human nature there is nothing surprising in the fact that a class of persons, who wink at this sacrifice of Sabhath sanctities to the demon of gain, look at the same time with stern disapprobation upon everything partaking of the character of amusement, however innocent and healthful, on ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... and they had spoken of Willie and his troubles, and Archie forgot the sour face that had sent him away from the carriage, and thought only of the boy's crippled fate, so like his own. Like, and yet unlike—to the casual observer there was a vast difference between the forlorn, poverty-stricken, ragged Archie, and the petted, and pampered, and richly-clad Willie; but to the eye of the unwearied watcher who had witnessed the patience and the goodness of the sick lad, and contrasted ...
— The Elm Tree Tales • F. Irene Burge Smith

... yet surely it is not so difficult to discover. The faculties, which when a man finds in himself, he resolves to be a painter, are, I suppose, intenseness of observation and facility of imitation. The man is created an observer and an imitator; and his function is to convey knowledge to his fellow-men, of such things as cannot be taught otherwise than ocularly. For a long time this function remained a religious one: it was to impress upon ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... yard, Madame Clapart bore herself with the airs of a queen, and moved like a woman unaccustomed to go anywhere on foot. Often, while thanking Pierrotin, she gave him glances which would have touched to pity an intelligent observer; from time to time she would slip a twelve-sous piece into his hand, and then her voice was charming. Pierrotin had never seen Oscar, for the reason that the boy was always in school at the time his business ...
— A Start in Life • Honore de Balzac

... in its summing up: "The personnel of the delegates and speakers was such as to inspire the most hostile, the most conservative and the most despondent student of human nature. When an observer reflected that these delegates represented thousands of women in each State who believe in equal suffrage, and that the speakers and leaders of the convention voiced the thoughts, hopes and aspirations of suffragists the world over, he could ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... too small to hold them all, some of the visitors clustered round the open skylight, and gazed eagerly down, while a few who could not find a point of vantage contented themselves with listening. Even Dick Martin was an observer at that operation, for, having been roused by the bustle around him, he raised himself on an elbow, and looking down from his berth, could both ...
— The Lively Poll - A Tale of the North Sea • R.M. Ballantyne

... languor, she had made up her mind to that, too. He was never unkind, and there were times when some fresh evidence of her devotion to him would touch him into an appreciation that was almost responsive. And there were other times when she would find him looking at her with an expression which any other observer might have classed as pity, but which she counted as tenderness. On the whole, it seemed to her that time was bringing them together, as she had counted that it would, and with this hope her ...
— Life at High Tide - Harper's Novelettes • Various

... Jim, extending his hand to him. A look of singular intelligence passed over the faces of the two negroes as their hands met; it vanished in an instant, and was so slight that none but a close observer would have detected it, but some words that Scip had previously let drop put me on the alert, and I felt sure it had ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol I, Issue I, January 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... great comet then approaching us, or some such occurrence. There is no doubt that this prediction produced anxiety and alarm in many timid persons. It became a very interesting question with them who this M. Babinet might be. Was he a sound observer, who had made other observations and predictions which had proved accurate? Or was he one of those men who are always making blunders for other people to correct? Is he known to have changed his opinion as to the approaching ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... a close observer was proved by the way he used to wag his tail, in the same fashion and apparently for the same reasons as the dog. This went on for several years, but when the dog died, the fashion of wagging tails went out, so far as Richard Coeur de Lion ...
— Concerning Cats - My Own and Some Others • Helen M. Winslow

... satirical from the necessity for concealment. In his more outspoken works, such as the Disasters of War, and the series of prints called Los Caprichos and Tauromachia, he is too brutal not to affect the ordinary observer's judgment upon his artistic qualities. Velasquez himself could scarcely stop short enough, when painting dwarfs and idiots and cripples, to let us admire his genius unhampered by shivers of repulsion. Goya, being exactly the opposite of Velasquez in temperament, had ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... State, even of those surrounding them, has followed their example, though the people have repeatedly voted on the point. Whatever progress the cause may have made in England, or in the larger cities of the East, I think that no unprejudiced observer would say that it looks so near to accomplishment as it did in the twenty years preceding the Civil War. Then, also, there was during the same decades a great increase in personal property; that is to say, in corporate stocks and bonds, the kind of property most easily attacked ...
— Popular Law-making • Frederic Jesup Stimson

... of social group in which we may observe "social control" is in a herd or a flock. The behavior of a herd of cattle is, to be sure, not so uniform nor so simple a matter as it seems to the casual observer, but it may be very properly taken as an illustration of the sort of follow-the-leader uniformity that is more or less characteristic of all social groups. We call the disposition to live in the herd and to move ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... women, balanced on the head—giving the figure unusual length, has the air of a body bound about with grave- clothes; while the archaic hands and feet, and a certain stiffness in the folds of the drapery, give it something of a hieratic character, and to the modern observer may suggest a sort of kinship with the more chastened kind of Gothic work. But quite of the school of Praxiteles is the general character of the composition; the graceful waving of the hair, the fine shadows of the little face, of the eyes and lips ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... all things diverge. Looked at from above, all things run into one another and combine with one another. It is one of the great merits of the historical method, that it raises the point of observation and gives the observer the support of tradition and good sense, that master of life; that it prevents a divorce between different branches of knowledge of the same order, which constitute but one intellectual family, which there is ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... and I love you—as a brother," answered Bee, speaking comfort to the lonely youth from the depths of her own pure, kind heart. But ah! the intense blush that followed her words might have revealed to an interested observer how much more than any brother she loved ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... length. He explained that the word individual covers at least three quite different kinds of conceptions. There is, first, what he described as arbitrary individuality, an individuality which is given by the mind of the observer and does not actually exist in the thing considered. Thus a landscape is in a sense an individual thing, but only so far as it is a particular part of the surface of the earth, isolated for the time in the mind of the person looking at it. If the observer ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... central pitch, which forms the characteristic quality of the late trecento Lombard manner. In its combination of purity and richness it corresponds to the best age of decorated work in English Gothic. What, however, strikes a Northern observer is the strange detachment of this elaborate facade from the main structure of the church. Like a frontispiece cut out of cardboard and pierced with ornamental openings, it shoots far above the low roof of the nave; so that at night the moon, rising above the southern aisle, shines through its ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... seems to be in the air more than ever in this year of grace; everywhere it is discussed, and very few people seem to have a good word to say for it. The most superficial observer must have noticed that there is being gradually built up in the community a growing dread of the conjugal bond, especially among men; and a condition of discontent and unrest among married people, particularly ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... to notice; some of its articles, having been already published in the Atlantic Monthly, are already known to and valued by some of the highest minds among us. The book is written by an ardent admirer but close observer of nature, and is full of tender traceries, of rainbow-hued fancies, and marked by the keen insight of a glowing and far-reaching imagination. The chapter on 'Snow' is one of the most exquisite things ever written, pure, chaste, and delicately cut as the starry crystals ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 1, July, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... the aid of his imagination to supply any little deficiencies; rounding and filling up stories that would otherwise be angular and incomplete. He also gives some agreeable caricatures, if caricatures they may be called, of certain German eccentricities. Yet we should have thought that so keen an observer of men and manners, might have made more than he has done of the peculiarities of German society and habits; but unfortunately M. Dumas appears to understand little, if any, of the language, and this has doubtless ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... he abandoned the art of painting and launched on the career of an author, contributing under the name of Gustave Z.... to 'La Vie Parisienne'. His articles found great favor, he showed himself an exquisite raconteur, a sharp observer of intimate family life, and a most penetrating analyst. The very gallant sketches, later reunited in 'Monsieur, Madame, et Bebe' (1866), and crowned by the Academy, have gone through many editions. 'Entre nous' (1867) and 'Une Femme genante', are written in the same humorous ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... another; the varieties of substances and processes are hardly known or noticed. And in a similar manner the human body is conceived of as a whole, and the different substances of which, to a superficial observer, it appears to be composed—the blood, flesh, sinews—like the elements out of which they are formed, are supposed to pass into one another in regular order, while the infinite complexity of the ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... priest's meditations when the old clergyman was studying out some difficult question, but was a keen observer, apparently none the less curious for his respectful reserve. Father Leoncio may have forgotten the age of his listener, or possibly was only thinking aloud, but he spoke of those matters which interested all thinking Filipinos and found a sympathetic, eager audience in the little ...
— Lineage, Life, and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot • Austin Craig

... trader, however. He was a close observer and a student of men and things wherever he led his caravans. He talked with strangers about other lands which he had not visited and became, therefore, well acquainted with political, ...
— Stories of the Prophets - (Before the Exile) • Isaac Landman

... beings could have been more unlike than the former and the present Mrs. 'Rastus Calhoun Breckenridge. The bride was tall, thin, chocolate-colored, serious, and hard-working. She toiled as steadily and as indefatigably as her husband, and to the most cynical observer it was plain that she loved him and valued him even at his worth. She cooked appetizing meals for him, to which he did full justice; she mended his old clothes and saw to it that he bought new ones; she saved his money; and at the end of the year she presented him with ...
— Many Kingdoms • Elizabeth Jordan

... the world a series of recollections so entertaining, so vigorous, and so instinct with life as these delightful reminiscences. The author takes the reader with him in the rambles in which he spent the happiest hours of his boyhood, a humble observer of the myriad forms of life in field and copse, by ...
— Condemned as a Nihilist - A Story of Escape from Siberia • George Alfred Henty

... thanks," said one. The group was of curious formation. Two were prominent local business men; one was the district-attorney; and one was a professional gambler of the kind known as "square." But a scrutiny of the group would not have enabled an observer to pick the gambler from the men of more reputable pursuits. He was, in fact, a man so delicate in manner, when among people of fair class, and so judicious in his choice of victims, that in the strictly masculine part of the town's life he had come to be explicitly ...
— The Monster and Other Stories - The Monster; The Blue Hotel; His New Mittens • Stephen Crane

... a moment Zeno himself might have seemed but a follower of Heraclitus. He goes beyond him. All is motion: he admits.—Yes: only, motion is (I can show it!) a nonsensical term. Follow it, or rather stay by it, and it transforms itself, agreeably enough for the [30] curious observer, into rest. Motion must be motion in space, of course; from point to point in it,—and again, more closely, from point to point within such interval; and so on, infinitely; 'tis rest there: perpetual ...
— Plato and Platonism • Walter Horatio Pater

... hallucinations, turned up in the most ancient mythology of India, when not only the character and achievements, but the very names of some of the gods and heroes were found to be the same, then every thoughtful observer saw that there must be a system in that ancient madness, that there must be some order in that strange mob of gods and heroes, and that it must be the task of comparative mythology to find out, what reason there is in ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... of the war was won by George B. McClellan. A graduate of West Point, veteran of the war with Mexico, and military observer of the war in the Crimea, he had resigned from the army in 1857 to engage in the railroad business, with headquarters at Cincinnati. At the opening of the war, he was commissioned major-general, and put in ...
— American Men of Action • Burton E. Stevenson

... of his intellectual powers. As he now stood gazing fixedly out into the glowing sky, his tall, meagre figure half supported upon his staff, his lips firmly compressed, his brow slightly frowning, and his attitude firm and motionless, the most superficial observer must have felt immediately that he looked on no ordinary being. The history of a life of deep thought—perhaps of long sorrow—seemed written in every lineament of his meditative countenance; and there was a natural dignity in his manner, which evidently restrained his restless companion ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... Heaven's face at fancy's bidding. They are certainly not less original than those other solider, earth-fast poems, but they are less unique. Being motived in transient fancy, they are more akin to poems by other hands, and could be classed more readily with them by any observer, despite all differences, as little poetic romances or ...
— Men and Women • Robert Browning

... to admire that which is above and beyond you, then there is no hope of progress. Take the young man who thinks he has exhausted the possibilities of the world, who has reached the stage, who prides himself on not being surprised, not being over whelmed, not admiring anything. The careful outside observer knows that, instead of having exhausted the possibilities and greatness and wonders of the universe, he ...
— Our Unitarian Gospel • Minot Savage

... exactly alike," he said, presenting one to each of the two principals—for by this time the dullest observer would have understood the nature of this meeting. It was to be ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... snow, their rigid forms are amongst the very few of any note that can be seen. In any garden, no matter how large or how small, a Yucca imparts a style or character to it which scarcely any other subject can give. It may not be so easy to explain this, but the fact is recognised by the most casual observer at first sight. If I say the effect is tropical, noble, rich, and sometimes graceful, a partial idea of its ornamental qualities may be conveyed; but to know its value and enjoy it, it should be grown. The species under consideration has many forms, some differing ...
— Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers - Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, - Rockeries, and Shrubberies. • John Wood

... realised; that, so far from remaining the greatest nation of the Western World, Spain has gradually sunk back into a condition that leaves her to-day outside of international politics; and that, with the loss of her last colonies overseas, she appears to the superficial observer to be a dead or dying nation, no longer of any account among the peoples ...
— Spanish Life in Town and Country • L. Higgin and Eugene E. Street



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