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Keenness   Listen
noun
Keenness  n.  The quality or state of being keen.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Keenness" Quotes from Famous Books



... meaning of these words?" replied Joshua, convinced that she had just fitted to the bowstring another shaft intended to wound him. But Miriam, unheeding the question, calmly continued with a defiant keenness of glance that contradicted ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... coldness and through keenness, Dear hearts take comfort so: Somewhere or other doubtless These make ...
— Leaves of Life - For Daily Inspiration • Margaret Bird Steinmetz

... as a collection of poems by different authors, at different times during a century. There was, he said, the individuality of an age, but not of a country. Morritt, a zealous worshipper of the old bard, was incensed at a system which would turn him into a polytheist, gave battle with keenness, and was joined by Sotheby, our host. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. "Zounds! I was never so bethumped with words." Morritt's impatience; must have cost him an extra sixpence ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... which young people are thus induced to acquire knowledge, without study and labor, is not education. It occupies but does not enrich the mind. It imparts a stimulus for the time, and produces a sort of intellectual keenness and cleverness; but, without an implanted purpose and a higher object that mere pleasure, it will bring with it no solid advantage. In such cases knowledge produces but a passing impression; a sensation, gut no more; it is, in fact, the merest epicurism of intelligence—sensuous, ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... were everywhere. He was in the Admiral's vessel, and although sometimes hardly able to drag himself upon deck, he would note with all his old keenness every nook and cranny in the precipitous shores, every movement of the enemy, every natural advantage which could possibly be made ...
— French and English - A Story of the Struggle in America • Evelyn Everett-Green

... have come to Ida on a party of pleasure with no very definite object in view, and are now engaged in exercising their tongues at one another's expense. The scene consists of a cross-fire of feminine amenities, not of the most delicate, it is true, and therefore not here to be reproduced, yet of a keenness of temper and a ringing mastery in the rimed verse little less than brilliant in themselves, and little less than a portent at the date of their appearance. Then a storm arises, during which, the goddesses having sought refuge in Diana's bower, Ate rolls the fatal ball upon the ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... What interest had Arthur to lie about the value of Wyncote if it was irretrievably lost to us? As my father ended, he glanced at me with more or less of his old keenness of look, smiling a little as he regarded me. The pause which came after was brief, as I have said; for my reflections, such as they were, passed swiftly through my mind, and were as complete as ...
— Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker • S. Weir Mitchell

... of a cesspool, and the newest of Her Majesty's hired servants sat in a grim wrath and loathing, seeing that he had chosen these for his life companions. The meal was plentiful, and not bad of its kind, but it was dirtily served, and asked for long custom or an appetite of more than average keenness. Our recruit had neither the one nor the other, but he remembered his promise to Irene. He had undertaken to meet his fate cheerfully, and the fare was part of his fate. He would have no re-pinings. The food was honest and wholesome, and he would probably learn to be ...
— VC — A Chronicle of Castle Barfield and of the Crimea • David Christie Murray

... Those who held uncourtly opinions could express those opinions without resorting to illegal expedients and employing the agency of desperate men. The consequence was that the dispute was carried on, though with sufficient keenness, yet, on the whole, with a decency which would have been thought extraordinary in the days ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... living beings, why do we not see It? Because the ordinary man's vision is too dull and distracted. It is visible to those alone whose intellect has been purified by constant thought on the Supreme, and whose sight therefore has become refined and sharpened. This keenness of vision comes only when all our forces have been made one-pointed through steadfast ...
— The Upanishads • Swami Paramananda

... fortune? What were the terms of the agreement that you proposed to this boy when you, the Rev. George Silverman, licensed to marry, engaged to put him in possession of this girl? You made good terms for yourself, whatever they were. He would stand a poor chance against your keenness.' ...
— George Silverman's Explanation • Charles Dickens

... presented by him increased; perhaps the climax was in 1837, when Adams presented a petition from twenty-two slaves, and, when threatened by his opponents with censure, defended himself with remarkable keenness and ability. At each session, also, the majority against him decreased until in 1844 his motion to repeal the Twenty-first Rule was carried by a vote of 108 to 80 and his battle was won. On the 21st of February 1848, after having suffered ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... alarmed Paul for the Corinthian Church, are perennial. He feared that these Judaising teachers, who dogged his heels all his life long, and whose one aim seemed to be to build upon his foundation and to overthrow his building, should find their way into this church and wreck it. The keenness of the polemic, in this and in the contextual chapters, shows how real and imminent the danger was. Now what they did was to tell people that Jesus Christ had a partner in His saving work. They said that obedience to the Jewish law, ceremonial and other, was ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... keenness of the sarcasm, and her eyes filled with hot tears. 'You don't understand, Uncle Abel, you never can understand, and there is no use trying to make you,' she said curiously. 'I think I had better call Miss Peck to get ...
— The Guinea Stamp - A Tale of Modern Glasgow • Annie S. Swan

... firmness than might be expected from a mind in which kindness and sensibility were so strongly predominant. At this time, however, his character was not developed, or at least not understood, by those that surrounded him. To strong feelings and enduring affections he added a keenness of perception and a bitterness of invective, of which, in his conversation with his father concerning Yellow Sam, the reader has already had sufficient proofs. At breakfast little or nothing was eaten; the boy himself could not taste a morsel, nor any other person in the family. ...
— The Poor Scholar - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... genius, and honour, little inferior to that given to industry, war, or religion. The fine arts, however, where aesthetic feeling appears almost pure, are by no means the only sphere in which men show their susceptibility to beauty. In all products of human industry we notice the keenness with which the eye is attracted to the mere appearance of things: great sacrifices of time and labour are made to it in the most vulgar manufactures; nor does man select his dwelling, his clothes, or his companions without ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... shoot the first man that he saw taking improper liberties with his property, and that rather dashed the spirits of the gallants, for Barney was bold as a lion, and carried a pair of very good pistols in his belt, in addition to a bowie knife of wondrous keenness. ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... deficient in mental clearness and propelling force, by his horror of war bringing war to pass; Gladstone, of too subtle intellect and too lively conscience, "a good man in the worst sense of the term"; Palmerston, above both in keenness of instinct and in strength of will, meaning war from the first, and biding his time to insure it; Newcastle, sanguine to the verge of rashness, loyally adherent to Lord Raglan while governed by his ...
— Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake • Rev. W. Tuckwell

... laugh, the master when he sees, A puny insect, shivering at a breeze! Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around! The whole a labour'd quarry above ground; 110 Two Cupids squirt before: a lake behind Improves the keenness of the northern wind. His gardens next your admiration call, On every side you look, behold the wall! No pleasing intricacies intervene, No artful wildness to perplex the scene; Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother, And half the platform just reflects the other. The suffering ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... Mollie Ainslie was not speculative. She could not solve this problem of strength and weakness. In power of thought, breadth of reasoning, and keenness of analysis she felt that he was her master; in knowledge—the power of acquiring and using scientific facts—she could but laugh at his weakness. It puzzled her. She wondered at it; but she had never sought to assign a reason for it. It remained for the learner ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... by its own weight, with original essays on the most interesting subjects of the time, religious, or political; in which the titles of the books or pamphlets prefixed furnish only the name and occasion of the disquisition. I do not arraign the keenness, or asperity of its damnatory style, in and for itself, as long as the author is addressed or treated as the mere impersonation of the work then under trial. I have no quarrel with them on this account, as ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... were actively engaged in the work of organizing and establishing competing telephone exchanges all over the country, greatly facilitated the spread of the idea and the growth of the business, and familiarized the people with the use of the telephone as a business agency; while the keenness of the competition, extending to the agents and employees of both companies, brought about a swift but quite unforeseen and unlooked-for expansion in the individual exchanges of the larger cities, and a corresponding advance in their ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... the long difficult trail along the mountain was a rich study in degrees: Rhoda, the fragile Caucasian, a product of centuries of civilization; and Kut-le, the Indian, with the keenness, the ferocious courage, the cunning of the Indian leavened inextricably with the thousand softening influences of a score of years' contact with civilization; then Cesca, the lean and stoical product of an ancient and terrible savagery; ...
— The Heart of the Desert - Kut-Le of the Desert • Honore Willsie Morrow

... to another, as if by his own fault; nor any of them stimulated to emulation, and changing places with others, although their allotted tasks be of different dignities, and their granted instruments of different keenness; for in none of them can there be a perfection or balance of all human attributes;—the great colorist becomes gradually insensible to the refinements of form which he at first intentionally omitted; the master of line is inevitably dead to many of the delights of color; the ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... by which every maritime power sought to promote its own navigation, and that part of the European system in particular, by which each aimed at a monopoly of the trade of its colonies, were felt with peculiar keenness when enforced by England. The people of America were perhaps the more sensible to the British resolutions on this subject, because, having composed a part of that empire, they had grown up in the habit of a free intercourse with all its ports; and, without accurately ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 4 (of 5) • John Marshall

... steamer Speedwell made her appearance round the promontory by Knollsea Bay, to take in passengers for the transit to Cherbourg. Breezes the freshest that could blow without verging on keenness flew over the quivering deeps and shallows; and the sunbeams pierced every detail of barrow, path and rabbit-run upon the lofty convexity of down and waste which shut in Knollsea from the world to ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... fastidious in speech and personal habit, truly majestic and generous, such was the shy woodland companion with whom Diane chose willfully to spend her idle hours, finding the girl's unconstrained intervals of silence, her flashes of Indian keenness, her inborn reticence and naive parade of the wealth of knowledge Mic-co had taught her, a most bewildering book in which there was daily something new ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... various circumstances which endeared Harry to our singular monarch, his skill and keenness as a sportsman were not inconsiderable: he knew where all the game in the island was to be found; so that, when his good old patron was permitted by the gout to take the field, Harry's assistance saved him a vast deal of unnecessary toil, and gratified him in his favourite ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... the degree, which produce a flattering reception in society. He was a tolerable musician, he used his pencil with tolerable skill, and he wrote tolerable verses; more would have been worse than useless. He dressed admirably, and, as his cheval de battaile, he talked with a keenness of observation and a dexterity of language, scarcely less rare than wit, and still more exciting among the exhausted minds, and in the vapid ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844 • Various

... shook the offered hand. He was tall and lean, and brown-faced as a soldier back from the war. He had a boyish air, younger than his thirty-one or thirty-two years: but under that look was the same sort of hardness and keenness which was the first thing a stranger noticed ...
— The Lion's Mouse • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... Speaking about this, some said, Well enough—he has become quite incompetent of late. Getting stale, probably. Unable to discover the obvious, losing his keenness. Ten years in the Far East about does for one. But with Lawson, the situation was different. He had become so tired of boundary lines, of perpetual swaying back and forth from one side to the other, without conviction. ...
— Civilization - Tales of the Orient • Ellen Newbold La Motte

... leaning an elbow on the table, covered his eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his hand, the fine mask looked at him sideways with a stronger concentration of keenness, closeness, and dislike, than was comportable with its wearer's assumption ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... square of stretched cloth came a man's head, followed by the figure pertaining to it. The full man was clad after a rich fancy and he held in his hand a brush and looked at us at first dreamily and then with keenness. ...
— 1492 • Mary Johnston

... powerful but regular movement. All about him had become alive. Vitality, like the vitality of youth upon mountain tops, pulsed and whirled about them, pouring into them the currents of a rushing glorious life, undiluted, straight from the source. In his little person he felt both the keenness of sharp steel and the vast momentum of a whole ocean. Thus he describes it. And the more clearly he uttered in his thoughts the sound given to him by his leader, the greater seemed the influx of strength and glory ...
— The Human Chord • Algernon Blackwood

... of the voice. He raised his large black eyes, with their long lashes, and turned them without hesitation towards the spot whence the exclamation proceeded. At a glance, he saw Porthos and D'Artagnan close to him. On his part, D'Artagnan, thanks to the keenness of his sight, had seen all, seized all. The full portrait of the prelate had entered his memory, never to leave it. One thing had particularly struck D'Artagnan. On perceiving him, Aramis had colored, then he had concentrated under his eyelids the fire of the look of the master, and the ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... show,' and in its interests doing much for the men. And in his principle of action he is not an exception, but a common type of the Anglican padre as I have met them in many lands. They are trained and encouraged to 'push their own show.' But this keenness on one's 'own show' rather than on men, is the very essence of the sin of schism, and the very root of Pharisaism. Now, as a rule, all the sects stand for their 'own show' first, and men know it. I am ashamed to be a parson today. Men were not made for any Church, but the Church for them." Here ...
— With Our Soldiers in France • Sherwood Eddy

... that simple keenness which is a rarity in Venice. He rejoices in his church and in your pleasure in it. He displays first the Bellini—a Madonna with the strong protective Bellini hands about the child, above them bodiless cherubim flying, ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... to hear the voice again. He rested for a brief space—not long enough to make the interval seem awkward—and glanced swiftly at the girl whom he had aided. His faculties did not rise readily into keenness after his recent hour of lethargy, but he saw in an indefinite way that she was tall, and the elastic pose of her figure as she prepared to pass by him gave him somehow an impression of power. After an instant of hesitation he met the ...
— The Romance of the Coast • James Runciman

... reasonably sure that his intended action is such as would be ordered by the commander, were the latter present and in possession of the facts, has enough encouragement to go ahead confidently. He must possess the loyalty to carry out the plans of his superior and the keenness to recognize and to seize opportunities to further the ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... Sally, at that moment, was as happy as human creature could be, with a keenness of happiness that children who have never been made to turn sheets of a bright afternoon can never realize. The sun was yet an hour high, as she saw, by the flash of her shrewd, time-keeping eye, and she could bear her little prize down to the cove, and collect unknown quantities of gold ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... hobby of natural history went his love of sport: it was impossible for him to separate the one from the other. Fishing was his chief delight; he pursued it with equal keenness in the chalk streams of Hampshire, in the salmon rivers of Ireland, in the desolate tarns on the Welsh mountains. In the visitors' book of the inn at Pen-y-gwryd, Tom Hughes, Tom Taylor, and he left alternate quatrains of doggerel to celebrate their stay, written currente ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... families at 4 ms. on the road. no provision of any discription was to be obtained of these people. a little after dark our young horse broke the rope by which he was confined and made his escape much to the chagrine of all who recollected the keenness of their appetites last evening. the brother of the twisted hair and Wearkkoomt with 10 or 12 others encamped with us ...
— The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Meriwether Lewis et al

... of impermanence brightens beauty and elevates happiness. Melancholy is always attendant on beauty, and that melancholy brings out its keenness as the dark green corrugated leaf brings out the wan loveliness of the primrose. The spectator enjoys the beauty, but his knowledge that it is fleeting, and that he fleeting, adds a pathetic something to it; and by that something the beautiful ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... we poor men could only enter by prodigious effort. Captivated by its grace of motion, and jealous of its freedom, I would for hours watch it. And this eagle I knew, from the height and distance from which it would swoop down on its prey, to be possessed of eyesight of unrivalled keenness in addition to ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... resumed after a week (Lady Tristram had spent the interval in bed) on a business footing. She found in him the same carelessness of the world and its obligations that there was in herself, but found it carried to the point of scorn and allied to a tenacity of purpose and a keenness of vision which she had never owned. Not a reproach escaped him—less, she thought, from generosity than because he chose to concentrate his mind on something useful. It was no use lamenting the past; it might ...
— Tristram of Blent - An Episode in the Story of an Ancient House • Anthony Hope

... keenness of Wordsworth's sense perceptions was very remarkable. His susceptibility to impressions of sound is well illustrated in this passage, which closes (l. 43-46) with a color picture of ...
— Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson • William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson

... afternoon, he had felt a longing for this quietude, and had even begged Mrs. Winthrop and Aaron, who had naturally lingered behind every one else, to leave him alone with his child. The excitement had not passed away: it had only reached that stage when the keenness of the susceptibility makes external stimulus intolerable—when there is no sense of weariness, but rather an intensity of inward life, under which sleep is an impossibility. Any one who has watched such moments in other men remembers the brightness ...
— Silas Marner - The Weaver of Raveloe • George Eliot

... the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them. The keenness of our vision depends not on how much we can see, but on how much we feel. Nor yet does mere knowledge create beauty. Nature sings her most exquisite songs to those who love her. She does not unfold her secrets ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... rise of Ravenserodd seems to have been due to a remarkable keenness for business on the part of its citizens, amounting, in the opinion of the Grimsby traders, to sharp practice. For, being just within Spurn Head, the men of Ravenserodd would go out to incoming vessels bound for Grimsby, and induce ...
— Yorkshire Painted And Described • Gordon Home

... which, under the symbol of the hotel room, was merely that we should perhaps appreciate more if we were offered less to appreciate. Apropos of this, I have long been struck by the case of a dear Italian friend of mine, whose keenness of perception and grip of judgment and unexpectedness of fancy is almost in inverse proportion to her knowledge of books or opportunity of travel. An invalid, cut off from much reading, and limited to ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... drawing riches from the prairies, the mines of the mountains, and are creating business thrift in all the rising towns. In all the world, in every commercial centre, in the vessels upon the sea, in every mechanical industry at home and abroad, are those whose keenness and brightness of mind, whose sharpness of ingenuity, and whose warmth of heart are to be traced to the natural blood and descent from those we ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, January 1886 - Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 1, January, 1886 • Various

... Little's mind had not been idle. She had long divined a young rival in her son's heart, and many a little pang of jealousy had traversed her own. This morning, with a quickness which may seem remarkable to those who have not observed the watchful keenness of maternal love, she had seen that her rival had worked upon Henry to resign his declared intention of leaving Hillsborough. Then she felt her way, and, in a moment, she had found the younger ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... paid the money unconsciously; she did not know whether he was embalming her husband or just trying the keenness of his new tools. The death had been too ...
— Advanced Chemistry • Jack G. Huekels

... resolved that for the first five miles your name should not pass my lips. I was amused by the artful attempts she made, at the start, to break through my reticence. Then a silence fell upon her; and then she became suddenly gay. That keenness which I enjoyed so much when it was exercised on the lieutenant was not so satisfactory directed against myself. Miss Daw has great sweetness of disposition, but she can be disagreeable. She is like the young lady in the rhyme, with the curl on ...
— Marjorie Daw • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... somewhat under the middle size, and somewhat rotund in person, he was always dressed in a full suit of black, never worn long enough to become threadbare. His face was rubicund, and not without keenness; but the most remarkable thing about him was the crown of his head, which was bald, and shone like polished ivory, nothing more white, smooth, and lustrous. Some people have said that he wore false calves, probably because his black silk stockings never exhibited a wrinkle; they might ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... long and died slowly, and the Christian hymn-writers wrote in its decadence. It was then an instrument that has lost its fineness, and keenness, and polish—worn out and ineffective,—not the language of the men whose thoughts still charm the world, and who by its deft use gained for themselves and for their work immortality. It has little of the subtilty of expression, the variety of cadence, or the intellectual possibility, ...
— Hymns of the Greek Church - Translated with Introduction and Notes • John Brownlie

... close his short but brilliant career. The emotions, the tender sentiments he has described with such a magical pen, he felt himself with an unmatched keenness. They mastered his whole frame with an intensity surpassing all romance. His descriptions of the passions, descriptions which have been the wonder of thousands, such is their fire and temper, were not rhetorical studies, but the ebullition of a soul sensitive to their lightest breath, and not ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... in the Duncaid. He possessed little originality or creative imagination, but he had a vivid sense of the beautiful, and an exquisite taste. He owed much of his popularity to the easy harmony of his verse, the keenness of his satire, and the brilliancy of his antithesis. He has, with the exception of Shakespeare, added more phrases to the English language than any other poet. He died on the ...
— The Canadian Elocutionist • Anna Kelsey Howard

... scrub. As we had, by the process known in the army as "wangling," acquired sufficient tents and marquees for a battalion, there was a large quantity to find. Ultimately, after weeks of searching, we obtained enough, and to stimulate keenness, a prize was then offered for the best camouflaged tent. The winners' was really a very beautiful affair, but apparently the honour—or the scrub—was too much for the tent, for ...
— With Our Army in Palestine • Antony Bluett

... friendliness and sympathy with you—as a fellow-member of the same family, I may say—and with the highest ideals and the honor of that family always in view. [CURT makes no comment. SHEFFIELD unconsciously begins to adopt the alert keenness of the cross-examiner.] First, let me ask you, is it your intention to take that five ...
— The First Man • Eugene O'Neill

... life and intelligence opened to our knowledge in Mr. Bullen's stories of the inhabitants of the sea. He finds the same fascinating interest in the lives of the dwellers in the deep as Thompson Seton found in the lives of the hunted ashore, and with the keenness and vigor which characterized his famous book "The Cruise of The Cachalot" he has made a book which, being based upon personal observation, buttressed by scientific facts and decorated by imagination, is a storehouse of information—an ideal romance of deep sea ...
— St. Cuthbert's • Robert E. Knowles

... he did not attempt to make the pass. Instead he went at the right-hand slope of the valley and began to climb. The slope was steep and soft, yet the stallion climbed up and up. The dust flew in clouds; the gravel rolled down, and the sand followed in long streams. Wildfire showed his keenness ...
— Wildfire • Zane Grey

... runs, after a few adventures, over into an elaborate practical joke in which Pankraz himself is burlesqued by his contemporaries. Timme carries his poignancy and keenness of satire over into bluntness of burlesque blows in a large part of these closing scenes. Pankraz loses the sympathy of the reader, involuntarily and irresistibly conceded him, and becomes an inhuman freak of ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can ...
— MacMillan's Reading Books - Book V • Anonymous

... cheerful, untiring traveller, always eager to be going on, delighted with every place he visited, and yet anxious for constant change of scene and for new experience. To be amusingly and simply selfish is ever part of the charm of Montaigne. He adds to his reader's pleasure in life by the keenness with which he relished his own existence, and savoured every little incident as a man relishes the bouquet of wine. Without selfishness, how can this be managed? and without perfect simplicity and the good faith on which he prided himself, ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang

... was found by the abbess, who was pleased to see her weep, knowing that the keenness of sorrow is much ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... anybody else, even his friend Christophe. However, Christophe most meritoriously forced himself to be patient, and in his affection for him, concealed what he really thought of him. But Olivier, with his natural keenness of perception sharpened by suffering, saw the conflict in his friend, and what a burden he was upon him with his unending sorrow. It was enough, to make him turn from Christophe, and fill him with ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... kind of day you've had, she puts all right." The man was right—the most delightful conversation that can be held is between a rational man and woman who love each other, who understand each other, and who have sufficient worldly keenness to keep clear of lowering cares. A man rightly mated feels it an absolute delight to confide the innermost secrets of life to his wife; and the woman would feel almost criminal if she kept the pettiest of petty secrets ...
— Side Lights • James Runciman

... far surpassing the two afore-mentioned. This law, as I may so say, it is the chief and most pure resemblance of the justice and holiness of the heavenly majesty, and doth hold forth to all men the sharpness and keenness of his wrath above the other two that I have before mentioned. I say, both because it hath been delivered more plain and open, both as to the duty enjoined, and the sin prohibited; and therefore must of necessity, fall with the more ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... assent are beaming. Whether she, too, has seen that photograph Abbot cannot tell. That she has had the feminine keenness of vision in sighting a possible romance is beyond question. The secret-service official is at Abbot's side as he turns back from ...
— A War-Time Wooing - A Story • Charles King

... bend in the trail he searched the near thickets with penetrating keenness: he knew Malay treachery. His eyes, flashing from side to side, focussed upon a dim, motionless figure outlined in the shadow beneath the trunk of a large tree that stood on the edge of the clearing. His back was to Terry ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... the charming object of his distraction was out of sight he could deliberate, and measure, and weigh things with some approach to keenness. The substance of his queries was, What change had come ...
— The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid • Thomas Hardy

... to the custody and control of the children of the union. And in all nations and classes where this state of affairs still continues, the women have as yet no clear intellectual perception of the keenness and unfairness of their suffering. They still try to console themselves with believing and allowing others to suppose that after all, things are not so bad; they might be worse. These poor women actually hypnotize ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... word rang out, fierce in its keenness and almost too clear to be in keeping with the half choked tones with which she added: "I know that she was not happy, that she never has been happy since the shadow which this room suggests fell upon her marriage. ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... which will carry him home. In a revolution we must have recourse to the highest law, the safety of the state." Another veteran Roundhead, Colonel Birch, took the same side, and argued with great force and keenness from the precedent of 1660. Seymour and his supporters were beaten in the Committee, and did not venture to divide the House on the Report. The Bill passed rapidly, and received the royal assent on the tenth day after the accession of William and ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... again, seems to have led him to attack St. Paul, whom he took to be responsible for dogmatic theology, and therefore for the catechism; and he cross-examines the apostle, and confronts his various accounts of the conversion with a keenness worthy of a professional lawyer. In one of the MSS. at University College the same method is applied to the gospels. Bentham was clearly not capable of anticipating Renan. From these studies he was led to the far more interesting book, published under the name of Philip Beauchamp. Bentham ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... when it became necessary for Leslie to come to some definite conclusion as to how far he would take these two men into his confidence. He had watched them both with the utmost keenness from the first moment of his connection with them, and everything that he had seen in their speech and behaviour had led him to the conviction that they were absolutely honest, loyal, and trustworthy. On the other hand, he had heard of cases wherein men even as trustworthy ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... cheered her to have him, and for that reason he was the less inclined to rebel against the edict that sent him there. They had begun to read French together, Chris having developed a sudden keenness for the language which he was delighted to encourage. That the original idea had been devised for his pleasure he shrewdly suspected, but the carrying out of it contributed undoubtedly to her own. It occupied ...
— The Rocks of Valpre • Ethel May Dell

... by some odour he is able to detect in the air. Again, he can lay back his ears to the wind and catch a faint, far-off sound with, certainty and precision, and tell you what it is. Civilized beings have forgotten all this; they can neither smell nor hear with actual keenness. Just in the same way, they have forgotten the use of the electrical organs they all indubitably possess in large or minute degree. As the muscles of the arm are developed by practice, so can the wonderful internal electrical apparatus of man be strengthened and enlarged by use. The ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... How narrow and provincial seems his experience of life! A little city, an isolated society, a country village! Yet through books, and through intercourse with intelligent persons, he was really "set in a large place." The proof of this largeness, and of the keenness of his mental and moral vision, is that, in regard to some of the chief concerns of mankind, he was a seer and a fore-seer. This prophetic quality of his I hope to demonstrate to-night in three great ...
— Four American Leaders • Charles William Eliot

... striking, vicious-looking, awesome men. The one was huge—so wide and heavy and deep-set that he looked short—and he resembled a gorilla. The other was tall, slim, with a face as red as flame, and an expression of fierce keenness. He was stoop shouldered, yet he held his head erect in a manner that suggested ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... about her keenness now, yet I noticed that there were no bold inferences this time. Nor did she even ask me many questions. But I ...
— The Man From the Clouds • J. Storer Clouston

... that febrile glitter which once I had disliked, but which I had learned from experience to be due to tremendous nervous excitement. At such times he could act with icy coolness, and his mental faculties seemed temporarily to acquire an abnormal keenness. He made no ...
— The Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... again letting the fallacy of number take hold of us. There can be no aggregate of suffering among lower, any more than among higher, organisms; and the amount of pain which individual animals have to endure—even animals of those species which we can suppose to possess a certain keenness of sensibility—is probably, in the vast majority of cases, very trifling. Half the anguish of humanity proceeds from the power of looking before and after. The animal, though he may suffer from fear of imminent, visible danger, cannot ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... earnest the time can pass quickly. It seemed a very short time indeed till the door, usually left ajar, was pulled open and Dr. Winchester emerged, taking off his respirator as he came. His act, when he had it off, was demonstrative of his keenness. He turned up the outside of the wrap ...
— The Jewel of Seven Stars • Bram Stoker

... be due to the fact that when the poem was composed, about 1150, the power of the Moor had really been broken by the conquests of Ferdinand I, Alphonso VI, Alphonso VII and Alphonso VIII of Castile and alphonso I, the Battler, of Aragon. The menace was no longer felt with the keenness of an hundred years before. until the end of the tenth century the Moors had dominated the Peninsula. The growth of the Christian states from the heroic nucleus in northern Asturias was confined to the ...
— The Lay of the Cid • R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon

... slangy little chap who took so familiar an attitude toward him—this was the judge's "ministerial" friend! Yet, had there not been mention of "ritualistic work" and "Early Christians" in his conversation? And this woman of whom he spoke,—it took no great keenness of perception to see that the "strawberry blonde" must be the "child of six or eight years" whom he had called "Daisy," and sometimes "Strawberry!" Here was confirmation of Alvord's suspicion, if his allusion to the violation of an "obligation" expressed suspicion. Here was a situation ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... admiration of the fine soldierly qualities exhibited by all ranks of the special force which I led into Upper Swat. They fought the action at Landakai in a brilliant manner, working over high hills, under a burning sun, with the greatest alacrity, and showing everywhere the greatest keenness to close with the enemy. They carried out admirably the trying duties necessitated by marching in hot weather with a transport train of more than 2000 mules, and they endured with perfect cheerfulness ...
— The Story of the Malakand Field Force • Sir Winston S. Churchill

... wooden comb with which she strikes a few stitches into place. When she wishes to wedge the yarn for a complete row—from side to side—she uses a flat broad stick, one edge of which is sharpened almost to knife-like keenness. This is called the "batten." With the design in her brain her busy and skilful fingers produce the pattern as she desires it, there being no sketch from which she may copy. In weaving a blanket of intricate pattern and many colors the weaver finds it easier to open the few warp threads needed ...
— The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It, • George Wharton James

... Belgian and Russian armies alike. This article also was a protest against the lower tone which has prevailed by no means only amongst the newspapers printed in German. The Serbians are spoken of as "an enemy who can hardly be surpassed in keenness and untiring energy." No one has any right, the article says, to abuse the Belgians who had a right to fight and who fought very well, notwithstanding the notoriously unmilitary character of their ...
— The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship • Harold Picton

... the finest statues of the ancient empire. The men's heads are veritable portraits, in which such details as a peculiar conformation of the skull, prominent cheekbones, deep-set eyes, sunken cheeks, or the modelling of the chin, have all been observed and reproduced with a fidelity and keenness of observation which we fail to find in such works of the earlier artists as have come down to us. These later sculptors display the same regard for truth in their treatment of animals, and their dog-headed divinities; their dogs, lions, and sphinxes will safely bear comparison with the most ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... daughter of a minister of the gospel, herself a Christian, she had never before heard a lady pray in the presence of gentlemen. She had heard of their doing so; heard them criticised with sharp sarcasm. Some of the criticisms which had sounded full of keenness and wit when she heard them, recurred to her at this time, and some way, with Flossy's low, earnest voice filling her heart, they dwindled into shallowness and coarseness. All the same, their baneful influence was on her, and helped to hold ...
— Ester Ried Yet Speaking • Isabella Alden

... life when I had much need of a discipline. Besides, the mind of a young man is not ripe enough in reflection or rich enough in knowledge to supply substantial and well-nourished prose; but the freshness and keenness of his feelings may often give life enough to a few stanzas, if ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... he had encouraged the laying-out of the waste places beyond the Capitol, thus adding to the city another and imposing section. His interest did not stop at politics, nor at carrying through the reforms he had at heart. He attended with equal keenness and ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... indistinguishable from the dialogue itself. Upon the other hand Cathleen's verses by the fire, and those of the pupils in "The Hour-Glass," and those of the beggars in "The Unicorn," are sung as the country people understand song. Modern singing would spoil them for dramatic purposes by taking the keenness and the salt out of the words. The songs in "Deirdre," in Miss Fair's and in Miss Allgood's setting, need fine speakers of verse more than good singers: and in these, and still more in the song of the Three Women in "Baile's Strand," the singers must remember the natural speed of words. ...
— Irish Plays and Playwrights • Cornelius Weygandt

... in literature, the gentler aspects of the writer's nature. His satire is, perhaps, too uncompromising. It often seems to reflect a personal bitterness, to take too little cognisance of the springs of human weakness. Undoubtedly brilliant in force and keenness, it yet too seldom produces the kind of hearty laugh with which Thackeray and Swift, for example, relieve their fiercest scorn. His personal experience of life had been discouraging. He had sounded its depths and sipped its pleasures; its rude facts found him deficient ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... her with sudden keenness. In spite of herself she blushed and turned her head away. He hardly noticed the fact, and, if he had, would assuredly not have put upon it any interpretation approaching to the truth. He supposed that she ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... seem, that this imitation of masters—indeed, almost all imitation which implies a more regular and progressive method of attaining the ends of painting—has ever been particularly inveighed against with great keenness, both by ancient ...
— Seven Discourses on Art • Joshua Reynolds

... gentle-breathing south-east wind will act more mildly; it will woo you to the country, induce you to sit down in a shady place, smoke, and 'muse.' That incarnate essence of enterprise, business, industry, economy, sharpness, shrewdness, and keenness—that Prometheus whose liver was torn by the vulture of cent per cent—eternally tossing, restless DOOLITTLE, was one day seen asleep, during bank hours, on a seat in the Villa Madama. The scirocco blew that day: ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... him to tell an untruth or do a dishonourable deed. As to theft, it is merely ridiculous. His habits have always been inexpensive and frugal, he is unambitious to a fault, and in respect to the 'main chance' his indifference is as conspicuous as Walter's keenness. He is a generous man, ...
— The Red Thumb Mark • R. Austin Freeman

... the mouth if they ended less tragically, but they would not be so true to life as it is in the faunal realm. It must be true that the lives of most birds and animals end in tragedy, so numerous, alert, and persistent are their foes. As soon as a bird begins to grow old and infirm, losing its keenness of vision and its swiftness of movement, it cannot help falling a prey to its rapacious enemies. For this reason you seldom find a feeble animal or bird in the open, or one that has lain down ...
— Our Bird Comrades • Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser

... his curiosity. Probably his ride, and a natural desire to return to the ranch as quickly as possible, had dulled the keenness of his faculties of observation. Certain it is that, squalid as the place was, there was an air of recent habitation about it that he missed. He took it for a deserted shack merely, and gave it ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... fruitless longing for escape, rather than a nearing to some distant haven or goal. He had not used to be so keen in this subtile discrimination, until Maverick crossed his path, and helped him out of his psychological bondage. And ordinarily his senses had not the electric keenness of to-night. ...
— Hope Mills - or Between Friend and Sweetheart • Amanda M. Douglas

... raised the glass he had lowered to his side, and swept the horizon eastward; knowing full well the keenness of his subordinate's eyes, he fully expected to see some suspicious vessel in sight, but that had not taken the mate's attention, for as soon as the glass had described about the eighth of a circle the skipper lowered it again and gave an ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... result, if at all, by inferior means. His power lay in the selection of traits which were strictly characteristic, in making every act or phrase indicative of individuality. An astute critic, therefore—one gifted with that keenness of vision to which the exercise of the office unhappily implies a claim—should have been able to infer Thackeray's dexterity with the pencil from the methods of his literary work. There was, however, no room for conjecture on this point, as the fact was early a matter of notoriety, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... Mr. Oldways pulled off his spectacles, looked sharp at Hazel with two sharp, brown eyes,—set near together, Hazel noticed for the first time, like Desire's,—let the keenness turn gradually into a twinkle, suffered the muscles that had held his lips so grim to relax, and laughed too; his peculiar, up-and-down shake of a laugh, in which head and shoulders made the motions, as if he were a bottle, ...
— Real Folks • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... one's watchfulness and keenness of perception. We did not take off our clothes nor unsaddle our horses, tired as we were. I put my Mauser inside my coat and began to look about and scrutinize the people. The first thing I discovered was the butt end of a rifle under the pile of pillows ...
— Beasts, Men and Gods • Ferdinand Ossendowski

... thraldom, because his skin has darkened under a hotter sun? Shall he be the perpetual servant of his fellow man, because deficiency of intellectual power, naturally resulting from a want of education and opportunity, have given him less keenness of perception, disqualified him to stand forth the vindicator of the oppressed, to assert his rights, and demand redress for his injuries? No! We trust that there is a redeeming virtue in our fellow citizens, ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 6, 1921 • Various

... scarcely to have been the subject of serious impressions before her seventeenth year. Until that time she enjoyed the pleasures of the world with few misgivings and with a keenness of relish which led her to think herself, as she says, "the happiest creature on earth." She adds, "I so far surpassed my friends in gayety and mirth, that some of them were apprehensive I had but a short time to continue in my career of folly, and should be ...
— Lives of the Three Mrs. Judsons • Arabella W. Stuart

... did not take to me. I did my best to be pleasant; I made her several gifts. She accepted my offerings, but was not bought by them; myself she considered dull. I had not the flow of animal spirits that appeals so strongly to children. I played with her, but her young keenness detected the cloven hoof of duty. She told me I need not play unless I liked. Cousin Elizabeth apologized for me; Elsa was gentle, but did not change her opinion. The passage of years, I reflected, would increase in me all that the child found least to her taste. ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... into play; there were even moments when passages of his occasional experience as a sportsman, stirred memories, from his younger time, of moor and mountain and desert, revived for him—and to the increase of his keenness—by the tremendous force of analogy. He found himself at moments—once he had placed his single light on some mantel-shelf or in some recess—stepping back into shelter or shade, effacing himself ...
— The Jolly Corner • Henry James

... yarn socks, with rubber shoes or buckskin moccasins. In hunting, "silence is gold." Go quietly, slowly and silently. Remember that the bright-eyed, sharp-eared woodfolk can see, hear and smell, with a keenness that throws our dull faculties quite in the shade. As you go lumbering and stick-breaking through the woods, you will never know how many of these quietly leave your path to right and left, allowing ...
— Woodcraft • George W. Sears

... spirit and inclination are attached to us: in other things resembling the Batavians, save that as they still breathe their original air, still possess their primitive soil, they are thence inspired with superior vigour and keenness. Amongst the people of Germany I would not reckon those who occupy the lands which are under decimation, though they be such as dwell beyond the Rhine and the Danube. By several worthless and vagabond Gauls, and such as poverty ...
— Tacitus on Germany • Tacitus

... aesthetic keenness—and aesthetic keenness, as I shall show you in my next chapter, means appreciating beauty, not collecting beautiful properties—thus it is that all aesthetic keenness implies a development of the qualities of patience, attention, ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... secret of his power and his success? First undoubtedly was the keenness of his eye. "I have been all over the world and I have never come across a man with as keen an eye as Mr. Style" said one of his former pupils. He seemed to look quite through a man and there was no thought of evasion with him. ...
— A History of Giggleswick School - From its Foundation 1499 to 1912 • Edward Allen Bell

... are an unworthy member of the House. Now I want all of you to try. Some of you will perhaps never rise above playing on House games, or get higher than the Upper Fifth. But if you can manage to set an example of keenness you will have proved yourselves worthy of the School House, which is beyond doubt the House at Fernhurst. That's all I ...
— The Loom of Youth • Alec Waugh

... know that it is principally in this that these accursed dogs do trust, whereas we, O men of Islam, will place our confidence in God, in Mahomet his Prophet, in the strength of our right arms, in the keenness of our scimitars; we will carry them by boarding, therefore we must keep our crews ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... pleasure, indeed, to the laity, but as a thing half dangerous, and declaring that there was perfect safety only within the walls of the nominally ascetic Church itself. The intellectual life, also, nearly restricted to priests and monks, had been formalized and conventionalized, until in spite of the keenness of its methods and the brilliancy of many of its scholars, it had become largely barren and unprofitable. The whole sphere of knowledge had been subjected to the mere authority of the Bible and of a few great minds of the past, such as Aristotle. All questions were argued and decided ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... exhibit that sort of keenness," said Miss Pritchard, laughing, "I'll make a newspaper reporter of you, willy-nilly. Then you'll be sorry for poking fun at ...
— Elsie Marley, Honey • Joslyn Gray

... after-dinner speaking is called 'good,' as good whist after dinner. It may seem otherwise, even to the spectators; but having themselves dined like the rest, they are not in a position to give an opinion. The keenness of observation is blunted by food and wine; the delicate perceptions are gone; and what is left of the intelligence is generally devoted to finding faults in your partner's play. The consciousness of mistakes on your own part, which he is in no condition ...
— Some Private Views • James Payn

... had grown careless of the light world that clattered about them; they were become so engrossed in their personal drama that the language of their eyes was almost as obvious as gestures. And Stimson, through his keenness, his wonderful, infallible penetration, suddenly came into possession of these obvious facts. "Well, of all the nerves," he said, regarding with a new interest the young ...
— Men, Women, and Boats • Stephen Crane

... Whereas science reduces the world to mechanism, poetry intuits and struggles to express its inner life; and since this inner life is inexhaustible, poetry is immortal. Emerson seized upon this truth with characteristic keenness of perception ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... there. He was a great man in Roderick's eyes, the head of a firm of continental reputation. He had kept the young man at his side, and had made known to him the significant fact that, one day, if he transacted business with the keenness and faithfulness that seemed to characterise all his actions now, there might be a bigger place awaiting him. The man said very little that was definite, but the Lad's sleep had been disturbed by waking dreams of a great future. That his friend, Alexander Graham, was the mover ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith



Words linked to "Keenness" :   conformation, sharpness, steel trap, avidity, intelligence, elan, eagerness, avidness, enthusiasm, ardour, keen, ardor, configuration, sharp, shape



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