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Cleverness   /klˈɛvərnəs/   Listen
Cleverness

noun
1.
The power of creative imagination.  Synonyms: ingeniousness, ingenuity, inventiveness.
2.
Intelligence as manifested in being quick and witty.  Synonyms: brightness, smartness.
3.
The property of being ingenious.  Synonyms: ingeniousness, ingenuity.  "The cleverness of its design"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Cleverness" Quotes from Famous Books



... "mystery" in very much the same sense which St. Chrysostom[75] gives to it in the following careful definition: "A mystery is that which is everywhere proclaimed, but which is not understood by those who have not right judgment. It is revealed, not by cleverness, but by the Holy Ghost, as we are able to receive it. And so we may call a mystery a secret ([Greek: aporreton]), for even to the faithful it is not committed in all its fulness and clearness." In St. Paul the word is nearly always found in connexion with words ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... said, "I fully recognize your cleverness in raising yourself to the position you now occupy. But I would remind you that that position carries with it certain obligations. It is hardly dignified for a princess to engage herself in a vulgar love intrigue ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... him as might have been supposed. His counsellors, in the general interests of his government, pursued an independent line of policy, and Charles himself, even in these his youthful days, knew to assert his independence as a monarch and display his cleverness as a statesman. He saw the prudence of cultivating friendship and contracting if possible an alliance with the Pope. The pressure desirable for this purpose could now be supplied by means of the very danger with which the papacy was threatened ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 9 • Various

... came to range themselves on the side of that freedom which they have always loved as well and bravely as any of the rest of us. For instance—a very stale reflection—one sees Germany overdoing her own cleverness and under-rating that of her neighbours—this more especially in her arrogant dominance of Italy's commerce; further, one notices the Hun's Belgian brutalities costing him dear in a quarter least expected; and again one realises Italy's decision ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 15, 1917 • Various

... all kinds of intellectual gifts, he quite forgets from Whom he has his many gifts, and why it is that his despised neighbour has so few gifts. If you have ten or twenty talents, and I have only two, who is to be praised and who is to be blamed for that allotment? Your cleverness has misled you and has hitherto done you far more evil than good. You bear yourself among ordinary men, among less men than yourself, as if you had added all these cubits to your own stature. You ride over us as if you had already ...
— Bunyan Characters - First Series • Alexander Whyte

... the cleverness displayed by this would-be Chatterton, in his attempt to sell the unwary with an Ossian dodge.—Lit. World, Vol. ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... affairs were political matters treated; but in order to avoid a prosecution, these questions had to be cautiously approached in parable fashion. Never was greater cleverness shown in this respect than at Shakspere's time. Every poet, every statesman, or otherwise highly-placed person, was 'heckled' under an allegorical name—a circumstance which at present makes it rather difficult for us to fully fathom the meaning ...
— Shakspere And Montaigne • Jacob Feis

... out-of-the-way personages into his stories— characters that represent nothing but themselves, or possibly some eccentricity of invention on their author's part, will gain the latter a reputation for cleverness higher than his fellow's who portrays mankind in its masses as well as in its details. But the finest imagination is not that which evolves strange images, but that which explains seeming contradictions, ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... only to buy all the evening papers, which he "thought that Mademoiselle would like to see, as they were sure to be filled with praise of her great acting." It was on my tongue to scold him for stopping even one moment, when he had been told to hurry, but he looked so pleased at his own cleverness that I hadn't the heart to dash his happiness. I would, however, have pushed the papers aside without so much as glancing at them, if it hadn't suddenly occurred to me that, if any accident had befallen Ivor, news of it might possibly have got into print ...
— The Powers and Maxine • Charles Norris Williamson

... you my word, I was such an ass that I did open the case and looked all through it. She must have thought I was a Juggins. I get hot all over whenever I remember it. But in spite of my dulness, and her cleverness, she couldn't gain anything by sending me away, because what she wanted was in the hand bag and every time she sent me away the hand ...
— In the Fog • Richard Harding Davis

... should not bilk me of free movement. But the issue might, on the face of it, appear to be she. As I tugged at the harness, under breath I cursed the scurvy turn of events; and in seeking to place the blame found amazing cleverness in her. Just the same, I was not going to kill him for her account; never, never! And I wished to the deuce that she'd kept clear ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... had been in and out of water almost daily since early childhood, and, though there had never been a test, was confident that, among all the Shell People, there was none he could not overtake, despite what he had heard and knew of their wonderful cleverness in the water. Were not his arms and legs longer and stronger than theirs and his chest deeper? He felt that he could outswim easily any bold fisherman among them, and as for this girl, he would overtake her very quickly and draw her to ...
— The Story of Ab - A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man • Stanley Waterloo

... secret against the royalists. He now returned to his old opinions, and became the leader of the liberal party in Alencon, the invisible manipulator of elections, and did immense harm to the Restoration by the cleverness of his underhand proceedings and the perfidy of his outward behavior. Du Bousquier, like all those who live by their heads only, carried on his hatreds with the quiet tranquillity of a rivulet, feeble apparently, but inexhaustible. His hatred was that of a negro, ...
— An Old Maid • Honore de Balzac

... no further overtures to her during the ride, but he was neither sulky nor sheepish. He feigned an anxiety as to the threatened strike, and related at great length and with extreme cleverness of invention his ...
— A Poor Wise Man • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... fool. I admit that to have a fund of conceptions, and not form, is only a half possession. For the most splendid knowledge in a head incapable of giving them form is like a treasure buried in the earth. But form without substance is a shadow of riches, and all possible cleverness in expression is of no use to him who ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... found himself watching for Audrey, always. She had, with a sort of diabolical cleverness, succeeded in losing herself. Her house was sold, he knew, and he had expected that she would let him know where to find her. She had said she counted on him, and he had derived an odd sort of comfort from the thought. ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... muttered, "she did it on purpose," and even with his hatred and malice was mingled a gleam of admiration at the cleverness that had outwitted him. He hurried on towards the cliff path, but the sunset light was already fading into dusk, and he had to choose his footing more carefully. When he reached the point where the rope began, Marie had already gone down and was leaning on the rock beside her father. Had he been ...
— A Loose End and Other Stories • S. Elizabeth Hall

... "Lady" anybody. He was perfectly well aware, also, that his companion had suspected this. The consideration of these facts left him, however, unaffected. He was disposed, if anything, to admire the cleverness of the young man who had realized ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... he knew she laughed at him. Yes, laughed at him, for she had more than human intelligence. There was something demoniac in her cleverness, her immunity from harm, her prodigious energy, her malevolent mischief, her raillery. Actually, he had grown morbid about the beast; he had a superstitious feeling that in the end she would bring him bad ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... dismissed; the firmness with which the oar was held while in the reach forward, its bending under the push, were proofs of the force applied; not that only, they as certainly proved the rower's art, and put the critic in the great arm-chair in search of the combination of strength and cleverness which was the central ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... illustrations than those which Frank Reynolds drew for Keble Howard's idyll of Suburbia, entitled "The Smiths of Surbiton." The author constructed out of the petty doings and humdrum habits of suburban life a charming little story of simple people, and with equal cleverness the artist built up, out of these slight materials, a series of exquisitely natural pictures, which revealed the almost incredible fact that semi-detached ...
— Frank Reynolds, R.I. • A.E. Johnson

... be his name—and then to his companion, pronouncing the word "Vati", which was as certainly the name of the other. So evident was this that even Murdock understood it, and, proud of his quick comprehension, hastened to display his cleverness by prodding the first native ...
— Turned Adrift • Harry Collingwood

... dumfoundered at this cleverness. So I said, more on my guard—"True, true, Saunders, but ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith • D. M. Moir

... not accuse you,' he returned, unbendingly. 'You chose your path some ten or twelve years ago, and you must take the consequences. I foresaw it; but this I will say, I did not credit the man with his infernal cleverness. If I speak to you at all, I must speak my mind. I thought him a mere buffoon and spendthrift, flying his bar-sinister story for the sake of distinction. He has schemed up to this point successfully: he has the prince in his toils. I would ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... active temperament, combined with a strong turn for enthusiasm. He once saw me study Beethoven's music with an orchestra, and conduct it, and devoured what could be acquired with genuine astonishment, making it his own with so much cleverness that later on at Freiburg he produced the music to "Egmont," which he had heard me do, with very great success, as competent witnesses have assured me. It was the same afterwards with the "Flying Dutchman," which he grasped completely as a conductor. But beyond his specific ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... its appearing a happy token of something else. In the major part of the annual soarings into Cloud-land which alarm the world, we seem to see the sum total of the aspirant's power. We feel that he has shown us all, and done his best; that the force of his cleverness could go no farther; and we are willing to give him his penny of praise, and thereby purchase a pleasant oblivion of him and his forevermore. In this attempt of Mr. LOWELL'S it was impossible not to see that there lay more beyond. We felt that however boldly he might have dived, he did not yet ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... much pleased with my successful teaching, as he had been with my successful learning; and when young Reichardt turned out a remarkably handy and intelligent lad, to whose assistance in some of his avocations he could have recourse with perfect confidence in his cleverness and discretion, he grew extremely partial to him. Dr Brightwell also proved his friend, and in a few years, the condition of the friendless workhouse boy was so changed, he could not have been taken for ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Frederick Marryat

... tell you: I was here last night, and saw my Lord Walpole,(1328) for the first time, but such a youth! I declare to you, I was quite astonished at his sense and cleverness; it is impossible to describe it; it was just what would have made you as happy to observe as it did me: he is not yet seventeen, and is to continue a year longer at Eton, upon his own desire. Alas! how few have I seen of my countrymen half so formed even at their ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... who was wiser than the King and all his councilors; there never was anything like it. Her father was so proud of her that he boasted about her cleverness at home and abroad. He could not keep his tongue still about it. One day he was boasting to one of his neighbors, and he said, "The girl is so clever that not even the King himself could ask her a question she couldn't answer, or read her a riddle ...
— Tales of Folk and Fairies • Katharine Pyle

... of an obscure family, of the name of Dyves. Her portrait represents her as handsome, and her history vouches for her cleverness. It was probably owing to both that she was married to Mr Clayton, then holding an appointment in the treasury, and also the agent for the great Duke of Marlborough's estate, both of them appointments which implied a certain degree of intelligence ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... would determine, nor would preponderance of weapons determine. It was not yet perceived that such clan-people were not Tribe-People, and thus could not know the meaning of Council, nor weigh consequence, nor realize in their new-found cleverness that a single arrogant act would trigger the ...
— The Beginning • Henry Hasse

... Preston, who was eating candy, were art students, and their homes were too far away to visit. As for Jean Lawrence, she was an orphan, and had no home of her own. She worked on the staff of one of the big city newspapers and the other girls were a little in awe of her cleverness, but her nature was a "chummy" one and her room was a favourite rendezvous. Everybody liked frank, ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... but it has a certain cleverness as a satire on the music-hall song of the day, and the Gordons carried it gaily with them to their battlefields, blending it in that odd mixture of humor and tragedy that makes up the soldier's life. The bravest, ...
— Tommy Atkins at War - As Told in His Own Letters • James Alexander Kilpatrick

... "One-sidedness is the mother of virtuosity. The work of the spider is wonderful, but the spider can do nothing else. Man makes a bow and arrow when he can get no prey in his net, the spider goes hungry.'' This distinguishes mechanical cleverness from conscious wisdom completely. Of the same illuminating character are such salse dicta as: "The fool never does what he says, the wise man never says what he does.'' "You can fool one man, but you can not fool all men.'' "Stupidity is natural, wisdom is a product of art.'' ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... and senseless changes in fashion render this practice hard to follow. No woman likes to look out of style. However, by a little cleverness garments and hats may be adapted to the prevailing mode (although the arbiters of fashion, in the interests of manufacturers, try by violent changes of style to render this impracticable). These adaptations may not be in the height of fashion, but they will be in good form ...
— Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife • Marion Mills Miller

... Hunt, would not be Maggie's forte if she developed her possibilities. With her looks, her boldness, her cleverness, she had the makings of a magnificent adventuress. As he painted, he wondered what she was going to do, and become; and he watched her not only with a painter's eye intent upon the present, but with keen speculation ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... of discomfort not lightened by seeing, as she looked back, that the others were walking down the hill together to the village; nor did her attendant do her much good by his comments on Miss Crawford's great cleverness as a horse-woman, which he had been watching with an interest almost ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... Had he followed us back from the mountain? Hardly: we had come too quickly. Had he seen us coming in the early morning, and, making a circuit out of our sight, lain in wait for us as we returned? Such uncanny cleverness seemed hardly possible, even for Big Reuben, clever as he ...
— The Boys of Crawford's Basin - The Story of a Mountain Ranch in the Early Days of Colorado • Sidford F. Hamp

... benevolent, half selfish, as some of the thoughts of the best of men are apt to be. Social conditions mingle elements of evil with the promptings of natural goodness of heart, and the mixture of motives underlying a man's intentions should be leniently judged. Castanier had just cleverness enough to be very shrewd where his own interests were concerned. So he concluded to be a philanthropist on either count, and at first ...
— Melmoth Reconciled • Honore de Balzac

... can hardly be understood, Deerfoot stood in the background and watched the antics of the warrior who had wrapped the bear-skin about his shoulders and body. He could not avoid a feeling of admiration for the cleverness with which the front was arranged, so as to resemble that of the beast, but he felt not the slightest fear that the trick would succeed. It was such an antiquated stratagem that he wondered it was attempted, especially after the defenders ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... dressing, in entertaining, in eating, could be saved by a sensible economy, with no appreciable loss in enjoyment. We must not forget that everything we consume has been produced by the labor and time of others. What fortune, or our own cleverness, has put into our hands that we do not need for making fair and free our own lives, and the lives of those dependent upon us, we should pass on to those whose need is greater than ours. Is it wrong to gamble, bet, or speculate? A corollary to our discussion ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... he drew 13, "all ye've got ter do is this—313." I gasped in amazement, not at his cleverness as a brand-destroyer, but at his honest abandon. With a horrible operatic laugh, such as is painted in "The Cossack's Answer," he again laboriously drew () (the circle cross), and then added some marks which made it look like this: S()S. And again breaking into ...
— Crooked Trails • Frederic Remington

... little conversant with turf matters will no doubt be scandalized to hear of these tricks of the trade, and will be apt to conclude that good faith is no more the fashion at Longchamps than at the Bourse, and that cleverness in betting, as in stockjobbing, consists in knowing when to depreciate values and when to inflate them, as one happens to be a bull or a bear in the market. The truth is, that no rules can be devised, either ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... remote, or trifling facts in geography, topography, natural history, chronology, &c., or acquisitions in art, or accomplishments which the child makes by rote, and which are quite beyond its age; things of no value in themselves, but as they show cleverness; things hurtful to any temper, but to a child like yours absolute poison. Having said thus much, it seems almost impertinent to add that your child, above all, should, I might say, be chained down to the severest attention to truth,—I mean ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... present. It was not to be so with her; she would no longer be sacrificed to creatures worth less than herself, but would make the very best of the chances that life offered her, and conquer circumstances by her exceptional cleverness. Certainly, to be settled at Offendene, with the notice of Lady Brackenshaw, the archery club, and invitations to dine with the Arrowpoints, as the highest lights in her scenery, was not a position that seemed to offer remarkable chances; but Gwendolen's confidence ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... case, however, the cost was partially recouped by the cleverness of his son; who was a noted "nigger-catcher," and kept dogs for the especial purpose. He had a natural penchant for this kind of chase; and, having little else to do, passed a good deal of his time scouring the country in pursuit of his ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... to be alone when he is in this mood," she would say sometimes. Her tact and cleverness in managing him were wonderful; she never seemed to watch him, she never let him feel that his morbid fits were noticed and humored, but all the same she knew when to leave him alone, and when to talk ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... our wit, in its old meaning of good sense, or cleverness and the expression "having one's wits about one," &c.); or ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 39. Saturday, July 27, 1850 • Various

... not rank himself among the impressionists. And he would not like to hear his work called clever; I warn you of that. He has a horror of cleverness. It was not a clever picture, but sober, strange, beautiful. Well, I know Belot and his wife quite intimately. They are great friends of the Lippheims, too, and call themselves the Franco-Prussian alliance. Madame Belot is a dear little woman. ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... and over pronounced him to be the most brilliantly witty person she had ever in the whole course of her life encountered. But his talent as a supposed wit was nothing at all to the cleverness with which he now managed to keep the large white boat by the side of the small green one for the remainder of the evening. It was entirely managed by the superior will of one person, for certainly none of the Bells wished ...
— The Honorable Miss - A Story of an Old-Fashioned Town • L. T. Meade

... which promise neither better nor worse. Here are paintings of merit, good in color and good in drawing, but empty of any meaning. Scattered through the exhibition are the works of a group of able men, imitating themselves, each trying to outdo the others by a display of cleverness in solving some "painter's problem" or by some startling effect of subject or handling. But it is a sad day for any artist when he ceases to find his impulse and inspiration either in his own spirit or in nature, and ...
— The Enjoyment of Art • Carleton Noyes

... straightforward, an' then that she should say: 'Hilton did it, the black beast. He always hated Bob an' me, because we were white, an' the jungle strain has come out at last.' Oh, it was somethink dreadful to hear her laughin' at her cleverness. I——" ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... consummate cleverness with which the false apostles went about to bring Paul into disrepute. They combed Paul's writings for contradictions (our opponents do the same) to accuse him of teaching contradictory things. They found that Paul had circumcised Timothy according ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... Lady's Own Novelist from the table into the broken armchair, and proceeded to sketch together the tea-things with various such interpolations as: "Law, if I ain't forgot the butter!" All the while she talked of Annie's good spirits and cleverness with her millinery, and of Minnie's affection and Miriam's relative love of order and management. Mr. Polly stood by the window uneasily and thought how good and sincere was the Larkins tone. It was ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... Bates, with a sympathetic thoughtfulness; "that's bad—bad. I'd sooner have a boy of mine dead than a mere gentleman. And I shouldn't want him too clever, either. My Billy, before we sent him off to college, showed signs of cleverness; it worried me a good deal. He wanted to write; and there was one time when he thought he wanted to paint. Of course we couldn't allow anything like that. I was willing enough that he should be posted on the best books, and be able to tell a good painting from ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... on the rug, two dogs, Ami and Finette, lay asleep. They were well-trained, obedient dogs, clean-limbed and civil, expert in many clever tricks, but not quite a match for the parrot in cleverness and cunning. ...
— The Nursery, No. 103, July, 1875. Vol. XVIII. - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers • Various

... flatterer and the friend, if they differ neither in the pleasure they give nor in the praise they bestow; for as to services and attentions you may often see friendship outstripped by flattery. Certainly it is so, I should reply, if we are trying to find the genuine flatterer who handles his craft with cleverness and art, but not if, like most people, we consider those persons flatterers who are called their own oil-flask-carriers and table-men, men who begin to talk, as one said, the moment their hands have been washed ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... men's actions from a speculative plane. He excels in sharp etchings which bring the outline of a character into bold prominence. He is happy in defining isolated traits and in throwing a new light on much used words. "Cleverness," he writes, "is a certain knack or aptitude at doing certain things, which depend more on a particular adroitness and off-hand readiness than on force or perseverance, such as making puns, making epigrams, making extempore ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... however small it be, in the magnificent pageant of life and work, for he has not been sent into it 'on chance.' Inasmuch as if there is chance in one thing there must be chance in another, and the solar system is too mathematically designed to be a haphazard arrangement. With all our cleverness, our logic, our geometrical skill, we can do nothing so exact! As part of the solar system, you and I have our trifling business to enact, Monsignor,—and to enact it properly, and with satisfaction to our Supreme Employer, ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... they could see, emerging likewise, the cocked ears, the shaggy head and eager brown eyes of Whitefoot as he turned at every other yard to make sure that Jean was following, and appreciating all his cleverness. At the edge of the clump of dull green alders he drew back to let her pass, as much as to say, "There now—you can do the rest—go on and see for yourself if I have not ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... Cleverness and cunning are incompatible. I never saw them united. The latter is the resource of the weak, and is only natural to them; children and fools are always cunning, but clever ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... fifty." Said the Sultan, "Thou sayest sooth," presently adding, "Hast thou knowledge as to the points of excellence in beauty?" "Yes," answered Badr al-Din Hasan, "Beauty consisteth in brightness of face, clearness of complexion, shapeliness of nose, gentleness of eyes, sweetness of mouth, cleverness of speech, slenderness of shape and seemliness of all attributes. But the acme of beauty is in the hair and, indeed, al-Shihab the Hijazi hath brought together all these items in his doggrel verse of the metre Rajaz, [FN489] ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... nod and bow as though they knew how to pray. Enan weeps as they near a town. "Here," says he, "my dear friend died, a man of wisdom and judgment. I will tell thee a little of his cleverness." ...
— The Book of Delight and Other Papers • Israel Abrahams

... the eldest son of Dr. Johnson's Boswell. The inimitable biographer was fortunate in his offspring. His sons inherited all the virtues of their father, and none of his foibles. The social good humor, the cleverness, the appreciation of learning, the joviality,—every good quality, in fact, of Bozzy was reflected in his children, who had the sense to discern and avoid the frailties that had rendered the sire ridiculous in his own day, and illustrious for all time. James Boswell, the youngest son of the biographer, ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... how poor a woman may be she may be original in her ideas. At first, of course, she must use the ideas of others, until she can show her cleverness through her adaptations, and employing her powers and gifts will add until larger powers ...
— The Colored Girl Beautiful • E. Azalia Hackley

... rarely acted like other people; their hearts were in the right place, but their heads seemed to be doing anything but what they ought."—"They were remarkable," says another statement, "for their worth, but of no cleverness in the ways of the world." Oliver Goldsmith will be found faithfully to inherit the virtues and weaknesses of ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... dropped casually in on Mrs. Popper. She was a woman of great brilliance and delicacy, both in her physical and mental perceptions, of exceptional vivacity and cleverness. She must have studied me more closely than I was aware of, for I believe she relied on diverting my attention whenever she desired to produce one of her really wonderful results. Needless to say, I was completely mystified by her performance. She did spirit writing that would have done ...
— The Silent Bullet • Arthur B. Reeve

... conscientiousness may enable him to rise in his profession without them. Again in the case of clergymen: that they are sorely tempted to display their eloquence or wit, none who know their own hearts will deny, but then they know this to be a temptation: they never would suppose that cleverness was all that was to be expected from them, or would sit down deliberately to write a clever sermon: even the dullest or vainest of them would throw some veil over their vanity, and pretend to some profitableness of purpose ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... fidgety habit, for it's none of the longest yet) I count my real start from the evening George Corvick, breathless and worried, came in to ask me a service. He had done more things than I, and earned more pence, though there were chances for cleverness I thought he sometimes missed. I could only however that evening declare to him that he never missed one for kindness. There was almost rapture in hearing it proposed to me to prepare for The Middle, the organ of our lucubrations, ...
— The Figure in the Carpet • Henry James

... Moss declared she was almost afraid to have such a wonderfully intelligent animal in the house. Praises of his dog pleased Ben more than praises of himself, and when the confusion had subsided he entertained his audience with a lively account of Sancho's cleverness, fidelity, and the various adventures in which he had nobly ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... display of sentiment! And both sentiment and buffoonery could have been made very good too, in a way accessible to the meanest intelligence, at the cost of truth and honesty. Here it is where Maupassant's austerity comes in. He refrains from setting his cleverness against the eloquence of the facts. There is humour and pathos in these stories; but such is the greatness of his talent, the refinement of his artistic conscience, that all his high qualities appear inherent in the very things of which he ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... business. I'm very fond of Mrs. Russell. She hasn't the obnoxious ways of most progressive women, and she certainly has executive ability and common sense. Being such an indolent person myself, I have always been fascinated by her spirit and cleverness. I'm glad she has been given a chance. They are getting ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... condescended to learn, because learning came easy to them. But common caution they did not learn, because it did not seem to them either interesting or necessary. So it was often just luck that got them out of scrapes, though they always thought it was their own cleverness. ...
— Children of the Wild • Charles G. D. Roberts

... the coast offered its feast of inexhaustible pleasure to the children, who never wearied of its charm. The moon shone with the most unusual brightness, it seemed to Otto, who, at last, had the cleverness to suggest that all the children should collect on the hillside at seven o'clock to take advantage of its beauty ...
— Rico And Wiseli - Rico And Stineli, And How Wiseli Was Provided For • Johanna Spyri

... me up to a little man, with a high tuft of hair on his forehead and moustaches, in a cinnamon-coloured frock-coat and striped cravat. His yellow, mobile features were certainly full of cleverness and sarcasm. His lips were perpetually curved in a flitting ironical smile; little black eyes, screwed up with an impudent expression, looked out from under uneven lashes. Beside him stood a country gentleman, ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... her crowning cleverness. He didn't know how much permanence she attached to matrimony, or to Mr. Higginson, but he knew that she had considered him in that preposterous relation. She faced him and his awful knowledge and floored him with just that—the thing's inherent, ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... Then you can have no idea what a girl she is. Such character! Such sense! And her cleverness! Oh, my eye, Praed, but I can tell you she is clever! And—need ...
— Mrs. Warren's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... akin to love in Molly, or her affections had been too starved to take root after the immediate impulse of mercy was passed. The girl was not popular in the village, although, unlike Mrs. Carteret, her poorer neighbours had a great idea of Molly's cleverness. Needless to say that when, after some unmeasured effort at relieving suffering, Molly would come home with a sense of joy she rarely knew after any other act, it hurt her to the quick and roused her deepest anger to find herself treated like a naughty, inconsiderate ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... Roy exulted shamelessly, marvelling at his father's cleverness, wondering how much he had told. "I hammered hard. And I'm not sorry a bit. Nor ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... world. A palpable proof this, given by the head of its Foreign Office, of the vitality of the Portuguese nation! Some days later the Duke, a diplomatist of the old school, who added to his own considerable wit and cleverness the advantage of having rubbed shoulders with the greatest diplomatists of the century, such as Talleyrand and Metternich, asked me to dine with him. It was a splendid banquet. On our arrival we found the royal archers (so called because they carried ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... squarely on the chair that it did not overturn. He kept his place, instantly securing the scuttle against the entrance of the white man, whom he had baffled with such cleverness. Probably he had some idea of taking a shot at him, but the little manoeuvring in which he indulged told him the danger was too great, and he ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... certain definite assumptions. The inhabitants of the manor house were informed that a friend of Sir Walter's had come to visit Chadlands, and they saw nothing to make them doubt it. For Peter was a great actor. He had mixed with all classes, and the detective had the imitative cleverness to adapt himself in speech and attire to every society. He even claimed that he could think with the brains of anybody and adapt his inner mind, as well as his outer shape, to the changing environment of his activities. He appreciated the histrionics ...
— The Grey Room • Eden Phillpotts

... sophisticated. There was about him an atmosphere of cold preparedness that discouraged encroachment on his privacy. Men did not trifle with him, because they feared him. Around Durango, where he had ridden for the Bar S outfit, it was known that he possessed Satanic cleverness with ...
— The Boss of the Lazy Y • Charles Alden Seltzer

... the primordial energies of the complex vision may be felt and realized without being expressed in words. The curse of what we call "cleverness" is that it hastens to find facile and fluent expression for what cannot be easily and fluently expressed. Education is too frequently a mere affair of words, a superficial encouragement of superficial expression. It is for this reason that many totally uneducated persons achieve, unknown to all ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... you, with an earnestness which you will understand, to authorize me to pursue the investigation. Cosmo Mornington's will makes it my duty and, allow me to say, gives me the right to do so. M. Fauville's enemies have given proofs of extraordinary cleverness and daring. I want to have the honour of being at the post of danger to-night, at M. ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... situation was different. Toddy was so nicknamed because of his diabolical cleverness in concocting toddies. So I brought whisky along—a couple of gallons. Alas! Many another gallon I bought, for Cloudesley and I got into the habit of drinking a certain hot toddy that actually tasted delicious going down and that carried ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... horns and the bells, and they rejoiced; 'For,' said they, 'THIS time the old woman will be on the watch, and let him be as clever as he likes, the bells on the horns are sure to warn her.' So when, as before, the king came down to the stables and praised the cleverness of their brother, the young men told him of that other marvel possessed by the witch, the goat ...
— The Orange Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... circumstances, but it always provokes an intellectual appreciation. Thus, Nero made a pun on the name of Seneca, when the philosopher was brought before him for sentence. In speaking the decree that the old man should kill himself, the emperor used merely the two Latin words: "Se neca." We admit the ghastly cleverness of the jest, but we do not chuckle ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... refinement, and no pretension. The father was the most polished, with the scholarly courtesy of the dignified clergyman; the mother was the most simple and caressing; the daughter somewhat uncouth, readily betraying both her feelings and her cleverness and drollery in the style of the old friend whom Lucilla was amused to see treated as a youth and almost a contemporary of her pupil. What chiefly diverted her was the grotesque aspect of Dr. Prendergast and his daughter. Both were on a large scale, with immense ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... part was hardly to be wondered at, seeing that she had been spoiled and petted all her life. Everything that she said and did was extravagantly praised by her adoring mother, and she had grown up with exaggerated ideas of her cleverness, her looks, and her own importance. What wonder, then, that the poor child held her head high and waggled her skirts? But Marjory knew nothing of these causes, and, seeing only their effects, her ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... impression—ah that there is no room for improvement, but the thing was very well done, for an undergraduate. I must confess I never should have suspected it in Peters, and it's most interesting what you say about his cleverness in conversation." He twirled the head of his stick, apparently lost in reflection. "I may be wrong," he went on presently, "I have an idea it is you—" I must literally have jumped away from him. He paused a moment, without apparently ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... for private secretary one Verrier, whom he had unfrocked from the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the business of which he had conducted for twenty years, with much cleverness and intelligence. He soon accommodated himself to the humours of the Cardinal, and said to him ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... reaching the ground by perhaps ten feet—a trifle which man or boy may drop without injury. All is safe, therefore, for him: which is more than one can be sure of for miscreant in the parlor. Miscreant, however, takes it coolly enough: the reason being, that, with all his cleverness, for once in his life miscreant has been over-reached. The reader and I know, but miscreant does not in the least suspect, a little fact of some importance, viz., that just now through a space of full three minutes he has been overlooked and studied by one, who (though reading ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... you ever were to see them. I do not know which you would like best. Nora is a very sweet little girl, or at least, by the bye, she must have grown since I left home a good deal. She is older than I am rather, and so fair and gentle, but she has not the spirit of Sophy, or her cleverness; Sophy is a wonderfully clever girl, she draws so well. She used to make such beautiful portraits of people. However, I must not praise her too much, or you may ...
— The Heir of Kilfinnan - A Tale of the Shore and Ocean • W.H.G. Kingston

... age in which he lived. 14. The wise teacher should not aim to repress, but to encourage his pupils. 15. Such rules are useless both for teachers and pupils. 16. Her success is neither the result of cleverness nor ...
— Practical Exercises in English • Huber Gray Buehler

... up, his personal appearance became less prepossessing, his quickness and cleverness, however, rather increased; and I may say of him, that with respect to everything which he took in hand he did it better and more speedily than any other person. Perhaps it will be asked here, what became of him? Alas! alas! his was an early and a ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... simple. Dear innocents, how easily they are fooled! A little make-up, a touch of rouge, a dash of henna—and you are an angel. Some women seem really to think this; for, naturally, they know nothing of their own mystery, and imagine that it resides in a few feminine tricks, the superficial cleverness with which some of them know how to make the most of the strange something about them which they understand even less than ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... you leading out yonder in that strange land? Do you never get weary or feel bored? Have you anything to amuse you? I have become satiated with my life—lying, cheating, deceiving every day in order to live! While I was a little girl I was proud of the praises heaped upon me for my cleverness. But a day came when everything disgusted me. It is an infamous trade, this of ours, little mama, and I have given it up. I have begun to lead a different life—one with which I am satisfied; and if you will take the advice ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... daughter of that Montessuy, who, at first a clerk in a Parisian bank, founded and governed two great establishments, brought to sustain them the resources of a brilliant mind, invincible force of character, a rare alliance of cleverness and honesty, and treated with the Government as if he were a foreign power. She had grown up in the historical castle of Joinville, bought, restored, and magnificently furnished by her father. Montessuy made life give all it could yield. An instinctive and powerful ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... presented as a claimant of authority to Nathaniel. Suppose him to be a poor Spaniard, surrounded by false miracles, false erudition, and all the apparatus of reigning and unopposed Romanism. He cannot cope with the priests in cleverness,—detect their juggleries,—refute their historical falsehoods, disentangle their web of sophistry: but if he is truehearted, he may say: "You bid me not to keep faith with heretics: you defend murder, exile, imprisonment, fines, on men who will not submit their consciences to your authority: ...
— Phases of Faith - Passages from the History of My Creed • Francis William Newman

... express and enforce with earnestness, sincerity and fire, the sentiments of a poetic soul, a generous heart, and an immense intelligence, on subjects of consequence to humanity, have a higher value than can attach to skillful development of plot and intrigue, mere display of literary cleverness, or of the ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... with the intelligence left out. I know nothing more distressing than the attempt to follow any German argument concerning the War. If it were merely wrong-headed, cunning, deceitful, there might still be some compensation in its cleverness. There is no such compensation. The statements made are not false, but empty; the arguments used are not bad, but meaningless. It is as if they despised language, and made use of it only because ...
— England and the War • Walter Raleigh

... impossible to seize, she could not analyze it, but there it was; certainly there seemed to be some change. He was brilliant, and had been even empresse before lunch, but it was not spontaneous, and she was not perfectly sure that it was not assumed. It was his cleverness which attracted her. She could not see the other side of his head—not that she would have understood what that meant, if she had heard ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... to enjoy the popularity that Isabelle had known. But any woman might run away with a rich admirer. Harriet's admiration for the cleverness with which Isabelle conducted this pretty playing with fire disappeared, and in its place came the sharp conviction that old-fashioned women like Linda had some justification, after all; it was "dangerous," it did "lead to sin," it could ...
— Harriet and the Piper - (Norris Volume XI) • Kathleen Norris

... she found her pleasure in doing many things, and in the fact that there were so many. She rejoiced daily that she was free, and her own mistress in everything; free to do these many things denied to other young women, and that she had the health and position and cleverness to carry them on and through to success. She did them all, and equally well and gracefully, whether it was the rejection of a too ambitious devotee who dared to want to have her all to himself, or the planning of a woman's luncheon, ...
— Van Bibber and Others • Richard Harding Davis



Words linked to "Cleverness" :   creativeness, resource, clever, creative thinking, superiority, resourcefulness, imagination, creativity, intelligence, high quality



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