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Ability   Listen
noun
Ability  n.  (pl. abilities)  The quality or state of being able; power to perform, whether physical, moral, intellectual, conventional, or legal; capacity; skill or competence in doing; sufficiency of strength, skill, resources, etc.; in the plural, faculty, talent. "Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren." "Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study." "The public men of England, with much of a peculiar kind of ability."
Synonyms: Capacity; talent; cleverness; faculty; capability; efficiency; aptitude; aptness; address; dexterity; skill. Ability, Capacity. These words come into comparison when applied to the higher intellectual powers. Ability has reference to the active exercise of our faculties. It implies not only native vigor of mind, but that ease and promptitude of execution which arise from mental training. Thus, we speak of the ability with which a book is written, an argument maintained, a negotiation carried on, etc. It always something to be done, and the power of doing it. Capacity has reference to the receptive powers. In its higher exercises it supposes great quickness of apprehension and breadth of intellect, with an uncommon aptitude for acquiring and retaining knowledge. Hence it carries with it the idea of resources and undeveloped power. Thus we speak of the extraordinary capacity of such men as Lord Bacon, Blaise Pascal, and Edmund Burke. "Capacity," says H. Taylor, "is requisite to devise, and ability to execute, a great enterprise." The word abilities, in the plural, embraces both these qualities, and denotes high mental endowments.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Ability" Quotes from Famous Books



... weak eyes, and a nervous contraction about the lips. Throughout his life he always revolved in a distinguished circle, frequenting the English Clubs[B] of both capitals, and being generally considered a man of ability and a pleasant companion, though not a person to be confidently depended upon. In spite of all his ability, he was almost always just on the verge of ruin, and he ultimately left but a small and embarrassed property to his only son. About that son's education, however, he ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... an aim. The purposeless life you are leading must result badly. Why can you not devise some pursuit to fill your idle hours? Far be it from me to interfere with your liberty; but I confess that it grieves me to see youth, and no doubt some measure of ability, so wasted. Why do you not strive to continue your education? Self-culture is the highest form of improvement. My books are ...
— Vixen, Volume III. • M. E. Braddon

... were struggling in this muddy swamp, Field said he wondered why some of this superfluous water was not distributed over those dry deserts from which we had so recently come. I told him, politely, that I thought that a man of his age, ability, opportunities, and nationality, (you know he was quite proud of being an Englishman) ought to know why the moisture was not so distributed, and that I was too illiterate to enlighten him on that point, but that, when opportunity offered, he might consult some one who knew more of natural science ...
— Death Valley in '49 • William Lewis Manly

... made for a midshipman's natural lack of ability in drawing. He must draw satisfactorily if he is to hope ...
— Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis • H. Irving Hancock

... presence would have a good influence on him, that they would pull together—now that there were but the two of them. But four hours in his company had dispelled that illusion. She had the wit to perceive that Charlie Benton had emerged from the chrysalis stage, that he had the will and the ability to mold his life after his elected fashion, and that her coming was ...
— Big Timber - A Story of the Northwest • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... to absolute perfection that ever came into this imperfect world," he continued. "Just to think of a girl of your sheer beauty, your ability, your charm, your all-round perfection, being engaged to a thing like me, makes me dizzy—but I sure do love you, little girl of mine. I will love you as long as we live, and afterward, my soul will love your soul throughout eternity. ...
— The Skylark of Space • Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

... gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, is expected to make the British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international business. Livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements. Because of traditionally close links with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the dollar as its ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... had received during all these months, we might have laid by as much as the above sums; but I have every reason to believe, that, had I begun to lay up, the Lord would have stopped the supplies, and thus, the ability of doing so was only apparent. Let no one profess to trust in God, and yet lay up for future wants, otherwise the Lord will first send him to the hoard he has amassed, before He can answer the prayer for more. We were persuaded, that, if we laid out our money in the ...
— A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with George Mueller - Written by Himself, First Part • George Mueller

... probably true that a woman cannot conquer love. Man, being her ideal in the abstract, is irresistible to her in the concrete. But man, being an intellectual creature, can make a magnificent effort and cast love out. Should I think it advisable, I do not question my ability to open the gates of my heart and bid her go. That would be a serious thing for her; and, as man is powerful, so, I think, should he be merciful. She has, no doubt, gained admittance, as it were, furtively; but can I, as a gentleman, send away a weak, confiding woman who loves me simply ...
— My Lady Nicotine - A Study in Smoke • J. M. Barrie

... he was essentially a man of affairs, had nothing in common with the typical lazy Eastern, who loves to sit in the sun, to suffer the will of Allah, and to fill the years with dreams; that he was cool, clear-headed, and full of the marked commercial ability characteristic of the modern Greek. Whether this aptitude was combined with the sinuous cunning that is essentially Oriental Nigel did not know. He certainly could not perceive it. All that Baroudi said was said with clearness, and a sort of acute precision, whether he discussed the land question, ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... that he gets out in his porch early in the mornings and whistles to the birds, and that soon a large flock of birds are all around him. Offering to demonstrate his ability, he began to whistle in a peculiar way. Soon thereafter, two or three English sparrows flew into the ...
— Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 1 • Various

... responsible if they stayed. In truth Kleander was very uneasy so long as the soldiers were within the walls, and was well aware that it might be no easy matter to induce them to go away. For Anaxibius had practised a gross fraud in promising them pay, which he had neither the ability nor the inclination to provide. Without handing to them either pay or even means of purchasing supplies, he issued orders that they must go forth with arms and baggage, and muster outside of the gates, there to be numbered for an immediate march; any one who ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... all Araujo's ability was shown, and he was admirably seconded by his crew. The trees of the forest furnished the resting-places for the long poles which kept the jangada in its course. The least blow to the jangada would have endangered the complete demolition of the woodwork, and caused the loss, if not of the ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... the wharf since then. Jack went to-day; he was perhaps the most irreclaimable of us all—a hard case where all cases were hard; and I loved him best—anyway I know that, wherever Jack goes, there will be someone who will barrack for me to the best of his ability (which is by no means to be despised as far as barracking is concerned), and resent, with enthusiasm and force if he deems it necessary, the barest insinuation which might be made to the effect that I could write a bad line if I tried, or be guilty of an action ...
— While the Billy Boils • Henry Lawson

... the consent of the governed. It has not gone beyond the 'Honesty is the best policy' idea. It therefore bribes you into consenting its will by awarding titles, medals and ribbons, by giving you employment, by its superior financial ability to open for its employees avenues for enriching themselves and finally when these fail, it resorts to force. That is what Sir Michael O'Dwyer did and that is almost every British administrator will certainly do if he thought it necessary. If then we would not ...
— Freedom's Battle - Being a Comprehensive Collection of Writings and Speeches on the Present Situation • Mahatma Gandhi

... of limestone, granite, and quartzite, which are of marked difference both in the quality of hardness and in their ability to withstand the attacks of time. When one finds itself unable to support the other, ...
— Under the Andes • Rex Stout

... we leave them, then? or shall we seek to discover, if we can, something about them, according to the measure of our ability, saying by way of preface, as I said before of the Gods, that of the truth about them we know nothing, and do but entertain human notions of them. And in this present enquiry, let us say to ourselves, before we proceed, that the higher method is the one which we or others who would analyse ...
— Cratylus • Plato

... Riverville Herald to see if it mentioned the fact that she had taken Mrs. Blythe's place on the programme. It was not until late that afternoon that she found there was quite a glowing tribute to her ability as a speaker. Sandford Berry had written it. He had also done more. In a way they have in newspaper offices he had taken the paper that Mary loaned him, traced the article denouncing Burke Stoner to its source, and found that the man who had ...
— Mary Ware's Promised Land • Annie Fellows Johnston

... of Mr. Bryan's ability and love of the limelight to remain longer wholly obscure in ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... three, with violet-blue eyes and red lips, and a way of smiling a little when spoken to—but let that pass. I mean only to be scientifically minute. A passion for fact has ever obsessed me. I have little literary ability and less desire to sully my pen with that degraded form of letters known as fiction. Once in my life my mania for accuracy involved me lyrically. It was a short poem, but an ...
— Police!!! • Robert W. Chambers

... vessels came into being.[3] Although the hulls were constructed in Canada, and much of the assembling was also carried out on the banks of the St Lawrence, the engines came from the United States. It was to the organising ability of Mr Henry R. Sutphen, of the Electric Boat Company, New York, that the delivery of over 500 of these wonderful little craft in less than a year was due. Here is that gentleman's story of ...
— Submarine Warfare of To-day • Charles W. Domville-Fife

... feel, though you do not understand this power. You know that his presence excites, yet wearies you; that, while you love, you fear him, and even when you long to be all in all to him, you doubt your ability to make his happiness. Am I ...
— Moods • Louisa May Alcott

... laugh. Almost always the storekeeper managed to turn the tables in some way upon any doubting Thomas that drifted into his shop. Because of his ability in this particular he had managed to hold his audience all ...
— Cap'n Abe, Storekeeper • James A. Cooper

... peaceful lives, they had at length revolted; and desert vultures could have told a gruesome story. Made a comrade and ally of these bordermen, Dick Gale had leaped at the desert action and strife with an intensity of heart and a rare physical ability which accounted for the remarkable fact that he had not yet fallen by ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... granted that her work was amateurish, and that she had little chance of living by it. On the whole, he felt glad to be confirmed in this view; Rosamund as an incompetent was more interesting to him than if she had given proof of great ability. ...
— Will Warburton • George Gissing

... late in April the Colonel sat on the porch with his wife. Below them on the step Rivers was reading aloud the detailed account of Lincoln's death. Leila coming out of the house was first to see the tall thin figure in dark undress uniform. She was thankful for an unwatched moment of ability to gain entire self-command. It was needed. She helped herself by ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... the supper, which, like every thing else round him, was worthy of Sardanapalus, he addressed himself to me, and giving a most gracious personal opinion of what my "services had merited from the English minister," said that, "limited as his own means of rewarding zeal and ability might be, he begged of me to retain a slight memorial of his friendship, and of our day together on the heights of Argonne." Taking from the hand of Guiscard the riband and star of the "Order of Merit," the famous order instituted by the Great Frederic, he placed it round my neck, and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... of Cornwall; he married about 1200 the daughter of William de Vernon, earl of Devon; and thus, from the beginning of his career, he stood within the circle of the great ruling families. But he owed his high advancement to exceptional ability as an administrator and a soldier. Already in 1201 he was chamberlain to King John, the sheriff of three shires, the constable of Dover and Windsor castles, the warden of the Cinque Ports and of the Welsh Marches. He served with John in the continental wars which led up to the loss of Normandy. ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... enough to find a couple of canoes at Esquimaux Bay, sufficiently large to admit of conveying an outfit to the interior, and equally fortunate to find Mr. Davis, the gentleman in charge of the district, possessed the will and ability to promote my views. All my arrangements at this place being completed, I set off on my return, and was happy to find, on my arrival at the outpost, that the outfit was rendered in safety, not the slightest accident having occurred ...
— Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory - Volume II. (of 2) • John M'lean

... had been gathering on the Western horizon for some time past. Twenty years earlier there had come to the throne of Macedonia a man of singular constructive ability and most definite ambition. His heritage—or rather his prize, for he was not next of kin to his predecessor—was the central southern part of the Balkan peninsula, a region of broad fat plains fringed and crossed by rough hills. ...
— The Ancient East • D. G. Hogarth

... boisterous, and the crew, still weak and now short of three men, could barely manage the schooner. Jose and I knew nothing of seamanship, but we bore a hand here and there, straining at this rope or that as we were bidden, and encouraging the crew to the best of our ability. ...
— At the Point of the Sword • Herbert Hayens

... principle, that a whole district should be condemned to sustain the partial loss of the persons or property of individuals. The Annona, or supply of corn for the use of the army and capital, was a grievous and arbitrary exaction, which exceeded, perhaps in a tenfold proportion, the ability of the farmer; and his distress was aggravated by the partial injustice of weights and measures, and the expense and labor of distant carriage. In a time of scarcity, an extraordinary requisition was made to the adjacent provinces of Thrace, Bithynia, and Phrygia: but the proprietors, after a wearisome ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... ability. What conquests you have made in the diplomacy of the Old World I do not know. You have known courts. I have known none. Yet you are learning life. You are learning the meaning of the only human idea of the world, that of a democracy of endeavor, ...
— 54-40 or Fight • Emerson Hough

... exist; for the Minamoto kept up a kind of court at Kamakura. But they faded into mere shadows, and are yet remembered by the significant appellation of "Shadow-Shogun," or "Puppet Shogun." There was nothing shadowy, however, about the administration of the Hojo, [269]—men of immense energy and ability. By them Emperor or shogun could be deposed and banished without scruple; and the helplessness of the shogunate can be inferred from the fact, that the seventh Hojo regent, before deposing the seventh shogun, sent him home in a palanquin, head downwards and heels upwards. Nevertheless the Hojo ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... Nieremberg was born in Madrid either in 1590 or 1595. His father was a Tyrolese, and his mother a Bavarian. Educated at the university at Salamanca, he took the Jesuit habit in the same city in 1614. He became known for his learning and ability and for fourteen years filled the chair of natural history at the royal school at Madrid, and for three years after that lectured on the scriptures. At the same time he was held in high esteem as a confessor, and was solicited by many prominent people as such. In 1642, he gave up teaching ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700 • Various

... in their pretended enchantments, gave ground for the stories of the witches of Thessaly, and of their ability to bring the moon down to the earth by their spells and incantations; which latter notion was probably based on the circumstance, that these women used to invoke the Night and the Moon as witnesses ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... all that could be expected from him to a proposition so very self-evident. He felt uncomfortably conscious that the eyes of the assembled family were upon him, and glanced half enviously at Eva, as though the ability to shake a sunny mane over one's face at will was something to be thankful for. The breakfast bell roused them from a momentary silence, but the shadow of this mysterious bruise seemed to follow them even to the table. Herbert and Eva, ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... either by inclination or ability. This sudden and unexpected accumulation of disasters was too much for him. As he passed his sire, with his brown curls streaming straight out behind, and his eyes flashing with excitement, his teeth clinched, and his ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... of the Saiyids, men of remarkable courage and ability was to attack the Rajputs; and to extort from their chief, the Maharajah Ajit Sing, the usual tribute, and the hand of his daughter for the Emperor, who, like some of his predecessors, was anxious to ...
— The Fall of the Moghul Empire of Hindustan • H. G. Keene

... related was continued without abatement through my whole college life. Gradually I acquired the reputation of being the strongest man in my class. I discovered that with every day's development of my strength there was an increase of my ability to resist and overcome all fleshly ailments, pains, and infirmities,—a discovery which subsequent experience has so amply confirmed, that, if I were called on to condense the proposition which sums it up into a formula, it would be ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... Church is decision, which preserves her in spite of the unfathomable stupidity of her sons. She has resisted the disquieting folly of the clergy, and has not even been broken up by the awkwardness and lack of ability in her ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... gentleman!" he laughed, "As being born in the South myself, I repudiate that! I know too much about Terry. Why, look here: he's a good sport, and he's got ability, and he makes friends, and he isn't afraid of anything, But then you stop. He's not a gentleman! It shows most particularly when he gets mad. Then he'll throw over anything—anything—to have his own way. He's a big man now, but he won't be knee-high to ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... that, as far as Diane was concerned, the coast was comparatively clear, that she gathered up her skirts and departed. After she had gone, Miss Lucilla's sense of being the pivot of a romantic plot was heightened by the appearance of Diane. She came in with her usual air of confidence in her ability to meet the world, and if her pale face showed traces of tears and sleeplessness, its expression was, if anything, more courageous. Had it not been for this brave show Miss Lucilla would have wanted to embrace her and hold her hands, but, as it was, she could only ...
— The Inner Shrine • Basil King

... must have a schoolmaster, who ought to be able to teach grammar and Latin. Education should be universal: poor children of ability must be enabled to pass on to the universities, through secondary schools. At St. Andrews the three colleges were to have separate functions, not clashing, ...
— John Knox and the Reformation • Andrew Lang

... based, and for making those preparations which led to its complete success. [Cheers.] There are many other names I might mention, others who have also devoted themselves for many years past in a very quiet manner, and with all the ability which now, I am glad to say, so largely permeates the Army, to making these preparations and to try to bring this curious army of ours up to the level of the modern ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... was startled into a correct estimate of the situation ten years ago, and at once directed perhaps the best of her ability to meet it. Certain it is that no other department of the British Government is in such good condition as the navy; in no other department has the problem been so thoroughly understood, and so conscientiously worked out, or the ...
— The Navy as a Fighting Machine • Bradley A. Fiske

... think that his prisoners would ever accept any conditions from him. Doubtless, he thought that these boys might be trained to help him in his business for he appreciated their courage and fighting ability, but he did not fully understand what stuff the frontier boys were ...
— Frontier Boys on the Coast - or in the Pirate's Power • Capt. Wyn Roosevelt

... it purposely, that the valiant and clever armor-bearer might always be of assistance to Zbyszko and save him in many dangerous situations. He had already shown his ability at the prince's hunting party in which Zbyszko nearly perished from the attack of a urus; much more so would he be useful in war, specially such as the present one on the Zmudz frontier. Glowacz was so eager for the field, that when he left Jurand ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... Supposing Martin were ill for a long time, how would they two live? Her little stock of money would not last very long. She must get work, but she knew more about the world after her years at Skeaton. She knew how ignorant she was, how uneducated and how unsophisticated. She did not doubt her ability to fight her way, but there might be weary months first, and ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... the latter he came to Herrnhut in the spring of 1733. He was one of the strongest, ablest, and wisest leaders that the Unitas Fratrum has ever had, and eventually became a Bishop of the Unity, and a member of its governing board. He was a writer of marked ability, and in his diaries was accustomed to speak of himself as "Brother Joseph", by which name he was also widely known ...
— The Moravians in Georgia - 1735-1740 • Adelaide L. Fries

... serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business; for expert men can execute, and perhaps ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... he said, "whom France has ever possessed, Monsieur Myers is absolutely marvellous," he declared. "The man has genius,—genius as well as executive ability. It is a terrible war that goes on between him and the haute ecole ...
— The Lost Ambassador - The Search For The Missing Delora • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Professor's ability to pay five pounds, as well as to offer them, if Mr. Kerby should, from ignorance, entertain injurious doubts, he is requested to apply to the Professor's honorable friend, Mr. Lanfray, of ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... resource-poor country in an early stage of economic development. The economy is predominately agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. As part of its economic reform agenda, launched in February 1991 with IMF and World Bank support, Burundi is trying to diversify its agricultural exports, ...
— The 1996 CIA Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... anonymous author's misdirected ability is the disregard of appropriateness in the allocation of speeches to the various characters. He is a poet; we can hardly believe that his work would otherwise have survived the acting of it. Yet, as has been frequently pointed out, one ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... of quick and ruthless decision. He had been interested and even thrilled by the doings at St. Marys, but he had never yielded himself completely to Clark's mesmeric influence. Thorpe, a much older man and of noted executive ability, was one of those who by that noted address at the Board of Trade had been rooted out of long standing indifference and imbued with surprised confidence, and this translation, so rapid in its movements, still survived. In consequence, he listened ...
— The Rapids • Alan Sullivan

... deepen the suspicion that he was not playing the game of life fairly; for there are those who have so completely broken life into fragments that they not only deny the possibility of the possession of the ability to do more than one thing well, but the existence of any kind of ...
— Essays On Work And Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... maintenance of a pose was hardly despicable, she considered. And, anyhow, she preferred to believe that Charteris had by some miracle put the best of himself into these books, had somehow clarified the abhorrent mixture of ability and evil which was John Charteris; and the best in him she found, on this hypothesis, to be a deal more admirable than ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... opportunities to discover it. Though no one thinks more highly of these qualities in the Americans, considered in connexion with practical things, than myself, no one probably gives them less credit for their ability to distinguish between appearances and reality, in ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... psychological study; but he could easily put himself in the place of that portion of the public whose memory was long enough for their patriotism to receive a shock. It was some time fortunately since the conduct of public affairs had wanted for men of disinterested ability, but the extraordinary documents concealed (of all places in the world—it was as fantastic as a nightmare) in a "bargain" picked up at second-hand by an obscure scribbler, would be a calculable blow to the retrospective mind. Baron saw vividly that if these ...
— Sir Dominick Ferrand • Henry James

... We have done our best with both of them, but we have given up. Leisure is what they were created for. It is a talent with them, and their only talent. They have developed it to the best of their ability. ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... It was delivered in the end of May 698. The pieces contrasting with it are the orations for Sestius and against Vatinius and that upon the opinion of the Etruscan soothsayers, dating from the months of March and April, in which the aristocratic regime is glorified to the best of his ability and Caesar in particular is treated in a very cavalier tone. It was but reasonable that Cicero should, as he himself confesses (Ad Att. iv. 5, 1), be ashamed to transmit even to intimate friends that attestation ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... neglected place, we shall call, for distinctness sake, Gray Forest. It was then the property of the younger son of a nobleman, once celebrated for his ability and his daring, but who had long since passed to that land where human wisdom and courage avail naught. The representative of this noble house resided at the family mansion in Sussex, and the cadet, ...
— The Evil Guest • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... were still second lieutenants. Officers of the caliber of Turnbull and Starke saw much to respect in the grave, silent, thoughtful young officer, but the juniors—the captains and lieutenants—though they had marked the ease and ability with which Loring handled what was probably his first case as judge advocate, nevertheless agreed that he was "offish" toward the general run of "the line," held himself aloof as though he considered himself of superior clay, didn't drink, ...
— A Wounded Name • Charles King

... must have their fun, Giraffe; and if you're wise you'll laugh with them," Thad remarked. "When they find it doesn't bother you, the chances are they'll quit quizzing you on your eating ability. Doctor Philander said that the only danger lay in your putting to great a strain ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... audience by their readings from the New Testament or by their descriptions of their own country and of the horrors of the voyage. Cinque gave the impression of great dignity and of extraordinary ability; and Kali, a boy only eleven years of age, also attracted unusual attention. Near the close of 1841, accompanied by five missionaries and teachers, the Africans set sail from New York, to make their way first to Sierra Leone and ...
— A Social History of the American Negro • Benjamin Brawley

... which has been handled many times within our recollection, by artists of less name, less fame, and less pretensions to notice, if we except the undeniable fact of their displaying infinitely more ability in their representations of the subject, than can by any possibility be discovered in the one by W. F. Witherington, R.A. If our remarks were made with an affectionate eye to the young ladies of the satin-album-loving school, we should assuredly ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... and wrote to that effect. I wished to reprimand him for having overtaxed his strength as I was sure he had done in sitting up teaching himself how to write, but respect for the dear fellow's perseverance and ability restrained me. ...
— Crowded Out! and Other Sketches • Susie F. Harrison

... reflections, she walked back to St. Penfer. She had not yet found out that the sum of her offending lay in her ability to add the four letters which spelled the word fair to her name. If she had been strikingly ugly and dull, instead of strikingly pretty and bright, Elizabeth would have found it easier to be kind ...
— A Singer from the Sea • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... note: at least 238,500 Liberian refugees are in surrounding countries; the uncertain security situation has hindered their ability to ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... 1843, Robert Toombs was a member of the house, but his ability and power had marked him as a candidate for Congress, and Mr. Stephens had already been promoted from the State Senate to a seat in the national legislature at Washington. The law requiring the State to choose congressmen on the district plan had been passed, and the General Assembly was then engaged ...
— Robert Toombs - Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage • Pleasant A. Stovall

... and 6 are shown lines especially adapted for the bookkeeper or draftsman. If one lacks the ability to draw old English letters with a pen, the letters may be first drawn with a carpenter's pencil (Fig. 7) and the outlines marked with ink and finally filled in. Narrow lines are made with points cut as in Figs. 8 ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... supplies, few capable men; and all the time the dead, inert, dust- powdered air; the offices of policeman, doctor, apothecary, even undertaker and gravedigger, to perform; and the endless weeks of it all. A handful of good men under two leaders of nerve, conscience and ability, to fight an invisible enemy, which, gaining headway, would destroy its scores ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... manifest in the soul of even the lowest, buried in darkness and slime. When the first clever bit of colloidal ooze, protoplasm as the ameba, protruded a bit of itself as a pseudopod, it achieved a new freedom. For, accidentally or deliberately, it created for itself a new power—the ability to go directly for food in its environment, instead of waiting, patiently, passively, as the plant does, for food to just happen along. Therewith developed in place of the previous quietist pacifist, quaker attitude toward its surroundings, a new religion, ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... bowline, and do a variety of things peculiar to the web-footed gentry. Some of them also tried hard, by precept and example, but in vain, to induce me to chew tobacco and drink grog! Indeed, they regarded the ability to swallow a stiff glass of New England rum, without making a wry face, as one of the most important ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... Bonpre was not at all the sort of personage he had expected to see. He had imagined that a Churchman who was able to obtain a character for saintliness in days like these, must needs be worldly-wise and crafty, with a keen perception and comprehension of the follies of mankind, and an ability to use these follies advantageously to further his own ends. Something of the cunning and foresight of an ancient Egyptian sorcerer was in the composition of the Archbishop himself, for he judged mankind alone by its general stupidity and credulity;— stupidity and credulity which ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... someone laugh?" he asked severely, drawing down his face with such an indescribably funny expression that the laughter broke forth afresh. "It is evident that you don't appreciate my rare ability as a dancer." ...
— Marjorie Dean High School Freshman • Pauline Lester

... s'pose then you might stay out just this once," Mrs. Hunt said, slowly, being fully alive to the advantages to Jimmy of such a friendly feeling on Theo's part. She recognized Theodore's business ability, and would have been only too glad to see her own boy develop something of the same kind. She was haunted with a dread that he might become idle and vicious as ...
— The Bishop's Shadow • I. T. Thurston

... of application I was looking for. He was getting $21.50 per week, and was also paid for overtime. I asked him if he could run the shop. 'I don't know; try me!' he said. 'All right, I will give you $60 per week to run both shifts.' He went at it. His executive ability was greater than that of any other man I have yet seen. His memory was prodigious, conversation laconic, and movements rapid. He doubled the production inside three months, without materially increasing the pay-roll, by increasing the cutting speeds of tools, ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... Mrs. Mulliner yesterday morning, expressing her readiness to receive you, and her full intention to devote herself to you to the very utmost of her ability. I am sorry Jeffreys will not be there to help you in getting cabs, etc.; but he has found a chance of placing himself permanently with a former master, and, of course, is glad of the ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... me to others. What he did not know was that I was not convinced. How could I be? But when the whole comfort of his last hours hung on the simple fact that I was, of course I pretended to the best of my poor ability. I would have done more than that to ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... I can deny M. de Rosny,' Henry continued, speaking very rapidly, 'and I am told that you are a gentleman of birth and ability. Out of kindness to him, therefore, I grant you a commission to raise twenty men for my service. Rambouillet,' he continued, raising his voice slightly, 'you will introduce this gentleman to me publicly to-morrow, ...
— A Gentleman of France • Stanley Weyman

... he. "Now listen to me. Perhaps it was an old man's fancy; but I have often seen in the world what a stamp these universities put upon a man. To send you back from commerce to Latin and Greek, at two-and-twenty, was trying you rather hard; it was trying you doubly; your obedience, and your ability into the bargain. Well, sir, you have stood the trial, and I am proud of you. And so now it is my turn. From this day and from this hour look on yourself as my partner in the old established house ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... weed, and developed a good deal of musical ability. They had a steady servant now; and Mrs. Whitney was more "intellectual" than ever, and beginning to be proud of Delia's stories. She was generally paid for them; although young writers of that day ...
— A Little Girl of Long Ago • Amanda Millie Douglas

... which Mr. F. J. Shields is engaged in London will probably be unique in its way as a complete piece of mural decoration by an English artist of singular individuality, sincerity, and power, as well as decorative ability. ...
— Line and Form (1900) • Walter Crane

... pupils. By this means the words imperfectly learned are again brought to their attention and thoroughly memorized. That these "Reviews" ought to take up the new words in a different order and arrangement, in order to test the ability of the pupil to recognize them in any situation. That as soon as the vocabulary is large enough they should be written in the form of a new exercise, as on pp. 36, 44, 52, 60, and 68 of this book. 4th.—That thorough ...
— New National First Reader • Charles J. Barnes, et al.

... proud day for Ireland when she shall see her representation in the names of those who dignify the exalted station they hold in virtue of their birth and blood, by claims of admitted talent and recognised ability. Mr. Kearney, junior, has swept the university of its prizes, and the college gate has long seen his name at the head of her prizemen. He contests the seat in the National interest. It is needless to ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... doors?—would any of you give your daughter to his son, or your son to his daughter?—would you, in any one particular, admit him to the footing of equality which any man with a white skin would claim, whose ability and worth had so raised him from the lower degrees of the social scale. You would turn from such propositions with abhorrence, and the servants in your kitchen and stable—the ignorant and boorish refuse of foreign populations, in whose countries no such prejudice exists, imbibing it with the very ...
— Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation - 1838-1839 • Frances Anne Kemble

... not ability to devise a policy or vigour to pursue it, but he had the power of grasping a principle. He felt at last that the ground beneath his feet was firm. He would drift no longer, sought no counsel, and admitted no disturbing inquiries. ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... average teacher, not coming in close contact with the mass of the people under normal surroundings, gives, although sincerely, a very misleading picture of actual conditions. A third class of informants were the tourists, and their ability to get at the heart of the situation is obvious. There remain to be mentioned the Negro teachers and school entrepreneurs. Naturally these have presented such facts as they thought would serve to open the purses of their ...
— The Negro Farmer • Carl Kelsey

... sleepless industry, and an integrity which no man ever doubted. But he was above all things a man of peace. When in after years, as president of the United States, he was called upon to manage a great war, he was out of place, and his reputation for supreme ability was temporarily lowered. Here in the Federal Convention we are introduced to him at the noblest and most useful ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... probably have been disposed to take him for one of the careless worldlings who had no lack of representatives among the gilded youth of Alexandria; while the architect's whole exterior, from his keen eye to the stouter leather of his sandals, revealed earnest purpose and unassuming ability. ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... break up into parties of two or three that would take different routes, reuniting at some place many miles beyond where water was known to be. This was done repeatedly, with a view of disconcerting any avengers who might take their trail, and it is a tribute to the ability of the mountaineers that the cunning artifice failed, so far as they were concerned, of ...
— The Life of Kit Carson • Edward S. Ellis

... Hamlet is no mean test of a translator's ability—this quick, tense scene, one of the finest in dramatic literature. Foersom did it with conspicuous success. Blom has reduced it to the ...
— An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway • Martin Brown Ruud

... no reply; she could have made none aside from raising an outcry, although now she was regaining something of her shattered poise, and with it the ability to accept the situation quietly, for a little time (she could not guess how long she could endure the strain), pending an opportunity to turn the ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... excellent advantages to the student. From the music study in our public schools valuable results ought to come in time. Thus far, unfortunately, it is too often conducted by teachers who are themselves without trained musical ability and who permit their pupils to shout rather than sing music of an inferior order to the accompaniment of a piano wretchedly out ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore

... experiences which, to say the least of them, are strange, neither am I sure that I can explain certain matters to Parson Inch's satisfaction. At the same time I am not afraid of the light, and so I am determined to set down truthfully, to the best of my ability, the true account of those events in my life which are misunderstood, so that no stigma shall rest upon those who are as dear to me as my own ...
— The Birthright • Joseph Hocking

... Legendary subjects he stands alone. Superbly gifted as a lyrical poet both in the literary and the musical sense, and with a most refined and keen feeling for the dramatic, he spoke with a voice of singular eloquence and power. Probably his greatest achievement was his remarkable, unerring ability to create atmospheres of widely varied kinds in his music, and in this respect there is no composer quite his equal. The soft beauty, grandeur, vastness and might of Nature; the joys and sorrows of Humanity; the romance of History and imaginative Legend; the buoyancy of sunshine and wind; the ...
— Edward MacDowell • John F. Porte

... reach up through his bodily life, through a keen, strong intellectual perception and grasp, up into the spirit realm and abide there. Many a man of splendid ability and earnestness never shakes off his intellectual scaffolding in the upward building. It remains to hamper and mar. Through a mastered body, and a disciplined mind, up to the spirit level is the full swing. Obedience ...
— Quiet Talks on Service • S. D. Gordon

... suits my disposition to have a full understanding with a man, particularly with a public man, when I make his acquaintance. I have only one thing more to say to you, Mr. Harthouse, before assuring you of the pleasure with which I shall respond, to the utmost of my poor ability, to my friend Tom Gradgrind's letter of introduction. You are a man of family. Don't you deceive yourself by supposing for a moment that I am a man of family. I am a bit of dirty riff-raff, and a genuine scrap of ...
— Hard Times • Charles Dickens*

... perishable things, in the order of the universe, in the region of things eternally possible and knowable, in moral truths, in the mental life and conscience of man. Philosophy would be our guide in the search after God. Men with less leisure or ability for speculation would acquiesce in the pronouncements of philosophers on things divine; and, in the hypothesis which we are contemplating, Providence would doubtless arrange for the better agreement and harmony of philosophers among themselves. Their trumpet ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... plans, the greatest enthusiasm to execute them, will be of no avail without leadership. For the secret of the success and usefulness of an organization is to be found in the ability, character and ideals of its leader. Never perhaps in Canada, has the absence of authoritative leadership, especially among the Catholic laity, been felt so keenly as at the present trying period. Let us hear an authoritative writer on ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

... not, to repeat, care what a man has been. If he has gone to college he ought to be able to go ahead faster, but he has to start at the bottom and prove his ability. Every man's future rests solely with himself. There is far too much loose talk about men being unable to obtain recognition. With us every man is fairly certain to get the exact recognition ...
— My Life and Work • Henry Ford

... in the most promising fashion, Rama in particular developing every virtue, and showing even in childhood marked ability as an archer. Such was his proficiency in athletic sports that a hermit besought him, at sixteen, to rid his forest of the demons which were making life miserable for him and his kin. To enable Rama to triumph over these ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... soul, Duffel, you are an adept in these matters! I never dreamed of your being so deep a plotter! The world and your friends, also, have done you injustice by not giving you credit for so ample a development of such rare ability to deceive. Success to your plans. I will gladly second them, as far as the part allotted to me is concerned, with a hearty good will. But what think ...
— Eveline Mandeville - The Horse Thief Rival • Alvin Addison

... is called a gentle measure." And he advised the Minister, that, to aid him in the execution of the orders he had received, he had formed a Cabinet Council of three principal officers of the Crown, whose zeal, ability, and fidelity could not be suspected. On the next day (January 25) the Governor devoted a despatch to Lord Hillsborough to remarks upon the press, and especially the "Boston Gazette" and Edes and Gill—"They may be said to be no more than mercenary printers," ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... and certainly not a monster. The Khalifa, he said, had often come and chatted with him. Abdullah had vowed to him, that if he were able to have his own way he would make a close friend of him, and have him always near his person. The Khalifa asserted he liked white men, admired their knowledge and ability, and would, were he permitted, have many of them in Khartoum. As everybody knew, he befriended the Greeks, because he could do that with safety, for the natives were not so jealous of them as of other white men. The Taaisha were, he declared, ...
— Khartoum Campaign, 1898 - or the Re-Conquest of the Soudan • Bennet Burleigh

... Luciola, but when the diva saw at the Scala that evening the man whom her lover had talked to her about, she was seized with a deep emotion. Yes, she recognized and knew the man who took up the cause of Italy's misery, and had confidence in his ability to carry ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... astonishing. He was anti-Christ in a world that had annexed Christ rather than served him. Nowadays, there is such an abundance of anti-Christs that the part seems hardly worth playing by a man of first-rate ability. Consequently, we have to remember the circumstances in which they were written in order to appreciate to the full many of Swinburne's poems and even some of the amusing outbursts of heresy in his letters. Still, even to-day, ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... and ability as one in the active pastorate, who preaches steadily to "town and gown" in a university town, could command, I have cut a cameo rather than chiselled a bust or statue. Many good friends, especially Dr. Edmund Carleton and Rev. H. A. Bridgman, have helped me. To them ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... and the next step was the formal arraignment before the circuit judge. And I was now on my way to town to engage additional legal help, as the lawyer whom we had retained appeared to be luke-warm and half-hearted. I had heard many stories relating to the great force and ability of an old ex-judge named Conkwright, and I called at his office, though I had been warned that his price was exceedingly high. He met me gruffly, I thought, but I soon discovered that he had a heart. I told Alf's story, now so familiar to my own ears that I fancied that I could give it with effect, ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... before, the head of the federal police had called me to his room. He was awaiting me with some impatience. "John Strock," said he, "are you still the man who on so many occasions has proven to me both his devotion and his ability?" ...
— The Master of the World • Jules Verne

... you," believers, "both to will and to do of His own good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). "Thou also hast wrought all our works in us, and for us" (Isa 26:12). So that, if the condition be fulfilled, it is not done by the ability of ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... mechanical, who except in their specialty were almost totally deficient mentally.[63] Many of the world's most brilliant musicians, mathematicians and even military leaders have been men of one-sided mental development, whose ability in other lines was so slight that they were little better than imbeciles, and it is not at all surprising that their children are sometimes ...
— Consanguineous Marriages in the American Population • George B. Louis Arner

... herself and over the world in general; the people treated her as if she were infected with the plague, poisoning the air round her with their meanness and hate, while as far as she knew she had always helped them to the best of her ability. They did not hesitate in asking her advice when in trouble, though at the same time they would blame her for having brought it upon them—calling her every name they could think of when she had gone. Even the child's innocent ...
— Ditte: Girl Alive! • Martin Andersen Nexo

... licence was no solitary exception, and it is fairly certain that other clerks enjoyed the same privileges which are here assigned to Master Thomas Dickenson. He must have been a worthy member of his class, a man of education, and of skill and ability in reading, or episcopal sanction would not have been given to him to ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... instructions aforesaid, that, though the conduct of the said Hyder Beg Khan had been highly reprehensible, and that he was much displeased thereat, he would prefer him to any other, on account of his ability and knowledge of business, with the following proviso,—"If he would submit to hold his office on such conditions as I require. He exists by his dependence on the influence of our government. It must be ...
— The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... believe in anything, is the cardinal principle of all the Sophists. Then, it may be suggested, there is nothing for it but to be silent. No, there is the cultivation of one's mind (the only thing of the existence of which we are sure), so as to give it ability, readiness, and strength. With what object? To become a dexterous thinker, which in itself is a fine thing; to be also a man of consideration, listened to in one's city, and to arrive at ...
— Initiation into Philosophy • Emile Faguet

... Tarleton, described in 1600 as "a player in interludes, and partly the Queen's Majesty's jester." When to this group we add Richard Burbage himself, the Roscius of his age, we have an organization of business, histrionic, and poetic ability that could not be surpassed. It was carefully planned, and it deserved the remarkable success which it attained. The superiority of the Globe Company over all others was acknowledged in the days of James and Charles, and to-day stands out as one of ...
— Shakespearean Playhouses - A History of English Theatres from the Beginnings to the Restoration • Joseph Quincy Adams

... one of Russia's foremost workers in the revolutionary movement, and one who, through beauty of character, simplicity of soul and great strategical ability, has been the idol of the Russian revolutionary youth for many years, is here as the delegate of the Russian Revolutionary Socialist party, to raise funds for a new uprising. He was right when he said, ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1906 - Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature • Various



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