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Versatility   Listen
noun
Versatility  n.  The quality or state of being versatile; versatileness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Versatility" Quotes from Famous Books



... such versatility of invention, such readiness of resource, such familiarity with divers nooks and crannies in the practical experience of life, in a man now so hard put to it for a livelihood. There are persons, however, who might have a good stock of talent, if they did not turn it ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... was a regular soldier and nothing but a soldier from head to foot, in thought, in manner and in his decisive phrases. Nowadays, when we seem to be drawing further and further away from versatility, perhaps more than ever we like the soldier to be a soldier, the poet to be a poet, the surgeon to be a surgeon; and I can even imagine this brigadier preferring that if another man was to be a pacifist he should be a real ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... than at the preceding one. So the epic stopped short, some hundred years before the Norman conquest. Difficulty, which quickens the ardor of industry, always damps, and generally extinguishes, the false zeal of caprice and versatility. ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... pressure of action a very self-protecting guile. Robespierre's mind was not rich nor flexible enough for true statesmanship, and it is a grave mistake to suppose that the various cunning tacks in which his career abounds, were any sign of genuine versatility or resource or political growth and expansion. They were, in fact, the resort of a man whose nerves were weaker than his volition. Robespierre was a kind of spinster. Force of head did not match his spiritual ambition. ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... head. "Even now, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, in spite of an unparalleled advance in our knowledge of the natural sciences, the world has not yet produced a mind, which can equal that of Aristotle in its astounding versatility and profundity of learning." She determined to persevere, but was it her subconscious self which discovered a vast arrear of letters which it was incumbent on her to answer before ...
— The Third Miss Symons • Flora Macdonald Mayor

... so eminently possessed by Agassiz of dealing with a number of subjects at once, was due to no superficial versatility. To him his work had but one meaning. It was never disconnected in his thought, and therefore he turned from his glaciers to his fossils, and from the fossil to the living world, with the feeling that he was always dealing with kindred problems, ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... mathematician, and obtained an introduction to the celebrated Carnot in this latter character, when the conversation turned on squaring the circle, and not on the propriety of confining France within the natural boundary of the Rhine. Mr. Brougham is, in fact, a striking instance of the versatility and strength of the human mind, and also in one sense of the length of human life, if we make a good use of our time. There is room enough to crowd almost every art and science into it. If we pass 'no day without ...
— The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction, No. 496 - Vol. 17, No. 496, June 27, 1831 • Various

... double organ, composed chiefly of muscular fibres, which run in almost every direction. The two sides are so perfectly distinct, that sometimes, in paralysis, one side is affected, while the function of the other remains perfect. It possesses great versatility of motion, and can be moulded into a great variety of shapes. In articulation, mastication, and deglutition, the tongue is an auxiliary to ...
— A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition) • Calvin Cutter

... as this in working out elaborately the figure often given in barest hint strengthens the imagination and gives to thought the versatility that makes reading a delight and an inspiration. Till the imagination is furnished material and given freedom, literature is ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... Palestrina's versatility and genius enabled him to lift ecclesiastical music out of the rigidity and frivolity characterizing on either hand the opposing ranks of those that preceded him, and to embody the religious spirit ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... introduced are fewer; and are handled with greater force, and made to tell more on the general effect. You marvel, too, at the versatility of the writer, who seems this moment to be looking at the scene with the eye of the melancholy Jacques; the next, with the philosophical aspect of the moralizing Hamlet; the next, with the rage of a misanthropical Timon; and the ...
— The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer - With Lives, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Rev. George Gilfillan [Ed.]

... this deficiency that his genius, waiting to be determined by the highest prize, fluttered uncertainly from effort to effort, until, when he was more than sixty, it suddenly spread its broad wing, and soared so as to arrest the gaze of other generations besides his own. For he had no versatility of faculty to mislead him. The "Night Thoughts" only differ from his previous works in the degree and not in the kind of power they manifest. Whether he writes prose or poetry, rhyme or blank verse, dramas, satires, odes, or meditations, ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... sincerity. Lawson's clever brilliancy, his social ease and versatility and musical talent, were all what he himself had longed unspeakably to possess. Besides, there was a deeper bond. "I've known him ever since he was a curly-headed boy, long before he came to this ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... Payne; Edward G. Andrew, who became in the course of years a Bishop in the Methodist Church; Professor Robert Adrain, who taught mathematics, and who at the same time was one of the faculty of Columbia College; and Lorenzo L. da Ponte. The latter was a man of unusual versatility, and was especially distinguished as a linguist. He taught us English literature in such a successful manner that we regarded that study merely as a recreation. Mr. da Ponte was a son of Lorenzo da Ponte, a Venitian of great learning, who after coming to this country rendered such conspicuous ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... been transported for an afternoon to Grandval, perhaps Johnson would have been the less impatient and disgusted of the two. He had the capacity of the more genial sort of casuist for playing with subjects, even moral subjects, with the freedom, versatility, and ease that are proper to literature. Burke, on the contrary, would not have failed to see, as indeed we know that he did not fail to see, that a social pandemonium was being prepared in this intellectual ...
— Burke • John Morley

... those aims may be worth—a man possibly does better to indulge, rather than to chide or grudge, his genius, and to pay the penalties for his weakness, rather than run any risk of mutilating those strong faculties of which they happen to be an inseparable accident. Versatility is not a universal gift among the able men of the world; not many of them have so many gifts of the spirit, as to be free to choose by what pass they will climb 'the steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar.' If ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... surveys; we are obliged to reflect on life in a variety of detached and unrelated acts, since neither can the whole material of life be ever given while we still live, nor can that which is given be impartially retained in the human memory. When omniscience was denied us, we were endowed with versatility. The picturesqueness of human thought may console us for ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... declined the offer of the chair of philosophy in the university in 1723, but accepted, in 1727, the sinecure office of librarian to the city of his adoption. Here he died at a good old age, in 1767. Abauzit was a man of great learning and of wonderful versatility. Whatever chanced to be discussed,it used to be said of Abauzit, as of Professor W. Whewell of more modern times, that he seemed to have made it a subject of particular study. Rousseau, who was jealously sparing of his praises, addressed to him, in his Nouvelle Heloise, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... MONMOUTH, a tragedy, I reclined on the bosom of Mr. Swinburne; in my innumerable gouty-footed lyrics, I followed many masters; in the first draft of THE KING'S PARDON, a tragedy, I was on the trail of no lesser man than John Webster; in the second draft of the same piece, with staggering versatility, I had shifted my allegiance to Congreve, and of course conceived my fable in a less serious vein - for it was not Congreve's verse, it was his exquisite prose, that I admired and sought to copy. Even ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... work, and she has the gift to make friends as well as to call forms out of clay—the success of friendship being one even more permanently satisfying. In her early life as a girl hardly more than twenty, she sought Rome, living with art as her chaperon. Her versatility, her picturesque individuality, and her imaginative power all combined to win sympathetic recognition. Gibson, whose guidance was particularly well adapted to develop her gifts, received her into his own studio and took ...
— Italy, the Magic Land • Lilian Whiting

... night for Mr. Gladstone, his wife, and a daughter. Mr. Gladstone made himself quite charming, spoke French fairly well, and knew more about every subject discussed than any one else in the room. He was certainly a wonderful man, such extraordinary versatility and such a memory. It was rather pretty to see Mrs. Gladstone when her husband was talking. She was quite absorbed by him, couldn't talk to her neighbours. They wanted very much to go to the Conciergerie to see the prison where the unfortunate Marie Antoinette passed the last days of ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... good-natured satire. To be cleverly caricatured is an honor, and should evince no ill-feeling, especially from these clever singing comedians, who are the best of fellows at heart; whose songs are clever but never vulgar; who sing because they love to sing; and whose versatility enables them to create the broadest of satires, and, again, a little song with words so pure, so human, and so pathetic, that the applause that follows from the silent room of listeners comes ...
— The Real Latin Quarter • F. Berkeley Smith

... younger Dryfoos, with the instruction simply to go ahead and not bother him about it. Fulkerson called that pretty tall for an old fellow who used to bewail the want of pigs and chickens to occupy his mind. He alleged it as another proof of the versatility of the American mind, and of the grandeur of institutions and opportunities that let every man grow to his full size, so that any man in America could run the concern if necessary. He believed that old Dryfoos could step into Bismarck's shoes ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Of Sa'di's versatility, these twenty-two works give sufficient evidence. He could write homilies (Risalahs) in a Mystic-religious fashion. He could compose lyrics in Arabic and Turkish as well as in Persian. He was even led to give ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... be doing a great many things at the same time, and to astonish the Tadpoles and Tapers with his energetic versatility, determined to superintend the education of Coningsby. It was a relation which identified him with the noble house of his pupil, or, properly speaking, his charge: for Mr. Rigby affected rather the graceful dignity of the governor than the duties of a tutor. ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... he thus favored. But, like many other benevolent men, who put force upon their inclinations for the benefit of their neighbors, he was mistaken in his "calculation;" and where he considered himself a benefactor, he was by others pronounced a "bore." The fact is, he had some versatility, and, like most men of various powers, he was prone to think himself a much greater man than he ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... virtue perhaps of their mixed descent, with a large share of the good points both of Southern and Northern nations. They are Italians; but Italians of the most robust and Roman type, combining in a remarkable degree Southern grace and versatility with Northern enterprise and power of endurance. It is no great stretch of imagination to suppose that Bernardino Caimi was alive to dangers that were sufficiently obvious, and that he began with the Val Sesia, partly as of all the sub-alpine valleys the one most imbued with German ...
— Ex Voto • Samuel Butler

... wrote some verses for a pictorial advertisement of Appleblossom's Toilet Soap, and ground out an encyclopaedia article on Christian Missions, and a magazine paper on the history of the game of bumblepuppy. I am now just beginning a novel of society life. Versatility is the very foundation of success. If it hadn't been for my knack of doing all sorts of things I never should have succeeded ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... this period, more remarkably than at any other during his life, the unparalleled versatility of his genius was unfolding itself, those quick, chameleon-like changes of which his character, too, was capable, were, during the same time, most vividly and in strongest contrast, drawn out. To the world, and more especially to England,—the scene at ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... following directions explicitly, gives naval officers as a class an adaptability and a facility which become professional characteristics. It may be interesting to note that the same was commonly remarked of the old-time seaman. His specialty was everything—versatility; and he was handy under the least expected circumstances, on shore as well as afloat. Burgoyne used chaffingly to attribute his misfortunes at Saratoga to the aptitude with which a British midshipman and seamen threw a bridge over the upper Hudson. ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... be supposed that his love of excitement, versatility, and daring demanded a livelier outlet than the slow toil of deep-sea fishing. To the most patient, persevering, and long-suffering of the arts, Robin Lyth did not take kindly, although he was so handy with a boat. Old Robin vainly strove to cast his angling mantle over him. The gifts ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... performed by many are perforce done by a few. Hence the spectacle in the new Spanish and Portuguese world, as in the old, of men and women who are at once journalists, novelists, dramatists, politicians, soldiers, poets and what not else. Such a versatility, often joined to a literary prolixity, no doubt serves to lower the artistic worth of works produced ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... versatility of the human mind, the improvement, when made, will very probably be made by paths where it is least expected. The great inducement to Mr. Babbage to attempt the construction of an engine by which astronomical tables could be ...
— The Uses of Astronomy - An Oration Delivered at Albany on the 28th of July, 1856 • Edward Everett

... sincerity, and friendship, charmingly expressed. I have found all these, too, among the French, and besides them, something which charms me the more, because it is peculiar to the French, and of a kind wholly different from any I have ever had an experience of before. There is an iris-like variety and versatility of nature, a quickness in catching and reflecting the various shades of emotion or fancy, a readiness in seizing upon one's own half-expressed thoughts, and running them out in a thousand graceful little tendrils, which is ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... to the mind at the name of MOORE! The brilliant wit, the elegant scholar, the most charming poet of sentiment our literature possesses! His vivacity and versatility were quite as remarkable as his fancy and command of melody. He has been admitted, by rare judges of personal merit, to have been, with the single exception of the late Chief Justice Bushe, the most attractive of companions. An attempt has, in some quarters, we have heard, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... departure. Most of my readers have seen that remarkable little lay written by Mr. Gilbert for Miss Anderson to display the range and variety of her powers—"Comedy and Tragedy." Mr. Gladstone gave proof of powers of equally wide versatility; and all at the expense of poor Joe. First for the Comedy. I must quote the passage of the speech to explain what ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... now recourse to a peculiar method of realising his original intention. In the short period of four weeks, he produced imitations of the more conspicuous bards, which speedily appeared in a volume entitled "The Poetic Mirror." This work, singularly illustrative of the versatility of his genius, was eminently successful, the first edition disappearing in the course of six weeks. The imitations of the bards were pronounced perfect, only that of Wordsworth was intentionally a caricature; the Shepherd had been provoked to it by a conceived slight of the Lake-poet, ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... guided mainly by two considerations,—namely, the necessity for reproducing the mature opinion of a great mind, upon great subjects; and for making the selection so varied, as to convey to the reader some idea of the wonderful versatility of the powers which could treat subjects so diverse in their nature with such uniform eloquence and discrimination. I trust that the chapters on Education will prove to be a valuable contribution to the speedy settlement of ...
— Leading Articles on Various Subjects • Hugh Miller

... compelled to come to his wife's assistance. Casanova soon joined in the discussion, which turned upon matters relating to kitchen and cellar. An expert on these topics, he saw no reason why he should hide his light under a bushel, and he seized the opportunity of giving a fresh proof of versatility. Thereupon, Amalia roused herself from her brown study. After their recent experience—at once incredible and haunting—to all, and especially to Casanova, there was a certain comfort derivable from an extremely commonplace ...
— Casanova's Homecoming • Arthur Schnitzler

... pass, was to give her a great success. Her debut as a lad, however, was under the most brilliantly artistic circumstances, because it was in Edmond Rostand's "L'Aiglon," adapted in English by Louis N. Parker. As the young Eaglet, son of the great Napoleon, she had fresh opportunity to display her versatility. It was a character in which romance, pathos, and tragedy were curiously entwined. Bernhardt had done it successfully in Paris, but Miss Adams brought to it the fidelity and brilliancy of youth. In "L'Aiglon" she was supported by Edwin Arden, Oswald Yorke, ...
— Charles Frohman: Manager and Man • Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

... exaggerated petty things and overlooked great ones, took pleasure at times in masking, appearing in disguise, and impersonating imaginary characters, and captivated the susceptible by the charm of her speech, the bright versatility of her spirit, the winning heartiness ...
— The German Classics, v. 20 - Masterpieces of German Literature • Various

... likely to form many acquaintances in the town. With the Liversedges she stood on excellent terms, and one or two families closely connected with them gave her a welcome from which she did not shrink. But she had no gift of social versatility; it cost her painful efforts to converse about bazaars and curates and fashions and babies with the average Polterham matron; she felt that most of the women who came to see her went away with distasteful impressions, and that they were ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... this is without exception the finest contemporary administrative building in America; a noble building rich in glorious memories; nobler even than the Bulfinch State House at Boston or the Maryland State House at Annapolis. It is an enduring monument to Hamilton's versatility, showing that with his genius he might have won distinction as an architect no less than as a barrister. His sense of design, mass and proportion, his appreciation of the relative value and most effective uses of classic detail and his ability ...
— The Colonial Architecture of Philadelphia • Frank Cousins

... necessary to enable the distiller to cool off with judgment—which necessity is increased by the versatility of our climate, the seasons of the year, and the kinds of water used. These circumstances prevent a strict adherence to any particular or specific mode; I however submit a few observations for the guidance of distillers ...
— The Practical Distiller • Samuel McHarry

... intellect, How fondly we predicted a career of future usefulness to others, and honor and happiness to himself! You know how often I used to compare him, for the silent ease with which he mastered difficult subjects, and the versatility with which he turned his mind to the most opposite pursuits, to the youthful Theaetetus, as described in Plato's dialogue the movements of whose mind Theodorus compares to the "noiseless flow of oil" ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... meeting, in no spirit of empty compliment, and I have always kept his letter in return as a memento of a remarkable personality. Some day I hope there may be a Memoir of him; for none has yet appeared. He had not the charm, the versatility, the easy classical culture, of his famous father—"the Rupert of debate." But with his great stature—he was six feet two—his square head, and strong, smooth-shaven face, he was noticeable everywhere. He was a childless ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... features, and yet it may be said that no perfectly faithful portrait of him exists. His finely-shaped head, his superb forehead, his pale countenance, and his usual meditative look, have been transferred to the canvas; but the versatility of his expression was beyond the reach of imitation: All the various workings of his mind were instantaneously depicted in his countenance; and his glance changed from mild to severe, and from angry to good-humoured, almost ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... Royal Yacht Club, and Master of the Ceremonies. He is engaged in the enviable task of introducing a party of ladies to view the richly-adorned cups; and the smile of gallantry which plays upon his countenance belies the versatility of his talent, which can blow a storm on the officers of a Custom House cutter more to be dreaded than the blusterings of old Boreas. That beautiful Gothic villa adjoining the Club House, late the residence of the Marquess of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 13, No. 374 • Various

... influence of one of his former ministers, Ashley, now become Earl of Shaftesbury, who took the popular side, after having served all sides, but always with a view of advancing his own interests, a man of great versatility of genius, of great sagacity, and of varied learning. Had Charles continued much longer on the throne, it cannot be doubted that the nation would have been finally aroused to resist his spirit of encroachment, for the principles of liberty had not ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... as might be found necessary, and the union was to be a voluntary one. The King in order to carry out this policy appointed as one of his Ministers Herr von Radowitz. He was a man of the highest character and extreme ability. An officer by profession, he was distinguished by the versatility of his interests and his great learning. The King found in him a man who shared his own enthusiasm for letters. He had been a member of the Parliament at Frankfort, and had taken a leading part among the extreme Conservatives; a Roman Catholic, he had come ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... aid Tertullian united the scientific, idealistic cosmology with the utterances of early Christian tradition about Jesus in such a way as to make the two, as it were, appear the totally dissimilar wings of one and the same building,[548] With peculiar versatility he contrived to make himself ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... recognized by all parties, I may say, in all parts of the world. He has the lawyer's habit of taking the opposite side of a question, but before he acts he is apt to be on the right side. When in the Senate he did not show the versatility of talent he has exhibited as President. All his utterances have been marked with dignity suited to his high position, yet with delicate appropriateness and precision that will admit no criticism. I have ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... the public on the subject. And, finally, I could name a dozen German singers who have won first-class honors in Italian opera; but where is there an Italian Tannhaeuser or Bruennhilde or Wotan? All honor, therefore, to the versatility of German singers, who, like Lilli Lehmann, for instance, can sing Norma and ...
— Chopin and Other Musical Essays • Henry T. Finck

... of Dante down to those of Michael Angelo, Caesar Borgia, Julius II., and Macchiavelli.[1143] The first distinguishing mark of a man of those times is the soundness of his mental instrument. Nowadays, after three hundred years of service, ours has lost somewhat of its moral fiber, sharpness, and versatility: usually the compulsory specialization has caused it to become lop-sided making it unfit for other purposes. What's more, the increase in ready-made ideas and cliches and acquired methods incrusts it and reduces its scope ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... of the most gentleman-like bodies of men in the King's service. They are thoroughly imbued with all the high sentiments of honour belonging to the military character; and they possess, moreover, in a very pleasant degree, the freedom of manner and versatility of habits peculiar to those who go down to the ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... arm as though he were snapping the long whip lash he took into the ring with him, "this little exciting episode—this epicurean taste of the thrills to follow in the big tent—although of an impromptu nature, merely goes to show the versatility of Twomley and Sorber's Herculean Circus and Menagerie, and our ability, when the unexpected happens, to grapple with circumstances and throw them, sir—throw them! That is what we did in this present thrilling happening. The fire is out. Every spark ...
— The Corner House Girls Growing Up - What Happened First, What Came Next. And How It Ended • Grace Brooks Hill

... "That vivacious versatility, Which many people take for want of heart. They err; 'tis merely what is called "mobility;" A thing of temperament, and not of art, Though seeming so from ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... on the stage, she had personal attractions, depth of feeling, and vivacity of mind to have rendered her one of the very first in a profession, to excel in which there is, perhaps, more correct judgment and versatility of talent required than in any other, and would have had a fair prospect of obtaining that coronet which has occasionally been the reward of those fair dames who ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... versatility and fickleness which in a greater or less degree beset all human minds, particularly in the season of early youth. However docile we may be, and willing to learn, there will be periods, when either some other object powerfully solicits us, or satiety creeps in, and makes us wish ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... one of the most interesting figures of a time when learning was at a premium; he was a big man amongst big men, and even in this irreverential time genius uncovers at the mention of his name. His versatility was astounding; with equal facility and felicity he could conduct a literary symposium and a cock-fight, a theological discussion and an angling expedition, a historical or a ...
— The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac • Eugene Field

... the infringement of professional boundaries and the defiance of rule: these are the commonplaces of our time. The trained man, the specialised man, is the most unfortunate of men; the world leaves him behind, and he has lost his power of overtaking it. Versatility, alert adaptability, these are our urgent needs. In peace and war alike the unimaginative, uninventive man is a burthen and a retardation, as he never was before in the world's history. The modern community, therefore, that succeeds most rapidly and most completely ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... to Tournay; where Perkin, his son, did not long remain, but by different accidents, was carried from place to place, and his birth and fortunes became thereby unknown, and difficult to be traced by the most diligent inquiry. The variety of his adventures had happily favored the natural versatility and sagacity of his genius; and he seemed to be a youth perfectly fitted to act any part, or assume any character. In this light he had been represented to the duchess of Burgundy, who, struck with the concurrence of so many circumstances suited to her purpose, desired ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... that is above human comprehension, THAT is greatness. To have the serene sublimity of the God-man Christ, and consent to be crucified by a gibing world that was fated to be afterwards civilized and dominated by His teachings, what can be more glorious? To have the magnificent versatility of a Shakespeare, who was scarcely recognized in his own day, but whose gifts were so vast and various that the silly multitudes wrangle over his very identity and the authenticity of his plays to this hour—what can be more triumphant? To know that one's own soul can, if strengthened and encouraged ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... luminous and coherent positivity. This is the crowning glory of the modern spirit, and it was the lack of this which went so far to neutralise Byron's hold of the other chief characteristics of that spirit, its freedom and spaciousness, its humaneness and wide sociality, its versatility and many-sidedness and passionate feeling for ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 3: Byron • John Morley

... of the well-known type of Italian adventurers who appeared at foreign courts, and, with the versatility of their race, made themselves useful, and indeed indispensable, to their masters. He learned the languages of the East, and went upon missions for the Great Khan to all parts of his vast empire. When, in 1292, the Polos obtained permission ...
— European Background Of American History - (Vol. I of The American Nation: A History) • Edward Potts Cheyney

... which he is acknowledged to have no equal. As a mimic and ventriloquist he stands preeminent, and his entertainment is so varied with pathos, wit, and humor, that an evening's amusement of wonderful versatility is afforded. ...
— Incidents of the War: Humorous, Pathetic, and Descriptive • Alf Burnett

... a poet has died young in the breast of the most stolid. It may be contended rather that a (somewhat minor) bard in almost every case survives, and is the spice of life to his possessor. Justice is not done to the versatility and the unplumbed childishness of man's imagination. His life from without may seem but a rude mound of mud: there will be some golden chamber at the heart of it, in which he dwells delighted; and for as dark as ...
— Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals • William James

... versatility of talent succeeded in abolishing the old wooden printing-press, with its double pulls, and substituting in its place the beautiful iron one, called after him the "Stanhope Press." His lordship's inventive genius, however, failed in the composing-room; ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 192, July 2, 1853 • Various

... that which seemed so strong, so true, so real could not be gone so soon,—and it could not be so soon consoled. Mary wondered at her, as the Anglo-Saxon constitution, with its strong, firm intensity, its singleness of nature, wonders at the mobile, many-sided existence of warmer races, whose versatility of emotion on the surface is not incompatible with the most intense ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... great versatility are most difficult to picture comprehensively. Perhaps this is the reason that no pen-portrait of Theodore Roosevelt ever seemed quite complete. There was in every single sketch something that seemed to be left unsaid, a point made by one was certain to be omitted ...
— The Progressive Democracy of James M. Cox • Charles E. Morris

... Table Round that held the lists, Strong men, and wrathful that a stranger knight Should do and almost overdo the deeds Of Lancelot; and one said to the other, 'Lo! What is he? I do not mean the force alone— The grace and versatility of the man! Is it not Lancelot?' 'When has Lancelot worn Favour of any lady in the lists? Not such his wont, as we, that know him, know.' 'How then? who then?' a fury seized them all, A fiery family passion for the name Of Lancelot, and a glory one with ...
— Idylls of the King • Alfred, Lord Tennyson

... searching. "Look here, Quale," he said, at last, "do you mind letting us see the others?—that Botticelli woman and the Fra Angelico—they show your versatility." ...
— Contrary Mary • Temple Bailey

... has certain fixed beliefs which underlie and which, indeed, explain the superficial versatility of his teaching. Amongst the various doctrines with which he plays more or less seriously, two at least are deeply rooted in his mind. He holds, with a fervour in every way honourable, a belief in the marvellous endowments of his race, ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... once arrested the attention of naturalists and geologists; his generalisations have since received ample confirmation and now command universal assent, nor is it questionable that they have had the most important influence on the progress of science. More recently Mr. Darwin, with a versatility which is among the rarest of gifts, turned his attention to a most difficult question of zoology and minute anatomy; and no living naturalist and anatomist has published a better monograph than that which resulted from his labours. Such a man, at all events, ...
— Darwiniana • Thomas Henry Huxley

... most difficult causes of misfits to overcome is versatility. He who can do many things well seems always to have great difficulty in fixing upon any one thing and doing that supremely well. The versatile man is usually fond of variety, changeable, fickle; he loves to have ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... say that as a city we are the school of Hellas, while I doubt if the world can produce a man who, where he has only himself to depend upon, is equal to so many emergencies, and graced by so happy a versatility, as the Athenian. And that this is no mere boast thrown out for the occasion, but plain matter of fact, the power of the state acquired by these habits proves. For Athens alone of her contemporaries is found when tested to be greater than her reputation, and alone gives ...
— The History of the Peloponnesian War • Thucydides

... are always expecting it to come. Paul constantly alludes to the Master's return as the great thing to look forward to, as distinctly at the close as at the beginning of his ministry. The book of Revelation is distinctly a kingdom book, and however it may, with the versatility of Scripture to serve a double purpose, foreshadow the characteristics of history for the centuries since its writing, plainly its first meaning has to do with the time when "the kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ." The King is coming back to ...
— Quiet Talks about Jesus • S. D. Gordon

... remarkable bird, from the versatility of its talents for imitation, has by some been ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... in what occupied his thoughts. Kindness creates an atmosphere in which the most sensitive and diffident natures develop and reveal themselves, and Madge Alden, who might easily have been chilled into a reticent and dispirited girl, eventually manifested an unusual versatility of fancy and thought, acquiring also ...
— A Young Girl's Wooing • E. P. Roe

... regular manual exercise; and for want of it, she lived upon books, and very literally died of them eventually. She was naturally, so to speak, an artificial product of conventional ideas; Beth, on the contrary, was altogether a little human being, but one of those who answer to expectation with fatal versatility. She liked blacking grates, and did them well, because Harriet told her she could; she hated writing copies, and did them disgracefully, because her mother beat her for a blot, and said she would never improve. For the ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... ten to the nineteenth. The whole of the work of Dryden, whom we must count as the first of the "classic" school, was accomplished before chronologically it had begun. As a man and as an author he was very intimately related to his changing times; he adapted himself to them with a versatility as remarkable as that of the Vicar of Bray, and, it may be added, as simple-minded. He mourned in verse the death of Cromwell and the death of his successor, successively defended the theological positions of the Church of England and the Church of Rome, ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... Greeley made a tour of the country. There have been many such travels by presidential candidates, but none like this. His march was a triumphal procession, and his audiences enormous and most enthusiastic. The whole country marvelled at his intellectual versatility. He spoke every day, and often several times a day, and each speech was absolutely new. There seemed to be no limit to his originality, his freshness, or the new angles from which to present the ...
— My Memories of Eighty Years • Chauncey M. Depew

... His versatility and abounding vitality were astounding. He would have been an eminent man in his day had he never invented the telegraph; but it is of absorbing interest, in following his career, to note how he was forced to give up one ambition after another, to suffer blow after blow which would have overwhelmed ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... His life and adventures belong to the sixteenth; his works to the seventeenth century. Raleigh was probably the most dazzling figure of his time; and is "in a singular degree the representative of the vigorous versatility of the Elizabethan period." Spenser, whose neighbour he was for some time in Ireland, thought highly of his poetry, calls him "the summer's nightingale," and says ...
— A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2 (of 2) • John Miller Dow Meiklejohn

... towards her victorious foe—though that change was not wholly to her discredit—Persia bred in the Greeks a still better conceit of themselves and a better understanding of her weakness. The Persians, with the intelligence and versatility for which their race has always been remarkable, passed very rapidly from overweening contempt to excessive admiration of the Greeks. They set to work almost at once to attract Hellenic statesmen and men of science to their own society, and to make use of Hellenic soldiers and sailors. We ...
— The Ancient East • D. G. Hogarth

... set free! In what a state, too, do Mrs. Sand and her brother and sister philosophers, Templars, Saint Simonians, Fourierites, Lerouxites, or whatever the sect may be, leave the unfortunate people who have listened to their doctrines, and who have not the opportunity, or the fiery versatility of belief, which carries their teachers from one creed to another, leaving only exploded lies and useless recantations behind them! I wish the state would make a law that one individual should not be allowed to preach more than one doctrine in his life, or, at any rate, should be soundly ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of the author's versatility is this farcical, humorous satire on the art nouveau of to-day, Mr. Chambers, with all his knowledge of the artistic jargon, has in this little novel created a pious fraud of a father, who brings up his eight lovely daughters in the ...
— The Green Mouse • Robert W. Chambers

... eloquence was due, first, to the greatness of his emotion and passion, accompanied with a versatility which enabled him to assume at once any emotion or passion which was suited to his ends. Not less indispensable, secondly, was a matchless perfection of the organs of expression, including the entire apparatus of voice, intonation, pause, gesture, attitude, and ...
— Patrick Henry • Moses Coit Tyler

... capricious behavior of the princesses, who sometimes received me with pleasure and at others evinced a disposition to annoy me in every possible way, according as it suited the whims and wishes of those about them. The following may serve as an instance of their versatility. The prince de Conde having announced his intention of giving a grand fete at Chantilly, the princesses declared they would not be present if I were there. The prince de Conde, spite of his claims to the character of a great man, was nevertheless ...
— "Written by Herself" • Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon

... arrived for Sunday's mass, celebrated with great magnificence in the Renaissance chapel, where Vedrine's versatility had restored both the fine stained glass and the wonderful carving of the reredos. A huge crowd from the villages of the neighbourhood filled the chapel to overflowing, and gathered in the great court. Everywhere ...
— The Immortal - Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... for carpet nature, and cold, dead fragments of an earth all soul and living glory to every cultivated eye but a routine painter's. Yet the man of many such mediocrities could not keep the pot boiling. We suspect that, to those who would rise in life, even strong versatility is a very doubtful good, and weak ...
— Peg Woffington • Charles Reade

... all perfection. She was past mistress in all manner of arts and accomplishments and endowed with [many] excellences, surpassing all the folk of her age and time. She was grown more notorious than a way-mark,[FN206] for the versatility of her genius, and outdid the fair both in theory and practice and elegant and flexile grace, more by token that she was five feet high and in conjunction with fair fortune, with strait arched brows, as they were the crescent moon of Shaaban,[FN207] ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume IV • Anonymous

... College, to which he went as a lad of thirteen, the eager young student added the opportunity, then uncommon, of a systematic course of study in German, and won the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Goettingen in 1820. He had in a marked degree the characteristics of his countrymen, versatility and adaptability. Giving up an early purpose of fitting himself for the pulpit, he taught in Harvard, and helped to found a school of an advanced type at Northampton. Meantime he published a volume of verse, and found out that the passionate ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... us, by the reading of Cuvier—leaves us with impressions of grandeur and desolation which no other passages of English poetry can convey. Lord Byron has elsewhere exhibited more versatility of fancy and richness of illustration, but nowhere else has he so nearly "struck the stars." From constellation to constellation the pair speed on, cleaving the blue with mighty wings, but finding in all a blank, like that in Richter's wonderful dream. The result on the mind of Cain ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... his Naevius, his Pacuvius, and the others who had written in his own tongue. As he was acquainted with the poets and rhetoricians, so also was he acquainted with those writers who have handled philosophy. His incredible versatility was never at fault. He knew them all from the beginning, and could interest himself in their doctrines. He had been in the schools at Athens, and had learned it all. In one sense he believed in it. There was a great battle of words carried on, and in regard ...
— The Life of Cicero - Volume II. • Anthony Trollope

... Greeley, over whose death, however, the whole Nation seemed to be in mourning. He had greatly overtaxed himself in his masterly and brilliant campaign on the stump, in which he displayed unrivaled intellectual resources and versatility. He had exhausted himself in watching by the bedside of his dying wife. He had been assailed as the enemy of his country by the party which he had done more than any man in the Nation to organize. ...
— Political Recollections - 1840 to 1872 • George W. Julian

... heaped-up litter of volumes and manuscripts in his study telling at a glance where his tastes lay, was nevertheless as he needed to be most practical and business-like. Though an accomplished litterateur touching with versatility poetry, criticism, history, philosophy, and still other fields, this was his hobby only, his main work being when I knew him to make available for readers crowding from all lands seeking information of all kinds, the ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... serve as guides in writing. Keen observation and skilful analysis would, in like manner, detect further peculiarities of expression produced by other attitudes of mind; and by paying due attention to all such traits, a writer possessed of sufficient versatility might make some approach to ...
— The Philosophy of Style • Herbert Spencer

... worked in the hearts of her sculptors and her poets, moulded also and inspired her city life. In contradistinction to the stern and rigid discipline of Sparta, the Athenian citizen displayed the resource, the versatility and the zeal that only freedom and self- reliance can teach. The contrast is patent at every stage of the history of the two states, and has been acutely set forth by Thucydides in the speech which he puts into the mouths of the Corinthian allies ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... loggerheads over verbs and nouns, and on fire with odium philologicum. All this was heaven; and he settled down in his native land, his life a rosy dream. None so happy as the versatile, provided they have not their bread to make by it. And Fra Colonna was Versatility. He knew seven or eight languages, and a little mathematics; could write a bit, paint a bit, model a bit, sing a bit, strum a bit; and could relish superior excellence in all these branches. For this last trait he deserved to be as happy as he was. For, gauge the intellects ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... The degree and versatility of his acquirements were truly wonderful. He knew all about arithmetic and history, and all about catching squirrels and planting corn; made poetry and hoe handles with equal celerity; wound yarn and took out grease ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... fallen to Schiller's lot, we need not attempt too minutely to explain. Without injuring his reputation, it may be admitted that, in general, his works exhibit rather extraordinary strength than extraordinary fineness or versatility. His power of dramatic imitation is perhaps never of the very highest, the Shakspearean kind; and in its best state, it is farther limited to a certain range of characters. It is with the grave, the earnest, the exalted, the affectionate, the mournful, that he succeeds: he is not destitute of humour, ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... spirit. To sum up, I say that Athens is the school of Hellas, and that the individual Athenian in his own person seems to have the power of adapting himself to the most varied forms of action with the utmost versatility and grace. This is no passing and idle word, but truth and fact; and the assertion is verified by the position to which these qualities have raised the State. For in the hour of trial Athens alone among her contemporaries is superior to the report of her. No enemy who comes against her is ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... many of her great men, a colour which seems partly Elizabethan. Her Jefferson, with his omnivorous culture, his love of music and the arts, his proficiency at the same time in sports and bodily exercises, suggests something of the graceful versatility of men like Essex and Raleigh, and we shall see her in her last agony produce a soldier about whose high chivalry and heroic and adventurous failure there clings a light of romance that does not seem to ...
— A History of the United States • Cecil Chesterton

... detective agency is conducted on business principles and does not look for histrionic talent or general versatility. As one of the heads of a prominent agency said to me the ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... in making a defensive struggle? I know of none. On the other hand, if an animal could dispense with his bulky digestive organs, whose functions are suspended by fear, if he could, so to speak, clear his decks for battle, it would be to his advantage. Although the marvelous versatility of natural selection apparently could devise no means of affording this advantage, it nevertheless shut off the nervous current and saved the vital force which is ordinarily consumed by these non-combatants in the performance of their functions. ...
— The Origin and Nature of Emotions • George W. Crile

... twenty-three in number, now removed of their own accord from the tender, to lodge in the beacon, together with Peter Fortune, a person singularly adapted for a residence of this kind, both from the urbanity of his manners and the versatility of his talents. Fortune, in his person, was of small stature, and rather corpulent. Besides being a good Scots cook, he had acted both as groom and house-servant; he had been a soldier, a sutler, a writer's ...
— Records of a Family of Engineers • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and playful, the old Doge Barbarigo and the patron saints kneeling among bright birds, and a garden and mediaeval townlet filling up the background, for which, by the way, he uses the same sketch as in the Pesaro picture. It says much for his versatility that he could within a short time produce three ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... lies in its versatility. It is a dozen metals in one. It can be made hard or soft, brittle or malleable, tough or weak, resistant or flexible, elastic or pliant, magnetic or non-magnetic, more or less conductive to electricity, by slight changes of composition ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... draw Antoine into his circle, sometimes as though it were merely to show off his cleverness before him, at other times adroitly lighting on some quaint habit or saying of Antoine's, holding it up to ridicule, now in one light, now in another, with a versatility that would have made his fortune as a comedian, and returning to the charge again and again, in the hope, as it seemed, of provoking Antoine's seldom-stirred anger: but in this entirely failing, for Antoine would generally join heartily in the laugh himself. Only once did a ...
— A Loose End and Other Stories • S. Elizabeth Hall

... Elijah's versatility is shown in the following occurrence. A pious man bequeathed a spice-garden to his three sons. They took turns in guarding it against thieves. The first night the oldest son watched the garden. Elijah appeared to him and ...
— THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS VOLUME IV BIBLE TIMES AND CHARACTERS - FROM THE EXODUS TO THE DEATH OF MOSES • BY LOUIS GINZBERG

... pleased me I retained in my memory, consciously or unconsciously, and adapted it. The young writer, as Stevenson has said, instinctively tries to copy whatever seems most admirable, and he shifts his admiration with astonishing versatility. It is only after years of this sort of practice that even great men have learned to marshal the legion of words which come thronging through every byway of ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... Scriptures, and adding expositions of his own after a fashion not remarkable for rigorous Catholicity. Of an evening, when not engrossed with his garden, he was reading or writing in his room, perhaps preparing the material of that History of New France in which, despite the versatility of his busy brain, his good sense and capacity are clearly ...
— Pioneers Of France In The New World • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... Mr. Hervey, and we fully coincide in the verdict. Bouffe, is one of the most intelligent, accomplished, and agreeable actors we ever saw; subtle and delicate in his conceptions of character, energetic without rant, ever true to Nature, and of a rare versatility of talent. We have known several persons who fancied, partly perhaps on account of his name, that he only acted comic parts: they should see him obtain a succes de larmes, throw a whole theatre into tears, by his exquisite feeling and pathos in ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... freely poured out his love for the poor people. He next recited some of his Parisian suburban scenes, and then a series of sonnets, entitled "Love's Hopes," inspired by his dear Maria; and he astonished all these poets by the versatility and variety of ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... master, but has preferred to concentrate most of his powers upon delicate amatory lyrics. While some of his readers may at times regret this limitation of endeavor, and wish he might practice to a greater extent that immense versatility which he permitted the amateur public to glimpse in the September Piper; it is perhaps not amiss that he should cultivate most diligently that type of composition most natural and easy to him, for he is obviously a successor ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... and foreshadowed some of the great conclusions of modern geology, such as the nature of fossil remains, and the elevation of continents. He explained the earth-light reflected by the moon. With surprising versatility of genius he excelled as a sculptor, architect, engineer; was thoroughly versed in the astronomy, anatomy, and chemistry of his times. In painting, he was the rival of Michel Angelo; in a competition between ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... The peculiar system of domestic affection in which he was brought up, and which his maturer years have confirmed, presents a greater obstacle to you than any which my lover's versatility presented to me, if I had known how ...
— Gryll Grange • Thomas Love Peacock

... it is only natural that I should dwell rather upon his successes than upon his failures. And this not so much for the sake of his reputation—for, indeed, it was when he was at his wits' end that his energy and his versatility were most admirable—but because where he failed it happened too often that no one else succeeded, and that the tale was left forever without a conclusion. Now and again, however, it chanced that even when he erred, the truth was still discovered. I have noted of some ...
— Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... discrimination at that of his least worthy productions, and the historical value of his work as a prime modeller of all kinds of new literary material is overlooked. Consider for a moment as not wholly unworthy of attention his mere versatility as a man of letters. Apart from Roderick Random and its successors, which gave him a European fame, he wrote a standard history, and a standard version of Don Quixote (both of which held their ground against all comers for over a century). He created both satirical and romantic types, he wrote ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... particular to place the two Analytical Studies in time and in environment, that the wonderful versatility of the author may become apparent—and more: that Balzac may be vindicated from the charge of dullness and inaccuracy at this period. Such traits might have been charged against him had he left only the Analytical Studies. But when they are ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... he had chalked up his great message on a wall, like Walt Whitman, in large and straggling letters, it would have startled men like a blasphemy. But he wrote his light-headed paradoxes in so flowing a copy-book hand that everyone supposed they must be copy-book sentiments. He suffered from his versatility, not, as is loosely said, by not doing every department well enough, but by doing every department too well. As child, cockney, pirate, or Puritan, his disguises were so good that most people could not see the ...
— Twelve Types • G.K. Chesterton

... done, and in particular, as, according to Ruskin, poor Ghirlandaio could not do in his fresco of the birth of the Virgin Herself. It was Orcagna's habit to sign his sculpture "Andrea di Cione, painter," and his paintings "Andrea di Cione, sculptor," and thus point his versatility. By this tabernacle, by his Pisan fresco, and by the designs of the Loggia de' Lanzi and the Bigallo (which are usually given to him), he takes his place among the most interesting and various of ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... the point of view of the domination of a wider environment, is the quality of changeableness, plasticity, mobility, or versatility. Man's particular means of adaptation to his environment is this quality of versatility. By means of this quality expressed through the manifold reactions of his highly organized central nervous system, man has been able to dominate the beasts and to maintain himself in an environment many times more extensive than theirs. Like ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... a remarkable novel, and while it illustrates once more the author's unusual versatility, it also shows that he has not been tempted into careless writing by the vogue of his earlier books. . . . There is nothing weak or small or frivolous in the story. The author deals with tremendous ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... bright and spotted, while the tawny skin of the former was dirty and not pleasant to look at. Then the fox said, "Look inside me, sir judge, and you will see that I am more full of variety than my opponent," referring to his trickiness and versatility in shifts. Let us similarly say to ourselves, Many diseases and disorders, good sir, thy body naturally produces of itself, many also it receives from without; but if thou lookest at thyself within thou wilt find, to borrow the language of Democritus, ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... The constitution provided that after three years' service the Executive became ineligible for the next term, and Caswell had served three terms. Governor Nash, like his predecessor, was a man of ability and patriotism, but did not equal him in the versatility of his powers or his consummate skill in ...
— School History of North Carolina • John W. Moore

... one-sided mechanism. Here again the exception may be taken to prove the rule. It is not too much, I think, to assert that Goethe could never have become so uniquely great, not even through the splendid versatility of his genius, but for that incomparable self-control, which he made the watchword of his life. And in the case of the poet of Weltschmerz the presence or absence of this quality may even decide whether he shall rise superior to his beclouded condition or ...
— Types of Weltschmerz in German Poetry • Wilhelm Alfred Braun

... benefactor of Ireland, but in this he is not alone. His sentiments are shared by every Irishman I have met, no matter what his politics. The Unionist party are the more merciful, sparing expletives, calling no ill names. They admire his ability, his wonderful vitality, versatility, ingenuity of trickery. They sincerely believe that he is only crazy, and think it a great pity. They speak of the wreck of his rich intellect, and say in effect corruptio optimi pessima est. There is another monkish proverb which ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... papers on lithography and upon musical instruments, and translated Algarotti's Treatise on "Architecture, Painting, and Opera Music," enough will have been said to make manifest his very remarkable and somewhat prolix versatility. In 1773 he made a tour in Westphalia in quest of MSS., and on his return, by way of completing his education, he turned journalist, and commenced a periodical called the Cassel Spectator, with Mauvillon as his co-editor. ...
— The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen • Rudolph Erich Raspe

... consciousness of these manifold and varied interests. He never affected to conceal from himself his superiority to other men in his aims and in the grasp of his intelligence. But there is no trace that he prided himself on the variety and versatility of these powers, or that he even distinctly realized to himself that it was anything remarkable that he should have so many dissimilar objects and be able so readily to pursue them in ...
— Bacon - English Men Of Letters, Edited By John Morley • Richard William Church

... these freedmen were in 1865, that has shown such marvelous progress in a quarter of a century. They have responded wonderfully to every effort made to elevate them, and have shown in themselves such versatility and vigor of intellect as give ...
— The American Missionary - Vol. 44, No. 3, March, 1890 • Various

... self may be—in the case of rare geniuses it has been—diverse in its interests, activities, and sympathies, yet unified and consistent in action. A character may be various without being confused; versatility is not synonymous with chaos. A man's interests and activities may be given a certain order, rank, and proportion, so that his life may exhibit at once the color, consistency, clarity, and variety of a ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... seen that Gilbert was by no means lacking in versatility, yet the investigations upon which his fame is founded were all pursued along one line, so that the father of magnetism may be considered one of the earliest of specialists in physical science. Most workers of the time, on the other band, extended their investigations ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... but an animal joy in all that comes. It could never be the face of an artist; it is the face of a viveur—kindly, pleased and pleasing, protected from excess and upheld in contentment by the shifting versatility of his desires. For a single desire is more rightly to be called a lust; but there is health in a variety, where one may balance ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... journalistic mentors, who thought the wisdom of a step immaterial provided it was taken at once. He had other qualities which disqualified him for popular favour in a time of popular passion. He was not emotional, and did not respond to the varying moods of the hour with the versatility demanded by the experts in daily sensation. He belonged to an older school of politicians who suffered, like our armies in the field, from the newer and possibly more scientific methods of their foes. He ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... for fireplaces, together with a number of very respectable andirons. On each of these larger pieces of handiwork my patient had stamped his initials with a little steel die that was made for him. Each piece was his own, each piece was the product of his own versatility and his own strength. His pride and pleasure in this work were very great, and well they might be, for it is a fine thing to have learned to handle so intractable a material as iron. But in handling the iron patiently and consistently until he could do ...
— The Untroubled Mind • Herbert J. Hall

... sounds. There can be no doubt but this bird is one of our finest songsters. If it would only thrive and sing well when caged, like the canary, how far it would surpass that bird! It has all the vivacity and versatility of the canary, without any of its shrillness. Its song is indeed ...
— Wake-Robin • John Burroughs

... should disclose) almost every one exposes the contempt in which he was held, and his consequential' disappointments and disgraces! Was ever any man the better for another's experience? What a lesson is here against versatility! I, who have lived through all the scenes unfolded, am entertained; but I should think that to younger readers half the book must be unintelligible. He explains nothing but the circumstances of his ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... certain rather remarkable qualities, which I should be the last to deny, Napoleon lacked versatility. After all, any fool can be a soldier: we know that only too well in Perusalem, where every fool is a soldier. But the Inca has a thousand other resources. He is an architect. Well, St Helena presents an unlimited field to the architect. He is a painter: need I remind you that ...
— The Inca of Perusalem • George Bernard Shaw

... is a dog of great versatility. He is a born sportsman and loves an open-air life—a warrior, always ready to accept battle, but seldom provoking it. He has a way of his own with tramps, and seldom fails to induce them to continue ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... nearly with the noblest house of scenic artists that ever shook the hearts of nations, nobler than ever raised undying echoes amidst the mighty walls of Athens, of Rome, of Paris, of London,—himself a man of talents almost unparalleled for versatility,— why should not Mr. Murray, always so liberal in an age so ungrateful to his profession, have sacrificed something to this occasion? He, that sacrifices so much, why not sacrifice to the grandeur of the Antique? I was then in Edinburgh, or in its neighborhood; and one ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... our neighbor, make him pass an agreeable hour, we set out in the same way. We invite him to admire our versatility, to laugh at our wit, to frequent our house, to sit at our table; through it all, our desire to shine breaks forth. Sometimes, also, with a patron's prodigality, we offer him the beneficence of a public entertainment of our own choosing, unless we ask him to find amusement at our home, as we sometimes ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... AT HOME, after he has been imitating his inimitable Scotchwoman, to slip out as quick as lightning, and appear in the side-box shaking hands with our old friend Jack Bannister. It adds to our surprise at the versatility of his changes of place and appearance, and he had been before us in his own person during a great part of the evening. There was no harm done—no imaginary spell broken—no discontinuity of thought or sentiment. Mr. ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... one hundred. Two-nought minutes more left!" shouted the sergeant, who, with the versatility of a variety artiste, was now playing another part from his extensive repertoire. He ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... the prize awarded by the Athenians to dramatic excellence.[K] The great Corneille did not annihilate rivalry in the dramatic genius of France—on the contrary, he produced it; his immortal tragedies were immediately succeeded by the tenderness of Racine, the wit of Moliere, the versatility of Voltaire. Lessing in Germany was soon outstripped by the vast mind of Schiller. Michael Angelo, vast as his genius was, did not distance all competitors in Italy; he was speedily followed and excelled by Raphael; and when the boy Correggio saw Raphael's ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 363, January, 1846 • Various

... was he in the least precocious, though his gifts were as evident as they were various. He was not fond of drudgery at the keyboard, and he lacked the miraculous aptness at acquirement which belongs to the true prodigy. He was unusual chiefly by reason of the versatility of his gifts. His juvenile exercises in composition were varied by an apt use of the pencil and the sketching board. He liked to cover his music books and his exercises with drawings that showed both ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... explain it to me if you can. I cannot see, neither, what the Duke of Devonshire and Fox, whom I looked upon as intimately united, can have quarreled about, with relation to the Treasury; inform me, if you know. I never doubted of the prudent versatility of your Vicar of Bray: But I am surprised at O'Brien Windham's going out of the Treasury, where I should have thought that the interest of his brother-in-law, George ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... some of Goethe's finest lyrics, such as the songs of Mignon and of the old harper, as well as the famous critique of Hamlet. The height of Goethe's superb prose style was reached in "Dichtung und Wahrheit," which stands as one of the most charming autobiographies of all times. Goethe's versatility as a writer and man was shown not only by his free use of all literary forms, but also by his essays on such abstruse subjects as astrology, optics, the theory of color, comparative anatomy and botany. Shortly before his death, the poet finished the greatest of ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... versatility of the Emperor, something should be said of him as a sportsman. He has given a splendid example to the Germans. He has tried to introduce baseball, football and polo, three American games. This may be traced to the time when Poultney ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1157, March 5, 1898 • Various

... with Plato's, and not more than two hundred years after the settlement of Jews in Arabia we meet with a large number of Jewish poets among Mohammed's disciples, while in the middle ages they taught and wrote Arabic, Spanish, French, and German—versatility naturally favorable ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... to illustrate that canon, has passed away. We are beginning to feel that art is a part of history and of physiology. That is to say, the artist's work can only be rightly understood by studying his age and temperament. Goldoni's versatility and want of depth induced him to write sparkling comedies. The merry life men passed at Venice in its years of decadence proved favourable to his genius. Alfieri's melancholy and passionate qualities, fostered in solitude, and aggravated by a tyranny ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... Burke declared, with a new appreciation of the versatility of this woman—who had not been wasting her time hitherto, and had no ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... to the door book in hand and you have the testimony of the versatility and breadth of his reading in half a bushel of mail for him, you expect to find his surroundings in keeping. But in Jasper Ewold's living-room Jack found nothing of ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... were recklessly high. He talked incessantly, playing the host with a brilliant ease that betrayed no sign of strain. He did not seem to have a care in the world, and Avery marvelled at his versatility. ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... Many people on reading Spout's first volume of poems in prose "Autumn in my Garden" were heard to say with a shake of the head, "Pligger's sun has set, we are at the Dawn of a new Era—the Spout Era!" Perhaps the greatest factor in Spout's greatness is his amazing versatility. No one reading "Marie of Chinatown" for the first time would believe the author capable of "Across the Sound for a Wife"! The realistic sordidity of the former balanced against the breathless adventure of the latter, combine in stamping ...
— Terribly Intimate Portraits • Noel Coward

... the Emperor's desire, declined. But his Cardinals were not under the same restrictions, and to an attentive observer who has watched the progress of the Revolution and not lost sight of its actors, nothing could appear more ridiculous, nothing could inspire more contempt of our versatility and inconsistency, than to remark among the foremost to demand the nuptial benediction, a Talleyrand, a Fouche, a Real, an Augereau, a Chaptal, a Reubel, a Lasnes, a Bessieres, a Thuriot, a Treilhard, a Merlin, with ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... interests. Although he was a contributor to the Gazette Musicale, edited by Moritz Schlesinger, he had never succeeded in making his influence felt there in the slightest degree. He had none of the versatility of a journalist, and the editors entrusted him with little besides the preparation of bibliographical notes. Oddly enough, it was with this unworldly and least resourceful of men that I had to discuss my plan for the conquest of Paris, ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... militaristic corruption. Russian criticism has styled him the poet of life. If Chekhov was the Wunderkind of Russian letters, Kuprin is its enfant terrible. His range of subjects is enormous; his power of observation and his versatility extraordinary. Gambrinus alone would justify his place among the literary giants of Europe. Some of his picaresques, "THE INSULT," "HORSE-THIEVES," and "OFF THE STREET"—the last in the form of a monologue—are sheer tours de force. "Olessiya" is possessed of a weird, unearthly beauty; "The ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... accuracy. He was also deeply read in metaphysics, and wrote and published, in the old Democratic Review for 1846, an article on the "Natural Proof of the Existence of a Deity," that for beauty of language, depth of reasoning, versatility of illustration, and compactness of logic, has never been equaled. The only other publication which at that period he had made, was a book that astonished all of his friends, both in title and execution. ...
— The Case of Summerfield • William Henry Rhodes

... MacQuechan to fit it, who, to make sure, ran his awl nine inches up the king's heel. We were now going on at a great rate, when Mr. Stewart popped in his head, which put a stop to our discourse, which had become very interesting. Yet in a little while it was resumed, and such was the force and versatility of the bard's genius, that he made the tears run down Mr. Stewart's cheeks, albeit unused to the poetic strain. From that time we met no more, and I was grieved at the reports of him afterwards. Poor Burns! we shall hardly ever see his like again. He was, in truth, ...
— Robert Burns • Principal Shairp

... could not shuffle those kings, queens—yes, and knaves too—more to your satisfaction, and their own advantage: at least, so most folks imagine, silly meddlers as they are; for, after all, what with human versatility, and the fact of a probationary state, and the influence of habit, and the drudging example set by others, things work so kindly as they are, that, notwithstanding misfits, the wiser few must be of Pope's mind, "whatever is, is ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... of literary culture. He took a prominent part in the current theological controversies,—and yet, if we are to believe Hippolytus, he could accommodate himself to the views of different schools of doctrine. He had great versatility of talent, restless activity, deep cunning, and much force of character. Hippolytus tells us that he was sadly given to intrigue, and so slippery in his movements that it was no easy matter to entangle him in a dilemma. It may have occurred to him ...
— The Ignatian Epistles Entirely Spurious • W. D. (William Dool) Killen

... Versatility, that ruling feature in the French character, ought not to be forgotten. They have of late been so accustomed to change, that change has become not only natural, but, one would imagine, in some measure necessary to their happiness. They change their leaders and their sovereigns, with as much apparent ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... of monastic life; its petty jealousies, its petty trials, its tribulations and temptations, and its indescribably petty miracles. Bazzi was well fitted for the execution of this task. He had a swift and facile brush, considerable versatility in the treatment of monotonous subjects, and a never-failing sense of humour. His white-cowled monks, some of them with the rosy freshness of boys, some with the handsome brown faces of middle life, others astute and crafty, others again wrinkled ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds



Words linked to "Versatility" :   skillfulness



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