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Observer   /əbzˈərvər/   Listen
Observer

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



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"Observer" Quotes from Famous Books



... welfare and progress of the Philippines, may be that here and there we have gone too rapidly in giving them local self-government. It is on this side that our error, if any, has been committed. No competent observer, sincerely desirous of finding out the facts and influenced only by a desire for the welfare of the natives, can assert that we have not gone far enough. We have gone to the very verge of safety in hastening the process. To have ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... on THE PHYSICAL POWERS. In view of this part of the subject, the attention of the critical observer is arrested by a series of circumstances, alike disgusting ...
— Select Temperance Tracts • American Tract Society

... ministry has brought you in touch with the other Eastern Provinces of our broad Dominion. A keen observer, you readily grasped existing conditions and the mentality of the various elements ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

... They are like transparent little globules, without any special organization, apparently; and were it not that they are in constant rotation, exhibiting thus a motion of their own, one would hardly suspect that they were endowed with life. To the superficial observer they all look alike, and it is not strange, that, before they had been more carefully investigated, they should have been associated together as the lowest division of the Animal Kingdom, representing, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... libertine: but he has a heart formed for love, he cannot therefore be a libertine: he is a man of superior abilities, and knows women too well to be a dupe. With a penetrating and discriminative judgment of character, he is a nice observer of female manners; his taste is delicate even to excess; under a cold exterior he has a vivid imagination and strong sensibility; he has little vanity, but a superabundance of pride; he wishes to be ardently ...
— Tales And Novels, Vol. 8 • Maria Edgeworth

... possesses negligible resistance, inductance, and shunt capacity. Its insulation is practically infinite. Let condensers be bridged across the line, one by one, while conversation goes on. The listening observer will notice that the sounds reaching his ear steadily grow less loud as the capacity across the line increases. The speaking observer will notice that the sounds he hears through the receiver in series with the line steadily grow louder as the capacity across the line increases. Fig. 31 ...
— Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 - A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc. • Kempster Miller

... be no next time. I have done with elementary exhibitions. You must take the word of the trained observer—just as you do in the matter ...
— Love and Mr. Lewisham • H. G. Wells

... Polity. As with the Poets, so also the chain of masters of English Prose is unbroken from that day forward. But most sudden and startling of all the various developments was that of the Drama. It may be doubted if any critical observer in 1579 would have ventured even to suspect that the crowning glory of Elizabeth's reign was to be the work of playwrights; yet before she died the genius of Marlowe had blazed and been quenched, Hamlet ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men —— Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort As if he mocked himself, and scorn'd his spirit That could be amused to smile at ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... halted, he passed a silk-gloved palm lightly across his brow, and looked again. A tiny head seemed to protrude from Bob's pocket, a pair of bright, inquiring eyes seemed to be peering directly at the observer. ...
— The Auction Block • Rex Beach

... friend's wrists. Finally they gave up their secret, and the boy was free. Then he opened one of his bags and drew forth some garments. His plans had been well made. He did not consult the beast, which did all that he directed. Together they slunk from the house, but no casual observer might have noted that one of ...
— The Son of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... as a portraiture of the man Lincoln, Mr. Herndon's work 'will never be surpassed.' Certainly it has never been equaled yet, and this new edition is all that could be desired."—New York Observer. ...
— General Scott • General Marcus J. Wright

... remiss in not coming to me sooner," said he, severely. "You start me on my investigation with a very serious handicap. It is inconceivable, for example, that this ivy and this lawn would have yielded nothing to an expert observer." ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Hungarian bay, by Xenophon and Lena Rivers, was drawn in profile, very erect on his slender, nervous legs. He appeared, on the side nearest the observer, to be pawing the ground impatiently with his hoof, a movement which seemed to be facilitated by his rider, who, drawn in a three-quarters view and extending her hand, allowed the reins to fall over the shoulders of ...
— Zibeline, Complete • Phillipe de Massa

... been called a literary nihilist—but (and this is the second trait of his singular genius) in him nihilism finds itself coexistent with an animal energy so fresh and so intense that for a long time it deceives the closest observer. In an eloquent discourse, pronounced over his premature grave, Emile Zola well defined this illusion: "We congratulated him," said he, "upon that health which seemed unbreakable, and justly credited him with ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... all men—it does not alter the course of events. The historian in the future will ask what was the actual condition of Europe at this time, and it is possible to assume that he would grasp eagerly at an account of a visit by an impartial observer to all the principal capitals of Europe in the year 1921. An effort to record what Europe looks like now, a series of true reflections and verbal photographs of swirling humanity at the great congregating places, the capitals, cannot but be of value. So with the motto: "See all: reserve ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... to be fully recognised, Hart Street and Great Russell Street were illuminated by large fires, composed of the furniture taken from the houses of certain magistrates. Walking into Bloomsbury, the astounded observer of that night's horrors saw, with consternation, the hall door of Lord Mansfield's house broken open; and instantly all the contents of the various apartments were thrown into the square, and set on fire. In vain did a small body of foot-soldiers attempt ...
— Beaux and Belles of England • Mary Robinson

... by Mr. Vandernoodt, who apparently thought the acquaintance of such a bridegroom worth cultivating; and an incautious person might have supposed it safe to telegraph secrets in front of him, the common prejudice being that your quick observer is one whose eyes have quick movements. Not at all. If you want a respectable witness who will see nothing inconvenient, choose a vivacious gentleman, very much on the alert, with two eyes wide open, a glass in one of them, and an entire impartiality as to the purpose ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... only knew Mrs. Montagu towards the close of her life, described her as "a composition of art" and as one "long attached to the trick and show of life." But the most diverting picture of the Queen of the Blue-Stockings was given by Richard Cumberland in a paper of the Observer. In answer to one of her invitation cards he arrived at her salon before the rest of the company, and had opportunity to observe that several new publications, stitched in blue paper, were lying on the table, with scraps of paper stuck between the leaves, as if to mark where the hostess ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... fond of reproducing European habits, yet retaining a simplicity and freshness of its own: these and other features in the progress of the United States for over a century may be found expressed in its literature from the native standpoint, and not merely from that of the intelligent outside observer. ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... adopted from the first was for the pilot or observer, or both, immediately on their return to bring their report to R.F.C. Headquarters, whence the Commander, or his staff officer, accompanied them to G.H.Q., where the map was filled in in accordance with the report. G.H.Q. could then ask questions and obtain any ...
— Aviation in Peace and War • Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes

... snapping-back, the latter passing the ball to Warren, who seizes it and runs a few steps to a new position, where the play is repeated. The guards and tackles are throwing themselves on to the ground and clutching rolling footballs in a way that draws a shudder of alarm from the feminine observer. Stephen Remsen is talking with the ends very earnestly under the goal posts, and Post and Wills are aiming balls at the goal with, it must ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... Reformation, came too late. He could do little more than proclaim his horror of the course which things had taken hitherto, of simony, nepotism, prodigality, brigandage, and profligacy. The danger from the side of the Lutherans was by no means the greatest; an acute observer from Venice, Girolamo Negro, uttered his fears that a speedy and terrible disaster would befall the city ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... apres le chemin de fer, jusqu'il se trouve a la basse-cour du bureau de la poste aux lettres a Paris, ou il trouvera une voiture qui a ete depeche de la Rue de Courcelles, quarante-huit. Mais monsieur aura la bonte d'observer—Si le convoi arriverait a Amiens apres le depart du convoi a minuit, il faudra y rester jusqu'a l'arrive d'un autre convoi a trois heures moins un quart. En attendant, monsieur peut rester au buffet (refreshment room), ou l'on peut toujours trouver un bon feu, et du cafe chaud, ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... but forces. Machiavelli's time had come. The problems once more were his own: and in many forward and resolute minds the spirit also was his, and displayed itself in an ascending scale of praise. He was simply a faithful observer of facts, who described the fell necessity that governs narrow territories and unstable fortunes; he discovered the true line of progress and the law of future society; he was a patriot, a republican, a Liberal, but above ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... days were imitators of the British Museum, whilst those of later days affect the newer treatment of South Kensington. Hence, in walking through any museum, a technical observer can easily detect the sources of inspiration and the lines of demarcation between the old and the new. Really it amounts to this, that hardly any institution in England thinks for itself. Museum authorities, like sheep, follow the lead ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... safe retreat for a very singular animal, first introduced to the notice of European naturalists about a century ago by Linnaeus, who gave it the name Coecilia glutinosa, to indicate two peculiarities manifest to the ordinary observer—an apparent defect of vision, from the eyes being so small and embedded as to be scarcely distinguishable; and a power of secreting from minute pores in the skin a viscous fluid, resembling that of snails, eels, and ...
— Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon • J. Emerson Tennent

... our modern expert organizers of industry that it is worth while illustrating it at some length. I make no apology, therefore, for quoting a striking passage from an essay by Mr. George Bourne, who is not a trade unionist or a student of Labour politics but an observer of English village life, who has taken the trouble to penetrate the mind of what is commonly regarded as the stupidest and most backward—as it is certainly the least articulate—class of workmen in this country, the agricultural labourer ...
— Progress and History • Various

... gloomy prospect the strange destiny of this man opens at the same time a grander view, which impresses the unprejudiced observer with pleasure and admiration. Here he beholds a nation dazzled by no splendor, and restrained by no fear, firmly, inexorably, and unpremeditatedly unanimous in punishing the crime which had been committed against its dignity ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... cheerful, always self-possessed. It seemed to any one who studied this phase of his character as if, in some early moment of destiny, his whole nature had been bathed in a cool, clear, and unruffled depth, from which it drew this lifelong serenity and self-control."[173] Any intelligent observer of public life must have felt that Martin Van Buren was only at the opening of a great political career. Inferior to DeWitt Clinton in the endowments which obtain for their possessor the title of a man of genius, ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... and gazed down tenderly upon it, and became silent and meditative. Presently Tracy noticed that he was dripping tears on it. This touched the young fellow's sympathetic nature, and at the same time gave him the painful sense of being an intruder upon a sacred privacy, an observer of emotions which a stranger ought not to witness. But his pity rose superior to other considerations, and compelled him to try to comfort the old mourner with kindly words and a show ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... above him. He looked the personification of vigorous full-blooded manhood at ease. Experience had taught him to take the exigencies of his turbulent life as they came, nonchalantly, to the eye of an observer indifferently, getting all the comfort the ...
— Crooked Trails and Straight • William MacLeod Raine

... also has added to the work as an appendix, which cannot fail to attract the attention of many, the views of the great astronomer Schiaparelli upon the present physical condition of Mars, being the reproduction of an article by that distinguished observer translated from Nature et Arte for February, 1893, by Prof. William H. Pickering and published in the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1894, published here by permission of "Astronomy and Astro-Physics," in which journal it first appeared ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... was hit—close to Tim. He squealed like a girl; and a fellow near turned a dirty white, stumbled, with a clatter fell in a fainting fit. Tardily the men advanced, and any acute observer would have seen they had little heart in the business. Some hung behind almost unconsciously, and had to be hurried up by the sergeants. The bullets became more thick. A man started to blubber behind. "Gawd 'ave mercy! I ... I can't stand it! I won't go on!" he whined. ...
— War and the Weird • Forbes Phillips

... gold spectacles, when he felt the arm of the baroness press upon his own. None of this had escaped the count, and even by this mere contact of individuals the scene had already acquired considerable interest for an observer. M. de Villefort had on the right hand Madame Danglars, on his left Morrel. The count was seated between Madame de Villefort and Danglars; the other seats were filled by Debray, who was placed between the two ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... of constant darkness depends on the latitude of the observer. At the pole the sun is not seen for six months, at the Arctic Circle it is invisible, as I have said, for only one day in December. At North Cape and Nordkyn the sun disappears November 18th, and is not seen again ...
— The Land of the Long Night • Paul du Chaillu

... my attempt to win a mate, it seems to me that I became definitely middle-aged; though any outside observer of my life would probably have dated the serious beginnings of my career—the 'young man of undoubted promise,' etc.—from that time, since it was from then on that my position became more important. I directed the energies of others, was a leading editor's right ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... ever fallen under my notice, the criminal was somewhat excused by the circumstances of his story. He is a little, very alert, well-bred, intelligent Skye, as black as a hat, with a wet bramble for a nose and two cairn-gorms[14] for eyes. To the human observer, he is decidedly well-looking; but to the ladies of his race he seems abhorrent. A thorough elaborate gentleman, of the plume and sword-knot order, he was born with the nice sense of gallantry to women. He took at their hands the most outrageous treatment; I have heard him bleating like a sheep, ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... against which the shoulder was placed, and the whole strength and skill of the individual were applied in this manner. As the boatmen moved along the running board, with their heads nearly touching the plank on which they walked, the effect produced on the mind of an observer was similar to that on beholding the ox rocking before an overloaded cart. Their bodies, naked to their waist for the purpose of moving with greater ease and of enjoying the breeze of the river, were exposed to the burning suns ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... result. It should always be borne in mind, by both players and coaches, that the officials, who are each concentrating on some one feature of the play, know what happens far more accurately than the general observer. It is also thoroughly unsportsmanlike, and counts as a foul, disqualifying a player, if he receive directions or coaching of any sort from an instructor during ...
— Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium • Jessie H. Bancroft

... delicate tact with which he came to my assistance; and as the only effectual way to distance Richard Cumberland appeared to be conversing with Mr. Wilford, I can well understand even a more intelligent observer than my faithful old Peter fancying that I gave him encouragement. I was 420 further induced to admit his society from the fact, that he never attempted in the slightest degree to take unfair advantage of the unusual intimacy which circumstances had produced between ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... order to condense the steam. It is said that a boy employed on this work, and very tired of having to do it, got the idea of tying the handles of the taps, with cords, to the beam of the engine. Then the machine opened and closed the taps itself; it worked all alone. Now, if an observer had compared the structure of this second machine with that of the first without taking into account the two boys left to watch over them, he would have found only a slight difference of complexity. That is, indeed, all we can perceive ...
— Creative Evolution • Henri Bergson

... prevails, such self-revelations are brushed aside as morbid, introspective, egotistical. They are no more so than any other kind of investigation, for all investigation is conditioned by the personality of the investigator. All that is needed is that an observer of life should be perfectly candid and sincere, that he should not speak in a spirit of vanity or self-glorification, that he should try to disentangle what are the real motives that make him act or refrain ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... have appeared to any unbiassed observer of character, Miss Cadman conceived a hope that Godwin might become a clergyman. From her point of view it was natural to assume that uncommon talents must be devoted to the service of the Church, and she would have gladly ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... it twice, and his face took on an appearance which indicated something between great pain and intense vacancy. It was intended to convey to the observer the fact that Bones was thinking deeply and rapidly, and that he had banished from his mind all ...
— The Keepers of the King's Peace • Edgar Wallace

... wide range of the unjust treatment of the black race in America, the observer is sometimes moved to profound discouragement. "Was it all for nothing?" he asks, "have all the struggle and sacrifice, the army of heroes and martyrs, brought us to nothing better than this?" But such discouragement overlooks the background of history, ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... to write only what I have myself seen and thought. But I cannot end this chapter on the monks of the Buddha without a reference to what Bishop Bigandet has said on the same subject, for he is no observer prejudiced in favour of Buddhism, but the reverse. He was a bishop of the Church of Rome, believing always that his faith contained all truth, and that the Buddha was but a 'pretended saviour,' his teachings based on 'capital ...
— The Soul of a People • H. Fielding

... song is very much like that of the wood thrush, and a good observer might easily confound the two. But hear them together and the difference is quite marked: the song of the hermit is in a higher key, and is more wild and ethereal. His instrument is a silver horn which he winds in the most solitary ...
— Wake-Robin • John Burroughs

... again indicate that by coming back to its original position,—or, in other words, the dial would show that the ship had then assumed a new direction of sailing, and if it again changed to the right or to the left the indicator would reveal this to the observer," remarked the captain. ...
— The Boy Volunteers with the Submarine Fleet • Kenneth Ward

... the discoverer of the X-ray, observed that if X-rays are allowed to enter the eye of an observer who is in complete darkness, the retina receives a stimulus, and light is perceived, due to the fluorescent action of the X-rays upon ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930 • Various

... end and the clouds begin, so softly have they blended together, those grey clouds, those white and purple downs. No, the downs are not monotonous to those who look with careful eyes, at least, though the casual observer may see nothing in them but multitudes of sheep. Unique they may be, unlike the rest of England they certainly are, but not monotonous. And then the dales, with the villages nestling in the bottom, are so picturesque, and the green pastures, separated by dykes, ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 355, October 16, 1886 • Various

... respectability of their appearance, and the modesty of their demeanor, made an impression on every observer, and elicited unqualified approbation. Indeed, though in saying so we do not mean disrespect to any one else, we think that they constituted decidedly the most interesting portion of the pageant, as they certainly attracted the ...
— The Black Phalanx - African American soldiers in the War of Independence, the - War of 1812, and the Civil War • Joseph T. Wilson

... became daily stronger, and soon he was quite well. He resumed his work at the office, and in every way seemed to have regained his old self. He gave utterance to no more startling theories, and the casual observer might have noticed no difference between him and the model clerk of six months back. But Mrs Clinton had received too great a shock to look upon her husband with casual eyes, and she noticed in his manner an alteration ...
— Orientations • William Somerset Maugham

... refer in using the term "Macedonians" in this chapter. Among the other inhabitants of the variegated province are Greeks and Turks and Circassians, Albanians (Tosks and Ghegs), Jews whose ancestors came from Spain, gipsies and Kutzo-Vlachs. A French observer said some years ago that Macedonia was a school of brigandage and ethnology. He said it was the prey of the Albanians and the professors—that is, of unconscionable savages and of laborious agents of all kinds of foreign propaganda. Even the Kutzo-Vlachs, which ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... quiet, sensible man and a keen observer, had remarked the new trend in the conversation, and spoke to his friend about it. The latter knew nothing of the circumstances of the family; but the other being one of those persons whose principal interest ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... not only genius but also a keen, sympathetic observer, whose eyes see every significant detail. So with the nurse in Romeo and Juliet, whose endless gossip and vulgarity cannot quite hide a kind heart. She is simply the reflection of some forgotten nurse with whom Shakespeare had talked by ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... if oo dive us some tandy!" mocked Will, who, with his chums, had been an interested observer of ...
— The Outdoor Girls of Deepdale • Laura Lee Hope

... Sunday afternoon had not left the party at the cottage unscathed, as the acute observer would have immediately seen on penetrating into the pretty shady garden, with its formal rose walks, and its delightful misshapen yew trees. Madame Valtesi, for instance, was knitting, a thing she had scarcely ever been noticed to do within the ...
— The Green Carnation • Robert Smythe Hichens

... so far progressed that the observer could see some order in the movement of the air craft. He studied with fascination the last of the Japanese planes as they circled up toward their aerial guide-post and moved thence in a ...
— In the Clutch of the War-God • Milo Hastings

... to your 'Dispassionate Observer,' who went to the South professedly with the purpose of seeing and judging of the state of things for himself, let me tell you that, little as he may be disposed to believe it, his testimony is worth less than nothing; ...
— Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation - 1838-1839 • Frances Anne Kemble

... as the equipage drew up opposite Miss Pinkerton's shining brass plate, and as he pulled the bell at least a score of young heads were seen peering out of the narrow windows of the stately old brick house. Nay, the acute observer might have recognized the little red nose of good-natured Miss Jemima Pinkerton herself, rising over some geranium pots in the window ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... reached conclusions similar to those of a shrewd Congressman who long afterward said that Lincoln was not a leader of men but a manager of men.(1) This astute distinction was not true of the Lincoln the Congressman confronted; nevertheless, it betrays much both of the observer and of the man he tried to observe. In the Congressman's day, what he thought he saw was in reality the shadow of a Lincoln that had passed away, passed so slowly, so imperceptibly that few people knew it ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... bath, no effect of the night's festivity but its exhilaration remained in the senator's brain. But for a slight uncertainty in his gait, and an unusual vacancy in his smile, the elegant gastronome might now have appeared to the closest observer guiltless of the influence of intoxicating drinks. He advanced, radiant with exultation, prepared for conquest, to the place where Ulpius awaited him, and was about to address the Pagan with that satirical ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... me,' said that acute observer, Lord Lynmouth, to his special friend and confidante, the lady's-maid, 'that Hilda makes a doocid sight too free with that fellow Le Breton. ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... to keep of petty disbursements in the office, in which he charged himself with the modest salary first of thirteen shillings and sixpence, and afterwards of fifteen shillings, a week. Several incidents took place in the office of which he must have been a keen observer, as I recognized some of them in his Pickwick and Nickleby; and I am much mistaken if some of his characters had not their originals in persons I well remember. His taste for theatricals was much promoted by a fellow-clerk named Potter, since ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... this time would have seemed pathetic to an observer,—the more pathetic, perhaps, in that Dick himself was not aware of its exceptional barrenness. The holidays that bring new brightness to the eyes of happier children were to him simply days when he did not go to school, ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... could read Nick's every change of expression, saw at once that the great detective not only was making some startling discoveries, but also was arriving at deductions far too subtle and significant to have been reached by any less keen and practiced observer. ...
— With Links of Steel • Nicholas Carter

... of the country, about 250,000 souls all told, are mostly Indians and mixed blood. In fact, very few families can be found of pure Caucasian race. Notwithstanding the great admixture of different races, a careful observer can readily distinguish yet four prominent ones, very noticeable by their features, their stature, the conformation of their body. The dwarfish race is certainly easily distinguishable from the descendants of the giants that tradition says ...
— Vestiges of the Mayas • Augustus Le Plongeon

... mineral framework of the earth; until, at length, in place of that framework, he would behold only a vast nebulous mass, representing the constituents of the sun and of the planetary bodies. Preceding the forms of life which now exist our observer would see animals and plants not identical with them, but like them; increasing their differences with their antiquity and, at the same time, becoming simpler and simpler; until, finally, the world of life would present nothing but that undifferentiated ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... their noisy play. Such of the young villagers as remained above ground appeared to be silenced and subdued by the privation, the dreariness, the neglect, of these awful days: they looked on from afar, or avoided the spot. Instead of such, the observer of the two funerals which were now in the churchyard, was a person quite at the other extremity of life. Margaret saw the man of a hundred years, Jem Bird, the pride of the village in his way, seated on the bench under the spreading tree, which was youthful in comparison with himself. He ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... of Kaiser Wilhelm, Lloyd George, or Woodrow Wilson, or, for that matter, of the humblest soldier in the ranks. The course of the greatest stream of events may well be deflected by incidents so commonplace as to quite escape the notice of the casual observer. ...
— The Cow Puncher • Robert J. C. Stead

... in The Observer.—'"Krindlesyke" is at once the most ambitious and the strongest work that Mr. Wilfrid Gibson has given us. It is a dramatic poem, firmly designed, and carried out with ...
— Krindlesyke • Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

... a very sharp observer of passing events, and had an extensive knowledge of peculiar specimens of human nature, closely watched the behavior of the ...
— The Boy Slaves • Mayne Reid

... way convey to a sensible reader. And perhaps there is one reason why a comic writer should of all others be the least excused for deviating from nature, since it may not be always so easy for a serious poet to meet with the great and the admirable; but life everywhere furnishes an accurate observer with the ridiculous. ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... the church-tower, we went to see the Museum and Gymnasium, and coming back into the market-place again, what could the Hofarchitect do but offer me a glass of wine and a seat in his house? He introduced me to his Gattinn, his Leocadia (the fat woman in blue), "as a young world-observer, and worthy art-friend, a young scion of British Adel, who had come to refresh himself at the Urquellen of his race, and see his brethren of the ...
— The Fitz-Boodle Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... compliment, for Philip had remained standing, as if with the unfeigned respect of a cadet in the august presence of the head of his house. It was a sudden and bold suggestion, and it was not lost on the Duke. The aged nobleman was too keen an observer not to see the designed flattery, but he was in a mood when flattery was palatable, seeing that many of his own class were arrayed against him for not having joined the army of the Vendee; and that the Revolutionists, with whom he had compromised, for the safety of ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... burdens, swell the caravans, and numerous equestrians, either bestriding their steeds, or sitting sidewise in apparent carelessness, are constantly encountered. Now and then an unruly mule causes a commotion in the crowd by a vigorous use of his heels, and a watchful observer may see an unfortunate native sprawling on the ground in consequence of approaching too near one of the hybrid beasts. Chinese mules will kick as readily as their American cousins; and I can say from experience, that their hoofs are neither soft ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... An observer will see at once just how far these lists go and what must supplement them. They do not define, they do not discriminate, they do not restrict. They are miscellaneous collections. A person must consult the dictionary or refer to some other authority to prevent error ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... to regulate production supposes the duty of the State to interest itself in labor, and State control of the labor of society leads directly to State organization of the labor of society."[24] Further even than this goes Karl Kautsky, who has been called the "acutest observer and thinker of modern socialism." "Among the social organizations in existence to-day," he says, "there is but one that possesses the requisite dimensions, and may be used as the framework for the establishment and development ...
— Violence and the Labor Movement • Robert Hunter

... position chosen to violent storms. Thus the west coast rainfalls of Ireland contain larger quantities of chlorides than those of the east, and the table given by Dr. Smith shows the variations in neighboring localities on the same seafront. The chlorides of the English rains diminish as the observer leaves the sea coast. In the following observations the waters of thirty-two rains were collected, the chlorine determined by nitrate of silver in amounts of the water varying from one liter to one-half a liter, and ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 514, November 7, 1885 • Various

... was the wedding bouquet and that this was the room in which the bride had dressed for the ceremony was apparent to the most casual observer. But it became an established fact when in my further course about the room I chanced on a handkerchief with the name Veronica embroidered in ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... the fucus round which the creature clings for support with its prehensile tail. Only a rude and shapeless rough draught of a head, vaguely horse-like in contour, and inconspicuously provided with an unobtrusive snout and a pair of very unnoticeable eyes, at all suggests to the most microscopic observer its animal nature. Taken as a whole, nobody could at first sight distinguish it in any way from the waving weed among which ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... Whitney was asked to explain whether those trees in the background represented the tree of life, she said she didn't have any such idea in her mind. What she probably wanted to do was to present an imaginative scene that each observer could interpret for himself. These two Egyptian-looking guardians at the doors, with the figures kneeling by them, suggest plainly enough the futility that goes with so much of our struggling in the world. ...
— The City of Domes • John D. Barry

... of an art than its professors; a farmer will tell you, in two words, that he has broken his leg; but a surgeon, after a long discourse, shall leave you as ignorant as you were before." This could only have been said, by such an exact observer of life, in gratification of malignity, or in ostentation of acuteness. Every hour produces instances of the necessity of terms of art. Mankind could never conspire in uniform affectation; it is not but by necessity that every science and ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... strike a keen observer that Mr. Luttrell doesn't like the umbrella; either it or the wicked sunbeams, or the heat generally, is telling on him, slowly but surely; he has ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... veracity; but Mr. Marsden (who has rendered a special service to literature by his elegant and faithful translation of these remarkable travels,) has completely rescued his memory from all stain on that score, and proved him to be not only an accurate observer, but a faithful reporter of what he saw, and what he learned from others."—(Quarterly Review, No. ...
— Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18 • William Stevenson

... this secures success. Hence it is fortunate to learn this peculiarity, and to cultivate it from the beginning. When the mind is strong and vigorous, this peculiar proclivity is generally well-marked to the inquiring observer in very early life. ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... this passage] is to enable the reader to see, more easily, how it is that the watchful observer is deceived into believing that a thing is so, when in reality it is not, and vice versa; and also to give an idea of the various methods employed by the medium in order ...
— The Lock and Key Library/Real Life #2 • Julian Hawthorne

... happening, his blood had run coolly, his days had been blessed by an urbane fate; such scenes as this were but a spectacle to him; there was no answering chord of human suffering in his own breast, to make him realise what Grassette was undergoing now; but he had read widely, he had been an acute observer of the world and its happenings, and he had a natural human sympathy which had made many a man and woman eternally grateful ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Mrs. Peyton Blaylock. With the grace of a grand marshal or a wedding usher, he escorted the two passengers to a side of the upper deck, from which the scenery was supposed to present itself to the observer in increased quantity and quality. There, in comfortable steamer chairs, they sat and began to piece together the random lines that were to form an intelligent paragraph in the big history of ...
— Waifs and Strays - Part 1 • O. Henry

... which Cassio was too far gone to remember) in such a manner as, while he seemed to make Cassio's offense less, did indeed make it appear greater than it was. The result was that Othello, who was a strict observer of discipline, was compelled to take away Cassio's ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... Maupassant was a keen observer, possessed an excellent but not lofty imagination, and never asserted a philosophy of life. His writings are all interesting, terse, precise, and truthful, but lack the glow that comes with a sympathetic and ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... ridiculously enough, that I was sent by the British Government, and made a long report to Vienna about me, as I ascertained later. I was unaware then of the activity being shown by the Franco-Russian combine and England, and thought his anxiety overdone. To an outside observer, however, Anglo-Russian activity also seemed perilous. Baron Greindl, Belgian Minister at Berlin at that very time, wrote (July 4, Letter 49): "I asked the Secretary of State yesterday ... if he had not yet received the ...
— Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle • Durham M. Edith

... television transmitter and television receiver. The lens throws a distant image on the exploring disc of the transmitter, through which it acts on a photo-electric cell sensitive to invisible infra-red rays. The receiver amplifies it for the observer. ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

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

... their opinion has a great influence on the ultimate decision. The consequence of this is that the railway map of Russia presents to the eye of the tactician much that is quite unintelligible to the ordinary observer—a fact that will become apparent to the uninitiated as soon as a war breaks out in Eastern Europe. Russia is no longer what she was in the days of the Crimean war, when troops and stores had to be conveyed hundreds ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... observer Reinwald's gloomy ways were not without their excuse. Scarcely above once before this, in his now longish life, had any gleam of joy or success shone on him, to cheer the strenuous and never-abated struggle. His father had been Tutor ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... ambitious, showy villas and grand mansions, whose lofty and imposing proportions, elaborate architectural ornaments, conspicuous verandahs and prominent sites are all designed, not only to gratify the taste and pride of their owners, but to impress with wonder and admiration the ordinary observer, it may be interesting to give a description of Mr. Perrault's residence, a fair specimen of a comfortable and well ordered dwelling of the olden time. My object, in describing it, is to convey to the present generation some idea of the taste and domestic ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... waiting for children, have at last given up their hope, and resigned themselves to the dispensations of Providence, and then, when their anxiety has subsided, have obtained a family? Japhet, I am a shrewd observer of human nature." ...
— Japhet, In Search Of A Father • Frederick Marryat

... not remember whether Lord Pembroke explained what these difficulties were. Certainly the English offer more peculiarities to the attentive observer than any ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... region, says the observer, that the Germans, after the battle of the Marne, look up a position on a summit commanding the surrounding countryside. This hill was Height 627, which is known ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... Perhaps a cool observer even in the old days would have found little beauty in our grouping. I have our two photographs at hand in this bureau as I write, and they show me a gawky youth in ill-fitting ready-made clothing, and Nettie—Indeed Nettie is badly dressed, and her attitude is more than a little stiff; ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... point, in particular, which should have betrayed the fiction. Let us imagine the power actually possessed of seeing animals upon the moon's surface—what would first arrest the attention of an observer from the earth? Certainly neither their shape, size, nor any other such peculiarity, so soon as their remarkable situation. They would appear to be walking, with heels up and head down, in the manner of flies on a ceiling. The real observer would have uttered ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... This astonished Trirodov, who had always seen the Prince in portraits wearing his hair rather long, like the poet Nadson. His eyes were black, flaming and deep. Deeply hidden in his eyes was an expression of great weariness and suffering, which the inattentive observer might have interpreted as an expression of fatigued tranquillity and indifference. Everything about the visitor—his face and his ways—betrayed his habit of speaking in a large ...
— The Created Legend • Feodor Sologub

... our days, the Provencal poets, who know the Cigale as Anacreon never did, are scarcely more careful of the truth in celebrating the insect which they have taken for their emblem. A friend of mine, an eager observer and a scrupulous realist, does not deserve this reproach. He gives me permission to take from his pigeon-holes the following Provencal poem, in which the relations between the Cigale and the Ant are expounded with all the rigour of ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... the most delightful examples of native and unconventional pastoral anywhere to be found[40]. Franco Sacchetti the novelist, for example, gives us a series of charming vignettes of country life and scenery, but always from the point of view of the town observer. One poem of his in particular gained wide popularity, and a modernized and somewhat altered version was iater printed among the works of Poliziano. It was originally a ballata, but I prefer to quote some stanzas from ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... be applied equally to Athens and Rome, to London and Paris. The rude, or the simple observer, would remark the variety he saw in the dwellings and in the occupations, of different men, not in the aspect of different nations. He would find, in the streets of the same city, as great a diversity, as in the ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... Colorado life which make up this volume are little more than hints and suggestions caught from time to time by a single observer in a comparatively narrow field of observation. Narrow as the field is, however, it offers a somewhat unusual diversity of scene; for that most charming of health resorts known in these pages as Springtown, is the chance centre of many varying interests. In its immediate vicinity ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

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

... York City lying on Manhattan Island. The women were in excess by 171,749, and formed 69 per cent. of all attendants. Even church service, if not entirely tied to set forms, must seek to interest those who occupy the pews; and no observer can fail to note in both England and America, a movement toward ritualism on the one hand, and on the other, toward popular, personal, concrete and sometimes sensational preaching. The same general changes are taking place in libraries, in the drama, in concerts, in all group ...
— Woman in Modern Society • Earl Barnes

... than his brother, with a longer chin and a peculiar twist of the lips. His eyes were lighter in colour, and rather too close together. A keen observer would have put him down as a boy who in manhood might go wrong. The strange thing was that no one could have hesitated for a moment in selecting Luke as the ...
— The Grey Lady • Henry Seton Merriman

... made some mistakes of this nature, which have been clearly shown. Still, he is known to have been a diligent collector, and we are told "no one who knew him will question but that he was a competent observer." It seems to us useless to deny the truth of his statements. There is, however, nothing to necessitate us believing in an immense age for these remains. This is not to be considered a point against them, for there is no reason for supposing that the mastodon may not have lingered ...
— The Prehistoric World - Vanished Races • E. A. Allen

... Mr. Meadows, give the same testimony to the Christian character of this great movement in China. Captain Fishbourne, describing his visit in H.M.S. Hermes to Nan-king, says: "It was obvious to the commonest observer that they were practically a different race." They had the Scriptures, many seemed to him to be practical Christians, serious and religious, believing in a special Providence, thinking that their trials were sent to purify them. "They ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... the thoughtful observer that we need more children nearly so much as we need better children, and a higher value set upon all human life. In this day of war, when men are counted of less value than cattle, it is a doubtful favor to the child to bring it into life under any circumstances, but to bring ...
— In Times Like These • Nellie L. McClung

... me better; to be near and yet not the direct observer of proceedings in which we took so secret an interest! I showed my gratitude by following George immediately. But I could not go without casting another glance at the tragic scene I was leaving. A stir was perceptible there, and I was just in time to see its cause. A tall, angular gentleman was approaching ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... stages of that skeleton condition which in the ship marks the commencement, as in animal life it does the end, of existence. Beyond and above the masts and spars and smoke-pipes of this mass of shipping, the observer sees here and there a columnar chimney, or the arms of a monstrous derrick or crane, or a steam-pipe ejecting vapor in successive puffs with the regularity of an animal pulsation. He little thinks that ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... of his talent, was irresistibly forced to study the inner life of man impartially, and who, consequently, remains the enemy of all religious or philosophical dogmas which may hinder the task of the observer. ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... it be rather tinted than colored, the tints are handled in a workmanlike manner. Again, few English novelists seem to possess so sane a comprehension of the modes of life and thought of the British aristocracy as Trollope. He has not only made a study of them from the observer's point of view, but he has reasoned them out intellectually. The figures are not vividly defined; the realism is applied to events rather than to personages: we have the scene described for us but we do not look upon it. We should not recognize his characters if we saw them; ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... sea-level. There was no snow where we were, consequently it was proven that the eternal snow-line ceases somewhere above the ten-thousand-foot level and does not begin any more. This was an interesting fact, and one which had not been observed by any observer before. It was as valuable as interesting, too, since it would open up the deserted summits of the highest Alps to population and agriculture. It was a proud thing to be where we were, yet it caused us a pang to reflect that but for that ram we ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... now loudly expressed a belief that Stafford was a murdered man. When he with his last breath protested his innocence, the cry was, "God bless you, my Lord! We believe you, my Lord." A judicious observer might easily have predicted that the blood then ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... still more the explosions, of human passion which bring to light the darker elements of man's nature present to the philosophical observer considerations of intrinsic interest; while to the jurist, the study of human nature and human character with its infinite varieties, especially as affecting the connection between motive and action, between irregular desire or evil disposition and ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... edited, and largely himself written, a truly encyclopaedic Handbuch der Sexualwissenschaften. The eminence of the writers of these books and the mental calibre needed to read them suffice to show that we are not concerned, as a careless observer might suppose, with a matter of supply and demand in prurient literature, but with the serious and widespread appreciation of serious investigations. This same appreciation is shown not only by several bio-sociological periodicals ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... speaking according to the mechanical theory of light, to waves of energy of an infinite variety of lengths which have traveled to us from the star. In the point image of a star, these radiations fall in a confused heap. and the observer is unable to say that radiations corresponding to any given wave-lengths are present or absent. When the star's light has been passed through the prism, or diffracted from the grating of a spectroscope, these rays are separated one from another and ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... South. What could he say, therefore, that would settle anything? Yet the desire to hear him was intense. An eye-witness described the scene as almost unparalleled in the Senate. "By ten o'clock," wrote this observer, "every seat in the gallery was filled, and by eleven the cloak-rooms and all the passages were choked up, and a thousand men and women stood outside the doors, although the speech was not to begin until ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... host fastening with a degree of fury on his unnatural food, than, sick and full of loathing, his stomach rejected further aliment, and he was compelled to desist. During all this time Grantham, who, although he had assumed the manner and attitude of a sleeping man, was a watchful observer of all that passed, neither moved nor uttered a syllable, except on one occasion to put away from him the ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... The great Observer, fixt in his midsky, View'd the whole combat, saw them fall and fly: He mark'd where Greene with every onset drove, Saw death and victory with his presence move, Beneath his arm saw Marion, Sumter, Gaine, Pickens and Sumner shake the astonish'd plain; He saw young Washington, the child of fame, ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... Gods (HEINEMANN), you may guess that Mr. LOUIS WILKINSON'S new novel does not deal with homely topics in a vein of harmless frolic. In recommending this very serious work of an expert author and observer, I am bound to make some reservation. Unsophisticated youth, if such there be in these days, should be kept away from the affair between Alec Glaive and Gillian Collett. Alec, a mere boy, was in a dangerously unsettled condition when the lady ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 1st, 1920 • Various

... to have heard of the guard; but they know that the stone is too heavy for them to move, and none of the men among the disciples had been taken into their confidence. 'Why did they not think of that before? what a want of foresight!' says the cool observer. 'How beautifully true to nature!' says a wiser judgment. To obey the impulse of love and sorrow without thinking, and then to be arrested on their road by a difficulty, which they might have thought of at first, but did not till they were close to it, is surely just what might have been ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... over for some time you then offer the following suggestion with which to test simultaneity. By measuring along the rails, the connecting line AB should be measured up and an observer placed at the mid-point M of the distance AB. This observer should be supplied with an arrangement (e.g. two mirrors inclined at 90^0) which allows him visually to observe both places A and B at the same time. If the observer perceives the two flashes of lightning ...
— Relativity: The Special and General Theory • Albert Einstein

... white mark of exclamation moving over green paper, came out of the little low whitewashed cottage opposite, and stood a moment looking across the ferry, with one hand resting on its side and the other held level with the eyes. Then the observer disappeared behind a hedge, to be seen immediately coming down the narrow, deep-rutted lane towards the ferry-boat. When the figure came again in sight of Gregory Jeffray, he had no difficulty in distinguishing a slim girl, clad in white, who ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... more nearly in the fashion of his master Turgenev, or of Flaubert, scrutinizing the surfaces of landscapes and cities and human habitations until they gradually reveal what—for the particular observer—is the essence of their charm or horror, and come, obedient to the evoking ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... observer I entered the battle zone And emerged unmoved, unshaken, with a heart as cool as a stone; No sight could touch or daunt me, no sound my soul untune; From pity or tears or sorrow ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 152, March 21, 1917 • Various



Words linked to "Observer" :   informant, motile, witnesser, perceiver, seer, observe, hearer, discoverer, percipient, looker, individual, visualiser, spotter, person, audile, expert, listener, somebody, witness, spectator, commentator, finder, viewer, soul, someone, watcher, visualizer, auditor, eyeglass wearer, attender, noticer, annotator, mortal



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