Hannibal knew better how to conquer than how to profit by the conquest; and Napoleon was more skilful in taking positions than in maintaining them. As to reverses, no general cart presume to say that he may not be defeated; but he can, and ought to say, that he will not be surprised.
Charles Caleb Colton
I enjoyed Jonathan Franzen's 'Freedom.' Would I make that into a film? I think it's better suited to television. That would very much be a dialogue and performance piece, and it would take some very skilful direction - but not my kind of directing. But I thought it was a real literary work.
Even the mind depends so much on temperament and the disposition of one's bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a way to make people generally more wise and more skilful than they have been in the past, I believe that we should look for it in medicine. It is true that medicine as it is currently practiced contains little of much use.
The Norfolk people are quick and smart in their motions and their speaking. Very neat and trim in all their farming concerns and very skilful. Their land is good, their roads are level, and the bottom of their soil is dry, to be sure; and these are great advantages; but they are diligent and make the most of everything.
Training is principally an act of faith. The athlete must believe in its efficacy; he must believe that through training he will become fitter and stronger; that by constant repetition of the same movements he will become more skilful and his muscles more relaxed...He must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough to enjoy it.
Habit! that skilful but slow-moving arranger who begins by letting our minds suffer for weeks on end in temporary quarters, but whom our minds are none the less only too happy to discover at last, for without it, reduced to their own devices, they would be powerless to make any room seem habitable.
The love of spectacles was the taste, or rather passion, of the Syrians: the most skilful artists were procured form the adjacent cities; a considerable share of the revenue was devoted to the public amusements; and the magnificence of the games of the theatre and circus was considered as the happiness, and as the glory, of Antioch.
Art is expression; what is expressed is often the vision of a subtle and powerful soul, and also his experience with his vision; and however vivid and skilful he may be in the means of expression, yet it is frequently found that the master-spell in his work is something felt to be indefinable and inexpressible.
George Edward Woodberry
The danger that keeps me just a little frightened with every book I write, however, is that I'll overreach myself once too often and try to write a story that I'm just plain not talented or skilful enough to write. That's the dilemma every storyteller faces. It is painful to fail. But it is far sadder when a storyteller stops wanting to try.
Orson Scott Card
It is visible then that it was not any Heathen Religion or other Idolatrous Superstition, that first put Man upon crossing his Appetites and subduing his dearest Inclinations, but the skilful Management of wary Politicians; and the nearer we search into human Nature, the more we shall be convinced, that the Moral Virtues are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride.
Bernard de Mandeville
The reason why the simpler sort are moved with authority, is the consciousness of their own ignorance; whereby it cometh to pass that having learned men in admiration, they rather fear to dislike them than know wherefore they should allow and follow their judgments. Contrariwise with them that are skilful authority is much more strong and forcible; because they only are able to discern how just cause there is why to some men's authority so much should be attributed.
Many or few alternatives can be at hand. A wise and skilful choice acts from a sincere effort. Solutions and results come from cooperation, hard work and efficiency. With high intention matched with a flexible, patient heart and proficient action gets best quality and value. As for the restless grumbles raving from unconsciousness of complexity of matters, best be brushed off ducking out wisely from discourtesies.
A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skilful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.
Ursula K. Le Guin
To see the butcher slap the steak before he laid it on the block, and give his knife a sharpening, was to forget breakfast instantly. It was agreeable too - it really was - to see him cut it off so smooth and juicy. There was nothing savage in the act, although the knife was large and keen; it was a piece of art, high art; there was delicacy of touch, clearness of tone, skilful handling of the subject, fine shading. It was the triumph of mind over matter; quite.
Male aggressiveness consists in asking a woman to have intercourse and waiting for her to say yes, or a definite no. Skilful tacticians enhance their chances of making out by distributing their attentions among several women at a time (one version of 'playing the field') thus increasing their statistical chances for a favorable answer, depending on circumstances. This is the height of male aggressiveness that is tolerated. Genuine aggressiveness - rape - [men] have forbidden themselves by law.
This is all very fine, but it won't do-Anatomy-botany-Nonsense! Sir, I know an old woman in Covent Garden, who understands botany better, and as for anatomy, my butcher can dissect a joint full as well; no, young man, all that is stuff; you must go to the bedside, it is there alone you can learn disease! Comment to Hans Sloane on Robert Boyle's letter of introduction describing Sloane as a 'ripe scholar, a good botanist, a skilful anatomist'.
...a man estimable for his learning, amiable for his life, and venerable for his piety. Arbuthnot was a man of great comprehension, skilful in his profession, versed in the sciences, acquainted with ancient literature, and able to animate his mass of knowledge by a bright and active imagination; a scholar with great brilliance of wit; a wit who, in the crowd of life, retained and discovered a noble ardour of religious zeal.
Do you, like a skilful weigher, put into the balance the pleasures and the pains, near and distant, and weigh them, and then say which outweighs the other? If you weigh pleasures against pleasures, you of course take the more and greater; or if you weigh pains against pains, then you choose that course of action in which the painful is exceeded by the pleasant, whether the distant by the near or the near by the distant; and you avoid that course of action in which the pleasant is exceeded by the painful.
This world, in which reason is more and more at home, is not habitable. It is hard and cold like those depots in which are piled up goods that cannot satisfy: neither clothe those who are naked, nor feed those who are hungry; it is as impersonal as factory hangars and industrial cities in which manufactured things remain abstract, true with statistical truth and borne on the anonymous circuit of the economy, resulting from skilful planning decisions which cannot prevent, but prepare disasters. There it is, the mind in its masculine essence, living on the outside, exposed to the violent, blinding sun, to the trade winds that beat against it and beat it down, on a land without folds, rootless, solitary and wandering and thus already alienated by the very things which it caused to be produced and which remain untameable and hostile.
But just understand the difference between a man like Reardon and a man like me. He is the old type of unpractical artist; I am the literary man of 1882. He won't make concessions, or rather, he can't make them; he can't supply the market. I-well, you may say that at present, I do nothing; but that's a great mistake, I am learning my business. Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skilful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets; when one kind of goods begins to go off slackly, he is ready with something new and appetising. He knows perfectly all the possible sources of income. Whatever he has to sell, he'll get payment for it from all sorts of various quarters; none of your unpractical selling for a lump sum to a middleman who will make six distinct profits.
in these new days and in these new pages a philosophical tradition of the spontaneity of speculation kind has been rekindled on the sacred isle of e‰ire, regardless of its creative custodian never having been taught how to freely speculate, how to profoundly question, and how to playfully define. Spontaneity of speculation being synonymous with the philosophical-poetic, the philosophical-poetic with the rural philosopher-poet, and by roundelay the rural philosopher-poet thee with the spontaneity of speculation be. And by the way of the rural what may we say? A philosopher-poet of illimitable space we say. Iohannes Scottus e‰riugena the metaphor of old salutes you; salutes your lyrical ear and your skilful strumming of the rippling harp. (Source: Hearing in the Write, Canto 19, Ivy-muffled)
Now, as I understand it, the bards were feared. They were respected, but more than that they were feared. If you were just some magician, if you'd pissed off some witch, then what's she gonna do, she's gonna put a curse on you, and what's gonna happen? Your hens are gonna lay funny, your milk's gonna go sour, maybe one of your kids is gonna get a hare-lip or something like that - no big deal. You piss off a bard, and forget about putting a curse on you, he might put a satire on you. And if he was a skilful bard, he puts a satire on you, it destroys you in the eyes of your community, it shows you up as ridiculous, lame, pathetic, worthless, in the eyes of your community, in the eyes of your family, in the eyes of your children, in the eyes of yourself, and if it's a particularly good bard, and he's written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after you're dead, people are still gonna be laughing, at what a twat you were.