Mrs. Norris accepted the compliment, and admired the nice discernment of character which could so well distinguish merit.
She has great discernment.
She had hoped that, to a man like her uncle, so discerning, so honourable, so good, the simple acknowledgment of settled dislike on her side would have been sufficient.
If it be so, I am sure you must be included in that part, that discerning part, and therefore entreat you to let me know how far I have been rightly informed.
Not all his good-will for Mr. Rushworth, not all Mr. Rushworth’s deference for him, could prevent him from soon discerning some part of the truth—that Mr. Rushworth was an inferior young man, as ignorant in business as in books, with opinions in general unfixed, and without seeming much aware of it himself.
And then he would have changed the subject, and sipped his coffee in peace over domestic matters of a calmer hue; but Mr. Yates, without discernment to catch Sir Thomas’s meaning, or diffidence, or delicacy, or discretion enough to allow him to lead the discourse while he mingled among the others with the least obtrusiveness himself, would keep him on the topic of the theatre, would torment him with questions and remarks relative to it, and finally would make him hear the whole history…
As a general reflection on Fanny, Sir Thomas thought nothing could be more unjust, though he had been so lately expressing the same sentiments himself, and he tried to turn the conversation: tried repeatedly before he could succeed; for Mrs. Norris had not discernment enough to perceive, either now, or at any other time, to what degree he thought well of his niece, or how very far he was from wishing to have his own children’s merits set off by the depreciation of hers.
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They hired her for her experience, wisdom and discernment.