When some English moralists write about the importance of having character, they appear to mean only the importance of having a dull character.
Hearing him speak is so fun, reassuring I dare say. You can say all you like about Sihanouk: that he's an atrocious liar, a madman, a fraud, a swashbuckler, an international blot. You may think that, but you cannot deny how in this age in which the political arena seems to generate only dull, obtuse and boring characters with no imagination, he's a kind of miracle.oriana fallaci
China asked for a sword, and we gave her a dull paring knife.Of China's collapse to Communism. Quoted in David Halberstam The Fifties (1993).
Nowhere have I encountered such a dull, monotonous fabric of life as here in America. Here boredom reaches its peak.1945 The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, preface.
Lords and Commons of England, consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors: a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse,not beneaththereachofany pointthehighest that human capacity can soar to.john milton
Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talks that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim, “I do enjoy myself", or , “I am horrified,” we are insincere.e. m. forster
I [Boswell] happened to say, it would be terrible if he should not find a speedy opportunity of returning to London, and be confined in so dull a place. JOHNSON: "Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters. It would not be terrible, though I were to be detained some time here."samuel johnson
As Justice Olive Wendell Holmes, Jr. put it, censorship rests on the idea that “every idea is an incitement.” Perhaps he should have specified “every interesting idea,” for a dull idea is not. By the same token, every interesting drug is an incitement. And so is everything else that people find interesting.thomas szasz
Does not all the world know that when in autumn the Bismarcks of the world, or they who are bigger than Bismarcks, meet at this or that delicious haunt of salubrity, the affairs of the world are then settled in little conclaves, with grater ease, rapidity, and certainty than in large parliaments or the dull chambers of public offices?Anthony Trollope
Vain is the hope by colouring to display The bright effulgence of the noontide ray Or paint the full-orb'd ruler of the skies With pencils dipt in dull terrestrial dyes.Mason, Fresnoy's Art of Painting. In Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 576-77.
I never was on the dull, tame shore, But I loved the great sea more and more.Barry Cornwall, The Sea.
While the dull talk idly streams, He sits upon the bank and dreams, Till some careless word that's said Finds a fellow in his head...Poem: "The Wit" In: A.E. Currie. New Zealand Verse, (1906), p. 198
We call those poets who are first to mark Through earth's dull mist the coming of the dawn, Who see in twilight's gloom the first pale spark, While others only note that day is gone.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Memorial Verses, Shakespeare
He had discovered that a cubic inch of marble consisted of about half its weight of pure lime, and as much air as would fill a vessel holding six wine gallons. ... What could be more singular than to find so subtle a substance as air existing in the form of a hard stone, and its presence accompanied by such a change in the properties of that stone? ... It is surely a dull mind that will not be animated by such a prospect.John Robison, in the preface to Joseph Black, Lectures on the Elements of Chemistry Mundell and Son, Edinburgh, UK, 1803. Vol. 1, p. xxvi-xxix.