When some English moralists write about the importance of having character, they appear to mean only the importance of having a dull character.
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).
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
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
Nature is a wary wily long-breathed old Witch, tough-lived as a Turtle and divisible as the Polyp, repullulative in a thousand Snips and Cuttings, integra et in toto! She is sure to get the better of Lady MIND in the long run, and to take her revenge too transforms our To Day into a Canvass dead-colored to receive the dull featureless Portait of Yesterday.Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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
So living Nature, not dull Art, Shall plan my ways and rule my heart.Nature and Art, st. 12 (1868).
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
I never was on the dull, tame shore, But I loved the great sea more and more.Barry Cornwall, The Sea.
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
How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge!Hamlet, scene iv
Society is as needful to us as air or food. A child doomed to utter loneliness, growing up without sight or sound of human beings, would not put forth equal power with many brutes; and a man, never brought into contact with minds superior to his own, will probably run one and the same dull round of thought and action to the end of llfe.William Ellery Channing, in "Self-Culture", an address in Boston (September 1838)
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