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Dullness   Listen
noun
Dullness  n.  (Written also dulness)  The state of being dull; slowness; stupidity; heaviness; drowsiness; bluntness; obtuseness; dimness; want of luster; want of vividness, or of brightness. "And gentle dullness ever loves a joke."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Dullness" Quotes from Famous Books



... Some women ought to be stupid. What you call dullness I call repose. Give me a calm woman, a slow woman,—a lazy, majestic woman. Show me a gracious virgin bearing a lily; not a leering giggler frisking a rattle. A lively woman would be the death of me.... Why shouldn't the Sherrick be stupid, I say? About great beauty there should always ...
— What Great Men Have Said About Women - Ten Cent Pocket Series No. 77 • Various

... come beneath the firmament; the purple and gold and crimson of nature's gala dress seemed to fling their soft luxury around the beholder, enfolding him, as it were, from all the dust and the dimness and the dullness of this world's working days for evermore. So it was to Diana; and all the miles of that long drive, joggingly pulled along by Prince, she rode in a chariot of the imagination, traversing fields of thought and of space, now to Evan and now with him; and in her ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... national life [wrote "Fiona Macleod"] has a vital and great part to play. We have a most noble ideal if we will but accept it. And that is, not to perpetuate feuds, not to try to win back what is gone away upon the wind, not to repay ignorance with scorn, or dullness with contempt, or past wrongs with present hatred, but so to live, so to pray, so to hope, so to work, so to achieve, that we, what is left of the Celtic races, of the Celtic genius, may permeate the greater race of which we are a vital part, so that, with this Celtic ...
— Irish Plays and Playwrights • Cornelius Weygandt

... artiste in complimentary attire might be tolerated where a crowd of seminude performers could not. The poems of Sedley and Rochester are as abundant in indelicacy as they are deficient in humour. The epigram of Sedley to "Julius" gives a more correct idea of his character than of his usual dullness. ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... of a husband of this kind. Beautiful lady, he is not fit even to serve you." The go-between should further talk to the woman about the weakness of the passion of her husband, his jealousy, his roguery, his ingratitude, his aversion to enjoyments, his dullness, his meanness, and all the other faults that he may have, and with which she may be acquainted. She should particularly harp upon that fault or that failing by which the wife may appear to be the most affected. If the wife be a deer woman, ...
— The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana - Translated From The Sanscrit In Seven Parts With Preface, - Introduction and Concluding Remarks • Vatsyayana

... SAW him. Send her here," she commanded, wondering at her dullness in not thinking sooner of so simple ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... farmer's boys, who, discontented at home, leave it for something more congenial to their feelings and tastes, do so simply because of the excessive dullness, and want of interest in objects to attract them there, and keep them contented. Boys, in America at least, are apt to be smart. So their parents think, at all events; and too smart they prove, to stay at home, and follow the beaten track of their fathers, as their continual migration from ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... being able in simple narrative to convey the remotest idea of the dullness of Dangerfield Hall; but as during my residence there I beguiled the weary hours by keeping a diary (bound in blue velvet, with brass clasps and a Bramah lock), I have it in my power, by transcribing a few of its pages, to present to ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... Palliser, the master of the house, it was already evident to her that he would not put himself out of his way for her. Had she not done wrong to come there? If it were possible for her to fly away, back to the dullness of Queen Anne Street, or even to the preachings of Lady Macleod, would she not do so immediately? What business had she,—she asked herself,—to come to such a house as that? Lady Glencora was very kind to ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... all the other passengers, and now that everyone was settled down and had got over the excitement of departure, they had time to greet one another. They were delighted to have Liza among them, for where she was there was no dullness. Her attention was first of all taken up by a young coster who had arrayed himself in the traditional costume—grey suit, tight trousers, and shiny ...
— Liza of Lambeth • W. Somerset Maugham

... Scholars in revelling roundelays, Belched out with hickups at bacchanal Go, Bellowed, till heaven's high concave rebound the lays, Are all for college carousals too low. Of dullness quite tired, with merriment fired, And fully inspired with amity's glow, With hate-drowning wine, boys, and punch all divine, boys, The Juniors combine, boys, in friendly HIGH-GO. Glossology, by William Biglow, inserted in Buckingham's ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... different parts of Persia, unloading their beasts and putting their effects in order, settling themselves in the different open rooms which look upon the square of the caravanserai. A dervish, and a story-teller too, was a great acquisition, after the fatigue and dullness of a journey across the Salt Desert; and when we had made a hearty meal he collected them on the square platform in the middle of the court, making them sit round, whilst he took his station in the midst. He then ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... a hundred other weddings at which he had been; and, seeing the bride and bridegroom seated together as usual, and the pretty bridemaids tittering, as usual, and the gentle dullness lighted up with here and there a feeble jest, as usual, he could hardly realize that horrible things lay beneath the surface of all this snowy bride-cake, and flowers, and ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... less true, Coffee's aid to digestion permits dining anew. And what 's very true, tho' few people know it, Fine coffee 's the basis of every fine poet; For many a writer as windy as Boreas Has been vastly improved by the drink ever glorious. Coffee brightens the dullness of heavy philosophy, And opens the science of mighty geometry. Our law-makers, too, when the nectar imbibing, Plan wondrous reforms, quite beyond the describing; The odor of coffee they delight in inhaling, And promise the country to alter laws ailing. From the brow of the scholar ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... cries, Woe? who, Alas? Who has contentions? Who, complaining? Who has dullness of eyes? They who linger long over wine, They who go about tasting mixed wine. Look not upon the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup. At last it bites like a serpent, And stings like an adder. Your eyes shall ...
— The Makers and Teachers of Judaism • Charles Foster Kent

... continued Auberly, "would become of the fine arts if all men delighted in dirt, dust, dullness, and desks? Depend upon it, John, that our tastes and tendencies are not the result of accident; they were given to us for a purpose. I hold it as an axiom that when a man or a boy has a strong and decided bias or partiality for any particular work that he knows something ...
— Fighting the Flames • R.M. Ballantyne

... Kerr, complaining of the tediousness of the voyage, and the dullness of her own circle, invited Ishmael and his party to spend the evening and play whist in the ladies' cabin—forbidden ground to all gentlemen who had no ladies with them, unless indeed they should happen, as in ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... in wonder, and almost in affright as he clutched at his blazing head in the very desperation of his feelings, and she could not account for the difference in his demeanor. Mike was usually such a merry good companion. Perhaps it was herself that scattered her sadness and dullness all about her; or was Mike sick? She ventured ...
— The Elm Tree Tales • F. Irene Burge Smith

... journeyings through space. Every one of those little clouds has been dipped and steeped in radiance which the slightest pressure might disengage in silvery profusion like water wrung from a sea-maid's hair. Bright they are as a young man's visions, and, like them, would be realized in dullness, obscurity and tears. I will look on them ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... to remain aloof from people, and like their good parts, without being eternally troubled with the dull process of their everyday lives.... All I can say is that standing at Charing Cross, and looking East, West, North and South, I can see nothing but dullness." ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... reliability. Naturally all departments unite to develop character in the students, but the Academic Department feels this to be a special aim. Pleasure in the subject of instruction, followed by mental and moral improvement, has indicated clearly that the academic dullness which is shown at entrance comes frequently from lack of motive in former studies. The interest is all the more encouraging as there are many handicaps in the teaching, for the students enter at any time, are graded by the trades they select, and are placed in ...
— The Making of a Trade School • Mary Schenck Woolman

... this is the last issue. No doubt this will be more satisfactory to our readers—those at least who preserve their numbers for binding, and probably most do—than publishing the index in a separate sheet. The list of claims in this number will be found to be unusually full, a gratifying evidence that dullness of business does not cripple the resources nor abate the industry of our inventors. With a parting word of good will to our present subscribers and a welcome to those who begin with our new volume, we wish for all a ...
— Scientific American, Vol. 17, No. 26 December 28, 1867 • Various

... President very well, and had access to his presence when officials were kept cooling their heels in the Waiting-room. The President liked to hear the Colonel talk, his voluble ease was a refreshment after the decorous dullness of men who only talked business and government, and everlastingly expounded their notions of justice and the distribution of patronage. The Colonel was as much a lover of farming and of horses as Thomas Jefferson was. He talked to the President by the hour about his ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 5. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... absurd in the paramount matter of the safe. The safe could not be opened. The village, having been thrilled by four stirring days of the most precious and rare fever, had suffered much after the funeral from a severe reaction of dullness. It would have suffered much more had the fact not escaped that the safe could not be opened. In the deep depression of the day following the funeral the village could still say to itself: "Romance and excitement are not yet over, for the key of the Moze safe is ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... was not lighted without a purpose. The peasant had a son, to whom the flame had been passed on; for he aimed at the priesthood. This has ever been a refuge of ambitious minds that cannot rise by any other means above the dullness of the peasant's life, which is the more endurable the more the man is able to place himself upon the animal level of his plodding ox. The son was being educated in a seminary, but he was now home for the holidays. Presently he appeared. ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... of any matter,—oftentimes the force of dullness can no farther go. You stand silent, incredulous, as over a platitude that borders on the Infinite. The man's Churchisms, Dissenterisms, Puseyisms, Benthamisms, College Philosophies, Fashionable Literatures, are unexampled ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... her enough not to mind what was past, why should she not marry him? She had proved once how bitter it was to stand against the convictions of the world alone. His fortnight's absence had shown her how unbearable the dullness of her days had become; she could not struggle on much longer. Her mind played with the prospect of consenting, of how it would open up new worlds to her, of what a change it would ...
— To Love • Margaret Peterson

... the better I could endure it. What a dreary prospect! The past was vital, the present dead! Life in Surrey must be dull. How could I forget or enjoy? I put the curtains down, and told Temperance, who was wandering about, not to call me to dinner. I determined, if possible, to surpass my dullness by indulgence. But underneath it all I could not deny that there was a specter, whose aimless movements kept me from stagnating. I determined to drag it ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... that play the fool, in not recognising that heaven is inaccessible and doubtful. But clearer eyes perceive the not at all doubtful dullness of wit, and the gratifying accessibility of every woman when properly handled,—yes, even of her who dares to deal in this ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... seeing that, however just the reputation of their growing little town for superior cheapness in matters of meat and drink, its character in things regarding men and manners is quite as undeniable for preeminent dullness. ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... occupied with our interesting discovery to bethink us of Smudge. At length, I turned to observe its effect on the savage. He evidently noted our proceedings; but his feelings, if the creature had any, were so deeply buried beneath the mask of dullness, as completely to foil my penetration. He saw us take up fragment after fragment, examine them, heard us converse over them, though in a language he could not understand, and saw us throw them away, one ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... settled about the future, it would be rest rather than dullness,' said John; 'but I think a good deal of his trouble is caused by Manby's verdict, and for that perhaps the best cure would be letting ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... thousand veterans under the brave Irish General Keane. The combined forces sailed in the direction of New Orleans, late in November. The wives of many of the officers accompanied them, for not a man doubted that the speedy conquest of Louisiana would be the result of the expedition. The dullness of the voyage was enlightened by music and dancing, and all anticipated exquisite pleasures to be found in the paradise before them. It is said that the British officers had promised their soldiers the privilege of the city, when captured, for three days, and ...
— Sustained honor - The Age of Liberty Established • John R. Musick,

... of being foiled, or if he had found her at once, he would never have desired her so fiercely. Now, for the first time in his life impassioned, he felt something mysterious and unwelcome to him begin to mingle with his desire. Above all, life without her meant dullness, lack of vitality, the swift onset of middle-age. He saw this with shrinking. He walked wearily, looking older than he was in the pathos ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... it is only the wild that attracts us. Dullness is but another name for tameness. It is the uncivilized free and wild thinking in Hamlet and the Iliad, in all the scriptures and mythologies, not learned in the schools, that delights us. As the wild duck is more swift and beautiful than the tame, so is the ...
— Walking • Henry David Thoreau

... which was commonly known by the name of The Greatest Happiness Principle. Another article in the Westminster Review followed; and a surrejoinder by Macaulay in the Edinburgh Review of October, 1829. Macaulay was irritated at what he conceived to be either extreme dullness or gross unfairness on the part of his unknown antagonist, and struck as hard as he could; and ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... was dying in him now, for the trio had walked for more than an hour through the open air when they left Gillespie's rooms. The stupefaction of alcohol was gone, leaving his brain morbidly alive. He was anxious to sleep, but drowsy dullness kept away. His mind began to visualize of its own accord, independent of his will; and, one after another, a crowd of pictures rose vivid in the darkness of his brain. He saw them as plainly as you see this page, but with a different clearness—for they seemed unnatural, belonging to a morbid ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... and intellectual stimulus which the farmers received from the movement was probably even more important than any direct political or economic results. It is difficult for the present generation to form any conception of the dreariness and dullness of farm life half a century ago. Especially in the West, where farms were large, opportunities for social intercourse were few, and weeks might pass without the farmer seeing any but his nearest neighbors. For his wife existence ...
— The Agrarian Crusade - A Chronicle of the Farmer in Politics • Solon J. Buck

... dirty, however, though there is a fountain in every square, and you are never out of the sound of falling water. The Corso and some of the principal streets do not so much impress you with their filth as with their dullness; but that part of the city where some of the most memorable relics of antiquity are to be found is unimaginably vile. The least said of the state of the archways of the Coliseum the soonest mended; and I have already spoken of the Forum. The streets near the Theatre of Pompey are almost ...
— Italian Journeys • William Dean Howells

... carnival, which, it claims, ranks third,—Venice and New Orleans alone surpassing it. It was admitted that the celebration of this year was far below that of others. The cause of this dullness was generally stated to be the great amount of sickness prevalent in the city. However that may be, it certainly was a tame affair. On the 15th two processions took place, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon; these were arranged by two ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... mutual enforcement of words and music. And the words owe a courtesy to the music; for if a balance be struck between the words and music of hymns, it will be found to be heavily in favour of the musicians, whose fine work has been unscrupulously altered and reduced to dullness by english compilers, with the object of conforming it in rhythm to words that are unworthy of any music whatever. The chief offenders here are the protestant reformers, whose metrical psalms, which the melodies were tortured to fit, exhibit greater futility than one would look ...
— A Practical Discourse on Some Principles of Hymn-Singing • Robert Bridges

... useful pursuit than she was before; while by the time that you have regained your normal state of health she will express to you her self-sacrificing affection only by shedding around you a kind of benignant dullness which involuntarily communicates itself both to yourself and to every one ...
— Youth • Leo Tolstoy

... gave splendid entertainments, which contrasted with the dullness of everyday life. So it was necessary that they should hold a good deal of handsome furniture and beautiful tapestries in reserve. This was the case with Monsieur ...
— The Seven Wives Of Bluebeard - 1920 • Anatole France

... OF INTELLIGENCE. Another source of error in the teacher's judgment comes from the difficulty in distinguishing genuine dullness from the mental condition which results sometimes from unfavorable social ...
— The Measurement of Intelligence • Lewis Madison Terman

... the great names of haut-ton in London, and where little but names were to be found, to seek relief from the ennui that overpowered me, in a cider cellar! and have found there more food for speculation than in the vapid circles of glittering dullness I had left." ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... cries all about from people who once were fond of theater and music hall that there is an inconceivable dullness pervading the stage; the habitual patron can no longer endure the offerings of the present time with a degree of pleasure, much less with ease. It has ceased to be what it once was, what its name implies. If ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... way out Ulrich was rather silent. It was not, however, the silence of moodiness or dullness, it was rather as if he wanted to hear her speak. It was, indeed, a responsive, stimulating silence, and she ...
— The Tin Soldier • Temple Bailey

... there. They were sitting on a bench halfway down the slope, where the path to the landing was broken. The view from here, showing the bend of the river, was very restful. The water was growing darker, heavier, gradually assuming a leadlike dullness. ...
— The Created Legend • Feodor Sologub

... very upright in her chair, "I confess to loneliness. The sameness of life in this castle oppresses me, and in its continuous dullness I grow old before my time. I wish to enjoy a month or two in Frankfort, and, as doubtless you have guessed, I send you forth as my ambassador to ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... surroundings on this occasion should lead us to humble recognition of the providence of God in all that has made us a great nation. From our beginning as a people our course has been marked by concurrences and incidents so striking, so significant and so constant, that only superstitious dullness or intellectual blindness will place them to the credit ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... struck up a military march with so much energy that further conversation was impossible. Near them was an awkward-looking young fellow, with shoulders too broad for his height, and a general look of chunkiness and dullness. Presently he rose and crossed the room, and made a bow to his chosen partner that most courtiers might have envied. It was a ...
— The Life of Nancy • Sarah Orne Jewett

... always been "different." In the old days Mrs. Norris set her face against dancing, not upon any moral grounds, certainly, but because of its alleged dullness. Why couldn't people enjoy one another without flying into a perspiration? she asked; but, unfortunately for her plans for the establishment of an animated conversazione, the substitutes she had advocated were felt to be even duller. So, one by one, all her nice games were abandoned and ...
— Tutors' Lane • Wilmarth Lewis

... 1807, he says that few in the army resort to drink, as a pleasure, even at Gibraltar, where wine is cheap and plentiful; the allowance in the regiment after dinner is but one-third of a bottle, and only now and then when there are guests is it usual to depart from this allowance. The deadly dullness and idleness of Gibraltar were its chief defects, ...
— A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs - The Story of a Hundred Years, 1761-1861 • George M. Wrong

... statistics for the encyclopaedia, I explained to my fellow-boarders, I being looked upon now as having special information owing to my supposed intimacy, although I had never entered his room since that night—on these days, I say, the table relapsed into its old-time dullness. ...
— The Veiled Lady - and Other Men and Women • F. Hopkinson Smith

... connection with the preceding symptom will generally be found, instead of that natural brilliance of expression in the eyes and countenance, an unnatural dullness and vacantness altogether foreign to childhood. This is ...
— Plain Facts for Old and Young • John Harvey Kellogg

... to-day," remarked the substitute, in the patient tone which the enlightened have for dullness. "She is ill and I am teacher here. Where ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... languid in action for sustained interest. We grow acquainted with certain characters, and are heartily glad when they make their exit; perhaps someone else will come, some adventurer from the road or the inn, to relieve the dullness. The door opens, and in comes the bore again to take another leave. That is realism, undoubtedly; and Laura Pendennis is as realistic as the mumps, which one may catch a second time. The atmosphere of both novels—indeed, of all Thackeray's greater works, with the exception of English Humorists ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... Baur. Coleridge had many of the elements of this method: learning, inwardness, a subtle psychology, a dramatic power of sympathy with modes of thought other than his own. Often in carrying out his own method he gives the true historical origin of a dogma, but, with a strange dullness of the historical sense, he regards this as a reason for the existence of the dogma now, not merely as reason for its having existed in the past. Those historical elements he could not envisage in the historical method, because this method is ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... began to revive, and I turned to listen to the long harangue of my good friend with more interest and attention, especially, as Charlotte's small white hand remained firmly clasped in mine, to repay me for its dullness and prolixity. ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... party; on the contrary, everybody appeared to be so determined not to say the wrong thing, that they remained silent; the dullness of the meal was only broken at long intervals by such carefully expressed sentiments as "I'll trouble you to pass the salt, if you please," or "Will you ...
— Wild Beasts and their Ways • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... paralysing effect of these baser emotions. As Victor Hugo once said, in a fine apophthegm, "Despair yawns." Fear and anxiety bring with them a particular kind of physical fatigue which makes us listless and inert. They lie on the spirit with a leaden dullness, which takes from us all possibility of energy and motion. Who does not know the instinct, when one is crushed and tortured by depression, to escape into solitude and silence, and to let the waves and streams flow ...
— Where No Fear Was - A Book About Fear • Arthur Christopher Benson

... "Attracts those eyes, whose lustre all the world "Expect to view. Oft in the eastern skies, "More early rising, art thou seen; and oft "More tardy 'neath the waves thou sinkest: long "The wintry days thou stretchest, with delay "Thy object lov'd to see. Meantime pale gloom "O'ercasts thy orb; the dullness of thy mind "Obstructs thy brightness; and thy rays obscure, "Terror in mortal breasts inspire. Not pale "Thou fadest, as, when nearer whirl'd to earth, "Faint Luna's shadow o'er thy surface glooms: "But love, and only love the paleness gives. "Her only, now ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... you are making fun of me," she said. In reality there was a part of Bauer's nature which was unexpected. His quiet habits and his slow speech were apt to give an impression of dullness of intellect and lack of mental quickness. Helen was finding out that Bauer was in many ways the quickest of all her acquaintances. And he had a fund of smileless humour that came as a surprise even to those who ...
— The High Calling • Charles M. Sheldon

... youthful-looking for his age, light and quick in movement, intent but never deliberate, passing very rapidly from one thing to another, impatient of boredom and dullness, always desiring to do a thing that very minute. He was fair of complexion, with grey-blue eyes and a shock head of light hair, little brushed, and uncut often too long. He was careless of appearances, and wore clothes by preference of great shabbiness. He told me in 1909 that he had ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... moments overvalued his indifference. The danger, when not seen, has the imperfect vagueness of human thought. The fear grows shadowy; and Imagination, the enemy of men, the father of all terrors, unstimulated, sinks to rest in the dullness of exhausted emotion. Jim saw nothing but the disorder of his tossed cabin. He lay there battened down in the midst of a small devastation, and felt secretly glad he had not to go on deck. But now and again an uncontrollable rush of anguish ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... must have his portrait, and if the likeness be justly hit off, some may be reminded of a resemblance. Mason applies the epithet of "Mitred Dullness" to him: but although he was at length reduced to railing and to menaces, and finally mortified into silence, this epithet does not suit so hardy and so active ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... new age is dawning, the people are marching on us all, a powerful, health-giving storm is gathering, it is drawing near, soon it will be upon us and it will drive away laziness, indifference, the prejudice against labour, and rotten dullness from our society. I shall work, and in twenty-five or thirty years, every man will have to ...
— Plays by Chekhov, Second Series • Anton Chekhov

... like his wife couldn't have asked a better foil; yet I'm sure she never consciously used his dullness to relieve her brilliancy. She may have felt that the case spoke for itself. But I believe her reserve was rather due to a lively sense of justice, and to the rare habit (you said she was rare) of looking at facts as they are, without any throwing of sentimental lime-lights. ...
— The Long Run - 1916 • Edith Wharton

... Mitchell," as he was popularly called, the parish schoolmaster was his first tutor; and "the Shorter Catechism," the title-page of which contained the alphabet, his first instruction book. His progress was but slow, his hands often being made to suffer for the dullness of his brains. A boy living in the midst of shipping, his desires were more for nautical matters than for Wully's books, and so he ran off to sea. The captain of the ship on which he was, became much attached to the ...
— Robert Moffat - The Missionary Hero of Kuruman • David J. Deane

... of war; they went to the rude dwellings where those people sat in stupor and in darkness after the first thrill of the new found liberty; they went from homes of refinement and culture and wealth and religion; they bore to this darkness light, to this dullness life; they carried down there in their white hands the great tree of Calvary, the cross of Christ, and planted it in the land of the magnolia and the palm. I say that the history of this Association is a grand and glowing ...
— American Missionary, Volume 44, No. 1, January, 1890 • Various

... constantly talked to him of her own people. Every afternoon when her housework was done she took the boy into the front room of the house and spent hours laboring with him over his lessons. She worked upon the problem of rooting the stupidity and dullness out of his mind as her father had worked at the problem of rooting the stumps out of the Michigan land. After the lesson for the day had been gone over and over until Hugh was in a stupor of mental weariness, she put ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... remarkable debaters in this singular parliament, where self-satisfied ignorance and dullness of apprehension were so hard to pierce, was the youthful envoy of the Czechoslovaks, M. Benes. This politician, who before the Conference came to an end was offered the honorable task of forming ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... foremost, a period of latency or of incubation, in which there is more or less of dullness and loss of appetite, and this glides gradually into a state of feverishness. The fever may be ushered in with chills and shivering. The nose now becomes hot and dry, the dog is restless and thirsty, and ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... She announced that, if she was not to be allowed to do her Christmassing at The Bear, she would not do it anywhere. She indicated that she meant to perish miserably of ennui in the besotted dullness of Sneyd, and that no Christmas-party of any kind should occur in HER house. She ceased to show interest in Stephen's health. She would not speak. In fact, she went too far. One day, in reply to her rude silence, Stephen said: 'Very well, child, if that's your game, I'll play it with you. Except ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... whom Georgiana Longestaffe had despised from her youth upwards it was George Whitstable. He had been a laughing-stock to her when they were children, had been regarded as a lout when he left school, and had been her common example of rural dullness since he had become a man. He certainly was neither beautiful nor bright;—but he was a Conservative squire born of Tory parents. Nor was he rich;—having but a moderate income, sufficient to maintain a moderate ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... if you knew the deathly dullness of Sawston—every one saying the proper thing at the proper time, I so proper, Herbert so proper! Why, weirdness is the one thing I long ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... must needs be refreshed and fed. There was a sudden significant flourish of frisky bowing, now up and again down, enlisting every resonant capacity of horsehair and catgut; the violins quavered to a final long-drawn scrape and silence descended. Dullness ensued; the flavor of the day seemed to pall; the dancers scattered and were presently following the crowd that began to slowly gather about the vacated stand of the musicians, from which elevation the speakers of the occasion were about ...
— Una Of The Hill Country - 1911 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... understanding of the central purpose of the poem, Browning said: "Yes, just about that." With constancy to an ideal as the central purpose, the details of this poem, without being minutely interpreted, may yet serve as a representation of the depression, the hopelessness, the dullness and deadness of soul, the doubt and terror even of the man who travels the last stages of a difficult journey to a long-sought but unknown goal. His victory consists in the unfaltering persistence of his search. The "squat tower," when he reaches it, is prosaic and ugly, but finding it is after ...
— Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning • Robert Browning

... sure guide in both respects were it not so often perverted and diseased. As a general rule, we eat too much. It is better to err in the other direction. An uncomfortable feeling of fullness, or of dullness and stupor after a meal is a sure sign of over-eating, so whatever and whenever you eat, eat slowly, masticate your food well, and DO NOT EAT ...
— How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits • Samuel R Wells

... The dullness of the church life, so conspicuous at present in many of the churches, is only partly due to the fact that the Christians are tired of the services. It is true that these services no longer afford them that mental and spiritual stimulus which they found at the first, ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... of wounding the sensibilities of a timid, retiring child. It requires great forbearance and discrimination on the part of parents and teachers, in their endeavors to develop the latent faculties of the minds of such children, (whether this dullness is natural, or the effect of untoward circumstances,) without injuring ...
— Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters - Volume 3 • Various

... conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray. There is no sight under the sun more pitiful and ludicrous at once, than the spectacle of the Prestons and the Webbs, not to mention the later incarnations of Dullness and Commonplace, undertaking to "explain" the old symbols of Masonry, and adding to and "improving" them, or ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... history of political and intellectual activity in this country, however, still exist as influential organs. The Quebec Gazette was, some years ago, merged into another Quebec paper—having become long before a memorial of the past in its appearance and dullness, a sort of Rip Van Winkle in the newspaper world. The Canadien has always had its troubles; but, nevertheless, it continues to have influence in the Quebec district, and the same may be said of the Journal de Quebec, though the writer who first gave ...
— The Intellectual Development of the Canadian People • John George Bourinot

... left to their own impulses, the characters of their mind will show themselves; wit will flash, and thought will answer thought spontaneously; but every effort to make the stupid agreeable, by giving a direction of a pretending intellectual nature to their efforts, is only rendering dullness more conspicuous by exhibiting it in contrast with what it ought to be to be clever, as a bad picture is rendered the more conspicuous by an elaborate and ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... degradation? They did not appear the works of a self-taught child. In that case, in spite of the caricature of drawing, a sharp distinction would have manifested itself. But here were visible only simple dullness, steady-going incapacity, which stood, through self-will, in the ranks of art, while its true place was among the lowest trades. The same colours, the same manner, the same practised hand, belonging rather to a manufacturing ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... any cost. It does not pay to repress human nature too much, or to try to make out of a red-blooded young man or woman a mere machine. Gambling, drunkenness, prostitution, and all sorts of pathological vices flourish largely as a reaction from the dullness and monotony of the day's work. We are paying this heavy penalty for our increase of material efficiency at the ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... Formation of the Earth, two mighty octavo volumes, elicits the following complimentary remarks from the Athenaeum. "This work is saved from being mischievous only by the circumstance of the excessive dullness diffused over these twelve hundred pages—which will in all probability prevent their being much read.... Of no one department of science does the author appear to have a correct conception. His views are all distorted. He is false alike in his Mechanics, in his Geology, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... sleeve—its good cheer, too, with feasts on holy-days and high-days, rich and succulent.—And in this last connection, as he reflected, much was to be said for the geographical position of Marychurch; since if river mists and white dullness of sea fog, drifting in from the Channel, were to hand, so, also, in their season, were fresh run salmon, snipe, wood-cock, flocks of wild duck, of ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... that poetic dullness and quiet reigned which always accompanies the presence of a betrothed couple. Often when all sitting together everyone kept silent. Sometimes the others would get up and go away and the couple, left alone, still remained silent. They rarely spoke of their future life. Prince Andrew was afraid and ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone: for always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.— How now, wit? whither ...
— As You Like It • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... Baron Sonnino and the Premier. What were they offering? We know now that at this last moment of the eleventh hour Austria had wakened to the real gravity of the situation, and with Teutonic pertinacity and Teutonic dullness of perception made her first real offer—the immediate cession and occupation of the ceded territories she had set as her maximum, a thing she had refused all along to consider, insisting that the transfer be deferred to the ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... frequently was an exhausting process, and Darsie felt a thrill of joy at the announcement of lunch. A meal in a train would be a novel and exciting experience which would go far towards making up for the dullness of the preceding hour, but alas! Aunt Maria refused with scorn to partake of food, cooked goodness knew how, by goodness knew whom, and had supplied herself with a few Plasmon biscuits, the which she handed round with the information that they contained more nourishment than ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... relieve the book of dullness, I have exaggerated some of the situations, as in the treatment of the woman question for example, but the intelligent reader will easily discover whether there be anything of value remaining after the extravagance has been ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... grande demoiselle, patrician, superior. Suddenly I became conscious of the dullness of my own garb. I cast a quick glance over my figure, to see whether it ...
— 54-40 or Fight • Emerson Hough

... night following our bear-hunt a storm came on,—wind, rain, and snow, as before,—and continued all the next day. The tremendous tides, however, effectually prevented any thing like dullness from "creeping over our spirits;" since we were sure of a sensation at least twice in twenty-four hours. But during the next night it cleared up, with the wind north; and, quite early on the morning of the 11th of July, we dropped out of "Mazard's ...
— Left on Labrador - or, The cruise of the Schooner-yacht 'Curlew.' as Recorded by 'Wash.' • Charles Asbury Stephens

... on the mysterious confines of life and death. That tomb you led me to, of which I knew nothing—as I know nothing, or scarcely anything, concerning her whom it covers—brought back to me emotions which were unique in my life, and which seem in the dullness of that life like some light gleaming upon a dark road. The light recedes farther and farther away as the journey lengthens; I have now almost reached the bottom of the last slope; and, nevertheless, ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... all, time and again; and this he remembered, that each time the dead, weather-worn, miry or dusty dullness of it had crept into his soul, sending him back to the freshness of the Paradise fields and forests at eventide with grateful ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... else, and frequently she had technical German translations in the evenings, for which she got nothing extra. Her chief did not know German, and thought she did the translations as easily as she wrote shorthand. Her whole work was moderately interesting, but the dullness of her life became insupportable. Another private secretary at the end of fifteen years in an ...
— Women Workers in Seven Professions • Edith J. Morley

... seen to be also social centers, places for "dates" and telephone flirtations and dalliance. Much of their doings was the merest silly time-killing, but generally the youthful patrons welcomed all this because it was a change from the empty dullness of homes that had missed the home secret, and from the still duller and wasting ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... is introduced, as at Zechariah i. 9, 19, by the Prophet's question of its meaning. His angelic teacher is astonished at his dullness, as indeed heavenly eyes must often be at ours, and asks if he does not know so familiar an object. The Prophet's 'No, my Lord,' brings full explanation. Ingenuously acknowledged ignorance never asks Heaven ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... did not mean to allow his light to remain hidden, as May apparently intended it should be; consequently, dinner had scarcely begun before she started to draw him out scientifically, and, after the dullness of the last few days, her guest was not loath to talk. He was always interesting, but this time he was almost brilliant; and when Ethel gave the signal to the other ladies, she left the room feeling that she had scored greatly over Mrs. Marlow, who would now have to explain why ...
— People of Position • Stanley Portal Hyatt

... some tale of scandal, or some description of a toupee. Active wit, however despicable when compared with intellectual, is yet surely better than the insignificant click-clack of modish conversation," casting his eyes towards Miss Larolles, "or even the pensive dullness of affected silence," changing their direction towards ...
— Cecilia Volume 1 • Frances Burney

... accounts, he was, but a very pleasant one notwithstanding, as your fop of parts is apt to be. Pope gained but little in the warfare he waged with him, for this plain reason—that the great poet accuses his adversary of dullness, which was not by any means one of his sins, instead of selecting one of the numerous faults, such as pertness, petulance, and presumption, of which ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... appointed to St. Luke's, Chelsea, he left Helston and spent two years attending lectures at King's College, London, and preparing for Cambridge. These were by no means among his happier years. He disliked London and he rebelled against the dullness of life in a vicarage overrun with district visitors and mothers' meetings. His father, a strong evangelical, objected to various forms of public amusement, and Charles, though loyal and affectionate to his parents, fretted to find no outlet for his ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... as the antiquary endeavors to decipher the mutilated inscription on some old monument, you build up a history on a gesture or on a word! These are the stirring sports of the mind, which finds in fiction a relief from the wearisome dullness of the actual. ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... the print of a hundred cuts out; when opening the bag, she threw me a part of the bean, and bid me carefully strip it. I obey her command, and try, without daubing my fingers, to deliver the grain from its nasty coverings; but she, blaming my dullness, snatcht it from me, and skilfully tearing its shells with her teeth, spit the black morsels from her, that lay like dead flies on the ground. How ingenious is poverty, and what strange arts will hunger teach? The ...
— The Satyricon • Petronius Arbiter

... expose it so little on their surfaces, that we cannot perceive the changes they undergo. All that appears to us to be at rest, does not, however, remain one instant in the same state. All beings are continually breeding, increasing, decreasing, or dispersing, with more or less dullness or rapidity. The insect called EPHEMERON, is produced and perishes in the same day; of consequence, it experiences the greatest changes of its being very rapidly, in our eyes. Those combinations which form the most solid bodies, which appear to enjoy the most perfect ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... dwelling on him as a sort of habit. But for this one man he would have lived a squalid life among his people at Janney's Mills—squalid because he had not the elasticity to rise above its narrow, uneducated dullness. The squalor so far as he himself was concerned was not physical. His own small, plain home was as neat as it was simple, but he had not the temperament which makes a man friends. Baird possessed this temperament, and his home was a ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... arrival of the mail was an important event. It awoke the small German town from its habitual slumberous dullness, and a letter caused its recipient to be regarded ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... of it," continued Mr. Butt, "those two poor souls going to bed at half past ten, through sheer dullness! By George, I was glad I'd come. 'Now then,' I said to myself, 'let's cheer them up a little, let's make things a ...
— Moonbeams From the Larger Lunacy • Stephen Leacock

... maiden's love. A life where spins the sun from year to year, And where each day is ever like the next— A beauteous but unending sameness, is For woman only, but for manly souls, And most for thine, it's quiet, weary dullness. Thou thrivest best where storms are raging round. On foaming pacers o'er the heaving sea, And on thy tossing plank, come life or death, Thou mayest fight with peril for thine honor. The beauteous desert thou dost paint, would be A grave for high achievements, not ...
— Fridthjof's Saga • Esaias Tegner

... stands for the idea of slow, steady plodding; while the hare is the representative of quick wits which depend on their ability to show a brilliant burst of speed when called upon. The fable teaches better than an essay can that the dullness which perseveres will arrive at success sooner than brilliancy of mind which wastes its time in doing nothing to the purpose. Andersen's "Ugly Duckling," Ruskin's "King of the Golden River," and Lowell's "Sir Launfal" stand for deep spiritual ideas, which we understand better for this method of ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... was returned by his companion, since none could be given; and when Venn left, a few minutes later, Clym had passed from the dullness of sorrow to the fluctuation of ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... lord, at a time when nonsense, dullness, lewdness, and all manner of profaneness and immorality are daily practised on the stage, I have prevailed on my modesty to offer to your lordship's protection a piece which, if it has no merit to recommend it, has at least no demerit to disgrace it; nor do I question at this, when every ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... They're getting tired of the confinement and the dullness. Besides, they are frightened. Goodness knows how they've got to know anything of what's going on outside, but they have; and if they hear of this fire it'll be all up with us. They'll go, and a sack ...
— Sarah's School Friend • May Baldwin

... the sweetest delight of gardens afford much comfort in sleep; wherein the dullness of that sense shakes hands with delectable odours; and though in the bed of Cleopatra, can hardly with any delight raise up the ghost ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... course, made a great difference, but would hardly suffice to explain the dullness ...
— Skipper Worse • Alexander Lange Kielland

... Tommy in a state of restlessness and dullness, complaining of difficulty in swallowing. Mrs. Martin was uneasy lest there should be something malignant about the attack; but to Phillida the case seemed an ordinary one, not likely to prove serious. She held Tommy in her arms for a while and this was a solace to the little ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... of the infancy of Chatterton, parents may be satisfied that an inaptness to learn in childhood, is far from being a prognostic of future dullness. At the age of five years, he was sent to the school of which his father had been master, and was found so incorrigibly stupid, that he was rejected by the teacher, whose name was Love, as incapable ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... with heavy hopelessness; though he was an outcast from his home, he was never a pariah. Not Walter, but the smug, devilish cities which took their revenues from saloon-keeping were to blame when he turned from the intolerable dullness of their streets to the excitement of alcohol in the saloons and brothels which they made so much more amusing ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... this time, "he's a slow-minded, unimaginative, commercial Briton, with as much nimbleness as an elephant. British commerce is his deity, British advantage his duty and mission; and he goes about his work with blunt dullness and ineptitude. That's his mental calibre as I ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... to the uneasiness. Kirk looked down at his clothing. It wasn't new, but there was actually little wrong, other than the slight smudge on a trouser leg, and a few, small spots of dullness ...
— Final Weapon • Everett B. Cole

... looseness of the organization was fatal. With a more compact and energetic administration, either the dissatisfied elements would have been eliminated quietly, or the causes of dissatisfaction, mainly, as far as I could understand, the dullness of the life and the lack of amusements, would have been removed. But with a loose organization there appears to have been, what is not unnatural, rigidity of discipline. There was no power any where to make changes. "The discontented ones wanted a change, but no ...
— The Communistic Societies of the United States • Charles Nordhoff

... Mademoiselle is "not in the mood to-night." A lecturer has his moods, which, apparently, he slips on and off as he would a dressing-gown, charming the people of one town by his eloquence and elegance, and disgusting another by his dullness and carelessness. We are in the habit of saying that certain men are very unequal in their performances, which is only a way of saying that they are moody, and dependent upon and controlled by moods. I think that, in any work or walk of life, a man can in a great degree become the ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... permitted and are stricken out. Accordingly nothing but the trumpery of mere penny-a-liners is brought forward, though this sometimes assumes an appearance of originality. These abortions remain on the stage only through the talent of the artists, the habit of the public to expect nothing beyond dullness and stupidity in the drama, and finally, the severe regulation which forbids any mark of disapprobation under pain of imprisonment. The best plays are translated from the French, but they are never the best ...
— The International Weekly Miscellany, Volume I. No. 8 - Of Literature, Art, and Science, August 19, 1850 • Various

... disciplined to mature uses. Asher and Virginia had already peopled the valley with imaginary settlers, each one of a certain type, and they adapted their pastime to the particular neighbors whom they chose to invite for the evening. How little the helpless folk in the city, bored with their own dullness, and dependent on others for amusement—how little could such as these cope with the loneliness of the home on the plains, or comprehend the resourcefulness ...
— Winning the Wilderness • Margaret Hill McCarter

... amazed at the activity of this season of repose, the endurance of American women who rode to the fox meets, were excited spectators of the polo, played lawn-tennis, were incessantly dining and calling, and sat through long dinners served with the formality and dullness and the swarms of liveried attendants of a royal feast. And they could not but admire the young men, who did not care for politics or any business beyond the chances of the stock exchange, but who expended an immense amount ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... who had not spoken a word, at last replied: 'Do to me what you will, but deliver me from the dullness of this place!' ...
— Edmund Dulac's Fairy-Book - Fairy Tales of the Allied Nations • Edmund Dulac



Words linked to "Dullness" :   contour, obtuseness, insensibility, subduedness, dreariness, tediousness, oscitance, tiresomeness, jejuneness, conformation, boringness, matte, uninterestingness, jejunity, tameness, dull, callousness, callosity, vapidity, mat, visual property



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