Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


We are growing serious, and, let me tell you, that’s the very next step to being dull.
Addison—The Drummer. Act IV. 6. (1715).

With various readings stored his empty skull,
Learn’d without sense, and venerably dull.
Churchill—The Rosciad. L. 591.

I find we are growing serious, and then we are in great danger of being dull.
Congreve—Old Bachelor. Act II. 2. (1693).

The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes
And gaping mouth, that testified surprise.
Dryden—Cymon and Iphigenia. L. 107.

La faute en est aux dieux, qui la firent si bête.
The fault rests with the gods, who have made her so stupid.
Gresset—Méchant. II. 7.

Why, Sir, Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an excess of stupidity, Sir, is not in Nature.
Samuel Johnson. Of Sheridan. Boswell’s Life of Johnson. (1763).

He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dulness in others.
Samuel Johnson—Boswell’s Life of Johnson. (1783).

The impenetrable stupidity of Prince George (son-in-law of James II.) served his turn. It was his habit, when any news was told him, to exclaim, “Est il possible?”—“Is it possible?”
Macaulay—History of England. Vol. I. Ch. IX.

The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head.
Pope—Essay on Criticism. L. 612.

Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
Schiller—Maid of Orleans. Act III. Sc. 6.

Schad’um die Leut’! Sind sonst wackre Brüder.
Aber das denkt, wie ein Seifensieder.
A pity about the people! they are brave enough comrades, but they have heads like a soapboiler’s.
Schiller—Wallenstein’s Lager. XI. 347.

Peter was dull; he was at first
Dull,—Oh, so dull—so very dull!
Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed—
Still with his dulness was he cursed—
Dull—beyond all conception—dull.
Shelley—Peter Bell the Third. Pt. VII. XI.

Personally, I have a great admiration for stupidity.
Oscar Wilde—An Ideal Husband. Act II.