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Dunce   Listen
noun
Dunce  n.  One backward in book learning; a child or other person dull or weak in intellect; a dullard; a dolt. "I never knew this town without dunces of figure." Note: The schoolmen were often called, after their great leader Duns Scotus, Dunsmen or Duncemen. In the revival of learning they were violently opposed to classical studies; hence, the name of Dunce was applied with scorn and contempt to an opposer of learning, or to one slow at learning, a dullard.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Dunce" Quotes from Famous Books



... feminine without violating prosody; for although I'm not so sharp at my Latin as I was, still I couldn't use ignarus, as you see, without fairly committing myself as a scholar; and indeed, if I went to that, it would surely be the first time I have been mistaken for a dunce." ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... cannot fail to do good the wider it is circulated. Whether it is worth your while to give up time to it is another question for you alone to decide; that it will do good for the subject is beyond all question. I do not think a dunce exists who could not understand it, and that is a bold saying after the extent to which I have been misunderstood. I did not understand what you required about sterility: assuredly the facts given do not go nearly so far. We differ so much that it is no use arguing. To get the degree of ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... of heroes and kings, was a lone, friendless mariner on the main, only true to his origin in the sea-life that he led. But so it has been, and forever will be. What yeoman shall swear that he is not descended from Alfred? what dunce, that he is not sprung of old Homer? King Noah, God bless him! fathered us all. Then hold up your heads, oh ye Helots, blood potential flows through your veins. All of us have monarchs and sages for kinsmen; nay, angels and archangels for cousins; since in antediluvian days, ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... said, she twists the thread around his ugly spindle once, 4 Snaps off the last bit of the life of that Imperial dunce. But Lachesis, her hair adorned, her tresses neatly bound, Pierian laurel on her locks, her brows with garlands crowned, Plucks me from out the snowy wool new threads as white as snow, Which handled with a happy touch change colour as they go, Not common wool, but golden wire; the Sisters ...
— Apocolocyntosis • Lucius Seneca

... compulsion; for the average schoolmaster does not compel his scholars to learn: he only scolds and punishes them if they do not, which is quite a different thing, the net effect being that the school prisoners need not learn unless they like. Nay, it is sometimes remarked that the school dunce—meaning the one who does not like—often turns out well afterwards, as if idleness were a sign of ability and character. A much more sensible explanation is that the so-called dunces are not exhausted before they begin the serious business ...
— A Treatise on Parents and Children • George Bernard Shaw

... said Godfrey Thornton, relieved. "I thought you might want to grow up a dunce, and become a bricklayer or ...
— Helping Himself • Horatio Alger

... or only weak home-brewed stuff that results in head-ache. My dearest, Fate has been very good to me, and I love my profession of letters. I am sure that of all educational processes there is none better than book-making; and the man who begins by making books must be a dolt, dunce, and dunderhead, if he do not end by writing them. So you may yet hope to see the morning that shall make your Valentine famous—for a fortnight. What man can hope to be famous for more than a fortnight in such a railroad ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... the first Great Hall. Still another was one of the doughty barons who wrested from John the Great Charter, England's declaration of independence; another was high in the councils of Henry V. I have omitted one whom I should not fail to mention: Adjodika Caskoden, who was a member of the Dunce Parliament of Henry IV, so called because there were ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... become of the fools?" he muttered. "He oughter been home two, three days ago, and we hain't seen a sign of him yet. Can't be Lew's such a dunce as to walk into the ...
— The Riflemen of the Miami • Edward S. Ellis

... day Fanny Hutton Her last dress has put on; Her fine lessons forgotten, She died, as the dunce died: And prim Betsy Chambers, Decay'd in her members, No longer remembers Things, as she ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... day: Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick If they were not his own by finessing and trick; He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back. Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came; And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame; Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease, Who peppered the highest was surest to please. But let us be candid, and speak out our mind: If dunces applauded, he paid them ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... it seethes again and glows! Go in and comfort her, thou dunce! Where such a dolt no outlet sees or knows, He thinks he's reached the end at once. None but the brave deserve the fair! Thou hast had devil enough to make a decent show of. For all the world a devil in despair Is just the ...
— Faust • Goethe

... puzzled what to do with your son, if he be a born dunce, if reading and writing be all the accomplishments he can acquire, if he be horribly ignorant and depraved, if he be indolent and an incorrigible liar, lost to all shame and decency, and incurably dishonest, ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... task, my little man, Is very hard to get? Will it make it any easier For you to sit and fret? Then wouldn't it he wiser Than waiting like a dunce, To go to work in earnest, And learn the thing ...
— New National First Reader • Charles J. Barnes, et al.

... dunce; wooden spoon; no scholar. [insulting terms for ignorant person: see also imbecility 499, folly 501] moron, imbecile, idiot; fool, jerk, nincompoop, asshole [vulgar]. [person with superficial knowledge] dilettante, sciolist[obs3], ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... from stake or stump, Or, spreading the tail Of his coat for a sail, Take a soaring leap from post or rail, And wonder why He couldn't fly, And flap and flutter and wish and try— If ever you knew a country dunce Who didn't try that as often as once, All I can say is, that's a sign He never would do for a ...
— The Elson Readers, Book 5 • William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

... the very thing,' said Charles; 'that Ovis of yours was music; I would have made you a Knight of the Golden Fleece on the spot. Tutors I could get by shoals, but a fellow-dunce is inestimable.' ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... he was totally indifferent as to which states bounded and bordered which; and he had been known to spell "physician" with an f and two z's. But it was when confronted by a sum that Peter stood revealed in his true colors of a dunce! ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... of people are working together, the absurd and adventitious distinctions of society do not intrude. The capitalist and his agents are looking for the greatest amount of labor or the largest income in money from their investments, and they do not promote a dunce to a station where he will destroy raw material or slacken industry because of his name, or birth, or family connections. The obscurest and humblest person has a fair field for competition. That he proves himself capable of earning more money for ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... up he clearly showed in what direction his interest lay. At school he was something of a dunce at his lessons, but let him but have a pencil and paper and his mind was wide awake at once. Every spare moment he spent making sketches on the ...
— Knights of Art - Stories of the Italian Painters • Amy Steedman

... confess'd, That in his heart he loved a jest: A wag he was, he needs must own, And could not let a dunce alone: Sometimes his friend he would not spare, And might perhaps be too severe: But yet the worst that could be said, He was a wit both born and bred; And, if it be a sin and shame, Nature alone must bear the blame: One fault he has, is sorry for't, His ears are half a foot too short; ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... Sultan, Burton began addressing him, not in Arabic, but in the Zanzibar patois. The Sultan, after some conversation, turned to Badger, who, poor man, not being conversant with the patois, could only stand still in the dunce's cap which Burton, as it were, had clapped on him and look extremely foolish; while the bystanders nodded to each other and said, "Look at that fellow. He can't say two words. He's a fraud." Burton revelled in Badger's discomfiture; but a little later the two men were on good terms ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... imaginable ease. A singular instance happened one evening, when she insisted that some of Sterne's writings were very pathetick. Johnson bluntly denied it. 'I am sure (said she) they have affected me.' 'Why (said Johnson, smiling, and rolling himself about,) that is, because, dearest, you're a dunce[350].' When she some time afterwards mentioned this to him, he said with equal truth and politeness; 'Madam, if I had thought so, I certainly should not ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... I begged to stay on another half year, you know, because of the exam, but I failed again in that hateful arithmetic: I'm a perfect dunce over figures, father; I hope you don't mind. I can sing very well; my voice was better than any of the other girls, and that will give you more pleasure than if I could do all the sums in the world. They ...
— The Heart of Una Sackville • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... added to the record of Pope's work but the revised "Dunciad," in which, to gratify an increased antipathy, he displaced its old hero, Theobald, in favor of Colley Cibber, who, whatever his faults, was certainly not a typical dunce. Toward the close of his life those infirmities at which Wycherley had hinted in his youth grew upon him, and he became almost entirely dependent upon nurses. He had not, to use De Quincey's words, drawn that supreme prize in life, "a fine intellect with a healthy stomach," and his ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... shone in, were Sir Martin Marrall, Gomez in the Spanish Friar, Sir Nicolas Cully in Love in a Tub, Barnaby Brittle in the Wanton Wife, Sir Davy Dunce in the Soldier's Fortune, Sosia in Amphytrion, &c. &c. To tell you how he acted them, is beyond the reach of criticism: but to tell you what effect his action had upon the spectator, is not impossible: this then is all you will expect from me, and hence ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... few years, except to say that I went to college, where I was shunned by all, though never alone: was a dunce, and plucked twice. Perhaps it was I who shunned others, for had I not society in the constant presence of my Familiar? I was of course a dunce, for my brain was never steady enough to carry me over ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... which stands among trees, with an air of large solidity a little graver than the small, shingle-spired churches of the other two villages, are tablets to the memory of a number of Enticknaps, described sturdily as "yeomen," of Upper Dunce, Pockford, and Gorbage Green, which appears on the maps in the plainer form of Garbage Green. Enticknap is a good Surrey name to-day, and there were Enticknaps in Chiddingfold at the Conquest. The parish registers are full ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... impossible for a girl like Kitty Malone not to be popular; and the other girls valued her, and thought themselves highly privileged to be in the same class with her, dunce as she was. ...
— Wild Kitty • L. T. Meade

... huge clods he plunges on forlorn, That laugh his harrows and the shower to scorn. E'en thus the living clod, the stubborn fool, Resists the stormy lectures of the school, Till tried with gentler means, the dunce to please, His head imbibes right reason by degrees; As when from eve till morning's wakeful hour, Light, constant rain, evinces secret pow'r, And ere the day resume its wonted smiles, Presents a ...
— The Farmer's Boy - A Rural Poem • Robert Bloomfield

... blockheads,—benevolent, large-hearted, and chivalrous,—kind, and patient, and hard-working,—but stupid where women are concerned. Indispensable and delightful as they are in real life,—pleasant and comfortable as women actually find them,—not one in ten thousand but makes a dunce of himself the moment he opens his mouth to theorize about women. Besides, they have "an axe to grind." The pretty things they inculcate—slippers, and coffee, and care, and courtesy—ought indeed to be done, but the others ought not to be left undone. And to the ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... scared out of your seven senses, you wretched dunce!" retorted the doctor, out of temper; and, shaking the lad, he said, "See if you can tell me now who it is ...
— The Cabin on the Prairie • C. H. (Charles Henry) Pearson

... new carriage and horses — that she may visit her friends in comfort. I give her my family bible — that she may live above the ill tempers and sorrows of life. I give my son Peter a hornbook — for I am afraid he will always be a dunce. ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... in my drawer," she said. "I—I didn't bring any other books. I'm a dreadful dunce," she added, timidly. "I might as well tell you now, for you'd find it out anyhow, the very first time you talked about ...
— Peggy • Laura E. Richards

... ease, and thankful to my Father in heaven for excusing me. But the next united supplication, I felt that I must unite with them in kneeling, and while one tried to pull me up by the arm, with saying "I'd be a little dunce if I was in thy place," the other sister pinched the other arm, "Now, Laura Smith, be a little Methodist, will thee? I'd be ashamed if I was thee; every body will make fun of thee." But I kept my position and made no reply, but secretly prayed for strength in my great weakness. ...
— A Woman's Life-Work - Labors and Experiences • Laura S. Haviland

... you have many foes, Behind, before, beneath your nose, And fellows very high in station. Of high and low denomination, Who dread you with a deadly spite For what you speak and what you write,— Where, between satire and your wit, They feel themselves most sorely bit. Ah! can a dunce in church or state So overflow with froth and hate? And can a scribbling crew so spurt On Pope ...
— Fables of John Gay - (Somewhat Altered) • John Gay

... 'You little dunce. Why, what we call a stafell without the household furniture. So you will find a wedding dress and all kinds of dresses and garments without number awaiting you, for I gave the ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... trade With lawless pen the realms of verse invade, Forth from the court, where sceptred sages sit, Abused with praise, and flatter'd into wit, Where in lethargic majesty they reign, And what they won by dulness, still maintain, 40 Legions of factious authors throng at once, Fool beckons fool, and dunce awakens dunce. To 'Hamilton's[84] the ready lies repair— Ne'er was lie made which was not welcome there— Thence, on maturer judgment's anvil wrought, The polish'd falsehood's into public brought. Quick-circulating slanders mirth afford; ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... to the architect who first invented chimney-corners? the man who built the pyramids was a dunce by comparison. [rises and looks round him.] All solitary and silent: faith, my situation here is somewhat whimsical. Well, I am left in undisturbed possession, and that's a title in law, if not in ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Volume I, Number 1 • Stephen Cullen Carpenter

... our intellectual superiors; and as the virtues are solely the product of education—a rogue being only a dunce considered from another point of view—they are our moral superiors likewise. Why should they not be? It is a land not of log and pine-board schoolhouses grudgingly erected and containing schools supported by such ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... one sister. When of a sufficient age, he was sent to school. The Abbe Radicali had turned out some good scholars; but with Charles Bianconi his failure was complete. The new pupil proved a tremendous dunce. He was very wild, very bold, and very plucky; but ...
— Men of Invention and Industry • Samuel Smiles

... like me in this, any more than in bodily favour; he was keen of wit and quick of memory; he was quick in learning, yet as modest as he was clever, for he never sought in any way to lord it over me because I, poor dunce, was not of such nimble parts ...
— Marjorie • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... upon a rock, At half-past nine by the meet'n-house clock,— Just the hour of the Earthquake shock! —What do you think the parson found, When he got up and stared around? The poor old chaise in a heap or mound, As if it had been to the mill and ground! You see, of course, if you're not a dunce, How it went to pieces all at once,— All at once, and nothing first,— Just as bubbles ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Rossi, the minister of Pius IX. But Greek and Latin, and hours spent over an exercise or a translation with a fat dictionary to keep me company! Oh, mercy on me! From the scholastic point of view I was simply a DUNCE, nothing but a dunce. Yet I managed to scramble one prize—the shabbiest of them all—the second for Latin versions in the seventh class! I was presented with my reward at the prize distribution, to the tune of "Vive Henri IV." Vive ce roi vaillant, ce diable a quatre ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... and that in the year 1759, he who, in less than thirty years afterwards, held senates enchained by his eloquence and audiences fascinated by his wit, was, by common consent both of parent and preceptor, pronounced to be "a most impenetrable dunce." ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... Naturally, therefore, some laxity crept into the administration of the University and the colleges. Active enemies of our literary treasures were not behindhand, In 1535 Dr. Layton, visitor of monasteries, descended upon Oxford. "We have sett Dunce [Duns Scotus] in Bocardo, and have utterly banisshede hym Oxforde for ever, with all his blinde glosses, and is nowe made a comon servant to evere man, faste nailede up upon posses in all comon howses of easment: id quod oculis meis vidi. And the seconde tyme we ...
— Old English Libraries, The Making, Collection, and Use of Books • Ernest A. Savage

... Utilitarians, a new sleight of tongue, to make fools clap and wise men sneer? Let our countrymen keep their eyes on the neophytes of this sect, and see whether we turn out to be mistaken in the prediction which we now hazard. It will before long be found, we prophesy, that, as the corruption of a dunce is the generation of an Utilitarian, so is the corruption of an Utilitarian the ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... grandson and me at a disadvantage that we had no excuses of the kind for running away from the grammar school. Dr. Jessop was a little pompous, but he was sometimes positively kind. There was not even a cruel usher. I was no dunce, nor was Fred-though he was below me in class—so that we had not even a grievance in connection with our lessons. This made me feel as if there would be something mean and almost dishonourable in running away from school. "I think it would not be fair to the Doctor," said I; "it would look as ...
— A Great Emergency and Other Tales - A Great Emergency; A Very Ill-Tempered Family; Our Field; Madam Liberality • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... her two boys that she had never met with "two such impenetrable dunces." None the less the father contrived with difficulty to scrape together enough money to send his boys to Harrow, and there, luckily, Dr. Parr discerned that Richard, with all his faults, was by no means an impenetrable dunce. Both he and Sumner, the head-master of Harrow, discovered in the schoolboy Sheridan great talents which neither of them was capable of calling ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... sick and died. Then study languished, emulation slept, And virtue fled. The schools became a scene Of solemn farce, where ignorance in stilts, His cap well lined with logic not his own, With parrot tongue performed the scholar's part, Proceeding soon a graduated dunce. Then compromise had place, and scrutiny Became stone-blind, precedence went in truck, And he was competent whose purse was so. A dissolution of all bonds ensued, The curbs invented for the mulish mouth Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts Grew rusty ...
— The Task and Other Poems • William Cowper

... dealt. The second man stood pat and Malone's green tinge became obvious to the veriest dunce. The cowboy, on Her Majesty's right, asked for a card, received it and sat back ...
— Brain Twister • Gordon Randall Garrett

... get an exhibition! I who had been licked once a week for bad copies, and had been told by every teacher I had had anything to do with that I was a hopeless dunce. ...
— Tom, Dick and Harry • Talbot Baines Reed

... last of the crew needs especial remark, Though he looked an incredible dunce: He had just one idea—but, that one being "Snark," The good Bellman ...
— The Hunting of the Snark - an Agony, in Eight Fits • Lewis Carroll

... matter is that I'm a double-barrelled dunce," was the answer. "Look here; do you see that?" and ...
— Lost on the Moon - or In Quest Of The Field of Diamonds • Roy Rockwood

... a boy was dull or quite adverse to knowledge, he Was set an imposition or corrected with a switch: Far different our practice is, who reign by Methodology And guide the dunce by precepts learnt from Landon or from Fitch: 'Twas difficult by rule of thumb to check unseemly merriment, To make your class their pastor treat with proper due regard— 'Tis easy quite for specialists in Juvenile Temperament, Who know the books on Punishment ...
— Lyra Frivola • A. D. Godley

... Toy—and for two hours taught them with the same joyless severity under which their fathers and mothers had suffered. For spelling 'lamb' without the final b, Ivy Nancarrow underwent the punishment invariably meted out for such errors—mounted the dunce's bench, and wore the dunce's cap; nor did 'Thaniel Langmaid's knuckles escape the ruler when he dropped a blot upon his copy, 'Comparisons are Odious'—a proposition of which he understood the meaning not at all. The cane and the birch-rod on Mrs. Butson's desk served her now but ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... first morning he entered our school. He was then about twelve years of age; but, owing to his carelessness and inattention, he had made but slight progress in study. I learned afterwards that he had so long borne the names of "dunce" and "blockhead" in the school he attended in his own village, that he supposed himself to be really such, and made up his mind that it was useless for him to try to be anything else: and I think when our teacher first called him up for examination he was inclined to be of the same opinion. ...
— The Path of Duty, and Other Stories • H. S. Caswell

... misunderstanding, and that, in their war of words, they shall insult each other's parents so grossly that all possibilities of a marriage will be for ever at an end. Throwing aside a chair so as to bring the Queen within ear-shot, the King declares that his royal neighbour is an old dunce, and that there is not enough money in his treasury to pay the Court boot-maker; the Princess retaliates by saying that the royal mother of the crowned head she is addressing is an old cat, who paints her face and beats ...
— Muslin • George Moore

... nothing but his previous good character saved him from a flogging. The day before the Feast of St. Nicholas (which was a holiday) the schoolmaster dismissed him with the severe inquiry, if he meant to be a dunce all his life? and Friedrich went home with two sentences ringing ...
— Melchior's Dream and Other Tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... that once arrayed him, The charm Admitto te ad gradum, With touch of parchment can refine, And make the veriest coxcomb shine, Confer the gift of tongues at once, And fill with sense the vacant dunce. Trumbull's Progress of Dullness, Ed. 1794, Exeter, ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce and the ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... animals for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base, even though he should be persuaded that the fool, or the dunce, or the rascal is better satisfied with his lot than they with theirs.... It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied, better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... on women. It is not uncommon to find a lady, who, though she does not know a rule of Syntax, scarcely ever violates one; and who constructs every sentence she utters, with more propriety than many a learned dunce, who has every rule of Aristotle by heart, and who can lace his own thread-bare discourse with the golden shreds ...
— Essays on Various Subjects - Principally Designed for Young Ladies • Hannah More

... fellow-scholars; but, at the same time, exhibited such a bashful appearance and uncouth address, that his mother despaired of ever seeing him improved into any degree of polite behaviour. On the other hand, Fathom, who was in point of learning a mere dunce, became, even in his childhood, remarkable among the ladies for his genteel deportment and vivacity; they admired the proficiency he made under the directions of his dancing-master, the air with which he performed his ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... second thing about Hester Grimes. She was not alone a dunce when it came to acting, she was ...
— The Girls of Central High Aiding the Red Cross - Or Amateur Theatricals for a Worthy Cause • Gertrude W. Morrison

... waiting here, instead Of telling me at once That this was not the house!" he said. "There, that'll do—be off to bed! Don't gape like that, you dunce!" ...
— Phantasmagoria and Other Poems • Lewis Carroll

... take her mother to New York shortly; but as "that dear old dunce" was the worst of all possible sailors, it would be necessary to wait for the largest of all possible steamers, and as the largest steamers sailed from Liverpool, and Ellan was so near to that port, perhaps I would not mind . . . just for a week or ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... Again, thou art deprived of the force men of our cast give to arguments; for she won't let thee swear!-Art, moreover, a very heavy, thoughtless fellow; tolerable only at a second rebound; a horrid dunce at the impromptu. These, encountering with such a lady, are great disadvantages.—And still a greater is thy balancing, (as thou dost at present,) between old rakery and new reformation; since this puts thee into the same situation with her, as they told me, at Leipsick, ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... began to speak about books and writers, saying what books they were reading and how many books there were in their fathers' bookcases at home. Stephen listened to them in some wonderment for Boland was the dunce and Nash the idler of the class. In fact, after some talk about their favourite writers, Nash declared for Captain Marryat who, he said, was ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... your French Grammar; and here is a Geography Book, and here is a History of Rome. Now read attentively, and do not let your thoughts wander; and be very careful not to dogs-ear the leaves: that always looks like a dunce. And mind you sit upright,' added she, looking back, as she left the room in obedience to ...
— The Doll and Her Friends - or Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina • Unknown

... bounteously and boundlesly infused; thou sometimes secretary to Pierce Pennylesse and master of his requests, ingenious, ingenuous, fluent, facetious T. Nash, from whose aboundant pen hony flow'd to thy friends, and mortall aconite to thy enemies; thou that madest the doctor a flat dunce[298] ... sharpest satyre, luculent poet, elegant orator, get leave for thy ghost to come from her abiding and ...
— The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare • J. J. Jusserand

... in so useful a work, and even, perhaps, scolds him, and threatens him for not loving study. "If you don't learn to read," she says to him, in a tone of irritation and displeasure, "you will grow up a dunce, and every body will laugh at you, and you will ...
— Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... dust out of the muzzles of the guns of yon lazy ship? If the Queen knew how her money was eaten and drunk, by the idle knaves aboard her, she would send them all to hunt for freebooters among the islands. Look at the land, Alida, child, and you'll think no more of the fright the gaping dunce is giving thee; he only wishes to show his ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... within mortal reach, and was striven after with might and main. He had seldom attained to it because he would never "go up past" Lisbeth. If she missed a word, he, Robert, missed it too, no matter how well he knew it. It was sweet to be thought a dunce for her dear sake. It was all the reward he asked to see her holding her place at the head of the class, her cheeks flushed pink and her eyes starry with her pride of position. And how sweetly she would lecture him on the way home ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... you now!" she said, nodding her fair head at him wisely. "You are not anything that is to be believed! So I shall well understand you,—that is, you are a very great scholar,—but that it pleases you to pretend you are a dunce!" ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... as a fish on a hook! You oughtta bought a velvet dunce cap with your lunch money instead of that brown poke bonnet. T.B. ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base, even though they should be persuaded that the fool, the dunce, or the rascal is better satisfied with his lot than they are with theirs. They would not resign what they possess more than he, for the most complete satisfaction of all the desires which they have in common with him. If they ever fancy they ...
— Utilitarianism • John Stuart Mill

... dunce, shoot before he gets up to you!" shouted Will. "If he gets one swipe at you with that paw, you'll land out in the Gulf of Alaska! Fill him full ...
— The Call of the Beaver Patrol - or, A Break in the Glacier • V. T. Sherman

... Up, and to church, myself and wife, where the old dunce Meriton, brother to the known Meriton; of St. Martin's, Westminster, did make a very good sermon, beyond my expectation. Home to dinner, and we carried in Pegg Pen, and there also come to us little Michell and his ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... which he naturally gives the preference to himself) he styles 'The Harp,' &c., 'this unparalleled work of human energy.' At p. 315, he calls it 'this stupendous work;' and lower down on the same page he says—'I was turned out of school at the age of fifteen for a dunce or blockhead, because I would not stuff into my memory all the nonsense of erudition and learning; and if future ages should discover the unparalleled energies of genius in this work, it will prove my most important ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... buried by the side of Moliere, who died long before him. He was born July 8th, 1621, at Chateau Thierry. His father was keeper of the royal domains. While young, La Fontaine gave no promise of his after distinction. His teachers declared him to be a dunce. His father, who seems to have been an admirer of poetry, persuaded him to attempt to write verses, but he could not make a rhyme. Seeing at nineteen that he could not make a poet of his son, the old man resolved to make a priest of him. After eighteen months of trial the young ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... shtrong und vell, Britty soon mit the garbage it vent, For dose nurses dey don't like de shmell. Ven I ask for pork sausages vonce, Den dey say, (vot I tells you is true,) "Don't you know, you fat-headed old dunce, Dose vill ...
— War Rhymes • Abner Cosens

... to alphabetic toils, Alert I met the dame with jocund smiles; First at the form, my task for ever true, A little favourite rapidly I grew: And oft she stroked my head with fond delight, Held me a pattern to the dunce's sight; And as she gave my diligence its praise, Talk'd of the honours ...
— The Poetical Works of Henry Kirke White - With a Memoir by Sir Harris Nicolas • Henry Kirke White

... gave me a blowing up for my ignorance to-day, because I missed an irregular Greek verb. I'm not exactly a dunce, but I don't think I shall ever be ...
— Risen from the Ranks - Harry Walton's Success • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... a dunce," she replied. "I can talk French and German, and do arithmetic, and play the organ. Father used to teach me these things. I can learn at Tredowen very well. I hope that my friends ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... his eye, like that of Moses, never became dim, since his strength and his beauty were of the soul,—ever expanding, ever adoring. His temper was stern, but affectionate. He had no mercy on a fool or a dunce, and turned in disgust from those who loved trifles and lies. He was guilty of no immoralities like Raphael and Titian, being universally venerated for his stern integrity and allegiance to duty,—as one who believes that there really is ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI • John Lord

... puts hands upon the dunce, kisses him close, grows sudden red, stammers, holds off, has the wit to make sure—and bundles out, blazing ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... humdrums out of you, I guess! You'd presently confess You thought that No was Yes. It's just your sort—provided there's no hurry— We like to worry. In twenty minutes, Sir, you wouldn't know Your father from JIM CROW, Or your illiterate self from LINDLEY MURRAY! And now then, dunce, Please move your boots, at once! If 'twere not for some twinges of the gout, I'd kick ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, Issue 10 • Various

... lad, ten years old, tall and stout for his age, and able to do a great many more things than some city boys of fourteen. He could ride and drive, keep the stable in order, and even handle a plough. Nor was he a dunce; for, thanks to an evening school, which some of his Sunday teachers had opened in the village, he had learned to read and write very fairly. He had a comfortable place at farmer Jolly's; but there was plenty of work to ...
— Happy Days for Boys and Girls • Various

... took the most garish colours he could find on his palette, and then laid them on in untempered crudity. And who is not sensible of the vulgarity and coarseness of the account of Boswell? 'If he had not been a great fool he would not have been a great writer ... he was a dunce, a parasite, and a coxcomb,' and so forth, in which the shallowness of the analysis of Boswell's character matches the puerile rudeness of the terms. Here again, is a sentence about Montesquieu. 'The English at that time,' Macaulay says of the middle of the eighteenth century, 'considered ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... and integrity never left Himself without a witness. Our own literature also is scattered full of the Flatterer and his too willing dupes. "Of praise a mere glutton," says Goldsmith of David Garrick, "he swallowed what came. The puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame." "Delicious essence," exclaims Sterne, "how refreshing thou art to poor human nature! How sweetly dost thou mix with the blood, and help it through the most difficult and tortuous passages to the heart." "He ...
— Bunyan Characters (Second Series) • Alexander Whyte

... mine," responded the professor, dropping into normal English, "but as the dunce's tie is far up the back of his collar, I leave the audience to decide whose ...
— The Young Railroaders - Tales of Adventure and Ingenuity • Francis Lovell Coombs

... old world to the new. His own reading had been multifarious. "Tristram Shandy" was one of his first books after "Robinson Crusoe," and Robertson's "America" an early favorite. Rousseau's "Confessions" had discovered to him that he was not a dunce; and it was now ten years since he had learned German, by the advice of a man who told him he would find in that language ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various

... mean, I don't allow myself to be such a dunce, even in my own thoughts. I never even think ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... double face, but not the least alike; so that what at first sight seems to be death, if you view it narrowly may prove to be life; and so the contrary. What appears beautiful may chance to be deformed; what wealthy, a very beggar; what infamous, praiseworthy; what learned, a dunce; what lusty, feeble; what jocund, sad; what noble, base; what lucky, unfortunate; what friendly, an enemy; and what healthful, noisome. In short, view the inside of these Sileni, and you'll find them quite other than what ...
— The Praise of Folly • Desiderius Erasmus

... then, O well married Couple, what strange tricks and actions that children will play. If yours act then the part of a liberal Son, or wanton Student, rejoice therein that you have not brought forth a dunce or blockhead; but since his Doctor saith that he is sharp-witted, and a hopefull youth; doubt not, but that you will, when he comes to his seriouser years, with delight and pleasure see him to ...
— The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and The Confession of the New-married Couple (1682) • A. Marsh

... dunce I am!" she soliloquized. "And what must he think of me! Well!" with a little sigh, "the worse his opinion of me, the better for Madeline. And here I am this minute, in spite of myself, actually rejoicing in my heart because he has not done the very ...
— Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter • Lawrence L. Lynch

... the horns of a dilemma. Either our young chieftain must be a dunce, or we are rearing the Clever Woman ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Ramus before Aristotle, and Paracelsus before Galen,[22] [and whosoever with most paradox is commended.] He much pities the world that has no more insight in his parts, when he is too well discovered even to this very thought. A flatterer is a dunce to him, for he can tell him nothing but what he knows before: and yet he loves him too, because he is like himself. Men are merciful to him, and let him alone, for if he be once driven from his ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... had occurred during this interval. Dodi had learned to write. What joy when the little dunce made his first attempt with chalk on a board: the letters are dictated to him—"write l and o, and then pronounce them both together." He was surprised that that meant lo (Hungarian for horse), and yet he had not drawn ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... philosopher, Duns Scotus (who taught at Oxford and died in 1308), were Realists, and the Scotists were as Realists opposed to the Nominalists, who, as followers of Thomas Aquinas, were called Thomists. Abuse, in later time, of the followers of Duns gave its present sense to the word Dunce.] ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... the letter I now hold in answer to mine, —would your ideas, your language have been the same,—had some one whispered in your ear (what may prove true), Mademoiselle O. d'Este M. has six millions and does intend to have a dunce ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... chaplain, the Reverend Mr. Sampson, having come hither to drink the waters, has been so good as to take a vacant room at my lodging. Mr. S. breakfasts with me, and we read together of a morning—he saying that I am not quite such a dunce as I used to appear at home. We have read in Mr. Rapin's History, Dr. Barrow's Sermons, and, for amusement, Shakspeare, Mr. Pope's Homer, and (in French) the translation of an Arabian Work of Tales, very diverting. Several men ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... their lessons out loud. The louder they shouted, the better he liked it. If a scholar didn't know his lesson, he had to stand in the corner with a long pointed cap on his head. This was called a dunce cap. ...
— Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance • Frances Cavanah

... to go to sea, but when you are old enough you cannot perhaps do better. The sea requires people of sense more than any other, and yet some persons send the dunce of the family on board ship, and then are surprised that he does not get on. You shall now go back to the friends who have taken care of you, and who seem good people. We must find somebody to whom you may go when you wish to get some more learning, and I dare say you will ...
— Peter Biddulph - The Story of an Australian Settler • W.H.G. Kingston

... home-education is to substitute the boarding school for home-culture,—to send our children to such school at an age when they should he trained by and live under the direct influence of the parent. This generally ends in initiated profligacy, and alienation from home, while at best but a dunce after his course of training ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... the human companionship come in?" Young girls are nowadays beginning to expect bright talk from their partners, and the ladies have a singularly pretty way of saying the most biting things in a smooth and unconcerned fashion when they find a dunce beginning to talk platitudes or to patronize his partner; but the middle generation are unspeakably inane; and the worst is that they regard their inanity as a decided sign of distinction. A grave man who adds a sense of humour to his ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... the Fair, but the Master saw what he had done. "Come here, Larry McQueen, and bring your slate," he said. "Sure, I'll teach you better manners. Get up on this stool now, and show yourself." He put a large paper dunce-cap on Larry's head, and made him sit up on a ...
— The Irish Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... he does not know how the sun gets from the place where it sets to where it rises, he knows at least how it travels from sunrise to sunset, his eyes teach him that. Use the second question to throw light on the first; either your pupil is a regular dunce or the analogy is too clear to be missed. This is his first lesson ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... ashamed of it, bring down my foot and crush it out of existence; its novelty shall not avail (with me at least) to save its ugliness from annihilation. If I thought otherwise, I admit that a round dozen of vultures would be none too many for the liver of a dunce who could not see that ugliness was only ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... of brick garlanded gayly with vine, E'en in the turret fantastic surviving that springs from the ruin, E'en in the people itself? Is it illusion or not? Is it illusion or not that attracteth the pilgrim Transalpine, Brings him a dullard and dunce hither to pry and to stare? Is it illusion or not that allures the barbarian stranger, Brings him with gold to the shrine, brings him ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... forth, in the true Black-and-White style which is so clear and so familiar. But let us beware of applying to Macaulay himself that tone of exaggeration and laborious antithesis which he so often applied to others. Boswell, he says, was immortal, "because he was a dunce, a parasite, and a coxcomb." It would be a feeble parody to retort that Macaulay became a great literary power "because he had no philosophy, little subtlety, and a heavy hand." For my part, I am slow ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... "I don't want to have no harm, Please come, Ben, an' break the charm." Did I break that charm?—oh, well, There's some things I must n't tell. I remember, afterwhile, Her a-sayin' with a smile: "Oh, you quit,—you sassy dunce, You jest caught me whistlin' once." Ev'ry sence that when I hear Some one whistlin' kinder clear, I most break my neck to see Ef it 's Susy; but, dear me, I jest find I 've b'en to chase Some blamed boy about the place. Dad 's b'en noticin' my way, An' ...
— The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... always had to smile when he saw the villagers tumbling through their doorways. They couldn't have done anything that would have suited him better. Had there been a single one among the prairie dogs that wasn't a dunce he would have run away from his hole, outside the village, to hide somewhere until Benny Badger left ...
— The Tale of Benny Badger • Arthur Scott Bailey

... characteristic of the old dictionary makers. The gem of my collection is Ludwig's gloss for Luemmel, "a long lubber, a lazy lubber, a slouch, a lordant, a lordane, a looby, a booby, a tony, a fop, a dunce, a simpleton, a wise-acre, a sot, a logger-head, a block-head, a nickampoop, a lingerer, a drowsy or dreaming lusk, a pill-garlick, a slowback, a lathback, a pitiful sneaking fellow, a lungis, a tall slim fellow, a slim longback, ...
— The Romance of Words (4th ed.) • Ernest Weekley

... of arts, Had been but a dunce without wine, And what we ascribe to his parts, Is due to the juice of the vine. His belly most writers agree, Was as big as a watering-trough, He therefore leap'd into the sea, ...
— Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness • Boniface Oinophilus

... most testing of all school examinations, the war, have shown us that we must revise all our old notions as to cleverness and stupidity. We know now that, short of real mental deficiency, there is or ought to be no such personage as the dunce. Just as the criminal is generally a man of unusual energy and mental power directed into wrong channels, so the dunce is a pupil whose special powers and aptitudes have not revealed themselves in the routine of school life. And just as the criminal points to ...
— Progress and History • Various

... I have just now used the words "poet" and "dunce," meaning the degree of each quality possible to average human nature. Men are eternally divided into the two classes of poet (believer, maker, and praiser) and dunce (or unbeliever, unmaker, and dispraiser). And in process ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... revulsion of feeling toward the girl, who was undeniably involved in some exceptionally deep-laid plan, crept throughout his being. Not only does a man detest being used as a tool and played upon like any common dunce, but he also feels an utter chagrin at being baffled in his labors. Apparently he had played the fool, and also he had lost the ...
— A Husband by Proxy • Jack Steele

... oxidisation business, he is well up to, inasmuch as they form part of previous roles, but the teeth and hair, the upright position, the power of speech, though all tolerably familiar, give him more trouble—for he is very stupid—a regular dunce in fact. Then comes his newer and more complex environment, and this puzzles him—arrests his attention—whereon consciousness springs into existence, as a spark from ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... thou a dunce, Morgan? Without doubt, at the end of that cave is a way up into the castle; and though the passage be too narrow for all my troop, three men and a captain will suffice to lay faggots and light them at the door. ...
— Boycotted - And Other Stories • Talbot Baines Reed

... to pay away money that they haven't got for their extravagant sons, aren't likely to be reasonable. There's two things you've gone and done which put me beside myself, when I think of them: you've turned out next door to a dunce at college, when your poor mother thought so much of you—and when you might have pleased and gratified her so if you chose—and, well! I won't say ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... Freethinker? all things in an hour. } Ask men's opinions: Scoto now shall tell How trade increases, and the world goes well; Strike off his pension, by the setting sun, And Britain, if not Europe, is undone. That gay Freethinker, a fine talker once, What turns him now a stupid silent dunce? Some god, or spirit he has lately found: Or chanced to meet a minister that frowned. Judge we by Nature? habit can efface, Interest o'ercome, or policy take place: By actions? those uncertainty divides: By passions? ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... ever hear the clang of a celldoor as the turnkey slammed it behind him and left you to think and stew and weep in a silence accented and made more wretched by a yellow electricbulb and the stink of corrosivesublimate? Back to the cityroom, you dabbling booby, you precious simpleton, addlepated dunce, and be thankful my boundless generosity permits you to draw a weekly paycheck at all and doesnt condemn you to labor forever unrewarded in the subterranean vaults where ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... on his school days, "How to be a Dunce," and although in mature life he was "on the side of his masters" and grateful to them "that my persistent efforts not to learn Latin were frustrated; and that I was not entirely successful even in escaping the contamination of the language of Aristotle and Demosthenes," ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... an elaborate form by Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, in "Il Pecorone" (The Big Sheep, or, as Dunlop has it, The Dunce), which was begun in 1378 but not published till 1554 (at Milan). It is the second novel of the First Day and has been thus translated ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... "what are you doing?" "Why, spinning, you little dunce!" The Princess laughed: "'Tis so very funny, Pray let me ...
— On the Tree Top • Clara Doty Bates

... but even a dunce can liven up sufficiently when he's in love to see whether his sweetheart cares for him or not, and you didn't take much pains to hide the state of affairs," he said with a rueful laugh. "I know enough about girls to know ...
— Some Everyday Folk and Dawn • Miles Franklin

... sinking; but the sense of weakness only made him more resolute to finish the work which (however mistakenly) he thought it his duty to leave completed; more determined that, having lived for so many years a dunce, he would go down to the grave cleansed of the stain of ignorance, having read and appreciated as much of the great writers of antiquity as any man who had had a well-trained youth, a studious manhood. Soon after ...
— The Countess of Albany • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... Nash, from the top of his wit looking down upon simple creatures, calleth Gabriel Harvey a dunce, a foole, an ideot, a dolt, a goose cap, an asse, and so forth; for some of the residue is not to be spoken but with his owne mannerly mouth; but he should have shewed particularlie which wordes in my letters were ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... he be right astronomically, Mistress, then is he the greater dunce in respect of true learning, the which goes by the globe. Argal, 'twere better he ...
— Seven Men • Max Beerbohm

... constantly befalling them. When a clever man evinces this weakness, we must remember that human nature is a weak and imperfect thing, and try to excuse the silliness for the sake of the real merit. But there are few things more irritating to witness than a stupid, ignorant dunce, wrapped up in impenetrable conceit of his own abilities and acquirements. It requires all the beauty, and all the listlessness too, of this sweet summer day, to think, without the pulse quickening to an ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... the crowd cheered the fireman and me, I did feel warm about the waistcoat, and, for the first time this ever so long, life seemed not quite ended. I felt there was a little bit of good left, that even a poor dunce like me could do, and she could approve—if she can look down and see me, ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... dunce of a doctor to me as soon as you can," said Pickering, rolling back suddenly once more, into the hollow made in the center of the four-poster. "Dear me, he's sweet on Polly too!" he groaned ...
— Five Little Peppers Grown Up • Margaret Sidney

... strongly." Says the "Havamal": "A fool thinks he knows everything if he sits snug in his little corner; but he is at a loss for words if the people put to him a question." Elsewhere it is said: "Arch dunce is he who can speak nought, for that is the mark of a fool." And the sum of all this teaching about the tongue is that men should never speak without good reason, and then should speak to the ...
— Books and Habits from the Lectures of Lafcadio Hearn • Lafcadio Hearn

... salt water, my son, and if you mean conchology, you'd better say so. I shall play as much as I wish, and when I want to know about any new or curious thing, I shall consult my Cyclo, instead of bothering other people with questions, or giving it up like a dunce;" with which crushing reply Frank departed, leaving Jill to pack and unpack her treasures a dozen times, and Jack to dance jigs on the lids of the trunks till ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... detestable principle lead but to practices the most atrocious, and results the most disastrous, if carried out among ourselves? Tell us, ye hair-splitting sophists, the exact quantum of knowledge which is necessary to constitute a freeman. If every dunce should be a slave, your servitude is inevitable; and richly do you deserve the lash for your obtuseness. Our white population, too, would furnish blockheads enough to satisfy all the classical ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... kicking, but I doubt if anything ever did—more good than those three kicks. But," continued Lord Castleton, "when one flatters a boy for his cleverness, even Eton itself cannot kick the conceit out of him. Let him be last in the form, and the greatest dunce ever flogged, there are always people to say that your public schools don't do for your great geniuses. And it is ten to one but what the father is plagued into taking the boy home and giving him a private tutor, who fixes him into a prig forever. ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... believe that I am dunce enough to mistake your feelings towards Mademoiselle—they may be read in your face at this moment. Of course I do not presume to hazard a conjecture as to those of Mademoiselle towards yourself. But when I met her not long since at the house of Duplessis, with whose daughter she is intimate, ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... does not come up to the grossness of the doctrine—spare the rod and ruin the child,—it at least is plain that the fear of being regarded a dunce and a fool and incurring the ridicule or displeasure of the tutor and class-mates, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... literary bent are not exemplary students at college. 'The common curricoolum,' as the Scottish laird called academic studies generally, rather repels them. Macaulay took no honours at Cambridge; mathematics defied him. Scott was 'the Greek dunce,' at Edinburgh. Thackeray, Shelley, Gibbon, did not cover themselves with college laurels; they read what pleased them, they did not read 'for the schools.' In short, this behaviour at college is the rule among men who are to be distinguished in literature, not the exception. ...
— Robert F. Murray - his poems with a memoir by Andrew Lang • Robert F. Murray

... clear that it was a pleasure to learn. Sometimes a boy would ask a foolish question, which would make the rest laugh; but then Mr. Harrison would say it was better to be laughed at for trying to learn, than to grow up a dunce. ...
— Aunt Fanny's Story-Book for Little Boys and Girls • Frances Elizabeth Barrow

... that side of the building. Looking in that direction she saw Dr. Lacey sitting out on the balcony and so near her window that he must have heard all the conversation between herself and her sister! She thought, "Well, he of course thinks me a silly little dunce; but I do like our blacks, and if I ever own any of them, I'll first teach them to read and then send them all to Liberia." Full of this new plan, she forgot Dr. Lacey and ere she was aware of it had reached the store. She ...
— Tempest and Sunshine • Mary J. Holmes

... boys, who, growing bolder with impunity, waxed louder and more daring—eating apples under the master's eye, pinching each other in sport or malice, and cutting their autographs in the very legs of his desk. The puzzled dunce, who stood beside it to say his lesson out of book, looked no longer at the ceiling for forgotten words, but drew closer to the master's elbow and boldly cast his eyes upon the page. If the master did chance to rouse himself and seem alive to what was going on, the noise subsided for ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... invention of printing has made the multiplication of books by transcription unnecessary, much just, though at times unjust criticism. A German writer has said, that the man of genius takes his notes on a slip of paper, he of good abilities on a half-page, while the dunce must fill a whole sheet. Now the reverse would be quite as true in many cases. For though thoughtless writing may be little more than wasted labor, yet there is nothing that can fix more steadily thoughts and facts in the mind than the precision and constant attention required in following ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... grave-stone would mock them all. But once the family brain expanded to a hat, and that survived the race. I am the Quaker who respects his hat, the Cardinal who is crowned with it; yes, and the dunce who must wear it ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... other's power, and rendered the public less willing and less apt to be bullied or blackguarded out of its senses. Were Hazlitt alive now, and called, by any miserable scribbler in the "Athenaeum" or "Spectator," a dunce, he could laugh in his face; instead of retiring as he did, perhaps hunger-bitten, to bleed out his heart's blood in secret. Were Shelley now called in "Blackwood" a madman, and Keats a mannikin, they would be as much disturbed by it as the moon ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... her pride that was hurt. Had she taken the teasing of the meaner girls in a wiser spirit, she knew they would not have sent her the dunce cap. They continued to tease her because they knew ...
— Ruth Fielding on Cliff Island - The Old Hunter's Treasure Box • Alice Emerson

... Chopin were Adalbert Zwyny, a Bohemian violinist, who taught the piano, and Joseph Elsner, a violinist, organist and theorist. "From Zwyny and Elsner even the greatest dunce must learn something," he is quoted as saying. Neither of these men attempted to hamper his free growth by rigid technical restraints. Their guidance left him master of his own genius, at liberty to "soar like the lark into the ethereal blue of the skies." ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore



Words linked to "Dunce" :   pudding head, stupe, bonehead, dunce cap, stupid person, fuckhead, dumbass, stupid, dullard, loggerhead, dunce's cap, hammerhead, muttonhead, shithead, dolt, numskull, dunderhead, pudden-head, pillock, lunkhead, blockhead



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