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[ Also see Frivolity Fuss Futility Littleness Trials Usefulness Uselessness Utility ]

My father names me Autolycus, who being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Autolycus at IV, iii)

Trifles discover a character, more than actions of importance.
      - William Shenstone

Contentions for trifles can get but a trifling victory.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Trifles make up the happiness or the misery of mortal life.
      - Alexander Smith

It is curious to observe the triumph of slight incidents over the mind; and what incredible weight they have in forming and governing our opinions, both of men and things, that trifles light as air shall waft a belief into the soul, and plant it so immovable within it, that Euclid's demonstrations, could they be brought to batter it in breach, should not all have power to overthrow it!
      - Laurence Sterne

The chains which cramp us most are those which weigh on us least.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

Exploding many things under the name of trifles is a very false proof either of wisdom or magnanimity, and a great check to virtuous actions with regard to fame.
      - Jonathan Swift

A slight answer to an intricate and useless question, is a fit cover to such a dish,--a cabbage-leaf is good enough to cover a dish of mushrooms.
      - Jeremy Taylor

A trifle makes a dream, a trifle breaks.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Sea Dreams (l. 140)

By great efforts obtain great trifles.
  [Lat., Magno iam conatu magnas nugas.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer),
        Heauton timorumenos (IV, 1, 8)

The great moments of life are but moments like the others. Your doom is spoken in a word or two. A single look from the eyes; a mere pressure of the hand, may decide it; or of the lip,s though they cannot speak.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

A spark is a molecule of matter, yet may it kindle the world; vast is the mighty ocean, but drops have made it vast. Despise not thou small things, either for evil or for good; for a look may work thy ruin, or a word create thy wealth.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

Trifles lighter than straws are levers in the building up of character.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

It is never the pin pricks which decide the fortune of states.
  [Fr., Ce ne sont jamais les coups d'epingle qui decident de la fortune des Etats.]
      - Comte de Vergennes, Charles Gravier,
        Letter to D'Angiviller

The power of duly appreciating little things belongs to a great mind; a narrow-minded man has it not, for to him they are great things.
      - Archbishop Richard Whately

We are not only pleased, but turned, by a feather. The history of man is a calendar of straws. If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter," said Pascal, in his brilliant way, "Antony might have kept the world."
      - Robert Aris Willmott

Triflers not even in trifles can excel.
      - Edward Young

Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
  Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,
    And trifles life.
      - Edward Young, Love of Fame
         (satire VI, l. 205)

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