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

Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys,
  And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.
      - Mark Akenside, The Virtuoso (st. 10)

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things--a chance word, a tap on the shoulder, or a penny dropped on a newsstand--I am tempted to think . . . there are no little things.
      - Bruce Barton

This is a gimcrack
  That can get nothing but new fashions on you.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Older Brother (act III, sc. 3)

He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little.
      - Bible, Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha)
         (ch. XIX, v. 1)

The one who does this will not become rich;
  one who despises small things will fail little by little.
      - Bible, Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha)
         (ch. XIX, v. 1)

A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.
      - Bible, Isaiah (ch. LX, v. 22)

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
  For this stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
      - Bible, Isaiah (ch. XXVIII, v. 10-11)

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. XXII, v. 5-6)

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
      - Bible, Zechariah (ch. IV, v. 10)

A fly is a very light burden; but if it were perpetually to return and settle on one's nose, it might weary us of our very lives.
      - Fredrika Bremer

Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
  Help to make earth happy, like the heaven above.
      - Mrs. Julia A. Fletcher Carney,
        Little Things, an early version

Little drops of water, little grains of sand
  Make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land.
      - Mrs. Julia A. Fletcher Carney,
        Little Things

We must not stand upon trifles.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

There some trifles well habited, as there are some fools well clothed.
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

He that shuns trifles must shun the world.
      - George Chapman

Frivolous curiosity about trifles, and laborious attentions to little objects which neither require nor deserve a moment's thought, lower a man, who from thence is thought (and not unjustly) incapable of greater matters. Cardinal de Retz very sagaciously marked out Cardinal Chigi for a little mind, from the moment he told him that he had wrote three years with the same pen, and that it was an excellent one still.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

Great merit or great failings will make you respected or despised; but trifles, little attentions, mere nothings, either done or neglected, will make you either liked or disliked, in the general run of the world. Examine yourself, why you like such and such people and dislike such and such others; and you will find that those different sentiments proceed from very slight causes.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

There is nothing insignificant, nothing!
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A stroke of the sword . . . but not a pin prick.
  [Fr., Des coups d'epee . . . Mais pas de coups d'epingle.]
      - Alphonse Daudet, Tartarin de Tarascon
         (part of title of ch. XI, phrase at end of chapter)

I love to dream, but do not wish
  To have a pin prick rouse me.
    [Fr., J'aime a rever, mais ne veux pas
      Qu'a coups d'epingle on me reveille.]
      - used by Abbe Jacques Delille (Jaques Delisle),
        La Conversation

It is in those acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look around with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say the earth bears no harvest of sweetness, calling their denial knowledge.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

There is a kind of latent omniscience, not only in every man, but in every particle.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

He that despiseth small things will perish by little and little.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Prudence

Small things are best:
  Grief and unrest
    To rank and wealth are given;
      But little things
        On little wings
          Bear little souls to Heaven.
      - Rev. Frederick William Faber,
        Written in a Little Lady's Little Album

There is no real elevation of mind in a contempt of little things; it is, on the contrary, from too narrow views that we consider those things of little importance which have in fact such extensive consequences.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

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