Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys,
And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.
        Akenside—The Virtuoso. St. 10.
                This is a gimcrack
That can get nothing but new fashions on you.
        Beaumont and Fletcher—Older Brother. Act III. Sc. 3.
Little drops of water, little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land.
        Julia Fletcher Carney—Little Things.
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
Help to make earth happy, like the heaven above.
  Changed by later compilers to “make this earth an Eden.”
        Julia Fletcher Carney—Little Things.
  He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little.
        Ecclesiasticus. XIX. 1.
  He that despiseth small things will perish by little and little.
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. F. W. Faber—Written in a Little Lady’s Little Album.
Das kleinste Haar wirft seinen Schatten.
  The smallest hair throws its shadow.
        Goethe—Sprüche in Prosa. III.
These little things are great to little man.
        Goldsmith—The Traveller. L. 42.
Coups d’épingle.
  Policy of pin pricks.
        L. M. de la Haye—Vicomte de Cormenin. “Des coups d’épée … Mais pas de coups d’épingle.” A stroke of the sword … but not a pin prick. Daudet—Tartarin de Tarascon. Part of title of Ch. XI. Phrase at end of chapter. “J’aime à réver, mais ne veux pas / Qu’à coups d’épingle on me réveille.” I love to dream, but do not wish / To have a pin prick rouse me. As used by Jacques Delille—La Conversation, earlier than Daudet. “Ce ne sont jamais les coups d’épingle qui décident de la fortune des États.” It is never the pin pricks which decide the fortune of states. De Vergennes—Letter to D’Angiviller. Aug. 11, 1777.
  Hæ nugæ seria ducent
In mala.
  These trifles will lead to serious mischief.
        Horace—Ars Poetica. 451.
  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
        Isaiah. XXVIII. 10.
  A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.
        Isaiah. LX. 22.
Atque utinam his potius nugis tota illa dedisset
Tempora sævitiæ.
  Would to heaven he had given up to trifles like these all the time which he devoted to cruelty.
        Juvenal—Satires. IV. 150.
  Ex parvis sæpe magnarum momenta rerum pendent.
  Events of great consequence often spring from trifling circumstances.
        Lily—Annales. XXVII. 9.
  The soft droppes of raine perce the hard Marble, many strokes overthrow the tallest Oke.
        Lyly—Euphues. Arber’s reprint. P. 81. (1579).
They made light of it.
        Matthew. XXII. 5.
  It was possible to live under the regulations established by Sir George [Cockburn], but now we are tortured to death by pin-point wounds.
        Napoleon according to Lady Malcolm—Diary of St. Helena.
  For the maintenance of peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks which forerun cannon-shots.
        Napoleon to the Czar Alexander. At Tilsit, June 22, 1807.
De multis grandis acervus erit.
  Out of many things a great heap will be formed.
        Ovid—Remedia Amoris. 424.
  Peu de chose nous console, parceque peu de chose nous afflige.
  A little thing comforts us because a little thing afflicts us.
        Pascal—Pensées. VI. 25.
At every trifle scorn to take offence;
That always shows great pride or little sense.
        Pope—Essay on Criticism. L. 386.
What dire offence from amorous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things.
        Pope—Rape of the Lock. Canto I. L. 1.
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber’d oak.
        Henry VI. Pt. III. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 54.
Trifles, light as air.
        Othello. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 322.
Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,
And waste the time, which looks for other revels.
        Pericles. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 92.
A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.
        A Winter’s Tale. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 26.
A trifle makes a dream, a trifle breaks.
        Tennyson—Sea Dreams. L. 140.
Magno iam conatu magnas nugas.
  By great efforts obtain great trifles.
        Terence—Heauton timorumenos. IV. 1. 8.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year.
        Young—Love of Fame. Satire VI. L. 205.
For who hath despised the day of small things?
        Zechariah. IV. 10.

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