one-act play
(Redirected from Trifle)

Trifles are things of little importance or worth.


  • Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys,
    And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.
  • I feel my belief in sacrifice and struggle getting stronger. I despise the kind of existence that clings to the miserly trifles of comfort and self-interest. I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.
  • This is a gimcrack
    That can get nothing but new fashions on you.
    • John Fletcher, The Elder Brother (c. 1625; 1637), Act III, scene 3.
  • These little things are great to little man.
  • What dire offence from amorous causes springs,
    What mighty contests rise from trivial things.
  • Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
    Small sands the mountain, moments make the year.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 815-16.
  • Little drops of water, little grains of sand
    Make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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. Alphonse Daudet, Tartarin de Tarascon. Part of title of Chapter 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 (August 11, 1777).
  • Hæ nugæ seria ducent
    In mala.
    • These trifles will lead to serious mischief.
    • Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), 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 (early 2nd century), 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.
    • John Lyly, Euphues. Arber's reprint (1579), p. 81.
  • 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 trifle makes a dream, a trifle breaks.
  • Magno iam conatu magnas nugas.
    • By great efforts obtain great trifles.
    • Terence, Heauton timorumenos, IV. 1. 8.
  • For who hath despised the day of small things?
    • Zechariah, IV. 10.