S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
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. Moral virtues are the foundation of society in general, and of friendship in particular; but attentions, manners, and graces, both adorn and strengthen them.
Lord Chesterfield: Letters to his Son, July 20, 1749.
He that resigns his peace to little casualties, and suffers the course of his life to be interrupted by fortuitous inadvertencies or offences, delivers up himself to the direction of the wind, and loses all that constancy and equanimity which constitute the chief praise of a wise man . Such is the limitation of human powers, that by attention to trifles we must let things of importance pass unobserved: when we examine a mite by a glass, we see nothing but a mite.