C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Simplicity is the great friend of Nature.


Simplicity is a jewel rarely found.


Simplicity is a delicate imposition.

La Rochefoucauld.

The expression of truth is simplicity.


Simplicity is oftenest an adroit pretence.

Mme. de Lambert.

There is a majesty in simplicity.


The greatest truths are the simplest.

Hosea Ballou.

Plain living and high thinking.


Affected simplicity is refined imposture.

La Rochefoucauld.

We have exchanged the Washingtonian dignity for the Jeffersonian simplicity.

Bishop Potter.

There is a majesty in simplicity which is far above the quantities of wit.


Simplicity, of all things, is the hardest to be copied.


Generally nature hangs out a sign of simplicity in the face of a fool.


Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.


There is one show of breeding vulgarity seldom assumes,—simplicity.

George MacDonald.

Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.

Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The feeling heart, simplicity of life and elegance and taste.


Upright simplicity is the deepest wisdom, and perverse craft the merest shallowness.


The greatest truths are the simplest; and so are the greatest men.


The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods.


There are certain occasions when, in art, simplicity is an audacious originality.

Achilles Poincelot.

Never anything can be amiss when simpleness and duty tender it.


In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.


  • Whose nature is so far from doing harm,
  • That he suspects none.
  • Shakespeare.

    An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.


    The simple-hearted and sincere never do more than half deceive themselves.


    To me more dear, congenial to my heart, one native charm, than all the gloss of art.


    Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought.


    How many undervalue the power of simplicity! But it is the real key to the heart.


    Simplicity is a captivating grace in woman, as rare as it is attractive.

    De Finod.

    Simplicity is that grace which frees the soul from all unnecessary reflections upon itself.


    Genuine simplicity of heart is a healing and cementing principle.


    True elegance becomes the more so as it approaches simplicity.


    Simplicity is Nature’s first step, and the last of Art.

    P. J. Bailey.

    Nothing so truly becomes feminine beauty as simplicity.

    Mme. Deluzy.

    The mother of good spirits and companion of repose!

    Nicolas Fontaine.

    When a thought is too weak to be simply expressed, it is a clear proof that it should be rejected.


    Simplicity is the great friend to nature, and if I would be proud of anything in this silly world, it should be of this honest alliance.


    How desirable is this simplicity! who will give it to me? I will quit all else; it is the pearl of great price.


    The true friend of truth and good loves them under all forms, but he loves them most under the most simple form.


    A childlike mind in its simplicity practises that science of good to which the wise may be blind.


    He alone is a man who can resist the genius of the age, the tone of fashion, with vigorous simplicity and modest courage.


    Be simple and modest in your deportment, and treat with indifference whatever lies between virtue and vice.

    Marcus Antoninus.

    If you wish to be like a little child, study what a little child could understand,—Nature; and do what a little child could do,—love.

    Charles Kingsley.

  • Her head was bare;
  • But for her native ornament of hair;
  • Which in a simple knot was tied above,
  • Sweet negligence, unheeded bait of love!
  • Ovid.

    It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and cease exertion in the proper place, than to expend both indiscriminately.


    The fairest lives, in my opinion, are those which regularly accommodate themselves to the common and human model, without miracle, without extravagance.


    Albert Dürer, the famous painter, used to say he had no pleasure in pictures that were painted with many colors, but in those which were painted with a choice simplicity. So it is with me as to sermons.


    Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature. Simplicity is in the intention, purity in the affection; simplicity turns to God; purity unites with and enjoys him.

    Thomas à Kempis.

    When a man is made up wholly of the dove, without the least grain of the serpent in his composition, he becomes ridiculous in many circumstances of life, and very often discredits his best actions.


    The farther we advance in knowledge, the more simplicity shall we discover in those primary rules that regulate all the apparently endless, complicated, and multiform operations of the Godhead.


    The world could not exist if it were not simple. This ground has been tilled a thousand years, yet its powers remain ever the same; a little rain, a little sun, and each spring it grows green again.


    If thou hadst simplicity and purity, thou wouldst be able to comprehend all things without error, and behold them without danger. The pure heart safely pervades not only heaven, but hell.

    Thomas à Kempis.

    The best painters, as they progress in reputation and towards perfection, are found to dispense more and more with the technique of the art, for simpler methods. Simplicity never fails to charm.


    Simplicity is the law of Nature for man as well as for flowers. When the tapestry (corolla) of the nuptial bed (calyx) is excessive, luxuriant, it is unproductive. The fertile flowers are single, not double.


    I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely; as the pursuits of the simpler nations are still the sports of the more artificial.


    Simplicity is the character of the spring of life, costliness becomes its autumn; but a neatness and purity, like that of the snow-drop or lily of the valley, is the peculiar fascination of beauty, to which it lends enchantment, and gives what amiability is to the mind.


    Simplicity is doubtless a fine thing, but it often appeals only to the simple. Art is the only passion of true artists. Palestrina’s music resembles the music of Rossini, as the song of the sparrow is like the cavatina of the nightingale. Choose!

    Mme. de Girardin.

    The most agreeable of all companions is a simple, frank man, without any high pretensions to an oppressive greatness,—one who loves life, and understands the use of it; obliging alike at all hours; above all, of a golden temper, and steadfast as an anchor. For such an one we gladly exchange the greatest genius, the most brilliant wit, the profoundest thinker.


    Simplicity is the straightforwardness of a soul which refuses itself any reaction with regard to itself or its deeds. This virtue differs from and surpasses sincerity. We see many people who are sincere without being simple. They do not wish to be taken for other than what they are; but they are always fearing lest they should be taken for what they are not.