Careful Words

simplicity (n.)

Of manners gentle, of affections mild;

In wit a man, simplicity a child.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Epitaph on Gay.

Give me a look, give me a face,

That makes simplicity a grace;

Robes loosely flowing, hair as free,—

Such sweet neglect more taketh me

Than all the adulteries of art:

They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

Ben Jonson (1573-1637): Epicoene; Or, the Silent Woman. Act i. Sc. 1.

Elegant as simplicity, and warm

As ecstasy.

William Cowper (1731-1800): Table Talk. Line 588.

  No gilded dome swells from the lowly roof to catch the morning or evening beam; but the love and gratitude of united America settle upon it in one eternal sunshine. From beneath that humble roof went forth the intrepid and unselfish warrior, the magistrate who knew no glory but his country's good; to that he returned, happiest when his work was done. There he lived in noble simplicity, there he died in glory and peace. While it stands, the latest generations of the grateful children of America will make this pilgrimage to it as to a shrine; and when it shall fall, if fall it must, the memory and the name of Washington shall shed an eternal glory on the spot.

Edward Everett (1794-1865): Oration on the Character of Washington.

  We have exchanged the Washingtonian dignity for the Jeffersonian simplicity, which was in truth only another name for the Jacksonian vulgarity.

Bishop Henry C Potter (1835-1908): Address at the Washington Centennial Service in St. Paul's Chapel, New York, April 30, 1889.

  The elegant simplicity of the three per cents.

Lord Stowell (1745-1836): Lives of the Lord Chancellors (Campbell). Vol. x. Chap. 212.

  The sweet simplicity of the three per cents.

Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881): Endymion. Chap. xcvi.

And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps

At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity

Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill

Where no ill seems.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book iii. Line 686.

And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,

And captive good attending captain ill.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Sonnet lxvi.

Rich in saving common-sense,

And, as the greatest only are,

In his simplicity sublime.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892): Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington. Stanza 4.