From 1663 it became a permanent body, and was attended only by the representatives of the princes and the cities; and from that time it occupied itself mainly with trifles, leaving the affairs of each state to be looked after by its own authorities, and those of the country generally to such fortunes as chance should determine.
"I'm not a goose, but they are who cry about trifles," said Petya.
But these excuses were mere trifles, and well deserve to be forgiven, when we think that though the offender was in form acquitted, yet Burke succeeded in these fourteen years of laborious effort in laying the foundations once for all of a moral, just, philanthropic and responsible public opinion in England with reference to India, and in doing so performed perhaps the most magnificent service that any statesman has ever had it in his power to render to humanity.
The treatment of the subject, the atmosphere which surrounds it, the delicacy in which the little prattling ways of the nuns, their jealousies, their tiny trifles, are presented, takes the reader entirely by surprise.
Viewed in this light Petrarch anticipated the Italian Renaissance in its weakness - that philosophical superficiality, that tendency to ornate rhetoric, that preoccupation with stylistic trifles, that want of profound conviction and stern sincerity, which stamp its minor literary products with the note of mediocrity.