Those who aim at faultless regularity will only produce mediocrity, and no one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves. ~ William Hazlitt
Perfection is, broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness.
In this broad earth
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart
Nestles the seed perfection. ~ Walt Whitman
- That is the true perfection of man to find out his imperfections.
- Augustine of Hippo, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 449.
- Perfection is the dream of imperfection that refuses to wake up.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Quotes we cherish. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2013, p. 19.
- There is but one true good for a spiritual being, and this is found in its perfection. Men are slow to see this truth; and yet it is the key to God's providence, and to the mysteries of life.
- William Ellery Channing, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 449.
- Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
- Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher.
- It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.
- As translated by Lewis Galantière: ... perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away ...
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Ch. III: L'Avion, p. 60.
- I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man.
- Those who aim at faultless regularity will only produce mediocrity, and no one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.
- William Hazlitt, "Thoughts on Taste", The Edinburgh Magazine, July 1819, final paragraph.
- Le plus grand ennemi du bon, c'est le mieux.
- The better is the greatest enemy of the good.
- French proverb, as cited in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820), §216.
- Dans ses écrits un sage Italien
Dit que le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.
- In his writings a wise Italian
Says that the better is the enemy of the good.
- Voltaire, La Bégueule (The Prude) (1772)
- The perfect is the enemy of the good.
- Modern paraphrase of Voltaire.
- We are morally and intellectually superior to all men. We are peerless. So, too, are our organizations and our institutions. [Germany was] the most perfect political creation known to history, [the Kaiser] deliciae humani generis, [and the Imperial Chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg] the most eminent of living men.
- Adolf Lasson; The Times (London), History of the War (1915), vol. 5, p. 170. This noted Hegelian philosopher and German nationalist is also quoted by Georges Clemenceau, Grandeur and Misery of Victory, p. 278 (1930).
- It is a union with a Higher Good by love, that alone is endless perfection. The only sufficient object for man must be something that adds to and perfects his nature, to which he must be united in love; somewhat higher than himself, yea, the highest of all, the Father of spirits. That alone completes a spirit and blesses it, — to love Him, the spring of spirits.
- Robert Leighton, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 449.
- The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.
- Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
- "Perfect the Will, the Mind, Feeling, their corporeal organs and their material tools; be useful to yourselves, to your own ones, and to others; and Happiness, insofar as it exists on this earth, will come of itself."
- Whose dear perfection hearts that scorn'd to serve
Humbly call'd mistress.
- How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection!
- It is the witness still of excellency
To put a strange face on his own perfection.
- No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.
- Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851), part 4, chapter 30, last sentence, p. 456.
- We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government.
- William Howard Taft, address at a banquet given in his honor by the Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce of Washington, D.C. (May 8, 1909); Presidential Addresses and State Papers of William Howard Taft (1910), vol. 1, chapter 7, p. 82.
- Perfectly beautiful: let it be granted her: where is the fault?
All that I saw (for her eyes were downcast, not to be seen)
Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null,
Dead perfection, no more.
- By his father he is English, by his mother he is American—to my mind the blend which makes the perfect man.
- Mark Twain, introducing Winston Churchill, New York City (December 12, 1900); Paul Fatout, ed., Mark Twain Speaking (1976), p. 368.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 593.
- Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
- What's come to perfection perishes,
Things learned on earth we shall practise in heaven;
Works done least rapidly Art most cherishes.
- The very pink of perfection.
- A man cannot have an idea of perfection in another, which he was never sensible of in himself.
- In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.