Perfection

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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.

Quotes[edit]

In this broad earth of ours,
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.
  • 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
  • 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.
    • Variants:
      • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 593.
  • 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.

External links[edit]

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