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


All perfection is melancholy.

Mrs. Oliphant.

I have seen an end of all perfection.


God never made His work for man to mend.


Woman is most perfect when most womanly.


The very pink of perfection.


Even women are perfect at the outset.

La Rochefoucauld.

Earth’s noblest thing—a woman perfected.


There are many lovely women, but no perfect ones.

Victor Hugo.

Whoever thinks a perfect work to see, thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be.


Many things impossible to thought have been by need to full perfection brought.


There are no perfect women in the world; only hypocrites exhibit no defects.

Ninon de Lenclos.

Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.


Were she perfect, one would admire her more, but love her less.


Trifles make perfection; but perfection is no trifle.

Michael Angelo.

  • Thou hast no faults, or I no faults can spy;
  • Thou art all beauty, or all blindness I.
  • Christopher Codrington.

    It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye, that we may always advance towards it, though we know it can never be reached.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Let no man measure by a scale of perfection the meager product of reality in this poor world of ours.


    The divine nature is perfection; and to be nearest to the divine nature is to be nearest to perfection.


    If a man should happen to reach perfection in this world, he would have to die immediately to enjoy himself.

    H. W. Shaw.

    The maxims tell you to aim at perfection, which is well; but it’s unattainable, all the same.

    Bayard Taylor.

    Perfection is attained by slow degrees; she requires the hand of time.


    Perfection does not exist. To understand it is the triumph of human intelligence; to desire to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness.

    Alfred de Musset.

  • 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.

  • What’s come to perfection perishes,
  • Things learned on earth we shall practise in heaven;
  • Works done least rapidly Art most cherishes.
  • Robert Browning.

    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess.


    He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly. I never saw a perfect man. Every rose has its thorns, and every day its night. Even the sun shows spots, and the skies are darkened with clouds; and faults of some kind nestle in every bosom.


    Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.