The great tragedy of sciencethe slaying of a beautiful theory by an ugly fact.
(Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), British biologist. Presidential address, 1870, to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Biogenesis and Abiogenesis, vol. 8, Collected Essays (1894).)
Mr. Jordan, I never seen anything as beautiful as that, not even in heaven.
(Sidney Buchman (1902-1975), U.S. screenwriter, Seton I. Miller (1902-1974), U.S., and Alexander Hall. Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery), Here Comes Mr. Jordan, on his first sight of Bette (1941).
From the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall.)
One of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for June 17, 1853 (1906).
The remark comes after a description of a visitor who "pestered" Thoreau "with his benignity.... They lick you as a cow her calf. They would fain wrap you about with their bowels.")
The two most beautiful words in the English language are "check enclosed."
(Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. author and humorist. As quoted in The Late Mrs. Dorothy Parker, ch. 17, by Leslie Frewin (1986).
Said in the 1920s; Parker, trying to earn her living as a writer, was referring to the financial insecurity of the profession.)
The most distinct and beautiful statement of any truth must take at last the mathematical form.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 386, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)